Submitted to: Florida Entomological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2007
Publication Date: 6/18/2007
Citation: Hunter, W.B., Sinisterra, X., Achor, D. 2007. Entomopathogenic virus entry and replication site in the Glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis. (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae)[abstract]. Florida Entomological Society Annual Meeting, July 15-18, 2007, Sarasota, FL. Available http://flaentsoc.org/hunterfes07hocv1.pdf. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: We identified the infection pathway of a newly discovered leafhopper virus, HoCV-1, which may be useful as a biological control agent to reduce leafhopper pests. Few biological control agents are currently available for use in the management of leafhoppers. The Glassy-winged sharpshooter, GWSS, Homalodisca vitripennis is the main vector spreading the plant infecting bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, which causes Pierce’s disease of grapes. We determined a route of infection and replication of HoCV-1, a newly described virus in the Dicistroviridae which was discovered to be infecting field populations of GWSS. Infected adult GWSS were dissected and their midgut tissues prepared for examination using transmission electron microscopy, TEM. In silico analysis of two cDNA libraries made from salivary glands, and midguts dissected from field collected GWSS were also examined to elucidate presence and replication of HoCV-1. High titers of the virus were observed in midgut tissues, and viral transcripts were detected in the midgut tissues, but absent in salivary tissues. When the route of infection is oral, the midgut appears to be the primary tissue supporting virus entry and replication. Viruses, such as HoCV-1, may be serving a natural role in reducing GWSS vitality and numbers where it occurs, such as in southern California. Development of methods to increase infection within leafhopper populations need to be developed to obtain the maximum benefits from naturally occurring leafhopper viruses and/or other pathogens.