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1 May 2015 Crepuscular Behavioral Variation and Profiling of Opsin Genes in Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi (Diptera: Culicidae)
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We understand little about photopreference and the molecular mechanisms governing vision-dependent behavior in vector mosquitoes. Investigations of the influence of photopreference on adult mosquito behaviors such as endophagy and exophagy and endophily and exophily will enhance our ability to develop and deploy vector-targeted interventions and monitoring techniques. Our laboratory-based analyses have revealed that crepuscular period photopreference differs between An. gambiae and An. stephensi. We employed qRT-PCR to assess crepuscular transcriptional expression patterns of long wavelength-, short wavelength-, and ultraviolet wavelength-sensing opsins (i.e., rhodopsin-class G-protein coupled receptors) in An. gambiae and in An. stephensi. Transcript levels do not exhibit consistent differences between species across diurnal cycles, indicating that differences in transcript abundances within this gene set are not correlated with these behavioral differences. Using developmentally staged and gender-specific RNAseq data sets in An. gambiae, we show that long wavelength-sensing opsins are expressed in two different patterns (one set expressed during larval stages, and one set expressed during adult stages), while short wavelength- and ultraviolet wavelength-sensing opsins exhibit increased expression during adult stages. Genomic organization of An. gambiae opsins suggests paralogous gene expansion of long wavelength-sensing opsins in comparison with An. stephensi. We speculate that this difference in gene number may contribute to variation between these species in photopreference behavior (e.g., visual sensitivity).

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact
Adam M. Jenkins and Marc A. T. Muskavitch "Crepuscular Behavioral Variation and Profiling of Opsin Genes in Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles stephensi (Diptera: Culicidae)," Journal of Medical Entomology 52(3), 296-307, (1 May 2015).
Received: 9 September 2014; Accepted: 4 February 2015; Published: 1 May 2015

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