Summer Weeds as Hosts for Frankliniella occidentalis and Frankliniella fusca (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and as Reservoirs for Tomato Spotted Wilt Tospovirus in North Carolina

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In North Carolina, Tomato spotted wilt tospovirus (family Bunyaviridae, genus Tospovirus, TSWV) is vectored primarily by the tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca (Hinds), and the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). TSWV overwinters in winter annual weeds from which it is spread to susceptible crops in spring. Because most susceptible crops are destroyed after harvest before winter weeds emerge in the fall, infected summer weeds are thought to be the principal source for spread of TSWV to winter annual weeds in fall. A survey of summer weeds associated with TSWV-susceptible crops in the coastal plain of North Carolina conducted between May and October revealed that relatively few species were commonly infected with TSWV and supported populations of F. fusca or F. occidentalis. F. occidentalis made up >75% of vector species collected from 15 summer weed species during 2002. The number of F. occidentalis and F. fusca immatures collected from plant samples varied significantly among plant species. Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth, Mollugo verticillata L., Cassia obtusifolia L., and Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats supported the largest numbers of immature F. occidentalis. Richardia scabra L., M. verticillata, and Ipomoea hederacea (L.) supported the largest numbers of F. fusca immatures. TSWV was present at 16 of 17 locations, and naturally occurring infections were found in 14 of 29 weed species tested. Five of the TSWV-infected species have not previously been reported as hosts of TSWV (A. palmeri, Solidago altissima L., Ipomoea lacunosa L., I. purpurea, and Phytolacca americana L.). Estimated rates of infection were highest in I. purpurea (6.8%), M. verticillata (5.3%), and I. hederacea (1.9%). When both the incidence of infection by TSWV and the populations of F. occidentalis and F. fusca associated with each weed species are considered, the following summer weed species have the potential to act as significant sources for spread of TSWV to winter annual weeds in fall: I. purpurea, I. hederacea, M. verticillata, A. palmeri, C. obtusifolia, R. scabra, Ambrosia artemisiifolia L., Polygonum pensylvanicum L., and Chenopodium album L.

Keywords: alternate hosts; tobacco thrips; western flower thrips

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • 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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