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Charles A. Powell, Robert R. Pelosi, and Phyllis A. Rundell

None of 4190 sweet orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osb.] nursery trees of `Hamlin', `Midsweet', `Navel', and `Valencia' sampled from five Florida citrus nurseries were infected with a decline-inducing isolate of citrus tristeza virus (CTV) as judged by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using isolate-specific monoclonal antibodies. Two of the nurseries had a relatively high level of infection (37% to 100% of composite samples containing tissue from 10 trees) with nondecline-inducing (mild) isolates of CTV, depending on the cultivar. Three of the nurseries had a lower incidence of mild CTV (0% to 22% of 10 tree composite samples). No nursery was CTV-free. ELISA of individual trees used as budwood sources by the nurseries revealed that one tree out of 260 tested contained decline-inducing CTV, and 83 contained mild CTV. These results suggest that the budwood certification program adopted in 1997 has virtually eliminated decline-inducing CTV from commercial budwood supplies.

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Zhipeng Huang, Phyllis A. Rundell, Xiong Guan, and Charles A. Powell

Four field sources of citrus tristeza virus (CTV) (Y3, Y6, Y7 and Y23) collected from grapefruit trees at groves in Fort Pierce, Florida, and isolate T36 were used to evaluate the transmission and separation of different virus genotypes by single brown citrus aphids (BrCA). Analysis of the field sources of CTV by inoculation to indicator plants, ELISA and RT-PCR showed that Y6 was a decline-inducing isolate and Y23 a nondecline-inducing isolate. Assays of genotype by RT-PCR indicated that Y6 contained the T36 genotype while Y23 contained the T30 genotype. Both Y3 and Y7 were a mixture of decline-inducing and nondecline-inducing CTV isolates and were a mixture of T36 and T30 genotypes. When Y6 and Y23 were the acquisition host for single BrCA, only the T36 or T30 genotypes, respectively, were detected by RT-PCR in `Mexican' Lime receptor plants. Only the T36 genotype was transmitted to receptor plants from infected Y3 and Y7 plants although these acquisition plants contained more than one genotype. No T3 or VT genotypes were detected in any acquisition or receptor plants. CTV genotype mixtures in the various field sources were separated by single BrCA transmission and that the T36 genotype in T36/T30 mixtures was more easily transmitted than the T30 genotype when the acquisition plant was `Duncan' grapefruit and the receptor plant was `Mexican' lime.

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Charles A. Powell, Phyllis A. Rundell, and Robert R. Pelosi

Bark chips from six container-grown citrus trees, infected with nondecline-inducing citrus tristeza virus (CTV) isolates and maintained in a vector-free greenhouse for 10 years, 15 commercial grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) trees, and 16 commercial sweet orange [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck] trees were used to inoculate three indicator plants each of `Madam Vinous' sweet orange [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck], sour orange (C. aurantium L.), `Duncan' grapefruit (C. paradisi Macf.), `Mexican' lime [C. aurantifolia (Christm.)], Swingle citrumelo [C. paradisi Macf. × Poncirus trifoliota (L.) Raf.], and sour orange grafted with `Hamlin' sweet orange [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck]. All plants providing bark chips had repeatedly tested positive by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for CTV [reacted with monoclonal antibody (MAb) 17G11], but tested negative for Florida decline-inducing isolates of CTV (did not react with MAb MCA13). After 6 months in vector-free greenhouses, all in oculated trees (except Swingle citrumelo, which is considered CTV resistant) were positive for CTV by 17G11 ELISA. In addition, some indicator plants inoculated from nine (two container, two commercial grapefruit, and five commercial orange trees) of the 37 bark chip source trees also were positive for decline-inducing CTV by MCA13 ELISA. Some of these positive indicators also showed vein-clearing symptoms characteristic of infection with a severe isolate of CTV. No control, noninoculated indicators in the same greenhouse, became infected with either decline-inducing or nondecline-inducing CTV. These results indicate that decline-inducing isolates of CTV can be present as a minor component of a mixture at levels undetectable by ELISA, and that these decline-inducing isolates can become detectable by ELISA and sometimes by symptoms when inoculated into indicator plants.

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Charles A. Powell, Michael S. Burton, Robert R. Pelosi, Phyllis A. Rundell, Mark A. Ritenour, and Robert C. Bullock

The population densities of the brown citrus aphid (BrCA) (Toxoptera citricidus Kirkaldy) and the spirea aphid (SA) Aphis spiraecola Patch were monitored by scouting weekly for 6 years in a replicated citrus plot treated with 7 insect control regimes: Admire (imidacloprid) applied at 12, 6, 3, or 2 month intervals; Temik applied annually; Meta-Systox-R applied annually; or no insect control. The numbers of both aphid species varied greatly from month to month and year to year. The brown citrus aphid was normally only detected in the fall (August through December) with populations peaking in September, October, or December depending on the year. The spirea aphid could be detected throughout the year during years when overall populations were high. Spirea aphid populations often peaked both in the spring and fall. Annual applications of Temik or Metasystox were ineffective in reducing aphid populations. Generally, all four Admire treatment regimes controlled aphids, although at least 2 annual Admire treatments per year were required to control the spirea aphid during some years.