Submitted to: Silverleaf Whitefly: 1997 Supplement to the Five Year National Research and
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Bemisia tabaci is a major pest of cotton, melon, tomato and other crops in agroecosystems, worldwide, and is a vector of geminiviruses. This whitefly has been reported to transmit the bacterium, Agrobacterium tumifaciens based on the production of tumors in inoculated plants. A number of bacteria have been isolated from surface sterilized larvae and adults using gstandard bacteriological media and co-culture with cultured mosquito cells It is likely these bacteria were in the digestive tract or in orifices protected from contact with the sterilizing agents. The diameter of the food canal in adult B. tabaci is estimated to be 0.65 um and thus, minimally wide enough for possible passage of bacteria ranging from 0.5- 1.0 um in width. In contrast, geminiviruses are 2Ox3O nm in size, and should readily pass into the digestive tract.