Amino acid composition of poinsettia cultivars: effects on whitefly preference
Creators:Medina-Ortega, Karla J.
Advisor:Cañas, Luis A.
Bemisia tabaci biotype B
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Series/Report no.:Entomology. Graduate student poster competition, 2008
Poinsettias are classified as dark green leaf and/or light green leaf cultivars. Preliminary studies were conducted to evaluate preference and performance of the silverleaf whitefly (SLWF) on seven poinsettia cultivars, three dark green and four light green. Free soluble amino acids from the petioles were profiled for each of the seven cultivars as a potential factor affecting preference and performance of the SLWF. Oviposition and adult settling preference was compared among the cultivars in a choice experiment and survival performance in a no-choice experiment. Total concentration of amino acids varied significantly among poinsettia cultivars; in general, they were higher on light green leaf compared to dark green leaf poinsettias. Oviposition was not significantly different among cultivars, but it tended to be higher on light green leaf cultivars. Similarly, settling of adult SLWF was higher on light green leaf compared to dark green leaf cultivars. Survival distribution function was significantly different among cultivars. Overall, light green leaf cultivars were better hosts for the SLWF. In conclusion, dark green leaf poinsettias have lower amino acid concentrations, significantly less whitefly survival and adults settling when compared to light green leaf types. Results of this study suggest poinsettias with dark green leaves may be less favorable to the SLWF and that amino acid composition may be associated with its preference and performance.
Graduate Research Assistantship, The Entomology Department, The Ohio State University
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