Tristeza is vectored by several species of aphid the most efficient being the brown citrus aphid Toxoptera citricida (Kirklady). Where T. citricida does occur, Aphis gossypii (Glover), the cotton/melon aphid, is the primary vector. The aphid can acquire the virus after feeding on infected plants for 5-60 minutes; but loses the ability to transmit the virus after 24 hours. CTV is also graft-transmitted, but not transmitted through seed. The virus exists in many forms known as strains that vary in the type and severity of symptoms manifested in host plants. Some strains are mild and produce no noticeable symptoms however; other strains are severe causing decline and death of the tree or deep pits in the trunk and stem. CTV is phloem-limited and the largest of the known plant viruses.

Other Common Names

Tristeza, quick decline (QD)

Serrano, D., Serrano, E., Dewdney, M., and Southwick, C. (2010). Citrus Diseases. USDA/APHIS/PPQ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology. [09-14]