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Naturwissenschaften. 2009 Jul;96(7):827-34. doi: 10.1007/s00114-009-0541-x. Epub 2009 Apr 29.

Cold winter temperatures condition the egg-hatching dynamics of a grape disease vector.

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UMR INRA 1065 en Santé Végétale, INRA, BP 81, Institut Supérieur de la Vigne et du Vin, IFR 103, 33883, Villenave d'Ornon Cedex, France.


The leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus is the vector of a major phytoplasma grapevine disease, Flavescence dorée. The vector's distribution is in Eastern and Northern Europe, and its population dynamics varies as a function of vineyard latitude. We tested the hypothesis that hatching dynamics are cued by cold temperatures observed in winter. We exposed eggs from a natural population to simulated "cold" and "mild" winters and varied the exposure time at 5 degrees C from 0 to 63 days. We show that temperature cooling mainly affected the onset of hatching and is negatively correlated to the cold time exposure. The majority of hatchings occurred more quickly in cold rather than in mild winter simulated conditions, but there was no significant difference between the duration of hatching of eggs whatever the cold time exposure. In agreement with the Northern American origin of the vector, the diapause termination and thus the timing regulation of egg hatching require cold winters.

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