Insects coordinate the opening and closing of spiracles with convective ventilatory movements to produce considerable intraspecific and interspecific variation in gas exchange patterns. But fundamental questions remain regarding how these movements are coordinated and modulated by central and peripheral respiratory chemoreceptors, and where these chemoreceptors are located and how they function. Recent findings have revealed regions of the CNS that generate coordinated respiratory motor activity, while peripheral neurons sensitive to respiratory gases have been identified in Drosophila. Importantly, plasticity in structure and function of neural elements of respiratory control indicate the need for caution when generalizing the mechanistic basis for breathing in insects, and an adaptive explanation for breathing pattern variability.
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© 2021 Elsevier Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science