Recent Publications

Recent Publications


Iliano V. Coutinho-Abreu, Kavita Sharma, Liwang Cui, Guiyun Yan and Ray, A. Odorant ligands for the CO2 receptor in two Anopheles vectors of malaria. Scientific Reports. 9: 2549. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-39099-0

Reichert W, Ejercito J, Guda T, Dong X, Wu Q, Ray, A, Simon JE. Repellency Assessment of Nepeta cataria Essential Oils and Isolated Nepetalactones on Aedes aegypti. Scientific Reports. 9: 1524. PMID 30728370 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-36814-1 


MacWilliam D, Kowalewski J, Kumar A, Pontrello C and Ray A. (2018) Signaling Mode of the Broad-Spectrum Conserved CO2 Receptor Is One of the Important Determinants of Odor Valence in Drosophila. Neuron, DOI:

Ghaninia, M., Berger, S.L., Reinberg, D., Zwiebel, L.J., Ray, A. and Liebig J. (2018) Antennal Olfactory Physiology and Behavior of Males of the Ponerine Ant Harpegnathos saltator.J Chem Ecol, 44: 999.


Pask GM, Slone JD, Millar JG, Das P, Moreira JA, Zhou X, Bello J, Berger SL, Bonasio R, Desplan C, Reinberg D, Liebig J, Zwiebel LJ and Ray A. (2017) Specialized Odorant Receptors in social insects that detect cuticular hydrocarbon cues and candidate pheromones. Nature Communications, 8, Article number: 297 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00099-1

Jesse D. Slone, Gregory M. Pask, Stephen T. Ferguson, Jocelyn G. Millar, Shelley L. Berger, Danny Reinberg, Jürgen Liebig, Anandasankar Ray and Laurence J. Zwiebel. (2017) Functional characterization of odorant receptors in the ponerine ant, Harpegnathos saltator. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1704647114. Epub 2017 July 10.

Majid Ghaninia, Kevin Haight, Shelley L. Berger, Danny Reinberg, Laurence J. Zwiebel, Anandasankar Ray & Jürgen Liebig (2017) Chemosensory sensitivity reflects reproductive status in the ant Harpegnathos saltator. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 3732 doi:10.1038/s41598-017-03964-7

Perry S, Beril K, Dickman D and Ray A. (2017) The Role of Histone Deacetylase 6 in Synaptic Plasticity and Memory. CELL Reports 18(6):1337-1345.


Boyle SB*, McInally S*, Tharadra S & Ray, A (2016) Short-term memory trace mediated by termination kinetics of olfactory receptor. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 19863. doi:10.1038/srep19863

Simola DF, Graham RJ,, Brady CM, Enzmann BL, Desplan C, Ray, A, Zwiebel LJ, Bonasio R, Reinberg D, Liebig J, Berger SL. (2016) Epigenetic (re)programming of caste-specific behavior in the ant Camponotus floridanus. Science. 351(6268):aac6633. doi: 10.1126/science.aac6633

Pask, G. and Ray, A. (2016) Insect Olfactory Receptors: An Interface Between Chemistry and Biology in Chemosensory Transduction: Detection of Odor, Taste and Other Chemostimuli. Edited by: Zufall and Munger. Elsevier. I2016:101–122. ISBN: 9780128016947.

Boyle, SM, Guda, T., Pham, C., Dahanukar, A. and Ray, A. (2016) Natural DEET substitutes that are strong olfactory repellents of mosquitoes and flies. bioRxiv 060178; doi:

Clark JT, and Ray A. (2016) Olfactory Mechanisms for Discovery of Odorants to Reduce Insect-Host Contact. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42(9):919-930. (Review)


Sharma, K., Enzemann, B.L., Schmidt, Y., Moore, D., Jones, G.R., Parker, J., Berger, S.L., Reinberg, D., Zwiebel, L.J., Breit, B., Liebig, J. and Ray, A. (2015) Cuticular Hydrocarbon Pheromones for Social Behavior and their Coding in the Ant Antenna. Cell Reports. DOI:

Zhou, X., Rokas, A., Berger, S.L., Reinberg, D., Bonasio, R., Liebig, J., Ray, A. and Zwiebel, L.J. (2015) Chemoreceptor evolution in Hymenoptera and its implication for the evolution of eusociality. Genome Biology and Evolution. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evv149.

Ray, A. (2015) Reception of odors and repellents in mosquitoes. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 34: 158-164.

Pham, C.K. and Ray, A. (2015) Conservation of Olfactory Avoidance in Drosophila Species and Identification of Repellents for Drosophila suzukii. Scientific Reports. 5: 11527 doi:10.1038/srep11527.

Guda, T., Kain, P., Sharma, K.R., Pham, C.K. and Ray, A. (2015) Repellent compound with larger protective zone than DEET identified through activity-screening of Ir40a neurons, does not require Or function. bioRxiv. doi:


Clark JT and Ray A. (2014) The taste of togetherness. eLife. 2014;3:e05490. doi:10.7554/eLife.05490.

Coutinho-Abreu, Forster, L., Guda, T. and Ray A. (2014). Odorants for Surveillance and Control of the Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri) . PLoS ONE 9(10): e109236. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109236

Ray A.*, van Naters WG and Carlson JR (2014) Molecular determinants of odorant receptor function in insects. J. Biosci. 39 1–9 DOI 10.1007/s12038-014-9447-7

Coutinho-Abreu, I.V., McInally, S., Forster, L., Luck, R. and Ray A. (2014). Odor Coding in a Disease Transmitting Herbivorous Insect, the Asian Citrus Psyllid. Chemical Senses doi:10.1093/chemse/bju023

Liu Y-C, Pearce MW, Honda T, Johnson TK, Charlu S,Sharm KR, Imad M, Burke RE, Zinsmaier KE, Ray A, Dahanukar A, de Bruyne M and Warr CG (2014) The Drosophila melanogaster Phospholipid Flippase dATP8B Is Required for Odorant Receptor Function. PLoS Genet 10(3): e1004209. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004209

Lacey ES, Ray A and Cardé R (2014) Close encounters: contributions of carbon dioxide and human skin odour to finding and landing on a host in Aedes aegypti. Physiological Entomology DOI: 10.1111/phen.12048.


Tauxe G*, MacWilliam D*, Boyle SM*, Guda T, and Ray A (2013) Targeting a Dual Detector of Skin and CO2 to Modify Mosquito Host Seeking. CELL 155, Issue 6, 1365-1379.

[Featured article: FREE, Paper Clip]

Boyle SM, McInally S and Ray A (2013) Expanding the olfactory code by in silico decoding of odor-receptor chemical space. eLife 2013; 2:e01120

Tharadra SK, Medina A, Ray A (2013) Advantage of the Highly Restricted Odorant Receptor Expression Pattern in Chemosensory Neurons of Drosophila. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66173. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066173


Sim, C. K*, Perry, S*, Tharadra, S. K., Lipsick, J. S., and Ray, A (2012). Epigenetic regulation of olfactory receptor gene expression by the Myb–MuvB/dREAM complex. Genes and Development, 26,  2483-2498.

[Genes & Dev. Cover story, Nov 15 issue ]

X Zhou*, J D Slone*, A Rokas, S Berger, J Liebig, A Ray,D Reinberg, and L J. Zwiebel (2012). Phylogenetic and transcriptomic analysis of chemosensory receptors in a pair of divergent ant species reveals caste-specific signatures of odor coding. PLoS Genetics 8(8): e1002930.


Turner SL*, Li N*, Guda T, Githure J, Cardé R, Ray A.( 2011) Ultra-prolonged activation of CO2-sensing neurons disorients mosquitoes. Nature 474, 87–91.

[Nature Cover story, June 2 issue ][ Malaria: mosquitoes Bamboozled, Mark Stopfer, News and Views ]

Dahanukar, A., Ray, A. (2011) Courtship, Aggression and Avoidance; Pheromones, Receptors and Neurons for Social Behaviors in Drosophila. Fly 1;5(1):58-63.

Tom, W., deBruyne, M., Haehnel, M., Carlson, J.R., Ray, A. (2011) Disruption of Olfactory Receptor Neuron Patterning in Scutoid mutant Drosophila. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. 46(1):252-61. Epub 2010 Sep 26.


Turner SL and Ray A. (2009) Modification of CO2 avoidance behaviour in Drosophila by inhibitory odorants. Nature doi:10.1038/nature08295.

Fuss SH. and Ray A. (2009) Mechanisms of odorant receptor gene choice in Drosophila and vertebrates. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 41(2009) 101-112 (PDF).


Tichy A., Ray A., and Carlson JR (2008) A new Drosophila POU gene, pdm3, acts in odor receptor expression and axon targeting of olfactory neurons. Journal of Neuroscience July 9, 28, 7121-7129.

Ray A., van der Goes van Naters, and Carlson JR (2008) A Regulatory Code for Neuron-Specific Odor Receptor Expression. PLoS Biology 6(5): e125 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060125

[PLos Biol. Cover story]


Ray, A., van der Goes van Naters, W., Shiraiwa, T., and Carlson, J. R. (2007). Mechanisms of odor receptor gene choice in Drosophila. Neuron 53, 353-369.



Why Your Skin Is So Attractive To Mosquitoes
Huffington Post - ‎Dec 6, 2013‎
While the exact reasons for why some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others is still a mystery, scientists do know that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide that is expelled when we exhale. But if mosquitoes are drawn to our breath, why, ...
Mosquitoes hunt humans by smelling odours
Zee News - ‎Dec 6, 2013‎
Washington: Mosquitoes track down humans from a distance by the smell of carbon dioxide on our breath and then find exposed areas through skin odours, researchers, including an Indian-origin scientist, have found. Female mosquitoes, which can transmit ...
Scientists Seek to Take Bite Out of Mosquito Problem
WebMD - ‎Dec 5, 2013‎
THURSDAY, Dec. 5, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have learned more about how mosquitoes detect skin odor, and they say their findings could lead to better repellants and traps. Mosquitoes are attracted to our skin odor and to the carbon dioxide ...
How Mosquitoes Hunt Humans [VIDEO]
Nature World News - ‎Dec 7, 2013‎
Mosquitoes use the same receptors to detect both carbon dioxide as well as skin odors, researchers from the University of California, Riverside report in the journal Cell. (Photo : University of Texas at Arlington). Mosquitoes use the same receptors to detect ...
How Mosquitoes Are Drawn to Human Skin and Breath
Fars News Agency - ‎Dec 6, 2013‎
TEHRAN (FNA)- Female mosquitoes, which can transmit deadly diseases like malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus and filariasis, are attracted to us by smelling the carbon dioxide we exhale, being capable of tracking us down even from a distance. But once ...
Revealed – why mosquitoes are attracted to humans!
India.Com Health - ‎Dec 6, 2013‎
Mosquito Researchers have found that certain mosquito nerve cells, known as cpA neurons, cause mosquitoes to be attracted to humans by detecting exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) and odors emitted from human skin. The study by scientists at the University ...
Effective, safe, and pleasant-smelling mosquito control could be on the way
Gizmag - ‎Dec 6, 2013‎
Methods for controlling mosquitoes usually take two tacks: luring the mosquitoes into a trap away from humans, or discouraging them from biting at the source. Both methods can be expensive, unhealthy, cumbersome, or disgusting (the smell of rancid butter, ...
Mosquitoes Are Attracted To The 'Smell' Of Carbon Dioxide Exhaled
University Herald - ‎Dec 6, 2013‎
Female mosquitoes, which can transmit deadly diseases like malaria and the West Nile Virus, are attracted to potential hosts by "smelling" the carbon dioxide they exhale, according to a recent study. Carbon dioxide draws in the blood-sucking insects, making ...
Breakthrough Study Shows How Mosquitoes Smell Us, May Lead To Better ...
RedOrbit - ‎Dec 6, 2013‎
Many a pleasant summer's evening has been ruined by the onset of swarms of mosquitoes, and studies have shown that the flying pests are drawn to both the carbon dioxide we exhale and the scent of our skin. A new study, published in the journal Cell, has ...
Why mosquitoes bite us - ‎Dec 6, 2013‎
Why mosquitoes bite us. Researchers have learned more about how mosquitoes detect skin odour, and these new findings could lead to better repellents and traps. 1 · Pin It. Shutterstock. Related. Malaria mozzies attracted to human odour · New odour ...
Mosquito attraction to human skin blocked
U-T San Diego - ‎Dec 5, 2013‎
Ray's latest research builds on his earlier studies, most recently the identification of safer and cheaper alternatives to DEET. These studies hold out the promise of stopping deadly mosquito-borne diseases, as well as more pleasant barbecues and camping ...
NIH-Funded Scientists Describe How Mosquitoes Are Attracted to Humans - ‎Dec 5, 2013‎
Video: NIAID-supported researchers explore how mosquitoes' sense of smell enables them to find human targets. Credit: NIAID cause mosquitoes to be attracted to humans by detecting exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) and odors emitted from human skin.
Look to mosquito smell neurons to find new repellents
New Scientist - ‎Dec 5, 2013‎
If you hate having to rub noxious chemicals onto your skin to deter mosquitoes, take hope – the next generation of repellents could smell like mint or caramel, and be more effective. One of the ways mosquitoes are able to track us down is via specialised ...
Building A Better Mosquito Repellent, By Blocking Their Ability To Smell Us
International Business Times - ‎Dec 5, 2013‎
California scientists think they've found a new weapon in the war on mosquitoes: hitting them where they sniff us out. Their discovery might lead to rum raisin-scented bug sprays that mask you from mosquitoes, and mint-scented traps that lure them far away ...
Mosquito Scent-Tracking Discovery Could Lead to Better Repellents
Scientific American - ‎Dec 5, 2013‎
Showcasing more than fifty of the most provocative, original, and significant online essays from 2011, The Best Science Writing Online 2012 will change the way... Read More ». Mosquitoes prowling for a blood meal are drawn to the plumes of carbon dioxide ...
  1. Posted on: 02 October 2013

    Some grape-scented compounds repel mosquitoes

    Molecules drive bugs away as well as DEET does

    Science News
  2. Posted on: 02 October 2013

    Scientists find insect DEET receptors, develop safe alternatives to DEET

    Insects are repelled by N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, also known as DEET. But exactly which olfactory receptors insects use to sense DEET has eluded scientists for long. Now researchers at the University of California, Riverside have identified these DEET-detec
  3. Posted on: 02 October 2013

    Insect repellent: Scientists find insect DEET receptors, develop safe alternatives to DEET

    Researchers have identified DEET-detecting olfactory receptors in insects that cause repellency and three safe compounds that mimic DEET and could one day be used to prevent the transmission of deadly vector-borne diseases. Until now, no one had a clue abo

    Science Daily
  4. Posted on: 03 October 2013

    Insect-Repelling Compounds Could Lead To Safe Alternative To DEET

    redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online In research that could lead to the development of a safer alternative to the DEET , scientists from the University of California, Riverside have discovered the olfactory receptors used by insects to sens

  5. Posted on: 03 October 2013

    Bug Off

    Identification of a DEET-sensitive olfactory receptor leads to alternative, possibly better, repellants.

    The Scientist Magazine
  6. Posted on: 03 October 2013

    Insektenabwehr: Auf dem Weg zum Mücken-Graus

    Sanfte Anti-Mücken-Mittel sind rar. US-Wissenschaftler haben nun vier erfolgversprechende Substanzen gefunden. Drei von ihnen sollten verträglich sein: Sie sind bereits als Lebensmittel-Zusatzstoffe zugelassen.

  7. Posted on: 04 October 2013

    Discovery of insect DEET receptors has large implications for controlling insect-borne diseases worldwide

    Insects are repelled by N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, also known as DEET. But exactly which olfactory receptors insects use to sense DEET has eluded scientists for long. Now researchers at the University of California, Riverside have identified these DEET-detec

    Medical News Today
  8. Posted on: 04 October 2013

    Mücken-Schutz aus Weintrauben

    In Wein steckt mehr als nur Alkohol: verschiedene Substanzen aus Weintrauben können gegen Krebs wirken oder Mücken in die Flucht schlagen.

  9. Posted on: 17 October 2013

    NIH-Funded Researchers Identify New Insect-Repelling Compounds

    Candidate Repellents May Be Developed into Alternatives to DEET

    Health Canal
  10. Posted on: 02 October 2013

    Buzz off! A quest for better insect repellents

    Although the widely-used insect repellent DEET has been around for over 60 years, it is only now that scientists have been able to uncover how mosquitoes and the like smell this chemical, causing...

    The Hindu
  11. Posted on: 03 October 2013

    Sweet smell of success as scientists unveil repellent

    The pungent fumes of insect repellent, an unmistakable smell of Australian summers, may be replaced with the sweet aroma of grapes.

    Sydney Morning Herald
  12. Posted on: 03 October 2013

    Experts discover secret of insect repellent

    Researchers have used a new screening method to find four insect repellents that are as powerful as DEET.

  13. Posted on: 02 October 2013

    Secrets of insect repellent DEET could prove decisive in the war on malaria, dengue and West Nile fever

    Scientists have uncovered the secrets behind the world’s most common insect repellent – helping them find new ways to protect people from diseases such as malaria, dengue and West Nile fever.

    The Independent
  14. Posted on: 02 October 2013

    Scientists Figure Out How DEET Makes Bugs Buzz Off, And How To Make Safer, Cheaper Alternatives

    Scientists think they’ve discovered the secret to how the insect repellent DEET works – and with it, the secret to making a cheaper, safer alternative.

    International Business Times
  15. Posted on: 03 October 2013

    Researchers Identify DEET-Detecting Receptors in Insects, Find Natural Substitutes for Chemical

    Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have discovered receptors in pests that detect DEET, a yellowish oil used in making insect-repellents.

    Nature World News
  16. Posted on: 03 October 2013

    Scientists Uncover DEET Receptors in Insects and Create Repellent Alternatives

    The insect repellent, DEET, has long been known to be an effective way to keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay. Now, though, researchers have uncovered DEET-detecting olfactory receptors that cause the repellency in insects. This could potentially allow

    Science World Report



Press enterprise [FRONT PAGE]


BBC, Health page [TOP STORY]

Discovery News,0,7059631.story,0,1393601.story,0,1617793.story,0,4461125.story,63230.asp

Discovery Of Natural Odors Could Help Develop Mosquito Repellents: ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2009)

Waiting for Next-Gen Anti-Mosquito Chemicals with Bated Breath: Scientific American (Aug. 26, 2009)

Finding may lead to mosquito deterrence: Press Enterprise (Aug. 26, 2009)

An Environmentally Friendly Mosquito Repellent? : New York Times (Aug. 26, 2009)

UC Riverside Receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Innovative Global Health Research by Anandasankar Ray

UCR researcher wins $100,000 grant to study mosquito-borne illnesses

A Regulatory Code for Neuron-Specific Odor Recptor Expression

Olfactory receptor neurons select which odor receptors to express

Scientists Discover Genetic Controls For Olfactory Neuron Development In Fruit Fly

Sniffing Out the Right Address - Synopsis

Faculty of 1000 Biology: evaluations for Ray A et al Neuron 2007 Feb 1 53 (3) :353-69

Choosing odor receptor genes -News and Views.