Identification of a non-host plant of Xylella fastidiosa to rear healthy sharpshooter vectors

Identificação de uma planta não-hospedeira de Xylella fastidiosa para criação de insetos vetores sadios

Rearing leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) vectors free of Xylella fastidiosa is a requirement for studies of various aspects of vector-pathogen interactions. The selection of a plant that allows vector development but not bacterial multiplication is desirable to produce healthy vectors. In this study, two leafhopper hosts, Vernonia condensata ('boldo') and Aloysia virgata ('lixeira') were needle inoculated with citrus and coffee strains of X. fastidiosa to evaluate if these plants support pathogen colonization. The inoculated plants did not present symptoms and the pathogen was not detected by culture and PCR tests, neither soon after inoculation (7-14 days) nor later, at 1, 4, 6 and 12 months after inoculation. To obtain healthy adults of the leafhopper vectors Acrogonia citrina, Bucephalogonia xanthophis, Dilobopterus costalimai, Homalodisca ignorata and Oncometopia facialis, early-instar nymphs were reared on V. condensata. X. fastidiosa was not detected in any of 175 adults obtained. V. condensata and A. virgata are nonpropagative hosts of X. fastidiosa and enable the production of healthy leafhoppers for vector studies.

Vernonia condensata; citrus variegated chlorosis; coffee leaf scorch; sharpshooter vectors; rearing technique

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