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J Insect Physiol. 2011 Jul;57(7):858-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2011.03.012. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

RNA interference unveils functions of the hypertrehalosemic hormone on cyclic fluctuation of hemolymph trehalose and oviposition in the virgin female Blattella germanica.

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Department of Entomology, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan.


Hypertrehalosemic hormone (HTH) is a neuropeptide within the adipokinetic hormone (AKH) family that induces a release of trehalose from fat body into hemolymph in a number of insects. In this study, we first showed that female adult German cockroach, Blattella germanica, displayed a cyclic fluctuation of hemolymph trehalose levels correlated to the maturation of oocytes in the reproductive cycle. After cloning the HTH cDNA from the German cockroach (Blage-HTH), expression studies indicated that Blage-HTH mRNA showed the cyclic changes during the first reproductive cycle, where peak values occurred in 8-day-old virgin female cockroaches, which were going to produce oothecae. The functions of Blage-HTH were studied using RNA interference (RNAi) to knockdown its expression. Adult virgin females of B. germanica injected with Blage-HTH dsRNA increased hemolymph trehalose levels in the late period of vitellogenesis more slowly than control. Furthermore, RNAi of Blage-HTH delayed oviposition time and some (10%) individuals did not produce the first ootheca until 15 days after eclosion, whereas the control group produced ootheca before 9 days in all cases.

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