, Volume 123, Issue 3, pp 269-280
Date: 23 Aug 2008

Effects of temperature increase on the epidemiology of three major vector-borne viruses

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Abstract

The epidemiologies of Maize streak virus (MSV), Maize stripe virus (MSpV), and Maize mosaic virus (MMV) were compared in La Réunion over a three year-period. Disease incidence caused by each virus was assessed, and the leaf and planthopper vector populations (Cicadulina mbila and Peregrinus maidis) were estimated in weekly sowings of the temperate, virus-susceptible maize hybrid INRA 508 and of the composite resistant cv. IRAT 297. MSV caused the most prevalent disease and MMV the least, with lower incidences in cv. IRAT 297 than in INRA 508. For each plant–virus–vector combination, (a) disease incidence was positively correlated to vector abundance, often with 1 month of time lag; (b) annual periodicity of disease incidence and of vector numbers was consistent with highest autocorrelations and a time lag of 12 months, (c) vector numbers and disease incidence were closely associated with temperature fluctuations, both remaining relatively constant below 24°C and increasing rapidly above this threshold temperature. By contrast, relationships with rainfall and relative humidity (RH) were less consistent. Overall, 63 to 80% of the variance of disease incidence was explained through stepwise regression with vector number, temperature, and sometimes also rainfall or RH. The simple epidemiological model proposed underlines the close link between increased temperature and possible (re-) emergence of these three diseases in a maize cropping area.