In mammals like humans, adult fitness is improved due to resource allocation, investing energy in the developmental growth process during the juvenile period, and in reproduction at the adult stage. Therefore, the attainment of their target body height/size co-occurs with the acquisition of maturation, implying a need for coordination between mechanisms that regulate organismal growth and maturation timing. Insects like Drosophila melanogaster
also define their adult body size by the end of the juvenile larval period. Recent studies in the fly have shown evolutionary conservation of the regulatory pathways controlling growth and maturation, suggesting the existence of common coordinator mechanisms between them. In this review, we will present an overview of the significant advancements in the coordination mechanisms ensuring developmental robustness in Drosophila
. We will include (i) the characterization of feedback mechanisms between maturation and growth hormones, (ii) the recognition of a relaxin-like peptide Dilp8 as a central processor coordinating juvenile regeneration and time of maturation, and (iii) the identification of a novel coordinator mechanism involving the AstA/KISS system.
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