Stolbur phytoplasma interaction with vector longevity in alternative plants
The epidemiology of phytoplasma-induced plant diseases is significantly influenced by the interaction between phytoplasma and the vectoring insect. Infection with phytoplasma may increase or lower fitness, or change the behaviour of the vector. The cixiid Hyalesthes obsoletus vectors stolbur 16SrXII-A phytoplasma from bindweed and stinging nettle to grapevine, where it causes the yellows disease 'bois noir'. Here we present first experiments studying the effect of stolbur infection on longevity in H. obsoletus. Preliminary tests of female H. obsoletus sampled on bindweed and stinging nettle, respectively, showed that females survive significantly longer on the own plant, whereas no effect of stolbur infection was observed on other host plant.