A dual-target molecular mechanism of pyrethrum repellency against mosquitoes

Date
2021-01-01
Authors
Liu, Feng
Wang, Qiang
Coats, Joel
Xu, Peng
Andreazza, Felipe
Valbon, Wilson
Bandason, Elizabeth
Chen, Mengli
Yan, Ru
Feng, Bo
Smith, Leticia
Scott, Jeffrey
Takamatsu, Genki
Ihara, Makoto
Matsuda, Kazuhiko
Klimavicz, James
Coats, Joel
Oliveira, Eugenio
Du, Yuzhe
Dong, Ke
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Coats, Joel
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Entomology
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Entomology
Abstract

Pyrethrum extracts from flower heads of Chrysanthemum spp. have been used worldwide in insecticides and repellents. While the molecular mechanisms of its insecticidal action are known, the molecular basis of pyrethrum repellency remains a mystery. In this study, we find that the principal components of pyrethrum, pyrethrins, and a minor component, (E)-β-farnesene (EBF), each activate a specific type of olfactory receptor neurons in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. We identify Ae. aegypti odorant receptor 31 (AaOr31) as a cognate Or for EBF and find that Or31-mediated repellency is significantly synergized by pyrethrin-induced activation of voltage-gated sodium channels. Thus, pyrethrum exerts spatial repellency through a novel, dual-target mechanism. Elucidation of this two-target mechanism may have potential implications in the design and development of a new generation of synthetic repellents against major mosquito vectors of infectious diseases.

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This article is published as Liu, F., Wang, Q., Xu, P. et al. A dual-target molecular mechanism of pyrethrum repellency against mosquitoes. Nat Commun 12, 2553 (2021). doi:10.1038/s41467-021-22847-0.

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