Background: The Anopheles gambiae salivary glands play a major role in malaria transmission and express a variety of bioactive components that facilitate blood-feeding by preventing platelet aggregation, blood clotting, vasodilatation, and inflammatory and other reactions at the probing site on the vertebrate host.Results: We have performed a global transcriptome analysis of the A. gambiae salivary gland response to blood-feeding, to identify candidate genes that are involved in hematophagy. A total of 4,978 genes were found to be transcribed in this tissue. A comparison of salivary gland transcriptomes prior to and after blood-feeding identified 52 and 41 transcripts that were significantly up-regulated and down-regulated, respectively. Ten genes were further selected to assess their role in the blood-feeding process using RNAi-mediated gene silencing methodology. Depletion of the salivary gland genes encoding D7L2, anophelin, peroxidase, the SG2 precursor, and a 5'nucleotidase gene significantly increased probing time of A. gambiae mosquitoes and thereby their capacity to blood-feed.Conclusions: The salivary gland transcriptome comprises approximately 38% of the total mosquito transcriptome and a small proportion of it is dynamically changing already at two hours in response to blood feeding. A better understanding of the salivary gland transcriptome and its function can contribute to the development of pathogen transmission control strategies and the identification of medically relevant bioactive compounds.
ASJC Scopus subject areas