Location: Vegetable ResearchTitle: Endosymbiont gene expression in the whitefly Bemisia tabaci MEAM1 influenced by Tomato yellow leaf curl virus acquisition
Submitted to: National Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/24/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) species complex damages staple and specialty crop production worldwide. Losses attributed to these whiteflies are primarily due to their efficient transmission of viruses, in particular, begomoviruses (Geminiviridae), which infect a wide range of economically important host plants. One such begomovirus, Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), has been demonstrated to affect fitness, behavior, and gene expression in viruliferous whiteflies. Also influencing whitefly phenotype, secondary endosymbionts of B. tabaci, such as Hamiltonella and Rickettsia, have been implicated in affecting the efficiency of virus transmission. In this study, using quantitative real-time RT-PCR, we explore changes in expression patterns of selected endosymbiont genes in B. tabaci MEAM1 populations after feeding on TYLCV-infected tomato or healthy tomato for acquisition access periods of 24, 48, and 72 hours. Expression levels for a panel of primary and secondary endosymbiont genes will be assessed and their expression patterns analyzed in association with TYLCV acquisition. Differential expression in response to TYLCV acquisition may reveal key endosymbiont genes contributing to begomovirus transmission.