Curr Opin Insect Sci.: auth.: R.Benton

Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2017 Apr;20:19-27. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2017.02.003. Epub 2017 Mar 7.

The neurobiology of gustation in insect disease vectors: progress and potential.


For insect vectors of human diseases, mealtimes are a key moment of infection. Understanding how and when such species decide on what to feed is both an interesting problem in sensory neurobiology and a source of information for intervention of these behaviors to control spread of infectious agents. Here I review the current knowledge of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of gustation in insect disease vectors, covering blood-feeders as well as scavengers that spread pathogens indirectly. I also consider how these behaviors are modulated over short and long timescales, and describe efforts to artificially modulate them. Though a relatively nascent field, gustatory neurobiology in insect vectors has much promise for future fundamental discoveries and practical applications.

PMID: 28602232