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[Summer’16 Internship] Zombie Snails: A new target

Upon reading a new paper, I have determined a new location for the electrode (when I get that point in the experiment): the esophageal trunk! Ramakrishnan et al. in 2014 studied the buccal A cluster (BAC) cells that fill up the buccal ganglia, 40 in each. These cells vary in location, size, and the cluster that they’re in but essentially are responsible for telling different muscles to move, like opening the mouth or bringing the radula to the surface. All of these BACs have axonal projections through different nerves branching from the ganglia that we’ve talked about before: the lateral buccal neuron (LBN), the posterior buccal neuron (PBN), the esophageal trunks (ETs), and a few through the cerebro-buccal connective (CBC) that all then connect to different muscles. However, every one of these BAC projections goes through the esophageal trunks and none go through the ventro-buccal nerve. My plan was to attach the electrode to the trunk of the lateral and ventral buccal nerves, which is technically still okay, but only one nerve will be receiving signal. In the picture below from Ramakrishnan’s paper, you can see that there are connections in every neuron except for the VBN with the lightest grey view.

HENCE I will be placing the electrode around one of the esophageal trunks for a *hopefully* stronger signal. Until I get to the point of electrode placement, I am continuing the search for the buccal ganglia.

by Nancy Sloan

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