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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Aglomerular Hemipteran Antennal Lobes-Basic Neuroanatomy of a Small Nose

Kristoffersen, Lina; Hansson, Bill; Anderbrant, Olle; Larsson, Mattias


We have compared the basic organization of the primary olfactory centre, the antennal lobe (AL), in 4 hemipteran species representing the 2 major lineages in this order. The Homoptera were represented by the psyllid Trioza apicalis and its aphid relatives the grain aphid Sitobion avenae Fabricius and the rose-grain aphid Metopolophium dirhodum Walker, whereas the Heteroptera were represented by the pentatomid stink bug Euschistus heros Fabricius. The olfactory systems of psyllids and aphids are generally very small, with low numbers of afferents in comparison to other insect groups, and the smallest described so far belongs to T. apicalis, comprising less than 50 olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). Originally, we tried to estimate numbers of olfactory glomeruli in the AL of T. apicalis, which in insects generally correspond closely to the number of different types of ORNs. Neither immunocytochemical staining nor anterograde staining of ORNs revealed any glomerular structures in the ALs of T. apicalis or the 2 aphids that were included for comparison. In contrast, the ALs of the pentatomid stink bug E. heros displayed numerous distinct and well-delineated glomeruli, showing that aglomerular ALs are not typical of all insects within the order Hemiptera. Glomeruli are hallmark features of olfactory lobes in many different phyla, and the absence of glomerular structures in psyllids and aphids appears to be unique in insects that depend on olfactory orientation.


Antennal Lobe; CNS; Insect

Published in

Chemical Senses
2008, Volume: 33, number: 9, pages: 771-778