Most aphids exhibit wing polyphenism, in which winged and wingless females are produced depending on aphid densities. Although juvenile hormone (JH) has been implicated in the regulation of aphid wing polyphenism, relatively few studies examining the direct relationship between JH titer and resultant wing morphs have been undertaken. We therefore investigated the relationship between JH III titer and the development of wing morphs in the vetch aphid Megoura crassicauda during postembryonic development. JH III measurements by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) revealed that, at the third instar, presumptive wingless nymphs had significantly higher JH III titers than winged nymphs. In winged nymphs at the third instar, JH III application inhibited wing development resulting in the appearance of winged/wingless intermediates as well as juvenilized individuals with supernumerary molting. These results suggest that JH III plays an important role in wing-morph differentiation during postembryonic development.
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