A researcher has indentified “a starter hormone” which has mission to activate the process of molting caterpillars into beautiful butterflies.
* Molting process of caterpillar
The team of research could also arrest the caterpillars’ growth by adjusting the volume of such hormoon. This finding may bring more understanding about how hormone can control of human’s growth.
David Champlin, biology professor at the University of Maine and his team is the author of this research. Champlin compared the new hormone (called called metamorphosis initiating factor) which is the same as starter motor in a car.
According to the study, metamorphosis is regulated by nutritional diet in the caterpillar’s food. Through the regulating of food, people can produce the strange creatures brought part of worm and part of butterfly. For example, the creature had two caterpillar mouths for plant chomping and also the nectar attracting mouth tubes of the moth Development of the antennae, legs, and eyes were also caught midway.
Such strange creatures that seem to be chimeras were unable to eat and thus they could not survive. But researchers were able to describe in detail the relationship between the cells that formed the caterpillar and those that will form the moth. One remarkable finding was that the cells that formed the moth’s eye were original from skin cells of the caterpillar.
“All of this is helping us to understand more clearly of how hormone can control the growth of animals including humans. This is also related to the researches of stem cell and regenerative medicine”, Champlin said.