Odor-Specific Daily Rhythms in the Olfactory Sensitivity and Behavior of Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes
Many biological processes and behaviors in mosquitoes display rhythmic patterns, allowing for fine tuning to cyclic environmental conditions. In mosquitoes, vector-host interactions are primarily mediated by olfactory signals. Previous studies have established that, in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, rhythmic expression of odorant binding proteins and takeout proteins in the antenna resulted in a corresponding rhythm in olfactory sensitivity to relevant host odors. However, it remained unclear how rhythms observed in olfactory sensitivity affect or explain rhythms in behavioral output, which ultimately impacts disease transmission. In order to address this knowledge gap, we quantified and compared patterns in locomotor activity, olfactory sensitivity, and olfactory behaviors in adult female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Here, we demonstrate an odorant-specific modulation of olfactory sensitivity in Ae. aegypti, decoupled from rhythms in olfactory behavior. Additionally, behavioral assays performed herein represent the first evidence of a time-dependence of the olfactory activation of behavior in Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. Results suggest that olfactory behavior of Aedes mosquitoes is modulated at both the peripheral (antenna) and central levels. As such, this work serves as a foundation for future studies aimed at further understanding the neural and molecular mechanisms underlying behavioral plasticity.