In Search of Insect Vectors of Phytoplasmas with a Note on Vectors of Xylella fastidiosa


  • C. A. Viraktamath Department of Entomology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bengaluru 560065



Aphrophoridae, Auchenorrhyncha, Cercopidae, Cicadellidae, Delphacidae, Derbidae, Hishimonus, Orosius, phytoplasma, vector-pathogen interaction, Xylella fastidiosa


Phytoplasmas are phloem restricted, Gram positive bacteria without cell walls and are transmitted by phloem-sap feeding Hemiptera families such as Cicadellidae, Delphacidae, Cixiidae, Derbidae, Psyllidae and rarely by Pentatomidae and Tingidae. In the first part, this review briefly presents information available on the interaction among the phytoplasmas, their insect vectors, host plants and also very briefly the environment. In the second part, it deals with the xylem restricted, vector transmitted, Gram negative, Xylella fastidiosa (Wells et al.) and most likely candidate vectors if the organism gets accidentally introduced into India. Two proven vectors of X. fastidiosa in Taiwan namely, Kolla paulula (Walker) and Bothrogonia ferruginea (Fabricius) occur in India. In the third part, ways to search for the promising vectors of both the pathogens is dealt with. Emphasis is laid on for a close cooperation amongst insect taxonomists, molecular biologists and plant pathologists to look into investigations dealing with these organisms right from the initial stages. Brief account of confirmed and putative vectors of phytoplasmas in India and most likely groups of Auchecnorrhyncha that may vector X. fastidiosa are given and the species dealt with are illustrated for ease of preliminary identification. Use of recent advances in tissue culture, vector biology, artificial feeding of Hemiptera and molecular biology are suggested for fast tracking the search for vectors of these pathogens.


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How to Cite

Viraktamath, C. A. (2023). In Search of Insect Vectors of Phytoplasmas with a Note on Vectors of <i>Xylella fastidiosa</i>. Indian Journal of Entomology, 85(4), 1165–1186.



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