Lack of specificity in the interaction between two maize stunting pathogens and field collected Dalbulus leafhoppers uri icon

abstract

  • We tested hypotheses concerning the specificity of interactions between insect vectors and mollicute plant pathogens in a 22-month study of leafhoppers collected at three agricultural field sites in Mexico. The common species collected, Dalbulus maidis, D. elimatus, D. gelbus, and D. guevari were equally likely to test positive for corn stunt spiroplasma (CSS) in ELISA, and to transmit maize bushy stunt phytoplasma (MBSP) to test maize seedlings. We documented intraspecific variation in the ability of D. maidis to transmit confirmed CSS infections. Dalbulus guevari and D. gelbus were less successful in transmitting CSS than D. maidis from the same population. Our results suggest this vector-plant pathogen interaction is not specific to a single Dalbulus-mollicute combination, and that both the range of potential vectors in agricultural fields, and intraspecific variation across populations of these vectors, should be the focus of future work.

publication date

  • 2001
  • 2001