On structural-functional organization of dragonfly mushroom bodies and some general considerations about purpose of these formations

  • V. L. Svidersky
  • S. I. Plotnikova


Anatomy as well as (for the first time) the fine structure have been studied of the mushroom bodies located in protocerebrum of the supraesophageal ganglion of dragonflies—the most ancient flying insects on Earth. Used in the work are larvae of the last age (prior to winging), in which the mushroom body structure has already been completely formed and corresponds to that in imago. The total organization of the dragonfly mushroom bodies has been established to be more primitive than that of other insects studied so far. This involves both the number of interneurons (Kenyon cells) present in the mushroom bodies and the character of anaptic connections formed by these cells. There is confirmed the absence in dragonflies of the mushroom body calyces that in opinion of some authors are obligatory “input gates” into these structures. Peculiarities of the neuropil structure in the area of the absent calyces are studied in detail. For the first time in insects there are revealed the direct (without additional synaptic switching) pathways forming the “afferent input” from optic lobes into the mushroom body calyx area. Also detected are the direct pathways going from the mushroom bodies to the abdominal chain (“efferent output”). A possible functional significance of these findings as well as the general role of mushroom bodied in control of some forms of insect behavior are discussed.


Fine Structure Functional Significance General Consideration Body Structure General Role 
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© MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica” 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. L. Svidersky
    • 1
  • S. I. Plotnikova
    • 1
  1. 1.Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and BiochemistryRussian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia

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