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Performance on different host plants of an alien and an indigenous Bemisia tabaci from China

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The capacity of the Middle East‐Asia Minor 1 putative species of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) species complex, commonly referred to as the ‘B biotype’, to invade has often been linked to its presumed wider host range than the indigenous competitors. To determine whether this alien putative species and the indigenous Asia II 1 whitefly putative species, commonly referred to as the ‘ZHJ2 biotype’, differ in their ability to use different host plants, we compared their development, survival and reproduction on eight crop species/cultivars that are commonly cultivated in Zhejiang, China. Of the eight host plants tested, B performed substantially better than ZHJ2 on squash, tomato and tobacco, B and ZHJ2 preformed equally well on cotton and sweet potato, while ZHJ2 performed better than B on kidney bean and pepper. These results indicate that while B generally has a wider host range than many indigenous B. tabaci, an indigenous B. tabaci can perform as well as or better on some host plants. These results combined with the cropping patterns in Zhejiang suggested that the differential capacity to use various host plants between whitefly species is important in mediating the process of invasion by an alien whitefly species.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Crop Pathogens and Insects, Institute of Insect Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Publication date: 2011-12-01

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