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Circadian Regulation of Light-Evoked Attraction and Avoidance Behaviors in Daytime- versus Nighttime-Biting Mosquitoes.

  • Baik, Lisa S1
  • Nave, Ceazar1
  • Au, David D1
  • Guda, Tom2
  • Chevez, Joshua A1
  • Ray, Anandasankar2
  • Holmes, Todd C3
  • 1 Department of Physiology and Biophysics, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
  • 2 Department of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
  • 3 Department of Physiology and Biophysics, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA. Electronic address: [email protected]
Published Article
Current biology : CB
Publication Date
Aug 17, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.06.010
PMID: 32619483


Mosquitoes pose widespread threats to humans and other animals as disease vectors [1]. Day- versus night-biting mosquitoes occupy distinct time-of-day niches [2, 3]. Here, we explore day- versus night-biting female and male mosquitoes' innate temporal attraction/avoidance behavioral responses to light and their regulation by circadian circuit and molecular mechanisms. Day-biting mosquitoes Aedes aegypti, particularly females, are attracted to light during the day regardless of spectra. In contrast, night-biting mosquitoes, Anopheles coluzzii, specifically avoid ultraviolet (UV) and blue light during the day. Behavioral attraction to/avoidance of light in both species change with time of day and show distinct sex and circadian neural circuit differences. Males of both diurnal and nocturnal mosquito species show reduced UV light avoidance in anticipation of evening onset relative to females. The circadian neural circuits of diurnal/day- and nocturnal/night-biting mosquitoes based on PERIOD (PER) and pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) expression show similar but distinct circuit organizations between species. The basis of diurnal versus nocturnal behaviors is driven by molecular clock timing, which cycles in anti-phase between day- versus night-biting mosquitoes. Observed differences at the neural circuit and protein levels provide insight into the fundamental basis underlying diurnality versus nocturnality. Molecular disruption of the circadian clock severely interferes with light-evoked attraction/avoidance behaviors in mosquitoes. In summary, attraction/avoidance behaviors show marked differences between day- versus night-biting mosquitoes, but both classes of mosquitoes are circadian and light regulated, which may be applied toward species-specific control of harmful mosquitoes. Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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