Utilization of timed virus acquisition access probes in studies of plum pox virus (PPV) transmission by aphids demonstrated that endemic species transmitted the virus readily from plum, Prunus domestica (L.) Batsch; peach, P. persica (L.); or dwarf flowering almond, P. glandulosa Thunberg., to peach seedlings. The green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer), was shown to be the most efficient vector. Acquisition of virus by green peach aphids from infected peach leaves resulted in 18–28% infected peach seedlings, while aphids previously fed on infected leaves of plum transferred virus to 36% of peach seedlings. Although the spirea aphid, Aphis spiraecola (Patch), was a less efficient vector than M. persicae it is perhaps more important for the spread of PPV due to its greater abundance and occurrence earlier in the season when peach trees are thought to be more susceptible to infection. Virus transmission rates varied depending on the virus source and healthy test plant species. In contrast to many previous studies, aphid inoculation of the experimental host Nicotiana benthamiana Domin occurred at a low rate, never exceeding 4%. Acquisition of PPV by M. persicae from infected peach fruit was greatly reduced compared with acquisition from leaves. The results of this research indicate that the Ontario isolate of PPV-D is readily transmissible by aphids to peach and natural spread of the virus needs to be considered in future management or eradication programs.
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Vol. 108 • No. 5