Species Within the Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Complex in Soybean and Bean Crops in Argentina

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The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a cryptic species complex that contains some of the most damaging pests in tropical and subtropical regions. Recent studies suggested that this complex is composed of at least 24 distinct species. We use the approach from these studies to consider the identity of B. tabaci in Argentina. Previous studies have suggested the presence of a B. tabaci presumably indigenous to the Americas and referred to as the BR biotype in Argentina. We placed the entity referred to as the BR biotype within the B. tabaci cryptic species complex using whiteflies collected in soybean and bean crops in northern and central Argentina. The whiteflies were assigned using the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase (mtCOI) gene. Four unknown haplotypes plus two Argentina sequences from GenBank formed a cluster that was basal to the rest of the New World sequences. These sequences diverged from the consensus sequence across the range of 3.6 to 4.3%. Applying the species assignment rules of recent studies suggests that the individuals from Argentina form a separate species. A fifth unknown haplotype fell within the New World putative species and formed a distinct cluster with haplotypes from Panama. These results suggest that Argentina has two indigenous species belonging to the B. tabaci cryptic species complex. Rather than using mtCOI sequencing for all B. tabaci collected, a simple random amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction diagnostic was used and tested along with previously published primers designed to work specifically with the BR biotype from Brazil. These primers were either unable to distinguish between the two indigenous members of the complex in Argentina or indicated a difference when none was evident on the basis of mtCOI sequence comparison.

Keywords: mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I; phylogenetic analysis; whitefly

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC11161

Publication date: February 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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