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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal Plant pathology unit - INRA AVIGNON

Pathologie vegetale

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

Epidemics control

Combining management of field margins and resistance to better predict and control virus epidemics in melon crops

Chemical control is the most widespread control method. To ensure sustainable, economically and ecologically intensive agriculture, research are conducted to develop alternative control methods. One of these is based on the association of cultivated crops with companion plants aiming to provide services to the agro-ecosystem. Flower strips appear to be a promising lever for promoting pest control but a careful selection of the plant species used is needed prior to implementation to avoid possible negative side effects. The companion plants participate in pest control by favoring natural enemies, and strips of non-host plants can protect crops from non-persistent viruses by allowing aphids to probe on healthy plants and thus to lose their virus load before reaching the crops. They can also act as repulsive (plants with repellent properties) and attractive (trap plants). For exemple, rosemary can serve as a companion plant to control Myzus persicae because of the repellent effect of certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that it emits.

Previous studies  were conducted on Vat gene which confers resistance to colonization by A. gossypii and resistance to non-persistent viruses, such as CMV (cucumber mosaic virus) and WMV. It is however ineffective in blocking the transmission of viruses inoculated by other aphid species. The effect of Vat on non-persistent virus (ZYMV, WMV and CMV) epidemics is thus expected to be limited when A. gossypii is not the main aphid species visiting the melon crop. On the contrary, although not documented, its effect on the persistent virus CABYV mainly vectored by A. gossypii is expected to be strong.

Management of field margins with flower strips

Flower strips designed to reduced virus and aphid pressures in melon crops

Flower strips designed to reduced virus and aphid pressures in melon crops
© INRA PACA Avignon

Succion trap for sampling winged aphids

Succion trap for sampling winged aphids
© INRA PACA Avignon

Flower strip composed of plant species selected to boost biological control in melon crop and interception trap used to assess the fluxes of aphid predators from the field margin to the crop

Flower strip composed of plant species selected to boost biological control in melon crop and interception trap used to assess the fluxes of aphid predators from the field margin to the crop

© SCHOENY Alexandra - INRA PACA Avignon

Behavioural response of green peach aphid Myzus persicae to volatiles from different rosemary clones

Behavioural response of green peach aphid Myzus persicae to volatiles from different rosemary

© DARDOURI Tarek - INRA PACA Avignon

  • Dardouri, T., Gomez, L., Schoeny, A., Costagliola, G., Gautier, H. (2019). Behavioural response of green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) to volatiles from different rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) clones. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, In press, Published Online: 08 April 2019. DOI : 10.1111/afe.12336
  • Pascal, F., Bastien, J.-M., Schoeny, A. (2013). Fabrication d’un piège à aspiration pour la capture des pucerons ailés vecteurs de virus. Cahier des Techniques de l'INRA, 79, 13 p.
  • Picault, S., Lambion, J., Bouvard, D., Deboevre, S., Lavigne, D., Schoeny, A. (2017). La colonisation de pucerons en cultures de melon - L'emploi des bandes fleuries comme outil de régulation. Infos CTIFL, 331, 35-43.
  • Picault, S., Quennesson, S., Roy , G., Davy , M., Torres , M., Ginez, A., Schoeny , A., Lambion, J., Lavigne, D., Bouvard , D. (2018). AGATH : Utilisation de plantes de service et de kaolin pour gérer les populations de pucerons et de thrips en cultures légumières. Innovations Agronomiques, 63, 385-397. , DOI : 10.15454/1.5191193584430571E12
  • Schoeny, A., Boissot, N., Lambion, J., Wipf-Scheibel, C., Mistral, P., Gognalons, P., Nozeran, K., Lecoq, H. (2014). Conception d'associations en maraîchage de plein champ : exemple de production de melons associés à des bandes fleuries pour lutter contre les pucerons et les virus. Innovations Agronomiques, 40, 113-124.
  • Schoeny, A., Lauvernay, A., Lambion, J., Mazzia, C., Capowiez, Y. (2019). The beauties and the bugs: A scenario for designing flower strips adapted to aphid management in melon crops. Biological Control, 136, In press, 10 p. DOI : 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2019.05.005

Vat resistance gene

Aphis gossypi

Aphis gossypi


The evaluation of the effect of Vat on virus epidemics was conducted in a five-year study launched in 2011 in field conditions. The development of CABYV epidemics reduced significantly by Vat every year (average reduction of 26-57%). Concerning non-persistent viruses, no effect of Vat on WMV epidemics, but reduction of CMV epidemics some years, confirming the role of A. gossypii in CMV transmission. The genetic structure of virus populations was not affected by Vat.

  • Bargain, V., Schoeny, A., Boissot, N. (2016). Dossier Melon - Préserver le gène Vat. Réussir, Fruits et Légumes, 367, 64-66.
  • Boissot, N., Schoeny, A., Vanlerberghe-Masutti, F. (2016). Vat, an amazing gene conferring resistance to aphids and viruses they carry: from molecular structure to field effects. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7 (1420), 1-18. DOI : 10.3389/fpls.2016.01420.
  • Boissot, N., Thomas, S., Chovelon, V., Lecoq, H. (2016). NBS-LRR-mediated resistance triggered by aphids: viruses do not adapt; aphids adapt via different mechanisms. BMC Plant Biology, 16 (25). DOI : 10.1186/s12870-016-0708-5.
  • Schoeny, A., Desbiez, C., Millot, P., Wipf-Scheibel, C., Nozeran, K., Gognalons, P., Lecoq, H., Boissot, N. (2017). Impact of Vat resistance in melon on viral epidemics and genetic structure of virus populations. Virus Research, 241, 105-115. , DOI : 10.1016/j.virusres.2017.05.024