Mosquito sperm have a sense of smell — a surprising finding that could one day help control disease-carrying mosquitoes, researchers say.
Mosquitoes use scent-detecting molecules known as odorant receptors in their antennae. These sensors help mosquitoes “sniff out” sources of blood as part of their sense of smell, technically known as olfaction.
Now, researchers have discovered mosquitoes have these same molecules in their sperm. Scientists analyzed the mosquito species Anopheles gambiae, one of the most common carriers of malaria. They found odorant receptors on the whip like tails of the mosquitoes’ sperm. These molecules help to spur the beating of the tails, and thus help control the movement of the sperm, the researchers said. read more