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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENETIC IMPROVEMENT OF MAIZE AND PEARL MILLET FOR RESISTANCE TO INSECTS AND AFLATOXIN Title: Potential adaptation of a Q biotype whitefly population from poinsettia to field crops

Authors
item Hu, Xiangshun -
item Dennehy, Timothy -
item Ni, Xinzhi
item Zhao, Huiyan -
item Nichols, Robert -
item Li, Xianchun -

Submitted to: Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 17, 2010
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Citation: Hu, X., Dennehy, T.J., Ni, X., Zhao, H., Nichols, R.L., Li, X. 2011. Potential adaptation of a Q biotype whitefly population from poinsettia to field crops. Insect Science. 18:719-728.

Interpretive Summary: Since its first discovery of the invasive Q biotype of sweetpotato whitefly in the U.S. on poinsettia plants in 2004, the Q biotype whitefly is still not a pest outside of greenhouse environment as of 2008. To assess the potential threat of the establishment of the Q biotype whitefly on field crops, cage experiments were conducted to examine the population dynamics of the Q biotype whitefly on poinsettia and 6 field crops (alfalfa, tomato, melon, cotton, cowpea, and cabbage). The adults of the Q biotype whitefly reared on poinsettia from nymphs to adults could lay eggs on all six field crops. Significantly more eggs were deposited on alfalfa, tomato, melon and cotton than on cabbage, cowpea and poinsettia. These eggs hatched and the nymphs developed to adults on all six field crops. Relative to poinsettia, whitefly survival was similar on cowpea, alfalfa, tomato and cabbage and significantly higher on cotton and melon. In addition, the Q-biotype whitefly also had significantly shorter development time from egg to adult on cotton, melon, cowpea, tomato and alfalfa than on poinsettia. However, the adults of the next generation obtained from the six field crops lived significantly shorter and laid significantly fewer eggs than the adults obtained from poinsettia. We conclude from this study that poinsettia, melon and cotton are better crop hosts than others for the Q-biotype whitefly. The results from this study indicated that the potential establishment of the Q-biotype whitefly on major field crops, in particular on melon and cotton, needs to be monitored closely.

Technical Abstract: The invasive Q biotype of sweetpotato whitefly was first detected in the U.S. on poinsettia plants in 2004, and is still not a pest outside of greenhouse environments in the U.S. as of 2008. To assess the potential for establishment of the Q biotype on field crops, cage experiments were conducted to compare the population dynamics of a poinsettia-derived Q strain named P’06 on poinsettia and 6 field crops (alfalfa, tomato, melon, cotton, cowpea, and cabbage). P’06 adults reared on poinsettia as nymphs laid eggs on all six field crops. Significantly more eggs were oviposited on alfalfa, tomato, melon and cotton than on cabbage, cowpea and poinsettia. These eggs hatched and the nymphs developed to adults on the six field crops. Relative to poinsettia, their survival was similar on cowpea, alfalfa, tomato and cabbage and significantly higher on cotton and melon. Moreover, P’06 also had significantly shorter development time from egg to adult on cotton, melon, cowpea, tomato and alfalfa than on poinsettia. However, the F1 adults obtained from the six field crops survived significantly shorter and laid significantly fewer eggs than the F1 adults obtained from poinsettia. Overall, poinsettia, melon and cotton are better hosts than other crops for P’06. These results indicate that P’06 has the potential to establish on field crops, in particular, melon and cotton.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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