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Sampling protocol to detect Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) in mixed species populations in greenhouse vegetable crops

Authors

  • Jennifer E Spinner,

    1. Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Sydney, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh, NSW 2015, Australia.
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    • Present address: EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia.

  • Sarah Mansfield,

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Sydney, Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh, NSW 2015, Australia.
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  • Leigh J Pilkington,

    1. Industry and Investment NSW, Gosford Primary Industries Institute, Locked Bag 26, Gosford, NSW 2250, Australia.
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  • Peter Thomson

    1. Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, PMB3 Camden, NSW 2570, Australia.
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sarah.mansfield@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

Current sampling protocols for pest whitefly in greenhouse cropping systems are not adequate for detection of Bemisia tabaci when it is part of a mixed species population. Greenhouse vegetable and flower crops in the north, west and south of Sydney were sampled for fourth-instar whitefly nymphs in autumn, winter and spring of 2007. Bemisia tabaci was found in all regions: in the north in winter, the west in all seasons and the south in autumn and winter. A comparison of a Poisson model for pest abundance and a binomial model of presence/absence showed the same factors to be significant, indicating that it is sufficient to sample for presence/absence of the pest on individual plants, rather than to measure pest abundance per plant. A model using the binomial distribution determined that if more than 20% of plants are infested with B. tabaci, a sample size of 20 whole plants per greenhouse is sufficient to detect the presence of B. tabaci with greater than 95% confidence.

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