The opener muscle in the walking legs of the crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) has three distinct phenotypic regions although innervated by only one excitatory motor neuron. These regions (distal, central, and proximal) have varied biochemistry and physiology, including synaptic structure, troponin-T levels, fiber diameter, input resistance, sarcomere length, and force generation. The force generated by the central fibers when the excitatory neuron was stimulated at 40 Hz was more than the force generated by the other regions. This increase in force was correlated with the central fibers having longer sarcomeres when measured in a relaxed claw. These data support the idea that the central fibers are tonic-like and that the proximal fibers are phasic-like. The addition of serotonin directly on the fibers was hypothesized to increase the force generated by the central fibers more than in the other regions, but this did not occur at 40-Hz stimulation. We hypothesized that the central distal fibers would generate the most force due to the arrangement on the apodeme. This study demonstrates how malleable the motor unit is with modulation and frequency of stimulation.

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Published in Biology, v. 9, no. 6, 118, p. 1-16.

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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