The African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, is one of the more efficient vectors of human malaria, especially of its more lethal form caused by Plasmodium falciparum. The anthropophilic host preference of this species as well as its endophilic behaviour guarantees a strong host-vector interaction favorable to a very high level of parasite transmission. While olfactory cues that serve female An. gambiae to find humans for a blood meal have been well researched, little is known about taste organs and gustatory chemoreceptor responses in this species. Such responses are implicated in host recognition, feeding site choice and biting responses in mosquitoes. Plant derived sugars in nectar provide a primary nutrient source for adult An. gambiae whereas vertebrate blood provides proteins for egg production. The project aims are to identify specific products from plants and humans that serve to stimulate feeding by An. gambiae. Neurophysiological recordings targeted at contact-chemosensilla on the prothoracic legs and mouthparts of male and female An. gambiae will permit us to identify the most important biting and feeding stimuli. We will then use behavioural assays to quantify the biting and feeding responses of An. gambiae to such stimuli. With the use of ion channel inhibitors we will also try to elucidate the ion channel types implicated in the neurophysiological responses of An. gambiae gustatory sensory cells. An important component of the research will be the identification of feeding deterrents as this may lead to the identification of products that could serve to inhibit the biting and feeding responses of the African malaria mosquito and so break the disease transmission cycle.