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:3/22/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer Industry by ... & Others), Application (Communication & IT, Entertainment, ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... is expected to reach USD 26.76 Billion ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... , March 17, 2016 ABI ... intelligence, forecasts the global biometrics market will reach ... impressive 118% increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly ... embedded fingerprint sensors anticipated to reach two billion ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 http://www.apimages.com ... --> - Renvoi : image disponible via ... --> --> DERMALOG, le ... de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement des ... sera utilisé pour produire des cartes d,identité aux ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... , May 2, 2016 ... that its technology partner Mannin Research Inc. will be ... (ARVO), which takes place from May 1-5, 2016 in ... will be meeting with its vendors and research partners. ... business development goals and other collaborative opportunities for the ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... StarNet Communications Corp, ( http://www.starnet.com/ ... addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. ... and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. , Traditionally, users of ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 30, 2016 , ... The MIT bioLogic ... design, the bioLogic team explored how bacterial properties can be applied to fabric and ... Natto bacteria, which move in response to humidity change. The team harvested Natto cells ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... used in spinal surgical procedures, today announced the completion of a significant transaction ... for current and future customers and partners. Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C. (“Kohlberg”), ...
Breaking Biology Technology: