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Annu Rev Entomol. 2018 Jan 7;63:489-511. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-020117-043258. Epub 2017 Oct 20.

Regulatory Pathways Controlling Female Insect Reproduction.

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Department of Entomology, Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, and Center for Disease Vector Research, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA; email: , ,
State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; email:


The synthesis of vitellogenin and its uptake by maturing oocytes during egg maturation are essential for successful female reproduction. These events are regulated by the juvenile hormones and ecdysteroids and by the nutritional signaling pathway regulated by neuropeptides. Juvenile hormones act as gonadotropins, regulating vitellogenesis in most insects, but ecdysteroids control this process in Diptera and some Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera. The complex crosstalk between the juvenile hormones, ecdysteroids, and nutritional signaling pathways differs distinctly depending on the reproductive strategies adopted by various insects. Molecular studies within the past decade have revealed much about the relationships among, and the role of, these pathways with respect to regulation of insect reproduction. Here, we review the role of juvenile hormones, ecdysteroids, and nutritional signaling, along with that of microRNAs, in regulating female insect reproduction at the molecular level.


Hemimetabola; Holometabola; ecdysteroids; juvenile hormone; microRNA; target of rapamycin

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