Date of this Version
Plant Disease /Vol. 99 No. 8
Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) and Triticum mosaic virus (TriMV) are transmitted by the wheat curl mite (WCM, Aceria tosichella), and coinfections of wheat by these viruses are common in the field. Previous work has shown that mite genotypes vary in their ability to transmit TriMV. However, the degree to which coinfection of wheat modifies WCM vector competence has not been studied. The objective was to determine whether mite genotypes differed in virus transmission ability when feeding on wheat coinfected by WSMV and TriMV. First, WCM genotype type 2 was used to determine virus transmission rates from mock-, WSMV-, TriMV-, and coinfected wheat plants. Transmission rates were determined by using single-mite transfers from replicated source plants. Coinfection reduced WSMV transmission by type 2 WCM from 50 to 35.6%; however, coinfection increased TriMV transmission from 43.3 to 56.8%. Mite survival on single-mite transfer test plants indicates that the reduction in WSMV transmission may result from poor mite survival when TriMV is present. In a second study, two separate colonies of WCM genotype type 1 were tested to assess the impact of coinfection on transmission. Type 1 mites did not transmit TriMV from coinfected plants but the two colonies varied in transmission rates for WSMV (20.9 to 36.5%). Even though these changes in mite transmission rates are moderate, they help explain the high relative incidence of TriMV-positive plants that are coinfected with WSMV in field observations. These findings begin to demonstrate the complicated interactions found in this mite–virus complex.