The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) has caused notable damage to vegetable and cotton crops in the eastern Mediterranean region since about 1994, and has become particularly problematic in southern Turkey beginning in 2000. The development of squash silverleaf symptoms in Cucurbita species and the unprecedented high population levels in the region suggested that the B biotype, notable for the latter phenotypes, had been introduced. To test this hypothesis and determine the host distribution of the suspect introduced B biotype and its associated natural enemies, B. tabaci immature instars and adults, and the associated natural enemies were collected from cultivated and uncultivated plant species. From the southern Turkey collections, B. tabaci was found to colonize 152 species from 43 plant families. Of the plant species upon which B. tabaci was found to reproduce, 152 of them were reported as hosts of B. tabaci in Turkey. Five species of predators and two species of parasitoids were identified as natural enemies of the B biotype of B. tabaci in southern Turkey. Using the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene all B. tabaci were identified as the B biotype of the B. tabaci complex, at 96-100% shared identity with reference B biotype sequences. Results indicate that this invasive biotype has displaced the local Turkey-cotton haplotype that was known to occur previously in southern Turkey.
- Mitochondria cytochrome oxidase I gene
- Squash silverleaf symptoms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agronomy and Crop Science