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Molecular basis of odor coding in the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae

By Guirong Wang, Allison F. Carey, John R. Carlson and Laurence J. Zwiebel


A systematic functional analysis across much of the conventional Anopheles gambiae odorant receptor (AgOR) repertoire was carried out in Xenopus oocytes using two-electrode, voltage-clamp electrophysiology. The resulting data indicate that each AgOR manifests a distinct odor-response profile and tuning breadth. The large diversity of tuning responses ranges from AgORs that are responsive to a single or small number of odorants (specialists) to more broadly tuned receptors (generalists). Several AgORs were identified that respond robustly to a range of human volatiles that may play a critical role in anopheline host selection. AgOR responses were analyzed further by constructing a multidimensional odor space representing the relationships between odorants and AgOR responses. Within this space, the distance between odorants is related to both chemical class and concentration and may correlate with olfactory discrimination. This study provides a comprehensive overview of olfactory coding mechanisms of An. gambiae that ultimately may aid in fostering the design and development of olfactory-based strategies for reducing the transmission of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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