Steroid hormone ecdysone deficiency stimulates preparation for photoperiodic reproductive diapause

Autoři: Shuang Guo aff001;  Zhong Tian aff001;  Qing-Wen Wu aff001;  Kirst King-Jones aff002;  Wen Liu aff001;  Fen Zhu aff001;  Xiao-Ping Wang aff001
Působiště autorů: Hubei Key Laboratory of Insect Resources Utilization and Sustainable Pest Management, College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, PR China aff001;  Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: Steroid hormone ecdysone deficiency stimulates preparation for photoperiodic reproductive diapause. PLoS Genet 17(2): e1009352. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1009352
Kategorie: Research Article


Diapause, a programmed developmental arrest primarily induced by seasonal environmental changes, is very common in the animal kingdom, and found in vertebrates and invertebrates alike. Diapause provides an adaptive advantage to animals, as it increases the odds of surviving adverse conditions. In insects, individuals perceive photoperiodic cues and modify endocrine signaling to direct reproductive diapause traits, such as ovary arrest and increased fat accumulation. However, it remains unclear as to which endocrine factors are involved in this process and how they regulate the onset of reproductive diapause. Here, we found that the long day-mediated drop in the concentration of the steroid hormone ecdysone is essential for the preparation of photoperiodic reproductive diapause in Colaphellus bowringi, an economically important cabbage beetle. The diapause-inducing long-day condition reduced the expression of ecdysone biosynthetic genes, explaining the drop in the titer of 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E, the active form of ecdysone) in female adults. Application of exogenous 20E induced vitellogenesis and ovarian development but reduced fat accumulation in the diapause-destined females. Knocking down the ecdysone receptor (EcR) in females destined for reproduction blocked reproductive development and induced diapause traits. RNA-seq and hormone measurements indicated that 20E stimulates the production of juvenile hormone (JH), a key endocrine factor in reproductive diapause. To verify this, we depleted three ecdysone biosynthetic enzymes via RNAi, which confirmed that 20E is critical for JH biosynthesis and reproductive diapause. Importantly, impairing Met function, a component of the JH intracellular receptor, partially blocked the 20E-regulated reproductive diapause preparation, indicating that 20E regulates reproductive diapause in both JH-dependent and -independent manners. Finally, we found that 20E deficiency decreased ecdysis-triggering hormone signaling and reduced JH production, thereby inducing diapause. Together, these results suggest that 20E signaling is a pivotal regulator that coordinates reproductive plasticity in response to environmental inputs.

Klíčová slova:

Developmental signaling – Diapause – Fats – Gene expression – Lipid signaling – Lipids – Ovaries – RNA interference


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