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1.  A single muscle moves a crustacean limb joint rhythmically by acting against a spring containing resilin 
BMC Biology  2009;7:27.
The beating or fanning movements of three pairs of maxilliped flagella in crabs and crayfish modify exhalent gill currents while drawing water over chemoreceptors on the head. They play an integral part both in signalling by distributing urine odours, and in active chemosensation.
The rhythmical maxilliped movements start with maxilliped 3 followed after a delay of 15 to 20 ms in shore crabs by maxilliped 2 and then maxilliped 1, at a frequency of 18 to 20 Hz in crabs and 10 to 13 Hz in signal crayfish. The contraction of a single abductor muscle controls the power stroke (abduction) of each flagellum, which is accompanied by flaring of feather-like setae which increase its surface area. No muscle can bring about the return stroke (adduction). Release of an isolated flagellum from an imposed abduction is followed by a rapid recoil to its resting adducted position. The relationship between the extent of abduction and the angular velocity of the return stroke indicates the operation of a spring. Blue fluorescence under UV light, and its dependence on the pH of the bathing medium, indicates that resilin is present at the joint between an exopodite and flagellum, at the annuli of a flagellum and at the base of the setae.
Resilin is progressively bent as a flagellum is abducted and resumes its natural shape when the joint recoils. Other distortions of the exopodites may also contribute to this spring-like action. The joint is therefore controlled by a single abductor muscle operating against a spring in which the elastic properties of resilin play a key role.
PMCID: PMC2694168  PMID: 19480647
2.  Resilin and chitinous cuticle form a composite structure for energy storage in jumping by froghopper insects 
BMC Biology  2008;6:41.
Many insects jump by storing and releasing energy in elastic structures within their bodies. This allows them to release large amounts of energy in a very short time to jump at very high speeds. The fastest of the insect jumpers, the froghopper, uses a catapult-like elastic mechanism to achieve their jumping prowess in which energy, generated by the slow contraction of muscles, is released suddenly to power rapid and synchronous movements of the hind legs. How is this energy stored?
The hind coxae of the froghopper are linked to the hinges of the ipsilateral hind wings by pleural arches, complex bow-shaped internal skeletal structures. They are built of chitinous cuticle and the rubber-like protein, resilin, which fluoresces bright blue when illuminated with ultra-violet light. The ventral and posterior end of this fluorescent region forms the thoracic part of the pivot with a hind coxa. No other structures in the thorax or hind legs show this blue fluorescence and it is not found in larvae which do not jump. Stimulating one trochanteral depressor muscle in a pattern that simulates its normal action, results in a distortion and forward movement of the posterior part of a pleural arch by 40 μm, but in natural jumping, the movement is at least 100 μm.
Calculations showed that the resilin itself could only store 1% to 2% of the energy required for jumping. The stiffer cuticular parts of the pleural arches could, however, easily meet all the energy storage needs. The composite structure therefore, combines the stiffness of the chitinous cuticle with the elasticity of resilin. Muscle contractions bend the chitinous cuticle with little deformation and therefore, store the energy needed for jumping, while the resilin rapidly returns its stored energy and thus restores the body to its original shape after a jump and allows repeated jumping.
PMCID: PMC2584104  PMID: 18826572

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