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Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00489

Amino acid utilization may explain why Bemisia tabaci Q and B differ in their performance on plants infected by the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus

  • 1Institute of Bast Fiber Crops, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
  • 2Department of Plant Protection, Insititute of Vegetables and Flowers (CAAS), China
  • 3College of Agriculture, Yangtze University, China

Plant-infecting viruses are well known to change host plant physiology so as to make the plants more attractive to vectors of those viruses. The recent outbreaks of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) in China have been associated with the spread of its primary vector, the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Here, we determined whether the better performance of B. tabaci biotype Q than biotype B on TYLCV-infected tomato plants can be explained by differences in the ability of the two biotypes to obtain free amino acids from the virus-infected plants. We found that TYLCV infection of tomato plants significantly affected the mol% of free amino acids in the phloem sap of the tomato plants and the mol% of free amino acids in B. tabaci adults and in B. tabaci honeydew. TYLCV infection caused the mol% of a larger number of free amino acids to rise in B. tabaci Q than in B, and analysis of honeydew indicated that, when feeding on TYLCV-infected plants, B. tabaci Q was better able to use the free amino acids than B. tabaci B. The results suggest that B. tabaci Q is better adapted than B to feed on TYLCV-infected plants. The results therefore suggest that TYLCV alters the B. tabaci B–Q competitive interaction in favor of Q.

Keywords: Bemisia tabaci, Tomato yellow leaf curl virus, adaptation, Free amino acid, virus-herbivore interactions

Received: 11 Oct 2018; Accepted: 08 Apr 2019.

Edited by:

Michel Cusson, Natural Resources Canada, Canada

Reviewed by:

Tomas Erban, Crop Research Institute (CRI), Czechia
Yuan-Xi Li, Nanjing Agricultural University, China  

Copyright: © 2019 Guo, Su, Yin, Yang, Xie, Shaoli, Wu and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Youjun Zhang, Department of Plant Protection, Insititute of Vegetables and Flowers (CAAS), Beijing, 100081, China, zhangyoujun@caas.cn