Knockdown of a mosquito odorant-binding protein involved in the sensitive detection of oviposition attractants

Julien Pelletier, Aline Guidolin, Zainulabeuddin Syed, Anthony J. Cornel, Walter S. Leal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) were discovered almost three decades ago, but there is still considerable debate regarding their role(s) in insect olfaction, particularly due to our inability to knockdown OBPs and demonstrate their direct phenotypic effects. By using RNA interference (RNAi), we reduced transcription of a major OBP gene, CquiOBP1, in the antennae of the Southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus. Previously, we had demonstrated that the mosquito oviposition pheromone (MOP) binds to CquiOBP1, which is expressed in MOP-sensitive sensilla. Antennae of RNAi-treated mosquitoes showed significantly lower electrophysiological responses to known mosquito oviposition attractants than the antennae of water-injected, control mosquitoes. While electroantennogram (EAG) responses to MOP, skatole, and indole were reduced in the knockdowns, there was no significant difference in the EAG responses from RNAi-treated and water-injected mosquito antennae to nonanal at all doses tested. These data suggest that CquiOBP1 is involved in the reception of some oviposition attractants, and that high levels of OBPs expression are essential for the sensitivity of the insect's olfactory system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-248
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (0918177) and a cooperative agreement with Bedoukian Research Inc. A.G. was supported by funds from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) under a FIPSE-CAPES sponsored U.S.-Brazil Higher Education Consortium Program.


  • CquiOBP1
  • Culex quinquefasciatus antennae
  • EAG
  • Indole
  • MOP
  • Oviposition attractants
  • RNA interference
  • Skatole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Knockdown of a mosquito odorant-binding protein involved in the sensitive detection of oviposition attractants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this