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The Journal of experimental biology

Associative learning in the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti: avoidance of a previously attractive odor or surface color that is paired with an aversive stimulus.


PMID 22996441

Abstract

Associative learning has been shown in a variety of insects, including the mosquitoes Culex quinquefasciatus and Anopheles gambiae. This study demonstrates associative learning for the first time in Aedes aegypti, an important vector of dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya viruses. This species prefers to rest on dark surfaces and is attracted to the odor of 1-octen-3-ol. After training in which a dark surface alone or a dark surface with odor was paired with electric shock, mosquitoes avoided the previously attractive area. The association was stronger when odor was included in training, was retained for at least 60 min but not for 24 h, and was equal for males and females. These results demonstrate the utility of a bulk-training paradigm for mosquitoes similar to that used with Drosophila melanogaster.

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