Title

A Biological Study On The Midguts Of Black Flies And Mosquitos

Author(s)

Claire Bernardo

School Name

Governor's School for Science and Math

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Zoology

Presentation Type

Mentored

Mentor

Mentor: Dr. Beard; Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Clemson University

Written Paper Award

2nd Place

Abstract

Simuliidae (black flies) and Culicidae (mosquitos) act as vectors for infectious diseases such as river blindness, malaria, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. As both Simuliidae and Culicidae belong to the Diptera family, the insects share similar physical characteristics. Simuliidae act as hosts to the symbiotic trichomycete fungus known as Harpella melusinae. This fungus attaches to the peritrophic matrix located in the midgut of Simuliidae and other aquatic Diptera larvae. The Simuliidae larvae release trichomycete spores into their environment. Culicidae share very similar looking midguts with the Simuliidae, yet they do not naturally harbor midgut trichomycetes such as H. melusinae. The purpose of this research was to collect preliminary data to determine why this fungus does not grow in the midguts of mosquitoes. For this study, four different species of Culicidae larvae were exposed to H. melusinae spores collected from black flies using four different methods. The midguts of the Culicidae were then inspected in order to assay whether or not H. melusinae colonized the midgut. After inspection of fifty eight individuals, four Culicidae showed a trichomycete spore in their midguts. These data supports the hypothesis that Culicidae midguts are capable of housing H. melusinae. However, greater sample size is required in order to support these preliminary results. Overall, this research provides scientists and entomologists with more information on how Culicidae midguts differ from other aquatic Diptera midguts.

Location

Kinard 119

Start Date

4-16-2016 11:30 AM

COinS
 
Apr 16th, 11:30 AM

A Biological Study On The Midguts Of Black Flies And Mosquitos

Kinard 119

Simuliidae (black flies) and Culicidae (mosquitos) act as vectors for infectious diseases such as river blindness, malaria, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. As both Simuliidae and Culicidae belong to the Diptera family, the insects share similar physical characteristics. Simuliidae act as hosts to the symbiotic trichomycete fungus known as Harpella melusinae. This fungus attaches to the peritrophic matrix located in the midgut of Simuliidae and other aquatic Diptera larvae. The Simuliidae larvae release trichomycete spores into their environment. Culicidae share very similar looking midguts with the Simuliidae, yet they do not naturally harbor midgut trichomycetes such as H. melusinae. The purpose of this research was to collect preliminary data to determine why this fungus does not grow in the midguts of mosquitoes. For this study, four different species of Culicidae larvae were exposed to H. melusinae spores collected from black flies using four different methods. The midguts of the Culicidae were then inspected in order to assay whether or not H. melusinae colonized the midgut. After inspection of fifty eight individuals, four Culicidae showed a trichomycete spore in their midguts. These data supports the hypothesis that Culicidae midguts are capable of housing H. melusinae. However, greater sample size is required in order to support these preliminary results. Overall, this research provides scientists and entomologists with more information on how Culicidae midguts differ from other aquatic Diptera midguts.