Submitted to: National Sweetpotato Collaborators Group Progress Report
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/31/2012
Publication Date: 2/4/2012
Citation: Jackson, D.M., Ling, K., Simmons, A.M. 2012. Use of Insecticides to Control the Spread of Sweetpotato Leaf Curl Virus in Sweetpotato Fields. National Sweetpotato Collaborators Group Progress Report. Pgs 22-23. In K. Pecota (ed).
Interpretive Summary: N/A
Technical Abstract: Sweetpotato leaf curl virus (SPLCV), which is transmitted by the sweetpotato whitefly, can severely affect yields of commercial sweetpotato cultivars. This virus occurs every year at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory (USVL), Charleston, SC. In 2010 and 2011, small plots of virus tested ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato were grown at the USVL to see if they could be protected from SPLCV using insecticides. In 2010, six replications were planted in double-row plots of ten plants each. The two treatments were usprayed plots and plots sprayed twice weekly with imidacloprid. A plot of W-258 that was infected with SPLCV was planted between the treatment plots to serve as a source of this virus. A similar test was setup in 2011, except that the plots were sprayed only once a week, and a rotation of four insecticides was used. These insecticides were imidacloprid, pyriproxyfen, acetamiprid, and pymetrozine. Each year, yellow sticky traps were placed in each plot to monitor for whiteflies. Leaf samples were taken every other week to check for SPLCV using real-time PCR. There were significantly fewer whiteflies on sticky cards in the sprayed treatment for only four of the 36 weekly samples over the 2-year period, indicating that insecticides were largely ineffective in significantly reducing whitefly populations in these plots. By the end of both years, all of the unsprayed plots were infected with SPLCV. However, only about two-thirds of the sprayed fields were infected with SPLCV. Although, the overall incidence of SPLCV was reduced slightly in the sprayed plots, the use of insecticides does not appear to be a viable option for reducing this disease in sweetpotato fields.