Investigating the role of plant hosts in the outbreaks of the aster leafhopper vectored aster yellows

Project Summary

Purpose

The objective is evaluate several crop and non-crop species commonly found in the Canadian Prairies as possible hosts for aster leafhopper development and/or phytoplasma infection.

Progress

Oviposition behaviour and nymph development of aster leafhoppers was examined on wheat, oat, barley, canola, spiny annual sowthistle, dandelion, fleabane, marigold and Arabidopsis thaliana. To examine possible differences due to phytoplasma infection, experiments were repeated with infected aster leafhoppers. Additionally, two-choice bioassays with these plant species were carried out, in order to examine host choice selection in uninfected and infected aster leafhoppers. These bioassays have been complemented with egg and probing event counts to examine whether host choice selection is associated with feeding activity and/or oviposition.