Identification of species-specific juvenile hormone response elements in the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Juvenile hormones (JH) regulate insect development and reproduction. The JH analogs (JHA) are used as insecticides. However, JHAs are rarely used in managing pests such as the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda that cause damage during larval stages. The insecticides that antagonize JH action and induce stoppage of feeding and precocious metamorphosis might work better to control these pests. Treating insects with JHA insecticides induces the expression of an early JH response gene, Krüppel homolog 1 (Kr-h1) by working through JH response elements (JHRE) present in its promoter. In this study, we identified JHREs present in the promoter of Kr-h1 gene of a global pest, S. frugiperda, and used them to develop a JHRE-reporter cell platform to screen for JH analogs. JHA, methoprene induced the expression of SfKr-h1 both in vitro and in vivo. JHRE present in the promoters of two SfKr-h1 isoforms, SfKr-h1α and SfKr-h1β were identified. In Sf9 cells, the knockout of isoform-specific JHRE affected JH response in an isoform-specific manner. We also found that S. frugiperda JHRE (SfJHRE) did not function in the mosquito Aedes aegypti Aag2 cells and Tribolium castaneum TcA cells. Similarly, Ae. aegypti AaJHRE and T. castaneum TcJHRE were only functional in cells derived from these insects. The nucleotide sequence at the 3'end to the conserved core JHRE E-box sequence seems to be responsible for the species specificity observed. Two stable cell lines expressing the luciferase and enhanced green fluorescent protein genes under the control of SfJHRE were established. These cell lines responded well to JHA; these two JHRE-reporter cell lines could be used in screening assays to identify insecticides to manage S. frugiperda and other major pests.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103860
JournalInsect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Insecticides
  • Juvenile hormone response elements
  • Krüppel homolog 1
  • Species-specific activity
  • Stable cell lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of species-specific juvenile hormone response elements in the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this