Project: Predicting whitefly population outbreaks in changing environments.

Both climate change and global trade are important drivers of changes in the abundance and distribution of insect pests. Whiteflies (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) are important plant pests and virus vectors in many agricultural systems worldwide. Among them, the sweet potato whitefly, Bemisiatabaci (Gennadius) is considered the most devastating pest of vegetables, ornamentals, and agronomic crops throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, because it can transmit over 200 species of plant viruses. Previous distributions of the species were limited to regions between the 30th latitudes but in the past two decades, it has invaded every continent in the world except Antarctica. Based on climate models, B. tabaci populations are expected to expand to regions where increasing temperatures will eliminate frosts, allowing year round breeding. Due to the extreme polyphagy of the species, the effects of such changes will probably be profound and may lead to substantial ecosystem-wide changes. Many arthropods host one or more inherited bacterial symbionts, the phenotypes of which have important implications for ecologically based pest management strategies. The overall goal of this proposal is to develop novel strategies for reducing the direct and indirect damage inflicted by B. tabaci. It aims to predict the evolution of B. tabaci populations around the Mediterranean, from which diagnostic and preventive measures can be derived.

Acronym SWIPE
Duration 01/07/2012 - 30/06/2015
Website visit project website
Network ARIMNet
Call ARIMNet Call 2011

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
University of Western Greece - Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Partner Greece
University of Valencia - Department of Evolutionary Genetics - Cavanilles Institute for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Partner Spain
University of Crete - Laboratory Molecular Entomology Partner Greece
University of Lyon Partner France
Directorate of Plant Protection Central Research Institute - Plant health Research Department Partner Turkey
National Research Council - Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection Partner Italy
The Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research - Agroscope Partner Switzerland
Agricultural Research Organization - Volcani Center Coordinator Israel
University of Arizona - Department Of Entomology Partner United States
Hebrew University of Jerusalem Partner Israel
National Agricultural Research Foundation - Plant Protection Institute of Heraklion - laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology Partner Greece
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Department of Geography Partner Israel
Valencian Institute for Agricultural Research Partner Spain
Ankara University - Department of Plant Protection Partner Turkey
Cukurova University - Faculty of Agriculture - Plant Protection Department Partner Turkey