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Title: The endocrine control of phase transition: some new aspects
Authors: Breuer, Michael ×
Hoste, Bruno
De Loof, Arnold #
Issue Date: Mar-2003
Publisher: Blackwell publishing ltd
Series Title: Physiological entomology vol:28 issue:1 pages:3-10
Abstract: The present article summarizes some recent findings relating to the underlying mechanism of phase transition in locusts, from the nonswarming solitarious phase to the swarming gregarious phase. These phases differ in many traits, such as colouration, morphometrics and behaviour. The most comprehensive theory at present to explain the switch from the nonswarming to the swarming form is that the locusts are brought together by the heterogeneity of the environment. They gather at preferential structures and food plants and physical contact then stimulates individuals to gregarize. Phase change can also be transferred across generations by maternal pheromones. The endocrine regulation of phase polymorphism is still not fully understood. The role of ecdysteroids has been studied, so far with no final conclusion. It is remarkable that the prothoracic glands persist longer in isolated-reared adults, which implies that these glands continue to play a role, although they no longer release important amounts of ecdysteroids. Juvenile Hormone, without any doubt, induces certain solitarious characteristics, such as green colouration, but is not the primary causal factor. A real breakthrough was the discovery of [His(7)]-corazonin, made possible by using a novel assay system, the Okinawa albino mutant of Locusta migratoria , which was known to be deficient in this hormone. This peptide, which is produced in the brain and is most likely released via the corpora cardiaca, promotes the gregarious black pigmentation. It also plays a role in morphometrical phase change as well as in behavioural alterations. Corazonin is apparently quite an important peptide not only in locusts, but also in insects in general.
URI: 
ISSN: 0307-6962
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Animal Physiology and Neurobiology Section - miscellaneous
Department of Biology - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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