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Title: Survey of Reproductive Host Plants of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Egypt, Including New Host Records

item Simmons, Alvin

Submitted to: Entomological News
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2011
Publication Date: 12/31/2010
Citation: Abd-Rabou, S., Simmons, A.M. 2010. Survey of Reproductive Host Plants of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Egypt, Including New Host Records. Entomological News. 121 (5): 456-465.

Interpretive Summary: The sweetpotato whitefly is an important worldwide pest of many crops. It also feeds on many wild plants. Plant types are important because they affect whitefly populations and because the plants can be potential sources of whitefly-transmitted viruses. A field survey was done to record the host plants of the sweetpotato whitefly throughout Egypt. This whitefly reproduced on 118 types of agricultural and wild plants in 28 plant families. In addition, the study identified 10 new host plants of this pest, which are members of 5 families of plants. Results from this study help researchers understand whitefly populations and the association of viruses that this pest spreads to agricultural plants.

Technical Abstract: Host plants can affect the population dynamics of the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), and the plants can be potential sources of numerous whitefly-vectored viruses. This important pest attacks a wide range of agricultural plants, and feed on an extensive number of feral species of plants. An extensive field survey was conducted on the reproductive host plant species of B. tabaci throughout Egypt. Bemisia tabaci (B and Q biotypes) completed its development on 118 species of plants in 79 genera belonging to 28 families. The family Asteraceae (= Compositae) had 23 host plant species belonging to 16 genera, while the family Fabaceae (= Leguminosae) had 16 host species belonging to 13 genera. The study revealed 10 new reproductive host plants in the families Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Piperaceae, Plantaginaceae and Portulacaceae. Among the new hosts, only Crisium sp. was from a heretofore unreported host genus. Infested plants were collected during each month of the year, but no data were collected on whitefly density. The results of this study have direct implications on whitefly ecology and epidemiology of viruses that B. tabaci spreads to and among cultivated plants.