Daniel Swale

Daniel Swale.
Address 1

Research in the Swale Lab focuses on the neurophysiology, molecular physiology, and neurotoxicology of ion channels and ion transporters in insects and arachnids. Many species of arthropods have significant impacts on human health, animal health, and the economy and therefore, my research program aims to gain fundamental knowledge that we can apply to reduce the burden of arthropod pests and increase the health of beneficial insects through the ultimate development of novel mechanism insecticides, vaccines, or genetic technologies. Our research, which is of interest to insect and mammalian physiologists, vector biologists, and toxicologists, can be divided into three independent but complementary topics described below:

1. Physiological characterization of potassium ion channels and transporters in the arthropod nervous system

Dros CNS_compile2
Immunostaining for Kir channel expression (blue) in the central nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster

This research aims to characterize the fundamental physiology and toxicological potential of under explored ion channels and transporters in the insect nervous system. We specifically focus on unexplored potassium conductance and transport pathways in the neuron and glial cells of Drosophila and mosquito nervous systems. These studies provide fundamental insights into the neural networks used by arthropods to guide insecticide development or provide a holistic understanding of model organisms for mammalian disease research. These studies employ state-of-the art methods that include patch clamp electrophysiology, extracellular recordings, calcium imaging, genetic manipulations, and immunocytochemistry.

2. Physiological characterization of ion channels for arthropod salivary gland function and feeding

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Isolated tick salivary gland secreting a droplet of saliva

Blood or sap feeding is the root cause for most damage inflicted by arthropods and thus, the development of products aimed at interrupting the feeding process would be a novel and timely invention for controlling arthropods. The salivary gland of arthropods is essential to successful feeding events whether it be for blood feeding or sap sucking insects. Despite the significant role the salivary gland plays in feeding and pathogen transmission, there is an underwhelming amount of knowledge pertaining to the neurobiology, membrane physiology, and organization of the feeding systems for the majority of arthropods. This lack of knowledge limits the ability to develop novel control agents, such as vaccines and synthetic chemistry. Considering this, my laboratory aims to characterize the physiological role and toxicological potential of ion channels and ion transporters that maintain the cellular milieu of the gland to ultimately enable salivation and feeding. These studies employ state of the art methods that include calcium imaging, voltage clamp electrophysiology, immunocytochemistry, electron dispersal microscopy, and biological assays.

3. Pollinator Health and Protection


Schematic overview of the project

Pollinator health is of current interest to the agricultural and scientific community due to the extreme economic benefit these insects provide combined with the unexplained losses that have been observed over the past decade. The Swale Lab, in collaboration with Dr. Troy Anderson (U. of Nebraska-Lincoln), is integrating a general understanding of bee biology with advanced physiological techniques to understand the interplay between potassium ion homeostasis, innate antiviral immunity, and overall health of the honey bee, Apis mellifera. These studies integrate a combination of molecular biology, biochemical assays, biological assays, and field studies.

4. Novel strategies for malaria control

Dr. Swale in front of a semi-field habitat used for studying the horizontal transfer of novel K+ channel insecticides. Photo taken at ICIPE – Mbita Point, Kenya

The mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, is the vector of the malaria parasite and is considered to be the deadliest animal in the world. We received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to evaluate cost-effective attract and kill strategies for controlling populations of Anopheles gambiae in Sub-Saharan Africa that will subsequently reduce the morbidity and mortality of malaria.

Journal Articles

All Publications are available upon email request to Dr Swale at dswale@agcenter.lsu.edu

*Denotes student of the Swale Lab


  1. Sarah E. McComic*, Leslie C. Rault, Troy D. Anderson,Daniel R Swale.2021.Toxicological analysis of stilbenes against the fall armyworm,Spodoptera frugiperda.Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology.171: 104965
  2. Sarah E. McComic*, Kumudini Meepagala,Daniel R Swale.2021.Characterization of toxicological and neurophysiological effects of natural product based chromenes to Fall Armyworm,Spodoptera frugiperda.Journal of Economic Entomology.114(6): 2485-2492
  3. Alexander Soohoo-Hui*, Zhilin Li*, L. Paulina Maldonado-Ruiz, Ganyu Zhang*,Daniel R Swale. 2021. Neurochemical regulation ofAedes aegyptisalivary gland function.Journal of Insect Physiology.129: 104193


  1. Leslie C. Rault, Ellis J. Johnson, Scott T. O’Neal, Rui Chen*, Sarah E. McComic*, Daniel R. Swale, Troy D. Anderson. 2019. Age- and sex-related ABC transporter expression in pyrethroid-susceptible and -resistant Aedes aegypti. Scientific Reports. 9:19551. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-56134-2. Click HERE for PDF.
  2. Jennifer R. Williams, Daniel R. Swale, Troy D. Anderson. Comparative effects of technical and formulated chlorantraniliprole on the survivorship and locomotor activity of the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Pest Management Science. 76(8): 2582-2588 CLICK HERE FOR PDF.
  3. Zhilin Li*, Felicito Guerrero, Adalberto A. Perez de Leon, Lane D Foil#, Daniel R Swale. Small-molecule inhibitors of inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels reduce bloodmeal feeding of the horn fly, Haematobia irritans. Journal of Medical Entomology. 57(4):1131-1140 Click HERE for PDF


  1. Daniel R. Swale and Jeffrey R. Bloomquist. 2019. Is DEET a Dangerous Neurotoxicant? Pest Management Science. Click HERE for PDF
  2. Rui Chen*, Francis J. Prael III, Zhilin Li*, C. David Weaver, Daniel R Swale. 2019. Functional coupling of K+/Cl– Cotransporter to GABA-Gated Cl– Channels in the central nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster leads to altered drug sensitivities. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. Click HERE for PDF.
  3. Zhilin Li*, Jeffrey A Davis, Daniel R Swale. 2019. Chemical inhibition of Kir channels reduces salivary secretions and phloem feeding of the cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii. Pest Management Science. Click Here for PDF.
  4. Zhilin Li*, Kevin R Macaluso, Lane D Foil, Daniel R Swale. 2019. Inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels mediate salivary gland function and blood feeding in the lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 13(2): e0007153. Click Here for PDF


  1. Daniel R. Swale, Aaron D. Gross, Quentin R. R. Coquerel, Jeffrey R Bloomquist. 2018. Electrophysiological Recording of the Central Nervous System Activity of Third-Instar Drosophila Melanogaster. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JOVE). (141), e58375, doi:10.3791/58375 Click Here for PDF
  2. Francis J. Prael III, Rui Chen*, Zhilin Li*, Carson W. Reed, Craig W. Lindsey, C. David Weaver, Daniel R Swale. Use of chemical probes to explore the toxicological potential of the K+/Cl– Cotransporter (KCC) as a novel insecticide target to control the vector of Dengue and Zika virus, Aedes aegypti. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. Special Issue: ACS Proceedings honoring Dr. Jeffrey Bloomquist. 151:10-17. doi: 10.116/j.pestbp.2018.03.019 Click HERE for PDF
  3. Sheridan J. Carrington, Ciria C. Hernandez, Daniel R. Swale, Jerod S. Denton, Roger D. Cone. 2018. Differential Regulation of Glycosylation and Activity of Potassium Inward Rectifier Channel Kir7.1 by G Protein-coupled Receptors. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 293(46): 17739-17753 Click HERE for PDF
  4. Chris J. Holderman, Daniel R. Swale, Jeffrey R. Bloomquist, Phillip E. Kaufman. 2018. Resistance to permethrin, beta-cyfluthrin, and diazinon in Florida horn fly populations. Insects. 9(63): doi: 10.3390/insects9020063 Click HERE for PDF
  5. Rui Chen* and Daniel R Swale. 2018. Inwardly rectifying potassium (Kir) channels represent a critical ion conductance pathway in the nervous system of insects. Scientific Reports. 8:1617 DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-20005-z Click HERE for PDF
  6. Daniel R Swale, Jake Z Kraft*, Zhilin Li*, Kristen Healy, Mei Liu, Connie M. David, Zhijun Liu, Lane D Foil. 2018. Development of an autodissemination strategy for the deployment of novel control agents targeting the Common Malaria Mosquito, Anopheles quadrimaculatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae). PLoS: Neglected Tropical Diseases. 12(4): e0006259 Click HERE for PDF
  7. Jackson T. Sparks, Gina Botsko, Daniel R. Swale, Linda M. Boland, Shriraj S. Patel, Joseph C. Dickens. 2018. Membrane proteins mediating reception and transduction in chemosensory neurons in mosquitoes. Frontiers in Physiology. 9:1309. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01309 Click HERE for PDF


  1. Scott T. O’Neal, Daniel R Swale, Troy D. Anderson. 2017. ATP-sensitive inwardly rectifying potassium channel regulation of viral infections in honey bees. Scientific Reports. 7:8668 DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-09448-y Click HERE for PDF
  2. Scott T O’Neal, Daniel R. Swale, Jeffrey R. Bloomquist, Troy D. Anderson. 2017. ATP-sensitive inwardly rectifying potassium channel modulators alter cardiac function in honey bees. Journal of Insect Physiology, 99:95-100. Click HERE for PDF
  3. Daniel R Swale, Zhilin Li, Adalberto A Perez de Leon, Felicito Guerrero, Lane Foil. 2017. Role of inward rectifying potassium channels in salivary gland function and sugar feeding of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 141: 41-49. DOI:1016/j.pestbp.2016.11.005 Click HERE for PDF


  1. Daniel R. Swale, Darren W. Engers, Sean R. Bollinger, Aaron Gross, Edna Alfaro Inocente, Emily Days, Fariba Kanga, Reed M. Johnson, Liu Yang Jeffrey R. Bloomquist, Corey R. Hopkins, Peter M. Piermarini, Jerod S. Denton. 2016. An insecticide resistance-breaking mosquitocide targeting inward rectifier potassium channels in vectors of Zika virus and malaria. Scientific Reports. 6:36954. DOI: 10.1038/srep36954 Click HERE for PDF
  2. Daniel R. Swale, Haruto Kurato, Sujay Kharade, Johnathan Sheehan, Rene Raphemot, Karl Voigtritter, Eric Figueroa, Jens Meiler, Anna Flobaum, Craig Lindsley, Corey Hopkins, Jerod S. Denton. 2016. ML418: The first selective, sub-micromolar pore blocker of Kir7.1 potassium channels. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 7(7): 1013-23. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.6b00111 Click HERE for PDF


  1. Daniel R. Swale, Jonathan H. Sheehan, Afeef S. Husni, Thuy Nguen, Jens Meiler, Jerod S. Denton. 2015. Computational and functional analysis of the small-molecule binding site in ROMK. Biophysical Journal 108:1094-1103 Click HERE for PDF
  2. Jennifer L Herington, Daniel R. Swale, Naoko Brown, Elaine Shelton, Charles H. Williams, Charles C. Hong, Bibhash C. Paria, Jerod S. Denton, Jeff Reese. 2015 High-Throughput screening of myometrial calcium-mobilization to identify modulators of uterine contractility. PLoS ONE, 10(11): e0143243. Click HERE for PDF
  3. James M. Mutunga, Troy D. Anderson, Derek T. Craft, Aaron D. Gross, Daniel R. Swale,Fan Tong, Dawn M. Wong, Paul R. Carlier, and Jeffrey R. Bloomquist. 2015. Carbamate and Pyrethroid Resistance in the Akron Strain of Anopheles gambiae. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 121: 116-121 Click HERE for PDF
  4. Sujay V. Kharade, Daniel R. Swale, Jerod S. Denton. 2015. ROMK Pharmacology Comes of Age. Channels. Invited Commentary Based upon Swale et al., Biophysical Journal. 9(3): 119-120. doi: 10.1080/19336950.2015.1046733 Click HERE for PDF

  • B.S., Biological Sciences, Christopher Newport University, 2008
  • M.S., Entomology, Virginia Tech, 2009
  • Ph.D., 2012 Entomology, University of Florida, 2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt Medical Center, 2014

For more information on Dr. Swale's lab, check out his site https://swalelab.com/

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