Publications by authors named "Stacy D Rodriguez"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Long-Term Mosquito culture with SkitoSnack, an artificial blood meal replacement.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 09 17;14(9):e0008591. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States of America.

The reliance on blood is a limiting factor for mass rearing of mosquitoes for Sterile-Insect-Technique (SIT) and other mosquito-based control strategies. To solve this problem, we have developed SkitoSnack, a formulated diet for Aedes aegypti (L) mosquitoes, as an alternative for vertebrate blood. Here we addressed the question if long-term yellow fever mosquito culture with SkitoSnack resulted in changed life history traits and fitness of the offspring compared to blood-raised mosquitoes. We also explored if SkitoSnack is suitable to raise Asian tiger mosquitos, Aedes albopictus (L.), and the human bed bug, Cimex lectularius (L). We measured life history traits for 30th generation SkitoSnack-raised Ae. aegypti and 11th generation SkitoSnack-raised Ae. albopictus, and compared them with control mosquitoes raised on blood only. We compared meal preference, flight performance, and reproductive fitness in Ae. aegypti raised on SkitoSnack or blood. We also offered SkitoSnack to bed bug nymphs. We found that long-term culture with SkitoSnack resulted in mosquitoes with similar life history traits compared to bovine blood-raised mosquitoes in both species we studied. Also, Ae. aegypti mosquitoes raised on SkitoSnack had similar flight performance compared to blood raised mosquitoes, were still strongly attracted by human smell and had equal mating success. Minimal feeding occurred in bed bugs. Our results suggest that long-term culture with the blood-meal replacement SkitoSnack results in healthy, fit mosquitoes. Therefore, artificial diets like SkitoSnack can be considered as a viable alternative for vertebrate blood in laboratory mosquito culture as well as for mosquito mass production for Sterile-Insect-Technique mosquito control interventions. SkitoSnack was not suitable to induce engorgement of bed bugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008591DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7523998PMC
September 2020

Low Levels of Pyrethroid Resistance in Hybrid Offspring of a Highly Resistant and a More Susceptible Mosquito Strain.

J Insect Sci 2020 Jul;20(4)

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

The use of insecticides has been a central approach to control disease-transmitting mosquitoes for the last century. The high prevalence of pyrethroid use as public health insecticides has resulted in the evolution of pyrethroid resistance in many populations of Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) (Diptera: Culicidae), throughout its global distribution range. Insecticide resistance is often correlated with an associated fitness cost. In this project, we studied the phenotypes of hybrid mosquitoes derived from crossing a pyrethroid-resistant strain of Ae. aegypti (Puerto Rico [PR]) with a more susceptible one (Rockefeller [ROCK]). We first sequenced and compared the para gene of both original strains. We then crossed males from one strain with females of the other, creating two hybrids (Puertofeller, Rockorico). We used a Y-tube choice assay to measure the attraction of these strains towards a human host. We then compared the levels of pyrethroid resistance in the different strains. We found three known resistance mutations in the para gene sequence of the PR strain. In our attraction assays, PR females showed lower attraction to humans, than the ROCK females. Both hybrid strains showed strong attraction to a human host. In the insecticide resistance bottle assays, both hybrid strains showed marginal increases in resistance to permethrin compared to the more susceptible ROCK strain. These results suggest that hybrids of sensitive and permethrin-resistant mosquitoes have an incremental advantage compared to more susceptible mosquitoes when challenged with permethrin. This explains the rapid spread of permethrin resistance that was observed many times in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/ieaa060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7329315PMC
July 2020

Efficacy of Active Ingredients From the EPA 25(B) List in Reducing Attraction of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) to Humans.

J Med Entomol 2020 02;57(2):477-484

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

Mosquitoes of the Aedes genus are vectors for dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever viruses. Mosquito repellents are an effective way to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. In the early 90s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a list of active ingredients that pose minimum risk to human health that can be used as pesticides or repellents without passing the EPA registration process. The present study examined the efficacy of 21 of the active ingredients listed by the EPA 25 (B) exempt list and five commercially available sprays that only contained active ingredients from the EPA 25(B) list in repelling female Aedes aegypti (L.) females. We performed choice bioassays in a controlled laboratory environment, using a Y-tube olfactometer to determine attraction rates of humans to female Ae. aegypti in the presence of one of the 21 active ingredients and five commercially available repellent sprays. We found that cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, spearmint oil, lemongrass oil, and garlic oil reduced mosquito attraction to human odor. Of the five commercial repellent sprays, only one reduced mosquito attraction for up to 30 min in our assay. The EPA 25 (B) list contains active ingredients that under the conditions of our assay repel Ae. aegypti.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjz178DOI Listing
February 2020

Widespread insecticide resistance in Aedes aegypti L. from New Mexico, U.S.A.

PLoS One 2019 22;14(2):e0212693. Epub 2019 Feb 22.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, United States of America.

Background: Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are vectors of a variety of emerging viral pathogens, including yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus. This species has established endemic populations in all cities across southern New Mexico sampled to date. Presently, control of Aedes-borne viruses relies on deployment of insecticides to suppress mosquito populations, but the evolution of insecticide resistance threatens the success of vector control programs. While insecticide resistance is quite common in Ae. aegypti field populations across much of the U.S., the resistance status of this species in populations from New Mexico has not previously been assessed.

Results: First, we collected information on pesticide use in cities in southern New Mexico and found that the most commonly used active ingredients were pyrethroids. The use of insecticides with the same mode-of-action over multiple years is likely to promote the evolution of resistance. To determine if there was evidence of resistance in some cities in southern New Mexico, we collected Ae. aegypti from the same cities and established laboratory strains to assess resistance to pyrethroid insecticides and, for a subset of populations, to organophosphate insecticides. F2 or F4 generation mosquitoes were assessed for insecticide resistance using bottle test bioassays. The majority of the populations from New Mexico that we analyzed were resistant to the pyrethroids permethrin and deltamethrin. A notable exception to this trend were mosquitoes from Alamogordo, a city that did not report using pyrethroid insecticides for vector control. We screened individuals from each population for known knock down resistance (kdr) mutations via PCR and found a strong association between the presences of the F1534C kdr mutation in the para gene of Ae. aegypti (homologue to F1534C in Musca domestica L.) and pyrethroid resistance.

Conclusion: High-level pyrethroid resistance is common in Ae. aegypti from New Mexico and geographic variation in such resistance is likely associated with variation in usage of pyrethroids for vector control. Resistance monitoring and management is recommended in light of the potential for arbovirus outbreaks in this state. Also, alternative approaches to mosquito control that do not involve insecticides should be explored.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0212693PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6386485PMC
November 2019

Toward Implementation of Mosquito Sterile Insect Technique: The Effect of Storage Conditions on Survival of Male Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) During Transport.

J Insect Sci 2018 Nov 1;18(6). Epub 2018 Nov 1.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

Sterile insect technique (SIT) is a promising, environmentally friendly alternative to the use of pesticides for insect pest control. However, implementing SIT with Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) mosquitoes presents unique challenges. For example, during transport from the rearing facility to the release site and during the actual release in the field, damage to male mosquitoes should be minimized to preserve their reproductive competitiveness. The short flight range of male Ae. aegypti requires elaborate release strategies such as release via Unmanned Aircraft Systems, more commonly referred to as drones. Two key parameters during transport and release are storage temperature and compaction rate. We performed a set of laboratory experiments to identify the optimal temperatures and compaction rates for storage and transport of male Ae. aegypti. We then conducted shipping experiments to test our laboratory-derived results in a 'real-life' setting. The laboratory results indicate that male Ae. aegypti can survive at a broad range of storage temperatures ranging from 7 to 28°C, but storage time should not exceed 24 h. Male survival was high at all compaction rates we tested with a low at 40 males/cm3. Interestingly, results from our 'real-life' shipping experiment showed that high compaction rates were beneficial to survival. This study advances key understudied aspects of the practicalities of moving lab-reared insects into the field and lies the foundation for further studies on the effect of transport conditions on male reproductive fitness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iey103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220358PMC
November 2018

The Effect of SkitoSnack, an Artificial Blood Meal Replacement, on Aedes aegypti Life History Traits and Gut Microbiota.

Sci Rep 2018 07 23;8(1):11023. Epub 2018 Jul 23.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, 88003, USA.

Public health research and vector control frequently require the rearing of large numbers of vector mosquitoes. All target vector mosquito species are anautogenous, meaning that females require vertebrate blood for egg production. Vertebrate blood, however, is costly, with a short shelf life. To overcome these constraints, we have developed SkitoSnack, an artificial blood meal replacement for the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the vector of dengue, Zika and chikungunya virus. SkitoSnack contains bovine serum albumin and hemoglobin as protein source as well as egg yolk and a bicarbonate buffer. SkitoSnack-raised females had comparable life history traits as blood-raised females. Mosquitoes reared from SkitoSnack-fed females had similar levels of infection and dissemination when orally challenged with dengue virus type 2 (DENV-2) and significantly lower infection with DENV-4. When SkitoSnack was used as a vehicle for DENV-2 delivery, blood-raised and SkitoSnack-raised females were equally susceptible. The midgut microbiota differed significantly between mosquitoes fed on SkitoSnack and mosquitoes fed on blood. By rearing 20 generations of Aedes exclusively on SkitoSnack, we have proven that this artificial diet can replace blood in mosquito mass rearing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-29415-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6056539PMC
July 2018

Fat Body Organ Culture System in Aedes Aegypti, a Vector of Zika Virus.

J Vis Exp 2017 08 19(126). Epub 2017 Aug 19.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University; Institute of Applied Biosciences, New Mexico State University;

The insect fat body plays a central role in insect metabolism and nutrient storage, mirroring functions of the liver and fat tissue in vertebrates. Insect fat body tissue is usually distributed throughout the insect body. However, it is often concentrated in the abdomen and attached to the abdominal body wall. The mosquito fat body is the sole source of yolk proteins, which are critical for egg production. Therefore, the in vitro culture of mosquito fat body tissues represents an important system for the study of mosquito physiology, metabolism, and, ultimately, egg production. The fat body culture process begins with the preparation of solutions and reagents, including amino acid stock solutions, Aedes physiological saline salt stock solution (APS), calcium stock solution, and fat body culture medium. The process continues with fat body dissection, followed by an experimental treatment. After treatment, a variety of different analyses can be performed, including RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), qPCR, Western blots, proteomics, and metabolomics. In our example experiment, we demonstrate the protocol through the excision and culture of fat bodies from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, a principal vector of arboviruses including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. RNA from fat bodies cultured under a physiological condition known to upregulate yolk proteins versus the control were subject to RNA-Seq analysis to demonstrate the potential utility of this procedure for investigations of gene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/55508DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5614350PMC
August 2017

Simple and Versatile Detection of Viruses Using Anodized Alumina Membranes.

ACS Sens 2016 May 8;1(5):488-492. Epub 2016 Mar 8.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003, United States.

A simple sensor for viral particles based on ionic conductivity through anodized alumina membranes was demonstrated using MS2 bacteriophage as an example. A facile two-point measuring scheme is geared toward realization using a computer's sound card input/output capabilities suitable for a fast and inexpensive point of care testing. The lowest detection concentration down to ~7 pfu/mL and a large dynamic range up to ~2000 pfu/mL were obtained due to physical optimization that included proper length and diameter for the pores, removing the oxide layer at the electrode, as well as the chemical optimization of covalent binding of antibodies to the pore's walls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssensors.6b00003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434760PMC
May 2016

Efficacy of Some Wearable Devices Compared with Spray-On Insect Repellents for the Yellow Fever Mosquito, Aedes aegypti (L.) (Diptera: Culicidae).

J Insect Sci 2017 Jan;17(1)

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, 1200 S. Horseshoe Dr, Las Cruces, NM 88003.

The current Zika health crisis in the Americas has created an intense interest in mosquito control methods and products. Mosquito vectors of Zika are of the genus Aedes, mainly the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. L. The use of repellents to alter mosquito host seeking behavior is an effective method for the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases. A large number of different spray-on repellents and wearable repellent devices are commercially available. The efficacies of many repellents are unknown. This study focuses on the efficacy of eleven different repellents in reducing the number of Ae. aegypti female mosquitoes attracted to human bait. We performed attraction-inhibition assays using a taxis cage in a wind tunnel setting. One person was placed upwind of the taxis cage and the mosquito movement towards or away from the person was recorded. The person was treated with various spray-on repellents or equipped with different mosquito repellent devices. We found that the spray-on repellents containing N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide and p-menthane-3,8-diol had the highest efficacy in repelling mosquitoes compared to repellents with other ingredients. From the five wearable devices that we tested, only the one that releases Metofluthrin significantly reduced the numbers of attracted mosquitoes. The citronella candle had no effect. We conclude that many of the products that we tested that were marketed as repellents do not reduce mosquito attraction to humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iew117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388317PMC
January 2017

Substrate specificity and transport mechanism of amino-acid transceptor Slimfast from Aedes aegypti.

Nat Commun 2015 Oct 9;6:8546. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003, USA.

Anautogenous mosquitoes depend on vertebrate blood as nutrient source for their eggs. A highly efficient set of membrane transporters mediates the massive movement of nutrient amino acids between mosquito tissues after a blood meal. Here we report the characterization of the amino-acid transporter Slimfast (Slif) from the yellow-fever mosquito Aedes aegypti using codon-optimized heterologous expression. Slif is a well-known component of the target-of-rapamycin signalling pathway and fat body nutrient sensor, but its substrate specificity and transport mechanism were unknown. We found that Slif transports essential cationic and neutral amino acids with preference for arginine. It has an unusual dual-affinity mechanism with only the high affinity being Na(+) dependent. Tissue-specific expression and blood meal-dependent regulation of Slif are consistent with conveyance of essential amino acids from gut to fat body. Slif represents a novel transport system and type of transceptor for sensing and transporting essential amino acids during mosquito reproduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms9546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608377PMC
October 2015

The Efficacy of Some Commercially Available Insect Repellents for Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae).

J Insect Sci 2015 ;15:140

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, 1200 S. Horseshoe Dr., Las Cruces, NM 88003 Molecular Biology Program, New Mexico State University, MSC 3MLS, P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003 Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, 1200 S. Horseshoe Dr., Las Cruces, NM 88003.

Reducing the number of host-vector interactions is an effective way to reduce the spread of vector-borne diseases. Repellents are widely used to protect humans from a variety of protozoans, viruses, and nematodes. DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide), a safe and effective repellent, was developed during World War II. Fear of possible side effects of DEET has created a large market for "natural" DEET-free repellents with a variety of active ingredients. We present a comparative study on the efficacy of eight commercially available products, two fragrances, and a vitamin B patch. The products were tested using a human hand as attractant in a Y-tube olfactometer setup with Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse), both major human disease vectors. We found that Ae. albopictus were generally less attracted to the test subject's hand compared with Ae, aegypti. Repellents with DEET as active ingredient had a prominent repellency effect over longer times and on both species. Repellents containing p-menthane-3,8-diol produced comparable results but for shorter time periods. Some of the DEET-free products containing citronella or geraniol did not have any significant repellency effect. Interestingly, the perfume we tested had a modest repellency effect early after application, and the vitamin B patch had no effect on either species. This study shows that the different active ingredients in commercially available mosquito repellent products are not equivalent in terms of duration and strength of repellency. Our results suggest that products containing DEET or p-menthane-3,8-diol have long-lasting repellent effects and therefore provide good protection from mosquito-borne diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iev125DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4667684PMC
April 2016

Functional characterization of aquaporins and aquaglyceroporins of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

Sci Rep 2015 Jan 15;5:7795. Epub 2015 Jan 15.

1] Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM [2] Institute for Applied Biosciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM [3] Molecular Biology Program, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.

After taking vertebrate blood, female mosquitoes quickly shed excess water and ions while retaining and concentrating the mostly proteinaceous nutrients. Aquaporins (AQPs) are an evolutionary conserved family of membrane transporter proteins that regulate the flow of water and in some cases glycerol and other small molecules across cellular membranes. In a previous study, we found six putative AQP genes in the genome of the yellow fever mosquito, Ae. aegypti, and demonstrated the involvement of three of them in the blood meal-induced diuresis. Here we characterized AQP expression in different tissues before and after a blood meal, explored the substrate specificity of AQPs expressed in the Malpighian tubules and performed RNAi-mediated knockdown and tested for changes in mosquito desiccation resistance. We found that AQPs are generally down-regulated 24 hrs after a blood meal. Ae. aegypti AQP 1 strictly transports water, AQP 2 and 5 demonstrate limited solute transport, but primarily function as water transporters. AQP 4 is an aquaglyceroporin with multiple substrates. Knockdown of AQPs expressed in the MTs increased survival of Ae. aegypti under dry conditions. We conclude that Malpighian tubules of adult female yellow fever mosquitoes utilize three distinct AQPs and one aquaglyceroporin in their osmoregulatory functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep07795DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4295104PMC
January 2015

The odorant receptor co-receptor from the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L.

PLoS One 2014 20;9(11):e113692. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Weed Science, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States of America.

Recently, the bed bug, Cimex lectularius L. has re-emerged as a serious and growing problem in many parts of the world. Presence of resistant bed bugs and the difficulty to eliminate them has renewed interest in alternative control tactics. Similar to other haematophagous arthropods, bed bugs rely on their olfactory system to detect semiochemicals in the environment. Previous studies have morphologically characterized olfactory organs of bed bugs' antenna and have physiologically evaluated the responses of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) to host-derived chemicals. To date, odorant binding proteins (OBPs) and odorant receptors (ORs) associated with these olfaction processes have not been studied in bed bugs. Chemoreception in insects requires formation of heteromeric complexes of ORs and a universal OR coreceptor (Orco). Orco is the constant chain of every odorant receptor in insects and is critical for insect olfaction but does not directly bind to odorants. Orco agonists and antagonists have been suggested as high-value targets for the development of novel insect repellents. In this study, we have performed RNAseq of bed bug sensory organs and identified several odorant receptors as well as Orco. We characterized Orco expression and investigated the effect of chemicals targeting Orco on bed bug behavior and reproduction. We have identified partial cDNAs of six C. lectularius OBPs and 16 ORs. Full length bed bug Orco was cloned and sequenced. Orco is widely expressed in different parts of the bed bug including OR neurons and spermatozoa. Treatment of bed bugs with the agonist VUAA1 changed bed bug pheromone-induced aggregation behavior and inactivated spermatozoa. We have described and characterized for the first time OBPs, ORs and Orco in bed bugs. Given the importance of these molecules in chemoreception of this insect they are interesting targets for the development of novel insect behavior modifiers.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0113692PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4239089PMC
December 2015

Four-way regulation of mosquito yolk protein precursor genes by juvenile hormone-, ecdysone-, nutrient-, and insulin-like peptide signaling pathways.

Front Physiol 2014 20;5:103. Epub 2014 Mar 20.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM, USA.

Anautogenous mosquito females require a meal of vertebrate blood in order to initiate the production of yolk protein precursors by the fat body. Yolk protein precursor gene expression is tightly repressed in a state-of-arrest before blood meal-related signals activate it and expression levels rise rapidly. The best understood example of yolk protein precursor gene regulation is the vitellogenin-A gene (vg) of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. Vg-A is regulated by (1) juvenile hormone signaling, (2) the ecdysone-signaling cascade, (3) the nutrient sensitive target-of-rapamycin signaling pathway, and (4) the insulin-like peptide (ILP) signaling pathway. A plethora of new studies have refined our understanding of the regulation of yolk protein precursor genes since the last review on this topic in 2005 (Attardo et al., 2005). This review summarizes the role of these four signaling pathways in the regulation of vg-A and focuses upon new findings regarding the interplay between them on an organismal level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2014.00103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3960487PMC
June 2014

The effect of the radio-protective agents ethanol, trimethylglycine, and beer on survival of X-ray-sterilized male Aedes aegypti.

Parasit Vectors 2013 Jul 18;6:211. Epub 2013 Jul 18.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, USA.

Background: Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) has been successfully implemented to control, and in some cases, eradicate, dipteran insect populations. SIT has great potential as a mosquito control method. Different sterilization methods have been used on mosquitoes ranging from chemosterilization to genetically modified sterile male mosquito strains; however, sterilization with ionizing radiation is the method of choice for effective sterilization of male insects for most species. The lack of gentle radiation methods has resulted in significant complications when SIT has been applied to mosquitoes. Several studies report that irradiating mosquitoes resulted in a decrease in longevity and mating success compared to unirradiated males. The present study explored new protocols for mosquito sterilization with ionizing radiation that minimized detrimental effects on the longevity of irradiated males.

Methods: We tested three compounds that have been shown to act as radioprotectors in the mouse model system - ethanol, trimethylglycine, and beer. Male Aedes aegypti were treated with one of three chosen potential radioprotectors and were subsequently irradiated with identical doses of long-wavelength X-rays. We evaluated the effect of these radioprotectors on the longevity of male mosquito after irradiation.

Results: We found that X-ray irradiation with an absorbed dose of 1.17 gy confers complete sterility. Irradiation with this dose significantly shortened the lifespan of male mosquitoes and all three radioprotectors tested significantly enhanced the lifespan of irradiated mosquito males.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that treatment with ethanol, beer, or trimethylglycine before irradiation can be used to enhance longevity in mosquitoes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-6-211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3723957PMC
July 2013

SLC7 amino acid transporters of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti and their role in fat body TOR signaling and reproduction.

J Insect Physiol 2012 Apr 15;58(4):513-22. Epub 2012 Jan 15.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA.

Background: An important function of the fat body in adult female mosquitoes is the conversion of blood meal derived amino acids (AA) into massive amounts of yolk protein precursors. A highly efficient transport mechanism for AAs across the plasma membrane of the fat body trophocytes is essential in order to deliver building blocks for the rapid synthesis of large amounts of these proteins. This mechanism consists in part of AA transporter proteins from the solute carrier family. These transporters have dual function; they function as transporters and participate in the nutrient signal transduction pathway that is activated in the fat body after a blood meal. In this study we focused on the solute carrier 7 family (SLC7), a family of AA transporters present in all metazoans that includes members with strong substrate specificity for cationic AAs.

Methodology/principal Findings: We identified 11 putative SLC7 transporters in the genome sequence of Aedes aegypti. Phylogenetic analysis puts five of these in the cationic AA transporter subfamily (CAT) and six in the heterodimeric AA transporter (HAT) subfamily. All 11 A. aegypti SLC7 genes are expressed in adult females. Expression profiles are dynamic after a blood meal. We knocked down six fat body-expressed SLC7 transporters using RNAi and found that these 'knockdowns' reduced AA-induced TOR signaling. We also determined the effect these knockdowns had on the number of eggs deposited following a blood meal.

Conclusions/significance: Our analysis stresses the importance of SLC7 transporters in TOR signaling pathway and mosquito reproduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2012.01.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3322257PMC
April 2012
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