Whitefly-virus interactions

Transmission of begomoviruses by different species of whiteflies

Within the B. tabaci whitefly complex, different cryptic species may transmit the same begomovirus with different efficiencies, and the efficiency of a given whitefly species may vary for transmitting different begomoviruses (Guo et al. 2015; Li et al. 2010; Liu et al. 2010; Wei et al. 2015). The level of midgut penetration of begomoviruses affects their acquisition and transmission by different whitefly species, and specific cells in the primary salivary glands of a whitefly control the retention and transmission of a given begomovirus (Guo et al. 2018; Wei et al. 2015).

Immunological interactions between whitefly and begomoviruses

Whiteflies and begomoviruses have developed intimate relationships to achieve persistent, circulative transmission of the viruses. For example begomovirus infection may activate whitefly immune responses and in return, begomoviruses may suppress those responses or take advantage of them. Global analysis of the response of whitefly to begomoviruses infection reveals the coevolved adaptations between the viruses and their vectors (Luan et al. 2011). One study has shown that begomovirus infection can activate the whitefly autophagy pathway, which leads to the subsequent degradation of virus (Wang et al. 2016).

Identification of whitefly factors/components that are involved in whitefly transmission of begomoviruses

During the persistent, circulative transmission of begomoviruses by whiteflies, many factors/components are required to facilitate the infection of whitefly organs by the viruses. Clathrin mediated endocytosis and endosome networks are involved in begomoviruses transport across the midgut of whitefly (Pan et al. 2017; Xia et al. 2018). Also, vitellogenin has been shown to play a determinant role in virus entry into ovary and the subsequent transovarial transmission of begomoviruses (Wei et al. 2017). More research is underway to identify factors involved in the transmission process.