Date of Award

Spring 5-3-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Rouhier

Abstract

Each year, mosquitoes serve as a vector to transmit diseases that kill upwards of 750,000 people. Although the need for vector control of these organisms is clear, the misuse of modern pesticides has caused significant ecological damage, as well as the development of pesticideresistant mosquitoes. Photosensitive insecticide (PSI) technology has shown potential to minimize ecological damage by targeting classically resistant mosquitoes in new ways. These photoactive molecules transfer their energy to molecular oxygen to form reactive oxygen species (ROS). These species can damage biomolecules in a mosquito through a mechanism that differs from traditionally used chemical pesticides. By targeting new and less resistant biological systems, PSI present a novel strategy for vector control. Currently the literature lacks the means to compare potential photosensitive insecticide technology to one another, as well as an understanding of the in vivo pathway of PSI interaction with the mosquito. To address this, we used a phototoxicity survey to compare PSI candidates, as well as a variety of ROS quenching techniques to begin to elucidate a mechanism for PSI action in a mosquito.

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