SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • insulin;
  • pars intercerebralis;
  • phenotypic plasticity;
  • polyphenism;
  • photoperiod

Abstract

Aphids respond to environmental changes by developing alternative phenotypes with differing reproductive modes. Parthenogenetic reproduction occurs in spring and summer, whereas decreasing day lengths in autumn provoke the production of sexual forms. Changing environmental signals are relayed by brain neuroendocrine signals to the ovarioles. We combined bioinformatic analyses with brain peptidomics and cDNA analyses to establish a catalogue of pea aphid neuropeptides and neurohormones. 42 genes encoding neuropeptides and neurohormones were identified, of which several were supported by expressed sequence tags and/or peptide mass analyses. Interesting features of the pea aphid peptidome are the absence of genes coding for corazonin, vasopressin and sulfakinin and the presence of 10 different genes coding insulin related peptides, one of which appears to be very abundantly expressed.