Performance and preference of Bemisia tabaci on tomato severe rugose virus infected tomato plants

Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED) were reported as the sole vectors for tomato severe rugose virus (ToSRV), the prevalent begomovirus infecting tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L., Solanaceae) in Brazil. To improve our understanding on the interactions between B. tabaci and ToSRV, we studied the effects of the virus on the performance of MEAM1 and MED. Comparing adults' performance on non-infected and ToSRV-infected tomato plants, the number of hatched eggs and emerged adults decreased for both MEAM1 and MED in infected tomato plants. However, the negative effect was more evident for MED, where the emergence of adults was reduced by 90% on ToSRV-infected tomatoes. In addition, the developmental time and percentage survival of MED on ToSRV-infected plants were severely affected compared to non-infected plants, while no differences were observed for MEAM1. Preference assays showed that non-viruliferous MEAM1 adults preferred to settle on non-infected plants in initial times (from 1 h to 6 h) but did not show preference between non-infected and infected plants in other evaluated times (from 12 h to 72 h). Viruliferous MEAM1 adults did not show a preference for either ToSRV-infected or non-infected plants. In contrast, MED non-viruliferous and viru-liferous adults preferred to settle on non-infected plants compared to ToSRV-infected tomato plants. Our results indicate that ToSRV differently influences the performance and behavior of the whitefly species MEAM1 and MED, negatively interfering with the life parameters of MED.

Bello, Vinicius & Nogueira, Angélica & Sartori, Maria Márcia & Agenor, Pavan & Rezende, Jorge & Ghanim, Murad & Krause-Sakate, Renate. (2023). Performance and preference of Bemisia tabaci on tomato severe rugose virus infected tomato plants. Phytoparasitica. 10.1007/s12600-023-01079-6. 

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