Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Entomology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 12, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Shirk, P.D. 2008. Vitellogenesis. In: Capinera, John L., editor. Encyclopedia of Entomology. 2nd edition. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. p. 93-97. Interpretive Summary: The control of insect pests that destroy crops and stored commodities is in jeopardy. Most current insecticides will be lost due to acquired resistance or environmental hazard. This has left the agriculture with fewer options for pest control. Scientists at the USDA ARS, Center from Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology examine the development of germ cells in the ovaries of the Indianmeal moth, Plodia interpunctella, a major stored product pest as well as other insects. The contributed book chapter presents a lay-person review of the production of protein yolk or vitellogenesis in insects as a means of educating the populace on how insects make eggs. The chapter will provide a reference for lay-persons to understand current research efforts by ARS scientists.
Technical Abstract: The process of vitellogenesis in insects is briefly reviewed for the lay reader. Vitellogenesis is the process of production and accumulation of yolk in a developing oocyte. The major proteins that accumulate in the oocyte of most insects are produced as vitellogenins. Vitellogenins are found in other animals that deposit eggs and the proteins all belong to a superfamily of lipoproteins that share a common evolutionary origin. However, the higher dipterans utilize smaller yolk proteins to package in the eggs. Typically, the vitellogenins or yolk proteins are produced in the fat body, secreted into the hemolymph, transported to the ovary where they are taken up by receptor-mediated transport into the oocyte and deposited as vitellin in yolk spheres. The genetic and endocrine regulation of the genes for the vitellogenins and vitellogenin receptors is described by four different models that relate the regulation to feeding activities of the adults.