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Data from: Idiosyncratic development of sensory structures in brains of diapausing butterfly pupae: implications for information processing

Citation

Lehmann, Philipp; Nylin, Sören; Gotthard, Karl; Carlsson, Mikael A. (2017), Data from: Idiosyncratic development of sensory structures in brains of diapausing butterfly pupae: implications for information processing, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.f36mq

Abstract

Diapause is an important escape mechanism from seasonal stress in many insects. A certain minimum amount of time in diapause is generally needed in order for it to terminate. The mechanisms of time-keeping in diapause are poorly understood, but it can be hypothesized that a well-developed neural system is required. However, since neural tissue is metabolically costly to maintain there might exist conflicting selective pressures on overall brain development during diapause, on one hand to save energy and on the other hand to provide reliable information processing during diapause. We performed the first ever investigation of neural development during diapause and non-diapause (direct) development in pupae of the butterfly Pieris napi from a population whose diapause duration is known. The brain grew in size similarly in pupae of both pathways up to three days after pupation, when development in the diapause brain was arrested. While development in the brain of direct pupae continued steadily after this point, no further development occurred during diapause until temperatures increased far after diapause termination. Interestingly, sensory structures related to vision were remarkably well developed in pupae from both pathways, in contrast to neuropils related to olfaction, which only developed in direct pupae. The results suggest that a well-developed visual system might be important for normal diapause development.

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