TitleEggs of the mosquito Aedes aegypti survive desiccation by rewiring their polyamine and lipid metabolism.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsPrasad A, Sreedharan S, Bakthavachalu B, Laxman S
JournalPLoS Biol
Date Published2023 Oct
KeywordsAedes, Animals, Desiccation, Lipid Metabolism, Lipids, Mosquito Vectors, Water

Upon water loss, some organisms pause their life cycles and escape death. While widespread in microbes, this is less common in animals. Aedes mosquitoes are vectors for viral diseases. Aedes eggs can survive dry environments, but molecular and cellular principles enabling egg survival through desiccation remain unknown. In this report, we find that Aedes aegypti eggs, in contrast to Anopheles stephensi, survive desiccation by acquiring desiccation tolerance at a late developmental stage. We uncover unique proteome and metabolic state changes in Aedes embryos during desiccation that reflect reduced central carbon metabolism, rewiring towards polyamine production, and enhanced lipid utilisation for energy and polyamine synthesis. Using inhibitors targeting these processes in blood-fed mosquitoes that lay eggs, we infer a two-step process of desiccation tolerance in Aedes eggs. The metabolic rewiring towards lipid breakdown and dependent polyamine accumulation confers resistance to desiccation. Furthermore, rapid lipid breakdown is required to fuel energetic requirements upon water reentry to enable larval hatching and survival upon rehydration. This study is fundamental to understanding Aedes embryo survival and in controlling the spread of these mosquitoes.

Alternate JournalPLoS Biol
PubMed ID37874799
PubMed Central IDPMC10597479
Grant List / WT_ / Wellcome Trust / United Kingdom