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Research Project: Integrated Pest Management of Cattle Fever Ticks

Location: Location not imported yet.

Title: Classical Biological Control of Silverleaf Whitefly in the United States

Author
item Goolsby, John
item Hoelmer, Kim
item GOULD, JULI - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/14/2022
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii was the target of large-scale USDA biological control program in the 1990s. Economic losses from the B. argentifolii were extensive in the U.S. and worldwide. Damage included leaf silvering in crops such as squash, and transmission of viruses that reduced quality and yield of tomatoes, sticky fiber in cotton, and direct damage from feeding on horticultural/floricultural crops such as poinsettias. In the early 1990s, a biological control program involved worldwide exploration in the tropics and subtropics where B. argentifolii was known to be endemic. Many unique populations and species of specialist parasitic wasps were imported, evaluated for safety and efficacy, the reared, and released in the U.S. to reduce the impacts of this pest. In summary, the imported parasitic wasps in combination with the local whitefly predator insects dramatically lowered populations of the pest and have allowed for the development of integrated pest management programs that further reduced damage and allowed for sustainable production of field/greenhouse crops, and ornamental plantings. In the early 2000s, the biological control program was estimated to be saving 300 million dollars annually. For a complete review of the program please see, Classical biological control of Bemisia tabaci in the United States: A review of interagency research and implementation.

Technical Abstract: Technical Abstract Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) biotype B (= B. argentifolii Bellows and Perring), the silverleaf whitefly was the target of large-scale USDA biological control program in the 1990s. Economic losses from the B. argentifolii were extensive worldwide. Damage included leaf silvering in curcurbit crops such as squash, and transmission of viruses that reduced quality and yield of tomatoes, sticky fiber in cotton, and direct damage from feeding on horticultural/floricultural crops such as poinsettias. In the early 1990s, a biological control program involved worldwide exploration in the tropics and subtropics where B. argentifolii was known to be endemic. Many unique populations and species of parasitic wasps in the genera Eretmocerus and Encarsia (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) were imported, reared, and released in the U.S. to reduce the impacts of this pest. For several decades, the Eretmocerus species were the dominant parasitoids, but now Encarsia sophia (= E. transvena) is most responsible for control and has driven whitefly populations to even lower levels. In summary, the imported parasitoids in combination with the local whitefly predator insects dramatically lowered populations of the pest and have allowed for the development of integrated pest management programs that further reduced damage and allowed for sustainable production of field/greenhouse crops, and ornamental plantings. In the early 2000s, the biological control program was estimated to be saving 300 million dollars annually. For a complete review of the program please see, Classical biological control of Bemisia tabaci in the United States: A review of interagency research and implementation (Gould, Hoelmer and Goolsby, editors). Interpretive Summary The silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii was the target of large-scale USDA biological control program in the 1990s. Economic losses from the B. argentifolii were extensive in the U.S. and worldwide. Damage included leaf silvering in crops such as squash, and transmission of viruses that reduced quality and yield of tomatoes, sticky fiber in cotton, and direct damage from feeding on horticultural/floricultural crops such as poinsettias. In the early 1990s, a biological control program involved worldwide exploration in the tropics and subtropics where B. argentifolii was known to be endemic. Many unique populations and species of specialist parasitic wasps were imported, evaluated for safety and efficacy, the reared, and released in the U.S. to reduce the impacts of this pest. In summary, the imported parasitic wasps in combination with the local whitefly predator insects dramatically lowered populations of the pest and have allowed for the development of integrated pest management programs that further reduced damage and allowed for sustainable production of field/greenhouse crops, and ornamental plantings. In the early 2000s, the biological control program was estimated to be saving 300 million dollars annually. For a complete review of the program please see, Classical biological control of Bemisia tabaci in the United States: A review of interagency research and implementation.