Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Double-segment Periodicity Underlies 'Odd' Segment Generation In Centipedes

Date:
July 27, 2004
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
In studying the way groups of cells are patterned or arranged to form segments in the developing embryo, researchers have identified a developmental "rule" followed by centipedes and thereby helped to solve a well-known evolutionary puzzle.

In studying the way groups of cells are patterned or arranged to form segments in the developing embryo, researchers have identified a developmental "rule" followed by centipedes and thereby helped to solve a well-known evolutionary puzzle.

Centipedes are a familiar group of arthropods characterized by a long body made up of individual segments, each with its own pair of legs. Despite their familiarity, they actually represent a developmental mystery. The number of leg pairs in different centipede species varies between 15 and 191 pairs, but this number is always odd. This suggests that the range of body forms that are theoretically possible is restricted by constraints we have not yet recognized.

In a new paper, University of Cambridge developmental biologists Dr. Ariel Chipman and Prof. Michael Akam, from the University's Museum of Zoology, in collaboration with Prof. Wallace Arthur from the National University of Ireland at Galway, have provided a possible explanation for this puzzle. Chipman and colleagues studied the millimeter-sized embryos of a long and thin centipede, Strigamia maritima, collected on the coast of north-eastern Scotland, and looked at how the segments of this animal are formed. The number of segments in individuals of this species varies from 45 to 53, but again the number of segments is always odd.

The researchers found a series of genes that initially define a two-segment periodicity in the forming trunk of the S. maritima embryo. This periodicity then resolves to give single segments, which later develop a pair of legs each. If segments are defined two at a time, evolutionary changes would add or remove segments in pairs, so that only certain numbers of leg-bearing segments are possible. Why then odd numbers rather than even? The authors leave this question open, but they suggest that additional segments that do not bear legs are also formed with this mechanism. Most noticeably, the centipede trunk includes a pair of poison claws that are probably modified legs. If these are counted, centipedes actually have an even number of trunk segments.

###

Ariel D. Chipman, Wallace Arthur, and Michael Akam: "A Double Segment Periodicity Underlies Segment Generation in Centipede Development"

Published in Current Biology, Volume 14, Number 14, 27 July 2004, pages 1250-1255.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Double-segment Periodicity Underlies 'Odd' Segment Generation In Centipedes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040727085755.htm>.
Cell Press. (2004, July 27). Double-segment Periodicity Underlies 'Odd' Segment Generation In Centipedes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040727085755.htm
Cell Press. "Double-segment Periodicity Underlies 'Odd' Segment Generation In Centipedes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040727085755.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued from Swimming Pool

Raw: Kangaroo Rescued from Swimming Pool

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A kangaroo was saved from drowning in a backyard suburban swimming pool in Australia's Victoria state on Thursday. Australian broadcaster Channel 7 showed footage of the kangaroo struggling to get out of the pool. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins