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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332484

Research Project: Systematics of Hemiptera and Related Groups: Plant Pests, Predators and Disease Vectors

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: The distribution and biology of potential vectors of Xylella fastidiosa on coffee and citrus in Puerto Rico

item BROADBECK, BRENT - University Of Florida
item McKamey, Stuart - Stu
item ANDERSEN, PETER - University Of Florida
item ODEN, STEVE - University Of Florida
item MIZELL, RUSSELL - University Of Florida
item ZAPATA, MILRED - Puerto Rico Department Of Agriculture

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/7/2017
Publication Date: 5/5/2017
Citation: Broadbeck, B.V., Mckamey, S.H., Andersen, P.C., Oden, S., Mizell, R.F., Zapata, M. 2017. The distribution and biology of potential vectors of Xylella fastidiosa on coffee and citrus in Puerto Rico. Environmental Entomology. 46(3):511-520.

Interpretive Summary: Many plant diseases are spread principally by leafhopper insects. On of the most serious pests of citrus, grape, and coffee is a bacterium transmitted by leafhoppers. Plant disease caused by this bacterium surround the Caribbean Basin and Puerto Rico’s two major crops are at risk. To minimize the economic impact of the bacterium should it spread to Puerto Rico, the biology and occurrence of potential vectors must be understood. It will improve the efficiency of governmental (including APHIS), and research workers in studies and quarantine of potential vector species of this bacterium and ultimately aid crop protection agencies in Puerto Rico.

Technical Abstract: Plant diseases caused by Xylella fastidiosa (Wells et al.) (Xf) surround the Caribbean Basin. Two major commodities of Puerto Rico, coffee and citrus, are highly susceptible to Xf. We surveyed potential vectors of Xf in coffee and citrus farms in western Puerto Rico over an 18 month period. Cicadellinae species are the primary vectors of Xf diseases, and four of the six species of Cicadellinae previously found in Puerto Rico were frequently collected in coffee plantings. Caribovia coffeacola Dozier was the most common species, and was the only Cicadellinae collected that fed on coffee with regularity. Cicadellinae were rarely collected on citrus. Populations of Cicadellinae and C. coffeacola were higher in the rainy season than the dry season, and were rarely found at altitudes below 300 m. Locally high populations of C. coffeacola were found when Inga vera L. was interspersed in coffee plantings. Populations of C. coffeacola increased with proximity to individual I. vera. Cage studies showed that both coffee and I. vera were preferred feeding hosts for C. coffeacola; C. coffeacola did not prefer, nor did it survive, on citrus and the alternative hosts tested. In a subsequent study we selected different farms to test the effects of altitude, season, and alternative hosts during both the rainy season and dry season of 2010. These results confirmed that C. caribovia was the dominant Cicadellinae species on coffee, population were higher during the rainy season and at higher altitudes, and were highest in the proximity of I. vera. These results are discussed in the context of farm structure and reforestation in Puerto Rico.