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The ecology and epidemiology of whitefly-transmitted viruses in Latin America

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Latin America & the Caribbean
Focus Topic:
Health & Diseases
Type of Risk:
Biological & environmental
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk assessment
Morales, F.J.; Jones, P.
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses are the most important constraint to the production of common bean and vegetable crops in the tropical lowlands and mid-altitude valleys of Latin America. Currently, over 30 distinct species of geminiviruses that are transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci infect common bean, tomato, pepper, cucurbits and other horticultural crops. A climate probability model (using FloraMap) was obtained using data from 304 geo-referenced locations where B. tabaci and geminiviruses cause significant damage. Clustering of the 304 points produced a simple model with two climatic variables: a dry season of at least 4 months each with less than 80 mm of rain and a mean temperature of the hottest month exceeding 21 ??C. A modified Koeppen climate classification showed that 55% of the geminivirus-affected localities are in the tropical wet/dry region, 22% in the tropical and subtropical dry/humid climates and the remaining locations belonged to the wet equatorial and trade wind litoral climates. These findings contribute to understanding whitefly/geminivirus epidemics and implementation of sustainable integrated pest and disease management practices.