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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380528

Research Project: Development of New and Improved Surveillance, Detection, Control, and Management Technologies for Fruit Flies and Invasive Pests of Tropical and Subtropical Crops

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Drivers of mosquito mating

item Manoukis, Nicholas

Submitted to: Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/23/2020
Publication Date: 1/22/2021
Citation: Manoukis, N. 2021. Drivers of mosquito mating. Science. 371(6527):340-341.

Interpretive Summary: In this perspective article I give a short overview the research findings of a paper published in the same issue, intended for a very broad audience of scientists. In a capsule, the perspective explains how cicadian genes and environmental cues, plus a CHC, are implicated in malaria vector mating.

Technical Abstract: At first glance, the sex lives of mosquitoes may seem an esoteric topic. Yet, elucidating the details of mosquito mating may impact hundreds of millions of human lives each year. Here I give my perspective on the article of Wang et al., published in this journal, that links clock gene expression, light, and temperature to the formation of male swarms of the Anopheles malaria vectors. They also provide evidence of a role for the desaturase gene desat1 in the production of the cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) hepascosane, which their results suggest stimulates mating- a first for these species. These findings significantly add to our knowledge of the molecular factors and their interaction with environment that together drive mating behavior in these mosquitoes, which include the principal malaria vectors in Africa, where in 2018 93% of the world’s estimated 228 million cases and 94% its 405,000 malaria deaths occurred.