Submitted to: International Congress of Entomology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2008
Publication Date: July 6, 2008
Citation: Simmons, A.M., Ling, K., Harrison Jr, H.F., Jackson, D.M. 2008. Whitefly transmission of the Sweet potato leaf curl virus. International Congress of Entomology. Durban, South Africa, 6-12 July 2008. Technical Abstract: The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is highly adaptive and polyphagous on taxonomically diverse species of plants on a global scale. This whitefly transmits numerous plant viruses, including Begomoviruses (Geminiviridae). We recently found the Sweet Potato Leaf Curl Virus (SPLCV) in South Carolina and since conducted studies on the role of B. tabaci as a vector for this virus. Laboratory, greenhouse, and field experiments were conducted on host range and on transmission, acquisition, and retention of SPLCV by B. tabaci on Ipomoea setosa and sweetpotato. Determination of SPLCV was made with symptom expression on indicator plants (I. setosa) and confirmed by Real-time PCR. Over 50 species of diverse taxa were identified as new hosts for B. tabaci, and over 40 species of Ipomea were identified as being susceptible to SPLCV. We did not detect SPLCV in over 70 species of other wild and cultivated plants. Data on transmission, acquisition, and retention will be presented. Although individual B. tabaci appears to be moderately efficient in acquiring and transmitting SPLCV, the presence of the virus and an increasing population of the insect vector pose serious threat to sweetpotato production worldwide. These findings will help in the epidemiology of SPLCV in the sweetpotato field, and the resistant Ipomea may be useful in sweetpotato breeding programs.