Identification of juvenile hormone response genes in newly emerged female Aedes aegypti

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Virginia Tech


Juvenile hormone (JH) plays pivotal roles in the development and reproduction of insects. Efforts to characterize the mechanisms of JH regulation are complicated due to JH pathways often being intertwined with those of 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Upon adult emergence, female Aedes aegypti enter a period of development during which they gain competence for mating, bloodfeeding, and egg production. JH levels rise dramatically and peak during the first 2-3 days post-emergence and remain relatively high until a bloodmeal is consumed, while 20E titers remain very low throughout the entire stage. Thus, post-emergence development offers a unique opportunity to study the effects of JH in the absence of 20E. In this study, four potential JH response genes were identified in newly emerged females. One such gene, AaKr-h1, is a homologue of Kr-h1, a zinc-finger transcription factor which has been characterized in Manduca sexta, Drosophila melanogaster, Tribolium castaneum, and Apis mellifera, and is involved in a diverse range of JH-regulated pathways. AaKr-h1 demonstrated a dose-dependent transcriptional response to JHIII as well as two JH mimics in abdominal ligation assays. The findings of this study indicate that Kr-h1 may be regulated by JH independently of any 20E regulation and suggests a fundamental, conserved role for Kr-h1 in JH-regulated pathways.



juvenile hormone, Kr-h1, Aedes aegypti