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silverleaf whitefly (SLW), Bemisia tabaci biotype B. In many regions of both countries native types of B. tabaci have been replaced by the invasive B biotype.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 Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

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: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

IVAM’s LaserForum visits the Swiss canton of St. Gallen with the topic ultrashort pulse lasers

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

The Wadden Sea and the Elbe Studied with Zeppelin, Drones and Research Ships

19.09.2017 | Earth Sciences

Digging sensors out of an efficiency hole

19.09.2017 | Materials Sciences

Solar wind impacts on giant 'space hurricanes' may affect satellite safety

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>