Larva-adult relationships in an ancestral dipteran: A re-examination of sensillar pathways across the antenna and leg anlagen of Chaoborus crystallinus (DeGeer, 1776; Chaoboridae)

Roland R. Melzer, Julia Sprenger, Daniela Nicastro, Ulrich Smola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In one of his classical studies on insect metamorphosis, Weismann compared the imaginal anlagen of the ancestral phantom midge, Chaoborus, with those of advanced brachycerans. We have expanded his findings on the relationships between larval and imaginal organs using electron microscopy and cobalt backfilling of the antenna and leg anlagen and the axonal trajectories of corresponding larval sensilla. We show that both primordia are confluent with the larval antennae and 'leg' sensilla (an ancestral Keilin organ), respectively. These fully developed larval organs represent the distal tips of the imaginal anlagen rather than separate cell clusters. The axons of the larval antenna and leg sensilla project across the corresponding anlagen to their target neuromeres within the central nervous system (CNS). Within the discs, nerves composed of these larval axons, developing afferent fibres and efferences ascending from the CNS are found. Both the structure of the primordia and the axonal trajectories thus relate the situation found in advanced brachycerans with that seen in more ancestral insects. In addition, the larval antennae, legs, wings and even the eyes possess very similar afferent pioneer trajectories supporting the idea that the described pattern is generally used in the ontogeny of sensory systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment Genes and Evolution
Volume209
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999

Keywords

  • Axonal trajectories
  • Chaoborus (Insecta, Diptera)
  • Imaginal disc
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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