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Die AG Cytologie und Evolutionsbiologie befasst sich mit der Evolution des Nervensystems und anderer Organsystem in Bilateria, wobei ein klarer Schwerpunkt auf den Arthropoda liegt. So interessieren uns insbesondere die Architektur des Gehirns und der Sinnesorgane sowie die Struktur von Drüsensystemen in Vertretern der Crustacea, Myriapoda und Chelicerata. Dabei kommen an Methoden die immunhistochemische Lokalisierung von neuronalen Antigenen verbunden mit Fluoreszenzmikroskopie und confocaler Laser-Scan Mikroskopie zum Einsatz, sowie die gesamte Bandbreite der elektronenmikroskopischen Methoden.

Ein weiterer methodischer Schwerpunkt ist die 3D Rekonstruktion bestimmter Organsysteme aus Dünnschnittserien. Unsere Arbeiten stehen vor dem Hintergrund konkurrierender Hypothesen zur Stammesgeschichte der Arthropoda. Für die Verknüpfung von neurobiologischen Fragestellungen mit evolutiven Aspekten haben wir den Begriff „Neurophylogenie“ geprägt.

DFG Projekt - Evolution of the olfactory system in Myriapoda: insights from neuroanatomy and behavior (HA 2540/8-2)

Applicant: Prof. Dr. Steffen Harzsch, Dr. Andy Sombke
Cooperation Partner: Prof. Dr. Bill S. Hansson (MPI Jena)

Myriapods represent an arthropod lineage that, originating from a marine arthropod ancestor, most likely conquered land independently from hexapods. The successful transition from marine to terrestrial life requires a number of physiological adaptations that are important for survival out of water. The sensory organs of terrestrial species must be able to function in air rather than in water. In chemoreception, establishing aerial olfaction means that molecules need to be detected in gas phase instead of in water solution. In general, the neuroethology of myriapods and the architecture of their central nervous systems are poorly understood. In a set of preliminary experiments with the centipede Scutigera coleoptrata we analyzed the morphology of the antennae and the central olfactory pathway with scanning electron microscopy, serial semithin sectioning combined with 3D reconstruction, antennal backfilling with neuronal tracers, and immunofluorescence combined with confocal laser-scan microscopy. Furthermore, the ability of this animal to respond to airborne stimuli was tested in behavioral assays and electroantennogram recordings. These experiments collectively indicate a good sense of aerial olfaction in this species. Furthermore, the architecture of its olfactory neuropils is clearly distinct from hexapods and also from terrestrial crustaceans indicating an independent evolution of its olfactory sense in response to the conquest of land. We propose here to study the morphology of the central olfactory pathway in a broad range of other myriapods covering Chilopoda, Progoneata, Symphyla and combine these studies with behavioral essays. We will also include Scorpions as an outgroup. In a neurophylogenetic approach, our data will also be compared to the morphology of the olfactory systems in hexapods and crustaceans in order to extract data for reconstructing arthropod phylogeny and for understanding the evolution of arthropod olfactory systems.

DFG Myriapoda
Sensillum basiconicum of Scolopendra oraniensis, Immunhistochemical labelling of the brain of Scutigera coleoptrata, antennal backfill of Scolopendra oraniensis © Andy Sombke

DFG Projekt - The chemical sense of marine isopod crustaceans (HA 2540/9-1)

Applicant: Prof. Dr. Steffen Harzsch, Dipl. Biol. Matthes Kenning
Cooperation Partner: Dr. Magnus Lindström (University of Helsinki)

Our current knowledge on both the morphology of the crustacean olfactory pathway and on chemically guided behavior is heavily biased towards members of the Decapoda. In the current project, we want to gain more insights into olfaction in another major group of malacostracan crustaceans, the marine Isopoda by analysing the architecture of the peripheral and central olfactory pathway and by conducting behavioral essays. To that end we propose here to analyze, in a wide range of isopods, the morphology of the antennae and the central olfactory pathway with neuroanatomical methods such as scanning electron microscopy, serial semithin sectioning combined with 3D reconstruction, antennal backfilling with neuronal tracers, focal application of dextrans to label populations of olfactory interneurons, and immunofluorescence combined with confocal laser-scan microscopy. We will try to analyse representatives from a wide range of different habitats including the deep sea, the Arctic and Antartica, the Tropics, and from different life styles including scavengers and parasitic species. Furthermore, olfactory-guided behavior and navigation strategies to odor sources will be tested in behavioral assays using the omnivorous isopod Saduria entomon which is common in the Baltic as a model. In a neurophylogenetic approach, our data will be compared to the morphology of the olfactory systems in other malacostracan crustaceans and hexapods in order to extract data for understanding the evolution of arthropod olfactory systems in general.

under construction

Projekt - An integrative analysis of olfaction in the giant robber crab Birgus latro, the largest living terrestrial arthropod (Crustacea, Anomura), and its allies.

under construction
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Zoologisches Institut und Museum
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Sekretariat:
Kerstin Wiener
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Tel.: +49 (0)3834 864251
Fax: +49 (0)3834 864252
wiener@uni-greifswald.de


Letzte Änderung: 21.08.2012 15:55
Verantwortlich: Fachrichtung Biologie


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