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Mech Dev. 2004 Feb;121(2):119-30.

Involvement of Wingless/Armadillo signaling in the posterior sequential segmentation in the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus (Orthoptera), as revealed by RNAi analysis.

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Department of Biological Science and Technology, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokushima, 2-1 Minami-jyosanjima-cho, Tokushima 770-8506, Japan.


In insects, there are two different modes of segmentation. In the higher dipteran insects (like Drosophila), their segmentation takes place almost simultaneously in the syncytial blastoderm. By contrast, in the orthopteran insects (like Schistocerca (grasshopper)), the anterior segments form almost simultaneously in the cellular blastoderm and then the remaining posterior part elongates to form segments sequentially from the posterior proliferative zone. Although most of their orthologues of the Drosophila segmentation genes may be involved in their segmentation, little is known about their roles. We have investigated segmentation processes of Gryllus bimaculatus, focusing on its orthologues of the Drosophila segment-polarity genes, G. bimaculatus wingless (Gbwg), armadillo (Gbarm) and hedgehog (Gbhh). Gbhh and Gbwg were observed to be expressed in the each anterior segment and the posterior proliferative zone. In order to know their roles, we used RNA interference (RNAi). We could not observed any significant effects of RNAi for Gbwg and Gbhh on segmentation, probably due to functional replacement by another member of the corresponding gene families. Embryos obtained by RNAi for Gbarm exhibited abnormal anterior segments and lack of the abdomen. Our results suggest that GbWg/GbArm signaling is involved in the posterior sequential segmentation in the G. bimaculatus embryos, while Gbwg, Gbarm and Gbhh are likely to act as the segment-polarity genes in the anterior segmentation similarly as in Drosophila.

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