Blood meal-induced changes to antennal transcriptome profiles reveal shifts in odor sensitivities in Anopheles gambiae.

Rinker DC, Pitts RJ, Zhou X, Suh E, Rokas A, Zwiebel LJ
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 110 (20): 8260-5

PMID: 23630291 · PMCID: PMC3657813 · DOI:10.1073/pnas.1302562110

Olfactory-driven behaviors are central to the lifecycle of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae and are initiated by peripheral signaling in the antenna and other olfactory tissues. To continue gaining insight into the relationship between gene expression and olfaction, we have performed cohort comparisons of antennal transcript abundances at five time points after a blood meal, a key event in both reproduction and disease transmission cycles. We found that more than 5,000 transcripts displayed significant abundance differences, many of which were correlated by cluster analysis. Within the chemosensory gene families, we observed a general reduction in the level of chemosensory gene transcripts, although a subset of odorant receptors (AgOrs) was modestly enhanced in post-blood-fed samples. Integration of AgOr transcript abundance data with previously characterized AgOr excitatory odorant response profiles revealed potential changes in antennal odorant receptivity that coincided with the shift from host-seeking to oviposition behaviors in blood-fed female mosquitoes. Behavioral testing of ovipositing females to odorants highlighted by this synthetic analysis identified two unique, unitary oviposition cues for An. gambiae, 2-propylphenol and 4-methylcyclohexanol. We posit that modest, yet cumulative, alterations of AgOr transcript levels modulate peripheral odor coding resulting in biologically relevant behavioral effects. Moreover, these results demonstrate that highly quantitative, RNAseq transcript abundance data can be successfully integrated with functional data to generate testable hypotheses.

MeSH Terms (14)

Animals Anopheles Arthropod Antennae Blood Cluster Analysis Computational Biology Female Gene Expression Regulation Odorants Receptors, Odorant RNA Sequence Analysis, DNA Transcription, Genetic Transcriptome

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