Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Economic Entomology, 2015, 8pp.; doi: 10.1093/jee/tov311


Copyright © 2015 Anthony J. McMechan and Gary L. Hein. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. Used by permission


Wheat is an important food grain worldwide, and it is the primary dryland crop in the western Great Plains. A complex of three viruses (Wheat streak mosaic, Wheat mosaic, and Triticum mosaic viruses) is a common cause of loss in winter wheat production in the Great Plains. All these viruses are transmitted by the wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella Keifer). Once these viruses are established, there are no curative actions; therefore, prevention is the key to successful management. A study was designed to evaluate preventative management tactics (planting date, resistant varieties) for reducing the impact from this virus complex. The main plot treatments were three planting dates, and split-plot treatments were three wheat varieties. Varieties were planted at three different times during the fall to simulate early, recommended, and late planting dates. The varieties evaluated in this study were Mace (virus resistant), Millennium (mild tolerance), and Tomahawk (susceptible). Measurements of virus symptomology and yield were used to determine virus impact. Results consistently showed that the resistant Mace yielded more than Millennium or Tomahawk under virus pressure. In some years, delayed planting improved the yields for all varieties, regardless of their background; however, under the most severe virus pressure the combination of both management strategies was not sufficient to provide practical control of this complex. These results illustrate the importance of using a combination of management tactics for this complex, but also reinforce the importance for producers to use additional management strategies (e.g., control preharvest volunteer wheat) to manage this complex.