2015 Beckman Symposium   

Ravi Theja Chintapalli

Presentation Date:

Ravi Theja Chintapalli

Analysis of Anopheline Mosquito Wing Accessory Pulsatile Organ Physiology and Anatomy

Vanderbilt University


The wings of an insect are integral to the sustenance of their life, which necessitates proper care of these appendages. Whilst the insect dorsal vessel is the primary contractile pump, it cannot propel the insects' fluid medium, called hemolymph, through the narrow veins of the wings. As a result, insects have evolved an autonomous pulsatile organ (APO), which is an independent tissue dedicated to driving hemolymph through the channels of the wings. Whilst the dorsal vessel has been a prominent subject for study, the wing APO has been largely overlooked. In this study, we analyze both the physiological and anatomical properties of the wing APO in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Using novel intravital imaging techniques, we describe the contraction rate of the wing APO and reveal its independence from the dorsal vessel. Furthermore, we characterize the flow velocities of hemolymph through this appendage. Lastly, we analyze the structural architecture of the wing APO, and relate these findings to our physiological data.

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