Ecdysone Metabolism and Modifying Enzymes

For an insect to grow and metamorphose it needs to shed its exoskeleton in a process requiring the hormone ecdysone. This hormone is precisely regulated by poorly characterised enzymes that are the focus of some of our research. Motivated by successful anti-insect strategies employed by plants and insect pathogens that exploit the dependence of insects on ecdysone, biochemical and genetic techniques are being used to identify ecdysone-modifying enzymes that are suitable targets for insect control strategies. The diversity of these important enzymes means that they provide a novel class of insecticides that may be specific to the insects that are pests.