Anterior development in the parthenogenetic and viviparous form of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum: hunchback and orthodenticle expression

Authors

  • T.-Y. Huang,

    1. Laboratory for Genetics and Development, Department of Entomology/Institute of Biotechnology, College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan;
    2. Institute of Biochemical Sciences, College of Life Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; and
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  • C. E. Cook,

    1. Laboratory for Genetics and Development, Department of Entomology/Institute of Biotechnology, College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan;
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  • G. K. Davis,

    1. Department of Biology, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, USA;
    2. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA;
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  • S. Shigenobu,

    1. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA;
    2. JST/PRESTO and Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki, Japan;
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  • R. P.-Y. Chen,

    1. Institute of Biochemical Sciences, College of Life Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan; and
    2. Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • C.-C. Chang

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory for Genetics and Development, Department of Entomology/Institute of Biotechnology, College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan;
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Chun-che Chang, Laboratory for Genetics and Development, Department of Entomology, National Taiwan University, no. 27, Lane 113, Roosevelt Road, Sec. 4, Taipei 106, Taiwan. Tel.: +8862 33665578; fax: +8862 27369366; e-mail: chunche@ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

In the dipteran Drosophila, the genes bicoid and hunchback work synergistically to pattern the anterior blastoderm during embryogenesis. bicoid, however, appears to be an innovation of the higher Diptera. Hence, in some non-dipteran insects, anterior specification instead relies on a synergistic interaction between maternally transcribed hunchback and orthodenticle. Here we describe how orthologues of hunchback and orthodenticle are expressed during oogenesis and embryogenesis in the parthenogenetic and viviparous form of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. A. pisum hunchback (Aphb) mRNA is localized to the anterior pole in developing oocytes and early embryos prior to blastoderm formation – a pattern strongly reminiscent of bicoid localization in Drosophila. A. pisum orthodenticle (Apotd), on the other hand, is not expressed prior to gastrulation, suggesting that it is the asymmetric localization of Aphb, rather than synergy between Aphb and Apotd, that regulates anterior specification in asexual pea aphids.

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