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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Deployed Warfighter Protection Research Program (FY2013)

Location: Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To devise innovative methods for the suppression of insects that transmit diseases to U.S. military deployed abroad.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Identify and test compounds with insecticidal activity that makes them especially beneficial in the rapid control of mosquitoes, flies, and other arthopods responsible for carrying disease agent. Devise innovative means of applying control agents especially suited for use in combat or deployment conditions. Identify and test new classes of topical and area repellents for use by troops.

3. Progress Report:
While the olfactory detection of DEET was poorly understood, even less was known about the mechanism by which DEET and other mosquito repellents exerted their feeding-deterrent effects. Electrophysiological recordings from sensilla on the labella of the yellow-fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, revealed GRNs that responded to sugar, salt and a feeding deterrent. The GRN responding to the feeding deterrent also responded to DEET and other insect repellents. This was the first time a sensory neural pathway was shown for the feeding-deterrent effects of DEET and other mosquito repellents. We are currently characterizing molecular gustatory receptors (GRs) involved in sensing these compounds; these GRs expressed heterologously will be used for high throughput screening to discover new, more effective mosquito repellents. The ADODR was in contact with DWFP officials concerning this project by personal contacts, e-mail, and telephone calls throughout the FY2012. The ADODR also attended a review of DWFP projects in Oxford, MS, December 3 - December 7, 2012 where results and plans for future research were presented.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 05/23/2017
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