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Chem Senses. 2016 Jun;41(5):441-7. doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjv089. Epub 2016 Mar 11.

Olfactory Responses of Southern House Mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, to Human Odorants.

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Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, 301 Funchess Hall, Auburn, AL 36849-5413, USA.
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, 301 Funchess Hall, Auburn, AL 36849-5413, USA


Mosquito control is essential to protect humans from mosquito-borne diseases. The host recognition between mosquitoes and humans is achieved by the mosquito olfactory system. Antennal sensilla, which house olfactory receptor neurons, are responsible for detecting chemical cues from hosts. To deepen our understanding of the mechanisms involved in the host seeking behavior of mosquitoes, we conducted an electrophysiological study to investigate the response profile of each type of antennal sensilla to human odorants using single sensillum recording. In this study, more than 100 human odorants have been applied as stimuli to 5 morphological types of sensilla, long sharp trichoid (LST), short sharp trichoid (SST), short blunt trichoid I (SBTI), short blunt trichoid II (SBTII), and grooved peg (GP). Different types of sensilla present distinctive response profiles to the human odorants tested. In particular, SST, SBTI, and SBTII sensilla responded to more than 1 category of human odorants, while GP and LST were narrowly tuned to amines and methyl nonanoate, respectively. The dose-dependent patterns and odorant-specific/chemical structure-specific temporal dynamics of SBTI and SBTII antennal sensilla to human odorants had been further detected. Taken together, our study provides the new information on the olfactory physiology of Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) to human odorants, leading to a better understanding of mosquito-host recognition and being important for future development of new reagents in the mosquito control.


antennal sensilla; grooved peg; olfaction; single sensillum recording; trichoid

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