Yamanaka, Naoki5; Romero, Nuria M.3; Martin, Francisco A.3; Rewitz, Kim Furbo6; Sun, Mu4; O´Connor, Michael B.5; Léopold, Pierre3
1 Cell Biology and Neurobiology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 University of Minnesota3 University of Nice–Sophia Antipolis4 Neurodegeneration Discovery Performance Unit5 University of Minnesota6 Cell Biology and Neurobiology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
Animal development is coupled with innate behaviors that maximize chances of survival. Here, we show that the prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH), a neuropeptide that controls the developmental transition from juvenile stage to sexual maturation, also regulates light avoidance in Drosophila melanogaster larvae. PTTH, through its receptor Torso, acts on two light sensors???the Bolwig???s organ and the peripheral class IV dendritic arborization neurons???to regulate light avoidance. We found that PTTH concomitantly promotes steroidogenesis and light avoidance at the end of larval stage, driving animals toward a darker environment to initiate the immobile maturation phase. Thus, PTTH controls the decisions of when and where animals undergo metamorphosis, optimizing conditions for adult development.