Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Microbiol. 2009 Oct;59(4):405-12. doi: 10.1007/s00284-009-9452-5. Epub 2009 Jul 28.

Potential for Nezara viridula (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) to transmit bacterial and fungal pathogens into cotton bolls.

Author information

Cotton Pathology Research Unit, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), College Station, TX, USA.


Recently, we showed that the southern green stink bug (SGSB), Nezara viridula (L.), can transmit Pantoea agglomerans (Ewing and Fife), an opportunistic bacterium, into green cotton bolls resulting in plant disease. Here, we hypothesized that our established model could be used to determine if the SGSB was a general, non-discriminate vector by using two other opportunistic bacterial pathogens of bolls (Pantoea ananatis [Serano] and Klebsiella pneumoniae [Schroeter]) and the known fungal pathogen Nematospora coryli (Peglion). Variants of P. ananatis (strain Pa-1R) and K. pneumoniae (strain Kp 5-1R) selected for rifampicin (Rif) resistance were used as bacterial opportunists. N. coryli was detected only from laboratory-reared SGSB directly exposed to the fungus. Both Pa-1R and Kp 5-1R were recovered from SGSB previously provided a contaminated food source (2 days), sterile food (5 days), and then harvested after being caged on bolls (2 days) at levels reaching 10(3) and 10(4) colony forming units (cfus) per insect, respectively. However, bolls caged with insects infected with Pa-1R or Kp 5-1R and with evidence of feeding did not become diseased nor were either opportunists detected from boll tissues. Insects infected with N. coryli transmitted the pathogen, which resulted in diseased bolls and fungi concentrations reached 10(6) cfus/g locule tissue at 2 weeks following the caging period. Notably, each of the three pathogens independently caused boll disease when mechanically inoculated using a needle puncture. Generally, these results suggest that cotton pathogen acquisition by the SGSB was not sufficient to determine whether the insects were disease vectors of the opportunists.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center