1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Provide an understanding of any effect of global warming on the population and tolerance of Bemisia tabaci and its associated natural enemies.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Laboratory, experimental and on-farm sites will be used to conduct research on the influence of global warming on the sweetpotato whitefly and associated natural enemies. Environmental chambers will be used to see if high temperature tolerant populations of the whitefly and selected predators and parasitoids can be produced, and to evaluate the effect that heat shock may have on the biology of the insects. Historical weather data will be collected, and field populations, associated virus incidence, and current weather data will be monitored.
This research is aligned with inhouse project Objective 2: Assess the importance and utility of biological control agents for the management of insect pests of cucurbits to include sweetpotato whitefly using predators and parasitoids, and for pickleworms using nucleopolyhedroviruses (NPV). The research also relates to inhouse project Objective 3: Identify whitefly-host plant-virus relationships and develop methods for protection from the whitefly-vectored viruses of vegetables such as sweetpotato and watermelon. Different populations of the B biotype sweetpotato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), a global pest, were maintained at different temperatures in growth chambers. Life history performances of the different populations were assessed under different temperatures and different levels of carbon dioxide. In addition, different populations of a lady beetle predator of this whitefly were established for assay after each was allowed to undergo several generations in different environmental conditions. A scientific visit to the U.S. (USDA, ARS, Charleston, SC) was made by two Egyptian collaborators (one senior and one junior researcher from the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Center, Plant Protection Research Institute). Results from this study will help provide solutions for managing whiteflies in vegetable crops under changing climatic conditions.