Factors Influencing Aphid Population Dynamics and Behavior and the Consequences for Virus Spread

  • Nick Carter
  • Richard Harrington
Part of the Advances in Disease Vector Research book series (VECTOR, volume 7)


Aphids are major pests of most temperate crops, causing direct damage through feeding and also, perhaps more importantly, as vectors of viruses. Virus diseases spread by aphids are classified into three main groups according to their relationship with their vectors: (1) persistent; (2) semipersistent; and (3) nonpersistent. A persistent virus can be acquired by an aphid feeding on an infected plant after about 20 min, although acquisition is more likely to occur after several hours. Acquisition is followed by a latent period before the virus can be inoculated to another plant. The aphid then usually remains infective for the remainder of its life. The virus either may replicate (propagative) or not within the aphid. Propagative viruses are sometimes transmitted directly to the offspring of the infected vector and all persistent viruses are retained through molts. A nonpersistent virus can be acquired by an aphid probing on an infected plant for only a few seconds, or minutes, whereas probes of longer duration often decrease the efficiency of transmission. Acquired viruses can be inoculated into a plant as soon as aphids probe but are retained only for a few hours. Nonpersistent viruses are carried on or inside the aphid mouthparts and never replicate within an aphid. The mechanism of transmission is still not fully understood, especially that of virus attachment to, and release from, the aphid.


Sugar Beet Aphid Population Virus Spread Soybean Mosaic Virus Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nick Carter
    • 1
  • Richard Harrington
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Entomology and NematologyAFRC Institute of Arable Crops ResearchHarpenden, HertfordshireEngland, UK

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