The object of study of the research group are the mechanisms that regulate the metamorphosis of insects , and how these mechanisms have evolved from ancestral species, with a gradual metamorphosis (like in cockroaches or locusts), to the most modified species, with a discontinuous metamorphosis (like in butterflies or flies). Therefore, the questions that the research group on the Evolution of insect metamorphosis seek to answer are: How did metamorphosis develop in insects? What endocrine and molecular mechanisms led to the evolutionary transition from gradual to discontinuous metamorphosis?

Lab website: Bellés Lab


Investigador principal Investigador principal

Miembros del grupo Miembros del grupo

Proyectos en curso Proyectos en curso

Publicaciones Publicaciones

Clark-Hachtel C, Fernandez-Nicolas A, Belles X, Tomoyasu Y. 2021. Tergal and pleural wing-related tissues in the German cockroach and their implication to the evolutionary origin of insect wingsEvolution & development, 23(2): 100–116. DOI: 10.1111/ede.12372.

Ventós-Alfonso A, Ylla G, Montañes JC, Belles X. 2020. DNMT1 Promotes Genome Methylation and Early Embryo Development in Cockroaches. iScience, 23(12). DOI:10.1016/j.isci.2020.101778

Kamsoi O, Belles X. 2020. E93-depleted adult insects preserve the prothoracic gland and molt again. Development, 147(22). DOI: 10.1242/dev.190066.

Belles X. 2020. Krüppel homolog 1 and E93: The doorkeeper and the key to insect metamorphosisArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology, 103(3):1-8. DOI:10.1002/arch.21609

Wexler J, Delaney EK, Belles X, Schal C, Wada-Katsumata A, Amicucci MJ, Kopp A. 2019. Hemimetabolous insects elucidate the origin of sexual development via alternative splicing. eLife, 8:587964. DOI:10.7554/eLife.47490

Ventos-Alfonso A, Ylla G, Belles X. 2019. Zelda and the maternal-to-zygotic transition in cockroaches. FEBS Journal, 286(16):3206-3221. DOI:10.1111/febs.14856

Kamsoi O, Belles X. 2019. Myoglianin triggers the premetamorphosis stage in hemimetabolan insects. FASEB Journal, 33(3):3659-3669. DOI:10.1096/fj.201801511R

Belles X. 2019. The innovation of the final moult and the origin of insect metamorphosis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 374(1783). DOI:10.1098/rstb.2018.0415.

Ylla G, Piulachs MD, Belles X. 2018. Comparative Transcriptomics in Two Extreme Neopterans Reveals General Trends in the Evolution of Modern Insects. iScience, 4:164-179. DOI:10.1016/j.isci.2018.05.017

Ylla G, Piulachs MD, Belles X. 2018. Comparative Transcriptomics in Two Extreme Neopterans Reveals General Trends in the Evolution of Modern Insects. iScience, 4:164-179. DOI:10.1016/j.isci.2018.05.017

Rubio M, Maestro JL, Piulachs MD, Belles X. 2018. Conserved association of Argonaute 1 and 2 proteins with miRNA and siRNA pathways throughout insect evolution, from cockroaches to flies. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms, 1861(6):554-560. DOI:10.1016/j.bbagrm.2018.04.001

Llonga N, Ylla G, Bau J, Belles X, Piulachs MD. 2018. Diversity of piRNA expression patterns during the ontogeny of the German cockroach. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 330(5):288-295. DOI:10.1002/jez.b.22815

Jongepier E, Kemena C, Lopez-Ezquerra A, Belles X, Bornberg-Bauer E, Korb J. 2018. Remodeling of the juvenile hormone pathway through caste-biased gene expression and positive selection along a gradient of termite eusociality. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 330(5):296-304. DOI:10.1002/jez.b.22805

Huang JH, Liu Y, Lin YH, Belles X, Lee HJ. 2018. Practical use of RNA interference: Oral delivery of double-stranded RNA in liposome carriers for cockroaches. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 135:1-6. DOI:10.3791/57385

Harrison MC, Jongepier E, Robertson HM, Arning N, Bitard-Feildel T, Chao H, Childers CP, Dinh H, Doddapaneni H, Dugan S, Gowin J, Greiner C, Han Y, Hu H, Hughes DST, Huylmans AK, Kemena C, Kremer LPM, Lee SL, Lopez-Ezquerra A, Mallet L, Monroy-Kuhn JM, Moser A, Murali SC, Muzny DM, Otani S, Piulachs MD, Poelchau M, Qu J, Schaub F, Wada-Katsumata A, Worley KC, Xie Q, Ylla G, Poulsen M, Gibbs RA, Schal C, Richards S, Belles X, Korb J, Bornberg-Bauer E. 2018. Hemimetabolous genomes reveal molecular basis of termite eusociality. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2(3):557-566. DOI:10.1038/s41559-017-0459-1

Harrison MC, Arning N, Kremer LPM, Ylla G, Belles X, Bornberg-Bauer E, Huylmans AK, Jongepier E, Piulachs MD, Richards S, Schal C. 2018. Expansions of key protein families in the German cockroach highlight the molecular basis of its remarkable success as a global indoor pest. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 330(5):254-264. DOI:10.1002/jez.b.22824

Bukejs A, Bellés X, Alekseev VI. 2018. A new species of Dignomus Wollaston (Coleoptera: Ptinidae) from Eocene Baltic amber. Zootaxa, 4486(2):195-200. DOI:10.11646/zootaxa.4486.2.9

Lin,Y.;Huang, J.; Liu, Y.; Belles, X.; Lee, H. 2017. Oral delivery of dsRNA lipoplexes to German cockroach protects dsRNA from degradation and induces RNAi response Pest Management Science. 73: 5, 960-966

Korb J.; Belles X. 2017. Juvenile hormone and hemimetabolan. Current Opinion in Insect Science. 22:109-116

Fernandez-Nicolas A.; Belles X. 2017. Juvenile hormone signaling in short germ-band hemimetabolan embryos. Development. 144(24):4637-4644

Borras-Castells, F.; Nieva, C.; Maestro, J.L.; Maestro, O.; Belles, X.; Martín, D. 2017. Juvenile hormone biosynthesis in adult Blattella germanica requires nuclear receptors Seven-up and FTZ-F1. Sci Rep 7:40234.

Belles X. 2017. MicroRNAs and the Evolution of Insect Metamorphosis. Annual Review of Entomology, 62(1):111-125. DOI:10.1146/annurev-ento-031616-034925

Ylla, G.; Fromm, B.; Piulachs, M.D.; and Belles, X. 2016. The microRNA toolkit of insects. Scientific Reports 6:37736. doi: 10.1038/srep37736

Santos, C.G.; Fernandez-Nicolas, A.; and Belles, X. 2016. Smads and insect hemimetabolan metamorphosisDevelopmental Biology 417(1):104-13

Fernández-Nicolás, A.; and Bellés, X. (2016). CREB-binding protein contributes to the regulation of endocrine and developmental pathways in insect hemimetabolan pre-metamorphosisBiochimica et Biophysica Acta 1860: 508–515

Elias-Neto, M.; and Belles, X. (2016). Tergal and pleural structures contribute to the formation of ectopic prothoracic wings in cockroachesRoyal Society Open Science 3: 160347

Ons, S.; Bellés, X.; Maestro, J. L. 2015. Orcokinins contribute to the regulation of vitellogenin transcription in the cockroach Blattella germanica. Journal of Insect Physiology 82: 129-133.

Lozano, J.; Montañez, R.; Belles, X. 2015. MiR-2 family regulates insect metamorphosis by controlling the juvenile hormone signaling pathway. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(12): 3740-3745.

Jindra, M.; Bellés, X.; Shinoda, T. 2015. Molecular basis of juvenile hormone signalingCurrent Opinion in Insect Science 11: 39-46.

Dillon, M. B. C.; Sulchten, V.; Oseroff, C.; Paul, S.; Dullanty, L. M.; Frazier, A.; Belles, X.; Piulachs, M. D.; [4 authors]; Sidney, J.; Peters, B.; Sette, A. 2015. Different Bla-g T cell antigens dominate responses in asthma versus rhinitis subjects. Clinical & Experimental Allergy 45(12): 1856-1867.

Belles, X.; Ylla, G. 2015. Towards understanding the molecular basis of cockroach tergal gland morphogenesis. A transcriptomic approach.  Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 63(0): 104-112.

Belles, X.; Piulachs, M-D. 2015. Ecdysone signalling and ovarian development in insects: from stem cells to ovarian follicle formation. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms 1849(2): 181-186.

Patiño-Navarrete, R.; Piulachs, M.D.; Belles, X.; Moya, A.; Latorre, A.; and Peretó, J. 2014. The cockroach Blattella germanica obtains nitrogen from uric acid through a metabolic pathway shared with its bacterial endosymbiont. Biology Letters 10 (7)

Lozano, J.; Kayukawa, T.; Shinoda, T.; and Belles, X. 2014. A Role for Taiman in Insect Metamorphosis. PLoS Genetics 10(10): e1004769.

Herraiz, A.; Belles, X.; and Piulachs, M.D. 2014. Chorion formation in panoistic ovaries requires windei and trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 9. Experimental Cell Research 320 (1):46-53.

Rubio, M.;  Belles, X. 2013. Subtle roles of microRNAs let-7, miR-100 and miR-125 on wing morphogenesis in hemimetabolan metamorphosis. Journal of Insect Physiology. 59 (11):1089-1094

Rubio, M.;  Montañez, R.; Perez, LidiaMilan, M.; Belles, X. 2013. Regulation of atrophin by both strands of the mir-8 precursor. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 43 (11):1009-1014

Huang, J.-H.;  Lozano, J.; Belles, X. 2013. Broad-complex functions in postembryonic development of the cockroach Blattella germanica shed new light on the evolution of insect metamorphosis. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects 1830(1): 2178-2187

Garbutt, J.S.;  Bellés, X.; Richards, E. H.; Reynolds, S. E. 2013. Persistence of double-stranded RNA in insect hemolymph as a potential determiner of RNA interference success: Evidence from Manduca sexta and Blattella germanicaJournal of Insect Physiology. 59 (2):171-8.

Rubio, M.; de Horna, A.; Bellés, X.  2012. MicroRNAs in metamorphic and non-metamorphic transitions in hemimetabolan insect metamorphosis. BMC Genomics 13: 386. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-386.

Mané-Padrós, D.; Borr.s-Castells, F.; Bellés, X.; Martín, D.  2012. Nuclear receptor HR4 plays an essential role in the ecdysteroid-triggered gene cascade in the development of the hemimetabolous insect Blattella germanica. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 348: 322-330.

Lozano, J.; Gómez-Orte, E.; Lee, H.J.; Bellés, X.  2012. Super-induction of Dicer-2 expression by alien double-stranded RNAs. An evolutionary ancient response to viral infection? Development, Genes and Evolution 222: 229-235.

Huang, J.H.; Bellés, X. Lee, H.J.  2012. Functional characterization of hypertrehalosemic hormone receptor in relation to hemolymph trehalose and to oxidative stress in the cockroach Blattella germanica. Frontiers in Experimental Endocrinology 2: 114. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2011.00114.

Boher, F.; Trefault, N.; Piulachs, M.D.; Bellés, X.; Godoy-Herrera, R.; Bozinovic, F.  2012. Biogeographic origin and thermal acclimation interact to determine survival and hsp90 expression in Drosophila species submitted to thermal stress. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A 162: 391-396.

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