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Molecular dynamics of cyclically contracting insect flight muscle in vivo

Dickinson, Michael and Farman, Gerrie and Frye, Mark and Bekyarova, Tanya and Gore, David and Maughan, David and Irving, Thomas (2005) Molecular dynamics of cyclically contracting insect flight muscle in vivo. Nature, 433 (7023). pp. 330-334. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/nature03230.

[img] Video (QuickTime) (Changes in X-ray diffraction patterns during a wingbeat. Animation consisting of background subtracted X-ray diffraction patterns from live Drosophila metleri at each time point in the wingbeat cycle along with cartoons showing wing position and relative ) - Supplemental Material
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Flight in insects—which constitute the largest group of species in the animal kingdom—is powered by specialized muscles located within the thorax. In most insects each contraction is triggered not by a motor neuron spike but by mechanical stretch imposed by antagonistic muscles. Whereas ‘stretch activation’ and its reciprocal phenomenon ‘shortening deactivation’ are observed to varying extents in all striated muscles, both are particularly prominent in the indirect flight muscles of insects. Here we show changes in thick-filament structure and actin–myosin interactions in living, flying Drosophila with the use of synchrotron small-angle X-ray diffraction. To elicit stable flight behaviour and permit the capture of images at specific phases within the 5-ms wingbeat cycle, we tethered flies within a visual flight simulator. We recorded images of 340 µs duration every 625 µs to create an eight-frame diffraction movie, with each frame reflecting the instantaneous structure of the contractile apparatus. These time-resolved measurements of molecular-level structure provide new insight into the unique ability of insect flight muscle to generate elevated power at high frequency.

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Dickinson, Michael0000-0002-8587-9936
Additional Information:© 2005 Nature Publishing Group. Received 20 August; accepted 29 November 2004. We thank J. Costello for help with data analysis, J. Fockler for computer programming, and D. Swank, R. Tregear, M. K. Reedy and M. C. Reedy for helpful discussions. The research was supported by NIH. The APS is supported by the US Department of Energy. BioCAT is a NIH-supported Research Center.
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Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7023
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150325-140028093
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Official Citation:Molecular dynamics of cyclically contracting insect flight muscle in vivo p330-334 Michael Dickinson, Gerrie Farman, Mark Frye, Tanya Bekyarova, David Gore, David Maughan and Thomas Irving doi:10.1038/nature03230
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56079
Deposited On:26 Mar 2015 03:32
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:54

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