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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Aug 9;108(32):12987-95. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103472108. Epub 2011 Jul 11.

Insect olfaction from model systems to disease control.

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  • 1Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8103, USA.


Great progress has been made in the field of insect olfaction in recent years. Receptors, neurons, and circuits have been defined in considerable detail, and the mechanisms by which they detect, encode, and process sensory stimuli are being unraveled. We provide a guide to recent progress in the field, with special attention to advances made in the genetic model organism Drosophila. We highlight key questions that merit additional investigation. We then present our view of how recent advances may be applied to the control of disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes, which transmit disease to hundreds of millions of people each year. We suggest how progress in defining the basic mechanisms of insect olfaction may lead to means of disrupting host-seeking and other olfactory behaviors, thereby reducing the transmission of deadly diseases.

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