Tomato plant age effects on the transmission of tomato spotted wilt virus and insecticide inhibition of the thrips-vector feeding.
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Thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) transmission of Tomato spotted wilted virus (TSWV) to tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Mill, and feeding behavior were investigated relative to tomato plant age and a systemic insecticide, respectively. Tomato plants at selected ages were inoculated with virus using mechanical and thrips transmission. Both transmission methods were compared in terms of percent infection, symptom development and yield. Percent infection was assessed from Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and TSWV symptoms. Plants exhibited symptoms from three weeks up to six weeks after infection. ELISA positive samples correlated with TSWV symptoms, but not in all samples. Tomato yield reduction correlated with the age at which infection of TSWV occurred. Thrips feeding response to tomato plants treated with a systemic insecticide, imidacloprid, was quantified by the number of feeding scars on tomato leaves. Feeding scars decreased as concentration of imidacloprid in tomato leaves increased.