Variations in Time-Dependent Mosquito-Host Interactions Across Aedes Species

dc.contributor.authorWynne, Nicole Elizabethen
dc.contributor.committeechairVinauger Tella, Clementen
dc.contributor.committeememberLahondere, Chloe Audeen
dc.contributor.committeememberWolff, Gabriellaen
dc.contributor.committeememberTu, Zhijianen
dc.description.abstractVirtually all organisms exhibit circadian rhythms, this includes mosquitoes. Many aspects of their biology are under the control of their circadian clocks like their vision, olfaction, host-seeking, mating, oviposition, metabolism, locomotion, and more. However, how the circadian clock regulates mosquito-host interactions and adapts to specific environmental conditions remains largely unknown, despite its importance to vector disease control. Here, we relied on a multidisciplinary, integrative, and comparative approach to shed light on the mechanisms underlying mosquitoes adaptations to various temporal niches. We use CRISPR/Cas9 to knockout timeless in Aedes aegypti and show this mutation causes an increase in their free running periods under continuous darkness conditions. External factors can also influence a vector's activity pattern like climate, light pollution, as well as host preference and availability. To investigate the influence these factors have on activity patterns, we compare the activity patterns of multiple lab rear strains of Aedes albopictus as well as two field collected populations of Aedes japonicus. Our results suggest host availability and light pollution could cause the differences in activity profiles that we observed. With vision playing an important role in both circadian rhythms, host seeking, and threat detection, we compared a nocturnal mosquito (Aedes japonicus) and a diurnal mosquito (Aedes aegypti). We introduced a looming visual stimulus in an LED arena and found Aedes aegypti to be more responsive to the looming stimulus than Aedes japonicus. Finally, the underlying mechanisms that mediate this threat detection and escape behavior were examined, revealing a possible candidate for a giant fiber neuron in Aedes aegypti. Overall these results provide novel insights into mosquito biology that have the potential to be applied towards vector control methods.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralMost living things, including mosquitoes, follow a daily pattern called a circadian rhythm. This rhythm affects many parts of their lives including their vision, smell, and activity. Understanding how their circadian clock functions can help us control populations of mosquitoes and prevent the transmission of diseases they may carry. By studying different species and populations of mosquitoes in the lab and from the wild, we have found that factors like light pollution and host availability could affect when mosquitoes are active. In addition to these results we have also demonstrated that mosquitoes that are active during the day and mosquitoes that are active during the night will respond differently to a looming visual stimulus. We examined the brain of the mosquitoes that were most responsive to the looming stimulus and found a system of large neurons that could potentially be responsible for eliciting their escape behaviors. Overall these results provide new and important information about mosquito biology and can be applied to mosquito control.en
dc.description.degreeDoctor of Philosophyen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 Internationalen
dc.subjectDisease vector mosquitoesen
dc.subjectcircadian rhythmsen
dc.subjectmosquito-host interactionsen
dc.titleVariations in Time-Dependent Mosquito-Host Interactions Across Aedes Speciesen
dc.typeDissertationen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Philosophyen
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