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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Novelli, V. M.
item Freitas-astua, J.
item Arrivabem, F.
item Locali, E. C.
item Hilf, Mark
item Gottwald, Timothy
item Machado, M. A.

Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2005
Publication Date: 6/1/2006
Citation: Novelli, V., Freitas-Astua, J., Arrivabem, F., Locali, E., Hilf, M.E., Gottwald, T.R., Machado, M. 2006. O acaro vetor da leprose dos citros (brevipalpus phoenicis)e a interacao com endossimbiontes. LARANJA. 26:2:273-289.

Interpretive Summary: Citrus Leprosis is cause by a mite-transmitted plant virus and causes very serious crop damage in areas of South America where it is not adequately controlled. Control is expensive and millions of dollars per year are spend attempting to control this disease. The disease has been moving northward and was recently found in Central America and thus threatens the US citrus industries as well. Recently a bacterium was found infecting nearly all mites in the population. This is not just a curiosity but may provide an avenue for future mite and disease control strategies. The bacterium grows in the gut of the mite but does not seem to harm it. However it may be beneficial or even necessary for the mite’s survival. The learning how to control and manipulate the ‘endosymbiont’ bacteria may provide a new and innovative method to control the mite that vectors Leprosis in citrus. This is the first in a series of studies aimed at learning how the mite and the bacteria interact and perhaps define the points in this interaction where we might be able to negatively influence the health of the mite population.

Technical Abstract: Citrus leprosis, caused by citrus leprosis virus (CiLV) and transmitted by Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes) (Acari: Tenuipalpidae), is currently the most important viral disease affecting the culture in Brazil, causing significant yield and economical losses of millions of dollars annually for the chemical control of the mite vector. The understanding of the mechanisms involved on the plant-virus-vector pathosystem and the effective mite control through low cost and environmental damages are extremely desirable. Several studies have demonstrated the existence of a narrow relationship between virus and vector, as well as the important role of endosymbionts in the vector capacity to transmit the virus. The recent report on the presence of an endosymbiont ´Candidatus Cardinium´ belonging to the Bacterioidetes phylum in B. phoenicis opens new possibilities to study not only its influence on the mite’s biology but also on the virus-vector relationship, which can help elucidate aspects yet obscure of the leprosis pathosystem.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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