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Ferrisia gilli (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) Transmits Grapevine Leafroll-Associated Viruses


Several mealybug species are vectors of grapevine leafroll-associated viruses (GLRaV), which cause the economically important grapevine leafroll disease in grape-producing regions worldwide. The mealybug Ferrisia gilli Gullan is a new pest of grapevines in El Dorado County, located in the Sierra Foothill wine-growing region of California. GLRaV species 1, 2, 3, and 4LV have been detected in vineyards with symptomatic vines in the Sierra Foothills. We conducted controlled virus acquisition and transmission experiments using source vine accessions infected with different combinations of GLRaV. We determined that F. gilli acquired GLRaV 1, 2, 3, and 4LV, and transmitted GLRaV-3 and GLRaV-4LV to uninfected recipient vines. Like numerous other mealybug species, in addition to causing direct damage to vines, F. gilli poses a threat to the grape industry as a vector of economically damaging viruses.

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