In recent years, the dominant biotype of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) has shifted from biotype B to Q in many locations of China. Our field monitoring showed that B. tabaci biotype Q could be found on pepper Capsicum frutescens L. while biotype B could not be found on the plant. To study the role of the host plant in the displacement of biotype B by Q, the adult mortality, female fecundity, and adult emergence of both biotypes B and Q on different host combinations were studied using a model system involving pepper and eggplant. The results showed that pepper is not a preferred host for either biotype B or Q adults in comparison with eggplant. The negative impact of pepper to biotype B is, however, much greater than that to biotype Q. Because both the survival rates of the adult whitefly and the average number of emerged adults per female of biotype Q on pepper are higher than that of biotype B, biotype Q showed higher fitness in comparison with biotype B. Our results suggest that the existence and differential impact of a nonpreferred host might affect the population fitness and therefore could play a role in the displacement of biotype B in some regions.
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Vol. 105 • No. 3