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The locust frontal ganglion: a central pattern generator network controlling foregut rhythmic motor patterns

By A. Ayali, Y. Zilberstein and N. Cohen


The frontal ganglion (FG) is part of the insect\ud stomatogastric nervous system and is found in most insect\ud orders. Previous work has shown that in the desert locust,\ud Schistocerca gregaria, the FG constitutes a major source of\ud innervation to the foregut. In an in vitro preparation,\ud isolated from all descending and sensory inputs, the FG\ud spontaneously generated rhythmic multi-unit bursts of\ud action potentials that could be recorded from all its\ud efferent nerves. The consistent endogenous FG rhythmic\ud pattern indicates the presence of a central pattern\ud generator network. We found the appearance of in vitro\ud rhythmic activity to be strongly correlated with the\ud physiological state of the donor locust. A robust pattern\ud emerged only after a period of saline superfusion, if the\ud locust had a very full foregut and crop, or if the animal\ud was close to ecdysis. Accordingly, haemolymph collected\ud at these stages inhibited an ongoing rhythmic pattern\ud when applied onto the ganglion. We present this novel\ud central pattern generating system as a basis for future\ud work on the neural network characterisation and its role\ud in generating and controlling behaviour

Publisher: The Company of Biologists Ltd
Year: 2002
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