Manipulative mosquito semen

Proteins transferred to female mosquitoes during copulation affect their behavior, and provide potential targets for disease control

Hannah Waters
During mating, male mosquitoes transfer proteins in their seminal fluid that alters female breeding and feeding behavior. These proteins, identified in a linkurl:study; published today (March 15) in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, may serve as potential targets of control of mosquito-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever.
Female dengue virus vector Aedes aegypti feeding
Image: Wikimedia Commons, James Gathany
"This work is a milestone in identification of factors that are important for mosquito reproduction," said linkurl:Flaminia Catteruccia,; a molecular entomologist at Imperial College of London who was not involved in the research. "It's a first step towards possible novel strategies for [disease] control."Female mosquitoes only mate once, and after they do, their behavior and physiology are different: They are less receptive to mating, lay more eggs, and feed less frequently. The ability to manipulate these behaviors could be a boon to vector control efforts by reducing mating or...
Aedes aegyptiandL.K. Sirot et al., "Towards a Semen Proteome of the Dengue Vector Mosquito: Protein Identification and Potential Functions," PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2011. DOI: linkurl:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000989;

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