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Rainfall and coconut accession explain the composition and abundance of the community of potential auchenorrhyncha phytoplasma vectors in Brazil

Silva F.G., Passos E.M., Diniz L.E.C., Farias A.P., Teodoro A.V., Fernandes M.F., Dollet M.. 2018. Environmental Entomology, 47 (2) : p. 318-324.

DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvy010

Coconut plantations are attacked by the lethal yellowing (LY), which is spreading rapidly with extremely destructive effects in several countries. The disease is caused by phytoplasmas that occur in the plant phloem and are transmitted by Haplaxius crudus (Van Duzee) (Auchenorrhyncha: Cixiidae). Owing to their phloem-sap feeding habit, other planthopper species possibly act as vectors. Here, we aimed at assessing the seasonal variation in the Auchenorrhyncha community in six dwarf coconut accessions. Also, we assessed the relative contribution of biotic (coconut accession) and abiotic (rainfall, temperature) in explaining Auchenorrhyncha composition and abundance. The Auchenorrhyncha community was monthly evaluated for 1 yr using yellow sticky traps. Among the most abundant species, Oecleus sp., Balclutha sp., Deltocephalinae sp.2, Deltocephalinae sp.3, Cenchreini sp., Omolicna nigripennis Caldwell (Derbidae), and Cedusa sp. are potential phytoplasma vectors. The composition of the Auchenorrhyncha community differed between dwarf coconut accessions and periods, namely, in March and April (transition from dry to rainy season) and August (transition from rainy to dry season). In these months, Oecleus sp. was predominantly found in the accessions Cameroon Red Dwarf, Malayan Red Dwarf, and Brazilian Red Dwarf Gramame, while Cenchreini sp. and Bolbonota sp. were dominant in the accessions Brazilian Yellow Dwarf Gramame, Malayan Yellow Dwarf, and Brazilian Green Dwarf Jequi. We conclude that dwarf coconut host several Auchenorrhyncha species potential phytoplasma vectors. Furthermore, coconut accessions could be exploited in breeding programs aiming at prevention of LY. However, rainfall followed by accessions mostly explained the composition and abundance of the Auchenorrhyncha community.

Mots-clés : auchenorrhyncha; phytoplasme; vecteur de maladie; pathologie végétale; précipitation; facteur du milieu; cocos nucifera; brésil; haplaxius crudus; jaunissement mortel

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