Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Fernando Noriega

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Lidia Kos

Third Advisor's Name

Lou Kim

Fourth Advisor's Name

Fenfei Leng

Fifth Advisor's Name

Alejandro Barbieri


Mosquito, oosorption, oogenesis, juvenile hormone, mating, Aedes aegypti

Date of Defense



Juvenile hormone (JH) is the central hormonal regulator of life-history trade-offs in many insects. In Aedes aegypti, JH regulates reproductive development after emergence. Little is known about JH’s physiological functions after reproductive development is complete or JH’s role in mediating life-history trade-offs. By examining the effect of hormones, nutrition, and mating on ovarian physiology during the previtellogenic resting stage, critical roles were determined for these factors in mediating life-history trade-offs and reproductive output. The extent of follicular resorption during the previtellogenic resting stage is dependent on nutritional quality. Feeding females a low quality diet during the resting stage causes the rate of follicular resorption to increase and reproductive output to decrease. Conversely, feeding females a high quality diet causes resorption to remain low. The extent of resorption can be increased by separating the ovaries from a source of JH or decreased by exogenous application of methoprene. Active caspases were localized to resorbing follicles indicating that an apoptosis-like mechanism participates in follicular resorption. Accumulations of neutral lipids and the accumulation of mRNA’s integral to endocytosis and oocyte development such as the vitellogenin receptor (AaVgR), lipophorin receptor (AaLpRov), heavy-chain clathrin (AaCHC), and ribosomal protein L32 (rpL32) were also examined under various nutritional and hormonal conditions. The abundance of mRNA's and neutral lipid content increased within the previtellogenic ovary as mosquitoes were offered increasing sucrose concentrations or were treated with methoprene. These same nutritional and hormonal manipulations altered the extent of resorption after a blood meal indicating that the fate of follicles and overall fecundity depends, in part, on nutritional and hormonal status during the previtellogenic resting stage. Mating female mosquitoes also altered follicle quality and resorption similarly to nutrition or hormonal application and demonstrates that male accessory gland substances such as JH III passed to the female during copulation have a strong effect on ovarian physiology during the previtellogenic resting stage and can influence reproductive output. Taken together these results demonstrate that the previtellogenic resting stage is not an inactive period but is instead a period marked by extensive life-history and fitness trade-offs in response to nutrition, hormones and mating stimuli.




Phillip, please check page numbers



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