Extraordinary resistance to insecticides reveals exotic Q biotype of Bemisia tabaci in the New World

Timothy J. Dennehy, Benjamin A. Degain, Virginia S. Harpold, Marni Zaborac, Shai Morin, Jeffrey A. Fabrick, Robert L. Nichols, Judith K. Brown, Frank J. Byrne, Xianchun Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


A strain of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) possessing unusually high levels of resistance to a wide range of insecticides was discovered in 2004 in the course of routine resistance monitoring in Arizona. The multiply resistant insects, collected from poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) plants purchased at a retail store in Tucson, were subjected to biotype analysis in three laboratories. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of naphthyl esterases and sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene (780 bp) confirmed the first detection of the Q biotype of B. tabaci in the New World. This U.S. Q biotype strain, referred to as Poinsettia'04, was highly resistant to two selective insect growth regulators, pyriproxyfen and buprofezin, and to mixtures of fenpropathrin and acephate. It was also unusually low in susceptibility to the neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid, acetamiprid, and thiamethoxam, relative to B biotype whiteflies. In 100 collections of whiteflies made in Arizona cotton (Gossypium spp.), vegetable, and melon (Cucumis melo L.) fields from 2001 to 2005, no Q biotypes were detected. Regions of the United States that were severely impacted by the introduction of the B biotype of B. tabaci in the 1980s would be well advised to promote measures that limit movement of the Q biotype from controlled environments into field systems and to formulate alternatives for managing this multiply-resistant biotype, in the event that it becomes more widely distributed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2174-2186
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Bemisia tabaci
  • Q biotype
  • insect growth regulators
  • insecticide resistance
  • neonicotinoids


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