Navigation Links
University of Nevada, Reno research team discovers hormone that causes malaria mosquito to urinate

Discovery has implications for control of mosquitoes, malaria and West Nile Virus

Prior to coming to Nevada 16 years ago, David Schooley was a key figure at a small company in Palo Alto, Calif. that developed methoprene, an insecticide that halts the maturation of insect larvae to adults.

Methoprene, which has the same effect as an insect hormone called juvenile hormone, also stops the insect from reproducing. It is being used heavily throughout the United States to help prevent the spread of West Nile Virus.

Schooley's contribution to the development of methoprene was to prove that it is harmless to animals and the environment.

"Table salt is far more toxic," said Schooley, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources

The problem with methoprene, however, is that for a species such as the tobacco hornworm, methoprene causes it to grow larger instead of transforming into a moth, enhancing the pest's ability to devastate crops.

"It's not a great way to sell an insecticide to a farmer," Schooley said. "Most money in pesticide development is in making insecticides for pests which attack crops."

This is what lead Schooley, and his colleague Geoff Coast of the University of London, down the path of finding a way to control insects that are pests at the larval stage, a path that has them instead potentially paving the way for better mosquito control.

A potential solution to the problem of killing insects at any stage of development may be found in peptide hormones, small proteins in all animals that regulate most bodily functions. While researching the genome of the malaria mosquito, Schooley discovered two different types of diuretic hormones similar to those from other insect species. These were synthesized at the University of Nevada, Reno then sent to London to study their effects on mosquitoes.

When a mosquito sucks blood from a human--and only pregnant female mosquitoes do this--it will take in twice its body weight in blood. To decrease this added weight, the mosquito urinates on its victim to release fluids.

Coast discovered that introducing one of the two diuretic hormones, DH31, into the mosquito causes the mosquito to excrete fluid rich in sodium chloride, the main salt in blood.

"Only DH31 causes the massive loss of sodium chloride which causes the mosquito to pee," Schooley said. "Stimulation of this process when the mosquito is not feeding could make the mosquito die."

Implications of this discovery, which is published in September's issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, could lead to the development of a pesticide for controlling mosquitoes.

"Synthetic compounds that mimic the action of these peptide hormones should be useful as pesticides," Schooley said. "Like methoprene, DH31 only affects lower species such as insects, which suggests it should be very safe to non-insect species."

Schooley said that discovery, development and extensive environmental testing of such a pesticide could take up to 10 years, however.


'"/>

Source:University of Nevada College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources


Related biology news :

1. University of Manchester makes made-to-measure skin and bones a reality using inkjet printers
2. New protein discovered by Hebrew University researchers
3. Next Generation Body Scanner Launched By The University Of Manchester
4. Roundup®highly lethal to amphibians, finds University of Pittsburgh researcher
5. Green catalyst destroys pesticides and munitions toxins, finds Carnegie Mellon University
6. Carnegie Mellon University research reveals how cells process large genes
7. University of Delaware researchers develop cancer nanobomb
8. University of Arizona plant scientists to unravel maize genome
9. Team led by Carnegie Mellon University scientist finds first evidence of a living memory trace
10. University of Utah to help build bionic arm
11. New University of Toronto research a pore excuse for engineering
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  higi, the health ... in North America , today announced ... and the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and ... set of tools to transform population health activities through ... lifestyle data. higi collects and secures data ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... N.Y. , March 27, 2017  Catholic ... Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for ... EMR Adoption Model sm . In addition, CHS ... of U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical record ... for its high level of EMR usage in ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their ... The Global ... CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately ... the market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Academy of Model ... University Aviation Association (UAA), the unifying voice for collegiate aviation education, are launching ... teamwork, competition, and success through a STEM-based education platform. , Much like the ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... , ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... leaders in designating infertility as a disease, bringing new hope for prospective parents ... their 2017 annual meeting to back the World Health Organization’s designation in hopes ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is ... AMPH test was determined to be appropriate as a screening test at dairies and ... the Charm EZ system, and the Charm EZ Lite system. These systems are a ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... National executive search ... with extensive assay development and biomarker expertise, as VP of Scientific Affairs at ... specializing in bio-analytical assay development and sample testing services. The organization acts as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: