Transcriptional regulation of host insulin signaling pathway genes controlling larval development by Microplitis manilae parasitization

Arch Insect Biochem Physiol. 2023 May;113(1):e22003. doi: 10.1002/arch.22003. Epub 2023 Jan 24.


Idiobiont parasitoids using other insects as hosts sabotage the host growth and development to ensure their offspring survival. Numerous studies have discovered that insect development is subtly regulated by the conserved insulin signaling pathway. However, little is known about how wasp parasitization disrupts host development controlled by the insulin signaling pathway. Here we address this study to determine the effect of wasp parasitism on host Spodoptera frugiperda development using the idiobiont parasitoid Microplitis manilae as a model. Upon M. manilae parasitization, the body weight, body length, and food consumption of host insect were dramatically reduced compared to the unparasitized S. frugiperda. We next identified the core genes involved in host insulin signaling pathway and further analyzed the domain organizations of these genes. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on the insulin receptors clustered S. frugiperda together with other noctuidae insects. In the latter study, we profiled the expression patterns of host insulin signaling pathway genes in response to M. manilae parasitization at 2, 24, and 48 h, significant decreases in mRNA levels were recorded in S. frugiperda larvae upon 24 and 48 h parasitization. These current findings substantially add to our understanding of the physiological interaction between parasitoid and host insects, thus contributing to revealing the molecular mechanism of parasitic wasps regulating host development.

Keywords: Microplitis manila; Spodoptera frugiperda; development; insulin signaling pathway; parasitoid.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / physiology
  • Insulin*
  • Larva
  • Phylogeny
  • Signal Transduction
  • Spodoptera
  • Wasps*


  • Insulin