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Preference and biological performance of Bemisia tabaci MEAM1 (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) on weed species

Grant number: 21/03987-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2021
Effective date (End): October 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Principal researcher:Edson Luiz Lopes Baldin
Grantee:Felipe Savieto Furquim de Souza
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agronômicas (FCA). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


The whitefly Bemisia tabaci MEAM1 (Middle East Asia Minor 1) is a highly relevant pest in world agriculture, as it is a highly polyphagous insect that has the capacity to transmit hundreds of phytopathogens. Due to the insect's polyphagia, many species of spontaneous plants end up being part of their eating habit and in certain cases there are favorable conditions for reproduction to occur. In this way, these invasive plants become alternative hosts to the plants cultivated usually affected by this Hemiptera. For this project, 15 weed species commonly found in the main areas of agricultural cultivation throughout Brazil had chosen, including Amaranthus viridis (L.), Bidens pilosa (L.), Commelina benghalensis (L.), Conyza canadensis (L.), Digitaria insularis (L.) Mez ex Ekamn, Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC., Euphorbia heterophylla (L.), Galinsoga parviflora (Cav.), Ipomoea grandifolia (Dammer) O'Donel, Merremia aegyptia (L.) Urb., Raphanus raphanistrum (L.) , Richardia brasiliensis (L.), Senna obtusifolia (L.) Irwin & Barneby, Sida rhombifolia (L.), Spermacoce latifolia (Aubl), in addition to five cultivated species: bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), soy (Glycine max L.), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) and maize (Zea mays L.). In order to compare the levels of infestation and oviposition in the different species, choice and no-choice preference tests will be performed in the first phase. Subsequently, biological performance tests will be performed by confining the insect to the different materials, in order to verify whether it is capable of completing the cycle in the respective hosts. The results will be useful to identify possible alternative hosts to whitefly during the off-season, directing the control measures to the whitefly and related weed species. (AU)

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