Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Role of Thrips palmi and Parthenium hysterophorus pollen in active spread of tobacco streak virus in the cotton ecosystem.

Abstract

Tobacco streak virus incidence in the cotton field, cv. CO14 at Department of Cotton, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore, India was nearly 36.50%. Cotton plants infected with TSV exhibits different types of symptoms, including necrotic spots, lesions, mosaic, purplish necrotic rings, square drying, veinal necrosis and drying of terminal shoots. The highly prevalent thrips species in this cotton ecosystem was established as Thrips palmi (60.00%) by morphological (ESEM) and molecular methods (RT-PCR using mtCOI primers). The density of the alternate weed host, Parthenium hysterophorus, was 15.05 plants per m2 in these fields. Association of Thrips palmi with Parthenium was confirmed, when observed under environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), Parthenium pollen grains (i.e., average size @ 15000X = 12.94 μm) were found adhering to its body. Molecular studies through RT-PCR confirmed the presence of TSV in the leaves and pollen grains of symptomatic and symptom-free Parthenium plants collected from the cotton field (cv. CO14). Therefore, the combined role of Thrips palmi and the Parthenium pollen grains in the transmission of TSV was examined; acquiring of TSV and its presence in the body of Thrips palmi instars and adults after 72 h of AAP was convincingly demonstrated using RT-PCR, NASH and qPCR. However virus acquired thrips could not transmit the virus. Pollen from TSV infected Parthenium plants when dusted on cotton (ANKUR 2110) seedlings along with virus acquired or non-acquired thrips led to symptom development 22 days after sowing. From the study it is evident that thrips only facilitate the movement of TSV borne pollen grains, and thereby contributing to active spread of the virus.