The evolution of insect metamorphosis: a developmental and endocrine view

Truman, James W. ✉; Riddiford, Lynn M.

English Scientific Survey paper (Journal Article)
  • SJR Scopus - Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous): D1
    Developmental, genetic and endocrine data from diverse taxa provide insight into the evolution of insect metamorphosis. We equate the larva-pupa-adult of the Holometabola to the pronymph-nymph-adult of hemimetabolous insects. The hemimetabolous pronymph is a cryptic embryonic stage with unique endocrinology and behavioural modifications that probably served as preadaptations for the larva. It develops in the absence of juvenile hormone (JH) as embryonic primordia undergo patterning and morphogenesis, the processes that were arrested for the evolution of the larva. Embryonic JH then drives tissue differentiation and nymph formation. Experimental treatment of pronymphs with JH terminates patterning and induces differentiation, mimicking the processes that occurred during the evolution of the larva. Unpatterned portions of primordia persist in the larva, becoming imaginal discs that form pupal and adult structures. Key transcription factors are associated with the holometabolous life stages: Kruppel-homolog 1 (Kr-h1) in the larva, broad in the pupa and E93 in the adult. Kr-h1 mediates JH action and is found whenever JH acts, while the other two genes direct the formation of their corresponding stages. In hemimetabolous forms, the pronymph has low Broad expression, followed by Broad expression through the nymphal moults, then a switch to E93 to form the adult.This article is part of the theme issue 'The evolution of complete metamorphosis'.
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    2021-12-05 05:07