Several pest insects of human and livestock habitations are known as vectors of Salmonella enterica; however, the role of plant-feeding insects as vectors of S. enterica to agricultural crops remains unexamined. Using a hemipteran insect pest-lettuce system, we investigated the potential for transmission and retention of S. enterica. Specifically, Macrosteles quadrilineatus and Myzus persicae insects were fed S. enterica-inoculated lettuce leaf discs or artificial liquid diets confined in Parafilm sachets to allow physical contact or exclusively oral ingestion of the pathogen, respectively. After a 24-h acquisition access period, insects were moved onto two consecutive noninoculated leaf discs or liquid diets and allowed a 24-h inoculation access period on each of the two discs or sachets. Similar proportions of individuals from both species ingested S. enterica after a 24-h acquisition access period from inoculated leaf discs, but a significantly higher proportion of M. quadrilineatus retained the pathogen internally after a 48-h inoculation access period. S. enterica was also recovered from the honeydew of both species. After a 48-h inoculation access period, bacteria were recovered from a significantly higher proportion of honeydew samples from M. quadrilineatus than from M. persicae insects. The recovery of S. enterica from leaf discs and liquid diets postfeeding demonstrated that both species of insects were capable of transmitting the bacteria in ways that are not limited to mechanical transmission. Overall, these results suggest that phytophagous insects may serve as potential vectors of S. enterica in association with plants.
Select populations of Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, in Wisconsin have recently become resistant to soil-applied neonicotinoids in potato. Sublethal insecticide concentrations persisting in foliage through the growing season may select for resistance over successive years of use. Over the 2 years of this study, the aim was to document the in-plant insecticide concentrations over time that result from four different types of soil-applied insecticide delivery for thiamethoxam and imidacloprid in potato, and to measure the impact upon L. decemlineata populations following treatments. After plant emergence, insect life stages were counted and plant tissue was assayed weekly for nine consecutive weeks using ELISA.
Since 1995, neonicotinoid insecticides have been a critical component of arthropod management in potato, Solanum tuberosum L. Recent detections of neonicotinoids in groundwater have generated questions about the sources of these contaminants and the relative contribution from commodities in U.S. agriculture. Delivery of neonicotinoids to crops typically occurs as a seed or in-furrow treatment to manage early season insect herbivores. Applied in this way, these insecticides become systemically mobile in the plant and provide control of key pest species. An outcome of this project links these soil insecticide application strategies in crop plants with neonicotinoid contamination of water leaching from the application zone. In 2011 and 2012, our objectives were to document the temporal patterns of neonicotinoid leachate below the planting furrow following common insecticide delivery methods in potato. Leaching loss of thiamethoxam from potato was measured using pan lysimeters from three at-plant treatments and one foliar application treatment. Insecticide concentration in leachate was assessed for six consecutive months using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Findings from this study suggest leaching of neonicotinoids from potato may be greater following crop harvest in comparison to other times during the growing season. Furthermore, this study documented recycling of neonicotinoid insecticides from contaminated groundwater back onto the crop via high capacity irrigation wells. These results document interactions between cultivated potato, different neonicotinoid delivery methods, and the potential for subsurface water contamination via leaching.
Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) has a worldwide distribution and the widest host range of any known plant virus. From 2000 to 2012, epidemics of CMV severely affected the production of snap bean (Phaseulos vulgaris L.) in the Midwest and Northeastern United States. Virus diversity leading to emergence of new strains is often considered a significant factor in virus epidemics. In addition to epidemics, new disease phenotypes arising from genetic exchanges or mutation can compromise effectiveness of plant disease management strategies. Here, we captured a snapshot of genetic variation of 32 CMV isolates collected from different regions of the U.S including new field as well as historic isolates. Nucleotide diversity (?) was low for U.S. CMV isolates. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses revealed that CMV subgroup I is predominant in the US and further showed that the CMV population is a mixture of subgroups IA and IB. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis suggests likely reassortment between subgroups IA and IB within five CMV isolates. Based on phylogenetic and computational analysis, recombination between subgroups I and II as well as IA and IB in RNA 3 was detected. This is the first report of recombination between CMV subgroups I and II. Neutrality tests illustrated that negative selection was the major force operating upon the CMV genome, although some positively selected sites were detected for all encoded proteins. Together, these data suggest that different regions of the CMV genome are under different evolutionary constraints. These results also delineate composition of the CMV population in the US, and further suggest that recombination and reassortment among strain subgroups does occur but at a low frequency, and point towards CMV genomic regions that differ in types of selection pressure.
Recently, most foodborne illness outbreaks of salmonellosis have been caused by consumption of contaminated fresh produce. Yet, the mechanisms that allow the human pathogen Salmonella enterica to contaminate and grow in plant environments remain poorly described. We examined the effect of feeding by phytophagous insects on survival of S. enterica on lettuce. Larger S. enterica populations were found on leaves infested with Macrosteles quadrilineatus. In contrast, pathogen populations among plants exposed to Frankliniella occidentalis or Myzus persicae were similar to those without insects. However, on plants infested with F. occidentalis, areas of the infested leaf with feeding damage sustained higher S. enterica populations than areas without damage. The spatial distribution of S. enterica cells on leaves infested with F. occidentalis may be altered resulting in higher populations in feeding lesions or survival may be different across a leaf dependent on local damage. Results suggest the possibility of some specificity with select insects and the persistence of S. enterica. Additionally, we demonstrated the potential for phytophagous insects to become contaminated with S. enterica from contaminated plant material. S. enterica was detected in approximately 50% of all M. quadrilineatus, F. occidentalis, and M. persicae after 24 h exposure to contaminated leaves. Particularly, 17% of F. occidentalis, the smallest of the insects tested, harbored more than 10(2) CFU/F. occidentalis. Our results show that phytophagous insects may influence the population dynamics of S. enterica in agricultural crops. This study provides evidence of a human bacterial pathogen interacting with phytophagous insect during plant infestation.
Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) was consistently recovered from symptomatic snap bean plants during surveys conducted in 2007 and 2008 in central Wisconsin. A large proportion of these CMV-infected plants contained a single-stranded linear RNA molecule consisting of 339 nucleotides and sharing 90-94% sequence identity with other satellite (sat) RNAs of CMV. Comparison of this satRNA sequence with currently available CMV satRNA sequences suggests this to be a novel satRNA.
The glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), vectors the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa that induces Pierces disease of grape. This study determined the effect of temperature on the feeding activity of H. vitripennis adults and the resulting production of excreta. The Logan type I model described a nonlinear pattern that showed excreta production increased up to an optimal temperature (33.1°C), followed by an abrupt decline near an estimated upper threshold (36.4°C). A temperature threshold for feeding, at or below which adults cease feeding, was estimated to be 10°C using a linear regression model based on the percentage of adults producing excreta over a range of constant temperatures. A simulated winter-temperature experiment using fluctuating thermal cycles confirmed that a time period above the temperature threshold for feeding was a critical factor in determining adult survival. Using data from the simulated temperature study, a predictive model was constructed by quantifying the relationship between cumulative mortality and cooling degree-hours. In field validation experiments, the model accurately predicted the temporal pattern of overwintering mortality of H. vitripennis adults held under winter temperatures simulating conditions in Bakersfield and Riverside, California, in 2006-2007. Model prediction using winter temperature data from a Riverside weather station indicated that H. vitripennis adults would experience an average of 92% overwintering mortality before reproduction in the spring, but levels of mortality varied depending on winter temperatures. The potential for temperature-based indices to predict temporal and spatial dynamics of H. vitripennis overwintering is discussed.
Survival of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae), was studied under various constant temperatures and feeding conditions. When provided a host plant (Citrus limon L. Burm. f.) to feed on during a 21-d trial, 100% mortality occurred at 0.1, 3.2, and 40.1 degrees C, whereas an average of 74-76% of adults survived in the 13.2-24.5 degrees C range. When individually confined with moist cotton, adult longevity was greatest (16.3 d) at 13.3 degrees C, but it was <3 d at -2.4 and 36.2 degrees C. In a companion study comparing the presence versus absence of a host plant, the presence of a host plant was not a significant factor influencing survival at temperatures < or =7.8 degrees C but was at temperatures > or =18.9 degrees C. The relationship between temperature and survival was described by a nonlinear function that estimated the optimum temperature in each feeding regimen: no host plant or moist cotton (5.5 degrees C), moist cotton (9.9 degrees C), and accessible host plant (25.1 degrees C). The model quantitatively predicted that H. vitripennis would survive longer periods at a wider temperature regimen when provided with a host plant than when provided with water alone (moist cotton) or when provided with neither plant host nor water. Our results suggest that continuous exposure to either low (<5 degrees C) or high (>30 degrees C) temperatures are detrimental for adult survival. Specifically, low temperatures caused early mortality because of inhibition of feeding activity and presumably this threshold lies between 7.8 and 13.2 degrees C. Furthermore, this study clearly shows that temperature may influence the survival of H. vitripennis adults regardless of feeding regimens, and its implications for population dynamics are discussed.
A 2-yr study was conducted in a citrus orchard (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck cultivar Valencia) to determine the influence of plant water stress on the population dynamics of glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar). Experimental treatments included irrigation at 100% of the crop evapotranspiration rate (ET(c)) and continuous deficit-irrigation regimens at 80 and 60% ET(c). Microclimate and plant conditions monitored included temperature and humidity in the tree canopy, leaf surface temperature, water potential, and fruit quality and yield. Glassy-winged sharpshooter population densities and activity were monitored weekly by a combination of visual inspections, beat net sampling, and trapping. Glassy-winged sharpshooter populations were negatively affected by severe plant water stress; however, population densities were not linearly related to decreasing water availability in plants. Citrus trees irrigated at 60% ET(c) had significantly warmer leaves, lower xylem water potential, and consequently hosted fewer glassy-winged sharpshooter eggs, nymphs, and adults than trees irrigated at 80% ET(c). Citrus trees irrigated at 100% ET(c) hosted similar numbers of glassy-winged sharpshooter stages as trees irrigated at 60% ET(c) and a lower number of glassy-winged sharpshooter nymphs than the 80% ET(c) treatment, specifically during the nymphal density peak in mid-April to early July. Irrigation treatments did not affect populations of monitored natural enemies. Although the adult glassy-winged sharpshooter population was reduced, on average, by 50% in trees under severe water stress, the total number of fruit and number of fruit across several fruit grade categories were significantly lower in the 60% ET(c) than in the 80 and 100% ET(c) irrigation treatments.
Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), a vector of Xylella fastidiosa, is associated with citrus plantings in California. Infested citrus orchards act as a source of vectors to adjacent vineyards where X. fastidiosa causes Pierces disease. An analysis of the pattern and rate of movement of H. vitripennis and its egg parasitoid, Gonatocerus ashmeadi Girault, was conducted in a citrus orchard by using a protein mark-capture technique to quantify movement and net dispersal rates in the experimental areas. Treatments included irrigation at 100% of the crop evapotranspiration rate (ET(c)), 80, and 60% ET(c). Sex-specific net dispersal rates showed that H. vitripennis males and females moved consistently and contributed equally to the level of population change within treated areas. Trees irrigated at 60% ET(c) were the least preferred by H. vitripennis. Among all protein-marked individuals captured in the 60% ET(c) treatment, ? 75 and 88% in 2005 and 2006, respectively, were inflow individuals. Movement toward less preferable plants indicates that in agricultural landscapes dominated by perennial monocultures, there is a random component to H. vitripennis movement, which may result from the inability of H. vitripennis to use plant visual cues, olfactory cues, or both to make well-informed long-range decisions. The 80% ET(c) areas were a significant source of adult H. vitripennis and G. ashmeadi compared with the other treatments. Colonization rates by parasitoids were synchronized with the spatiotemporal distribution of H. vitripennis eggs. Results suggest that H. vitripennis movement from citrus into adjacent vineyards could be a result of random dispersal rather than oriented movement in response to host-plant characteristics.
Effects of ambient spring air temperature and light intensity on stylet penetration activities of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), were studied under field conditions by using an electrical penetration graph. Electrical penetration graph waveforms representing salivary sheath formation and searching (pathway phase), xylem contact (X waves), and ingestion of xylem fluid (waveform C) were analyzed. Previous research supported the concept that acquisition of Xylella fastidiosa, the Pierces disease bacterium, occurs during ingestion, whereas inoculation occurs during xylem contact periods (X waves). Diel patterns of H. vitripennis stylet activity showed that, regardless of light condition, xylem ingestion occurred for the longest duration when temperature remained above the feeding threshold (10°C), and only occurred at temperatures below the threshold when ingestion was continued from a preceding, warmer time. Regression analysis indicated that mean waveform durations per insect (WDI) for combined stylet activities (pathway and ingestion) as well as X wave frequencies were significantly influenced by temperature, but there was no significant impact of light intensity or interaction between temperature and light intensity. The relationship between temperature and stylet activities in terms of WDI and X wave frequency was described using linear and nonlinear models. Validation of the nonlinear models indicated that they well predicted the WDIs for both ingestion and combined stylet activities, using temperature only as a single input. Overall, findings clearly demonstrate that temperature is an important factor that influences the H. vitripennis feeding behaviors responsible for transmission (acquisition and inoculation) of the Pierces disease bacterium, with implications for vector ecology and management, as well as disease epidemiology.
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