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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Detection and perception of generic host volatiles by mosquitoes: responses to CO2 constrains host-seeking behaviour

Majeed, Shahid; Hill, Sharon Rose; Dekker, Teun; Ignell, Rickard

Abstract

Natural selection has favoured specialization in anthropophilic mosquito host choice, yet in the absence of human hosts, females feed on a selected range of vertebrates. For host recognition, we hypothesize that mosquitoes primarily rely on generic host volatiles. Detection and perception of such compounds would provide the mosquito with a flexible, yet constrained, odour coding system that could delineate host preference. In this study, we show that the quintessential generic volatile for host-seeking, carbon dioxide, activates and attracts the malaria mosquito, Anopheles coluzzii, and the arbovirus vectors, Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus, within boundaries set by the dynamic range and coding capacity of the CO2-sensitive olfactory receptor neurons. These boundaries are sufficiently broad to elicit behavioural responses to various hosts within their preferred host range. This study highlights the significance of the sensitivity of the carbon dioxide detection system and its regulation of host seeking and recognition.

Keywords

carbon dioxide; behaviour; electrophysiology; host recognition

Published in

Royal Society Open Science
2017, volume: 4, number: 5, article number: 170189
Publisher: ROYAL SOC

Authors' information

Majeed, Shahid
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and wellbeing

UKÄ Subject classification

Zoology
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Ecology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.170189

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/83739