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New insights into an ancient insect nose: the olfactory pathway of Lepismachilis y-signata (Archaeognatha: Machilidae)

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Missbach,  Christine
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS on Ecological Interactions, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Dr. E. Grosse-Wilde, Olfactory Genes, Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Hansson,  Bill
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Missbach, C., Harzsch, S., & Hansson, B. (2011). New insights into an ancient insect nose: the olfactory pathway of Lepismachilis y-signata (Archaeognatha: Machilidae). Arthropod Structure & Development, 40(4), 317-333. doi:10.1016/j.asd.2011.03.004.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-31D8-7
Abstract
Hexapods most likely derived from an aquatic ancestor, which they shared with crustaceans. During the transition from water to land, their sensory systems had to face the new physiological demands that terrestrial conditions impose. This process also concerns the sense of smell and, more specifically, detection of volatile, air-borne chemicals. In insects, olfaction plays an important role in orientation, mating choice, and food and host finding behavior. The first integration center of odor information in the insect brain is the antennal lobe, which is targeted by the afferents from olfactory sensory neurons on the antennae. Within the antennal lobe of most pterygote insects, spherical substructures called olfactory glomeruli are present. In order to gain insights into the evolution of the structure of the central olfactory pathway in insects, we analyzed a representative of the wingless Archaeognatha or jumping bristletails, using immunocytochemistry, antennal backfills and histological section series combined with 3D reconstruction. In the deutocerebrum of Lepismachilis y-signata, we found three different neuropil regions. Two of them show a glomerular organization, but these glomeruli differ in their shape from those in all other insect groups. The connection of the glomerular neuropils to higher brain centers remains unclear and mushroom bodies are absent as reported from other archaeognathan species. We discuss the evolutionary implications of these findings.