The importance of pH in food selection by the tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci

M. J. Berlinger, Z. Magal, Aliza Benzioni

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Scopus citations


    The tobacco whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius, was found to differentiate between pH values at the leyel of 0.25. It had a clear preference for media with pH values of 6.0 to 7.25 offered in vitro, in both choice and no-choice situations, when "resting whiteflies" or survival was measured. The whiteflies showed a clear preference for a sucrose concentration of 15%. The addition of 10% sucrose to buffers at various pH values did not change the pattern of their pH preference. In in vivo experiments whiteflies preferred old cotton leaves (120 days) to younger leaves (60 days). The pH of old leaves was 6.8 while that of young leaves was 5.9. These results may explain the fact that whiteflies attacked cotton plants in commercial fields only late in the season, when the pH values of the cotton leaves exceeded pH 6.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)151-160
    Number of pages10
    Issue number3-4
    StatePublished - 1 Sep 1983


    • artificial feeding
    • cotton, host selection
    • pH, Bemisia tabaci

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Plant Science
    • Insect Science


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