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Functional regeneration of a gravity sensory system during development in an insect (Gryllus bimaculatus)

Horn, EberhardCA; Föller, Werner1

Neuroethology

The efficiency of the regenerated cercal gravity sensory system was investigated in adult crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus). Regeneration was induced by amputations of cerci during different periods of development. Numbers of gravity-sensitive (clavate) sensilla on regenerated and intact cerci were identical if amputations were performed up to four times before the 6th instar. If older instars were included, regenerated cerci had fewer clavate sensilla than intact cerci. Compensatory head responses induced by stimulation of either regenerated or intact gravity sense organs were identical if cerci were amputated up to three times. However, four or more amputations caused weaker responses in the regenerated than in the intact sense organs. These experiments make the existence of a sensitive period during development of the cercal gravity sensory system unlikely. They support the postulation that functional regeneration is influenced by neuroplastic processes and proprioceptive gravity sensitive systems.

Gravitational Physiology, Department of Neurobiology, University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, D-89081 Ulm; 1TKT Europe, 5S GmbH, Am Weissen Berg 21, 96193 Wachenroth, Germany

CACorresponding Author

Received 23 May 2001; accepted 18 June 2001

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.