Eur. J. Entomol. 113: 364-371, 2016 | 10.14411/eje.2016.047

Diversity of adipokinetic hormones in termites (Isoptera)

Veronika JEDLIČKOVÁ1, Pavel JEDLIČKA1, Barbora ŠPULÁKOVÁ2
1 Faculty of Forestry and Wood Sciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6, Czech Republic; e-mails: veronika.jedlickova@post.cz, jedlicka@uochb.cas.cz
2 Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6, Czech Republic; e-mail: barboraspulakova@seznam.cz

In this study we report on the structural diversity of adipokinetic hormones (AKHs) in the evolutionarily oldest group of social insects, the termites (Isoptera). Using molecular methods combined with in silico bioinformatic analysis, we studied and compared the sequences coding for these neuropeptides in thirteen species of five families of Isoptera. There are three types of AKH octapeptides in termites: Empusa pennata adipokinetic hormone (Emppe-AKH; pQVNFTPNWamide), Microhodotermes viator corpus cardiacum peptide (Micvi-CC; pQINFTPNWamide) and Periplaneta americana cardioaccelerating hormone (Peram-CAH-I; pQVNFSPNWamide). Of these the Peram-CAH-I was the most frequently bioactive form detected in representatives of four out of the six families studied. The complete AKH preprohormones in the termites studied shared at least an 84% amino acid similarity. In agreement with current phylogenetic scenarios of termites as an internal monophyletic clade nested within cockroaches (Blattaria) in the proximity of the family Blattidae, our phylogenetic analysis of the AKH precursor sequences (in the absence of data for the Cryptocercidae) placed the Blattidae (Periplaneta americana) as a sister group of termites and the AKHs of other cockroach families (Blattellidae and Blaberidae) were more divergent from those of termites. Representatives of the basal termite families Mastotermitidae and Archotermopsidae (but also one rhinotermitid genus Prorhinotermes) occurred separately from the phylogenetically advanced lineage (Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae), and Neotermes (Kalotermitidae) was sister to all other termites included.

Keywords: Isoptera, termite, adipokinetic hormone, preprohormonal sequence, phylogenetic relationships

Received: December 1, 2015; Accepted: March 4, 2016; Published online: April 26, 2016

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