University of California

Location of curly-top virus in the beet leafhopper, Eutettix tenellus


Henry H. P. Severin

Author Affiliations

Henry H. P. Severin was Entomologist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 17(17):545-551. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v17n17p545. October 1947.

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The curly-top virus is sometimes transmitted by the beet leafhopper, Eutettix tenellus (Baker), many days after the insect has had an opportunity to acquire the virus by feeding on an infected plant. The retention period of the virus in the insect has been reported to be as long as 151 to 180 days (Freitag, 1936).3 The question of where the virus is during this time has interested a number of investigators.

Earlier attempts to determine the location of the virus in the leafhopper were failures. In experiments at this station (Severin, 1922), not a single case of curly top was obtained by inoculating healthy beets with various internal organs from infective beet leafhoppers dissected in physiological salt, Ringer’s and Locke’s solutions, and in juice expressed from healthy beets. The excrement from infective beet leafhoppers inoculated into the petioles of healthy beets also failed to produce curly top. (Carsner and Stahl (1924)) dipped the points of steel needles into drops of fresh excreta from infective beet leafhoppers and then pricked the excrement into two beet seedlings, but no disease resulted.

Later, however, (Carter (1928a), (b) succeeded in demonstrating curly-top virus in leafhopper saliva. He transmitted the virus by previously noninfective leafhoppers which had fed on a solution on which infective insects had previously fed, the incubation period of the disease in the beets in these instances being, as a rule, prolonged. An attempt (Severin, 1931) to demonstrate its presence in feces by a similar technique was unsuccessful: previously non-infective nymphs after feeding on a feeding solution containing the feces from infective beet leafhoppers failed to transmit curly top to sugar beets.

Literature Cited

Bennett C. W., Wallace H. E. Relation of the curly-top virus to the vector, Eutettix tenellus, Jour. Agr. Res. 1938. 56:31-51.

Carsner E., Stahl C. F. Studies on curly-top disease of the sugar beet. Jour. Agr. Res. 1924. 28:297-320.

Carter W. A technique for use with homopterous vectors of plant disease, with special reference to the sugar-beet leafhopper, Eutettix tenellus (Baker). Jour. Agr. Res. 1927. 34:449-51.

Carter W. An improvement in the technique for feeding homopterous insects. Phytopathology. 1928a. 18:246-47.

Carter W. Transmission of the virus of curly-top of sugar beets through different solutions. Phytopathology. 1928b. 18:675-79.

Dobroscky I. D. Is the aster-yellows virus detectable in its insect vector? Phytopathology 19:1009-1015 1929.

Freitag J. H. Negative evidence on multiplication of curly-top virus in the beet leafhopper, Eutettix tenellus. Hilgardia 10pp.263-302.

Severin H. H. P. Minimum incubation periods of causative agent of curlyleaf in beet leafhopper and sugar beet. Phytopathology. 1921. 11:424-29.

Severin H. H. P. Curlyleaf transmission experiments with beet leafhopper. Jour. Econ. Entom. 1922. 15:182

Severin H. H. P. Modes of curly-top transmission by the beet leafhopper, Eutettix tenellus (Baker). Hilgardia. 1931. 6(8):253-76.

Severin H. H. P., Swezy O. Filtration experiments of curly top of sugar beets. Phytopathology. 1928. 18:681-90.

Stahl C. F., Carsner E. Obtaining beet leafhoppers nonvirulent as to curly-top. Jour. Agr. Res. 1918. 14:393-94.

Severin H. 1947. Location of curly-top virus in the beet leafhopper, Eutettix tenellus. Hilgardia 17(17):545-551. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v17n17p545
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