Potato Grower

November 2019

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WWW.POTATOGROWER.COM 31 BETTER TOGETHER ASK YOUR NELSON DEALER ABOUT THE BIG GUNĀ® REBUILD PROGRAM Only Nelson Irrigation makes a full range of products for water delivery on mechanized irrigation. All development and testing is performed with the big picture in mind. No product operates independently. Our sprinklers, regulators, end guns and valves are developed together and made to deliver water as efficiently and effectively as possible. Think of not only us, but also our products as a team. GIVE OUR 3030 SERIES A WHIRL: Press, Spin, Click for On, Off, Flush, Line Flush Functions SAVE WATER, SAVE ENERGY, SAVE LABOR AND DO A BETTER JOB OF IRRIGATING WITH NELSON PRODUCTS. 2363-5NelsonIrrigationCorp12h.indd 1 9/5/19 3:03 PM suppression was mediated by a single virus protein, the P0 protein," says Jennifer Wilson, a Ph.D. student and member of Heck's lab. P0 is a PLRV protein that is expressed inside plant tissue but not inside the aphids. While P0 had been previously shown to suppress plants' immune systems, the protein's impact on the insect's immune system was a surprise to the researchers. "We don't know if the aphids ingest P0 from the plant or not, but we do know that when P0 is present in the plant, the aphids' immune systems are suppressed," Wilson says. One critical result of the insect's immune system being hampered is an increase in the proliferation of an insect virus, Myzus persicae densovirus (MpDNV). The researchers also found that aphids with more copies of MpDNV were more likely to have wings. Because green peach aphids rarely A green peach aphid feeds on a tomato plant. The insect transmits more than 100 have wings until the weather turns colder in the fall, this increase in winged insects could mean an increased spread of PLRV and MpDNV to new hosts all summer long, a synergistic effect that would happen less if the aphids were infected with only one of the viruses. "We think we have found the first example of cooperation between a plant virus and an insect virus," Wilson says. "This cooperation may lead to increased transmission of both viruses." Wilson and Heck are working to test this hypothesis by repeating the experiments in aphids not infected with MpDNV, which Wilson collected in 2018 from farms in upstate New York. Future work could include figuring out how MpDNV and the P0 protein could be used to control virus transmission by aphids. "Developing strategies to block virus transmission in the field is a major goal of our research program," says Heck. Researchers from the Boyce Thompson Institute, Cornell and the USDA-ARS collaborated on this study, which was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the USDA. A green peach aphid feeds on a tomato plant. The insect transmits more than 100 plant viruses and feeds on a variety of crops, including peaches, tomatoes, potatoes, cabbage and corn. Photo by Mariko Alexander/Cornell University

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