Juvenile hormone regulates the photoperiodic plasticity of elytra coloration in a ladybird Harmonia axyridis
Li, Jia-Xu et al. (2023), Juvenile hormone regulates the photoperiodic plasticity of elytra coloration in a ladybird Harmonia axyridis, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.63xsj3v6n
Many animals, including insects, exhibit plasticity of body color in response to environmental changes. Varied expression of carotenoids, major cuticle pigments, significantly contributes to body color flexibility. However, the molecular mechanisms by which environmental cues regulate carotenoid expression remain largely unknown. In this study, we used the ladybird Harmonia axyridis as a model to investigate the photoperiodic-responsive plasticity of elytra coloration and its endocrine regulation. It was found that H. axyridis females under long-day conditions develop elytra that are much redder than those under short-day conditions, resulting from the differential accumulation of carotenoids. Exogenous hormone application and RNAi-mediated gene knockdown indicate that carotenoid deposition was directed through the juvenile hormone (JH) receptor-mediated canonical pathway. Moreover, we characterized an SR-BI/CD36 (SCRB) gene SCRB10 as the carotenoid transporter responding to JH signaling and regulating the elytra coloration plasticity. Taken together, we propose that JH signaling transcriptionally regulates the carotenoid transporter gene for the photoperiodic coloration plasticity of elytra in the beetles, which reveals a novel role of the endocrine system in the regulation of carotenoid-associated animal body coloration under environmental stimuli.
National Natural Science Foundation of China, Award: 31701842
Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province, Award: 2019CFB475