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New Zealand Plant Protection 65 (2012): 120-125

Virus status of western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) does not affect their response to a thrips lure or host plant volatiles in a Y-tube olfactometer

M.M. Davidson, S.M. Skill, R.C. Butler, M-C. Nielsen, S. Keenan and S.R. Bulman

ABSTRACT

The impact of tospovirus infection on the behaviour of western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) was evaluated in a Y-tube olfactometer. The response of female western flower thrips, with or without a tospovirus (Tomato spotted wilt virus, TSWV) to a thrips lure (methyl isonicotinate, MI), and chrysanthemum buds was recorded. Compared to the blank arm, significantly more thrips chose the odour-laden arm of the Y-tube when it contained MI (65%, P<0.01). However, chrysanthemum buds did not significantly (P>0.16) increase the percentage of thrips that chose the odour-laden arm over and above the clean-air arm, but thrips (virus-free and infected) moved more quickly to the end of either arm when a bud was present. The virus status of thrips was confirmed with RT-PCR. The presence of the virus in the vector did not substantially affect the behavioural response of the vector to a lure or host-plant material (P>0.4).

Keywords: Frankliniella occidentalis, vector, tospovirus, methyl isonicotinate, semiochemical, host plant.

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