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Endocrine regulation of a dispersal polymorphism in winged insects: a short review

Lin, Xinda, Lavine, Laura Corley
Current opinion in insect science 2018 v.25 pp. 20-24
Aphidoidea, Fulgoroidea, Gryllidae, adults, animals, ecdysone, environmental factors, flight muscles, food availability, insects, insulin, juveniles, life history, mitogen-activated protein kinase, phenotype, polyphenism, reproduction, signal transduction, wings
Changes in food availability and crowding are two critical environmental conditions that impact an animal's trajectory toward either reproduction or migration. Many insects facing this challenge have evolved wing polymorpisms that allow them to respond to changing conditions. When conditions favor reproduction, wing polymorphic species produce adults that either have no wings or short, non-functional wings; however, when conditions favor migration, adults with functional wings and robust flight muscles develop. Here we review three recently reported signaling pathways regulating wing polyphenism in wing polymorphic crickets, aphids, and brown planthoppers: juvenile horomone/ecdysone signaling, insulin signaling, and Jun-N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signaling. Understanding how these pathways respond to nutrition, stress and crowding with the appropriate adaptive phenotype is an important step in understanding how life-history trade-offs evolve.