Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Locals lose out to sexy aliens

12.11.2007
Globalisation has led to an increase in invasions by new species around the world and this is costing agriculture and the environment dearly.

Invasive animals often thrive at the expense of their close indigenous relatives and a paper published today in Science within the Science Express web site provides some insights into why.

Scientists from China and Australia studied the silverleaf whitefly (SLW), Bemisia tabaci biotype B. In many regions of both countries native types of B. tabaci have been replaced by the invasive B biotype.

“This insect has spread from its Mediterranean-Asia Minor home range so successfully that it is now a global pest. It has even made it into the top 100 invasive species,” said Prof Liu Shu-Sheng from the Institute of Insect Sciences at Zhejiang University in China.

“We were trying to find out what made B. tabaci biotype B such a successful invader and the answer appears to be sex,” Dr Paul De Barro from CSIRO Entomology said.

“Whiteflies have an interesting sex life. Males are produced from unfertilised eggs and females from fertilised eggs.

“The different biotypes of B. tabaci look identical so when the B biotype invades, they can't tell each other apart. However, matings between the different types aren’t successful and this leads to an increase in the number of unfertilised eggs. So the first phase of invasion involves an increase in male offspring.”

In response to this increase in males, the invasive females become more promiscuous. And more frequent sex with the excess B biotype males leads to an increase in female offspring.

“To add insult to injury, the B biotype males are also more aggressive than the indigenous males. This means they displace the locals and cause mating interference between local males and females,” Dr De Barro said.

The end result of all this sex is a takeover of indigenous B. tabaci by the alien invaders.

In Australia, SLW damages crops by feeding and the growth of sooty mould on the sticky honeydew it secretes. It also spreads geminiviruses but this is not yet a significant issue here.

Andrea Wild | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>