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Further insights into the strange role of bacterial endosymbionts in whitefly, Bemisia tabaci: Comparison of secondary symbionts from biotypes B and Q in China

  • D. Chu (a1), C.S. Gao (a1), P. De Barro (a2), Y.J. Zhang (a3), F.H. Wan (a4) and I.A. Khan (a5)...

The percentage infection of secondary symbionts (SS) (Wolbachia, Arsenophonus, Rickettsia, Hamiltonella, Fritschea and Cardinium) in the exotic Bemisia tabaci (Genn.) invaders, commonly known as biotypes B and Q from China, were determined by PCR. In total, 373 biotype B and 1830 biotype Q individuals were screened for the presence of SS. Biotype B was more abundant than biotype Q from 2005 to 2006, and biotype Q was more abundant from 2007 to 2009. Each of the SS, with the exception of Fritschea, was detected in both biotypes B and Q; Fritschea was found in none of the samples examined. For biotype B, the percentage infection of Hamiltonella was the highest (92.0%) followed by Rickettsia (70.2%). For biotype Q, the percentage infection of Hamiltonella was again the highest (73.3%). Arsenophonus was the least common of the SS observed in both biotypes B and Q. The percentage infection of Wolbachia, Rickettsia and Hamiltonella in biotype B was each significantly higher than in biotype Q, whereas the percentage infection of Cardinium in biotype B was significantly lower than in biotype Q. The percentage infection of SS in biotypes B and Q varied from year to year over the period 2005–2009. Furthermore, within biotype Q, two distinct subgroups were identified which differ from each other in terms of their SS complement. We discuss these results in the light of the potentially influential factors and roles of the SS.

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