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Gustatory receptor neuron responds to DEET and other insect repellents in the yellow-fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti


Three gustatory receptor neurons were characterized for contact chemoreceptive sensilla on the labella of female yellow-fever mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti. The neuron with the smallest amplitude spike responded to the feeding deterrent, quinine, as well as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide and other insect repellents. Two other neurons with differing spikes responded to salt (NaCl) and sucrose. This is the first report of a gustatory receptor neuron specific for insect repellents in mosquitoes and may provide a tool for screening chemicals to discover novel or improved feeding deterrents and repellents for use in the management of arthropod disease vectors.

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The authors are grateful to Dr. Daniel Strickman, USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD, USA and Dr. Richard G. Vogt, University of South Carolina for reviewing the manuscript. This work was supported in part by a grant to JCD from the Deployed War Fighter Protection Research Program.

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Correspondence to Joseph C. Dickens.

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Communicated by: Sven Thatje

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Sanford, J.L., Shields, V.D.C. & Dickens, J.C. Gustatory receptor neuron responds to DEET and other insect repellents in the yellow-fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti . Naturwissenschaften 100, 269–273 (2013).

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  • Mosquito
  • Insect repellent
  • Feeding deterrent
  • DEET
  • Aedes aegypti
  • Gustatory receptor neuron