Octopamine and tyramine regulate the activity of reproductive visceral muscles in the adult female blood-feeding bug, Rhodnius prolixus

Rhodnius prolixus
Monday, April 3, 2017 - 10:27am

Kissing can lead to babies and bugs, and thanks to a new paper from the Lange Lab, we know a lot more about the physiology of egg production in the blood-feeding Kissing Bug (Rhodnius prolixus). M.Sc. student Sam Hana just published his first 1-authored paper “Octopamine and tyramine regulate the activity of reproductive visceral muscles in the adult female blood-feeding bug, Rhodnius prolixus” in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Female kissing bugs that are well fed and mated can lay hundreds of eggs in a matter of days, but how they physiologically regulate egg production is poorly understood. In this paper, Sam investigated the role of octopamine, the noradrenaline of the insect world, and its precursor tyramine in the reproductive musculature of the female R. prolixus. After close analysis of oviduct and the bursa contractions, octopamine and tyramine were shown to relax oviduct contractions and inhibit bursa contractions leading to the modulation of egg movement in the reproductive tract.

Congratulations, Sam, on this exciting and productive first paper!