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Performance of two species of whiteflies is unaffected by glucosinolate profile in Brassica plants

Jie Li, Hong‐Mei Qian, Li‐Long Pan, Qiao‐Mei Wang, Shu‐Sheng Liu
Pest management science 2021 v.77 no.10 pp. 4313-4320
Arabidopsis, Bemisia tabaci, Brassica, biosynthesis, cryptic species, cultivars, fecundity, glucosinolates, hydrolysis, life history, oviposition, pest management, Asia
BACKGROUND: While plant glucosinolates are known to impart resistance to many insects, their role in the interactions between plants and many phloem‐feeding insects such as whiteflies are poorly understood. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci complex comprises many cryptic species that differ in the ability to utilize Brassica plants. However, whether Brassica plants‐specific traits such as glucosinolates determine differences of whiteflies in colonizing Brassica plants remains in question. RESULTS: We first observed performance of two whitefly species MEAM1 and Asia II 3, which differ obviously in their ability to colonize Brassica plants, on four cultivars of three Brassica species that vary in glucosinolate profile. We found that the life history characteristics of each of the two whitefly species seems to be only marginally affected by cultivar. We next used wild‐type Arabidopsis plants and mutants defective in glucosinolate biosynthesis or hydrolysis to explore the effects of glucosinolates on the whitefly. We found that fecundity and development of immature stages of neither of the two whitefly species differ significantly between wild‐type and mutants. CONCLUSION: The data suggest that glucosinolates may have little effect on the oviposition by adults and the survival and development of immature stages of MEAM1 and Asia II 3 whiteflies. The marked differences in colonizing Brassica crops between the two whitefly species are likely due to plant traits other than glucosinolates. © 2021 Society of Chemical Industry.