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Bacterial Endosymbiont Diversity among Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Populations in Florida

Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Wimauma, FL 33598, USA
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Insects 2020, 11(3), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11030179
Received: 29 January 2020 / Revised: 27 February 2020 / Accepted: 6 March 2020 / Published: 11 March 2020
The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), is a pest of many economically important agricultural crops and a vector of plant viruses. Bemisia tabaci harbors facultative endosymbiont species that have been implicated in pest status, including tolerance to insecticides, virus transmission efficiency and tolerance to high-temperatures. The facultative endosymbionts reported in B. tabaci include Arsenophonus, Hamiltonella, Wolbachia, Cardinium, Fritschea and Rickettsia. We collected whitefly populations from weed and crop hosts in south Florida and identified the whitefly species as well as the facultative endosymbionts present in these populations by molecular analysis. In addition, a phylogenetic analysis of whiteflies and their endosymbionts was performed. The only facultative endosymbionts found among the B. tabaci populations collected in Florida were Hamiltonella and Rickettsia. The phylogenetic analysis revealed the low genetic diversity of whiteflies and their endosymbionts. Additionally, the phylogenetic tree clustered Rickettsia from Florida in the R1 genetic group. The results will aid to understand the role of the bacterial endosymbionts in the whitefly host. View Full-Text
Keywords: MEAM1; Rickettsia; Hamiltonella; facultative MEAM1; Rickettsia; Hamiltonella; facultative
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Rossitto De Marchi, B.; Smith, H.A. Bacterial Endosymbiont Diversity among Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Populations in Florida. Insects 2020, 11, 179.

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