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Keywords:

  • Locust;
  • sub-oesophageal ganglion;
  • chemoreception;
  • gustation;
  • CNS;
  • maxillary palps

Abstract

The sub-oesophageal ganglion of Locusta migratoria was searched for neurones responsive to stimulation of the maxillary palps using intracellular recording techniques. Two plant stimuli were used: wheat, a host plant and cabbage, an unacceptable non-host plant. The stimuli were presented to the palp as both intact leaf tissue and as droplets of aqueous solutions of plant extracts. All the sampled neurones that responded to stimulation of the palp also responded to simple mechanical stimulation. However, 25% of the neurones exhibited consistent differences in response to the two plants when presented as both leaf tissue and droplets, strongly suggesting that they also received a chemosensory input. These differential responses most commonly took the form of differences in the duration of cell activity and/or variation in the latency of the onset of response. The receptive fields of differentially responding neurones were confined to the maxillary palp, or at most to the maxillary and labial palps.