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Origin, evolution and function of the hemipteran perimicrovillar membrane with emphasis on Reduviidae that transmit Chagas disease

  • A.E. Gutiérrez-Cabrera (a1) (a2), A. Córdoba-Aguilar (a3), E. Zenteno (a2), C. Lowenberger (a4) and B. Espinoza (a1)...

The peritrophic matrix is a chitin-protein structure that envelops the food bolus in the midgut of the majority of insects, but is absent in some groups which have, instead, an unusual extra-cellular lipoprotein membrane named the perimicrovillar membrane. The presence of the perimicrovillar membrane (PMM) allows these insects to exploit restricted ecological niches during all life stages. It is found only in some members of the superorder Paraneoptera and many of these species are of medical and economic importance. In this review we present an overview of the midgut and the digestive system of insects with an emphasis on the order Paraneoptera and differences found across phylogenetic groups. We discuss the importance of the PMM in Hemiptera and the apparent conservation of this structure among hemipteran groups, suggesting that the basic mechanism of PMM production is the same for different hemipteran species. We propose that the PMM is intimately involved in the interaction with parasites and as such should be a target for biological and chemical control of hemipteran insects of economic and medical importance.

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Bulletin of Entomological Research
  • ISSN: 0007-4853
  • EISSN: 1475-2670
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