Antennae are one of the major organs to detect chemo- and mechanosensory cue in crickets. Little is known how crickets process and integrate different modality of information in the brain. We thus used a number of different anatomical techniques to gain an understanding of the neural pathways extending from the antennal sensory neurons up to centers in the brain. We identified seven antennal sensory tracts (assigned as T1–7) utilizing anterograde dye filling from the antennal nerve. Tracts T1–T4 project into the antennal lobe (AL), while tracts T5 and T6 course into the dorsal region of the deutocerebrum or the suboesophageal ganglion, and finally, tract T7 terminates in the ventral area of flagellar afferent (VFA). By analyzing autofluorescence images of the AL, we identified 49 sexually isomorphic glomeruli on the basis of shape, relative position and size. On the basis of our sensory-tract data, we assigned the glomeruli into one of four separate groups. We then three-dimensionally reconstructed the internal structures in the AL (glomeruli) and the VFA (layers). Next in the protocerebrum, we identified both the tracts and their terminations from the AL and VFA. We found that 10 tracts originate in the AL, whereas there are at least eight tracts from the VFA. Several tracts from the AL share their routes with those from the VFA, but their termination areas are segregated. We now have a better anatomical understanding of the pathways for the antennal information in cricket.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.