Regional Distribution, Insecticide Resistance, and Reciprocal Crosses Between the A and B Biotypes of Bemisia Tabaci

  • H. S. Costa
  • J. K. Brown
  • S. Sivasupramaniam
  • J. Bird


Populations of the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci collected from the Americas and the Caribbean Basin were examined for non-specific esterases and for the ability to induce characteristic phytotoxic disorders in key assay species as a means of investigating biogeographic diversity. Esterase markers were used to detect polymorphisms among regional B. tabaci populations and to establish the present distribution of B. tabaci biotypes in the region. The A biotype occurred only in contiguous locales in northern Mexico and the southwestern US, while the B biotype was present throughout much of the Caribbean Basin and the US, and in Brazil. Distinct C and D type esterase markers were observed for Costa Rican and Nicaraguan B. tabaci populations, respectively. The 0 or null type population was collected only from Jatropha gossypifolia (L.) in Puerto Rico. Laboratory colonies of the A and the B biotypes were almost equally sensitive to an organophosphate, profenofos. The B biotype was more resistant to a pyrethroid, permethrin, suggesting the existence of a biotype of B. tabaci, with a history of exposure to pesticides with a pyrethroid-based chemistry. In mating studies involving reciprocal crosses between the A and the B biotypes, very few F, female progeny were produced, indicating either minimal or non-existent reproductive compatibility between these haplo-diploid B. tabaci populations, presently considered to be the same species. Evidence is presented for the recent and widespread introduction, and subsequent spread of the B biotype throughout the US, the Caribbean Basin, and other proximal locations.

Key Words

Americas Bemisia tabaci Caribbean Basin esterases isozymes haplo-diploid polymorphisms pyrethroid resistance whiteflies 


Les populations de mouche blanche Bemisia tabaci collectionned à partir des ameriques, et le bassin des Antilles ont été examinees pur des esterases non specifiques et pour la capacité de provoquer des desordres phytoxiques caracteristiques des essaiés des especes comme un moyen d’etude de la diversité demographique. L’utilité de ces marqueurs pour detecter les differentes formes qui peut être servir de base pour etablir la distribution de B. tabaci biotypes dans la region etudieé. Le A biotype or biospecimen a été decouvert seulement dans les milieux contigus au nord du mexique et du sud-ouest de Etats-Unis, tandis que, le B biospecimen or biotype se trouve d’un bout à 1’ autre du bassin des Antilles et les Etats-Unis et au Bresil. Les marqueurs distincts de C et D esterases ont été observés respectivement pour les populations Costaricaines et Nicaraguaennes. Les colonies de laboratories du A et B biotypes exposes aux pestecides ont montré des pennlrlites permblables aux profenofos des organophosphates, tandis que C et D biotypes etaient soit suceptible ou extrement resistant respectivement au permethrin du pyrethroid suggerant l’evolution d’un biotype resistant au produit chimique due pyrethroid. Dans des etudes d’accouplement englobant des croisements reciproques entre les biotypes A et B la production des descendants feminins a été trés limitée indiquant un bas niveau de compatibilité entre les insects qui’sont haplo-diploides actuellement consideres comme etant’une seule espece. Des fails monveaux sont presentés pou la distribution recente du biotype B entirement dans les Etats-Unis et plusieurs milieux voisins.


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. S. Costa
    • 1
  • J. K. Brown
    • 1
  • S. Sivasupramaniam
    • 2
  • J. Bird
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant Protection College of Agricultural SciencesUniversity of Puerto RicoRio PiedrasPuerto Rico

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