Taxonomic status of the Bemisia tabaci complex (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and reassessment of the number of its constituent species.PLoS One. 2013; 8(5):e63817.Plos
Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is one of the most important insect pests in the world. In the present study, the taxonomic status of B. tabaci and the number of species composing the B. tabaci complex were determined based on 1059 COI sequences of B. tabaci and 509 COI sequences of 153 hemipteran species. The genetic divergence within B. tabaci was conspicuously higher (on average, 11.1%) than interspecific genetic divergence within the respective genera of the 153 species (on average, 6.5%). This result indicates that B. tabaci is composed of multiple species that may belong to different genera or subfamilies. A phylogenetic tree constructed based on 212 COI sequences without duplications revealed that the B. tabaci complex is composed of a total of 31 putative species, including a new species, JpL. However, genetic divergence within six species (Asia II 1, Asia II 7, Australia, Mediterranean, New World, and Sub Saharan Africa 1) was higher than 3.5%, which has been used as a threshold of species boundaries within the B. tabaci complex. These results suggest that it is necessary to increase the threshold for species boundaries up to 4% to distinguish the constituent species in the B. tabaci complex.