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Finding the tsetse fly nose genes
Poster Title: Finding the tsetse fly nose genes
Submitted on 22 Aug 2015
Author(s): Obiero GFO, Mireji PO, Christoffels A, Masiga DK
Affiliations: International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology; University of the Western Cape
This poster was presented at WellconeTrust training workshop 2013
Poster Views: 1,462
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Poster Information
Abstract: Tsetse flies are vectors of a debilitating trypanosomiasis disease in Africa, affecting both animals and humans. The flies use their sense of smell and taste to navigate their environment, importantly to locate their vertebrate blood-meal hosts. Our work interrogated the just sequence Glossina morsitans morsitans genome to identify and annotate the genes responsible for their ability to smell their environment. We used a host of bioinformatic tools to annotate and analyze the genes. The work presents the molecular basis for the power of chemosensory receptors in the fly. Comparatively it shows that the tsetse encode lower number of chemoreceptors relative to fruit fly and anopheles mosquito. This provides a probable reason why the tsetse inhabit a narrow ecological range. It confirms absence of sugar receptors in the tsetse a probable reason explaining their strict blood-feeding habit, and not sap sucking as other insects. Characterizing these genes in tsetse enhances direction for improvement of vector control tools, The results also avails initial information for conducting comparative studies with other insects, as well as functional studies of the genes. Summary: Tsetse flies transmit devastating sleeping sickness in man and nagana in livestock, strictly within tropical Africa. They use their ability to smell to locate their hosts. We identified novel proteins implicated in the process, including odorant receptors, gustatory receptors, ionotropic receptors, chemosensory proteins and odorant binding proteins. The results showed homology to those in other diptera. They will be useful in finding alternative or improvement of tsetse control tools.References: 1. Daniel Masiga, George Obiero, Rosaline Macharia, Paul Mireji, Alan Christoffels (2014). Chemosensory receptors in tsetse flies provide link between chemical and behavioural ecology. Trends in Parasitology. DOI:10.1016/ Available
2. Obiero GFO, Mireji PO, Nyanjom SRG, Christoffels A, Robertson HM, & Masiga DK (2014). Odorant and Gustatory Receptors in tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8: e2663. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002663
3. International Glossina Genome Initiative (IGGI) (2014). Genome Sequence of the Tsetse Fly (Glossina morsitans): Vector of African Trypanosomiasis. Science 344 (6282): 380-386. DOI: 10.1126/science.1249656.
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