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Handy Information:

Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci )

B. tabaci is found on over 900 host plants on all continents except Antarctica. It reportedly transmits over a hundred virus species. The whitefly thrives in tropical, subtropical, and less predominately in temperate habitats. It is also a major pest of glasshouses. The adults are about 1 mm long; their body is sulphur-yellow in color, the wings are white, and the animal is entirely coated with a white, wax-like powder. The first instar nymph is about 0.3 mm in length and it moves about in search of a place to insert its mouthparts into the phloem.

Infestation is easily recognized by examining the undersides of leaves, where all stages of the insect can usually be found. At first, the damage consists of chlorotic spots. The leaves will start to show a yellow mosaic, with the green areas becoming ever smaller. Twisting of stems and curling of leaves may occur, and the plants may become stunted. Heavily-infested leaves often wilt and fall off. In addition to direct feeding, all stages damage the plants through abundant production of honeydew, which encourages the growth of sooty molds, and, most importantly, by the transmission of viruses. (IRAC)

Aphid (Aphis gossypii )

It is not known where A. gossypii originated but it is now found in tropical and temperate regions throughout the world except extreme northern areas. It has a very wide host range with at least 60 host plants being known in Florida and perhaps 700 world-wide. Among cucurbit vegetables, it can seriously affect watermelons, cucumbers, cantaloupes, squash and pumpkin. Other vegetable crops attacked include pepper, eggplant, okra and asparagus. It also affects citrus, cotton and hibiscus.

It has a short generation time and high fecundity that result in an enormous reproductive potential.The adults and nymphs of  A. gosypii feed on the underside of leaves or on the growing tips of shoots, sucking juices from the plant. The foliage may become chlorotic and die prematurely. There is often a great deal of leaf curling and distortion which hinders efficient photosynthesis. Honeydew is excreted by the aphids and this allows sooty moulds to grow, resulting in a decrease in the quantity and quality of the produce. The aphids are a vector of crinkle, mosaic, rosette, CTV and other virus diseases.(IRAC)

Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV)

Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) causes serious diseases of many economically important plants representing 35 plant families, including dicots and monocots. This wide host range of ornamentals, vegetables, and field crops is unique among plant-infecting viruses. Another unique feature is that TSWV is the only virus transmitted in a persistent manner by certain thrips species At least six strains of TSWV have been reported; the symptoms produced and the range of plants infected vary among strains Although previously a threat only to crops produced in tropical and subtropical regions, today the disease occurs worldwide.Largely because of wider distribution of the western flower thrips and movement of virus-infected plant material. Early and accurate detection of infected plants and measures to reduce the vector population are discussed as critical steps for disease control.

Causal Agent :

TSWV is the only member of an RNA-containing virus group that has membrane-bound spherical particles 70-9Omm in diameter. Tomato spotted wilt, first described in Australia in 1919, was later identified as a virus disease. It is now common in temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions around the world. 

Bhendi yellow vein mosaic

Bhendi yellow vein mosaic was first reported in okra plants in 1924 in India and Sri Lanka. The symptoms include alternate green and yellow patches, vein clearing, and vein chlorosis of leaves. The yellow network of veins is very conspicuous, and vein and veinlets are thickened. In severe cases, the chlorosis may extend to the interveinal area and may result in complete yellowing of leaves. Fruits are dwarfed, malformed, and yellow green. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Genn.) sibling species group is the insect vector. The whitefly vector reproduces to significant numbers during the summer season when it transmits the virus between okra plants. The causal agent is the single-stranded DNA Bhendi yellow vein mosaic virus (BYVMV), which is associated with a beta satellite, both of which are required for infection. BYVMV belongs to the genus Begomovirus, family Geminiviridae.

Management strategies: Infected plants must be collected and burned. Insecticides can be sprayed for vector control. Moderately resistant cultivars, Co3 and Kranthi, are available.

Fusarium oxysporum is a common soil fungus, found in almost all parts of the world as a harmless coloniser of root surfaces or a weak invader of the root cortex of many plants. However, in addition to this background population (or perhaps as an integral component of it) there are over 80 known strains that show specific pathogenicity to particular crops, causing the vascular wilt diseases. The strains that specifically affect banana are termed F. oxysporum f. sp. cubense, those that affect tomato are F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, those on peas are F. oxysporum f. sp. pisi, and so on. They cannot be distinguished except by pathogenicity tests, and even the pathogenic strains can grow as harmless root colonisers in some conditions, while causing devastating diseases in other circumstances. Much needs to be learned about the ecology of these pathogens and their relationships to the general soil population of F. oxysporum.