Insect neuropeptides in the pyrokinin/pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide (PBAN) family are actively involved in many essential endocrinal functions and serve as potential targets in the search for novel insect control agents. Here, we dissect the nervous system of larval, pupal, and adult Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) and describe the ganglion morphology and localization of PBAN during different insect developmental stages. Our results show that the central nervous system (CNS) of this species consists of four types of ganglia: cerebral ganglia (brain), subesophageal ganglion (SEG), thoracic ganglia, and abdominal ganglia. A two-lobed brain is connected to the reniform SEG with a nerve cord in larvae and prepupae, whereas in the late pupae and adults, the brain and SEG are fused, forming a brain–SEG complex. The larvae and prepupae have eight abdominal ganglia each, whereas the late pupae and adults each have four abdominal ganglia. Furthermore, all life stages of P. xylostella had similar patterns of PBAN immunoreactivity in the CNS, and the accumulation of PBAN was similar during all life stages except in adult males. PBAN immunoreactive signals were observed in the brain and SEG, and fluorescence signals originating in the SEG extended the entire length of the ventral nerve cord, ending in the terminal abdominal ganglia. Our results provide morphological data that inform the development and evolution of the CNS. In addition, they indicate that the nervous system contains PBAN, which could be used to control P. xylostella populations.
Central nervous system