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:3/15/2016)... 2016 Yissum Research Development Company of ... of the Hebrew University, announced today the formation of ... of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed ... private investors. ... of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> http://www.apimages.com ) - ... ( http://www.apimages.com ) - Germany . The ... refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, and a ... next week.   --> Germany . ... new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, and ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS ) ... (CBP) is testing its biometric identity solution at the Otay ... to help identify certain non-U.S. citizens leaving the country. ... to help determine the efficiency and accuracy of using biometric ... will run until May 2016. --> the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... WEDI, the nation’s leading authority on the use of health ... has been named by the WEDI Board of Directors as WEDI’s president and CEO. ... with more than 35 years of experience in healthcare, association management and organizational leadership, ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Cell therapies for a ... accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) that yielded a newly patented ... regeneration. , The novel method, developed by WPI faculty members Raymond Page, PhD, ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Rockville, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 ... ... introduction of a newly re-branded identity. The new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects ... the world of imaging and image analysis. The re-branding components include a crisp, ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Ind. , May 23, 2016 Zimmer Biomet ... musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that its Board of Directors has ... for the second quarter of 2016. The ... or about July 29, 2016 to stockholders of record as ... declarations of dividends are subject to approval of the Board ...
Breaking Biology Technology: