Science News
from research organizations

Unique breathing cycles may be an important defense for insects

Date:
January 13, 2016
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Insects exhibit breathing patterns called discontinuous gas-exchange cycles that include periods of little to no release of carbon dioxide to the environment. Researchers who studied the respiratory patterns of 15 species of ground beetles found that these cycles may minimize the risk of infestation of an insect's tracheal system by mites and other pathogens.
Share:
FULL STORY

Insects exhibit breathing patterns called discontinuous gas-exchange cycles that include periods of little to no release of carbon dioxide to the environment. Researchers who studied the respiratory patterns of 15 species of ground beetles found that these cycles may minimize the risk of infestation of an insect's tracheal system by mites and other pathogens.

The findings may help provide a more comprehensive understanding of why insects have an evolutionary advantage over other animals.

"The tracheal system of insects facilitates gas exchange through direct contact of cells with air--without the need for additional oxygen-carrying molecules--and is one likely explanation for evolutionary success of insects; however, such direct respiration may also require a specific protection through effective closing mechanisms at the terminal ends of the tracheal system to keep out things you typically don't want in your respiration tract," said Dr. Ulf Bauchinger, senior author of the Evolution study.

 


Story Source:

Materials provided by Wiley. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Agnieszka Gudowska, Szymon M. Drobniak, Bartosz W. Schramm, Anna Maria Labecka, Jan Kozlowski, Ulf Bauchinger. Hold your breath beetle-Mites!. Evolution, 2016; 70 (1): 249 DOI: 10.1111/evo.12827

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Unique breathing cycles may be an important defense for insects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 January 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113162455.htm>.
Wiley. (2016, January 13). Unique breathing cycles may be an important defense for insects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 27, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113162455.htm
Wiley. "Unique breathing cycles may be an important defense for insects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113162455.htm (accessed May 27, 2017).

RELATED STORIES