Some mosquitoes prefer to bite people, while others of the same kind of prefer cattle. Often this separation is observed within one species of blood-sucking insects. Genetics, representing the University of California found that such differences are laid at the genetic level.
The argument, explained the differences in “diets” mosquito genetic backgrounds, is a long time, and some believe that mosquitoes in the target selection based only on personal experience or even submit case. However, experts believe that in the new study, they managed to add a powerful argument in the Treasury of the opponents of such assumptions.
The researchers analyzed the genomes of 48 species of mosquitoes Anopheles arabiensis, of which 23 primarily suck the blood of people, and 25 of cattle. Other habits of both groups of insects, including elected them to stay place match. As it turned out, those mosquitoes that prefer to bite people and cows, from other is different from a genetic mutation called “inversion 3Ra”. Although final confirmation that it is not a coincidence, specialists will need larger studies, experts tend to believe that they have found the genetic background behind the various “taste” of mosquitoes.
As the scientists explain, this kind of information is not only of purely scientific interest, but in the future may have practical importance — mosquitoes of the species Anopheles arabiensis are the distributors of malaria in Eastern Africa, and primarily responsible for epidemics of this disease are precisely those insects that prefer cows to people. Experts do not exclude that in the future from genetically modified individuals “best” for people genetic modification will be able to do more common or even the only one.