Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2011
Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-06-11-0538
Citation: Nunes, M.A., De Oliveira, C.L., De Oliveria, M.L., Kitajima, E., Hilf, M.E., Gottwald, T.R., Freitas-Astua, J. 2012. Transmission of Citrus leprosis virus C by Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes) to Alternative Host Plants Found in Citrus Orchards. Plant Disease. 96:968-972. Interpretive Summary: This research demonstrates that non-citrus plants commonly found growing around citrus groves in Brazil can sustain populations of the mites which transmit the virus that causes the disease citrus leprosis. These plants may play an important role in the maintenance and spread of the disease.
Technical Abstract: The equivalent of US$ 75 million is spent each year in Brazil to control Brevipalpus phoenicis, a mite vector of Citrus leprosis virus C (CiLV-C). In this study we investigated the possibility that hedgerows, windbreaks, and weeds normally found in citrus orchards could host CiLV-C. Mites reared on sweet orange fruits with leprosis symptoms were transferred to leaves, isolated by adhesive barrier, of Hibiscus rosa sinensis, Malvaviscus arboreus, Grevilea robusta, Bixa orellana, Commelina benghalensis and Citrus sinensis. After 90 days of infestation, the descendant mites were transferred to “Pera” sweet orange plants, to verify the transmissibility of the virus back to citrus. Non-viruliferous mites, which had no feeding access to diseased tissue, were used as controls. Localized lesions (chlorotic or necrotic spots, ringspots) developed in most plants tested. Tissue samples of plants infested with viruliferous and non-viruliferous mites were analyzed by RT-PCR with primers specific for CiLV-C and samples also were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. The susceptibility of these plants to CiLV-C was confirmed by these three tests. Since these species often occur nearby citrus orchards, we are now investigating whether or not they have a role in the epidemiology of the disease.