Monday, June 27, 2005

The Q Continuum

Farmers in Florida and Texas, among other places, are being urged to keep an eye out for the new biotype of the sweetpotato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci Biotype 'Q'). While this whitefly species has been known in the US for over a century, it was not noted as causing problems for growers until the mid 1980's, when Biotype 'B' was discovered. The 'Q' Biotype, first discovered in California this past March, is thought to originate from the Mediterranean. Contrary to what you might think after hearing its common name, B. tabaci is not picky, and will attack over 500 different species of plants.

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