Ultrastructural studies of the salivary duct system in the whitefly vector bemisia tabaci (Aleyrodidae: Hemiptera)

Joseph M. Cicero, Judith K. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) transmits plant viruses of the genus Begomovirus in a circulative manner, and once acquired, virus particles persist and are transmissible for the life of the vector. Saliva is generated by primary and accessory salivary gland cells of the paired, bilaterally symmetrical salivary gland system. It travels from secretory cells, through the internal ductules, to the external ducts, which in turn carry it to the oral region where the so-called salivary pump and the stylets occur. The ducts of either side consist of at least four componentstwo gland ducts, one lateral duct, and one postmedial duct. Gland ducts start, respectively, at the hilum of each gland, and extend independently of each other before fusing together by their basal laminae to become the biluminal lateral duct. The biluminal lateral duct merges into the uniluminal postmedial duct. The lateral and postmedial ducts make intimate contact with muscles in its area, including one involved in governing the retractable labial shaft. The labium consists of external and internal halves. During retraction/protraction, the latter half moves through the second intercommissural space. The postmedial ducts track anteriorly around either side of it, and fuse together at the body's midline to form the biluminal medial duct. This duct drains into the salivary pump. The retortiform organs are involved in stylet regeneration. Maxillary stylets have grooves and ridges that interlock to form the salivary and food canals. In developmental terms, the salivary canal results from failure of one ridge to fill its corresponding groove.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-717
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of the Entomological Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • retortiform organ
  • salivary duct
  • salivary gland
  • salivary secretion
  • stylet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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