PROJECT SUMMARY/ ABSTRACTMosquito-transmitted parasitic diseases are among the major causes of mortality and morbidity in theworld. Recent dramatic increases in the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases, like Malaria,Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika, and the wide-spread resistance of mosquitoes to insecticidesunderscores the need for new approaches for insect control based on mosquito-specific agents. Thediscovery of such mosquito-specific control agents depends on basic research on the biology ofmosquitoes. Nutritional and hormonal regulation of reproduction is a critical component of femalefitness, and therefore of vectorial capacity. Interventions that focus on reducing fitness or interferingwith reproduction should be established based on a clear understanding of reproductive biology.Depending on nutrient availability, female mosquitoes constantly adjust their reproductive output,mostly by ovarian follicular resorption by apoptosis. The “fate” of an individual follicle is dynamicallychanged based on its nutritional status. Successful follicles remain competent or “viable” (follicles thatlater will develop into an egg), while outcompeted are resorbed or become “unviable” (those that couldbe resorbed by apoptosis anytime during a later stage of development). We would like to test thehypothesis that the developmental fate of all the follicles remains “dynamically” sensitive to changes innutrition during oogenesis. Understanding the molecular and biochemical bases of follicle viability is acentral aspect in mosquito reproductive biology. In this proposal, we would like to start addressing threefundamental questions: (1) Can we establish molecular profiles that help us to discriminate viable andunviable follicle phenotypes, and consequently predict a follicle ultimate fate (2) Can we reveal themolecular bases of the dynamic changes in follicle phenotype (3) Do females have the ability to movenutrients out of the follicles and reverse previous reproductive allocations To accomplish this goal, wewill pursue the following two specific aims: 1) To characterize the lipid metabolic profile of viable andunviable follicles and 2) To understand the molecular bases of the dynamic changes in follicular lipidphenotypes during oogenesis. To complete these aims, we are proposing an integrative approach thatbrings together excellent mosquito reproductive fitness experimental models with new and state-of-the-art mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) based strategies; aiming to identify, quantify and map the spatialdistribution of biomolecules in mosquito ovaries. Completing the aims of this proposal might provideopportunities for identifying targets for novel specific chemical and/or genetic strategies to controlmosquitoes. Furthermore, we are developing new state of the art innovative mosquito MSI applicationsthat will benefit other members of the vector biology community.