Natural infectivity of Xylella fastidiosa wells et al in sharpshooters (Hemiptera : Cicadellidae) from coffee plantations of Parana, Brazil
Xylella fastidiosa Wells et al., a gram-negative and xylem limited bacterium, causes significative economic on several crops, such as the leaf scorch in coffee. It is transmitted by xylem feeding insects and four sharpshooters species have been reported as vectors of X. fastidiosa in coffee. The objective of this study was to determine the natural infectivity of X. fastidiosa in five species of sharpshooters from coffee trees: Acrogonia citrina Marucci & Cavichioli, Bucephalogonia xanthophis (Berg), Dilobopterus costalimai Young, Oncometopia facialis (Signoret) and Sonesimia grossa (Signoret). Samples were collected from coffee plantations in five counties of the North and Northwest regions of the State of Parana, Brazil, from October 1998 through November 2001. A total of 806 samples containing three to five insects were examined for the presence of X. fastidiosa by using PCR and nested PCR tests. X. fastidiosa was present in samples of all five species of sharpshooters collected in the two coffee regions. The average level of natural infectivity potential was 30.4%. However, this natural infectivity ranged from 2.2% for O. facialis to 68.8% for A. citrina. Sharpshooters collected in the spring tended to have lower natural infectivity of X. fastidiosa as compared to those collected in other seasons. The results obtained showed the high potential of dissemination of X. fastidiosa by different insect vectors in coffee trees in Parana.