Kristel Vuerinckx

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To obtain reliable quantitative RT-PCR data, normalization relative to stable housekeeping genes is required. However, in practice, expression levels of 'typical' housekeeping genes have been found to vary between tissues and under different experimental conditions. To date, validation studies of reference genes in insects are extremely rare and have never(More)
In some ants, bees, and wasps, workers kill or ‘‘police’’ male eggs laid by other workers in order to maintain the reproductive primacy of the queen. Kin selection theory predicts that multiple mating by the queen is one factor that can selectively favor worker policing. This is because when the queen is mated to multiple males, workers are more closely(More)
This review focuses on the state of the art on neuropeptide receptors in insects. Most of these receptors are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and are involved in the regulation of virtually all physiological processes during an insect's life. More than 20 years ago a milestone in invertebrate endocrinology was achieved with the characterization of the(More)
Following a reverse pharmacology approach, we identified an allatotropin-like peptide receptor in Tribolium castaneum. Allatotropins are multifunctional neuropeptides initially isolated from the tabacco hornworm, Manduca sexta. They have been shown to be myoactive, to be cardio-acceleratory, to inhibit active ion transport, to stimulate juvenile hormone(More)
The insect PISCF/allatostatins (ASTs) are pleiotropic peptides that are involved in the regulation of juvenile hormone biosynthesis, are myoinhibitory on the gut and the heart, and suppress feeding in various insects, but their roles in beetles are poorly understood. To provide further insight into the significance of PISCF/ASTs in beetles, the PISCF/AST(More)
One of the core genes in the circadian regulation network is clock (clk). By forming a heterodimer with CYCLE (CYC) that binds on an E-box in the promoter region, it induces the transcription of other elements in the circadian transcriptional feedback loops and different clock output genes. In contrast to other insects, a clk double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)(More)
Drastic changes in the environment during a lifetime require developmental and physiological flexibility to ensure animal survival. Desert locusts, Schistocerca gregaria, live in an extremely changeable environment, which alternates between periods of rainfall and abundant food and periods of drought and starvation. In order to survive, locusts display an(More)
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