Precocious metamorphosis in the juvenile hormone-deficient mutant of the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Japan.
PLoS Genetics (Impact Factor: 8.17). 03/2012; 8(3):e1002486. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002486
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Insect molting and metamorphosis are intricately governed by two hormones, ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones (JHs). JHs prevent precocious metamorphosis and allow the larva to undergo multiple rounds of molting until it attains the proper size for metamorphosis. In the silkworm, Bombyx mori, several "moltinism" mutations have been identified that exhibit variations in the number of larval molts; however, none of them have been characterized molecularly. Here we report the identification and characterization of the gene responsible for the dimolting (mod) mutant that undergoes precocious metamorphosis with fewer larval-larval molts. We show that the mod mutation results in complete loss of JHs in the larval hemolymph and that the mutant phenotype can be rescued by topical application of a JH analog. We performed positional cloning of mod and found a null mutation in the cytochrome P450 gene CYP15C1 in the mod allele. We also demonstrated that CYP15C1 is specifically expressed in the corpus allatum, an endocrine organ that synthesizes and secretes JHs. Furthermore, a biochemical experiment showed that CYP15C1 epoxidizes farnesoic acid to JH acid in a highly stereospecific manner. Precocious metamorphosis of mod larvae was rescued when the wild-type allele of CYP15C1 was expressed in transgenic mod larvae using the GAL4/UAS system. Our data therefore reveal that CYP15C1 is the gene responsible for the mod mutation and is essential for JH biosynthesis. Remarkably, precocious larval-pupal transition in mod larvae does not occur in the first or second instar, suggesting that authentic epoxidized JHs are not essential in very young larvae of B. mori. Our identification of a JH-deficient mutant in this model insect will lead to a greater understanding of the molecular basis of the hormonal control of development and metamorphosis.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A clonal analysis system in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, was developed to achieve expression of genes of interest in portions of tissues. We established two types of transgenic silkworm strains: one expresses yeast FLP recombinase under the control of a heat shock promoter, and the other possesses the DsRed gene interrupted with the GFP gene flanked at both ends with two FLP recombinase target (FRT) sites. The F1 eggs between the two strains were heat-shocked to induce FLP recombinase, which catalyzed intrachromosomal recombination to excise the GFP gene, resulting in the expression of DsRed in randomly formed cell clones.
    Journal of Insect Biotechnology and Sericology 06/2012; 81(2):63-67.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Two of the four sex pheromone components in the fall webworm Hyphantria cunea (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae), cis-9,10-epoxy-(3Z,6Z)-3,6-henicosadiene and cis-9,10-epoxy-(3Z,6Z)-1,3,6-henicosatriene, possess an epoxy ring within their molecules. These compounds have been suggested to be biosynthesized from dietary linolenic acid via the following enzymatic reactions; chain elongation, terminal desaturation (in the case of the latter component), decarboxylation, and epoxidation. The last step of this biosynthesis, epoxidation, is known to occur specifically in the sex pheromone gland of females. We identified the enzyme involved in the epoxidation of pheromone precursors by focusing on cytochromes P450, which are known to catalyze the oxidation of various compounds. Three P450-like sequences (Hc_epo1, Hc_epo2, and Hc_epo3) were identified in the cDNA library prepared from the sex pheromone gland of H. cunea. Among these clones, only Hc_epo1 was specifically expressed in the pheromone gland. The full-length sequence of Hc_epo1 contained an ORF of 1527 bp, which encoded a protein of 509 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 57.9 kDa. The deduced Hc_epo1 amino acid sequence possessed the characteristics of P450. A phylogenetic analysis of the sequence indicated that Hc_epo1 belonged to the CYP341B clade in the CYP341 family. Therefore, it was named CYP341B14. A subsequent functional assay using Sf-9 cells transiently expressing CYP341B14 demonstrated that this P450 protein was able to specifically epoxidize a (Z)-double bond at the 9 position in the pheromone precursor, (3Z,6Z,9Z)-3,6,9-henicosatriene.
    Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 09/2014; · 3.42 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Insect galls are abnormal plant tissues induced by galling insects. The galls are used for food and habitation, and the phytohormone auxin, produced by the insects, may be involved in their formation. We found that the silkworm, a non-galling insect, also produces an active form of auxin, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), by de novo synthesis from tryptophan (Trp). A detailed metabolic analysis of IAA using IAA synthetic enzymes from silkworms indicated an IAA biosynthetic pathway composed of a three-step conversion: Trp → indole-3-acetaldoxime → indole-3-acetaldehyde (IAAld) → IAA, of which the first step is limiting IAA production. This pathway was shown to also operate in gall-inducing sawfly. Screening of a chemical library identified two compounds that showed strong inhibitory activities on the conversion step IAAld → IAA. The inhibitors can be efficiently used to demonstrate the importance of insect-synthesized auxin in gall formation in the future.
    Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 08/2014; · 3.42 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Jun 2, 2014