Latest Resistance management for sustainable agriculture and improved public health

Tobacco Whitefly

Bemisia tabaci

Bemisia tabaci  Gennadius (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is one of the world’s top 100 invasive organisms found on over 900 host plants all around the world. It is currently recognized as a complex of cryptic species with world wide distribution. The two most important phylogenetic groups of B. tabaci from an agricultural perspective are MEAM1 (Middle East-Asia Minor 1; also commonly known as biotype B) and MED (Mediterranean; including the commonly known biotype Q among others). It reportedly transmits over a hundred virus species some of which are of high economic importance. The whitefly thrives in tropical, subtropical, and less predominately in temperate habitats. It is also a major pest of glasshouses.

Infestation is easily recognized by examining the undersides of leaves, where all stages of the insect can usually be found. The infested leaves will start to show a yellow mosaic, with the green areas becoming ever smaller. Twisting of stems and curling of leaves may occur, and the plants may become stunted. Heavily-infested leaves often wilt and fall off. In addition to direct feeding, all stages damage the plants through abundant production of honeydew, which encourages the growth of sooty molds, and, most importantly, by the transmission of viruses.

Tobacco Whitefly resistance profile

B. tabaci has tremendous potential to develop resistance to insecticides. The two most damaging biotypes of B. tabaci are the MEAM1 and MED biotypes. The MEAM1 -type has a worldwide distribution. The MED-type was largely restricted to the Mediterranean area but has recently moved to the U.S.A and China. To date, B. tabaci has shown resistance to more than 50 active ingredients of insecticides and several multi-resistant B. tabaci populations, particularly of the MED biotype, have also evolved in the field. The table below shows the major resistance mechanisms and the impacted chemical classes.

Species Distribution Chemical class Mechanisms
Bemisia tabaci Worldwide Carbamates (1A) Metabolic-Elevated level of Carboxylesterases
Bemisia tabaci Worldwide Organophosphates (1B) Metabolic-Elevated level of Carboxylesterases
Bemisia tabaci Worldwide Pyrethroids-Pyrethrins (3A) Metabolic-Elevated level of Carboxylesterases
Bemisia tabaci Worldwide Neonicotinoids (4A) Metabolic-Elevated level of Monoxigenase P450
Bemisia tabaci Worldwide Pymetrozine (9B) Metabolic-Elevated level of Monoxigenase P450
Bemisia tabaci Worldwide Pyriproxyfen (7C) Metabolic- Elevated level of Monoxigenase P450
Bemisia tabaci Worldwide Carbamates (1A) Target site - MACE (Acetilcolinesterase modification)
Bemisia tabaci Worldwide Pyrethroids-Pyrethrins (3A) Target site- L925I, M918V, T929V
Bemisia tabaci Non specified Cyclodiene organochlorines (2A) Target site – A302S/N
Bemisia tabaci Non specified Phenylpyrazoles (Fiproles) (2B) Target site – A302S/N

Key tobacco whitefly resources


Title Year Author(s) Publisher
Identification and functional characterization of a novel acetyl-CoA carboxylase mutation associated with ketoenol resistance in Bemisia tabaci Vol. 166, 104583 2020 Lueke B, Douris V, Hopkinson JE, Maiwald F, Hertlein G, Papapostolou KM, Bielza P, Tsagkarakou A, Van Leeuwen T, Bass C, Vontas J, Nauen R Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Insecticide resistance and control failure likelihood of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (MEAM1; B biotype): a Neotropical scenario Vol. 172 (1), pp. 88-99, DOI: 10.1111/aab.12404 2018 Dângelo RAC, Michereff-Filho M, Campos MR, da Silva PS, Guedes RNC Annals of Applied Biology
The global status of insect resistance to neonicotinoid insecticides Vol. 121, pp. 78-87. DOI: 10.1016/j.pestbp.2015.04.004 2015 Bass C, Denholm I, Williamson MS, Nauen R Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Role of Cytochrome P450 gene in insecticide susceptibility of the whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera, Aleyrodidae) in Egyptian governorates Vol 1 (3), pp. 62-71 2014 Farghaley S, Hamama H, Dawood A International Journal of Biological Sciences and Applications
Cross-resistance relationships of the sulfoximine insecticide sulfoxaflor with neonicotinoids and other insecticides in the whiteflies Bemisia tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporariorum Vol 69 (7), pp. 809-813. DOI: 10.1002/ps.3439 2013 Longhurst C, Babcock JM, Gorman K, Thomas JD, Sparks TC Pest Management Science
Detection of resistance, cross-resistance, and stability of resistance to new chemistry insecticides in Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) Vol 106 (3), pp. 1414-22 2013 Basit M, Saeed S, Saleem MA, Denholm I, Shah M Journal of Economic Entomology
Bemisia tabaci Biotype Dynamics and Resistance to Insecticides in Israel During the Years 2008–2010 DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(12)60015-X 2012 Kontsedalov S, Abu-Moch F, Lebedev G, Czosnek H, Horowitz AR, Ghanim M Journal of Integrative Agriculture
Age-specific expression of a P450 monooxygenase (CYP6CM1) correlates with neonicotinoid resistance in Bemisia tabaci Vol. 101 (1) pp. 53-58, DOI: 10.1016/j.pestbp.2011.07.004 2011 Jones CM, Daniels M, Andrews M, Slater R, Lind RJ, Gorman K, Williamson MS, Denholm I Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Cross-resistance relationships between neonicotinoids and pymetrozine in Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Vol. 66 (11), pp. 1186-90. DOI: 10.1002/ps.1989 2010 Gorman K, Slater R, Clarke A, Wren J, McCaffery AR, Denholm I Pest Management Science
Biotype and insecticide resistance status of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci from China Vol 66 (12), pp. 1360-6. DOI: 10.1002/ps.2023 2010 Wang Z, Yan H, Yang Y, Wu Y Pest Management Science
Age-specific expression of resistance to a neonicotinoid insecticide in the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Vol. 64 (1) pp. 1106-1110, DOI: 10.1002/ps.1654 2008 Nauen R, Bielza P, Denholm I, Gorman K Pest Management Science
Identification of mutations in the para sodium channel of Bemisia tabaci from Crete, associated with resistance to pyrethroids Vol. 85 (3), pp. 161-166. DOI: 10.1016/j.pestbp.2005.11.007 2006 Roditakis E, Tsagkarakou A, Vontas J Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Insecticide resistance in Bemisisa tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) populations from Crete Vol 61 (6), pp. 577-582. 2005 Roditakis E, Roditakis NE, Tsagkarakou A Pest Management Science
Mutations in the Bemisia tabaci para sodium channel gene associated with resistance to a pyrethroid plus organophosphate mixture Vol. 32 (12), pp. 1781-1791. DOI: 10.1016/S0965-1748(02)00137-6 2002 Morin S, Williamson MS, Goodson SJ, Brown JK, Tabashnik BE, Dennehy TJ Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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The information provided is based on literature reviews and as such IRAC cannot guarantee or be held accountable for the accuracy of the reports.

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