Chloe Greppi

Garrity Lab

“Ionotropic receptor function in Anopheles gambiae

Mosquitos of all varietys can bring a host of diseases to humans, such as malaria. An understanding of how mosquitos are able to sense a host (a human to bite) could offer clues as to how to prevent the spread of disease. Ms. Greppi discussed her work looking for the receptors responsible for these behavior.

Anopheles gambiae is the primary vector for malaria, resulting in over 400,000 deaths annually. Anopheles and other mosquito vectors use various sensory cues to find hosts, among them carbon dioxide, host odors and heat. An invertebrate specific class of receptors, the Ionotropic Receptors (IRs), has emerged as a class of molecules that may be involved in the detection of a wide range of host-seeking cues. IRs have been implicated in the detection of acids relevant to human odors, and previous work in Drosophila from the Garrity Lab has shown that IRs are involved in several non-chemosensory pathways, including moisture and temperature detection. Based on the conservation of IRs among Dipterans, we are using molecular genetics to investigate the roles of IRs in controlling responses of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes to these host-associated sensory stimuli.