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BACKGROUND The timely onset of metamorphosis in holometabolous insects depends on their reaching the appropriate size known as critical weight. Once critical weight is reached, juvenile hormone (JH) titers decline, resulting in the release of prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) at the next photoperiod gate and thereby inducing metamorphosis. How individuals(More)
Insect metamorphosis is a fascinating and highly successful biological adaptation, but there is much uncertainty as to how it evolved. Ancestral insect species did not undergo metamorphosis and there are still some existing species that lack metamorphosis or undergo only partial metamorphosis. Based on endocrine studies and morphological comparisons of the(More)
Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence has suggested that sex pheromone is rapidly inactivated within the sensory hairs soon after initiation of the action-potential spike. We report the isolation and characterization of a sex-pheromone-degrading enzyme from the sensory hairs of the silkmoth Antheraea polyphemus. In the presence of this enzyme at(More)
The understanding of the molecular basis of the endocrine control of insect metamorphosis has been hampered by the profound differences in responses of the Lepidoptera and the Diptera to juvenile hormone (JH). In both Manduca and Drosophila, the broad (br) gene is expressed in the epidermis during the formation of the pupa, but not during adult(More)
This review explores the roles of ecdysone and juvenile hormone (JH) in the evolution of complete metamorphosis and how metamorphosis, in turn, has impacted endocrine signaling. JH is a key player in the evolution of metamorphosis because it can act on embryos from more basal insect groups to suppress morphogenesis and cause premature differentiation,(More)
The neuropeptide eclosion hormone (EH) is a key regulator of insect ecdysis. We tested the role of the two EH-producing neurons in Drosophila by using an EH cell-specific enhancer to activate cell death genes reaper and head involution defective to ablate the EH cells. In the EH cell knockout flies, larval and adult ecdyses were disrupted, yet a third of(More)
cDNAs were isolated from Manduca sexta that encode two isoforms of an ultraspiracle (USP) homologue MsUSP-1 and MsUSP-2 with different N-terminal A/B regions. The MsUSP-1 cDNA predicts a protein with 97% and 45% amino acid identities in the DNA- and ligand-binding domains respectively to the Drosophila USP and 89% overall identity with Bombyx mori CF1 (an(More)
The insect ovary is a modular structure, the functional unit of which is the ovariole. Ovariole number is positively correlated with potential reproductive output. Among drosophilids (Insecta: Diptera), ovariole number shows both phenotypic plasticity and substantial interspecific and interpopulational variation. Here we examine the mechanistic connection(More)