Biological Activity and Identification of Neuropeptides in the Neurosecretory Complexes of the Cabbage Pest Insect, Mamestra Brassicae (Noctuidae; Lepidoptera)


The need for more environmentally sound strategies of plant protection has become a driving force in physiological entomology to combat insect pests more efficiently. Since neuropeptides regulate key biological processes, these “special agents” or their synthetic analogues, mimetics, agonists or antagonists may be useful tools. We examined brain-suboesophageal ganglia and corpora cardiaca-corpora allata complexes of the cabbage moth, Mamestra brassicae, in order to obtain clues about possible peptide candidates which may be appropriate for the biological control of this pest. With the aid of bioassays, reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry, five neuropeptides were unequivocally identified and the presence of a further three were inferred solely by comparing mass spectra with known peptides. Only one neuropeptide with adipokinetic capability was identified in M. brassicae. Data from the established homologous bioassay indicated that the cabbage moths rely on a lipid-based metabolism which is aided by an adipokinetic hormone (viz. Manse-AKH) that had previously been isolated in many different lepidopterans. Other groups of neuropeptides identified in this study are: FLRFamides, corazonin, allatostatin and pheromonotropic peptide.


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Correspondence to Adrien Fónagy.

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Fónagy, A., Marco, H.G., König, S. et al. Biological Activity and Identification of Neuropeptides in the Neurosecretory Complexes of the Cabbage Pest Insect, Mamestra Brassicae (Noctuidae; Lepidoptera). BIOLOGIA FUTURA 59, 385–402 (2008).

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  • Mamestra brassicae
  • neuropeptides of intermediary metabolism
  • myoactive neuropeptides