This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Evaluation of Management Methods for Thrips and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus in Alabama Peanuts




Cooke, Claire

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Entomology and Plant Pathology


Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) is a plant disease with a broad host range, infecting several economically important crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and peanuts, and maintains its presence in the environment through several weedy hosts. This virus is transmitted via select species of thrips, which acquire TSWV by feeding on infected plants as larvae and then spread it to other plants as adults. While thrips feeding alone can be highly damaging to seedling-stage plants, the addition of TSWV causes necrosis, leaf cupping, and stunting throughout the growing season, even after thrips have left the plant. In peanuts, TSWV can cause yield losses of 40-60% in both moderately field resistant and susceptible varieties. Thus, thrips management is essential to control TSWV. Some potential control variables include selecting varieties with field resistance to TSWV, planting date selection, insecticide applications, tillage practices, and herbicide applications. This project aims to assess these variables to determine their impact on thrips and TSWV management and yield. Additionally, thrips were collected from two hostplants (peanuts and white clover) and assessed using gel electrophoresis to determine the presence or absence of TSWV, depending on the hostplant and year they were collected from. This information will aid in formulating integrated management systems for TSWV and in developing a deeper understanding of the ecology of TSWV in southern Alabama.