, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 61-64
Date: 09 Dec 2008

First record of the Q biotype of the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, in Guatemala

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Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) adults and immatures were collected from poinsettia plants at two commercial production greenhouses in Guatemala during an invited tour to observe IPM practices within the facilities. Despite extensive scouting, only low numbers of insects were collected from vegetable, weed and wild ornamentals species located close to these facilities. Prior to molecular and biochemical analyses, whitefly immatures were initially identified as B. tabaci using morphological characters of the pupae to distinguish them from the greenhouse whitefly. The biotype status of adults and immatures was then established using esterase isozyme patterns and MTCO1 sequencing. The Q biotype was the only biotype found on commercially grown poinsettia plants. The previously recorded B biotype was observed outside the greenhouse facilities on Lactuca spp., Hibiscus spp. and Euphorbia spp. (wild poinsettia). The New World biotype was observed on wild poinsettia and field-grown beans (Phaseolus spp.). This is the first report of the Q biotype in Guatemala, and serves notice of the need for greater vigilance in the management of whiteflies on poinsettia mother stock used as a source of cuttings for export to the USA.