Ontogeny of the Arachnid Central Nervous System

  • Peter Weygoldt


Our knowledge of the development of nervous systems has greatly increased during the last few years. Specific cell markers like horseradish peroxidase and monoclonal antibodies have made possible studies of the cell lineages leading to the formation of neuromeres in insects and leeches. In both cases, the number of neuroblasts that form a particular ganglion is known; in leeches it was even possible to trace the history of these neuroblasts back to individual blastomeres. Similar studies are under way for vertebrates (Barald 1982; Goodman 1982; Jacobsen 1982; Stent et al. 1982). In the grasshopper, Goodman and coworkers have shown the events by which—by a fixed pattern of cell divisions and differentiation—neurons are formed by particular neuroblasts. These authors have been able to demonstrate that the neurons derived from a particular neuroblast share certain features, such as transmitters, and vary with respect to others, such as electrical properties, which, however, are shared by the progeny of a given birth position (Goodman et al. 1980; Goodman and Spitzer 1981a, b). In addition, the problem of pathfinding by growing axons and of the formation of synaptic connections has been studied with success. In insects, pioneer neurons and muscle pioneers have been identified that are formed early in development and later guide axons to their targets (Edwards 1982; Flaster et al. 1982; Goodman et al. 1981, 1982; Ho et al. 1983).


Postembryonic Development Coelomic Cavity Cephalic Lobe Ganglion Mother Cell Lateral Vesicle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Weygoldt
    • 1
  1. 1.Biologisches Institut I (Zoologie)Albert-Ludwigs-UniversitätFreiburg i. Br.Federal Republic of Germany

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