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Title page for ETD etd-11052013-104329

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Liu, Chao
Author's Email Address zenith.fenix@gmail.com
URN etd-11052013-104329
Title Olfactory and thermosensory signaling in malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae
Degree PhD
Department Biological Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Terry L. Page Committee Chair
David M. Bader Committee Member
Julian F. Hillyer Committee Member
Laurence J. Zwiebel Committee Member
Patrick Abbot Committee Member
  • Peripheral sensory system
  • RNAi
  • Animal behavior
Date of Defense 2013-11-21
Availability unrestricted
Human malaria is primarily transmitted by the anthropophilic mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. In order to seek for a blood meal to complete the gonotrophic cycle, female An. gambiae utilize a variety of sensory modalities in order to locate the human host. These include olfaction, which is highly sensitive towards human emanations and essential for long-range host seeking. In addition, An. gambiae is able to utilize heat as a short-range guidance cue for the final landing onto the skin surface. Therefore, the mission to eliminate malaria worldwide is profoundly dependent on the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying olfaction and thermosensation. I have focused on the larval-stage mosquitos to study the biological role of odorant receptors (ORs) and illustrate how the peripheral olfactory signaling directs downstream animal responses. Interdisciplinary approaches including molecular biology, immunohistochemistry and behavioral analysis are combined to characterize the roles of odorant receptor ion channels in not only peripheral olfaction, but also the reproductive processes of An. gambiae. Moreover, I have discovered the importance of a member of Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels, TRPA1, in conferring heat sensitivities towards the upper-range of ambient temperatures in An. gambiae larvae.
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