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Insect Vectored Viruses and Their Management in Vegetables
The tobacco thrips (Frankliniella fusca) and the western flower thrips (F. occidentalis) are principal vectors of tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus (TSWV) in tomato in the spring season. The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is another important pest affecting vegetable production in the fall season. Whiteflies also transmits a suite of viruses.
Thrips-transmitted TSWV causes a severe disease –spotted wilt in tomato in the spring. This problem is largely contained due to the use of resistant cultivars. However, resistant cultivars do not affect thrips, and management of direct feeding by thrips remains a concern. Late season feeding particularly on fruits has garnered a lot of attention, as fruits often display feeding scars and ringspots due to TSWV infection even in resistant cultivars.
Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) is arguably the most important pathogen affecting tomato production in the fall. Numerous TYLCV-resistant cultivars are currently available. TYLCV-resistant cultivars are not immune to TYLCV but exhibit mild symptoms following TYLCV infection. They do not possess any resistance to whiteflies. Consequently, they cannot serve as a standalone management option. It becomes even more critical to manage whiteflies on tomato in organic settings.
Whiteflies transmit viruses viz., squash vein yellowing virus (SqVYV), cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV), and cucurbit leaf crumple virus (CuLCrV) to squash. Unlike tomato, there is no available host resistance in squash.
In this study, we explored the usefulness of Phytoseiulus persimilis, a specialist predator on the management of thrips- and whitefly-transmitted viruses in tomato and squash. Field trials were conducted in spring and fall of 2019 and 2020. Results of those trials will be discussed in the webinar.

Feb 10, 2021 11:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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