Iron and ferritin deposition in the ovarian tissues of the yellow fever mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae)

Dawn L. Geiser, Theresa N. Thai, Maria B. Love, Joy J. Winzerling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Dengue, yellow fever, and Zika are viruses transmitted by yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti [Linnaeus (Diptera: Culicidae)], to thousands of people each year. Mosquitoes transmit these viruses while consuming a blood meal that is required for oogenesis. Iron, an essential nutrient from the blood meal, is required for egg development. Mosquitoes receive a high iron load in the meal; although iron can be toxic, these animals have developed mechanisms for dealing with this load. Our previous research has shown iron from the blood meal is absorbed in the gut and transported by ferritin, the main iron transport and storage protein, to the ovaries. We now report the distribution of iron and ferritin in ovarian tissues before blood feeding and 24 and 72 h post-blood meal. Ovarian iron is observed in specific locations. Timing post-blood feeding influences the location and distribution of the ferritin heavy-chain homolog, light-chain homolog 1, and light-chain homolog 2 in ovaries. Understanding iron deposition in ovarian tissues is important to the potential use of interference in iron metabolism as a vector control strategy for reducing mosquito fecundity, decreasing mosquito populations, and thereby reducing transmission rates of vector-borne diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberiez089
JournalJournal of Insect Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Ferritin
  • Iron
  • Mosquito
  • Ovary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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