• silkworm;
  • nervous wreck;
  • sexual dimorphism;
  • optic lobe


Sexually dimorphic neural circuits are essential for reproductive behaviour. The molecular basis of sexual dimorphism in the silkworm moth (Bombyx mori) brain, however, is unclear. We conducted cDNA subtraction screening and identified nervous wreck (Bmnwk), a synaptic growth regulatory gene, whose expression is higher in the male brain than in the female brain of the silkworm. Bmnwk was preferentially expressed in the brain at the late pupae and adult stages. In situ hybridization revealed that Bmnwk is highly expressed in the optic lobe of the male moth brain. These findings suggest that Bmnwk has a role in the development and/or maintenance of the optic lobe in the male silkworm brain.