The salicylic acid-mediated release of plant volatiles affects the host choice of Bemisia tabaci

Xiaobin Shi, Gong Chen, Lixia Tian, Zhengke Peng, Wen Xie, Qingjun Wu, Shaoli Wang, Xuguo Zhou, Youjun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) causes serious crop losses worldwide by transmitting viruses. We have previously shown that salicylic acid (SA)-related plant defenses directly affect whiteflies. In this study, we applied exogenous SA to tomato plants in order to investigate the interaction between SA-induced plant volatiles and nonviruliferous B. tabaci B and Q or B-and Q-carrying tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV). The results showed that exogenous SA caused plants to repel nonviruliferous whiteflies, but the effect was reduced when the SA concentration was low and when the whiteflies were viruliferous. Exogenous SA increased the number and quantity of plant volatiles—especially the quantity of methyl salicylate and δ-limonene. In Y-tube olfactometer assays, methyl salicylate and δ-limonene repelled the whiteflies, but the repellency was reduced for viruliferous Q. We suggest that the release of plant volatiles as mediated by SA affects the interaction between whiteflies, plants, and viruses. Further studies are needed to determine why viruliferous Q is less sensitive than nonviruliferous Q to repellent plant volatiles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1048
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Bemisia tabaci
  • Choice test
  • Plant volatile
  • Plant-insect interaction
  • Salicylic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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