Vectors of Plant Diseases: List of Virus, Bacteria and Fungi Mycoplasma

Plant Diseases and their vectors

Plant Disease Vectors: Plant Disease Vectors are living or non-living micro-organism. They are known for their ability to transmit  various diseases across the plant communities.

Insect-pests and plant diseases are major factors of economical loss in agriculture and horticulture. Plant diseases are caused by harmful microorganisms such as virus and bacteria. Insects are known to cause significant economical loss in two ways.

They damage crops by direct feeding. On other side they act as vector of different disease causing agents e.g., virus, bacteria, fungus etc. They do so in following ways:

  • Feeding on plants.
  • Contact with plants.

‘All those insects which acquire pathogens by feeding or contact with plants are known as vectors of plant diseases’.

A vector is specific to a  plant or plant species. So, the proper knowledge about different vectors is very important for the effective management and control of different plant diseases.


S. No.Heading
1 (A)List of Important Insect and Mite Vectors of Plant Viruses
2 (B)List of Important Vectors of Plant Bacteria
3 (C)List of Important Vectors of Plant Fungus
4 (D)List of Important Insect Vectors of Phytoplasma

(A). List of Important Insect and Mite Vectors of Plant Viruses

S. No.InsectVirusHost
1.Acyrthosiphon pisumPea mosaic, Onion yellow dwarfPea, Onion, Soybean
2.Aphis craccivoraAlfalfa mosaicAlfalfa
3.Aphis gossypiiSugarcane mosaicSugarcane
4.Aphis rumicisBean common mosaicBeans and pea
5.Aphis fabaeDahlia mosaicDahlia
6.Bemisia tabaciYVM, Papaya leaf curlOkra, Papaya
7.Frankliniella schultzeiTomato spotted wiltTomato
8.Macrosiphum euphorbiaePotato virus YPotato, Tobacco, Tomato
9.Myzus persicaeCauliflower mosaicCauliflower, Cabbage
10.Nephotettix nigropictusTungroRice
11.Nilaparvata lugensGrassy stuntRice
12.Aceria tulipae (mite)Wheat streak mosaicWheat, Oat
13.Abacartus hystrix (mite)Agropyron mosaicWheat
14.Pentalonia nigronervosaBanana Bunchy TopBanana

Source Reference: Gillot (2005)

(B). List of Important Vectors of Plant Bacteria

S. No.InsectDiseaseHost
1.Chaetocnema pulicariaBacterial wiltMaize
2.Diabrotica duodecimpunctataCucurbit wiltCuc_mbr
3.Diaphornia citriCitrus cankerCitrus
4.Hylemya cilicruraPotato blacklegPotato
5.Bees, wasps, fliesFire blightApple, pear

Source Reference: Gillot (2005)

(C). List of Important Vectors of Plant Fungus

1.Melanoplus differentialisCotton wiltCotton
2.Scolytus multistriatusDutch elmElm
3.Flies, beetles, aphidsErgot of cerealsCereals
4.Several spp. of insectsEargot of bajraBajra

Source Reference: Gillot (2005)

(D). List of Important Insect Vectors of Phytoplasma

S. No.VectorMycoplasmaHost
1.Aphrodes albifronsClover phyllodyMost clovers
2.Cestius phycitisBrinjal little leafBrinjal
3.Graminella nigrifronsCorn stuntMaize
4.Orosius albicinctusSesame phyllodySesame
5.Gyponana hastaAster yellowsAster
6.Recilia dorsalisYellow dwarfRice

Source Reference: Gillot (2005)

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 01. Which group of insects are known to transmit pathogen among plant communities?

Answer: Insects having piercing and sucking mouth parts, biting and chewing mouth parts are associated with disease transmission.

Question 02. Insects from which order are responsible for more disease transmission?

Answer: It is Hemiptera. Aphids, leaf hoppers, white flies and mealy bugs etc. from Hemiptera are known to transmit 90% of plant diseases.

Question 03. Which insect is known for transmitting more diseases?

Answer: Aphid followed by leafhoppers.

Question 04. What are the types of viruses carried by vectors?

Answer: The types of viruses carried by vectors are as follows:

  1. Persistent viruses.
  2. Semi-persistent viruses.
  3. Non-persistent viruses.

In case of persistent viruses, the insect has to feed on source for a longer period. Non-persistent viruses transmit diseases by feeding on disease source. Generally, leaf hoppers are known as the vector of semi-persistent viruses.

Question 05. How virus-vector relationship is seen?

Answer: The relationship between vector and virus is very specific.

Question 06. What is the mechanism of transmission of phytoplasma?

Answer: Phytoplasma are phloem-limited. Hence, only phloem feeding insects can potentially transmit pathogen.

Question 07. What are the mechanism of transmission of bacteria?

Answer: Insects make wound on plant surface from where bacteria can enter.

Question 08: What are the methods of plant vectors and disease management?

Answer: Follow these measures-

  1. Use healthy and disease free seeds.
  2. Cultural practice such as inter cropping soybean with okra to reduce the incidence of YVM.
  3. Use resistant varieties.
  4. Use biopesticides. Example- Use of Paecilomyces farinosus against White flt.
  5. Chemical control of vector insects.


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  • Photo: TNAU
  • Table Data: Gilliot 2005.


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10 months ago

Thank you very much!

1 year ago

Nice info….