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Heritability of Attractiveness to Mosquitoes

Heritability of Attractiveness to Mosquitoes

Fernandez-Grandon, G. Mandela ORCID: 0000-0002-2993-390X, Gezan, Salvador A., Armour, John A. L., Pickett, John A. and Logan, James G. (2015) Heritability of Attractiveness to Mosquitoes. PLoS ONE, 10 (4):e0122716. ISSN 1932-6203 (Print), 1932-6203 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0122716)

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Abstract

Female mosquitoes display preferences for certain individuals over others, which is determined by differences in volatile chemicals produced by the human body and detected by mosquitoes. Body odour can be controlled genetically but the existence of a genetic basis for differential attraction to insects has never been formally demonstrated. This study investigated heritability of attractiveness to mosquitoes by evaluating the response of Aedes aegypti (=Stegomyia aegypti) mosquitoes to odours from the hands of identical and non-identical twins in a dual-choice assay. Volatiles from individuals in an identical twin pair showed a high correlation in attractiveness to mosquitoes, while non-identical twin pairs showed a significantly lower correlation. Overall, there was a strong narrow-sense heritability of 0.62 (SE 0.124) for relative attraction and 0.67 (0.354) for flight activity based on the average of ten measurements. The results demonstrate an underlying genetic component detectable by mosquitoes through olfaction. Understanding the genetic basis for attractiveness could create a more informed approach to repellent development.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2015 Fernández-Grandon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mosquitoes, twins, flight, human genetics, hands, invertebrate genetics, insects, monozygotic twins
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Chemical Ecology Research Group
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 14:00
Selected for GREAT 2016: GREAT b
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/13782

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