The role of mosquito olfaction in oviposition site location and in the avoidance of unsuitable hosts

C1 - Edited contributions to conferences/learned societies

Pickett, J. A. and Woodcock, C. M. 1996. The role of mosquito olfaction in oviposition site location and in the avoidance of unsuitable hosts. Olfaction in Mosquito-host Interactions. Ciba Foundation Symposium 200 . Wiley. pp. 109-123

AuthorsPickett, J. A. and Woodcock, C. M.

Developments in the exploitation of mosquito olfaction are traced, in collaborative studies with various groups, from the first identification of a mosquito pheromone through to a discussion of non-host avoidance. The characterization of the oviposition pheromone for mosquitoes in the genus Culex, e.g. Culex quinquefasciatus, as a novel chiral lactone ester provided the impetus for a number of sophisticated asymmetric syntheses and economical large-scale routes to racemic products. The latter have provided material for successful field trials in three continents. During the course of this field work, we obtained evidence that semiochemicals originating directly from the oviposition site are essential for activity of the oviposition pheromone. Recent studies are elucidating the nature of these agents and their geographical variability. Initially, we used synthetic oviposition pheromone to attract mosquitoes to sites treated with a biorational larvicide. However, recyclable biological control agents offer better prospects for resource-poor regions. A biotechnological approach to pheromone production has been devised involving the generation of inexpensive starting materials by the cultivation of a higher plant. New studies on dipterous pests feeding on farm animals indicate a semiochemically based mechanism by which unsuitable individuals within the host species are avoided. There appears to be an analogous process in which mosquitoes avoid certain potential human hosts, thereby raising prospects for the development of novel, rationally identified repellents once the semiochemical/olfactory interactions have been fully elucidated.

KeywordsEntomology; Medicine, General & Internal; Tropical Medicine
Year of Publication1996
Funder project or code236
Page range109-123

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