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Biology of the European large raspberry aphid (Amphorophora idaei): its role in virus transmission and resistance breakdown in red raspberry

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1 The European large raspberry aphid Amphorophora idaei Börner is the most important vector of viral diseases afflicting commercially grown red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) in Northern Europe, with European raspberry production amounting to 416 000 tonnes per annum. This review synthesizes existing knowledge on its biology and interactions with other organisms, including its host plant and the viral pathogens it vectors.

2 Information about trophic interactions with other insect herbivores and natural enemies is reviewed. Vine weevils Otiorhynchus sulcatus compromise aphid resistance in some raspberry cultivars, increasing A.idaei abundance by 80%. Parasitoids show mixed success in parasitizing A.idaei, although Aphidius ervi attack rates more than doubled when A.idaei fed on a partially susceptible raspberry cultivar, compared with a resistant variety. These findings are discussed in the context of potential biological control as part of an integrated pest and disease management framework.

3 Amphorophora idaei transmits four known viruses: Black raspberry necrosis virus, Raspberry leaf mottle virus, Raspberry leaf spot virus and Rubus yellow net virus, with A.idaei taking as little as 2 min to transmit some viruses.

4 Existing control strategies, including resistant cultivars, insecticides and eradication of disease from parent plants, are described. In particular, strong selection pressures have resulted in A. idaei overcoming genetic resistance in many raspberry cultivars and most insecticides are now ineffective.

5 Future directions for the sustained control of A. idaei are suggested, taking into consideration the possible effects of climate change and also changes in agronomic practices in U.K. agriculture.
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Keywords: Rubus; integrated pest and disease management; large raspberry aphid; parasitoids; resistance gene; vine weevil; virus

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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