Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Integrated proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of the Aedes aegypti eggshell

Osvaldo Marinotti1*, Tuan Ngo1, Bianca B Kojin1, Shao-Pei Chou12, Brian Nguyen1, Jennifer Juhn1, Rebeca Carballar-Lejarazú1, Pedro N Marinotti1, Xiaofang Jiang3, Marika F Walter14, Zhijian Tu3, Paul D Gershon1 and Anthony A James15*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

2 Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Cornell, NY 14850, USA

3 Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA

4 Department of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

5 Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

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BMC Developmental Biology 2014, 14:15  doi:10.1186/1471-213X-14-15

Published: 5 April 2014



Mosquito eggshells show remarkable diversity in physical properties and structure consistent with adaptations to the wide variety of environments exploited by these insects. We applied proteomic, transcriptomic, and hybridization in situ techniques to identify gene products and pathways that participate in the assembly of the Aedes aegypti eggshell. Aedes aegypti population density is low during cold and dry seasons and increases immediately after rainfall. The survival of embryos through unfavorable periods is a key factor in the persistence of their populations. The work described here supports integrated vector control approaches that target eggshell formation and result in Ae. aegypti drought-intolerant phenotypes for public health initiatives directed to reduce mosquito-borne diseases.


A total of 130 proteins were identified from the combined mass spectrometric analyses of eggshell preparations.


Classification of proteins according to their known and putative functions revealed the complexity of the eggshell structure. Three novel Ae. aegypti vitelline membrane proteins were discovered. Odorant-binding and cysteine-rich proteins that may be structural components of the eggshell were identified. Enzymes with peroxidase, laccase and phenoloxidase activities also were identified, and their likely involvements in cross-linking reactions that stabilize the eggshell structure are discussed.

Aedes aegypti; Eggshell; Chorion; Vitelline membrane; Estivation; Oogenesis; Mosquito