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Aedes aegypti Thermal Choice Experiment

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The non-native mosquito Aedes aegypti has become a common nuisance in Maricopa county. Associated with human settlement, Ae. aegypti is known to reproduce in standing water sources both indoors and outdoors, within vessels such as tires, flowerpots, and neglected swimming

The non-native mosquito Aedes aegypti has become a common nuisance in Maricopa county. Associated with human settlement, Ae. aegypti is known to reproduce in standing water sources both indoors and outdoors, within vessels such as tires, flowerpots, and neglected swimming pools (Jansen & Beebe, 2010). Ae. aegypti and the related Ae. albopictus are the primary vectors of the arboviral diseases chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever and dengue. Ae. aegypti tends to blood feed multiple times per gonotrophic cycle (cycle of feeding and egg laying) which, alongside a preference for human blood and close association with human habitation, contributes to an increased risk of Ae. aegypti borne virus transmission (Scott & Takken, 2012). Between 2010-2017, 153 travel-associated cases of dengue were reported in the whole of Arizona (Rivera et al., 2020); while there have been no documented locally transmitted cases of Aedes borne diseases in Maricopa county, there are no apparent reasons why local transmission can’t occur in the future via local Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected after feeding from travelling viremic hosts. Incidents of local dengue transmission in New York (Rivera et al., 2020) and Barcelona (European Center for Disease Control [ECDC], 2019) suggest that outbreaks of Aedes borne arbovirus’ can occur in regions more temperate than the current endemic range of Aedes borne diseases. Further, while the fact that Ae. aegypti eggs have a high mortality rate when exposed to cold temperatures limits the ability for Ae aegypti to establish stable breeding populations in temperate climates (Thomas, Obermayr, Fischer, Kreyling, & Beierkuhnlein, 2012), global increases in temperature will expand the possible ranges of Ae aegypti and Aedes borne diseases.

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2020-05

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Evaluating the presence of oxygen-limited thermal tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster at rest

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I am evaluating a notion that stems from a controversial hypothesis of heat stress. The oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) hypothesis predicts a positive correlation between the tolerance of hypoxia and the tolerance of heat in animals, where the

I am evaluating a notion that stems from a controversial hypothesis of heat stress. The oxygen- and capacity-limited thermal tolerance (OCLTT) hypothesis predicts a positive correlation between the tolerance of hypoxia and the tolerance of heat in animals, where the notion claims that these animals must be metabolically active. To evaluate this notion, I tested heat coma recovery in several genetic lines of Drosophila melanogaster and compared it to data collected in prior studies. I hypothesized that the correlations between hypoxia tolerance and heat coma recovery would be similar to correlations found in Teague et al. (2017) and Fredette-Roman et al. (2020). After testing 65 lines from the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP), the notion was supported and provided evidence for the validity of OCLTT. Additional work is needed to enhance our understanding of the limitations of heat tolerance and doing such will generate more accurate models and predictions on how animals will respond to climate change.

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2020-05