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Volume 24, Number 3, 1993
Neurobiology of the honeybee
Page(s) 219 - 233
Apidologie 24 (1993) 219-233
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19930304

Zur funktionellen Organisation des antennalen und olfaktorischen Systems der Arbeiterin der Honigbiene, Apis mellifera L

A. Brockmann and D. Brückner

Universität Bremen, FB 2, 2800 Bremen 33, Postfach 330440, Deutschland

Abstract - Functional organization of the antennal and olfactory system of the honeybee worker, Apis mellifera L
The mechanisms of olfactory information processing have been reviewed for the poreplate receptors and antennal lobe structures in worker honeybees. A new concept arises from recent electrophysiological research on the poreplates of the antenna in which it has been shown that the receptor cells within poreplates interact with each other in various ways (Akers and Getz, 1992). There seems to be no distinct receptor cell classes with different odor spectra as previous research had indicated (Vareschi, 1971). Thus it has to be assumed that the input into the antennal lobe already consist of 'preprocessed' information on the olfactory environment of the insect. Recent anatomical and physiological research data on the antennal lobe are discussed under the aspect of the functional organization of this glomerular structure. There is evidence that the information processing within the antennal lobe occurs in a complex interglomerular circuitry. The antennal lobe of the honeybee is compared to that of other insects for which detailed data exist (table I). A high degree of multimodality of antennal lobe neurons is postulated for the honeybee because of the various inputs it receives apart from the antennal inputs. Multimodality of output neurons is known to exist (Homberg, 1984, table II). A schematic diagram summarizes the various parts of the brain of the worker bee involved in olfactory information processing. The ability of honeybee workers to learn and discriminate specific odors and odor mixtures might be greatly influenced by its motivational internal disposition.

Key words: olfactory system / receptor cell / antennal lobe / information processing mechanism / honeybee