Interaction of insect hormones in the process of metamorphosis
The organs and the hormones usually included in metamorphosis of insects. This is since despite the fact that there may be around 1 million dissimilar insect species, there is a striking similarity in the endocrine function of dissimilar hemimetabolous and holometabolous insects. Figure depicts a schematic outline of the interaction of hormones in the metamorphosis of insects. On the basis of figure let us study how the actions of the several hormones bring about metamorphosis in insects. The moulting process, the beginning of metamorphosis, is initiated in the brain. The stimulus may be neural, hormonal or environmental, and causes the neurosecretory cells of the brain to release the activation hormone that after synthesis changes into the active hormone known as prothoracic opic hormone (PTTH). The PTTH stimulates the prothoracic gland to generate ecdysone.
Ecdysone after being transformed into its active form, the ecdysterone, stimulates growth and causes the epidermis to secrete a new cuticle, start the moulting process. The ecdysterone further stimulates the epidermal cells to synthesize enzymes which digest and recycle the components of the cuticle. As long as the juvenile hormone is present, the ecdysone-stimulated moult results in a new larval instar. In the last larval instar stage, the synthesis of juvenile hormone is decreased, causing its levels to drop below a critical threshold value. This again triggers the release of PTTH from the brain. The PTTH in turn, stimulates the prothoracic gland to secrete not usually large quantity of ecdysone. The resultant ecdysterone, in the relative scarcity of JH, causes the instar to pupate. In other word the occurrence of the subsequent moult in the larva in the relative scarcity of JH and abundance of ecdysone, shifts the organism from larva to pupa. Throughout the period of pupation the corpora allata do not release any juvenile hormone and the ecdysterone stimulates the pupa to metamorphoses into the adult insect.