Juveile hormones (JHs) are key regulators of insect development and reproduction. The JH biosynthetic pathway is known to involve 13 discrete enzymatic steps. In the present study, we have characterized the JH biosynthetic pathway in the cockroach Diploptera punctata. The effect of exogenous JH precursors on JH biosynthesis was also determined. Based on sequence similarity, orthologs for the genes directly involved in the pathway were cloned, and their spatial and temporal transcript profiles were determined. The effect of shutting down the JH pathway in adult female cockroaches was studied by knocking down genes encoding HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR) and Juvenile hormone acid methyltransferase (JHAMT). As a result, oocyte development slowed as a consequence of reduction in JH biosynthesis. Oocyte length, fat body transcription of Vg and ovarian vitellin content significantly decreased. In addition, silencing HMGR and JHAMT resulted in a decrease in the transcript levels of other genes in the pathway.
Huang, J., Marchal, E., Hult, E. F., & Tobe, S. S. (2015). Characterization of the juvenile hormone pathway in the viviparous cockroach, Diploptera punctata. PLoS ONE, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0117291