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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Goolsby, John
item Debarro, Paul
item Hoelmer, Kim
item Kirk, Alan

Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/22/2005
Publication Date: 9/10/2005
Citation: Goolsby, J., Debarro, P., Hoelmer, K.A., Kirk, A. 2005. Pre-release evaluation of biological control agents for silverleaf whitefly with recommendations for other countries considering release. International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods, September 10-14, 2005, Davos, Switzerland. p. 144-151.

Interpretive Summary: The biological control program for B. tabaci provided novel opportunities to use predictive tools to direct foreign exploration and evaluate a suite of natural enemies in quarantine prior to release. These experiences have been used to develop a set of predictive tools for biological control of B. tabaci, which have been used in the selection of agents for release in Australia and now in China. The influences of climate and tritrophic effects appear to have been important factors in the establishment of the Eretmocerus spp. for B. tabaci. Further studies on the introduced parasitoids, including their impact on B. tabaci, the influence of the host plants in the agroecosystem, and their genetics, are warranted, and may provide useful insights and new scientific directions for biological control of arthropod pests.

Technical Abstract: A retrospective evaluation of the biological control program for Bemisia tabaci biotype B in the USA was conducted. The use of climate matching to direct foreign exploration led to the discovery of B. tabaci parasitoids from diverse climates, which proved useful in selecting species which would establish in the varied climates of the impacted agricultural areas of the USA. The parasitoids, which established on the B biotype in the USA, came form several Old World biotypes. Field and laboratory evaluation demonstrated significant differences in their attack rates when searching for B.tabaci on cotton, broccoli, or melons. These tritrophic interactions could also have influenced their competitiveness, and are also evidence of how plant hosts influence host range of parasitoids. It is also suspected that hybridization of the Eretmocerus spp. may have occurred, and molecular methods for testing this hypothesis are discussed. This retrospective evaluation of the program in the USA was used to develop predictive tools for selection of agents for biological control of B. tabaci in Australia and China.

Last Modified: 05/29/2017
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