Direct and indirect impacts of infestation of tomato plant by Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

X. Tan, S. Wang, James Ridsdill-Smith, T. Liu

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    The impacts of infestation by the green peach aphid ( Myzus persicae) on sweetpotato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) settling on tomato were determined in seven separate experiments with whole plants and with detached leaves through manipulation of four factors: durations of aphid infestation, density of aphids, intervals between aphid removal after different durations of infestation and the time of whitefly release, and leaf positions on the plants. The results demonstrated that B. tabaci preferred to settle on the plant leaves that had not been infested by aphids when they had a choice. The plant leaves on which aphids were still present (direct effect) had fewer whiteflies than those previously infested by aphids (indirect effect). The whiteflies were able to settle on the plant which aphids had previously infested, and also could settle on leaves with aphids if no uninfested plants were available. Tests of direct factors revealed that duration of aphid infestation had a stronger effect on whitefly landing preference than aphid density; whitefly preference was the least when 20 aphids fed on the leaves for 72 h. Tests of indirect effects revealed that the major factor that affected whitefly preference for a host plant was the interval between the time of aphid removal after infestation and the time of whitefly release. The importance of the four factors that affected the induced plant defense against whiteflies can be arranged in the following order: time intervals between aphid removal and whitefly release > durations of aphid infestation > density of aphids > leaf positions on the plants. In conclusion, the density of aphid infestation and time for which they were feeding influenced the production of induced compounds by tomatoes, the whitefly responses to the plants, and reduced interspecific competition. © 2014 Tan et al.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)9pp
    JournalPLoS One
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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