The hormone neuroparsin seems essential in Lepidoptera but not in domesticated silkworms

Jan A. Veenstra
. 2019-07-28; :
DOI: 10.1101/716746

The primary sequence of the Arthropod neurohormone neuroparsin is so variable that so far no orthologs from moths and butterflies have been characterized, even though classical neurosecretory stains identify cells that are homologous to those producing this hormone in other insect species. Here Lepidopteran cDNAs showing limited sequence similarity to other insect neuroparsins are described. That these cDNAs do indeed code for authentic neuroparsins was confirmed by in situ hybridization in the wax moth, Galleria mellonella, which labeled the neuroparsin neuroendocrine cells. Although in virtually all genome assemblies from Lepidoptera a neuroparsin gene could be identified, the genome assembly from the silkworm, Bombyx mori, has a neuroparsin gene containing a 16 nucleotide deletion that renders this gene nonfunctional. Although only a small number of all silkworm strains carry this deletion, it suggests that the domestication of the silkworm has rendered the function of this neurohormone dispensable.

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