Visualization of the psyllid, Diaphorina citri, which spreads the plant-infecting bacterium, in a 3D, rotational platform, that permits rapid dissections, analyses, and study of the internal and external anatomy of this psyllid has changed the way we look at insect structure and functions. Thus the high resolution scans produced combined with computer software can also produce new ways to link and associate information.

Psyllid Micro CT

The micro-CT videos shown below were published in Alba-Tercedor, J., Hunter, W. B., Cicero, J. M., Sainz-Barian, M. and Brown S. (2017). Use of micro-CT to elucidate details of the anatomy and feeding of the Asian Citrus Psyllid Diaphorina citri Kuwayama , 1908 (Insecta: Hemiptera , Lividae). In Bruker Micro-CT Users Meeting 2017 (pp. 270-285).

Micro CT study of the male adult of the Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri)

Micro-CT study of the Asian Citrus Psyllid (Diaphorina citri): feeding apparatus and stylets

Asian citrus psyllid stylet biogenesis

All Hemiptera shed their stylets with the exuviae during each molt to the next instar. New stylets are manufactured inside the head of the pharate instar to replace them, and, as the new instar lifts away from the exuviae, these are fitted into their functional positions so that feeding can be resumed.

The manufacture of new stylets (stylet biogenesis) is an extremely complex process that has been detailed in the potato psyllid. Transmission electron microscopy indicates that key features of this process are also present in the pharate adult Asian citrus psyllid. Therefore, this animation was crafted to simplify exposition of the potato psyllid's process so that it can be understood quickly and easily. Only a basic understanding of textbook molting events is needed, i.e. apolysis, molting space, secretion of new cuticle, and ecdysis. The animation also shows examples of key features of the potato psyllid's process that are present in ACP, indicating that both are comparable. Please see the publication below for more details.

Cicero, JM, Alba-Tercedor, J, Hunter, WB, Cano, LM, Saha, S, Mueller, LA and Brown, SJ. (2018) Asian citrus psyllid stylet morphology and applicability to the model for inter-instar stylet replacement in the potato psyllid. Arthropod Structure & Development. Volume 47, Issue 5, September 2018, Pages 542-551

Citation: Cicero, JM, Alba-Tercedor, J, Hunter, WB, Cano, LM, Saha, S, Mueller, LA and Brown, SJ. (2019): An animated correspondence of Asian citrus psyllid stylets to the model for biogenesis of potato psyllid stylets. figshare. Media.

Asian citrus psyllid alimentary canal

The high volume of water present in the citrus phloem-derived foodstream would be toxic to the Asian citrus psyllid were it not for a complexation of alimentary canal that forms a kidney of sorts, called the filter chamber. This, and other digestive system organs are heavily laden with Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus, causal agent of citrus greening disease.

Certain members of the deprecated order Homoptera have a highly modified alimentary canal wherein the esophagus, anterior midgut, posterior midgut and hindgut are collocated and complexed into an apparently paraphyletic structure called the filter chamber that acts as a kidney, removing the high volume of water from the hostplant foodstream and shunting it directly to the anus. This organ, and the mesal length of the midgut, are of very similar construction in the potato psyllid and the Asian citrus psyllid, and both are mobbed by their respective Liberibacter species.

The presentation herein is an animation crafted to allow for broad scientific audiences to understand basic alimentary canal anatomy and functionality of the Asian citrus psyllid.

Citation: M. Cicero, Joseph; B. Hunter, Wayne; M. Cano, Liliana; Saha, Surya; A. Mueller, Lukas A and J. Brown, Susan (2019): An Animated Detailing of the Alimentary Canal of the Asian Citrus Psyllid, with Special Reference to the Configuration and Function of the Filter Chamber. figshare. Media.

Asian citrus psyllid alimentary canal with VolumeScope footage

The number of contemporary studies in basic insect anatomy is frighteningly low relative to other subjects such as insect ecology, pathology, IPM and the molecular. The reasons for this are many- to mention a few, insect anatomists have special tactical skills that take years to learn, and which translate into the finesse needed for microdissection and staging of specimens. Staging for electron microscopy can be extremely labor intense, and the imaging requires experienced interpretive skills also. Anatomy monographs are 2D renderings of 3D organs that are dynamic at the cellular level and can also be dynamic at the organ level. The monographic style, with its required conciseness and exclusive terminology, is a barrier to accessibility by readers of other disciplines.

Animation can be an answer to these problems, and the technology is broadly marketed (e.g. CorelDraw, Adobe Creative Cloud) to compose software-assisted drawings, arrange them into consecutive frames, and compile the frames into user-interfaced videos, which in turn can be published on private or academic websites. As of this writing, there are no other publication outlets that are set up to accept user interface buttons for forward, backward, roll-over, or hyperlink movements.

With the advent of the VolumeScope- an SEM equipped with a TEM block chuck and diamond knife installed inside its chamber- basic anatomy can now be scrutinized at TEM levels in 3D rotatable, rasterable form. The video presented herein is an adaptation of a prior video on the psyllid alimentary canal that incorporates VolumeScope footage to premiere its utility in insect anatomy.

We wish to gratefully acknowledge the staff of the Electron Microscopy Core, Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL., who gave generous allowance for our specimen processing needs. And the full staff at the Thermo Fisher Scientific NanoPort, Portland, OR, for their correspondence in generating the VolumeScope output and reconstruction for the footage needed for this project.

Citation: M. Cicero, Joseph; Wu, Ken; and Chan, Han (2020): An Animation of the Asian citrus psyllid alimentary canal that extends basics to the highest elucidative levels by implementing graphics, electron micrographs and VolumeScope output. figshare. Media.