Reports

Neuroendocrine Control of Ecdysis in Silkmoths

Science  20 Mar 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3925, pp. 1624-1626
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3925.1624

Abstract

An adult moth sheds its pupal skin only during a specific period of the day. The brain is necessary for the synchronization of this behavior with the environmental photoperiod. This function is fully preserved when all the brain's nervous connections are severed or when a "loose" brain is transplanted into the tip of the abdomen. By appropriate experiments it was possible to show that the entire mechanism is brain-centered. The components include a photoreceptor mechanism, a clock, and a neuroendocrine output. The clock-controlled release of the hormone acts on the central nervous system to trigger a species-specific behavior pattern which culminates in ecdysis.

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