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Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes Detect Acidic Volatiles in Human Odor Using the IR8a Pathway

60 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2018 Sneak Peek Status: Under Review

See all articles by Joshua I. Raji

Joshua I. Raji

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences

Nadia Melo

Lund University - Department of Biology

John Castillo

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences

Sheyla Gonzalez

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences

Valeria Saldana

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences

Marcus Stensmyr

Lund University - Department of Biology

Matthew DeGennaro

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences

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Abstract

Mosquitoes use olfaction as a primary means of detecting their hosts. Previously, the genetic ablation of a family of Aedes aegypti olfactory receptors, the Odorant Receptors (ORs), was not sufficient to reduce host-seeking in the presence of carbon dioxide (CO2). This suggests the olfactory receptors that remain, such as the Ionotropic Receptors (IRs), could play a significant role in host detection. To test this, we disrupted the Ir8a co-receptor in Ae. aegypti using CRISPR/Cas9. Ir8a mutant female mosquitoes are not attracted to lactic acid, a behaviorally active component of human odor, and lack odor-evoked responses to acidic volatiles. The loss of Ir8a reduces mosquito attraction to humans and their odor. We show that the CO2-detection pathway is necessary but not sufficient for IR8a to detect human odor. Our study reveals that the IR8a pathway is crucial for an anthropophilic vector mosquito to effectively seek hosts.

Keywords: Mosquito, olfaction, Ionotropic Receptors, IR8a, human sweat, lactic acid, Aedes aegypti, genetics, host-seeking, blood-feeding, vector biology

Suggested Citation

Raji, Joshua I. and Melo, Nadia and Castillo, John and Gonzalez, Sheyla and Saldana, Valeria and Stensmyr, Marcus and DeGennaro, Matthew, Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes Detect Acidic Volatiles in Human Odor Using the IR8a Pathway (November 7, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3280246 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3280246
This is a paper under consideration at Cell Press and has not been peer-reviewed.

Joshua I. Raji

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences

University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

Nadia Melo

Lund University - Department of Biology

Box 117
Lund, S221 00
United States

John Castillo

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences

University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

Sheyla Gonzalez

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences

University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

Valeria Saldana

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences

University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

Marcus Stensmyr

Lund University - Department of Biology

Box 117
Lund, S221 00
United States

Matthew DeGennaro (Contact Author)

Florida International University (FIU) - Department of Biological Sciences ( email )

University Park
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199
United States

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