Multiple origins of pyrethroid resistance in sympatric biotypes of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

Michal Alon, Juergen Benting, Bettina Lueke, Tanja Ponge, Fishel Alon, Shai Morin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The two most damaging biotypes of Bemisia tabaci, B and Q, are sympatric in the Mediterranean basin and show high resistance to pyrethroids synergized by organophosphates. Previous work showed that in the B biotype, this resistance is associated with the L925I mutation in the para-type voltage gated sodium channel. Here we identified two mutations in the para-type voltage gated sodium channel associated with resistance to pyrethroids synergized by organophosphates in the Q biotype: the L925I mutation that occurs in the B biotype, and substitution of threonine to valine, at position 929 (T929V). To determine if the L925I and T929V mutations have single or multiple origins, we sequenced the DNA regions flanking the mutations from 13 B and Q strains collected worldwide. The survey identified five resistant alleles and five susceptible alleles. In the resistant alleles, the nucleotide diversity was low within biotypes (0.001), but high between biotypes (0.033). Nucleotide diversity in susceptible alleles was high between the two biotypes (0.028). These observations are consistent with multiple independent origins of resistance. Although the B and Q biotypes coexist in several regions of the Mediterranean basin, divergence in their DNA sequences at the para-type voltage gated sodium channel locus suggests gene flow between these biotypes is low or nil.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank John Vontas, Emmanouil Roditakis and Anastasia Tsagkarakou for generously sharing their unpublished data on sodium channel mutations associated with pyrethroid resistance in Bemisia tabaci Q strain from Crete. We also thank Bruce Tabashnik for helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation Grant 971/04.


  • Bemisia tabaci
  • Biotypes
  • Insecticide resistance
  • Pyrethroids
  • Sympatric speciation
  • Voltage-gated sodium channel


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