Insects as Transmitter of Plant Diseases | Wandofknowledge
The insects are efficient vector of a number of plant diseases. They transmit pathogens of many plant diseases viz., fungi, virus, bacteria, etc. They mostly belong to order Hemiptera. The aphids, mealy bugs, thrips, leaf hopper and white flies are known to by the vector of plant diseases. Some examples are as under:
- Aphids : They are commonly as plant lice. They suck the plant juices and also affect plant health by secreting honey dew which disturb the process of photosynthesis and respiration in plants. The tobacco Mosaic Virus are transmitted only by the aphids. More than 225 species of aphids are pests of crops. e.g., Aphis gossypii, Lipaphis erisimi and Brevicoryne brassicae.
- Honey bee and wasp are active vectors of the bacteria causing fire blight of pears while hovering over the blossom of pears in search of nector pick up the bacteria and transmit them.
- Leaf hopper (Nephotetex apicalis) transmit the virus causing dwarf disease of rice in Japan.
- Olive fly (Dacus oleae) is vector of the bacteria causing oliv-knot disease in plant.
- Striped cucumber beetle is the transmitter of bacteria causing bacterial wild of cucurbits. The pathogenic bacteria are preserved overwintered in the body of beetle which is responsible for primary infection in the spring. Norton (1911) reviewed briefly the association of insects and plant diseases and clarified the action of insects on plants as following:
- Direct injuries are caused by physiological disturbances followed injury and diseases due to the presence of insects.
- Diseases indirectly caused by dissemination of the pathogens through insects. There are certain principles common to insect transmission of both animal and plant diseases which emphasized the need for closer cooperation between plant pathologists and entomologists.
- White flies (Bemesia tabaci) : It is commonly known as sweet potato white flies which is vector of a number of plant viruses. About 500 species of plants are attacked by white flies. About 1000 species of white flies are known. They may cause direct damage by feeding the plant sap. The plant viruses transmitted by white flies cause over 50 diseases of vegetable and fibre crops throughout the world.
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