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Population variability of Bemisia tabaci (Genn.) in different hosts

Author(s): G.E. do Valle, A.L. Lourenção, M.I. Zucchi, J.B. Pinheiro and A.G. de Abreu

The silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Genn.) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), is a cryptic species complex that contains some of the most damaging pests in tropical and subtropical regions. Recent studies have indicated that this complex is composed of at least 24 distinct and morphologically indistinguishable species that mainly differ in their ability to transmit phytoviruses, adapt to hosts, and induce physiological changes in certain hosts. The importance of this species has been increasing worldwide, because it serves as a phytovirus vector, particularly for geminiviruses, in economically important crops. Here, we aimed to examine the population variability of B. tabaci populations inhabiting 6 agricultural crops grown in 5 regions of Brazil and 1 region of the USA; BRrep [Brasília (DF, Brazil) - cabbage], ILsoj [Urbana (IL/USA) - soybean], BJabo [Bom Jesus da Lapa (BA, Brazil) - pumpkin], CPsoj [Campinas (SP, Brazil)- soybean], UBman [Ubatuba (SP, Brazil) - cassava], and PEmel [Petrolina (PE, Brazil) - melon]. Thirteen polymorphic loci with 50 alleles were observed, with an average of 2.37 (range: 2.00-2.91) alleles per population. The UBman and PEmel B. tabaci populations were the most differentiated, which was probably caused by insect adaptation to the host plant and the use of insecticides. A 33.87% interpopulation variation was observed, indicating that microsatellites may be used to measure differentiation among these B. tabaci populations. Based on the comparison of microsatellites in the current study, only the Middle East-Asia Minor 1 population of B. tabaci was found in the six populations.