The resumption of spermatogenesis in post-diapause development was examined in the sweet potato hornworm (Agrius convolvuli) with in vivo bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation experiments used to determine the starting point. Diapausing pupae were "overwintered" by chilling at 10. °C for over 4 months, after which they initiated post-diapause development by transferring the pupae to 25. °C with a 12-h light/12-h dark photoperiod. The testes of living, post-diapause pupae were injected with BrdU, which is incorporated into newly synthesized DNA strands. During the first 2 days after diapause termination, the nuclei of spermatogonia and spermatocytes failed to label with BrdU. However, on day 3 of post-diapause pupae (PDP3), labeling studies showed that cell proliferation was initiated by spermatogonia, but not by spermatocytes. In both hemolymph and testes, ecdysteroid concentrations rose gradually, reaching 0.3. μg/ml hemolymph at PDP3. These results led to the following three conclusions. The spermatogonial cell division is highly suppressed during diapause. After a long-term diapause, spermatogenesis resumes in the spermatogonia but not in the spermatocytes of diapause-terminated pupae. Cell division begins in advance of peak ecdysteroid concentrations. The latter result indicates that in post-diapause development, high concentrations of the hormone are not required to initiate spermatogonial proliferation.
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