Genetic diversity and geographic distribution of Bemisia tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporariorum in Costa Rica

Natalia M. Barboza, Paul Esker, Alice K. Inoue-Nagata, Enrique Moriones

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10 Scopus citations


The tobacco whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) cryptic species complex and of the greenhouse whitefly Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood) are extensively reported as destructive pests in vegetable crops worldwide. A survey was conducted in 2011 and 2012 to determine the occurrence and genetic diversity present in the populations of these whiteflies in the major vegetable production areas of Costa Rica. Insect samples were collected from sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and weeds present in commercial crops either in open field or greenhouse conditions. PCR-RFLP analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (mtCOI) sequences of 621 whitefly individuals confirmed the presence of the Mediterranean (MED) type of the B. tabaci and of T. vaporariorum in most sampled regions. Also, individuals of the Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) type of the B. tabaci were observed in low numbers. Contingency analyses based on type of crop, geographical region, whitefly species, year of collection and production system confirmed that T. vaporariorum was the most frequent species in vegetable production areas in Costa Rica, both in greenhouses and in open fields. B. tabaci MED is likely spreading to new areas of the country, whereas B. tabaci MEAM1 was mostly absent or rarely found. Comparisons of mtCOI sequences from B. tabaci individuals revealed the presence of four B. tabaci sequence haplotypes (named MED-i, MED-ii, MEAM1-i, MEAM1-xviii) in Costa Rica, three of them identical to B. tabaci haplotypes previously reported in the Western Hemisphere and other parts of the world. Analysis of sequences of T. vaporariorum individuals revealed a more complex population with the presence of 11 haplotypes, two of which were identical to T. vaporariorum sequences reported from other countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-261
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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