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Novel resistance mechanisms of a wild tomato against the glasshouse whitefly

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Thomas McDanielORCiD, Dr Colin Tosh, Professor Angharad MR GatehouseORCiD, Dr Dave George, Dr Barry Brogan



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The glasshouse whitefly, Trialeurodes vaporariorum, is an important pest of many crop plants including tomato, Solanum lycopersicum. Many wild tomato species exhibit a higher resistance to whiteflies. Therefore locating the source of this enhanced resistance and breeding it into commercial tomato species is an important strategy to reduce the impact of pests on crops. Here we assessed the pest resistance of Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium by comparing oviposition and feeding data from T. vaporariorum on this wild tomato species with data collected from a susceptible commercial tomato, Solanum lycopersicum var. 'Elegance'. The location of resistance factors was examined by use of Electrical Penetration Graph (EPG) studies on these tomato species. Results show that whiteflies preferentially settled on the commercial tomato more often in 80% of the replicates when given free choice between the two tomato species, and laid significantly fewer eggs on L. pimpinellifolium. Whiteflies exhibited a shorter duration of the second feeding bout, reduced pathway phase probing, longer salivation in the phloem, and more non-probing activities in the early stages of the EPG on the wild tomato species compared to the commercial tomato. These findings evidence that a dual mode of resistance is present in this wild tomato against T. vaporariorum: a post-penetration, pre-phloem resistance mechanism, and a phloem-located factor, which to the best of our knowledge is the first time that evidence for this has been presented. These findings can be used to inform future breeding strategies to increase the resistance of commercial tomato varieties against this important pest.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McDaniel T, Tosh CR, Gatehouse AMR, George D, Robson M, Brogan B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Agronomy for Sustainable Development

Year: 2016

Volume: 36

Issue: 1

Print publication date: 01/03/2016

Online publication date: 22/02/2016

Acceptance date: 05/01/2016

Date deposited: 21/01/2016

ISSN (print): 1774-0746

ISSN (electronic): 1773-0155

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s13593-016-0351-4


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Funder referenceFunder name
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)/CASE studentship
BB/K012789/1Stockbridge Technology Centre
NE/H015469/1UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)