Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Plant Pathology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #200654

Title: Whitefly Transmission of a New Virus Infecting Cucurbits in Florida

item Adkins, Scott

Submitted to: Cucurbitaceae Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2006
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This report documents a novel virus species found infecting cucurbits in Florida. Whitefly transmission of and symptoms caused by this virus are described. This report continues a cooperative research effort between ARS, the University of Florida and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry. It also provides a timely account of this new virus and its potential to cause economic losses to growers, Extension personnel and state and Federal regulatory and research scientists.

Technical Abstract: A virus isolated from squash collected in Hillsborough County, FL in 2003, which was subsequently determined to be an ipomovirus, was transmitted by the silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci B strain in laboratory experiments. The virus was acquired by whiteflies after a 3-h access period on infected plants. After sequential inoculation access periods on healthy seedlings, whiteflies (15- 20 per clip cage) transmitted the virus during the second and subsequent access periods, with the highest rate of transmission during the second access period (2 – 4 h post acquisition). A limited host range study suggests that the virus is restricted to cucurbits. All Cucurbita species tested showed vein yellowing and were stunted compared to healthy controls. The Cucumis species tested showed transient vein yellowing and apparent recovery. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) leaves yellowed, petioles collapsed, and plants became necrotic and died 7–10 days after inoculation. The relationship between this virus and the highly damaging disease known in Florida as mature watermelon vine decline is being explored.