Combinatorial encoding of odors in the mosquito antennal lobe


This study focuses on how mosquitoes encode individual odourants from host smells in their brain. Using an in-vivo preparation for patch-clamp recordings, the researchers record from projection neurons and local neurons in the antennal lobe of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. By combining intracellular recordings with morphological reconstructions and immunohistochemistry, they identify different sub-classes of antennal lobe neurons and their interactions. They find that a single odourant can activate multiple neurons innervating different glomeruli, and the population activity of projection neurons represents both the stimulus identity and the behavioral preference of the mosquito. Together, these results offer a detailed account of the second-order olfactory neurons in the mosquito’s central nervous system, furthering our understanding of olfactory processing in the mosquito brain.