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Estimation of the number of aphids carrying Citrus tristeza virus that visit adult citrus trees

Virus Research
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.virusres.2003.12.018
  • Vectors
  • Aphid Monitoring
  • Sticky Shoot Method
  • Viruliferous Aphids
  • Citrus Tristeza Virus
  • Detection
  • Nested Rt-Pcr


Abstract Aphid species were counted on citrus trees in orchards in Valencia, Spain, in the spring and autumn of 1997, 1998 and 1999. Moericke yellow water traps, the ‘sticky shoot’ method and counts of established colonies were used in extensive surveys in which 29,502 aphids were recorded and identified. Aphis spiraecola and Aphis gossypii were the most abundant aphid species. The numbers of aphid species landing on mature trees of grapefruit, sweet orange, lemon and clementine and satsuma mandarins, were estimated by counting the numbers of young shoots/tree and aphids trapped on sticky shoots. The proportions of the different aphid species captured were: A. gossypii (53%), A. spiraecola (32%), Toxoptera aurantii (11%), Myzus persicae (1%), Aphis craccivora (1%) and other species (2%). Clementine was the most visited species with 266,700 aphids landing/tree in spring 2000, followed by lemon (147,000), sweet orange (129,150), grapefruit (103,200), and satsuma (92,400). The numbers and relative percentages of aphids carrying Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) were assessed by nested RT-PCR in single closed tubes and analysed by extraction of RNA-CTV targets from trapped aphids. An average of 37,190 CTV-carrying aphids visited each tree in spring 2000 (29 per shoot). The percentage detection of viral RNA in the aphid species that landed were 27% for A. gossypii, 23% for A. spiraecola and 19% for T. aurantii. This high incidence of aphids carrying CTV is consistent with the high prevalence and rapid spread of CTV in sweet orange, clementine, and satsuma mandarins in recent years in the region. The infection rate was proportional to the number of aphids landing/tree.

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