Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Mutagenesis of both prophenoloxidases in the fall armyworm induces major defects in metamorphosis.

Abstract

Upon infection, the phenoloxidase system in arthropods is rapidly mobilized and constitutes a major defense system against invaders. The activation of the key enzymes prophenoloxidase (PPO) and their action in immunity through melanization and encapsulation of foreign bodies in hemolymph has been described in many insects. On the other hand, little is known about PPOs involvement in other essential functions related to insect development. In this paper, we investigated the function of the two PPOs of the crop pest, Spodoptera frugiperda (PPO1 and PPO2). We show that PPOs are mainly expressed in hemocytes with the PPO2 expressed at higher levels than the PPO1. In addition, these two genes are expressed in the same tissue and at the same stages of insect development. Through the generation of loss-of-function mutants by CRISPR/Cas9 method, we show that the presence of PPOs is essential for the normal development of the pupa and the survival of the insect.