I want to highlight two great papers by my labmates that came out last month. In the first, Dr. Panayiota Kotsakiozi and colleagues used population genomics to investigate the global genetic structure and invasions of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). To summarize, the authors found two main genetic clusters worldwide, which generally correspond to populations that can undergo diapause and those that can’t (diapause is a type of dormancy which is important for these mosquitoes to survive winter in temperate climates). Within the group that can undergo diapause, there was likely an invasion from Japan into North America, and then North America into Italy. In the cluster that can’t undergo diapause, invasions from southeast Asia were likely responsible for current populations in South America and Greece. Check out the full paper to learn more about this study and its important implications.
In the second paper, Dr. Andrea Gloria-Soria et al. performed experiments on yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) and dengue viruses from two locations in Vietnam – one warmer and one cooler – in order to study the interaction between mosquito genotype, virus genotype, and temperature. One important take- away is that at lower temperatures, mosquitoes that are adapted to warmer climates are more susceptible to infection with dengue. This could have serious implications for invasions of tropical mosquitoes into more temperate climates. Learn more by reading the full paper.