Estimating the Effectiveness of Imidacloprid When Used to Suppress Transmission of Tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus in Commercial Agriculture. Academic Article uri icon


  • Imidacloprid is widely used to manage tomato spotted wilt disease (TSW) in tobacco, tomato, and pepper, caused by Tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus (TSWV) and spread by the tobacco thrips, Frankliniella fusca Hinds (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Imidacloprid suppresses transmission of TSWV by reducing probing and feeding by adult thrips on treated plants, thereby reducing the probability of transmission by infectious thrips. Because imidacloprid does not reduce probing and feeding on treated plants to zero, the reduction in transmission probability per viruliferous thrips can be offset by an increase in the number of viruliferous thrips challenging treated plants. A composite of these effects which we call 'pathogen pressure' experienced by plants is a function of thrips population size, the proportion of those thrips that are viruliferous, and the probability that viruliferous thrips successfully inoculate plants. To better understand the relationship between imidacloprid's effect on virus transmission, pathogen pressure, and TSW incidence in tobacco, we modeled TSW incidence as a function of the two most important variables affecting components of pathogen pressure, temperature, and precipitation, and the dependence of imidacloprid's effect on pathogen pressure. A model incorporating imidacloprid's effect as a reduction in pathogen pressure was found to be more descriptive than models incorporating the effect as a reduction in TSW incidence. Results reveal maximum proportional reduction in TSW incidence resulting from imidacloprid use is associated with minimal potential TSW incidence. As pathogen pressure increases, potential TSW incidence approaches 100%, and the benefits of imidacloprid use are highest at intermediate levels of pathogen pressure.

published proceedings

  • J Econ Entomol

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Chappell, T. M., & Kennedy, G. G

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Chappell, Thomas M||Kennedy, George G

publication date

  • September 2018