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Date of Original Version



Biological Sciences


Voracious feeding, trans-continental migration and insecticide resistance make Spodoptera litura among the most difficult Asian agricultural pests to control. Larvae exhibit strong circadian behavior, feeding actively at night and hiding in soil during daytime. The daily pattern of larval metabolism was reversed, with higher transcription levels of genes for digestion (amylase, protease, lipase) and detoxification (CYP450s, GSTs, COEs) in daytime than at night. To investigate the control of these processes, we annotated nine essential clock genes and analyzed their transcription patterns, followed by functional analysis of their coupling using siRNA knockdown of interlocked negative feedback system core and repressor genes (SlituClk, SlituBmal1 and SlituCwo). Based on phase relationships and overexpression in cultured cells the controlling mechanism seems to involve direct coupling of the circadian processes to E-boxes in responding promoters. Additional manipulations involving exposure to the neonicotinoid imidacloprid suggested that insecticide application must be based on chronotoxicological considerations for optimal effectiveness.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Communications Biology



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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.