Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

A new haplotype of Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in Northeastern Mexico.

Abstract

In May 2018 and 2019, conspicuous outbreaks (swarms) of whiteflies were observed in urban and agricultural areas of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, including the Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro (UAAAN). The whiteflies were identified as Trialeurodes vaporariorum based on morphological characteristics and CO1 sequencing. The CO1 sequence obtained (accessed as GenBank MK990565) had 85-86% similarity (the highest) to sequences reported by Kapantaidaki et al. (2015) in a worldwide analysis of T. vaporariorum. Two very similar haplotypes were found, a "Northern hemisphere" and a worldwide marker, differing only 0.15% among them. Similarly, a worldwide analysis found very low levels of CO1 variability (i.e., single nucleotide polymorphisms) in this insect. Three T. vaporariorum haplotypes were proposed. This worldwide uniformity might indicate recent colonization events and/or low population discrimination value for the CO1 marker. They colonized usual hosts such as dry beans (Phaseolus vulgaris); potato (Solanum tuberosum); dandelions (Taraxacum officinale); and others. However, they also colonized and reproduced on unusual hosts (for local T. vaporariorum) such as pecan rootstock (Carya sp.) and cultivated (grafted) pecan (Carya illinoinensis); hackberry (Celtis laevigata); ash (Fraxinus berlandieriana); and elm (Ulmus sp.); and on different herbaceous weed hosts. The presence of a widely diverging haplotype in this Mexican T. vaporariorum outbreak population indicates that this widespread whitefly morphospecies might include cryptic species.