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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Charleston, South Carolina » Vegetable Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #404435

Research Project: Basic and Applied Approaches for Pest Management in Vegetable Crops

Location: Vegetable Research

Title: Cucurbit leaf crumple virus (Geminiviridae: Begomovirus) transmission by its vector, the sweetpotato whitefly, harboring different facultative endosymbionts

item Andreason, Sharon
item Kousik, Chandrasekar - Shaker

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: N/A

Technical Abstract: The bipartite begomovirus cucurbit leaf crumple virus (CuLCrV), transmitted by the sweetpotato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci; Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), limits the production of cucurbits in the southeastern United States. This virus is transmitted by its vector in a persistent, circulative manner, and whitefly facultative endosymbionts, such as Rickettsia, can affect virus transmission efficiency. Transmission tests using CuLCrV infectious clones were performed from susceptible versus resistant watermelon varieties using B. tabaci MEAM1 single female initiated isoline colonies harboring the maternally inherited secondary endosymbiont Rickettsia or deficient of this endosymbiont. Results demonstrated CuLCrV transmission from susceptible watermelon to the same susceptible variety in an average of 50% of tests using Rickettsia-harboring or Rickettsia-deficient whiteflies. CuLCrV was not detected in susceptible watermelon after transmission test whiteflies acquired virus from the resistant watermelon variety. Quantification of virus titers in leaves after whitefly acquisition access demonstrated significantly lower titers in leaves fed on by Rickettsia-deficient versus Rickettsia-harboring whiteflies. Virus titers in whiteflies post-inoculation access were not significantly different. These results highlight the importance of using resistant watermelon varieties in CuLCrV management. Studies investigating vector endosymbiont composition effects on virus transmission and virus titers in host plants are ongoing.