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The link between temperature and reproduction is promising for insect control

Dorsal neurons (green) express the AstC peptide (magenta) in the brains of female flies. Credit: Matthew Meiselman / Provided

Scientists have discovered a series of slow-breeding fruit fly neurons that shut down at low temperatures. This is a system that is conserved by many insects, including mosquitoes, and can be a target for pest control.


Their study was published in the journal on February 16th. Current biologyTake a step towards understanding how the fly’s brain contributes to the perception and limitation of cold Playback.. Insects and animals, including many mammals, suppress winter reproduction to protect newborns from exposure to harsh winter conditions.

Research has public health Impact on agriculture by utilizing environment-dependent mechanisms that affect reproduction mosquito Crop pests may offer new control strategies. Mosquitoes act as a reservoir for Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malaria, and spend the winter in it.

“If the mosquito’s brain has a brake that closes the reproductive facility, and if the brake can be found and artificially activated, it could open up ways to control the mosquito population,” he said. Nilay Yapici, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior and Nancy, said. Peter Mainig, a family researcher in the Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Matt Meiselman, a postdoc in Yapici’s lab, is the lead author of this paper.

In this study, researchers performed a genetic screen to identify a subset of circadian neurons in the fly’s brain. These circadian neurons are important for sensing and responding to environmental cues such as light and cold and maintaining time in the brain, but they are not well understood.Researchers have found that these circadian cells are reproductive and light. temperature..

They found that light could have some effect on reproduction, as short days correspond to the winter season, but low temperatures dominate light in controlling reproduction.In the experiment Drosophila After long days and cold temperatures, spawning rates still slowed. They also used flies’ brain electrodes to show that dorsal fin neurons are active at warm temperatures and inactive at cold temperatures.

“These dorsal neurons sense temperature, tell the brain that it’s cold, and slow down spawning rates,” Yapichi said.

Once the neuron is identified, scientists Specific gene It is expressed in these cells. Their research revealed that an insect neuropeptide (signal transduction protein) called allotostatin (AstC) is specifically expressed in these circadian neurons. Experiments have shown that both AstC infusion and overexpression of neuropeptides from dorsal neurons stimulate spawning.In addition, AstC gene expression is also regulated by temperature, and AstC levels are Cold temperature Increased at warm temperatures. “In the cold, both dorsal neuronal activity and neuropeptide expression appear to decrease,” Yapici said.

Researchers have also discovered a receptor to which AstC neuropeptides bind and activate spawning.

In future studies, Yapici et al. Plan to produce mutant mosquitoes of the AstC peptide and its receptors to better understand its role in mosquito spawning regulation. If modification of the AstC receptor reduces reproduction, it may be the target of chemical interventions that may control mosquito and agricultural pest populations.

“Understanding how animals deal with environmental stressors is very important in the age of climate change,” says Yapici, with similar genes. Neuron It is also found in vertebrates, including mammals. “We are fascinated by the fact that the brain senses changes in the environment and regulates physiological functions accordingly.”


A clue as to why it’s so difficult to wake up on a cold winter morning


For more information:
Matthew R. Meiselman et al, recovery from cold-induced reproductive dormancy is regulated by temperature-dependent AstC signaling. Current biology (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.cub.2022.01.061

Provided by
Cornell University

Quote: The temperature and breeding link was obtained from https://phys.org/news/2022-02-temperature-reproduction-link-insect.html on February 17, 2022 for insect control (February 17, 2022). Has the potential of (day)

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The link between temperature and reproduction is promising for insect control

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