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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Genetic distinctions among the Mediterranean and Chinese populations of Bemisia tabaci Q biotype and their endosymbiont Wolbachia populations)

item Ahmed, M
item Shatters, Robert - Bob
item Ren, S
item Jin, G
item Mandour, N
item Qiu, B

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2009
Publication Date: 8/1/2009
Citation: Ahmed, M.Z., Shatters, R.G., Ren, S.X., Jin, G.H., Mandour, N.S., Qiu, B.L. 2009. Gentic distinctions among the Mediterranean and Chinese populations of Bemisia tabaci Q biotype and endosymbiont Wolbachia populations. Journal of Applied Entomology. 134:1439-0418.

Interpretive Summary: Whiteflies are one of the major economic pests in crop plants throughout the United States and worldwide. Bemisia tabaci is a species of the whitefly family of insects that is of extreme economic importance with global distribution. Multiple biotypes (distinct variants with different biological characteristics) of B. tabaci occur, of which the B and Q biotypes are aggressive and invasive pests that have spread worldwide from their origin in the Mediterranean area and as a result have created a need to adapt control methods specific to these variants. This research shows the presence of two divisions of the Q biotype and has implications as to the origin of this worldwide pest. This information is being used to help develop control strategies specific to the Q biotype subpopulation that are spreading throughout the world.

Technical Abstract: The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, is a cryptic species complex composed of more than 24 different biotypes around the world. The Q biotype of B. tabaci, which is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean Basin, is now a widespread and serious agricultural pest. In this study, the genetic differences among Q biotype populations from Mediterranean countries and China were investigated. Based on their mt COI gene sequences, the Q biotype populations could be divided into two groups, which were labelled as MedBasin 1 and MedBasin 2. MedBasin 1 is indigenous to the western Mediterranean area while MedBasin 2 is indigenous to the eastern Mediterranean area. Genetic variation was greater in the MedBasin 1 populations than in the MedBasin 2 populations. Unlike the introductions into the USA, which involved both Medbasin1 and MedBasin2 populations, all B. tabaci Q biotype populations in China belonged to MedBasin 1. Wolbachia detection in eight representative Q biotype populations from China, Egypt and Syria indicated that all of the populations were infested with Wolbachia, and the infection rate of the Chinese populations (42.5%) were not significantly different from that of Egypt and Syria (51.4%). Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the evolution of the Wolbachia populations was not closely linked with the evolution of their B. tabaci hosts.

Last Modified: 05/23/2017
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