The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a phloem-feeding, economically important pest of crops worldwide. In addition to direct damage, it also vectors a number of plant viruses belonging to the family Geminiviridae. Its populations differ biologically with respect to insecticide resistance, virus transmission and host range. Therefore, understanding genetic variation among populations is important for management. We sequenced 850 bp of the mitochondrial COI (mtCOI) gene from B. tabaci populations surveyed across India. BLAST analysis of the mtCOI sequences generated in this study with sequences from the mtCOI dataset showed the presence of one invasive group, MEAM1, and eight other groups of B. tabaci in India. mtCOI sequence analyses showed the presence of Asia I, Asia I-India, Asia II-1, Asia II-5, Asia II-7, Asia II-8, and Asia II-11 genetic groups. We also found China-3 in a field in Birbhum district, West Bengal, India, suggesting a role of anthropogenic activities in the distribution of B. tabaci. Interestingly, more than one genetic group was found coexisting in the same field.
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Vol. 44 • No. 4