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Title page for ETD etd-04062011-143731


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Pitts, Ronald Jason
Author's Email Address j.pitts@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-04062011-143731
Title Novel Chemoreceptors and Gene Expression Profiling in antennae and maxillary palps of Anopheles gambiae
Degree PhD
Department Biological Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Terry L. Page Committee Chair
Douglas K. Abbot Committee Member
H. Willi Honegger Committee Member
Julian F. Hillyer Committee Member
Laurence J Zwiebel Committee Member
Vsevolod Gurevich Committee Member
Keywords
  • transcriptome
  • mosquito
  • malaria
  • odorant receptor
  • Anopheles gambiae
  • antenna
  • chemosensation
  • variant ionotropic receptor
  • RNA-seq
  • maxillary palp
Date of Defense 2011-04-01
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This project is concerned with the molecular basis for the sense of smell in the disease-carrying mosquito species, Anopheles gambiae. Females of this species feed predominantly on human blood. The sense of smell, also know as chemosensation, is largely responsible for the ability of female mosquitoes to find humans for feeding. In this dissertation, I describe the experiments that have led our group to an improved understanding of chemosensation in An. gambiae. Specifically I helped identify and characterize novel gene family, the An. gambiae Ionotropic receptors (AgIrs) that define a new chemosensory pathway in mosquitoes. Additionally, I worked with colleagues to examine gene expression profiles of whole chemosensory appendages, the antennae and maxillary palps, of adult male and female mosquitoes. These studies may ultimately lead to improved methods of mosquito control or surveillance.
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