Associative learning in the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti: Avoidance of a previously attractive odor or surface color that is paired with an aversive stimulus

Gil Menda, Joshua H. Uhr, Robert A. Wyttenbach, Françoise M. Vermeylen, David M. Smith, Laura C. Harrington, Ronald R. Hoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Associative learning has been shown in a variety of insects, including the mosquitoes Culex quinquefasciatus and Anopheles gambiae. This study demonstrates associative learning for the first time in Aedes aegypti, an important vector of dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya viruses. This species prefers to rest on dark surfaces and is attracted to the odor of 1-octen-3-ol. After training in which a dark surface alone or a dark surface with odor was paired with electric shock, mosquitoes avoided the previously attractive area. The association was stronger when odor was included in training, was retained for at least 60 min but not for 24 h, and was equal for males and females. These results demonstrate the utility of a bulk-training paradigm for mosquitoes similar to that used with Drosophila melanogaster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-223
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume216
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conditioning
  • Inhibitory avoidance
  • Passive avoidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

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