Wolbachia infection in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes alters blood meal excretion and delays oviposition without affecting trypsin activity

Sofia Pimenta de Oliveira, Caroline Dantas de Oliveira, Mauricio Roberto Viana Sant'Anna, Heverton Leandro Carneiro Dutra, Eric Pearce Caragata, Luciano Andrade Moreira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Blood feeding in Aedes aegypti is essential for reproduction, but also permits the mosquito to act as a vector for key human pathogens such as the Zika and dengue viruses. Wolbachia pipientis is an endosymbiotic bacterium that can manipulate the biology of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, making them less competent hosts for many pathogens. Yet while Wolbachia affects other aspects of host physiology, it is unclear whether it influences physiological processes associated with blood meal digestion. To that end, we examined the effects of wMel Wolbachia infection in Ae. aegypti, on survival post-blood feeding, blood meal excretion, rate of oviposition, expression levels of key genes involved in oogenesis, and activity levels of trypsin blood digestion enzymes. We observed that wMel infection altered the rate and duration of blood meal excretion, delayed the onset of oviposition and was associated with a greater number of eggs being laid later. wMel-infected Ae. aegypti also had lower levels of key yolk protein precursor genes necessary for oogenesis. However, all of these effects occurred without a change in trypsin activity. These results suggest that Wolbachia infection may disrupt normal metabolic processes associated with blood feeding and reproduction in Ae. aegypti.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Aedes aegypti
  • Blood feeding
  • Digestion
  • Excretion
  • Oogenesis
  • Wolbachia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

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