1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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The neuropeptide F/nitric oxide pathway is essential for shaping locomotor plasticity underlying locust phase transition

  1. Li Hou
  2. Pengcheng Yang
  3. Feng Jiang
  4. Qing Liu
  5. Xianhui Wang  Is a corresponding author
  6. Le Kang  Is a corresponding author
  1. Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  2. Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e22526 doi: 10.7554/eLife.22526

Abstract

Behavioral plasticity is widespread in swarming animals, however little is known about its underlying neural and molecular mechanisms. Here, we report that a neuropeptide F (NPF)/nitric oxide (NO) pathway plays a critical role in the locomotor plasticity of swarming migratory locusts. Two related neuropeptides, NPF1a and NPF2, show reduced levels of their encoding transcripts during crowding, and the transcript levels of their receptors significantly increase during locust isolation. Both of these NPFs have suppressive effects on phase-related locomotor activity. A key downstream mediator for both NPFs is nitric oxide synthase (NOS) which regulates phase-related locomotor activity by controlling NO synthesis in the locust brain. Mechanistically, NPF1a and NPF2 modify NOS activity by separately suppressing its phosphorylation and lowering its transcript level, effects that are mediated by their respective receptors. Our results uncover a hierarchical neurochemical mechanism underlying behavioral plasticity in the swarming locust and provide insights into the NPF/NO axis.

Data availability

The following data sets were generated
    1. Yang PC
    (2016) Locusta migratoria transcriptome
    Publicly available at the NCBI Sequence Read Archive (accession no: SRP092214).

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Li Hou

    State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Pengcheng Yang

    Beijing Institutes of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Feng Jiang

    Beijing Institutes of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Qing Liu

    State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Xianhui Wang

    State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    For correspondence
    wangxh@ioz.ac.cn
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Le Kang

    State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    For correspondence
    lkang@ioz.ac.cn
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-4262-2329

Funding

Chinese Academy of Sciences (Strategic Priority Research Program (Grant NO. XDB11010000))

  • Xianhui Wang
  • Le Kang

National Natural Science Foundation of China (Youth fund (Grant NO. 31601875))

  • Li Hou

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. K VijayRaghavan, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India

Publication history

  1. Received: October 20, 2016
  2. Accepted: March 21, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: March 27, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: April 21, 2017 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2017, Hou et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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