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Review and guide to a future naming system of African Bemisia tabaci species

Review and guide to a future naming system of African Bemisia tabaci species

Boykin, Laura M., Kinene, Tonny, Wainaina, James M., Savill, Anders, Seal, Susan ORCID: 0000-0002-3952-1562, Mugerwa, Habibu, Macfadyen, Sarina, Tay, Wee Tek, De Barro, Paul, Kubatko, Laura, Alicai, Titus, Omongo, Christopher A., Tairo, Fred, Ndunguru, Joseph and Sseruwagi, Peter (2018) Review and guide to a future naming system of African Bemisia tabaci species. Systematic Entomology, 43 (3). pp. 427-433. ISSN 0307-6970 (Print), 1365-3113 (Online) (doi:

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Once a pest has been correctly identified, its genus and species name can provide a link to valuable indications of its ecology, biology and life history that are critical for developing control strategies. Importantly, this link should exist even when the pest was known under other names (synonyms), or was not considered a pest at all (National Research Council, 1968). Many examples have shown that incorrect identification or classification of a pest has led to fruitless searches for biocontrol agents in the native range, incorrect assignments as disease vectors, and costly, yet misdirected, suppression measures. As new approaches for delimiting species based on molecular information become more widely used, the process of correctly identifying a species has become even more complex. Fortunately, we have good systematic frameworks and nomenclatural systems that are able to cope with these challenges. Here we review challenges associated with classification and identification within the Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) species complex. These pests and the viruses they transmit have emerged in the past few decades as among the most damaging to food and fibre crops globally (Varma & Malathi, 2003; Pimental et al., 2005; Seal et al., 2006), especially in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA). The systematics of the B. tabaci species group has been a highly debated topic for years (Boykin, 2014). Putative species are indistinguishable morphologically, so other biological data have been collected to investigate the species in the complex. Based on genetic differences (Colvin et al., 2004; Sseruwagi et al., 2005; Boykin et al., 2007; Boykin et al., 2013; Hsieh et al., 2014) and mating incompatibility (Colvin et al., 2004; Liu et al., 2007; Xu et al., 2010), B. tabaci is now recognized as a species complex that consists of at least 34 putative species (Boykin et al., 2012). The rapid discovery of significant species diversity has led to many changes in the informal names used over the last 10 years (Boykin, 2014), creating confusion in the literature.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors.This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bemisia tabaci, pest, plant damage
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2018 11:02

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