Specific Aim 4: Determine if changes in temperature alter CMB diversity
Rising temperatures due to global warming are likely to impact the evolution of the CMD pathosystem. Plant gene silencing pathways, which are mediated by siRNAs and play key roles in host defenses against viruses, are altered at higher temperature. To examine the effect of temperature on CMB diversity, selected experiments in Aim 1 will be repeated at 33°C instead of 27°. Elevated temperatures can also impact vector viability and/or transmission efficiency, but such experiments are not included here because of the additional infrastructure required to work with whiteflies at two temperatures.