Mosquitoes are well recognized as the most important arthropod vectors of disease-causing pathogens. This is because most species are anautogenous and must feed on the blood of a human or other vertebrate to produce eggs. Multiple cycles of blood feeding and egg development in turn favors frequent contacts with hosts, which makes mosquitoes ideal vectors for pathogen transmission. Since disruption of egg production also disables pathogen transmission, understanding the reproduction of anautogenous mosquitoes is an important area of study. This application is a renewal request to continue our work on how egg development is regulated. Our current award focuses on Aedes aegypti, which is the species we best understand how egg maturation is regulated. Our studies indicate that two neurohormones, ovary ecdysteroidogenic hormone (OEH) and insulin-like peptides (ILPs) from the brain, function as key regulators of the egg development process. However, we also have found that OEH but not ILPs is also able to stimulate egg formation in the absence of blood feeding. To advance these results, we need to better understand OEH function in Ae. aegypti, other anautogenous species like Anopheles gambiae, and non-blood feeding autogenous species like.
Our Specific Aims to meet these goals are: 1. Characterize OEH mediated nutrient mobilization and egg maturation in Ae. aegypti. 2. Assess the roles of OEH and ILPs in egg development of An. gambiae and O. atropalpus. 3. Assess the effects of OEH, ILP3, rapamycin and insulin receptor inhibitor PQIP in disabling mosquito reproduction. Expected outcomes of our work will include an enhanced understanding of how egg production is regulated in anautogenous and autogenous species. Our study will also provide important insights into how egg development can be disabled.

Public Health Relevance

Mosquitoes are the most important arthropod vectors of disease-causing pathogens. Our work will help us understand the mechanisms that control blood feeding and egg production in mosquitoes, which are critical issues in transmission of disease-causing parasites. This will provide the foundation for development of new approaches for controlling mosquito reproduction and reducing disease transmission.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Vector Biology Study Section (VB)
Program Officer
Costero, Adriana
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Georgia
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
United States
Zip Code
McKinney, David A; Eum, Jai-Hoon; Dhara, Animesh et al. (2016) Calcium influx enhances neuropeptide activation of ecdysteroid hormone production by mosquito ovaries. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 70:160-9
Vogel, Kevin J; Brown, Mark R; Strand, Michael R (2015) Ovary ecdysteroidogenic hormone requires a receptor tyrosine kinase to activate egg formation in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:5057-62
Gulia-Nuss, Monika; Elliot, Anne; Brown, Mark R et al. (2015) Multiple factors contribute to anautogenous reproduction by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. J Insect Physiol 82:8-16
Hillyer, Julián F; Strand, Michael R (2014) Mosquito hemocyte-mediated immune responses. Curr Opin Insect Sci 3:14-21
Coon, Kerri L; Vogel, Kevin J; Brown, Mark R et al. (2014) Mosquitoes rely on their gut microbiota for development. Mol Ecol 23:2727-39
Vogel, Kevin J; Brown, Mark R; Strand, Michael R (2013) Phylogenetic investigation of Peptide hormone and growth factor receptors in five dipteran genomes. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 4:193
Dhara, Animesh; Eum, Jai-Hoon; Robertson, Anne et al. (2013) Ovary ecdysteroidogenic hormone functions independently of the insulin receptor in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 43:1100-8
Kaufmann, Christian; Collins, Lauren F; Brown, Mark R (2013) Influence of Age and Nutritional Status on Flight Performance of the Asian Tiger Mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). Insects 4:
Ma, Zhiqing; Gulia-Nuss, Monika; Zhang, Xing et al. (2013) Effects of the botanical insecticide, toosendanin, on blood digestion and egg production by female Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae): topical application and ingestion. J Med Entomol 50:112-21
Gulia-Nuss, Monika; Eum, Jai-Hoon; Strand, Michael R et al. (2012) Ovary ecdysteroidogenic hormone activates egg maturation in the mosquito Georgecraigius atropalpus after adult eclosion or a blood meal. J Exp Biol 215:3758-67

Showing the most recent 10 out of 35 publications