Deciphering the genetic basis of the mosquitos senses

The mosquito Anopheles gambiae is something of a gourmet. It feeds almost exclusively on human blood. Its preference for humans and its ability to seek them out, in fact, are what makes the tiny insect such a deadly "vector" for the spread of malaria, a disease that causes millions of deaths annually.

Now a team of researchers from Vanderbilt University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have identified the genes that code for a special class of proteins that plays a critical role in almost every aspect of the insect's life cycle, including its ability to see, taste, touch, and smell.

"This is an important step forward in our ability to first understand the mosquitos' host preference and tracking system and then to interfere with it in a way that can save human lives in an economically feasible and environmentally benign fashion," says Laurence J. Zwiebel, assistant professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University who led the study.

Writing in the October 4 issue of the journal Science, Zwiebel and his colleagues report the identification of a total of 276 genes in the Anopheles gambiae genome that provide the blueprints for proteins called G-protein-coupled receptors (GFCRs) that are instrumental elements in the mosquito's sensory systems, including those that it uses to find human prey.

The paper is part of a special issue of Science that reports the sequencing of the entire Anopheles genome. Concurrently, the journal Nature is announcing the sequencing of the genome of Plasmodium falciparum, the single-cell parasite carried by Anopheles that causes malaria. These two achievements are providing the impetus for a major new scientific assault on malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. In particular, Zwiebel and his colleagues report finding 79 genes that appear to be involved in the mosquitoes' sense of smell and 72 involved in its sense of taste. Previous studies have shown that both o

Contact: David F. Salisbury
Vanderbilt University

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Deciphering the limits to human maximal exercise performance
2. Deciphering how arteries contribute to hypertension
3. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome
4. Rare childhood genetic syndrome identified
5. New research shows plants can shuffle and paste gene pieces to generate genetic diversity
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Chemical genetics identifies SARS inhibitors
8. 22nd amino acid synthesized and added to genetic code of e. coli bacteria
9. The impact of genetic variations on the treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis
10. Adaptive changes in the genome may provide insight into the genetics of complex disease
11. New genetic hypothesis for the cause of autism

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/9/2019)... ... April 09, 2019 , ... The McLeod Center for ... following a rigorous and voluntary audit conducted by an independent, third-party panel of ... Novalis Certified Centers in the United States, McLeod is the only such cancer center ...
(Date:4/4/2019)... ... April 02, 2019 , ... ... company, will present results demonstrating that RNA genetic testing (RGT), as a supplement ... study, awarded as a Top Rated poster, is one of 13 presentations at ...
(Date:3/29/2019)... ... ... In the wake of the success of IBBL’s international ... was launched in July 2018, in an agreement between IBBL, the International Society ... Association (BBCMBA). The one-year pilot programme offered two testing schemes: ‘DNA quantification and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/8/2019)... ... April 09, 2019 , ... To support the global fight ... Biohub (CZ Biohub) has chosen Geneious Biologics to help them analyze and compare ... efforts to establish new approaches to inform the discovery of antibody-based diagnostics, new ...
(Date:3/27/2019)... ... March 26, 2019 , ... A leader in the ... services to veterinarians across the United States and Canada since 2004. The primary ... soft tissue injuries in the dog, cat, and horse. Recently, VetStem teamed ...
(Date:3/23/2019)... ... March 22, 2019 , ... ... LenS3 Multi-Angle Light Scattering (MALS) detector , offering a revolutionary approach for the ... polysaccharides, proteins, and biopolymers. A novel optical design, a unique cell-block assembly, and ...
(Date:3/19/2019)... ... March 19, 2019 , ... Konica Minolta Precision ... the formation of their inaugural Scientific Advisory Board. , Founded in ... into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle to more accurately predict, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: