- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
That's just one of the facts that UC Davis medical entomologist-geneticist Geoffrey Attardo will discuss when he presents a seminar on "The Mating Biology of Tsetse Flies--Insights into the Morphological, Biochemical, and Molecular Responses to Mating Stimuli in a Viviparous Disease Vector."
The seminar, hosted by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is set for 4:10 p.m., Monday, Oct. 9 in 122 Briggs Hall.
Attardo, an associate professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and chair of the Designated Emphasis in the Biology of Vector-Borne Diseases, is a global expert on vectorborne diseases, including his groundbreaking work on tsetse flies. He researches the invasive yellow mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which can carry such diseases as dengue, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever.
His work involves predicting insecticide resistance and tracking movements of genetically independent populations of aegypti throughout the state.
"Research into the reproductive behavior of tsetse flies offers key insights into controlling diseases like African sleeping sickness," Attardo writes in his abstract. "Unique among insects, these flies give birth to live offspring. During mating, males transfer a mix of sperm and other vital substances to the females. This study employs state-of-the-art techniques, including 3D scanning and genetic analysis, to monitor changes in the female fly's reproductive system over a 72-hour period post-mating. Findings indicate that mating sets off a chain of intricate changes in the female, affecting everything from biochemistry to gene activity. These changes prepare her for pregnancy and childbirth. The study opens up new avenues for understanding tsetse fly biology and offers potential strategies for disease control."
The seminar also will be on Zoom. The link:
The Attardo lab monitors the dynamics of vector insects at the levels of physiology, population genetics and environmental interactions.
Attardo, who holds a doctorate in genetics from Michigan State University, where he researched the molecular biology of mosquito reproduction, joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology in 2017 from the Yale School of Public Health's Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases.
For his outstanding work, he received the 2022 Medical, Urban, and Veterinary Entomology Award from the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America, which encompasses 11 Western states, plus parts of Canada and Mexico, and U.S. territories.
For any technical issues regarding Zoom, contact seminar coordinator Brian Johnson at email@example.com.