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Bacteriocytes are insect cells harboring symbiotic bacteria that are required by their insect host and are transmitted vertically via the female ovary . In most insect groups, the bacteria are released from the bacteriocytes and transferred to the ovary [2, 3], but in whiteflies, maternal bacteriocytes migrate to each egg [4–6], where they have been reported to lyse, releasing the symbionts . To investigate bacteriocyte inheritance in whiteflies further, we applied microsatellite genotyping and genomic analysis to a genetically diverse population of Bemisia tabaci, and we observed the fate of the bacteriocyte in embryos. Surprisingly, the microsatellite profile of the bacteriocytes was uniform, and insect cross experiments demonstrated that the bacteriocytes have a stable genotype that differs from the genotype of the insect head (which lacks bacteriocytes). Comparative genomic analysis indicates that genomes of the bacteriocyte and whitefly head are distinct. Interestingly, the bacterioyte genome contains the canonical arthropod telomere repeats TTAGG, and the bacteriocytes express telomere maintenance genes that may underlie cellular immortality in animal cells .