Potato virus Y (PVY) is transmitted by aphids in a nonpersistent manner and aphid species differ in their ability to transmit PVY. During host selection, aphids will land and probe on nonhost plant species and this behavior is an important component of the epidemiology of many aphid-transmitted viruses. In this study, we hypothesized that host selection behavior varies between aphid species and the host or nonhost status of the plant and this behavior will modulate their ability to acquire PVY. Three potato colonizers, Myzus persicae (Sulzer),Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas), and Aphis nasturtii (Kaltenbach) and three casual visitors to potato fields, Myzus cerasi (F.), Rhopalosiphum padi (L.), and Sitobion avenae (F.) were evaluated using two acquisition assays. In one assay, the normal host selection and feeding behavior of aphid species were eliminated using an artificial diet while the other considered the normal host selection and feeding behavior of aphid species on potato plants. PVY acquisition rates of aphid species widely differed between the two assays indicating the impact of host selection and feeding behavior on PVY acquisition. This behavior varied greatly between potato colonizers and noncolonizers. We recommend that laboratory evaluations of PVY vector efficiency consider the normal host selection and feeding behavior of aphid species on potatoes.
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