Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

New invasion of Bemisia tabaci Mediterranean species in Brazil associated to ornamental plants.

Abstract

In Brazil, the first major invasion event of Bemisia tabaci was that of Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) species, formerly termed as B biotype, which commenced in the 1990s mainly by ornamental plants in São Paulo State. More than two decades after this invasion, the presence of the Mediterranean (MED) species of B. tabaci, formerly Q biotype, was reported in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost State of Brazil, and now in São Paulo and Paraná States, in southeastern Brazil. Specimens of whiteflies collected from commercial begonia, hydrangea, petunia and poinsettia greenhouses in São Paulo, and also from begonias and poinsettias collected in flower shops in Paraná, were all identified as belonging to MED species. Furthermore, the secondary endosymbionts Arsenophonus, Hamiltonella and Rickettsia of MED from São Paulo and Paraná were detected by PCR and their presence confirmed by sequencing and FISH analysis, and those results differed from MED detected in Rio Grande do Sul that harbored only Hamiltonella and Cardinium. Our results suggest a new MED invasion into Brazil and is associated with ornamental plants. The two MED populations are genetically different and suggest that they are separate invasions.