Insect immune system
Mechanism of insecticide resistance
In insects, some of the enzymes in cytochrome P450 family are the key players in insecticide detoxification. But our knowledge on the molecular mechanism of insecticide metabolism is still limited.
We are trying to disclose the mechanism of insecticide metabolism, especially in thrips.
Hormonal regulation of insect molting and metamorphosis
Insect molting and metamorphosis are regulated by the molting hormone (ecdysone) and juvenile hormone (JH). JH is an anti-metamorphic hormone that suppresses metamorphic changes. Recently, several researchers succeeded in identifying some of the factors in JH signaling pathway: methoprene-toletant (Met) is likely the JH receptor, while Krüppel homolog 1 is a JH-response transcription factor downstream of Met. Many of these studies were performed by RNAi experiments using the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum.
We are trying to elucidate the molecular mechanism of JH signaling in a variety of pest species. These studies will help us to develop new insect growth regulators that are specifically effective against the target pest.