Ultrastructural studies on the corpora cardiaca-allata complex of the adult alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica

Authors

  • Averett S. Tombes,

    1. Division of Biology, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29631, and School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida 33152
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  • David S. Smith

    1. Division of Biology, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29631, and School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida 33152
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  • Supported by a post-doctoral fellowship GM28,152-01A1 to A.S.T. from the National Institutes of Health and GB-5445 from the National Science Foundation.

Abstract

The organization of the corpora cardiaca and corpora allata of the female alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica, generally parallels that reported for other insects with extrinsic neurosecretory axons, intrinsic neurosecretory cells, and interstitial or glial cells appearing in both glands.

Connecting the brain with the cardiacum are the extrinsic neurosecretory axons containing granules between 600 and 2200 Å. Granules with a diameter of up to 4000 Å are found in the intrinsic secretory cells of the corpus cardiacum.

From the lobed corpus cardiacum, axons extend along a short nerve trunk into the ovoid corpus allatum. A characteristic of this gland is the presence of a layer of axons, ensheathing most of the corpus allatum and situated beneath an external basement membrane. These axons are believed to have their origin in the protocerebral neurosecretory cells. Although the c. allatum is known to be engaged in the release of hormonally active material, the cytoplasmic organization does not strongly reflect such activity.

The glands of the diapausing weevil appear similar to those of the active weevil with a reduction in cytoplasm and a consequent folding of the plasma membrane.

Ancillary