Submitted to: Tomato Institute
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 2, 2010
Publication Date: September 8, 2010
Citation: McKenzie, C.L., Hodges, G., Osborne, L., Byrne, F.J., Shatters, Jr. R.G. 2010. nvestigating the Q invasion of Bemisia tabaci in Florida: Current status and update. In Proceedings of the Florida Tomato Research Institute, September 8-13, 2010, Naples, Florida, PRO 53:17-19. Interpretive Summary: In 2004, the Q biotype whitefly was discovered in Arizona and has since been detected in 26 states with the most recent being Texas in May 2010. Development of diagnostic tools for distinguishing different biotypes of Bemisia tabaci facilitated the determination of the whitefly’s distribution in Florida after the introduction of the devastating Q biotype into the United States. An in-depth survey of 23 Florida counties and 34 different host plants split evenly between vegetable (37 percent) and ornamental hosts (58 percent) was conducted. Biotype Q was detected in 6 Florida counties attacking greenhouse grown ornamental plants and herbs and had not invaded field-grown vegetables as feared. There was great concern among growers and researchers alike that biotype Q would make the jump from protected ornamental greenhouse production to open agriculture. In Florida, tomato transplants for field production can be grown in the same greenhouses that grow a variety of ornamental plants so there were opportunities for biotype Q to infest tomato transplants destined for the field. We surveyed 13 preferred whitefly field-grown vegetable hosts in 14 counties and did not detect biotype Q in any of the samples. In fact, no new biotype Q detections have been made in Florida since August 2006 on hibiscus and sample submission has drastically declined.
Technical Abstract: Three separate Q haplotypes within Florida were discovered that could be used to associate populations known to be related by grower and plant type thereby tracking distribution routes. We determined that biotype Q entered Florida through at least two separate introductions. In-depth analysis of insecticide resistance profiles of different biotype Q populations indicates that different populations have different insecticide resistance profiles; therefore, the ability to identify the Q haplotype is of practical importance to growers by providing information that will improve management decision making with respect to pesticide applications.