We compared Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring colonization on Stoneville (ST) 474 and Deltapine (DPL) 5415 cottons, Gossypium hirsutum L., in the field. We also examined leaf trichome density, leaf age, and leaf morphological characteristics as possible factors influencing cultivar host selection. The increased numbers of all B. argentifolii life stages on ST 474 in the field appeared to be related to the higher trichome density on abaxial leaf surfaces compared with DPL 5415. In both cultivars, leaves from node number 1 below the terminals were smaller and had higher vascular bundle densities and numbers of lysigenous glands than older, larger leaves. Younger leaves also had smaller leaf areole areas, more terminal vein endings per unit leaf area, and shorter distances from abaxial leaf surfaces to minor vein phloem tissues compared with older leaves. These younger leaf morphological characteristics may contribute to the higher B. argentifolii densities on younger leaves. In the laboratory, electronically monitored adult females and visually monitored settled first and fourth instars preferred to probe into secondary and tertiary leaf veins as compared with main and primary leaf veins.
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Vol. 93 • No. 4