The Function of Nuclear Receptors in Regulation of Female Reproduction and Embryogenesis in the Red Flour Beetle, Tribolium castaneum


Nineteen canonical and two Knirps-like family nuclear receptors (NRs) were identified in the genome of Tribolium castaneum. The current study was conducted to determine the function of these NRs in regulation of female reproduction and embryogenesis. RNA interference (RNAi)-aided knock-down in the expression of genes coding for 21 NRs showed that seven NRs E75, hormone receptor 3 (HR3), ecdysone receptor (EcR), ultraspiracle (USP), seven-up (SVP), FTZ transcription factor 1 (FTZ-F1) and hormone receptor 4 (HR4) are required for successful vitellogenesis and oogenesis. Knocking down the expression of genes coding for these seven NRs affected egg production by reducing the levels of vitellogenin mRNAs as well as by affecting the oocyte maturation. Expression of seven additional NRs hormone receptor 96 (HR96), hormone receptor 51 (HR51), hormone receptor 38 (HR38), hormone receptor 39 (HR39), Tailless (Tll), Dissatisfaction (Dsf) and Knirps-like is required for successful embryogenesis. The knock-down in the expression of genes coding for three other NRs (E78, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4, HNF4 and Eagle) partially blocked embryogenesis. This study showed that at least 17 out of the 21 NRs identified in T. castaneum play key roles in female reproduction and embryogenesis.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Journal of Insect Physiology, v. 56, issue 10, p. 1471-1480.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)