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Manipulation of Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) by Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (Tospovirus) Via the Host Plant Nutrients to Enhance Its Transmission and Spread

Shalileh, Sheida, Ogada, Pamella Akoth, Moualeu, Dany Pascal, Poehling, Hans-Michael
Environmental entomology 2016 v.45 no.5 pp. 1235-1242
Capsicum annuum, Frankliniella occidentalis, Tomato spotted wilt virus, adults, diet, fecundity, host plants, larvae, leaves, longevity, nutrient content, nutrients, plant diseases and disorders, plant viruses, rearing, viruses
Earlier studies have shown that Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) influences the biology, performance, and behavioral patterns of its vector Frankliniella occidentalis Pergande. In this study, using Capsicum annuum L. as the host plant, we aimed to determine the manipulation of F. occidentalis by TSWV through switching of the diet (+ or −TSWV) during vector’s development. Behavioral patterns, fitness, as well as vector performance were evaluated. The specific parameters investigated included longevity/survival, fecundity, development time, feeding, and preferential behavior. F. occidentalis were reared on either TSWV-infected (exposed) or healthy leaves (non-exposed) throughout their larval stages. The emerging adults were then individually transferred to either healthy or TSWV-infected leaf disks. This resulted into four treatments, consisting of exposed or non-exposed thrips reared on either infected or healthy leaf disks as adults. All F. occidentalis exposed to TSWV in their larval stages had shorter development time regardless of the adults’ diet. Whereas, the ones that were later reared on healthy leaf disks as adults recorded the highest longevity and reproduction rate. Furthermore, adults of F. occidentalis that were exposed to TSWV in their larval stages showed preference toward healthy leaf disks (−TSWV), whereas the non-exposed significantly preferred the infected leaf disks (+TSWV). These are further indications that TSWV modifies the nutritional content of its host plants, which influences vector’s biology and preferential behavior, in favor of its multiplication and dispersal. The findings offer additional explanation to the often aggressive spread of the virus in crop stands.