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Crustacean connectomes

Posted by pbio on 07 May 2009 at 22:29 GMT

Author: Zen Faulkes
Position: Associate Professor
Institution: Department of Biology, The University of Texas-Pan American
Submitted Date: February 10, 2009
Published Date: February 16, 2009
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

Lu and colleagues write, "The only successful connectomic reconstruction was accomplished in another nematode, <i>C. elegans</i>(.)"

While <i>C. elegans</i> is the only organism with a complete connectome, there are partial connectomes for other species. This may not be readily apparent to those outside the field of neurobiology, because what Lu and colleagues call a "connectome" has usually been called a "neural circuit" or simply a "circuit."

The decapod crustacean stomatogastric ganglion (STG) has about 30 neurons (Harris-Warrick et al. 1992). Not only are all the anatomical synaptic connections between STG neurons known for some species, the neurotransmitters released by those neurons and their membrane properties have also been characterized (Nusbaum &amp; Beenhakker 2002).

Harris-Warrick RM, Marder E, Selverston AI, Moulins M (eds.). 1992. <i>Dynamic Biological Networks: The Stomatogastric Nervous System.</i> Cambridge: MIT Press.

Nusbaum MP, Beenhakker MP. 2002. A small-systems approach to motor pattern generation. <i>Nature</i> 417: 343-350. [ ]

No competing interests declared.