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Anchoring of greenhouse whitefly eggs on different rose cultivars

Abstract

Whiteflies attach their eggs to plants by implanting the egg pedicel into the epidermis of the underside of leaves. This pedicel works like a wall plug embedded in sealing cement, presenting a smart interconnection, which was exemplarily studied in Trialeurodes vaporariorum eggs on two stages of abaxial leaflets of four cut rose cultivars using a combination of microscopic and biomechanical techniques. The penetration force obtained by piercing single epidermal cells with an insect minuten pin did not significantly correlate with the force which was applied to pull off the greenhouse whitefly eggs from abaxial leaves. A maximum pull-off force of 5.4 mN was measured on young leaves of the rose cultivar ‘Schloss Ippenburg®’, corresponding to maximum 941 times the egg weight. Egg pull-off force significantly differed between cut rose cultivars and leaf ages. On greenhouse whitefly-susceptible cultivars ‘Poesie®’ and ‘Reggae®’, eggs detached, applying less force compared to that on resistant cultivars. Leaf structural features had no significant impact on greenhouse whitefly egg pull-off forces. A major effect of leaf turgor pressure and swelling of colleterial gland secretion (cement) surrounding the whitefly egg is assumed to facilitate the firm interconnection between egg and plant epidermis by a combination of form closure, friction locking, and adhesive bond forming a composite material in the contact region. This bond exhibits a maximum adhesive strength of 12.2 MPa, which is much higher than those in beetle and moth eggs glued to oviposition substrates.

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Acknowledgements

Harald Schneller (Landwirtschaftliches Technologiezentrum Augustenberg LTZ, Karlsruhe, Germany; Department 3: Pflanzengesundheit, Futtermittel- und Saatgutuntersuchung, Referat 32: Pflanzenschutz—Ackerbau, Gartenbau, Biologischer Pflanzenschutz) encouraged the study and delivered preliminary observational results of greenhouse whiteflies in commercial cut rose production. Michael Reichert (Gärtnerei Reichert, Pettstadt, Germany) and Stefan Raab (Raab Rosen, Rockenberg/Oppershofen, Germany) kindly provided plant material and background knowledge of rose cultivars and breeding. Juliane Braun (consultative garden engineer, Hamburg, Germany), Fabian Gülk (Kordes Rosen, W. Kordes’ Söhne Rosenschulen GmbH & Co KG, Klein Offenseth-Sparrieshoop, Germany), and Alexander Letkow (Rosen Tantau Vertrieb GmbH & Co. KG, Uetersen, Germany) are acknowledged for valuable information about growing and breeding of cut roses. The first author thanks Michael Voigt (Zwickau/Sa., Germany) for constructive brainstorming.

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Voigt, D., Schrameyer, K., Kiefer, J. et al. Anchoring of greenhouse whitefly eggs on different rose cultivars. Arthropod-Plant Interactions 13, 335–348 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11829-019-09680-5

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Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Insect egg
  • Oviposition
  • Pedicel
  • Rosa
  • Trialeurodes vaporariorum