Egg size-dependent embryonic development in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Insect Physiology Year : 2023

Egg size-dependent embryonic development in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria


Highlights: • Crowded desert locusts produce larger eggs than isolated locusts. • Egg developmental rates were similar between small and large eggs. • The initial embryo sizes were similar. • After yolk absorption, large egg embryos became larger than small egg embryos. Abstract: Phenotypic plasticity in body size is a product of modification of the developmental pathway. Although hatchlings of the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, show egg size-dependent plasticity in body size, it remains unclear how embryogenesis during egg development regulates final embryonic body size. To determine the developmental pathway causing body size variation at hatching, we examined egg and embryonic development at the early, middle, and late egg developmental stages in S. gregaria by comparing small and large eggs. Crowd -reared females produced larger eggs than isolated-reared females. The daily egg developmental rate was similar between small and large eggs: eggs dramatically absorbed external water after days 3 to 7 and nearly doubled the initial egg weight at the late stage of day 12. Morphological measurements of eggs and embryos at different days after oviposition revealed that large eggs were longer than small eggs throughout developmental stages. How-ever, embryo length was similar between small and large eggs at the early stage (anatrepsis). Embryos begin to absorb yolk into their bodies after blastokinesis. The size of large-egg embryos increased significantly from the middle stage (katatrepsis) due to absorption of more yolk than small eggs. Egg length and embryo length were conspicuously larger in large eggs than in small eggs on day 12 of late katatrepsis. These results suggest that egg size did not influence the egg developmental rate and initial embryo size. Large eggs had more yolk and space, resulting in larger final embryos than small eggs. The amount of yolk and size of eggshells during katatrepsis could play a key role in determining hatchling body size in S. gregaria.
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Dates and versions

hal-04003026 , version 1 (23-02-2023)



Koutaro Ould Maeno, Cyril Piou, Nicolas Leménager. Egg size-dependent embryonic development in the desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria. Journal of Insect Physiology, 2023, 145, pp.104467. ⟨10.1016/j.jinsphys.2022.104467⟩. ⟨hal-04003026⟩
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