Whitefly–Plant Interactions: An Integrated Molecular Perspective

Shai Morin*, Peter W. Atkinson, Linda L. Walling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The rapid advances in available transcriptomic and genomic data and our understanding of the physiology and biochemistry of whitefly–plant interactions have allowed us to gain new and significant insights into the biology of whiteflies and their successful adaptation to host plants. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of the mechanisms that whiteflies have evolved to overcome the challenges of feeding on phloem sap. We also highlight the evolution and functions of gene families involved in host perception, evaluation, and manipulation; primary metabolism; and metabolite detoxification. We discuss the emerging themes in plant immunity to whiteflies, focusing on whitefly effectors and their sites of action in plant defense–signaling pathways. We conclude with a discussion of advances in the genetic manipulation of whiteflies and the potential that they hold for exploring the interactions between whiteflies and their host plants, as well as the development of novel strategies for the genetic control of whiteflies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)503-525
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Entomology
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2024 by the author(s).


  • adaptation
  • effectors
  • genetic manipulation
  • osmoregulation
  • phloem feeding
  • plant immunity


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