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Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01392

Polyculture and monoculture affect the fitness, behavior and detoxification metabolism of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)

 Ning Di1, 2, Kai Zhang1, 3, Fan Zhang2, Su Wang2* and  Tong-Xian Liu1*
  • 1Northwest A&F University, China
  • 2Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, China
  • 3Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China

Herbivores respond differently to the level of plant diversity encountered. Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) are highly polyphagous herbivores which cause considerable damage to various crops. Herein, we reared this species both in polyculture and monoculture, including preferred and less preferred host plants such as Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L.), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L.). Trends in survival and oviposition were recorded, and impact of plants on growth and development of B. tabaci were studied, particularly in terms of detoxification and digestive enzymatic activity in the insects. We found that the survival rate was the highest in Chinese cabbage monoculture treatment. Further, the egg numbers on individual species in the polyculture generally reflected numbers on the same plant species in monoculture. However, more eggs were observed in each of the four plant species tested in the context of polyculture. The activity of superoxide dismutases (SOD) and alkaline phosphatase (AKP) in B. tabaci fed in a choice situation were significantly lower than those fed with tomato monoculture, indicating a dilution of toxicity with a multi-plant diet compared with less preferred host plant diet. Also, the survival rate of B. tabaci in monoculture was negatively correlated with SOD amount of whitefly. In the plants attacked by whiteflies, the activity of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and catalase (CAT) in Chinese cabbage was lower in polyculture than in the monoculture. These results implied that multi-plant treatments contained fewer secondary metabolite substances and might be less toxic to polyphagous herbivores. As such, the work herein contributes knowledge relevant for more effective control and management of B. tabaci.

Keywords: polyculture, Monoculture, Host plant diversity, Polyphagous, Bemisa tabaci

Received: 18 Apr 2018; Accepted: 13 Sep 2018.

Edited by:

Fernando A. Genta, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Brazil

Reviewed by:

Jesús Navas-Castillo, Instituto de Hortofruticultura Subtropical y Mediterránea La Mayora (IHSM), Spain
Yong Liu, Hunan Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), China
Apurba K. Barman, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Georgia  

Copyright: © 2018 Di, Zhang, Zhang, Wang and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Su Wang, Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, China, wangsu@ipepbaafs.cn
Prof. Tong-Xian Liu, Northwest A&F University, Xianyang, China, txliu@nwsuaf.edu.cn