Establishing alighting preferences and species transmission differences for Pea seed-borne mosaic virus aphid vectors

B. S. Congdon, B. A. Coutts, M. Renton, G. R. Flematti, R. A. C. Jones

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Pea seed-borne mosaic virus (PSbMV) infection causes a serious disease of field pea (Pisum sativum) crops worldwide. The PSbMV transmission efficiencies of five aphid species previously found landing in south-west Australian pea crops in which PSbMV was spreading were studied. With plants of susceptible pea cv. Kaspa, the transmission efficiencies of Aphis craccivora, Myzus persicae, Acyrthosiphon kondoi and Rhopalosiphum padi were 27%, 26%, 6% and 3%, respectively. Lipaphis erysimi did not transmit PSbMV in these experiments. The transmission efficiencies found for M. persicae and A. craccivora resembled earlier findings, but PSbMV vector transmission efficiency data were unavailable for A. kondoi, R. padi and L. erysimi. With plants of partially PSbMV resistant pea cv. PBA Twilight, transmission efficiencies of M. persicae, A. craccivora and R. padi were 16%, 12% and 1%, respectively, reflecting putative partial resistance to aphid inoculation. To examine aphid alighting preferences over time, free-choice assays were conducted with two aphid species representing efficient (M. persicae) and inefficient (R. padi) vector species. For this, alatae were set free on multiple occasions (10–15 repetitions each) amongst PSbMV-infected and mock-inoculated pea or faba bean (Vicia faba) plants. Following release, non-viruliferous R. padi alatae exhibited a general preference for PSbMV-infected pea and faba bean plants after 30 min–4 h, but preferred mock-inoculated plants after 24 h. In contrast, non-viruliferous M. persicae alatae alighted on mock-inoculated pea plants preferentially for up to 48 h following their release. With faba bean, M. persicae preferred infected plants at the front of assay cages, but mock-inoculated ones their backs, apparently due to increased levels of natural light there. When preliminary analyses were performed to detect PSbMV-induced changes in the volatile organic compound profiles of pea and faba bean plants, higher numbers of volatiles representing a range of compound groups (such as aldehydes, ketones and esters) were found in the headspaces of PSbMV-infected than of mock-inoculated pea or faba bean plants. This indicates PSbMV induces physiological changes in these hosts which manifest as altered volatile emissions. These alterations could be responsible for the differences in alighting preferences. Information from this study enhances understanding of virus-vector relationships in the PSbMV-pea and faba bean pathosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalVirus Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2017


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