The sweet potato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, is one of the most invasive insect pests worldwide. The two most destructive whitefly cryptic species are MEAM1/B and MED/Q. Given that MED/Q has replaced MEAM1/B in China and the invasion of MED/Q has coincided with the outbreak of tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), we hypothesize that pre-infestation with viruliferous B. tabaci will affect the subsequent host preferences. To test this hypothesis, we (1) conducted bioassays to compare the host preference of viruliferous and non-viruliferous MEAM1/B and MED/Q, respectively, on plants pre-infested with viruliferous and non-viruliferous MEAM1/B and MED/Q; (2) profiled plant volatiles using GC-MS; and (3) functionally characterized chemical cues could potentially modulate B. tabaci-TYLCV-tomato interactions, including ρ-cymene, thujene and neophytadiene, using a Y-tube olfactometer. As a result, plants pre-infested with MEAM1/B whiteflies carrying TYLCV or not, did not attract more or less B or Q whiteflies. Plants pre-infested with non-viruliferous MED/Q resisted MEAM1/B but did not affect MED/Q. However, plants pre-infested with viruliferous MED/Q attracted more whiteflies. Feeding of viruliferous MED/Q reduced the production of ρ-cymene, and induced thujene and neophytadiene. Functionally analyses of these plant volatiles show that ρ-cymene deters while neophytadiene recruits whiteflies. These combined results suggest that pre-infestation with viruliferous MED/Q promotes the subsequent whitefly infestation and induces plant volatile neophytadiene which recruits whiteflies.

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Published in Frontiers in Microbiology, v. 9, article 1404, p. 1-8.

Copyright © 2018 Shi, Chen, Pan, Xie, Wu, Wang, Liu, Zhou 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 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.

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This work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD0200400); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31420103919, 31501643, and 31572014); the Funds for Science and Technology Innovation Project from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAASXTCX2016015); the Beijing Key Laboratory for Pest Control and Sustainable Cultivation of Vegetables; and Hunan talent project (2016RS2019).