Iridovirus infection and topical application in whitefly

C. L. Mckenzie, W. B. Hunter, S. L. Lapointe, P. Dang


Few microbial bio-control agents and no known viral agents are commercially available for use on whiteflies. A newly described entomopathogenic virus was recently discovered in south Florida whitefly populations and was determined to be an iridovirus by DNA analysis. Invertebrate iridescent virus 6 (IIV-6) is known to be pathogenic to insects, including whiteflies. Demonstrated modes of transmission for iridovirus in other insect systems have been shown to be through oral ingestion and cuticular wounding (abrasions). We confirmed adult whitefly infection with IIV-6 through oral ingestion via sucrose parafilm feeding chamber experiments and PCR analy- sis. Traditionally, many biological agents are applied by foliar spray application; therefore, we attempted to determine if this would be a feasible method of application of iridovirus to control whiteflies on tomatoes. Spray applications were inconclusive. Results and the potential use of entomopathogenic viruses as biological control agents are discussed.


bemisia tabaci biotype b; entomopathogenic virus; biocontrol; bioassay methods; insect virus

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283