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Female Anopheles gambiae antennae: increased transcript accumulation of the mosquito-specific odorant-binding-protein OBP2

DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-27

Keywords: Anopheles gambiae, Odorant, Binding, Protein, Antennae

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Our initial focus is on odorant binding proteins with differential transcript accumulation between female and male mosquitoes. We report that the odorant binding protein, OBP2 (AGAP003306), had increased expression in the antennae of female vs. male Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto (G3 strain). The increased expression in antennae of females of this gene by quantitative RT-PCR was 4.2 to 32.3 fold in three independent biological replicates and two technical replicate experiments using A. gambiae from two different laboratories. OBP2 is a member of the vast OBP superfamily of insect odorant binding proteins and belongs to the predominantly dipteran clade that includes the Culex oviposition kairomone-binding OBP1. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that its orthologs are present across culicid mosquitoes and are likely to play a conserved role in recognizing a molecule that might be critical for female behavior.OBP2 has increased mRNA transcript accumulation in the antennae of female as compared to male A. gambiae. This molecule and related molecules may play an important role in female mosquito feeding and breeding behavior. This finding may be a step toward providing a foundation for understanding mosquito olfactory requirements and developing control strategies based on reducing mosquito feeding and breeding success.Factors that influence mosquito fitness, especially host seeking and mate finding are complex and modulated by multiple cues, of which olfactory cues are most important [1-4]. Detection of odor molecules requires odorant binding proteins (OBPs) that are abundant in antennal chemosensilla [5,6]. OBPs are low molecular weight soluble proteins that bind and transport odor molecules from sensillae to G-protein-coupled receptors in olfactory sensory neurons [6]. The finding of receptor AgamOBP1 binding to its ligand indole demonstrated the significance of OBPs in odor recognition [7]. Understanding olfactory function could lead to development of malaria control


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