Plant pathogens and insect herbivores often share hosts under natural conditions. Hence, pathogen-induced changes in a host plant can affect the herbivore and vice versa. Even though plant viruses are ubiquitous in the field, little is known about plant-mediated interactions between viruses and nonvector herbivores. Here we tested whether the performance of the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) biotype Q, was altered when raised on pepper infected with Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). TSWV infection reduced B. tabaci fecundity and longevity and increased B. tabaci developmental time but did not affect the insect's survival or female body lengths. Our results demonstrate that TSWV infection can decrease the fitness of B. tabaci biotype Q on pepper plants.
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Vol. 106 • No. 2