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Effects of Mineral Oil on Probing Behavior and Transmission of Stylet-borne Viruses by Myzus persicae

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Electronic monitoring of probing, salivation, and feeding of Myzus persicae (Sulzer) adults on pepper leaves, Capsicum annum L., variety ‘California Wonder,’ after treatment with an 0.75% emulsion of Sunoco 7E oil revealed significant increases in preprobing time over aphids on untreated leaves, little effect on salivation, and fewer aphids ingested sap after contacting oil coated leaves.

The anti transmission activity of oil was associated with oil located over the anticlinal walls of epidermal cells. This activity could be removed by absorptive dusts applied to oil treated leaves.

Studies on the influence of temperature or expansion of leaf surfaces on persistence of activity of oil showed that rate of loss of activity is greater at 32° than at 24° and 16°C, and expansion of leaf areas up to 150% does not significantly reduce the effectiveness of the oil over a 6-day period following application. Young leaves treated with oil were more susceptible to infection with potato virus (PVY) than were mature leaves.

Oil affected aphid transmission of a normally vectorless strain of tobacco etch virus much the same as it did an efficiently vectored strain of PVY.

Previous work on effects of oil against both acquisition and inoculation of virus by aphids was verified. Protection of a leaf was limited to the surface on which oil was applied.

Momentary contact between an aphid's labium and an oil treated leaf sufficed to reduce transmission. The anti-transmission effect also resulted from a momentary contact between the labium and a surface impermeable to stylet penetration. Oil can be removed from the aphid's labium by absorption on cellulose.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1977

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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