Booth, E. and A. Alyokhin. 2016. Colorado potato beetle response to potato plants infected with Potato Virus Y and Potato Leafroll Virus. American Journal of Potato Research 93: 213-223.

Agricultural systems are often simultaneously impacted by multiple stressors. In our study, we investigated the effects of two commonly occurring viruses of potato, Potato virus Y (PVY) and Potato leafroll virus (PLRV) on host plant selection and utilization across various spatial scales by the Colorado potato beetle. Adult beetles selected PLRV-infected foliage in the cage choice trails, and larvae that fed exclusively on PLRV-infected foliage developed into larger adults. PVY-infected foliage was avoided in the cage trials and had no effect on the weight of developing adults. In field trials, preference and utilization of potato plants was more dependent on plant size than on virus infection. These results demonstrate that while virus-infected plants can cause physiological changes that influence beetle preference, beetle abundance and/or distribution is driven by a more complex array of factors at the field level. Additionally, this study demonstrates the importance of investigating the applicability of laboratory findings at the field level.