Int. J. Dev. Biol. 61: 439 - 450 (2017)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.160277sb
© UPV/EHU Press

Segmentation gene expression patterns in Bactrocera dorsalis and related insects: regulation and shape of blastoderm and larval cuticle

Worramin Suksuwan, Xiaoli Cai, Lertluk Ngernsiri and Stefan Baumgartner*

Dept. of Experimental Medical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

ABSTRACT The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, is regarded as a severe pest of fruit production in Asia. Despite its economic importance, only limited information regarding the molecular and developmental biology of this insect is known to date. We provide a detailed analysis of B. dorsalis embryology, as well as the expression patterns of a number of segmentation genes known to act during patterning of Drosophila and compare these to the patterns of other insect families. An anterior shift of the expression of gap genes was detected when compared to Drosophila. This shift was largely restored during the step where the gap genes control expression of the pair-rule genes. We analyzed and compared the shapes of the embryos of insects of different families, B. dorsalis and the blow fly Lucilia sericata with that of the well-characterized Drosophila melanogaster. We found distinct shapes as well as differences in the ratios of the length of the anterior-posterior axis and the dorsal-ventral axis. These features were integrated into a profile of how the expression patterns of the gap gene Krüppel and the pair-rule gene even-skipped were observed along the A-P axis in three insects families. Since significant differences were observed, we discuss how Krüppel controls the even-skipped stripes. Furthermore, we discuss how the position and angles of the segmentation gene stripes differed from other insects. Finally, we analyzed the outcome of the expression patterns of the late acting segment polarity genes in relation to the anlagen of the naked-cuticle and denticle belt area of the B. dorsalis larva.

Keywords:

Bactrocera dorsalis, segmentation, Kruppel, even-skipped

*Corresponding author e-mail: Stefan.Baumgartner@med.lu.se