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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A comparative study of neck muscle motor neurons in a cricket and a locust.

The gross morphology of the neck muscles of a cricket (Gryllus campestris) and their innervation are described and compared with a locust (Schistocerca gregaria). The motor neurons innervating the neck muscles were stained in crickets and locusts with cobalt chloride introduced via the nerve endings in the muscle. The two species show overall similarities, not only in position of the neck motor neurons in suboesophageal, prothoracic, and mesothoracic ganglia but also in motor neuron morphology. However, muscle 60 in the cricket is innervated by a unique motor neuron with its axon in prothoracic nerve 3, instead of sharing motor neurons in suboesophageal nerve 8 and mesothoracic nerve 1 with muscle 59, as in locust. Muscle 62 has the same attachments and innervation with similar motor neurons in cricket and locust but a different mechanical function in the two species. The findings are discussed with respect to possible segmental homologies and to the origins of the muscles as either dorso-ventral or longitudinal. As several muscles share the same motor neurons, we suggest that neck muscle function be described in terms of "behavioural units of action."[1]


  1. A comparative study of neck muscle motor neurons in a cricket and a locust. Honegger, H.W., Altman, J.S., Kien, J., Müller-Tautz, R., Pollerberg, E. J. Comp. Neurol. (1984) [Pubmed]
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