We are very pleased to announce 2 new publications, both appearing in the Journal of Insect Physiology!
Derek Huck’s paper describes the effect of nutrition on the reproductive physiology of mosquitoes. He found that males that consumed a low-sugar diet had less fat, altered metabolites and fathered fewer offspring than males that consumed moderate and high sucrose diets. Here is a link to read more!
Lydia Fyie’s paper describes the impact that light pollution might have on seasonal responses in mosquitoes. Specifically, Lydia’s work shows that exposing mosquitoes to short days and artificial night at night in the lab causes them to avert their overwintering dormancy, and instead bite and lay eggs. Check it out here!
Congratulations to Derek and Lydia on what is likely going to be their first of many first-authored papers! 🙂
We are very pleased to announce the addition of our newest lab member! Catherine Durkin is a Sophomore Honors student majoring in Molecular Genetics and plans to attend medical school. She is excited to pursue research that is medically-relevant, and will hopefully assist in establishing transgenic mosquitoes that do not express circadian clock genes.
Undergraduate students Sydney Robare and Lucas Sarko have recently joined the Meuti lab. They are working with graduate student Alden Siperstein to determine when local mosquito species enter their overwintering dormancy in the fall and when they terminate it in the spring. Welcome Sydney and Lucas!
Our article entitled “Preparing and Injecting Embryos of Culex Mosquitoes to Generate Null Mutations using CRISPR/Cas9” was just published online in the Journal of Visualized experiments. This describes the procedure that we used to generate mosquitoes that had a non-functional mutation in their circadian clocks.
We are thrilled and excited to announce that several new students have joined the Meuti Lab!
Matt Wolkoff has joined as a PhD student, and will be working on our recently-funded NSF project to generate mosquitoes with broken and altered circadian clocks using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing.
Hannah Tronetti, a Junior majoring in Animal Science, will work with Graduate Student Lydia Fyie, and Megan to determine how urban heat islands might affect the diapause response in Northern house mosquitoes.
Sydney Robare and Lucas Sarko, who are both currently enrolled in Megan’s online “Insects in Human Affairs” course, will be assisting Graduate Student Alden Siperstein to determine when wild mosquitoes initiate and terminate their overwintering dormancy in the field.
We just found out that our collaborative proposal entitled “Connecting the circadian clock to seasonal responses in mosquitoes” has been fully funded by the Integrative and Organismal Systems group of the National Science Foundation! This grant will support collaborative research between the Meuti Lab, and Dr. Matthias Klein in the Department of Food, Science and Technology at OSU as well as Dr. Cheolho Sim at Baylor University. Using several innovative techniques, including CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, ChIP-seq, NMR metabolomics and RNAseq, we plan to determine how mosquitoes use their circadian clocks to measure daylength to appropriately coordinate reproduction and their overwintering diapause at the correct times of year. We are so thrilled and excited for the grant and the opportunity to pursue this exciting research!
Derek successfully defended his research thesis and will graduate with research distinction this Fall. Unfortunately we weren’t able to celebrate this fantastic achievement in person due to to COVID, but we are all cheering him on as he prepares to write and submit his research for publication and begin graduate school in Dr. Michael Strand’s lab at the University of Georgia this fall.
Our manuscript entitled “Circadian transcription factors differentially regulate features of the adult overwintering diapause in the Noerthern house mosquito, Culex pipiens” has just been published online. Click here for a link. This represents the work done by undergraduate Vivian Chang during her research thesis. Congratulations to Vivian on her first, first-authored publication!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of our research projects are on hold. Fortunately, however, we have received approval from Ohio State University to continue to care for our mosquitoes in the lab, and thanks to approval from Megan’s family, we also have approval to have a small basement lab to rear additional mosquitoes. Here’s hoping that none escape!
A big congratulations to Master’s student Caitlin Peffers and undergraduate student Olivia Bianco for winning independent competitive SEEDS grants from the Ohio Agricultural Research Development Center! Caitlin’s grant will allow her to wrap up her work in characterizing the daily protein abundance of circadian transcription factors and to conduct additional studies using RNA interference. Olivia’s grant will allow her to continue evaluating how feeding royal jelly affects seasonal responses and the metabolome of mosquitoes. Well done ladies, and very well-deserved! 🙂