Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2005
Publication Date: 6/1/2006
Citation: Avila, Y., Stavisky, J., Hague, S., Funderburk, J., Reitz, S.R., Momol, T. 2006. Evaluation of Frankliniella bispinosa (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) as a vector of tomato spotted wilt virus in pepper. Florida Entomologist. 89:204-207. Interpretive Summary: Although the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, is considered the key vector of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) in vegetable crops, other thrips species may also be significant factors in the epidemiology of this virus. Scientists with the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS, Tallahassee, Florida and the University of Florida have demonstrated that the Florida flower thrips F. bispinosa can acquire and transmit TSWV. The finding that Florida flower thrips can transmit TSWV means that careful consideration must be given to thrips’ demographics in different vegetable production areas, and how differences in vector species affect the epidemiology of TSWV. Future studies will continue to enhance our knowledge of new and changing disease transmitters, and lead to increasingly effective Integrated Pest Management programs.
Technical Abstract: Frankliniella occidentalis is the key vector responsible for the emergence of Tomato spotted wilt virus as a global threat to agriculture. Frankliniella bispinosa is a common thrips in Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, but the role of F. bispinosa in the epidemiology of the virus is not known. The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of F. bispinosa to acquire and transmit the Tomato spotted wilt virus in pepper. Virus acquisition from an infected host by the larvae is necessary for subsequent transmission by the adult thrips. Pepper was a suitable reproductive host for F. bispinosa. In laboratory experiments, the number of larvae produced per F. bispinosa female was less than the number of larvae produced per F. occidentalis female. The larvae of F. bispinosa successfully acquired Tomato spotted wilt virus, although at a lower percentage than F. occidentalis. Viruliferous adults of both species transmitted the virus to pepper. Our results confirm the competence of F. bispinosa as a vector of Tomato spotted wilt virus.