Author(s): Tan A, Tanaka H, Tamura T, Shiotsuki T
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Abstract Insect growth and development are intricately regulated by the titers of juvenile hormones (JHs) and ecdysteroids (and/or their metabolites) in the insect hemolymph. Hydrolysis of the methyl ester of JH by a JH-specific esterase (JHE) is a key pathway for the degradation of JH. Here, we generate transgenic silkworm strains that overexpress JHE by using the binary GAL4/UAS system. Overexpression of JHE from the embryonic stage resulted in larval-pupal metamorphosis after the third stadium, two stadia earlier than that observed in wild-type insects. This precocious metamorphosis suggests that JHs are not critical for normal development of embryo or larva before the second molt in Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). Our transgenic approach allowed us to dissect the function of key physiological events that occur from embryogenesis. Until now, these types of studies were possible only in later larval stadia by using physical techniques such as allatectomy or the application of JH analogues. We believe that our system will allow further pioneering studies in insect physiology.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability