Navigation Links
The secret life of millipedes
Date:8/21/2011

Male adult helminthomorph millipedes usually have one or two pairs of legs from their seventh segment modified into sexual appendages. These specialized gonopods are used as claspers to hold the female during mating or to transfer sperm. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Frontiers in Zoology has looked in detail at millipede development and the internal reorganization needed to produce functional gonopods.

Millipede puberty is a radical affair. The change in function from leg to gonopod can occur within a couple of moults, during which the millipede typically adds more segments to its length and sheds its too-small skin. These animals are difficult to study with standard techniques due to their hard exoskeleton, because secretions from their stink-glands interfere with most conventional microscopy preparation techniques. However, using confocal laser scanning microscopy, researchers from the University of Padova were able to investigate this dramatic transformation throughout the relevant moults.

Conversion of legs to gonopods first requires regression of the legs in segment VII into tiny primordia. The primordia then develop into gonopods and the exoskeleton rearranges, producing a gonopodal sac which shelters the base of the gonopods and a U-shaped apodeme, to act as an anchor point for the bulky muscles required to operate the gonopods. In three species out of the four investigated, some of these muscles, both protractors and retractors , extend to attach to skeletal structures on the flanking segments, VI or VIII, and another muscle (abductor) stretches across the pair of appendages to move them apart in a pincer movement.

Dr Leandro Drago, one of the team who performed this work, said that, "Conversion of legs into specialized gonopods via non-systemic metamorphosis is not a simple matter of changing the appearance of the legs and adding spines. The exoskeleton and muscle reorganization of segment VII during sexual development forces the nerve cord to become displaced and a causes a reduction in the volume of digestive tract through this segment."

Dr Drago continued, "This may well impact the amount of food an adult male millipede can eat and may be why they appear to lose weight when sexually mature. Males of some species of millipede can revert back into an immature stage (periodomorphosis) which may be an adaption to prevent starvation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Hilary Glover
hilary.glover@biomedcentral.com
44-203-192-2370
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Green and lean: Secreting bacteria eliminate cost barriers for renewable biofuel production
2. Researchers track the secret lives of feral and free-roaming house cats
3. Former HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson to Chair Stayhealthy Board
4. As the worm turns, its secrets are revealed
5. Beetle bling: Researchers discover optical secrets of metallic beetles
6. MSU lands $4.1 million grant to unlock plants biochemistry secrets
7. Secrets of a precision protein machine
8. Secret lives of the furred and feathered
9. Researchers unlock new secret to how smells are detected
10. Breaking the mucus barrier unveils cancer cell secrets
11. Uncovering the genome secrets of the Blackleg fungus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The secret life of millipedes
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions ... serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of ... director of public safety business development. Mr. ... enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation transportation ... most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation ...
(Date:3/13/2017)... 13, 2017 Future of security: Biometric Face Matching software  ... ... DERMALOGs Face Matching enables to match face pictures against each other ... identify individuals. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... DERMALOG,s "Face Matching" is the fastest software for biometric Face Matching on the ...
(Date:3/7/2017)... 2017   HireVue , the leading provider of ... the best talent, faster, today announced the additions of ... and Diana Kucer as Chief Marketing Officer ... team poised to drive continued growth in the company,s ... of record bookings in 2017. "Companies worldwide ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Energetiq ... applications, announced today that Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Debbie Gustafson has been appointed ... the global industry association connecting the electronics manufacturing supply chain. The mission of ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017 For today, Stock-Callers.com ... novel drug development and clinical research aimed at treating diseases ... (NASDAQ: BSTG), Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: KERX), Kite Pharma Inc. ... ). You can access our complimentary research reports on these ... ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... ... Nobilis Therapeutics Announces Completion of Landmark NBTX-001 Clinical Trial in 81 ... Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Trial , Nobilis Therapeutics, Inc. announced today the ... NBTX-001, a xenon-based therapeutic in the treatment of Panic Disorder. , Panic ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... IRVINE, Calif. , April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit ,  Proove┬« ... clinical study analyzing genetics, environmental, and lifestyle factors ... researchers from the University of Southern California (USC), ... , and Proove publish results showing that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: