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Variation in the Bemisia tabaci s. 1. species complex (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and its natural enemies leading to successful biological control of Bemisia biotype B in the USA

  • A.A. Kirk (a1), L.A. Lacey (a1), J.K. Brown (a2), M.A. Ciomperlik (a3), J.A. Goolsby (a3), D.C. Vacek (a3), L.E. Wendel (a3) and B. Napompeth (a4)...


Parasitoids of the Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) species complex collected in Spain and Thailand were evaluated as biological control agents of B. tabacibiotype B in cole crops in Texas, USA. Parasitoids were identified by morphological and RAPD–PCR analyses. The most abundant parasitoid from Spain was Eretmocerus mundus Mercet with apparent field parasitism of 39–44%. In Thailand, Encarsia formosa Gahan, E. transvena Timberlake, E. adrianaeLopez-Avila, Eretmocerus sp. 1 and sp. 2 emerged, with apparent field parasitism of 1–65%. Identification and molecular classification of B. tabaciassociated with parasitoid collections and in the release site in Texas were accomplished using morphological traits and nucleotide sequence comparison of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene (COI) (700–720 bp). Collections of B. tabacifrom Thailand grouped separately from B types from Arizona and Florida and the target B type from Texas, USA, a cluster from India, and other New World B. tabaci. The Spanish B. tabaci host of E. mundus which was laboratory and field-tested to achieve biological control of the B type was most closely related to non-B type B. tabaci populations from Spain and Sudan, the latter which formed a second group within the larger clade that also contained the B type cluster. Laboratory tests indicated that E. mundus from Spain parasitized more B. tabaci type B than did Eretmocerus spp. native to Texas and other exotic parasitoids evaluated. Eretmocerus mundus from Spain also successfully parasitized B. tabaci type B when field-released in a 0.94 million ha test area in Texas, and has significantly enhanced control of B. tabaci type B in California, USA. In contrast, parasitoids from Thailand failed to establish in the field in Texas, collectively suggesting a positive correlation between the centres of diversity of compatible parasitoid–host complexes.


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Variation in the Bemisia tabaci s. 1. species complex (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and its natural enemies leading to successful biological control of Bemisia biotype B in the USA

  • A.A. Kirk (a1), L.A. Lacey (a1), J.K. Brown (a2), M.A. Ciomperlik (a3), J.A. Goolsby (a3), D.C. Vacek (a3), L.E. Wendel (a3) and B. Napompeth (a4)...


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