Insect Maintenance and Transmission
Phytoplasmas are plant pathogens of huge economic importance due to responsibility for crop yield losses worldwide. Institutions around the world are trying to understand and control this yield loss at a time when food security is high on government agendas. In order to fully understand the mechanisms of phytoplasma infection and spread, more insect vector and phytoplasma colonies will need to be established for research worldwide. Rearing and study of these colonies is essential in the research and development of phytoplasma control measures. This chapter highlights general materials and methods for raising insect vector colonies and maintenance of phytoplasmas. Specific methods of rearing the maize leafhopper and maize bushy stunt phytoplasma and the aster leafhopper and aster yellows phytoplasma strain witches’ broom are also included.
Key wordsDalbulus maidis Insect cages Insect colonies Macrosteles quadrilineatus Rearing leafhoppers Rearing planthoppers Rearing psyllids
I acknowledge Angela Strock (Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, Ohio State University, OH 44691) and El-Desouky Ammar (Subtropical Insects Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Fort Pierce, FL. 34945) for tuition in maintenance and handling of leafhoppers, and Insectary staff and Dr Saskia Hogenhout (John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7UH, U.K.) for tuition and guidance. The project was funded by a BBSRC studentship.
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