The Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) Interaction with Geminivirus-Infected Host Plants

pp 323-356


Development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategies for Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci)-Transmissible Geminiviruses

  • Robert L. GilbertsonAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Pathology, University of California-Davis Email author 
  • , Maria RojasAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Pathology, University of California-Davis
  • , Eric NatwickAffiliated withUC Desert Research and Extension Center, University of California Cooperative Extension

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Worldwide outbreaks of Bemisia tabaci whiteflies, especially biotype B, have facilitated the emergence of whitefly-transmitted geminiviruses (WTG). These viruses cause economically important diseases of vegetable and fiber crops, especially in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Because small populations of whiteflies can efficiently spread WTGs, management of these diseases is more challenging than for whiteflies alone. In this chapter, we discuss (1) why WTGs have emerged worldwide, (2) key aspects of the biology of WTGs and B. tabaci, and (3) how these aspects shape the development of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach for these diseases. The generalized IPM package involves strategies for (1) before the growing season, such as the use of virus- and whitefly-free transplants and propagative stock, and resistant varieties; (2) during the growing season, such as whitefly population suppression, roguing virus-infected plants, floating row covers and reflective mulches; and (3) after the growing season, such as region-wide sanitation, weed management and implementation of a host-free period. Different combinations of strategies will be used depending on the crop, cropping system, and properties of the virus and the whitefly vector. This is illustrated with two case ­studies: IPM for WTGs in an annual (tomato) and a perennial (cassava) crop.