University of California

Negative evidence on multiplication of curly-top virus in the beet leafhopper, Eutettix tenellus


Julius H. Freitag

Author Affiliations

Julius H. Freitag was Junior Entomologist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 10(9):303-342. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v10n09p303. November 1936.

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Multiplication of certain viruses in their insect vectors and the consequent theory of biological relation between insects and viruses have been generally surmised on the basis of insufficient evidence. For many virus diseases a definite interval of time has been reported as necessary after an insect has fed on a diseased host before it is able to transmit a virus to a healthy host. This interval has been called the “incubation period” of the virus in the insect. Some writers have suggested that this may be a period during which the virus undergoes some developmental phase in a possible life cycle in the body of the insect. Insect vectors of virus diseases have also frequently been reported to remain infective during their entire adult life, after once having acquired the virus by feeding on a diseased host.

Multiplication of Viruses in Insects.—Few experiments have been conducted which give any definite evidence on the question of the multiplication of viruses in their insect vectors. Davis, Frobisher, and Lloyd,(7)5 working with yellow fever and the mosquito, Aedes aegypti L., have demonstrated that the quantity of virus present in the vector never increases beyond that found immediately after an infective meal. The quantity of virus was determined by finding the greatest dilution of the bodies of crushed mosquitoes that would give infection when inoculated into healthy animals. During the two weeks after a meal of infectious blood there occurred a reduction in the quantity of virus to approximately 1 per cent of that in recently fed insects.

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Freitag J. 1936. Negative evidence on multiplication of curly-top virus in the beet leafhopper, Eutettix tenellus. Hilgardia 10(9):303-342. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v10n09p303

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