Metabolome dynamics of diapause in the butterfly Pieris napi: Distinguishing maintenance, termination and post-diapause phases
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2018

Diapause is a deep resting stage facilitating temporal avoidance of unfavourable environmental conditions, and is used by many insects to adapt their life cycle to seasonal variation. Although considerable work has been invested in trying to understand each of the major diapause stages (induction, maintenance and termination), we know very little about the transitions between stages, especially diapause termination. Understanding diapause termination is crucial for modelling and predicting spring emergence and winter physiology of insects, including many pest insects. In order to gain these insights, we investigated metabolome dynamics across diapause development in pupae of the butterfly Pieris napi, which exhibits adaptive latitudinal variation in the length of endogenous diapause that is uniquely well characterized. By employing a time-series experiment, we show that the whole-body metabolome is highly dynamic throughout diapause and differs between pupae kept at a diapause-terminating (low) temperature and those kept at a diapause-maintaining (high) temperature. We show major physiological transitions through diapause, separate temperature-dependent from temperature-independent processes and identify significant patterns of metabolite accumulation and degradation. Together, the data show that although the general diapause phenotype (suppressed metabolism, increased cold tolerance) is established in a temperature-independent fashion, diapause termination is temperature dependent and requires a cold signal. This revealed several metabolites that are only accumulated under diapause-terminating conditions and degraded in a temperatureunrelated fashion during diapause termination. In conclusion, our findings indicate that some metabolites, in addition to functioning as cryoprotectants, for example, are candidates for having regulatory roles as metabolic clocks or time-keepers during diapause.

Biological clock




Developmental plasticity



Philipp Lehmann

Stockholms universitet

Peter Pruisscher

Stockholms universitet

Vladimir Kostal

Czech Academy of Sciences

Martin Moos

Czech Academy of Sciences

Petr Simek

Czech Academy of Sciences

Soren Nylin

Stockholms universitet

Rasmus Ågren


Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik

Leif Wigge

Chalmers, Biologi och bioteknik


Christian Wiklund

Stockholms universitet

Christopher W. Wheat

Stockholms universitet

Karl Gotthard

Stockholms universitet

Journal of Experimental Biology

0022-0949 (ISSN) 1477-9145 (eISSN)

Vol. 221 2


Övrig annan teknik





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