SHAN Hong-Wei

Postdoctoral Researcher


Major Research Interests

  • Biological invasion by alien insect pests
  • Diversity of insect symbionts
  • Transmission of symbionts in insects
  • Interactions between symbionts and host insects

My study focuses on the symbionts of whiteflies in the Bemisia tabaci species complex. Firstly, I surveyed the diversity of symbionts in the whitefly complex coming from different geographical areas of China. Secondly, I studied the symbionts’ response to heat stress and revealed differential thermal sensitivity of symbiotic bacteria in the whitefly host. Third, I investigated the modes and mechanisms of vertical transmission of symbionts in the insects. And currently, I am exploring functions of symbionts in the insect biology.

I obtained my BSc degree from the Northwest A & F University in 2011, and my MSc and PhD degree from Zhejiang University in 2014 and 2018 respectively. During my BSc research, I participated in the research on whitefly-induced defense in cabbage plants against the small white cabbage butterfly.


Shan HW, Luan JB, Liu YQ, Douglas AE, Liu SS. 2019. The inherited bacterial symbiont Hamiltonella influences the sex ratio of an insect host. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 286: 20191677.

Shan HW, Deng WH, Luan JB, Zhang MJ, Zhang Z, Liu SS, Liu YQ. 2017. Thermal sensitivity of bacteriocytes constrains the persistence of intracellular bacteria in whitefly symbiosis under heat stress. Environmental Microbiology Reports 9: 706-716.

Luan JB*, Shan HW*, Isermann P, Huang JH, Lammerding J, Liu SS, Douglas AE. 2016. Cellular and molecular remodeling of a host cell for vertical transmission of bacterial symbionts. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 283: 20160580. (* equal contribution)

Shan HW*, Zhang CR*, Yan TT, Tang HQ, Wang XW, Liu SS, Liu YQ. 2016. Temporal changes of symbiont density and host fitness after rifampicin treatment in a whiteflyof the Bemisia tabaci species complex. Insect Science 23: 200-214. (* equal contribution)

Xiao N, Pan LL, Zhang CR, Shan HW, Liu SS. 2016. Differential tolerance capacity to unfavourable low and high temperatures between two invasive whiteflies. Scientific Reports 6: 24306.

Shan HW, Liu SS, Liu YQ. 2016. Responses of insect holobionts to unfavorable temperature. Journal of Plant Protection 43:24-31 (in Chinese with an English summary)

Zhang CR*, Shan HW*, Xiao N, Zhang FD, Wang XW, Liu YQ, Liu SS. 2015. Differential temporal changes of primary and secondary symbionts and whitefly host fitness following an antibiotic treatment. Scientific Reports 5:15898. (* equal contribution)

Shan HW, Lu YH, Bing XL, Liu SS, Liu YQ. 2014. Differential responses of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci symbionts to unfavorable low and high temperatures. Microbial Ecology 68: 472-482.

Zhang SZ, Huang H, Shan HW, Zhang F, Wan FH, Liu TX. 2013. Defense against Pieris rapae in cabbage plants induced by Bemisia tabaci biotype B. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 147: 293-300.

Zhang SZ, Li JJ, Shan HW, Zhang F, Liu TX. 2012. Influence of five aphid species on development and reproduction of Propylaea japonica (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Biological Control 62: 135-139.