Neural Development in Insects: Neuron Birth, Pathfinding, Synaptogenesis, Competition

  • Jonathan M. Blagburn
  • Jonathan P. Bacon
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 192)


This lecture provides an introduction to the development of the insect nervous system. Insect nervous systems are particularly useful for investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms which give rise to neuronal specificity, because they are made up of relatively small numbers of neurons, many of which can be reliably identified as individuals. The first sections deal with the development of the CNS, focussing on how the pattern of neuroblasts and their progeny of identified neurons is set up, and the way in which axons fasciculate in the initial orthogonal array of axon tracts. The next section examines genetic studies of synapse formation between identifed neurons. The last, and longest, sections address the development of the sensory neurons of the insect’s peripheral nervous system (PNS), and its usefulness as a model system for studying the rules by which sensory axons grow into the CNS, and establish and modify synaptic connections in the CNS.


Thoracic Ganglion Segmentation Gene Insect Nervous System Ganglion Mother Cell Terminal Ganglion 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan M. Blagburn
    • 1
  • Jonathan P. Bacon
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Neurobiology and Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusOld San JuanUSA
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SussexFalmer, BrightonUK

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