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Embryos of the ground cricket, Allonemobius socius, enter diapause 4-5days post-oviposition and overwinter in this dormant state that is characterized by developmental arrest. Suppressive subtractive hybridization and quantitative real-time PCR reveal eight candidate genes in pre-diapause embryos that show promise as regulators of diapause entry, when compared with embryos not destined for diapause. Identifications are based both on the magnitude/consistency of differential mRNA abundances and the predicted functions of their products when placed in context of the physiological and biochemical events of diapause characterized in our companion paper. The proteins CYP450, AKR and RACK1 (associated with ecdysteroid synthesis and signaling) are consistently upregulated in pre-diapause, followed by major downregulation later in diapause. The pattern suggests that elevated ecdysone may facilitate onset of diapause in A. socius. Upregulation seen for the transcription factors Reptin and TFDp2 may serve to depress transcription and cell cycle progression. Cathpesin B-like protease, ACLY and MSP are three downregulated genes associated with yolk mobilization and/or metabolism that we predict may promote lipid sparing. Finally, embryos that have been in diapause for 10days show a substantially different pattern of mRNA expression compared with either pre-diapause or embryos not destined for diapause, with the majority of mRNAs examined being downregulated. These transcript levels in later diapause suggest that a number of upregulated genes in pre-diapause are transiently expressed and are less essential as diapause progresses.

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Journal of Experimental Biology

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