The putative brain photoperiodic photoreceptors in the vetch aphid, Megoura viciae
Gao N., Von Schantz M., Foster RG., Hardie J.
In an attempt to identify the brain photoreceptors that mediate the photoperiodic response of the vetch aphid, Megoura viciae, we utilised immunocytochemical techniques and employed 20 antibodies directed against invertebrate and vertebrate opsins and phototransduction proteins. A sub-set of these antibodies (to Drosophila rhodopsin 1: RH1-1; vertebrate cone opsins: COS-1; CERN-874; CERN-933; vertebrate rod opsin: CERN-901; vertebrate arrestin: AB-Arr; vertebrate transducin+arrestin+rhodopsin kinase+cGMP phosphodiesterase: CERN-911; and vertebrate cellular retinoid binding protein: CRALBP) consistently labelled an anterior ventral neuropile region of the protocerebrum. These anatomical findings, coupled with previous localised illumination and micro-lesion studies, provide strong evidence that this region of the aphid brain houses the photoperiodic photoreceptors. The present study also confirms that the medial (Group I) neurosecretory cells are not the photoperiodic photoreceptors.