Department or Program

Biological Sciences

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Yui Suzuki

Additional Advisor(s)

Heather Mattila

Additional Advisor

Kimberly O'Donnell


The POU domain transcription factor Ventral veins lacking (Vvl) has recently been shown to play a critical role in ecdysone biosynthesis, which influences the molting of the hemimetabolous milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus. In this study, the role of vvl on endocrine regulation during reproduction and embryogenesis was examined to determine whether its function is conserved across the insect’s life cycle. Given my results, I propose that the mechanisms of vertebrate and insect neuroendocrine regulation during these processes may share deep homology. A POU transcription factor similar to Vvl may, therefore, have played critical roles regulating endocrine gland development and function in the Urbilateria, the common ancestor of bilaterians.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 20, 2022