COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF OLFACTORY RECEPTOR CORECEPTOR (ORCO) IN GLOSSINA FUSCIPIES, GLOSSINA PALLIDIPIES AND GLOSSINA MORSITANS
Glossina are vectors of African Trypanosomiasis, a neurological disease affecting one third of SubSahara Africa with huge economic ramification. Disease management is heavily dependent on good vector control methods which have been developed on visual and olfactory cues to attract, trap or kill the Glossina vectors. A unique olfactory receptor (OR) known as the olfactory receptor coreceptor (Orco) has been shown to be co-expressed with all other insect receptors and is believed to be conserved across phylogenetically distant insect species and thus potentially plays an integral role in insect olfaction. Glossina morsitans morsitans Orco was obtained from VectorBase and used to query VectorBase for corresponding hypothetical Orco sequences in Glossina pallidipies and Glossina fuscipies. Orthologs to the Glossina Orco were obtained and compared against each other by bioinformatics analysis. Glossina Orco were shown to belong to the same superfamily of proteins and having 95-97% sequence similarity and 84-99% similarity with other insect Orcos. Although different Glossina species show strict preference to particular hosts, this study presents for the first time a comparison of sequence similarity among Glossina species with high sequence conservation. This information presents an avenue for manipulation to produce novel attractants/repellents that can uniquely target different tsetse species in vector control efforts.