Juvenile hormone is required to couple imaginal disc formation with nutrition in insects.
ABSTRACT In starved larvae of the tobacco hornworm moth Manduca sexta, larval and imaginal tissues stop growing, the former because they lack nutrient-dependent signals but the latter because of suppression by juvenile hormone. Without juvenile hormone, imaginal discs form and grow despite severe starvation. This hormone inhibits the intrinsic signaling needed for disc morphogenesis and does so independently of ecdysteroid action. Starvation and juvenile hormone treatments allowed the separation of intrinsic and nutrient-dependent aspects of disc growth and showed that both aspects must occur during the early phases of disc morphogenesis to ensure normal growth leading to typical-sized adults.
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ABSTRACT: In insects, a steroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), plays important roles in the regulation of developmental transitions by initiating signaling cascades via the ecdysone receptor (EcR). Although 20E has been well characterized as the molting hormone, its precursor ecdysone (E) has been considered to be a relatively inactive compound because it has little or no effect on classic EcR mediated responses. I found that feeding E to wild-type third instar larvae of Drosophila melanogaster accelerates the metamorphic timing, which results in elevation of lethality during metamorphosis and reduced body size, while 20E has only a minor effect. The addition of a juvenile hormone analog (JHA) to E impeded their precocious pupariation and thereby rescued the reduced body size. The ability of JHA impeding the effect of E was not observed in the Methoprene-tolerant (Met) and germ-cell expressed (gce) double mutant animals lacking JH signaling, indicating that antagonistic action of JH against E is transduced via a primary JH receptor, Met, or a product of its homolog, Gce. I also found that L3 larvae are susceptible to E around the time when they reach their minimum viable weight. These results indicate that E, and not just 20E, is also essential for proper regulation of developmental timing and body size. Furthermore, the precocious pupariation triggered by E is impeded by the action of JH to ensure that animals attain body size to survive metamorphosis.Developmental Biology 04/2014; · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The role of juvenile hormone (JH) in regulating the timing and nature of insect molts is well-established. Increasing evidence suggests that JH is also involved in regulating final insect size. Here we elucidate the developmental mechanism through which JH regulates body size in developing Drosophila larvae by genetically ablating the JH-producing organ, the corpora allata (CA). We found that larvae that lack CA pupariated at smaller sizes than control larvae due to a reduced larval growth rate. Neither the timing of the metamorphic molt nor the duration of larval growth was affected by the loss of JH. Further, we show that the effects of JH on growth rate are dependent on the forkhead box O transcription factor (FOXO), which is negatively regulated by the insulin-signaling pathway. Larvae that lacked the CA had elevated levels of FOXO activity, whereas a loss-of-function mutation of FOXO rescued the effects of CA ablation on final body size. Finally, the effect of JH on growth appears to be mediated, at least in part, via ecdysone synthesis in the prothoracic gland. These results indicate a role of JH in regulating growth rate via the ecdysone- and insulin-signaling pathways.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
Article: Exaggerated Trait Growth in Insects.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Animal structures occasionally attain extreme proportions, eclipsing in size the surrounding body parts. We review insect examples of exaggerated traits, such as the mandibles of stag beetles (Lucanidae), the claspers of praying mantids (Mantidae), the elongated hindlimbs of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Caelifera), and the giant heads of soldier ants (Formicidae) and termites (Isoptera). Developmentally, disproportionate growth can arise through trait-specific modifications to the activity of at least four pathways: the sex determination pathway, the appendage patterning pathway, the insulin/IGF signaling pathway, and the juvenile hormone/ecdysteroid pathway. Although most exaggerated traits have not been studied mechanistically, it is already apparent that distinct developmental mechanisms underlie the evolution of the different types of exaggerated traits. We suggest this reflects the nature of selection in each instance, revealing an exciting link between mechanism, form, and function. We use this information to make explicit predictions for the types of regulatory pathways likely to underlie each type of exaggerated trait. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Entomology Volume 60 is January 07, 2014. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.Annual Review of Entomology 10/2014; · 13.02 Impact Factor