Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Diversity and evolution of the endosymbionts of Bemisia tabaci in China.

Abstract

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a cryptic species complex, including members that are pests of global importance. This study presents a screening of B. tabaci species in China for infection by the primary endosymbiont, Portiera aleyrodidarum, and two secondary endosymbionts, Arsenophonus and Cardinium. The results showed that P. aleyrodidarum was detected in all B. tabaci individuals, while Arsenophonus was abundant in indigenous species of B. tabaci Asia II 1, Asia II 3, and China 1 but absent in the invasive species, Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1); Cardinium presented in the Mediterranean (MED), Asia II 1 and Asia II 3 species but was rarely detected in the MEAM1 and China 1 species. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses revealed that the P. aleyrodidarum and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (mtCO1) phylograms were similar and corresponding with the five distinct cryptic species clades to some extent, probably indicating an ancient infection followed by vertical transmission and subsequent co-evolutionary diversification. In contrast, the phylogenetic trees of Arsenophonus and Cardinium were incongruent with the mtCO1 phylogram, potentially indicating horizontal transmission in B. tabaci cryptic species complex. Taken together, our study showed the distinct infection status of endosymbionts in invasive and indigenous whiteflies; we also most likely indicated the co-evolution of primary endosymbiont and its host as well as the potential horizontal transfer of secondary endosymbionts.