Submitted to: Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2013
Publication Date: 10/26/2013
Citation: Sparks, J.T., Vinyard, B.T., Dickens, J.C. 2013. Gustatory receptor expression in the labella and legs of aedes aegypti. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 43:1161-1171.
Interpretive Summary: Mosquitoes locate potential food sources and mates at a distance using olfactory, visual, and physical cues. Upon landing, the sense of taste is employed to assess a potential animal or plant host for feeding. Taste receptors located on the mouthparts and legs provide this information to the mosquito. Here we characterized specific taste receptors on the legs and mouthparts of the yellow-fever mosquito. This is the first time taste receptors have been localized to specific legs and mouthparts in a mosquito and this knowledge of their distribution provides the framework for understanding their potential roles in mosquito behavior. The taste receptors identified here may be used by entomologists and molecular biologists to screen chemicals in an effort to discover novel repellents or other behavior modifying chemicals for use in the protection of humans and animals from disease vectors.
Technical Abstract: The yellow-fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is a dangerous disease vector, infecting a growing number of people every year with dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya viruses. Contact chemoreception in mosquitoes influences a number of behaviors including host-selection, oviposition and feeding. While these behaviors are in many instances well-documented, the molecular mechanisms mediating them are not well-understood. Here we report the results of sequencing total messenger RNA in the labella and tarsi of both male and female Ae. aegypti to reveal Gustatory Receptor (GR) gene expression profiles in these major gustatory appendages. Gene expression levels in each tissue were verified by RT-qPCR. We discuss potential functions for the GRs revealed here by considering homologous GRs in other insects. Specific GRs may provide molecular targets for modification of gustatory-mediated behaviors in this important disease vector.