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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY BASED MANAGEMENT OF INVASIVE INSECT PESTS AND WEEDS

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research Unit

Title: Whiteflies and cole crops

Author
item Legaspi, Jesusa

Submitted to: FAMU-CESTA-CBC Newsletter
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: November 5, 2009
Publication Date: January 5, 2010
Citation: Legaspi, J.C. 2010. Whiteflies and cole crops. FAMU-CESTA-CBC Newsletter. 9(1):6.

Technical Abstract: Whiteflies, such as Bemisia tabaci, are a major insect pest of important vegetable and horticultural crops. One method to control this pest is the use of companion plants that repel the insects. Dr. Jesusa C. Legaspi and cooperators conducted research on the effect of giant red mustard (Brassica juncea) plants in reducing whitefly populations in vegetables. In greenhouse studies, potted giant red mustard plants were planted next to collards. After a certain period, whiteflies were released near the potted plants. We found that the collards planted next to the giant red mustard plants had significantly lower numbers of whiteflies compared to collards alone. It is possible that whiteflies were repelled by plant volatiles from the giant red mustard plants. In field experiments, larvae and adult whiteflies where highest on squash and cantaloupe, intermediate on broccoli, collards and cabbage, and lowest on mustard. In collaboration with a chemist, Dr. Agnes Rimando, (USDA, ARS, University, MS), further studies will involve determination of potential compounds in these plant volatiles for possible use as insect control agents.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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