Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Biochemical evidence of haplodiploidy in the whiteflyBemisia tabaci

  • 76 Accesses

  • 29 Citations


Polymorphic esterase and acetylcholinesterase alleles in the whiteflyBemisia tabaci were studied using electrophoretic and colorimetric assays. The segregation of these alleles between parental and F1 generations provided unequivocal evidence of haplodiploidy in this pest species. Unmated females, heterozygous at a polymorphic locus, produced a 1:1 ratio of haploid males expressing either of the maternal alleles. Although male offspring were produced by both virgin and mated females, the segregation of alleles showed they were always haploid (hemizygous) for the marker enzymes. Females only arose from fertilized eggs and invariably expressed paternal and maternal alleles.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bartlett, A. C., and Gawel, N. J. (1993). Determining whitefly species.Science (Tech. Comm.)2611333.

  2. Bellows, T. S., Jr., Perring, T. M., Gill, R. J., and Headrick, D. H. (1994). Description of a species ofBemisia (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) infesting North American agriculture.Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 87195.

  3. Blackman, R. L. (1971). Variation in the photoperiodic response within natural populations ofMyzus persicae (Sulz.).Bull. Entomol. Res. 60533.

  4. Byrne, F. J., and Devonshire, A. L. (1991). In vivo inhibition of esterase and acetylcholinesterase activities by profenofos treatments in the tobacco whiteflyBemisia tabaci (Genn.): Implications for routine biochemical monitoring of these enzymes.Pest. Biochem. Physiol. 40198.

  5. Byrne, F. J., and Devonshire, A. L. (1993). Insensitive acetylcholinesterase and esterase polymorphism in susceptible and resistant populations of the tobacco whiteflyBemisia tabaci (Genn.).Pest. Biochem. Physiol. 4534.

  6. Byrne, F. J., Denholm, I., Birnie, L. C., Devonshire, A. L., and Rowland, M. W. (1992). Analysis of insecticide resistance in the whitefly,Bemisia tabaci (Genn.). In Denholm, I., Devonshire, A. L., and Hollomon, D. (eds.),Achievements and Developments in Combatting Pesticide Resistance Elsevier, London, pp. 165–178.

  7. Byrne, F. J., Cahill, M., Denholm, I., and Devonshire, A. L. (1994). A biochemical and toxicological study of the role of insensitive acetylcholinesterase in organophosphorus resistantBemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) from Israel.Bull. Entomol. Res. 84179.

  8. Byrne, F. J., Bedford, I. D., Devonshire, A. L., and Markham, P. G. (1995a). Esterase variation and squash silverleaf induction in B-typeBemisia tabaci (Gennadius).Bull. Entomol. Res. (in press).

  9. Byrne, F. J., Cahill, M., Denholm, I., and Devonshire, A. L. (1995b). Biochemical identification of interbreeding between B-type and non-B-type strains of the tobacco whiteflyBemisia tabaci.Biochem. Genet. 3313.

  10. Cahill, M., Byrne, F. J., Gorman, K., Denholm, I., and Devonshire, A. L. (1995). Pyrethroid and organophosphate resistance in the tobacco whiteflyBemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae).Bull. Entomol. Res. 85181.

  11. Costa, H. S., and Brown, J. K. (1991). Variation in biological characteristics and esterase patterns among populations ofBemisia tabaci, and the association of one population with silverleaf symptom induction.Entomol. Exp. Appl. 61211.

  12. Costa, H. S., Brown, J. K., Sivasupramaniam, S., and Bird, J. (1993). Regional distribution, insecticide resistance, and reciprocal crosses between the A and B biotypes ofBemisia tabaci.Insect Sci. Appl. 14255.

  13. Croft, B. A., and van de Baan, H. E. (1988). Ecological and genetic factors influencing evolution of pesticide resistance in tetranychid and phytoseiid mites.Exp. Appl. Acarol. 4277.

  14. Dittrich, V., Uk, S., and Ernst, G. H. (1990a). Chemical control and insecticide resistance in whiteflies. In Gerling, D. (ed.),Whiteflies: Their Bionomics, Pest Status and Management Intercept, Andover, Hants, pp. 263–285.

  15. Dittrich, V., Ernst, G. H., Ruesch, O., and Uk, S. (1990b). Resistance mechanisms in sweetpotato whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) populations from Sudan, Turkey, Guatemala and Nicaragua.J. Econ. Entomol. 831665.

  16. Ellman, G. L., Courtney, K. D., Andres, V., and Featherstone, R. M. (1961). A new and rapid colorimetric determination of acetylcholinesterase activity.Biochem. Pharmacol. 788.

  17. Havron, A., Rosen, D., Rossler, Y., and Hillel, J. (1987). Selection of the male hemizygous genotype in arrhenotokous insects and mites.Entomophaga 32261.

  18. Helle, W. (1968). Parthenogenesis and insecticide resistance.Meded. Rijksfac. Landbouwwet. Genet. 33621.

  19. Ishaaya, I., Mendelson, Z., Ascher, K. R. S., and Casida, J. E. (1987). Cypermethrin synergism by pyrethroid esterase inhibitors in adults of the whiteflyBemisia tabaci.Pest. Biochem. Physiol. 28155.

  20. Loxdale, H. D., and den Hollander, J. (eds.) (1989).Electrophoretic Studies on Agricultural Pests Clarendon Press, Oxford.

  21. Mound, L. A., and Halsey, S. H. (1978).Whitefly of the World. A Systematic Catalogue of the Aleyrodidae (Homoptera) with Host Plant and Natural Enemy Data British Museum (Natural History), London, and John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

  22. Perring, T. M., Cooper, A. D., Rodriguez, R. J., Farrar, C. A., and Bellows, T. S. (1993). Identification of a whitefly species by genomic and behavioral studies.Science 25974.

  23. Schrader, F. (1920). Sex determination in the whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum).J. Morphol. 34267.

  24. Stoll, N. R., and Shull, F. (1919). Sex determination in the whitefly.Genetics 4251.

  25. Wool, D., and Greenberg, S. (1990). Esterase activity in whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci) in Israel in relation to insecticide resistance.Entomol. Exp. Appl. 57251.

  26. Wool, D., Calvert, L., Constantino, L. M., Bellotti, A. C., and Gerling, D. (1994). Differentiation ofBemisia tabaci (Genn.) (Hom., Aleyrodidae) populations in Colombia.J. Appl. Entomol. 117122.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Frank J. Byrne.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Byrne, F.J., Devonshire, A.L. Biochemical evidence of haplodiploidy in the whiteflyBemisia tabaci . Biochem Genet 34, 93–107 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00553606

Download citation

Key words

  • Bemisia tabaci
  • haplodiploidy
  • arrhenotoky
  • esterase
  • acetylcholinesterase
  • insecticide resistance