Aedes aegypti is an anautogenous mosquito that must blood feed on a vertebrate host to produce and lay a clutch of eggs. The rockpool mosquito, Georgecraigius atropalpus, is related to A. aegypti but is a facultatively autogenous species that produces its first clutch of eggs shortly after emerging without blood feeding. Consumption of a blood meal by A. aegypti triggers the release of ovary ecdysteroidogenic hormone (OEH) and insulin-like peptide 3 (ILP3) from the brain, which stimulate egg formation. OEH and ILP3 also stimulate egg formation in G. atropalpus but are released at eclosion independently of blood feeding. These results collectively suggest that blood meal dependent release of OEH and ILP3 is one factor that prevents A. aegypti from reproducing autogenously. Here, we examined two other factors that potentially inhibit autogeny in A. aegypti: teneral nutrient reserves and the ability of OEH and ILP3 to stimulate egg formation in the absence of blood feeding. Measures of nutrient reserves showed that newly emerged A. aegypti females had similar wet weights but significantly lower protein and glycogen reserves than G. atropalpus females when larvae were reared under identical conditions. OEH stimulated non-blood fed A. aegypti females to produce ecdysteroid hormone and package yolk into oocytes more strongly than ILP3. OEH also reduced host seeking and blood feeding behavior, yet females produced few mature eggs. Overall, our results indicate that multiple factors prevent A. aegypti from reproducing autogenously.
Keywords: Autogeny; Endocrine; Hormone; Neuropeptide; Oogenesis; Reproduction.
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