B. tabaci species complex are among the world's most devastating agricultural pests causing economic losses by direct feeding and more importantly by transmitting plant viruses like cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD) associated viruses to cultivated cotton in Pakistan. Taxonomic diversity of B. tabaci associated bacterial communities using NGS techniques so far is reported from insects grown on artificial diet under lab conditions. In this study 16S rDNA metagenome sequencing analysis was used to characterize bacterial compositions in wild adult B. tabaci infesting cultivated cotton in eight major cotton growing districts of southern Punjab, Pakistan. We have identified 50 known and 7 unknown genera of bacteria belonging to 10 phyla, 20 classes, 30 orders and 40 families. Beta diversity analysis of our data sets reveal that whiteflies infesting cotton in geographically distinct locations had similar bacterial diversity. These results for the first time provide insights into the microbiome diversity of wild type whiteflies infesting a cultivated crop.
Keywords: 16S rDNA; B. tabaci; Cotton; Endosymbiont; Metagenomics; Pakistan.
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