The focus of our research in Dr. Tobe's lab is arthropod endocrinology.
The Arthropod phylum contains more than three-quarters of all the different kinds of animals on Earth, with insects representing most of these. The bodies of arthropods, as well as their legs, are made up of sections joined together. The word arthropod means "jointed feet" in Greek. The phylum Arthropoda contains four classes: insects, crustaceans, arachnids, and chilopods (centipedes).
Endocrinology is the study of hormones. Insect endocrinology is one of the oldest and most active branches of insect physiology. Arthropod hormones are involved in the control of molting, metamorphosis, reproduction, caste determination in social insects, diapause, migration, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, diuresis, and behavior.
A great deal of our research is focused on one particular hormone system. In most insect species, the juvenile hormones are important contributors to metamorphosis and reproduction. We study the systems that control the production of juvenile hormone; in particular, the inhibition of juvenile hormone biosynthesis by neuropeptides called allatostatins.
Here are some of the animals we use in our studies.
Our lab uses many different techniques in our studies.
HPLC trace of Dip-allatostatin 7 metabolism by hemolymph (Garside et al. 1997)
Rates of JH biosynthesis (CA content + release) by embryonic CA of D. punctata as a function of age and length of embryos (Stay et al. 2002).
Saturation isotherm of 125I-Dippu-AST 7 binding to D. punctata midgut tissue membranes (Bowser and Tobe 2000)
Drosophila ventral ganglion labeled with antisera to AST receptor (green) and Dippu-AST 5 (red)(Bowser and Tobe 2005).
Dippu-AST expression in the lateral oviducts of day 0-7 female D. punctata (Garside et al. 2003)
Due to his fondness for Thailand and his wish to support the Thai economy, Professor Tobe, in collaboration with Dr. Thanit Pewnim, has established a small research laboratory at Silpakorn University named the Thanit-Tobe Lab. To find out more, click here.