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Journal of Insect Science

Chiel, Elad - Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, University of Haifa, Haifa

Whiteflies are sap-sucking insects that harbor the primary symbiont Portiera aleyrodidarum as well as a diverse facultative microbial community. The sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is actually a species complex consisting of many biotypes which may differ in characters such as host range, insecticide-resistance and ability to transmit plant viruses. All Israeli B. tabaci tested to date belong to either the B or the Q biotype. In this work we have studied the bacterial composition of several laboratory and field populations collected between 1987 and 2005 from a variety of host plants and geographic regions in Israel. Beside Portiera, this community was found to be composed of four secondary symbionts: The B biotype harbors exclusively Hamiltonella, while the Q biotype harbors exclusively Arsenophonus, and Wolbachia. Both biotypes harbor Rickettsia. The localization of Rickettsia, and Hamiltonella in B. tabaci eggs, nymphs and adults was studied using fluorescence in-situ hybridization. This analysis revealed a unique concentration of Rickettsia around the gut and follicle cells, as well as a random distribution in the haemolymph, excluding the bacteriomes. The unique distribution of Rickettsia may be related to the role it plays in the biology of the whitefly. Hamiltonella was found to be localized inside the bacteriocytes confined with Portiera during all developmental stages. We propose that the host’s ability to thrive under diverse environmental conditions can be partially explained by correlation between the presence of various bacteria and B. tabaci biotype.

Fourth International Bemisia Workshop International Whitefly Genomics Workshop, December 3–8, 2006, Duck Key, Florida, USA

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Distribution of secondary symbionts in Israeli populations of Bemisia tabaci [abstract]
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Chiel, Elad - Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, University of Haifa, Haifa

Distribution of secondary symbionts in Israeli populations of Bemisia tabaci

Whiteflies are sap-sucking insects that harbor the primary symbiont Portiera aleyrodidarum as well as a diverse facultative microbial community. The sweetpotato whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is actually a species complex consisting of many biotypes which may differ in characters such as host range, insecticide-resistance and ability to transmit plant viruses. All Israeli B. tabaci tested to date belong to either the B or the Q biotype. In this work we have studied the bacterial composition of several laboratory and field populations collected between 1987 and 2005 from a variety of host plants and geographic regions in Israel. Beside Portiera, this community was found to be composed of four secondary symbionts: The B biotype harbors exclusively Hamiltonella, while the Q biotype harbors exclusively Arsenophonus, and Wolbachia. Both biotypes harbor Rickettsia. The localization of Rickettsia, and Hamiltonella in B. tabaci eggs, nymphs and adults was studied using fluorescence in-situ hybridization. This analysis revealed a unique concentration of Rickettsia around the gut and follicle cells, as well as a random distribution in the haemolymph, excluding the bacteriomes. The unique distribution of Rickettsia may be related to the role it plays in the biology of the whitefly. Hamiltonella was found to be localized inside the bacteriocytes confined with Portiera during all developmental stages. We propose that the host’s ability to thrive under diverse environmental conditions can be partially explained by correlation between the presence of various bacteria and B. tabaci biotype.

Fourth International Bemisia Workshop International Whitefly Genomics Workshop, December 3–8, 2006, Duck Key, Florida, USA

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