Kelley, Alicia J

Publications (1)

Maternal Contribution of Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus to Asian Citrus Psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae) Nymphs Through Oviposition Site Inoculation and Transovarial Transmission

Kelley, Pelz-Stelinski (2019). Journal of Economic Entomology
Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus
Ecology General Medicine Insect Science
Abstract Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), transmits Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (Las), the bacterial pathogen putatively responsible for citrus huanglongbing. Multiple studies have shown psyllids acquire Las more frequently, and are more likely to inoculate susceptible plants, when they acquire Las as nymphs. Understanding the transmission of Las to nymphs is critical to the Las lifecycle. The objective of this study was to determine the transmission Las by female D. citri to their offspring. Two transmission pathways were quantified: horizontal transmission (acquisition of Las via feeding at the oviposition site) and vertical transmission (transovarial). Eggs of individual, infected females were transferred to an uninfected seedling to assess vertical transmission. In a second experiment, horizontal transmission was evaluated by replacing eggs laid by infected females with uninfected nymphs. Nymphs exposed to Las via horizontal transmission of the oviposition site were more likely to acquire Las than from vertical transmission. Las deposited in flush by an infected adult female feeding during oviposition was sufficient for infecting nymphs. Combined results of both experiments suggest that vertical transmission allows Las to spread in low amounts even when infected plant hosts are not available and that inoculation of the oviposition site provides a source of Las to developing nymphs via the plant phloem. These data support the hypothesis that transmission through infected plant material via maternal inoculation is a primary pathway of Las transmission between vector and host.