Sexual dimorphism, a poorly understood but crucial aspect of vector mosquito biology, encompasses sex-specific physical, physiological, and behavioral traits related to mosquito reproduction. The study of mosquito sexual dimorphism has largely focused on analysis of the differences between adult female and male mosquitoes, particularly with respect to sex-specific behaviors related to disease transmission. However, sexually dimorphic behaviors are the products of differential gene expression that initiates during development and therefore must also be studied during development. Recent technical advancements are facilitating functional genetic studies in the dengue vector Aedes aegypti, an emerging model for mosquito development. These methodologies, many of which could be extended to other non-model insect species, are facilitating analysis of the development of sexual dimorphism in neural tissues, particularly the olfactory system. These studies are providing insight into the neurodevelopmental genetic basis for sexual dimorphism in vector mosquitoes.
- Gene targeting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics