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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355091

Research Project: Integrating Ecological Process Knowledge into Effective Management of Invasive Plants in Great Basin Rangelands

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: The interface between wheat and the wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella, the primary vector of globally important viral diseases

item SKORACKA, ANNA - Adam Mickiewicz University
item Rector, Brian
item HEIN, GARY - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Frontiers in Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2018
Publication Date: 7/27/2018
Publication URL:
Citation: Skoracka, A., Rector, B.G., Hein, G. 2018. The interface between wheat and the wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella, the primary vector of globally important viral diseases. Frontiers in Plant Science. 9:1098.

Interpretive Summary: The wheat curl mite (WCM) is one of the most damaging pests of cereals and is also a model species for the study of plant virus transmission by mites and of the genetics of host-choice by mites. This article provides a much needed update on the state of knowledge of the interactions between WCM and the viruses that it is known to transmit to cereal crops. These include wheat streak mosaic virus, High Plains wheat mosaic virus, Triticum mosaic virus, and brome streak mosaic virus, which represent major threats to grain production in the USA and are extremely difficult to manage with chemical pesticides. The information compiled in this article will facilitate research progress seeking to provide effective and sustainable management strategies for WCM and its associated viruses.

Technical Abstract: Wheat production and sustainability are steadily threatened by pests and pathogens, in both wealthy and developing countries, and their impact is increasing due to global climatic changes. This review is focused on the wheat curl mite (WCM), Aceria tosichella, and its relationship with wheat. WCM is a major pest of wheat and other cereals and a vector of at least four damaging plant viruses (WSMV, HPWMoV, TriMV, BSMV). The WCM-virus pathosystem causes considerable yield losses worldwide, and its severity increases significantly when mixed-virus infections occur. Chemical control strategies are largely ineffective because WCM occupies secluded niches on the plant, e.g. leaf sheaths or curled leaves in the whorl. The challenge of effectively managing this pest-virus complex is exacerbated by the existence of divergent WCM lineages that differ in host-colonization and virus-transmission abilities. We highlight research progress in mite ecology and virus epidemiology that affect management and development of cereal cultivars with WCM- and virus-resistance genes. We also address the challenge of avoiding both agronomically deleterious side effects and selection for field populations of WCM that can overcome these resistance genes. This report integrates the current state of knowledge of WCM-virus-plant interactions and addresses knowledge gaps regarding the mechanisms driving WCM infestation, viral epidemics and plant responses. We discuss the potential application of molecular methods (e.g. transcriptomics, epigenetics, whole-genome sequencing) to understand the chemical and cellular interface between the wheat plant and WCM-virus complexes.