Event Title

Volatile Components of Preen Gland Secretions and Community-Level Interactions in Disease Transmission

Location

King Building 343

Start Date

4-28-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 4:20 PM

Abtract

The transmission of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) among birds is dependent on the ability of the mosquito vector to locate and feed upon the avian host. A number of birds acquire WNV infections and serve as natural reservoirs of the virus, however American Robins are believed to be the most important. The reason for this preference is not known. Chemical analysis of the volatile components of the preen gland secretions of American Robins and two other common WNV reservoir hosts, House Sparrows and European Starlings, conducted by Whelan and Austin reveal species-specific volatile profiles. We hypothesized that the Culex pipiens (Cx. pipiens) mosquito WNV vector is preferentially attracted to American Robins over the other two species and that this attraction is based on the mosquito’s preference for the volatiles emitted from the robin preen gland. We conducted mosquito choice trials using an olfactometer to test the predictions that 1) Cx. pipiens is preferentially attracted to American Robins over House Sparrows and European Starlings and 2) Cx. pipiens is preferentially attracted to preen gland secretions of American Robins over those of the other two species. We found that Cx. pipiens is more often attracted to live robins over sparrows; however, we found no preference for robin preen gland volatiles over those of sparrows. Surprisingly, we found that Cx. pipiens is more often attracted to starlings over robins and to the volatile components of starling preen gland secretions over those of robins.

Keywords:

disease transmission, mosquitoes, birds

Notes

Session II, Panel 10 - Natural | Resilience
Moderator: Keith Tarvin, Chair and Professor of Biology

Major

Biology

Advisor(s)

Mary Garvin, Biology

Project Mentor(s)

Mary Garvin, Biology
Rebecca Whelan, Chemistry & Biochemistry

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 28th, 3:00 PM Apr 28th, 4:20 PM

Volatile Components of Preen Gland Secretions and Community-Level Interactions in Disease Transmission

King Building 343

The transmission of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) among birds is dependent on the ability of the mosquito vector to locate and feed upon the avian host. A number of birds acquire WNV infections and serve as natural reservoirs of the virus, however American Robins are believed to be the most important. The reason for this preference is not known. Chemical analysis of the volatile components of the preen gland secretions of American Robins and two other common WNV reservoir hosts, House Sparrows and European Starlings, conducted by Whelan and Austin reveal species-specific volatile profiles. We hypothesized that the Culex pipiens (Cx. pipiens) mosquito WNV vector is preferentially attracted to American Robins over the other two species and that this attraction is based on the mosquito’s preference for the volatiles emitted from the robin preen gland. We conducted mosquito choice trials using an olfactometer to test the predictions that 1) Cx. pipiens is preferentially attracted to American Robins over House Sparrows and European Starlings and 2) Cx. pipiens is preferentially attracted to preen gland secretions of American Robins over those of the other two species. We found that Cx. pipiens is more often attracted to live robins over sparrows; however, we found no preference for robin preen gland volatiles over those of sparrows. Surprisingly, we found that Cx. pipiens is more often attracted to starlings over robins and to the volatile components of starling preen gland secretions over those of robins.