The findings are significant because they could lead to the development of targeted lures to control the insects, which also spread dengue fever in more than 100 countries across the globe.
"No one has developed lures that target these species of mosquitoes because no one has been able to identify and isolate the compounds necessary to mass produce them into a commercially available trap," says study co-author Dawn Wesson, asso¬ciate professor of tropical medicine at Tulane University. "It’s also important to note that these lures would target egg-laying mosquitoes, which are especially dangerous because they have fed on blood at least once, and could be infected with a virus."
In a paper in this week's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers show that yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) look for water with just the right amount of specific fatty acids associated with bacteria from decaying leaves and other organic debris. The article "Identification of Bacteria and Bacteria-Associated Chemical Cues That Mediate Oviposition Site Preferences by Aedes aegypti" was co-authored by Wesson and North Carolina State University researchers Charles Apperson, Coby Schal, Loganathan Ponnusamy, Ning Xu and Satoshi Nojima.
Yellow fever mosquitoes lay their eggs in human-made containers, usually distributing them in multiple places in residential areas. The study measured mosquitoes' responses to several containers filled with different types of bacteria and bacterial extracts to see which attracted the most egg-laying. Scientists found that the mosquitoes were attracted by a blend of fatty acids and methyl esters created from decaying leaves. Once scientists discerned specific chemical compounds that stimulated increased egg-laying, they exposed mosquitoes to varied concentrations. High levels of the chemicals discouraged the insects from laying eggs while lower concentration were more convincing. However, the mosquitoes preferred just the right amount of the chemical blend – 10 nanograms in 30 milliliters of water – to lay the most eggs.
Researchers say the right percentages of these chemicals tell the mosquitoes that the microbial content of the water is most favorable for the development of offspring.
A copy of the research paper is available online at: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/06/27/0802505105.full.pdf+html
Keith Brannon | Newswise Science News
Research team creates new possibilities for medicine and materials sciences
22.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Saarland University bioinformaticians compute gene sequences inherited from each parent
22.01.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences