Franz Engelmann

Professor Emeritus
(310) 825-1772
4127 Life Sciences Building (LSB)

Recent Courses

OBEE 179 - Comparative Endocrinology
OBEE 179 - Invertebrate Endocrinology
OBEE 291 - Seminar: Physiology and Biochemistry of Arthropods

Research Areas

Research Interests

As a physiologist and developmental biologist my primary interests are in the elucidation of regulation of developmental and physiological events. In this sense I am interested, for example, in how environmental cues are mediated by hormones and translated into the functioning of organ systems and whole animals. For many years, my research efforts were concentrated on juvenile hormone (JH) controlled vitellogenesis in insects as well as induction of digestive enzymes by food intake. My research approach to questions on regulated vitellogenesis ranged from aspects of control of the corpora allata (the source for JH) to the molecular events involved in JH controlled vitellogenin synthesis , the major yolk protein precursor. We were successful in the isolation and identification of the subunits of vitellogenin in a cockroach species, and we also clarified how the mature molecule is generated by postranslational processing. We were, furthermore, successful in the physiological characterization of the JH receptor involved in the induction of transcription of the vitellogenin mRNA. The physico-chemical properties of this receptor are being identified. In all of the research in insect and invertebrate endocrinology my interest lies in the complexity of regulations and not only in the single specific event. An example of such a complexity is provided by the figure given, illustrating the pleitropic action of one hormone, the juvenile hormone, in vitellogenesis of insects.

Selected Publications

Engelmann, F and Mala, J., "The cockroach Leucophaea maderae needs more than juvenile hormone, vitellogenin and reserves to make a yolky egg", J. Insect Physiology, 51 : 465-472 (2005) .

Engelmann, F, "Juvenile hormone action in insect reproduction", Encyclopedia of Hormones, Academic Press, 51 : 536-539 (2003) .

Engelmann, F, "Ecdysteroids, juvenile hormone and vitellogenesis in the cockroach Leucophaea maderae", Journal of Insect Science, 2(20) : - (2002) .

Engelmann, F. and Mala, J., "The interactions between juvenile hormone, lipophorin, vitellogenin, and JH esterases in two cockroach species", Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol, 30 : 793-803 (2000) .

Engelmann, F, "Reproduction in insects", Ecological Entomology' Eds C.B. Huffaker and A.P. Gutierrez, 2nd Edition : 123-158 (1999) .

Don-Wheeler, G., and Engelmann, F, "The biosynthesis and processing of vitellogenin in the fat bodies of females and males of the cockroach Leucophaea maderae", Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol, 27 : 901-918 (1997) .

Engelmann, F., "The juvenile hormone receptor of the cockroach Leucophaea maderae", Insect Biochem. Molec. Biol, 25 : 721-726 (1995) .

Engelmann, F., "Invertebrates: Hormone-regulated gonadal activity", Perspectives in Comparative Endocrinology. Eds K.D. Davey, R.E. Peter and S.S. Tobe, National Research Council of Canada, 25 : 36-40 (1994) .

Don-Wheeler, G., and Engelmann, F., "The female-and male-produced vitellogenin of Leucophaea maderae", J. Insect Physiol, 37 : 869-882 (1991) .

Engelmann, F., "Hormonal control of Arthropod reproduction", , Wiley-Liss, 37 : 357-365 (1990) .