Identification of a Juvenile Hormone-Like Compound in a Crustacean

Science  09 Jan 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4785, pp. 202-205
DOI: 10.1126/science.235.4785.202


Juvenile hormone (JH) has central roles in the regulation of insect development and reproduction but has not previously been identified in other arthropod classes. The hemolymph of a crustacean, Libinia emarginata (Leach), has now been analyzed for JH-like compounds. Samples contained 0.003 to 0.030 nanogram of JH III per milliliter and 10 to 50 nanograms of methyl farnesoate per milliliter; methyl farnesoate is a compound structurally related to JH III that has JH bioactivity. Several tissues were examined for synthesis and secretion of JH-like compounds. Of these tissues, only the mandibular organs produced and secreted JH III and methyl farnesoate. However, microchemical analysis revealed that this JH III was racemic, and thus likely an artifactual oxidation product of methyl farnesoate. Secretion of methyl farnesoate was related to reproduction in females, with the highest rates observed in Libinia near the end of the ovarian cycle when oocyte growth and vitellogenesis are greatest. These results indicate that JH-like compounds such as methyl farnesoate have regulatory roles in crustaceans.

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