• K P Rajashekhar

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Golgi analysis of tangential neurons in the lobula plate ofDrosophila melanogaster

      K P Rajashekhar V R Shamprasad

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      The lobula plate (LP), which is the third order optic neuropil of flies, houses wide-field neurons which are exquisitely sensitive to motion. Among Diptera, motion-sensitive neurons of larger flies have been studied at the anatomical and physiological levels. However, the neurons ofDrosophila lobula plate are relatively less explored. AsDrosophila permits a genetic analysis of neural functions, we have analysed the organization of lobula plate ofDrosophila melanogaster.

      Neurons belonging to eight anatomical classes have been observed in the present study. Three neurons of the horizontal system (HS) have been visualized. The HS north (HSN) neuron, occupying the dorsal lobula plate is stunted in its geometry compared to that of larger flies. Associated with the HS neurons, thinner horizontal elements known as h-cells have also been visualized in the present study. Five of the six known neurons of the vertical system (VS) have been visualized. Three additional neurons in the proximal LP comparable in anatomy to VS system have been stained. We have termed them as additional VS AVS)-like neurons. Three thinner tangential cells that are comparable to VS neurons, which are elements of twin vertical system (tvs); and two cells with wide dendritic fields comparable to CH neurons of Diptera have been also observed. Neurons comparable to VS cells but with ‘tufted’ dendrites have been stained. The HSN and VS1-VS2 neurons are dorsally stunted. This is possibly due to the shape of the compound eye ofDrosophila which is reduced in the fronto-dorsal region as compared to larger flies

    • Maxillary palp glomeruli and ipsilateral projections in the antennal lobe ofDrosophila melanogaster

      K P Rajashekhar V R Shamprasad

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      The antennal lobe was examined by Golgi-silver impregnation to differentiate the glomeruli depending on the source and types of inputs. Thirty-five of the 43 ‘identified’ olfactory glomeruli were Golgi-silver impregnated in the present study. Seven glomeruli compared to three, reported previously, were found to be targets of maxillary palp chemosensory neurons. These include glomeruli VA3, VC2, VM5, VA7m/VA7l of the ventral antennal lobe and DC2, DC3, DM5 of the dorsal antennal lobe. The number of glomeruli receiving the maxillary palp sensory projections tallies with the number ofDrosophila olfactory receptors (seven) reported to be expressed exclusively in the maxillary palp. Twenty-eight Golgi-impregnated glomeruli were found to receive input from the antennal nerve. The ratio of glomeruli serving the maxillary palp to those serving the antenna (∼1:5) matches with the ratio ofDrosophila olfactory receptors expressed in these two olfactory organs respectively. In addition to glomerulus V, glomeruli VP1-3, VL1, VL2a/2p and VC3m/3l were found to receive ipsilateral projections. Thus, additional ipsilateral glomeruli have been identified.

    • Lyriform slit sense organs on the pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders

      Bhavani Patil Suphala Prabhu K P Rajashekhar

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      Lyriform slits sense organs (LSSO) are a precise assembly of stress detecting cuticular slit sensilla found on the appendages of arachnids. While these structures on the legs of the wandering spiderCupennius salei are well studied in terms of morphology, function and contribution to behaviour, their distribution on pedipalps and spinnerets of spiders is not well explored. A study was therefore carried out to observe the distribution of LSSO on pedipalps and spinnerets of some spider species. Haplogyne spiders belonging to familyPholcidae have a simple complement of LSSOs represented by one or two LSSOs on their femur. The entelegyne spiders possess a complex assembly of LSSOs on the distal segments of their pedipalps. Various types of LSSOs are found on the pedipalps indicating a capacity for analysis of complex cuticular stress. It is suggested that the complexity of LSSOs on pedipalps of entelegyne spiders relates to courtship and spermatophore transfer and may help in reproductive isolation. Lack of LSSOs on the distal segments of pedipalps leads us to infer that unlike legs, pedipalps are less likely to receive vibratory input through their distal segments.

      Spinnerets have a relatively simple complement of LSSOs. One LSSO is found only on anterior spinnerets and it is a common feature observed among spiders, irrespective of the variations in web building behaviour. The orb-weaving araneidArgiope pulchella, however, has two LSSOs on the anterior spinneret. As non-web builders and orb weavers do not differ markedly in terms of LSSOs on the spinnerets and LSSOs are simple in nature (type A), it is likely that spinning and weaving are not largely regulated by sensory input from LSSOs on the spinnerets.

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