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Micron. 2012 Jun;43(6):725-38. doi: 10.1016/j.micron.2012.01.004. Epub 2012 Jan 28.

Morphology and histology of the digestive system of the vector leafhopper Psammotettix striatus (L.) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae).

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Key Laboratory of Plant Protection Resources and Pest Management, Ministry of Education, Entomological Museum, College of Plant Protection, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China.


The vector leafhopper Psammotettix striatus (L.) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) is an important economic pest that is a serious threat to wheat in Northwest China, causing great losses to agricultural production by transmitting wheat blue dwarf (WBD) in a persistent circulative manner. Studies on morphology and ultrastructure of the digestive system were made using light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The gross morphology of the alimentary canal consists of esophagus (foregut), midgut, hindgut, and special filter chamber. The esophagus, a narrow and slender tube, runs through the whole thorax extending into the filter chamber and connecting with the anterior midgut. The midgut consists of three major regions, anterior, middle and posterior midgut. The anterior midgut is composed of exceptionally thick epithelial cells surrounding a large lumen. Numerous well-developed microvilli occur at the basal region of the epithelium. A large number of electron-lucent and lipid-like vesicles are observed under the microvilli. The posterior midgut is smaller than the anterior midgut in diameter. Numerous different concentric circular bodies are characteristic of the posterior midgut. The hindgut arises from the posterior midgut at the boundary of the filter chamber. It extends downward toward the anus where the hindgut enlarges to form the rectum. The rectum is formed by various cells typical of epithelium, whose nuclei are relatively smaller than those of the midgut. Relatively large muscle cells are present at the well-defined and thick basement membrane. There are two pairs of Malpighian tubules. Numerous mitochondria and lamellar rough endoplasmic reticulum in the cells of the anterior segment of the Malpighian tubules; the sub-anterior segment of the tubules resemble the distal segment which are wave-like, amount vesicles in the cells; numerous tightly packed large vesicles contain two types of brochosomes in the inflated segment of the Malpighian tubules. The salivary system of P. striatus contains one pair of salivary glands, which are made up of the principal and accessory gland. The principal glands are divided into anterior, mid- and posterior lobes. About nineteen acini are observed in the principal glands of P. striatus, and vary in structure and colour. Five cellular types are found in the principal glands by transmission electron microscopy, which are rich in secretory granules, modified in size, electron-dense and shape. Rough endoplasmic reticulum in the shape of vesicular and lamellar, mitochondria and Golgi complexes are observed. The accessory gland has only an oval or a rod-shaped acinus.

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