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Insect Mol Biol. 2009 Oct;18(5):571-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2009.00898.x. Epub 2009 Jul 21.

Vestigial and scalloped in the ladybird beetle: a conserved function in wing development and a novel function in pupal ecdysis.

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Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya, Japan.


In Drosophila melanogaster, Vestigial (Vg) and Scalloped (Sd) form a transcription factor complex and play a crucial role in wing development. To extend our knowledge of insect wing formation, we isolated vg and sd homologues from two ladybird beetle species, Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata and Harmonia axyridis. Although the ladybird beetle vg homologues had only low homology with D. melanogaster vg, ectopic expression of H. vigintioctopunctata vg induced wing-like tissues in antennae and legs of D. melanogaster. Subsequent larval RNA interference (RNAi) analysis in H. vigintioctopunctata demonstrated conserved functions of vg and sd in wing development, and an unexpected novel function of sd in pupal ecdysis. Furthermore, our results can be applied to the production of a flightless ladybird beetle for biological control purposes using larval RNAi.

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