Hormones determine insect metamorphoses

Pulses of steroid hormones are responsible for differentiating an insect’s lifecycle metamorphoses, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found.

Previous studies had shown that the same biochemical “signalling systems” were involved in the two very different transformations from larva to pupa and pupa to adult. New research on fruit flies shows that a steroid hormone, released only during the pupa transformation, turns on particular genes which then redirect the “target” genes of the signalling systems. This suggests an analogy with human puberty, which is also triggered by hormones.

Read more at Washington University in St. Louis