Canadian Forest Service Publications

Ultrastructural effects of a non-steroidal ecdysone agonist, RH-5992, on the sixth instar larva of the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana. 1997. Retnakaran, A.; MacDonald, J.A.; Tomkins, W.L.; Davis, C.N.; Brownwright, A.J.; Palli, S.R. Journal of Insect Physiology 43 (1): 55-68.

Year: 1997

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 9837

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Force feeding of RH-5992 (Tebufenozide), a non-steroidal ecdysone agonist to newly moulted sixth instar larvae of the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana, (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) initiates a precocious, incomplete moult. Within 6 h post treatment (pt) the larva stops feeding and remains quiescent. Around 12 h pt, the head capsule slips partially revealing an untanned new head capsule that appears wrinkled and poorly formed. By 24 hr pt, the head capsule slippage is pronounced and there is a mid-dorsal split of the old cuticle in the thoracic region but there is no ecdysis. The larva remains moribund in this state and ultimately dies of starvation and desiccation. The temporal sequence of the external and internal changes of the integument were studied using both scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Within 3 h pt, there is hypertrophy of the Golgi complex indicating synthetic activity and soon after, large, putative ecdysial droplets are seen. Within 24 h, a new cuticle that lacks the endocuticular lamellae is formed. The formation of the various cuticular components, the degradation of the old cuticle and changes in the organelles of the epidermal cells of the mesothoracic tergite are described. The difference between the natural moult and the one induced by RH-5992 are explained on the basis of molecular events that take place during the moulting cycle. The persistence of this ecdysone agonist in the tissues permits the expression of all the genes that are up-regulated by the presence of the natural hormone but those that are turned on in the absence of the hormone are not expressed.