Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor.

TitleEvolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMcBride, CS, Baier, F, Omondi, AB, Spitzer, SA, Lutomiah, J, Sang, R, Ignell, R, Vosshall, LB
Date Published2014 Nov 13
KeywordsAedes, Alleles, Animals, Arthropod Antennae, Biological Evolution, Female, Forests, Gene Expression Profiling, Host Specificity, Humans, Ketones, Ligands, Male, Molecular Sequence Data, Receptors, Odorant, Species Specificity

<p>Female mosquitoes are major vectors of human disease and the most dangerous are those that preferentially bite humans. A 'domestic' form of the mosquito Aedes aegypti has evolved to specialize in biting humans and is the main worldwide vector of dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya viruses. The domestic form coexists with an ancestral, 'forest' form that prefers to bite non-human animals and is found along the coast of Kenya. We collected the two forms, established laboratory colonies, and document striking divergence in preference for human versus non-human animal odour. We further show that the evolution of preference for human odour in domestic mosquitoes is tightly linked to increases in the expression and ligand-sensitivity of the odorant receptor AaegOr4, which we found recognizes a compound present at high levels in human odour. Our results provide a rare example of a gene contributing to behavioural evolution and provide insight into how disease-vectoring mosquitoes came to specialize on humans. </p>

Alternate JournalNature
PubMed ID25391959
PubMed Central IDPMC4286346
Grant List5UL1TR000043 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States
UL1 TR000043 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States
K99 DC012069 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
HHSN272200900039C / / PHS HHS / United States
R00 DC012069 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
/ / Howard Hughes Medical Institute / United States
HHSN272200900039C / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States