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Morphological abnormalities and lethality in silkworm (Bombyx mori) larvae treated with high concentrations of insect growth-blocking peptide

Zou, Feng Ming, Lee, Kwang Sik, Wan, Hu, Gui, Zhong Zheng, Jin, Byung Rae
Journal of Asia-Pacific entomology 2014 v.17 no.1 pp. 93-97
Bombyx mori, Spodoptera exigua, cattle, death, dose response, foregut, insect larvae, larval development, peptides, silkworms, thorax
Insect growth-blocking peptides (GBPs) exhibit growth-blocking and paralytic activity. Low concentrations of GBP stimulate larval growth, whereas high concentrations of GBP significantly retard larval growth. Here, we show that morphological abnormalities and lethality were induced in silkworm (Bombyx mori) larvae by high concentrations of GBP. Active B. mori GBP (BmGBP) was produced by treating recombinant proBmGBP (expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells) with bovine factor Xa. When silkworm larvae on day 1 of the fifth-instar stage were injected between the seventh and eight abdominal segments with BmGBP (100 or 500ng/larva), the larval–pupal and pupal–adult transformations of these silkworms were delayed in a dose-dependent manner. However, a high concentration (2000ng/larva) of BmGBP or Spodoptera exigua GBP (SeGBP) acutely induced morphological abnormalities and death in silkworm larvae. In silkworm larvae treated with high concentrations of GBPs, the ingested food excessively accumulated in the foregut, which caused extreme swelling in both the thorax and the foregut and resulted in larval death. Therefore, these results not only provide insight into the effect of insect GBPs on gut physiology but also reveal a novel function of insect GBPs.