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Molecular aspects of mating behavior in Aedes aegypti

Grant number: 19/21731-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Entomology and Malacology of Parasites and Vectors
Principal Investigator:Paulo Eduardo Martins Ribolla
Grantee:Ana Carolina Florindo de Mello
Host Institution: Instituto de Biotecnologia (IBTEC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


Arboviruses are infectious pathologies caused by arboviruses, which are characterized by multiplying in the tissues of invertebrates - hematophagous arthropods - and are transmitted by the bite of these invertebrates to a vertebrate host. The three arboviruses of major epidemiological importance are dengue, zika and chikungunya fever, all have in commom the main vector, the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Copulation of mosquitoes has great epidemiological importance, because, after it occurs, the female pursuit a blood meal to perform oviposition. The search for a partner for mating, for blood feeding and various activities is dependent on the mosquito's sensory system, which links the external environment with the internal environment of the vector. The main sensory organ is an antenna, formed by the olfactory sensors, responsible for the uptake of odor molecules, which are carried by odor-binding proteins (OBPs). Previous studies from our research group show a correlation between mating behavior in Aedes aegypti and A. albopictus and alteration in OBP expression genes, indicating that odorant binding proteins may have a major role in mating behavior. Based on this premise, the objective of the present project is to understand the role of odorant binding protein gene expression in mating and oviposition behavior of females of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. For this, the iRNA technique will be used to reduce the expression of selected genes to assess possble phenotypic alterations of these mosquito vectors. (AU)

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