Trialeurodes vaporariorum

Group leader

Irene Vänninen (MTT)


Nathalie Gauthier (CBGP, France),  Emily Knott (JYU), Leena Lindström (JYU),  Kari Saikkoinen (MTT), Anastasia Tsagkarakou (N.AG.RE.F., Greece)


BIOINT graduate school, Academy of Finland

Distribution of invasive species is often increased by human induced environment. Artificial pathways between once isolated continents and sheltered habitats in the boreal zone increase establishment potential by allowing overwintering possibilities and maintaining constant inflow of material into metapopulation. Greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) is a plant sap sacking invasive pest potentially originated in South America and since 1919 manages to survive in Finland without any overwintering resting stage in the matrix of greenhouse habitats.

To understand survival strategy of the species, genetic diversity and adaptation to local flora and low temperature, as well as resistance to common pesticides will be estimated. Migration will be analyzed in two different environments, having limited and constant migration possibilities, i.e. Boreal (Finland) and Mediterranean (Greece) habitats using microsatellite markers developed for the species for the first time. The role of local flora as temporal habitat for seasonal migration and how adaptation to certain weed species influence insecticide resistance levels of pest migrating later to common crops will be investigated. In collaboration with MTT Agrifood Research we will develop methods for annual assessment of whiteflies resistance to frequent pesticide treatments.