Location: Molecular Plant Pathology LaboratoryTitle: Characterization of whitefly and whitefly-borne virus populations in tomato- and sweet pepper-growing greenhouses in the Cartago province, Costa Rica Author
Submitted to: Journal of Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2013
Publication Date: 11/22/2013
Citation: Vargas-Asencio, J., Hernandez, E., Barboza, N., Hammond, R., Mora, F., Ramirez, P. 2013. Characterization of whitefly and whitefly-borne virus populations in tomato- and sweet pepper-growing greenhouses in the Cartago province, Costa Rica. Journal of Plant Pathology. 95:627-630. Interpretive Summary: Whiteflies and whitefly-borne viruses are major constraints to the production of tomato and sweet pepper both in field and greenhouses settings. Limited data exists on the presence and predominance of whitefly species and on the distribution of whitefly-borne viruses in the major tomato and pepper production greenhouses in the Cartago province of Costa Rica. We discovered one predominant whitefly species and a virus that it transmits in tomato and pepper production greenhouses in this region. The results of our study have been communicated to growers in Costa Rica and are being used to assess the incidence of the insect and virus and their economic impact on tomato and pepper production. The results impact U.S. agriculture as whitefly-borne viruses are emerging as a serious threat to tomato production in North America.
Technical Abstract: Crop production in greenhouse environments requires special care. Poor management can favor pest related problems which can lead to economic losses. Whiteflies and whitefly-borne viruses are major constraints to the production of tomato and sweet pepper both in field and greenhouses settings. Limited data exist about the epidemiological factors related to these pests and pathogens for greenhouse production in Costa Rica. The aim of this study was to determine the whitefly species present and their relationships with the populations reported in the literature, and to identify and determine the distribution of the begomoviruses and criniviruses infecting tomato and pepper in greenhouses in the Cartago province in Costa Rica. Our results showed that Trialeurodes vaporariorum and Tomato chlorosis virus are the most important factors in disease development in the region; detection of this virus species in several weeds reflects its adaptation to this type of environment. Begomovirus presence and diversity were very limited. Possible evidence for genetic differentiation between T. vaporariorum populations is presented.