Molecular characterization of larval peripheral thermosensory responses of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

Liu C, Zwiebel LJ
PLoS One. 2013 8 (8): e72595

PMID: 23940815 · PMCID: PMC3737131 · DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0072595

Thermosensation provides vital inputs for the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae which utilizes heat-sensitivity within a broad spectrum of behaviors, most notably, the localization of human hosts for blood feeding. In this study, we examine thermosensory behaviors in larval-stage An. gambiae, which as a result of their obligate aquatic habitats and importance for vectorial capacity, represents an opportunistic target for vector control as part of the global campaign to eliminate malaria. As is the case for adults, immature mosquitoes respond differentially to a diverse array of external heat stimuli. In addition, larvae exhibit a striking phenotypic plasticity in thermal-driven behaviors that are established by temperature at which embryonic development occurs. Within this spectrum, RNAi-directed gene-silencing studies provide evidence for the essential role of the Transient Receptor Potential sub-family A1 (TRPA1) channel in mediating larval thermal-induced locomotion and thermal preference within a discrete upper range of ambient temperatures.

MeSH Terms (14)

Animals Anopheles Arthropod Antennae Female Gene Expression Hot Temperature Humans Insect Proteins Insect Vectors Larva Locomotion Organ Specificity Thermosensing Transient Receptor Potential Channels

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