Developing integrated disease management strategies against non-persistently aphid-borne viruses: A model programme

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There is a need to develop integrated disease management strategies that are comprehensive and can protect farmers from the economic hardship that arises when epidemics of non-persistently aphid-borne viruses damage their crops. The aim of this review is to provide a model for future programmes to use when developing such strategies for different combinations of non-persistently aphid-borne viruses and crops. The model programme described is a 15-year study to develop integrated management strategies against two non-persistently aphid-borne viruses causing damaging diseases of lupins and to get them adopted by farmers. The success of the programme depended on an interdisciplinary team approach, obtaining a detailed understanding of the factors favouring virus epidemics, field evaluation for virus resistance, and field experiments that determined the effectiveness of individual control measures. The strategies developed were designed to cause few additional labour demands, and minimal disruption to normal farming operations or extra expense. The programme devised integrated management strategies for the diseases caused by Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and Bean yellow mosaic virus (BYMV) in crops of narrow-leafed lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) under the conditions of low-input, dryland agriculture in the south-west Australian 'grainbelt', which has a Mediterranean-type climate. CMV is introduced into lupin crops by sowing virus-infected lupin seed while aphids spread BYMV into the growing crop from adjacent virus-infected, clover-based pastures. Grain yield losses are substantial when virus spread by aphids is sufficient to cause high incidences of infection within crops. The management strategies were gradually improved and expanded as understanding of the epidemiology of viruses in lupins improved and the results of field experiments involving potential control measures became available. The individual measures combined within the integrated management strategy for each virus were: sowing seed stocks with minimal virus contents, sowing cultivars with inherently low seed transmission rates and isolation from neighbouring lupin crops (CMV only); perimeter non-host barriers and avoiding fields with large perimeter: area ratios (BYMV only); promoting early canopy development, generating high plant densities, adjusting row spacing, direct drilling into retained stubble, sowing early maturing cultivars, maximising weed control and crop rotation (both viruses). Recommendations to apply insecticide were included solely for spraying high value seed crops (CMV only) or virus-infected pastures next to crops (BYMV only). The justification for selection of each individual control measure, its mode of action in either removing or minimising the virus infection source or suppressing virus spread by aphids and the extent to which it has been adopted by farmers is described. The approach used to transfer the strategies to farmers and the need to avoid complacency following the overall success of the work is emphasised. An integrated disease management strategy developed to 'clean up' the lupin breeding programme from seed-borne virus infection and prevent release of infected seed stocks of new cultivars is also described. It can serve as an example of what is needed to tackle seed-borne virus contamination in other plant breeding or selection programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-46
Number of pages32
JournalIntegrated Pest Management Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2001


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