Mosquitoes transmit pathogens that kill >700,000 people annually. These insects use body heat to locate and feed on warm-blooded hosts, but the molecular basis of such behavior is unknown. Here, we identify ionotropic receptor IR21a, a receptor conserved throughout insects, as a key mediator of heat seeking in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae Although Ir21a mediates heat avoidance in Drosophila, we find it drives heat seeking and heat-stimulated blood feeding in Anopheles At a cellular level, Ir21a is essential for the detection of cooling, suggesting that during evolution mosquito heat seeking relied on cooling-mediated repulsion. Our data indicate that the evolution of blood feeding in Anopheles involves repurposing an ancestral thermoreceptor from non-blood-feeding Diptera.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.
Increasing outdoor host-seeking in Anopheles gambiae over 6 years of vector control on Bioko Island.Malar J. 2016 Apr 26;15:239. doi: 10.1186/s12936-016-1286-6. Malar J. 2016. PMID: 27113244 Free PMC article.
Outdoor host seeking behaviour of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes following initiation of malaria vector control on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea.Malar J. 2011 Jul 7;10:184. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-10-184. Malar J. 2011. PMID: 21736750 Free PMC article.
The impact of low erythrocyte density in human blood on the fitness and energetic reserves of the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.Malar J. 2013 Feb 1;12:45. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-12-45. Malar J. 2013. PMID: 23374331 Free PMC article.
NF-κB-Like Signaling Pathway REL2 in Immune Defenses of the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae.Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2017 Jun 21;7:258. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2017.00258. eCollection 2017. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2017. PMID: 28680852 Free PMC article. Review.
The Anopheles gambiae transcriptome - a turning point for malaria control.Insect Mol Biol. 2017 Apr;26(2):140-151. doi: 10.1111/imb.12289. Epub 2017 Jan 9. Insect Mol Biol. 2017. PMID: 28067439 Review.