Submitted to: Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2006
Publication Date: January 15, 2006
Citation: Hunter, W.B. 2006. Rapid detection of homalodisca coagulata virus-1 (hocv-1), a novel dicistronic virus discovered in the glassy-winged sharpshooter. Proceedings of Annual International Plant & Animal Genome Conference. P936. p. 334. Technical Abstract: We discovered naturally occurring, leafhopper-infecting, viral pathogens which were found to be reducing GWSS populations. The glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), Homalodisca coagulata (Say) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), is a highly polyphagous pest renowned for its remarkable vectoring capacity of the bacterium, Xylella, which causes Pierce’s Disease of grapes, as well as several additional economically devastating diseases which impact both commodity and ornamental plant varieties. By increasing the knowledge of naturally-occurring pathogens and predators of the GWSS and their implication to the biological control of this insect vector is of considerable importance in the development of long-term, environmentally friendly, management practices. Our discovery of sharpshooter viruses, and the completion of the full viral genome sequencing and characterization of HOCV 1, enabled us to design and produce genetic markers for use in the detection, monitoring and evaluation of sharpshooter viral pathogens. HoCV 1 was characterized as a ssRNA virus within the Dicistroviridae. The two newly discovered GWSS viral pathogens (HoCV 2, HoCV 3) have been partially sequenced and do not fit into any current taxonomic classification. The availability of these viral sequences enabled us to develop a rapid, low-cost method for detection of these viruses using RT-PCR. Using this assay, we have begun to examine the geographic distribution and natural host range of GWSS viral pathogens across the southern USA. The resultant data will assist in defining the specificity and utility of these viruses as biorational control agents against the GWSS to reduce the spread of Pierce’s Disease of grapes.