Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Human blood and floral nectar are both appetizing meals to a hungry female mosquito, yet each meal fulfills a distinct nutritional requirement. While protein obtained from blood is required for females to develop eggs and successfully reproduce, carbohydrates supplied from plant nectar are sufficient for energy metabolism in both females and males. To procure essential nutrients from these distinct food sources, females employ two mutually exclusive feeding programs with unique sensory appendages, meal sizes, digestive tract targets, and metabolic fates. When a female is ready to reproduce, she must selectively seek the taste of blood and ignore the sweet taste of nectar. How does she flexibly modify her preference for the taste of blood to select the feeding program that satisfies her current metabolic needs?
Jove, Veronica, "The Taste of Blood" (2021). Student Theses and Dissertations. 608.