Juvenile hormone and colony conditions differentially influence cytochrome P450 gene expression in the termite Reticulitermes flavipes

X. Zhou, C. Song, T. L. Grzymala, F. M. Oi, M. E. Scharf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

In lower termites, the worker caste is a totipotent immature stage that is capable of differentiating into other adult caste phenotypes. We investigated the diversity of family 4 cytochrome P450 (CYP4) genes in Reticulitermes flavipes workers, with the specific goal of identifying P450s potentially involved in regulating caste differentiation. Seven novel CYP4 genes were identified. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed the tissue distribution of expression for the seven CYP4s, as well as temporal expression changes in workers in association with a release from colony influences and during juvenile hormone (JH)-induced soldier caste differentiation. Several fat-body-related CYP4 genes were differentially expressed after JH treatment. Still other genes changed expression in association with removal from colony influences, suggesting that primer pheromones and/or other colony influences impact their expression. These findings add to a growing database of candidate termite caste-regulatory genes, and provide explicit evidence that colony factors influence termite gene expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-761
Number of pages13
JournalInsect Molecular Biology
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2006

Keywords

  • JH
  • Juvenile hormone
  • Monooxygenase
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Polyphenism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Insect Science

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