Dr. Andy Sombke

Zoologisches Institut und Museum
Cytologie und Evolutionsbiologie

Soldmannstr. 23, Haus 6.1
17489 Greifswald

Tel.: +49 (0)3834 420 4066
Fax: +49 (0)3834 420 4067

andy.sombke(at)gmx(dot)de

Evolutionary morphology of sensory and processing systems in arthropods

Antennae of mandibulate arthropods are equipped with numerous specialized epidermal sensilla, which  are composed of two structural units: sensory cells with their dendritic processes and several sheath cells. However, they are complex in structure and function and play an essential role in shaping the nervous systems’ primary processing centers. The arthropod nervous system provides a wealth of information that can contribute to our understanding about arthropod phylogeny and evolutionary transformations of the arthropod brain. Here, the discipline of Neurophylogeny provides a synthesis of neurobiological questions and evolutionary aspects. In a set of experiments with representatives of Chelicerata, Myriapoda, Crustacea and Hexapoda, I analyze the anatomy and morphology of antennae and arthropodia (especially epidermal sensilla),  primary visual, chemosensory, and mechanosensory pathways, as well as secondary processing neuropils in the nervous system.

Transformation of centipede ultimate legs (DFG project)

The arthropodium has adapted many different shapes and is thus able to perform a vast of different functions. Among arthropods, trunk legs, primarily used for locomotion, were transformed many times independently into appendages of various functions and are thus considered excellent study models to understand pathways of adaptation and evolution. The aim of this project is to investigate the terminal (=ultimate) legs in centipedes, which do not participate in walking. Often correlated with sexual dimorphism, terminal legs may be extremely elongated and resemble antennae. We explore the sensory equipment, innervation patterns and functions of terminal legs of selected centipede species using multimodal microscopic (SEM, TEM, LM, cLSM, µCT) and electrophysiological techniques. Comparisons with antennae and walking legs will unravel potential constructional morphological constraints in the course of evolutionary transformation from former walking legs in what is assumed to be sensory appendages.

Review on centipede ultimate legs | Serotonergic neurons in the centipede ventral nerve cord

Methods

To investigate external morphology I use scanning electron microscopy, and to further explore the ultrastructure of organ systems transmission electron microscopy. On a larger scale, I use histological methods like paraffin histology and serial semi-thin sectioning in combination with light microscopy. On the level of organ systems and tissues, I use immunohistochemistry and neuronal backfilling in combination with fluorescence and confocal laserscan microscopy. With the aid of specific antibodies I detect a variety of epitopes like cytoskeleton, musculature or neuropeptides. Beyond that, non-destructive imaging by X-Ray micro-computertomography allows for an integrative analysis without dissection. Finally, to understand and transport histological and tomographic data, I use 3-dimensional visualization and reconstruction.

Myriapod Morphology & Evolution

Myriapods are terrestrial arthropods comprising the taxa Chilopoda, Diplopoda, Pauropoda, and Symphyla. They are poorly known with respect to many organ systems. However, these data are needed as pivotal question on arthropod evolution fundamentally depend on the status and systematic position of this taxon.

Our group focuses on a comparative analysis of external morphology and internal anatomy with emphasis on sensory organs, glandular systems, transformed appendages, and the nervous system. Moreover, we investigate fossil taxa, developmental stages, as well as aspects on taxonomy, biodiversity, and general biology.

 

Greifswald Myriapod Group

Myriapod Morphology & Evolution on Facebook


Curriculum Vitae

2017 eingereichte Habilitation "Contributions to the morphology and evolution of arthropods with a focus on the peripheral and central nervous system"

2014 - 2017 Research associate University of Greifswald, Zoological Institute and Museum, assistant in the Department Cytology and Evolutionary Biology

2011 - 2013 Research associate University of Greifswald, Zoological Institute and Museum, lab management in the Department Cytology and Evolutionary Biology

2011 PhD thesis "Comparative studies on the nervous system of the Chilopoda with emphasis on the organization of deutocerebral neuropils, sensory structures and olfactory behavior"

2011 Lothar Kämpfe publication award

2009 - 2011 Research associate (DFG) University of Greifswald, Zoological Institute and Museum

2007 - 2009 Research associate Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology, Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology

2005 - 2006 Research associate University of Rostock, General and Systematic Zoology

2004 Institute of Applied Ecology

1997 - 2003 Studies in zoology, entomology, marine biology, and ecology at the University of Rostock

Mitgliedschaften

CIM - Centre international de Myriapodologie

DZG - Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft

GfBS - Gesellschaft für biologische Systematik

ISIM - International society of invertebrate morphology

DfGO - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Orthopterologie


Publikationen

(inklusive Buchkapiteln und publizierten Abstracts)

2018

[57] Tait C, Kharva H, Schubert M, Kritsch D, Sombke A, Rybak J, Feder JL, Olsson SB. (subm.) Reversed neurosensory processing resulting in behavioral divergence initiating speciation.

[56] Kenning M, Schendel V, Müller CHG, Sombke A. (subm.) Transformations and functional morphology of ultimate legs in the centipede Lithobius forficatus (Myriapoda). 

[55] Spitzner F, Meth R, Krüger C, Nischik ES, Eiler S, Sombke A, Torres G, Harzsch S. (2018) An atlas of larval organogenesis in the European shore crab Carcinus maenas L. (Decapoda, Brachyura, Portunidae). Frontiers in Zoology 15: 27. Open Access

[54] Schendel V, Kenning M, Sombke A (acceptedA comparative analysis of the ventral nerve cord of Lithobius forficatus (Lithobiomorpha): morphology, neuroanatomy, and individually identifiable neurons. Arthropod Systematics & Phylogeny.

[53] Haug JT, Haug C, Neumann C, Sombke A, Hörnig MK (2018) Early post-embryonic polyxenidan millipedes from Saxonian amber (Eocene). Bulletin of Geosciences 93: 1. Open Access

[52] Walker AA, Mayhew ML, Jin J, Herzig V, Undheim EAB, Sombke A, Fry BG, Merritt D, King GF (2018) The assassin bug Pristhesancus plagipennis produces distinct predatory and defensive venoms in separate gland lumens. Nature Communications 9: 755. Open Access

[51] Steinhoff POM, Liedtke J, Sombke A, Schneider JM, Uhl G (2018) Early environmental conditions affect the volume of higher brain centers in a jumping spider. Journal of Zoology 304: 182–192. Link

2017

[50] Kenning M, Müller CHG, Sombke A (2017) The ultimate legs of Chilopoda (Myriapoda): a review on their morphological disparity and functional variability. PeerJ 5:e4023. Open Access

[49] Sombke A (2017) Comparative Analysis of the Centipede Nervous System - Past, Present and Future in Arthropod Neuroanatomical Research. Tropical Natural History, Supplement 5: 21 (published abstract, 17th International Congress of Myriapodology). Link

[48] Kenning M, Sombke A (2017) Sensing from Both Ends? Transformation of Locomotory into Multifunctional Appendages in Chilopoda (Myriapoda). Tropical Natural History, Supplement 5: 22 (published abstract, 17th International Congress of Myriapodology). Link

[47] Müller CHG, Wagenknecht P, Sombke A (2017) Ultrastructure and Phylogenetic Evaluation of the Tömösváry Organ in Craterostigmus tasmanianus Pocock, 1902 (Myriapoda: Chilopoda). Tropical Natural History, Supplement 5: 56 (published abstract, 17th International Congress of Myriapodology). Link

[46] Müller CHG, Sombke A, Thoen H, Undheim EAB (2017) Comparative Morphology and Evolutionary Transformation of Venom Glands in Chilopoda. Tropical Natural History, Supplement 5: 42 (published abstract, 17th International Congress of Myriapodology). Link

[45] Sombke A, Stemme T (2017) Serotonergic neurons in the ventral nerve cord of Chilopoda - a mandibulate pattern of individually identifiable neurons. BMC Zoological Letters 3: 9. Open Access

[44] Henne A, Sombke A, Schmidt-Rhaesa A (2017) Immunohistochemical analysis of the anterior nervous system of the free-living nematode Plectus spp. (Nematoda, Plectidae). Zoomorphology 136(2): 175-190. Link

[43] Steinhoff POM*, Sombke A*, Liedtke J, Schneider JM, Harzsch S, Uhl G. (2017) The synganglion of the jumping spider Marpissa muscosa (Arachnida: Salticidae): insights from histology, immunohistochemistry and microCT analysis. Arthropod Structure & Development 46(2): 156-170. *shared first authorship Link

[42] Henne S, Friedrich F, Hammel J, Sombke A, Schmidt-Rhaesa A (2017) Reconstructing the anterior part of the nervous system of Gordius aquaticus (Nematomorpha, Cycloneuralia) by a multi-methodological approach. Journal of Morphology 278: 106-118. Link

2016

[41] Hädicke CW, Ernst A, Sombke A (2016) Sensing more than the bathroom: sensilla on the antennae, cerci and styli of the silverfish Lepisma saccharina Linneaus, 1758 (Zygentoma: Lepismatidae). Entomologia Generalis 36: 71-89. Link

[40] Hörnig MK, Sombke A, Haug C, Harzsch S, Haug JT (2016) What nymphal morphology can tell us about parental investment – a group of cockroach hatchlings in Baltic Amber documented by a multi-method approach. Palaeontologia Electronica 19.1.5A: 1-20. Open Access

[39] Sombke A, Rosenberg J (2016) Myriapoda. In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A, Harzsch S, Purschke G. (Eds.) Structure and Evolution of Invertebrate Nervous Systems. pp. 478-491. Oxford University Press.

[38] Batelle BA, Sombke A, Harzsch S (2016) Xiphosura. In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A, Harzsch S, Purschke G. (Eds.) Structure and Evolution of Invertebrate Nervous Systems. pp 428-442. Oxford University Press.

[37] Lehmann T, Melzer RR, Hörnig MK, Michalik P, Sombke A, Harzsch S (2016) Arachnida (excluding Scorpiones). In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A, Harzsch S, Purschke G. (Eds.) Structure and Evolution of Invertebrate Nervous Systems. pp. 453-477. Oxford University Press.

2015

[36] Sombke A, Harzsch S (2015) Immunolocalization of histamine in the optic neuropils of Scutigera coleoptrata (Myriapoda: Chilopoda) reveals the basal organization of visual systems in Mandibulata. Neuroscience Letters 594: 111-116. Link

[35] Sombke A*, Lipke E*, Michalik P, Uhl G, Harzsch S (2015) Potential and limitations of X-ray micro-computed tomography in arthropod neuroanatomy – a methodological and comparative survey. The Journal of Comparative Neurology 523(8): 1281-1295. *shared first authorship Open Access

[34] Hilken G, Edgecombe GD, Müller CHG, Sombke A, Wirkner C, Rosenberg J (2015) Interaction of the tracheal tubules of Scutigera coleoptrata (Notostigmophora: Chilopoda) with glandular structures of the pericardial septum. Zookeys 510: 233-242. Open Access

[33] Hädicke CW, Blank SM, Pohl H, Müller CHG, Sombke A (2015) Sensing the world without antennae and eyes: external structure and distribution of sensilla in Eosentomon pinetorum Szeptycki, 1984 and on the protarsus of Acerentomon franzi Nosek, 1965 (Hexapoda: Protura). Soil Organisms 87 (1): 29-49. Open Access

[32] Hädicke CW, Blank SM, Sombke A (2015) Erstnachweis von Eosentomon pinetorum Szeptycki, 1984 (Protura: Eosentomidae) in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Virgo 18: 44-45.

[31] Sombke A, Rosenberg J (2015) Diplopoda - Nervous and neuroendocrine system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda II. pp. 161-179. Brill, Leiden.

[30] Müller CHG, Sombke A (2015) Diplopoda - Sense Organs. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda II. pp. 181-235. Brill, Leiden.

[29] Hilken G, Sombke A, Müller CHG, Rosenberg J (2015) Diplopoda - Tracheal system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda II. pp. 129-152. Brill, Leiden.

2014

[28] Sombke A, Edgecombe GD (2014) Morphology and evolution of Myriapoda. Arthropod Structure & Development 43: 3-4. Link

[27] Haug JT, Haug C, Schweigert G, Sombke A (2014) The evolution of centipede venom claws – open questions and possible answers. Arthropod Structure & Development 43: 5-16. Link

[26] Sombke A, Ernst A (2014) Structure and distribution of antennal sensilla in Oranmorpha guerinii (Gervais, 1837) (Diplopoda, Polydesmida). Arthropod Structure and Development 43: 77-86. Link

2013

[25] Loesel R, Wolf H, Kenning M, Harzsch S, Sombke A (2013) Architectural principles and evolution of the arthropod central nervous system. In: Minelli A, Boxshall G, Fusco G (Eds.) Arthropod Biology and Evolution: Molecules, Development, Morphology. pp. 299-342. Springer, Berlin. Link

[24] Ernst A, Hilken G, Rosenberg J, Voigtländer K, Sombke A (2013) Structure and distribution of antennal sensilla in the centipede Scolopendra oraniensis (Latreille, 1829) (Chilopoda, Scolopendromorpha). Zoologischer Anzeiger 252: 217-225. Link

[23] Haug JT, Müller CHG, Sombke A (2013) A centipede nymph in Baltic amber and a new approach for documenting amber fossils. Organisms Diversity & Evolution 13: 425-432. Link

2012

[22] Krieger J, Sombke A, Seefluth F, Kenning M, Hansson BS, Harzsch S (2012) Comparative brain architecture of the European shore Crab Carcinus maenas (Brachyura) and the Common hermit Crab Pagurus bernhardus (Anomura). Cell and Tissue Research. 348(1):47-69. Link

[21] Sombke A, Lipke E, Kenning M, Müller C, Hansson BS, Harzsch S (2012) Comparative analysis of deutocerebral neuropils in Chilopoda (Myriapoda): implications for the evolution of the arthropod olfactory system and support for the Mandibulata concept. BMC Neuroscience 13:1. Open Access

[20] Sombke A (2012) Comparative studies on the nervous system of the Chilopoda with emphasis on the organization of deutocerebral neuropils, sensory structures and olfactory behavior. Inaugural-Dissertation Universität Greifswald. 231 pp.

2011

[19] Sombke A, Rosenberg J, Hilken G, Westermann M, Ernst A (2011) The source of chilopod sensory information: External structure and distribution of antennal sensilla in Scutigera coleoptrata. Journal of Morphology 272: 1376-1387. Link

[18] Sombke A, Harzsch S, Hansson BS (2011) Organization of deutocerebral neuropils and olfactory behavior in the centipede Scutigera coleoptrata (Linnaeus, 1758) (Myriapoda: Chilopoda). Chemical Senses 36: 43-61. Open Access

[17] Minelli A, Sombke A (2011) Chilopoda - Development. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 295-308. Brill, Leiden.

[16] Sombke A, Rosenberg J, Hilken G (2011) Chilopoda - The nervous system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 217-234. Brill, Leiden.

[15] Müller CHG, Sombke A, Hilken G, Rosenberg J (2011) Chilopoda - Sense organs. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 235-278. Brill, Leiden.

[14] Hilken G, Müller CHG, Sombke A, Wirkner CS, Rosenberg J (2011) Chilopoda - Tracheal system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 137-155. Brill, Leiden.

[13] Rosenberg J, Sombke A, Hilken G (2011) Chilopoda - Excretory system. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 177-195. Brill, Leiden.

[12] Hilken G, Minelli A, Müller CHG, Rosenberg J, Sombke A, Wirkner CS (2011) Chilopoda - History of research. In: Minelli A (Ed.) Treatise on Zoology - Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology - The Myriapoda I. pp. 22-42. Brill, Leiden.

[11] Sombke A (2011) Das Geruchssystem der Hundertfüßer. Greifswalder Universitätsreden 143: 29-39.

2010

[10] Rieger V, Perez Y, Müller C, Lipke E, Sombke A, Hansson BS, Harzsch S (2010) Immunohistochemical analysis and 3D reconstruction of the cephalic nervous system in Chaetognatha: insights into an early bilaterian brain? Invertebrate Biology 129(1): 77-104. Link

2009

[9] Rosenberg J, Sombke A & Hilken G (2009) Structure and Function of the Maxillary Nephridium of Lithobius forficatus (Chilopoda, Pleurostigmomorpha). Journal of Morphology. 270(12): 1531-1540. Link

[8] Sombke A, Harzsch S, Hansson BS (2009) Brain structure of Scutigera coleoptrata: New insights into the evolution of mandibulate olfactory centers - Short communication. Soil Organisms 81 (3): 319-325. Open Access

2008

[7] Sombke A, Harzsch S, Hansson BS (2008) Brain structure of Scutigera coleoptrata (Myriapoda: Chilopoda): new insights into the evolution of mandibulate olfactory centers. Peckiana 6: 24. (published abstract)

[6] Sombke A, Harzsch S, Hansson BS (2008) Brain structure of Scutigera coleoptrata (Myriapoda: Chilopoda): new insights into the evolution of mandibulate olfactory centers. Journal of Morphology 269(12): 1483. (published abstract)

2007

[5] Müller C, Sombke A & Rosenberg J (2007) The fine structure of the eyes of some bristly millipedes (Penicillata, Diplopoda): Additional support for the homology of mandibulate ommatidia. Arthropod Structure & Development 36: 463-476. Link

[4] Sombke A, Schlegel M (2007) Orthoptera and Mantodea of Istria and the croatian island Šipan. Rostocker Meeresbiologische Beiträge 18: 131-137.

2004

[3] Sombke A (2004) Die Link'schen Typen. biologenheute - vdbiol Landesverbände Nord 3: 12-14.

2003

[2] Sombke A (2003) Sigismund Brauns (1839–1913) und seine Käfersammlung an der Universität Rostock (Insecta: Coleoptera). Arch. Freunde Naturg. Mecklenburg. 42: 5-43.

2000

[1] Sombke A (2000) Ein Neufund der Gewächshausschrecke (Tachycines asynamorus Adelung, 1902) in Rostock. Arch. Freunde Naturg. Mecklenb. 39: 39-44.