Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2011
Publication Date: 3/1/2012
Citation: Dickey, A.. Osborne, L.S., McKenzie, C. 2012. Papaya is not a host for tomato yellow leaf-curl virus. Florida Entomologist. 95:211-213. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1653/024.095.0136 Interpretive Summary: The value of tomato production is threatened by tomato yellow leaf-curl virus and silverleaf whitefly Bemisia tabaci biotype B which transmits the virus. Papaya plants have been shown to provide a refuge for the natural enemies of silverleaf whitefly suggesting that papaya could be used to promote biological control of the whitefly in tomato greenhouses. This is an example of the banker plant strategy for pest control. To strengthen the case for use of papaya as a banker plant,it was important to show that papaya was not a host for the virus. We tested the ability of whiteflies to transmit tomato yellow leaf-curl virus to papaya plants in laboratory cages and found that papaya was not infected. By showing that papaya is not a host for Tomato yellow leaf-curl virus, we strengthen the case for adopting the papaya banker plant system in greenhouse tomato production.
Technical Abstract: The economic value of tomato production is threatened by tomato yellow leaf-curl virus TYLCV and its vector, the silverleaf whitefly Bemisia tabaci biotype B (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae). Use of papaya Carica papaya L. as a banker plant for a whitefly parasitoid shows promise as a whitefly management strategy. While papaya provides a valuable reservoir for beneficial parasitoids, it is crucial to establish that papaya is not a host for TYLCV. If papaya harbors TYLCV, this could be perceived as an unacceptable risk, impeding adoption by growers of this banker plant strategy. We tested the ability of viruliferous whiteflies to transmit TYLCV to papaya plants in laboratory cages and found that papaya remained uninfected 121 days following whitefly exposure. We demonstrated that papaya is not a host for TYLCV strengthening the case for adopting the papaya banker plant system in greenhouse tomato production.