Cricket nymphs have the remarkable ability to regenerate a functional leg following amputation, indicating that the regenerating blastemal cells contain information for leg morphology. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie regeneration of leg patterns remain poorly understood. Here, we analyzed phenotypes of the tibia and tarsus (three tarsomeres) obtained by knockdown with regeneration-dependent RNA interference (rdRNAi) against Gryllus dachshund (Gb'dac) and Distal-less (Gb'Dll). We found that depletion of Gb'Dll mRNA results in loss of the tarsal segments, while rdRNAi against Gb'dac shortens the tibia at the two most distal tarsomeres. These results indicate that Gb'Dll expression is indispensable for formation of the tarsus, while Gb'dac expression is necessary for elongation of the tibia and formation of the most proximal tarsomere. These findings demonstrate that mutual transcriptional regulation between the two is indispensable for formation of the tarsomeres, whereas Gb'dac is involved in determination of tibial size through interaction with Gb'ds/Gb'ft.
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