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Title: The role of eriophyoids in fungal pathogen epidemiology, mere association or true interaction?

item Gamliel-atinsky, Efrat - University Of Georgia
item Freeman, Stanley - Agricultural Research Organization Of Israel
item Maymon, Marcel - Volcani Center (ARO)
item Ochoa, Ronald - Ron
item Bauchan, Gary
item Skoracka, Anna - Adam Mickiewicz University
item Pena, Jorge - University Of Florida
item Palevsky, Eric - Newe Ya'Ar Research Center

Submitted to: Experimental and Applied Acarology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/29/2009
Publication Date: 5/1/2010
Citation: Gamliel-Atinsky, E., Freeman, S., Maymon, M., Ochoa, R., Bauchan, G.R., Skoracka, A., Pena, J., Palevsky, E. 2010. The role of eriophyoids in fungal pathogen epidemiology, mere association or true interaction? Experimental and Applied Acarology. 51:191-204.

Interpretive Summary: The family Eriophyidae, the rust, gall and bud mites, are pests of many ornamental plants, crops, timber and fruit trees. One of the most important pests is the mango bud mite. Mango production is a booming industry worldwide, including in the U.S. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimated worldwide production in 2004 at more than 24 million tons. Field recognition and control of the mango bud mite is difficult because their small size and cryptic behavior. This paper addresses the dispersal association between the mango bud mite and a fungal disease. The results of this research are important to phytopathologists, biologists, entomologists, state extension and pest management control programs.

Technical Abstract: A considerable number of plant feeding mites representing different families such as Acaridae, Siteroptidae, Tydeidae and Tarsonemidae interact with plant pathogenic fungi. While species within the Eriophyoidea appear to be the most common phytophagous mites vectoring viral diseases little is known of their role in fungal pathogen epidemiology. In the present article we present two studies on eriophyoid-fungal relationships. The first focusing on the association between Aceria mangiferae and the fungal pathogen Fusarium mangiferae in mango is presented as a case study. The second, as the research is still in a preliminary phase, describes quantitative and descriptive associations between the cereal rust mite Abacarus hystrix and rusts caused by Puccinia spp. Mango bud tissue colonized with F. mangiferae, and wheat and quackgrass leaves colonized with Puccinia spp., supported significantly higher populations of eriophyoids mites. Both mite species were observed bearing the spores of the respective pathogens on their body integument. Aceria mangiferae vectored the pathogen’s spore into the bud, the sole port of entry for the fungal pathogen and the frequency and severity of fungal infection increased in the presence of A. mangiferae. While it appears that eriophyoids are playing a role in fungal epidemiology clearly further research is needed to enhance our understanding of direct and indirect (plant mediated) interactions between plant pathogens and eriophyoid mites in different plant-pathogen systems.