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Cytotype Affects the Capability of the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci MED Species To Feed and Oviposit on an Unfavorable Host Plant

Abstract : The acquisition of nutritional obligate primary endosymbionts (P-symbionts) allowed phloemo-phageous insects to feed on plant sap and thus colonize novel ecological niches. P-symbionts often coexist with facultative secondary endosymbionts (S-symbionts), which may also influence their hosts’ niche utilization ability. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a highly diversified species complex harboring, in addition to the P-symbiont “Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum,” seven S-symbionts whose roles remain poorly understood. Here, we compare the phenotypic and metabolic responses of three B. tabaci lines differing in their S-symbiont community, reared on three different host plants, hibiscus, tobacco, or lantana, and address whether and how S-symbionts influence insect capacity to feed and produce offspring on those plants. We first show that hibiscus, tobacco, and lantana differ in their free amino acid composition. Insects’ performance, as well as free amino acid profile and symbiotic load, were shown to be plant dependent, suggesting a critical role for the plant nutritional properties. Insect fecundity was significantly lower on lantana, indicating that it is the least favorable plant. Remarkably, insects reared on this plant show a specific amino acid profile and a higher symbiont density compared to the two other plants. In addition, this plant was the only one for which fecundity differences were observed between lines. Using genetically homogeneous hybrids, we demonstrate that cytotype (mitochondria and symbionts), and not genotype, is a major determinant of females’ fecundity and amino acid profile on lantana. As cytotypes differ in their S-symbiont community, we propose that these symbionts may mediate their hosts’ suitable plant range.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 3, 2022 - 11:27:52 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 9:25:18 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, April 4, 2022 - 6:51:38 PM


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Sylvain Benhamou, Isabelle Rahioui, Hélène Henri, Hubert Charles, Pedro da Silva, et al.. Cytotype Affects the Capability of the Whitefly Bemisia tabaci MED Species To Feed and Oviposit on an Unfavorable Host Plant. mBio, American Society for Microbiology, 2021, 12 (6), pp.1-16. ⟨10.1128/mBio.00730-21⟩. ⟨hal-03432050⟩



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