Does membrane feeding compromise the quality of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes?

Autoři: Perran A. Ross aff001;  Meng-Jia Lau aff001;  Ary A. Hoffmann aff001
Působiště autorů: Pest and Environmental Adaptation Research Group, Bio21 Institute and the School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224268


Modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are being mass-reared for release in disease control programs around the world. Releases involving female mosquitoes rely on them being able to seek and feed on human hosts. To facilitate the mass-production of mosquitoes for releases, females are often provided blood through artificial membrane feeders. When reared across generations there is a risk that mosquitoes will adapt to feeding on membranes and lose their ability to feed on human hosts. To test adaptation to membrane feeding, we selected replicate populations of Ae. aegypti for feeding on either human arms or membrane feeders for at least 8 generations. Membrane-selected populations suffered fitness costs, likely due to inbreeding depression arising from bottlenecks. Membrane-selected females had higher feeding rates on membranes than human-selected ones, suggesting adaptation to membrane feeding, but they maintained their attraction to host cues and feeding ability on humans despite a lack of selection for these traits. Host-seeking ability in small laboratory cages did not differ between populations selected on the two blood sources, but membrane-selected females were compromised in a semi-field enclosure where host-seeking was tested over a longer distance. Our findings suggest that Ae. aegypti may adapt to feeding on blood provided artificially, but this will not substantially compromise field performance or affect experimental assessments of mosquito fitness. However, large population sizes (thousands of individuals) during mass rearing with membrane feeders should be maintained to avoid bottlenecks which lead to inbreeding depression.

Klíčová slova:

Aedes aegypti – Artificial membranes – Blood – Fecundity – Inbreeding – Membrane potential – Mosquitoes


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2019 Číslo 11