Background: Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) was introduced into China in 2006, approximately 10 years after the introduction of an invasive whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Genn.) B biotype. Even so the distribution and prevalence of TYLCV remained limited, and the economic damage was minimal. Following the introduction of Q biotype into China in 2003, the prevalence and spread of TYLCV started to accelerate. This has lead to the hypothesis that the two biotypes might not be equally competent vectors of TYLCV. Methodology/Principal Findings: The infection frequency of TYLCV in the field-collected B. tabaci populations was investigated, the acquisition and transmission capability of TYLCV by B and Q biotypes were compared under the laboratory conditions. Analysis of B. tabaci populations from 55 field sites revealed the existence of 12 B and 43 Q biotypes across 18 provinces in China. The acquisition and transmission experiments showed that both B and Q biotypes can acquire and transmit the virus, however, Q biotype demonstrated superior acquisition and transmission capability than its B counterparts. Specifically, Q biotype acquired significantly more viral DNA than the B biotype, and reached the maximum viral load in a substantially shorter period of time. Although TYLCV was shown to be transmitted horizontally by both biotypes, Q biotype exhibited significantly higher viral transmission frequency than B biotype. Vertical transmission result, on the other hand, indicated that TYLCV DNA can be detected in eggs and nymphs, but not in pupae and adults of the first generation progeny. Conclusions/Significance: These combined results suggested that the epidemiology of TYLCV was aided differentially by the two invasive whiteflies (B and Q biotypes) through horizontal but not vertical transmission of the virus. This is consistent with the concomitant eruption of TYLCV in tomato fields following the recent rapid invasion of Q biotype whitefly in China.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)