Light-Dark and Circadian Effects on the Visual Response of Aedes aegypti

Doctoral Dissertation


Acquisition of many diseases requires transmission to humans through the mosquito. One strategy to decrease ill effects of diseases with an obligate mosquito host transfer stage involves an understanding of mosquito sensory biology. However, the visual system of mosquitoes has gone understudied until recent years. The goal of my work was to expand on the existing knowledge in this field. Chapter 2 demonstrates that the major rhodopsin, Aaop1, is expressed in all ommatidial units and in a rhythmic fashion. Furthermore, the management of localization of this protein into and out of rhabdomeric membranes is a light-dependent process that is required for maturation. In Chapter 3 I show that the movement of Aaop1 into the rhabdomeres correlates with an ~1.5 log unit increase in sensitivity to light. This allows for heightened sensitivity during the morning peak activity when the mosquitoes are under low light conditions. During the course of these experiments it became clear that there is an influence of the circadian clock on the visual system in Ae. aegypti. In Chapter 4 I supplement the limited information regarding the circadian clocks effect on gene expression. I describe the generation of a publicly available database of gene expression under both normal light dark and constant dark conditions. This database is now available at An in depth analysis of data made available from the Ae. aegypti Circadian Database allowed for two advances in understanding the influence of the circadian clock in mosquitoes. In Chapter 5 I first examine visual system specific genes to reveal a tight regulation of the circadian clock on expression of many genes involved in phototransduction. Secondly, the analysis provided a comparison of Ae. aegypti to other dipterans in which similar studies have been completed. This revealed that the circadian regulation of visual gene expression is conserved between both Ae. aegypti and An. gambiae mosquitoes but not in Drosophila.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-03262015-155209

Author Matthew Leming
Advisor Joseph OTousa
Contributor Dave Severson, Committee Member
Contributor Giles Duffield, Committee Member
Contributor Joseph OTousa, Committee Chair
Contributor Zain Syed, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Biological Sciences
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2015-03-23

Submission Date 2015-03-26
  • United States of America

  • rhodopsin

  • vision

  • mosquito

  • aedes

  • circadian

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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