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Genetic diversity of whitefly (Bemisia spp.) on crop and uncultivated plants in Uganda: implications for the control of this devastating pest species complex in Africa

Genetic diversity of whitefly (Bemisia spp.) on crop and uncultivated plants in Uganda: implications for the control of this devastating pest species complex in Africa

Mugerwa, Habibu ORCID: 0000-0001-5077-0167, Colvin, John ORCID: 0000-0001-6413-580X, Alicai, Titus ORCID: 0000-0002-4489-3133, Omongo, Christopher A., Kabaalu, Richard, Visendi, Paul ORCID: 0000-0001-7114-7710, Sseruwagi, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-4128-0294 and Seal, Susan E. ORCID: 0000-0002-3952-1562 (2021) Genetic diversity of whitefly (Bemisia spp.) on crop and uncultivated plants in Uganda: implications for the control of this devastating pest species complex in Africa. Journal of Pest Science. ISSN 1612-4758 (Print), 1612-4766 (Online) (In Press) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-021-01355-6)

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Abstract

Over the past three decades, highly increased whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) populations have been observed on the staple food crop cassava in eastern Africa and associated with ensuing viral disease pandemics and food insecurity. Increased whitefly numbers have also been observed in other key agricultural crops and weeds. Factors behind the population surges on different crops and their interrelationships are unclear, although in cassava they have been associated with specific populations within the Bemisia tabaci species complex known to infest cassava crops in Africa. This study carried out an in-depth survey to understand the distribution of B. tabaci populations infesting crops and uncultivated plant hosts in Uganda, a centre of origin for this pest complex. Whitefly samples were collected from 59 identified plant species and 25 unidentified weeds in a countrywide survey. Identities of 870 individual adult whiteflies were determined through mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 sequences (651 bp) in the 3′ barcode region used for B. tabaci systematics. Sixteen B. tabaci and five related whitefly putative species were identified based on > 4.0% nucleotide divergence, of which three are proposed as novel B. tabaci putative species and four as novel closely related whitefly species. The most prevalent whiteflies were classified as B. tabaci MED-ASL (30.5% of samples), sub-Saharan Africa 1 (SSA1, 22.7%) and Bemisia Uganda1 (12.1%). These species were also indicated to be the most polyphagous occurring on 33, 40 and 25 identified plant species, respectively. Multiple (≥ 3) whitefly species occurred on specific crops (bean, eggplant, pumpkin and tomato) and weeds (Sida acuta and Ocimum gratissimum). These plants may have increased potential to act as reservoirs for mixed infections of whitefly-vectored viruses. Management of whitefly pest populations in eastern Africa will require an integration of approaches that consider their degree of polyphagy and a climate that enables the continuous presence of crop and uncultivated plant hosts.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, MtCO1, Genetic diversity, Host range, East Africa
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / 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: 15 Mar 2021 19:17
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/31842

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