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The sesquiterpenoid hormone methyl farnesoate (MF) plays a vital role during crustacean development, which is mainly evidenced by its varied titers during different developmental stages. However, the biosynthesis pathways of MF remain obscure to some extent. In this study, we identified the complete MF biosynthesis and related pathway genes in Scylla paramamosain, including three involved in acetyl-CoA metabolism, eight in the mevalonate pathway, five in the sesquiterpenoids synthesis pathway, and five in the methionine cycle pathway. Bioinformatics, genomic structure, and phylogenetic analysis indicated that the JH biosynthesis genes might have experienced evolution after species differentiation. The mRNA tissue distribution analysis revealed that almost all genes involving in or relating to MF syntheses were highly expressed in the mandibular organ (MO), among which juvenile hormone acid methyltransferase was exclusively expressed in the MO, suggesting that most of these genes might mainly function in MF biosynthesis and that the methionine cycle pathway genes might play a crucial regulatory role during MF synthesis. In addition, the phylogenetic and tissue distribution analysis of the cytochrome P450 CYP15-like gene suggested that the epoxidized JHs might exist in crustaceans, but are mainly synthesized in hepatopancreas rather than the MO. Finally, we also found that betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase genes were lost in insects while methionine synthase was probably lost in most insects except Folsomia candida, indicating a regulatory discrepancy in the methionine cycle between crustaceans and insects. This study might increase our understanding of synthetic metabolism tailored for sesquiterpenoid hormones in S. paramamosain and other closely related species.


Ming Zhao, Fengying Zhang, Wei Wang, Zhiqiang Liu, Chunyan Ma, Yin Fu, Wei Chen, Lingbo Ma. Identification and Evolution Analysis of the Complete Methyl Farnesoate Biosynthesis and Related Pathway Genes in the Mud Crab, Scylla paramamosain. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Aug 21;23(16)

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PMID: 36012717

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