Oral Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus and honey bee pollinators   (4216)

Mary Finlay-Doney 1 , Vicki Simlesa 1 , Lucy TT Tran-Nguyen 1 , Fiona Constable 2 , Geoff Kelly 2
  1. NT Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Darwin, NT, Australia
  2. Biosciences Research, Microbial Pests and Diseases, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia

The first Australian report of the tobamovirus Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) was in watermelons in the Northern Territory in 2014. At the time CGMMV was known to be moved via mechanical transmission but insects were not considered capable of transmitting the virus. The commercial viability of watermelon production in Australia is reliant on managed pollinators, specifically the European honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae). These managed pollinators may be moved to multiple locations, 1000s km apart to provide pollination services. The potential of European honey bees to move CGMMV in the environment has been investigated over the past three years as part of the emergency response and then the ongoing management of the virus. Hive products were sampled for the presence and viability of the virus. This sampling has shown that the virus is viable inside bee hives and a sampling protocol for future work has been developed.