Physiological and molecular mechanisms of insect aging.
Current project (P502/10/1612, GA CR): Endocrine regulation of circadian clock genes in relation to aging in an insect model
Previous studies on the firebug Pyrrhocoris apterus defined roles of endocrine system in the regulation of aging and showed that changes in adult longevity caused by juvenile hormone (insect reproductive hormone) are associated with changes in the expression levels of two circadian clock genes in the fat body. The main aim of the project is to test a hypothesis that there is a link between circadian clocks and the endocrine regulation of aging. Changes in the expression of several circadian clock genes that occur during aging or in response to environmental and endocrine manipulations of longevity will be characterized in two peripheral tissues. Endocrine interventions will be performed by means of microsurgey. Gene expression will be determined by real time PCR and in situ hybridization, RNA interference will be used for gene silencing.