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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Discovery and Development of Chemicals for Integrated Pest Management of Biting Arthropods and Urban Pests

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory

Title: Gustatory receptor neuron responds to DEET and other insect repellents in the yellow fever mosquito, aedes aegypti

item Sanford, Jillian
item Shields, Vonnie -

Submitted to: Naturwissenschaften
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 25, 2013
Publication Date: February 14, 2013
Citation: Sanford, J.L., Shields, V.D., Dickens, J.C. 2013. Gustatory receptor neuron responds to DEET and other insect repellents in the yellow fever mosquito, aedes aegypti. Naturwissenschaften. 100(3):269-273.

Interpretive Summary: Repellents are important tools for protection of humans from diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Here we report the discovery of a taste receptor in the yellow fever mosquito that responds specifically to a feeding deterrent and broad spectrum repellents including DEET. This is the first report of a specific taste receptor for repellents in mosquitoes. This taste receptor may be used by entomologists and molecular biologists to screen chemicals in an effort to discover novel repellents for protection of humans and animals from disease vectors.

Technical Abstract: Three gustatory receptor neurons were characterized for contact chemoreceptive sensilla on the labella of female yellow fever mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti. The neuron with the smallest amplitude spike responded to the feeding deterrent, quinine, as well as DEET and other insect repellents. Two other neurons with differing spikes responded to salt (NaCl) and sucrose. This is the first report of a gustatory receptor neuron specific for insect repellents in mosquitoes, and may provide a tool for screening chemicals to discover novel or improved feeding deterrents and repellents for use in the management of arthropod disease vectors.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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