Skip navigation

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Selective neuronal staining in tardigrades and onychophorans provides insights into the evolution of segmental ganglia in panarthropods
Authors: Mayer, Georg
Martin, Christine
Rudiger, Jan
Kauschke, Susann
Stevenson, Paul A.
Poprawa, Izabela
Hohberg, Karin
Schill, Ralph O.
Pfluger, Hans-Joachim
Schlegel, Martin
Keywords: Arthropoda; Ecdysozoa; Nervous system; Onychophora; Panarthropoda; Segmental ganglia; Synapomorphy; Tardigrada
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: BMC Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 13 (2013), art. no. 230
Abstract: Background: Although molecular analyses have contributed to a better resolution of the animal tree of life, the phylogenetic position of tardigrades (water bears) is still controversial, as they have been united alternatively with nematodes, arthropods, onychophorans (velvet worms), or onychophorans plus arthropods. Depending on the hypothesis favoured, segmental ganglia in tardigrades and arthropods might either have evolved independently, or they might well be homologous, suggesting that they were either lost in onychophorans or are a synapomorphy of tardigrades and arthropods. To evaluate these alternatives, we analysed the organisation of the nervous system in three tardigrade species using antisera directed against tyrosinated and acetylated tubulin, the amine transmitter serotonin, and the invertebrate neuropeptides FMRFamide, allatostatin and perisulfakinin. In addition, we performed retrograde staining of nerves in the onychophoran Euperipatoides rowelli in order to compare the serial locations of motor neurons within the nervous system relative to the appendages they serve in arthropods, tardigrades and onychophorans. Results: Contrary to a previous report from a Macrobiotus species, our immunocytochemical and electron microscopic data revealed contralateral fibres and bundles of neurites in each trunk ganglion of three tardigrade species, including Macrobiotus cf. harmsworthi, Paramacrobiotus richtersi and Hypsibius dujardini. Moreover, we identified additional, extra-ganglionic commissures in the interpedal regions bridging the paired longitudinal connectives. Within the ganglia we found serially repeated sets of serotonin- and RFamid-like immunoreactive neurons. Furthermore, our data show that the trunk ganglia of tardigrades, which include the somata of motor neurons, are shifted anteriorly with respect to each corresponding leg pair, whereas no such shift is evident in the arrangement of motor neurons in the onychophoran nerve cords. Conclusions: Taken together, these data reveal three major correspondences between the segmental ganglia of tardigrades and arthropods, including (i) contralateral projections and commissures in each ganglion, (ii) segmentally repeated sets of immunoreactive neurons, and (iii) an anteriorly shifted (parasegmental) position of ganglia. These correspondences support the homology of segmental ganglia in tardigrades and arthropods, suggesting that these structures were either lost in Onychophora or, alternatively, evolved in the tardigrade/arthropod lineage.
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-230
ISSN: 1471-2148
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WNP)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Mayer_Selective_neuronal_staining_in_tardigrades_and_onychophorans_provides_insights.pdf7,77 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Show full item record

Uznanie Autorstwa 3.0 Polska Creative Commons License Creative Commons