Guidance cues act during development to guide growth cones to their proper targets in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Experiments in many species indicate that guidance molecules also play important roles after development, though less is understood about their functions in the adult. The Semaphorin family of guidance cues, signaling through Plexin receptors, influences the development of both axons and dendrites in invertebrates. Semaphorin functions have been extensively explored in Drosophila melanogaster and some other Dipteran species, but little is known about their function in hemimetabolous insects. Here, we characterize sema1a and plexA in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus. In fact, we found two distinct predicted Sema1a proteins in this species, Sema1a.1 and Sema1a.2, which shared only 48% identity at the amino acid level. We include a phylogenetic analysis that predicted that many other insect species, both holometabolous and hemimetabolous, express two Sema1a proteins as well. Finally, we used in situ hybridization to show that sema1a.1 and sema1a.2 expression patterns were spatially distinct in the embryo, and both roughly overlap with plexA. All three transcripts were also expressed in the adult brain, mainly in the mushroom bodies, though sema1a.2 was expressed most robustly. sema1a.2 was also expressed strongly in the adult thoracic ganglia while sema1a.1 was only weakly expressed and plexA was undetectable.
Horch, Hadley W.; Spicer, Sara B.; Low, Isabel I.C.; Joncas, Colby T.; Quenzer, Eleanor D.; Okoya, Hikmah; Ledwidge, Lisa M.; and Fisher, Harrison P., "Characterization of plexinA and two distinct semaphorin1a transcripts in the developing and adult cricket Gryllus bimaculatus" (2020). Biology Faculty Publications. 95.