Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior
The Rockefeller University
Title: Neuropeptide regulation of innate behavior in mosquitoes
Host: Stuart Firestein
Abstract: Neuropeptides are critical modulators of deeply conserved innate behaviors including feeding and mating. In mosquitoes, these behaviors play key roles in vector biology and disease transmission and undergo dramatic changes influenced by environmental factors and internal state. We have identified neuropeptide pathways that regulate feeding and mating behavior in the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Our work identifies a peptide/receptor system that males use to enforce their paternity by inhibiting females from accepting subsequent mates as well as a neuropeptide pathway, related to human NPY pathways, that controls the reversible suppression of mosquito attraction to humans after blood-feeding. These findings provide insight into the modulation of chemosensory behavior and these pathways represent innovative entry points to affect innate behaviors that make these animals potent vectors for disease.