Section 36
Chapter 35,596

Quantifying the acquisition and transmission periods of the corn flea beetle for effective management of Stewarts disease

Menelas, B.; Nutter, F.W.Jr

Phytopathology 92(6 Suppl): S55


ISSN/ISBN: 0031-949X
Accession: 035595363

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The corn flea beetle (CFB) Chaetocnema pulicaria, is the primary vector of Erwinia stewartii, yet little is known about acquisition and transmision of E. stewartii by the CFB. Field-collected CFBs were allowed to feed for 12, 24, 36, 48, and 72 hours on corn seedlings inoculated with a rifampicin-resistant strain of E. stewartii (isolate ES Rif-9A) to determine acquisition time. The beetles were then ground in 300 microliters of PBST buffer and E. stewartii was isolated on nutrient broth yeast extract agar amended with cycloheximide, rifampicin, and nalidixic acid (NBY-CRN), indicating that acquisition of the bacterium had occurred. Preliminary results indicated that acquisition was highest when beetles fed for 48 hours. These time periods are being evaluated in subsequent experiments to determine the time required for CFB to transmit the bacterium to healthy plants. Information gained from this study will be used to more effectively manage the CFB and Stewart's disease of corn.

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