The introduction of the exotic Q biotype of Bemisia tabaci from the Mediterranean region into China on ornamental crops

Dong Chu, You Jun Zhang, Judith K. Brown, Bin Cong, Bao Yun Xu, Qing Jun Wu, Guo Ren Zhu

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199 Scopus citations


The Q biotype of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), which has been described from the Mediterranean/North African region, was identified for the first time infesting ornamental crop species in several locations in China. Identification and partial distributions of the exotic B biotype and the recently introduced Q biotype in China were established by using the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I gene (mtCOI) as a molecular marker. Collections of B. tabaci were made from representative geographical locations and plant hosts in different provinces of China. MtCOI sequence analysis revealed that collections from Beijing [AY582872, AY589499], Yunnan [AY518189, AY587516], and Henan [AY587514] shared >99.6% sequence identity with the Q biotype from Spain [AY587513, AY562216, AY596950]. The Q type from China shared 98.9-99.4% nucleotide sequence identity with Q-like relatives of B. tabaci described from Israel [AY518191, AY582869]. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that certain B. tabaci populations that are present in China are the Q biotype, and that the Q biotype now in China may have originated from Spain or other nearby locations where the Q biotype has been identified. This is the first report of the introduction of the Q biotype from the Mediterranean region into China. The specific outcomes of the Q biotype as an invasive species in Asia are presently unknown. Certain Q biotype populations from Spain have been reported to exhibit resistant to neonicotinoid insecticides, which are commonly used for controlling this pest and virus vector in ornamental and field crops. Thus, the close monitoring of the Q biotype in China and elsewhere, particularly where commercial plants are grown for export or received for importation, respectively, is essential to avoid the further geographical expansion of the habitat of the Q biotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-174
Number of pages7
JournalFlorida Entomologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Bemisia tabaci biotype Q
  • Geographical origin
  • Introduced species
  • Mitochondrial COI gene
  • Phylogenetic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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