Morphological variation in Bemisia endosymbionts

H. S. Costa, D. M. Westcot, D. E. Ullman, R. Rosell, J. K. Brown, M. W. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


The ultrastructure of the endosymbionts of several populations of whitefly (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) was examined using transmission electron microscopy. Consistent differences in morphology and relative number of endosymbionts were observed between species and biotypes of whitefly within the Bemisia taxon. Bemisia argentifolii (=B. tabaci B biotype) individuals from Hawaii, Florida, and Arizona contained two morphological types of microorganisms housed within the mycetocyte cells of immature whiteflies. In contrast, individuals from populations of B. tabaci A biotype from Arizona and Mexico, and B. tabaci Jatropha biotype from Puerto Rico, consistently contained three distinct morphological types of microorganisms within their mycetocytes. Organisms from B. tabaci A and Jatropha biotypes differed from each other in the relative frequency of each type of microorganism. These observations suggest that different whitefly biotypes may have variable combinations of micro-fauna, with some possibly unique to each group, and furthers the hypothesis that variation in whitefly endosymbionts may be associated with the development of biotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-202
Number of pages9
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1995


  • Bacteria
  • Bemisia argentifolii
  • Bemisia tabaci
  • Endosymbionts
  • Microorganism
  • Symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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