Int. J. Dev. Biol. 40: 205 - 210 (1996)
© UPV/EHU Press

Allatotropin released by the brain controls larval molting in Galleria mellonella by affecting juvenile hormone synthesis.

M Bogus and K Scheller

Lehrstuhl für Zell- und Entwicklungsbiologie, Theodor-Boveri-Institut (Biozentrum), Universität Würzburg, Germany.

ABSTRACT Monoclonal antibodies were raised against a protein fraction which was purified from larval brains of Galleria mellonella and which was shown to stimulate the corpora allata to synthesize juvenile hormone in vivo as well as in vitro. Immunoblot analysis revealed that one polypeptide band of 20 kDa was specifically recognized. Two pairs of median neurosecretory cells of the brain and the cells of the corpus cardiacum were demonstrated to be immunoreactive to the antibodies. Our results sustain the hypothesis that the larval brain directly governs insect larval molting by controlling JH synthesis via an allatrophic factor.