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Species Composition of Aphid Vectors (Hemiptera: Aphididae) of Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus and Cereal Yellow Dwarf Virus in Alabama and Western Florida

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Yellow dwarf is a major disease problem of wheat, Triticum aestivum L., in Alabama and is estimated to cause yield loss of 21‐42 bu/acre. The disease is caused by a complex of viruses comprising several virus species, including Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV and Cereal yellow dwarf virus-RPV. Several other strains have not yet been classified into a specific species. The viruses are transmitted exclusively by aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Between the 2005 and 2008 winter wheat seasons, aphids were surveyed in the beginning of each planting season in several wheat plots in Alabama and western Florida. Collected aphids were identified and bioassayed for their yellow dwarf virus infectivity. This survey program was designed to identify the aphid species that serve as fall vectors of yellow dwarf virus into winter wheat plantings. From 2005 to 2008, bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.); rice root aphid, Rhopalosiphum rufiabdominale (Sasaki); and greenbug, Schizaphis graminum (Rondani), were found consistently between October and December. The species of aphids and their timing of appearance in wheat plots were consistent with flight data collected in North Alabama between 1996 and 1999. Both R. padi and R. rufiabdominale were found to carry and transmit Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAV and Cereal yellow dwarf virus-RPV. The number of collected aphids and proportion of viruliferous aphids were low. Although this study has shown that both aphids are involved with introduction of yellow dwarf virus to winter wheat in Alabama and western Florida, no conclusions can be made as to which species may be the most important vector of yellow dwarf virus in the region.

Keywords: Rhopalosiphum padi; aphids; barley yellow dwarf; cereal yellow dwarf; virus vectors

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10425

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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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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