Endocrinology of Mosquito Reproduction
Several million people around the world are infected with nematodes, malaria, and viruses that are carried by mosquitoes, and hundreds of thousands, especially children, die each year from the effects of such parasites. These parasites develop and divide only in female mosquitoes, which require a blood meal for egg maturation, and the inoculum of infection for mosquitoes and humans is the blood meal. The research program of UGA entomologists focuses on the hormonal regulation of reproduction in female mosquitoes and contributes to a fundamental understanding of the interaction between mosquitoes and their parasites. The objectives are to determine the structure and function of neuropeptides and other hormones and their action through receptors and signal transduction pathways. Knowledge of chemical messengers and their actions in female mosquitoes will point to mechanisms that can be targeted for the development and application of novel genetic or chemical controls.