Science.gov

Sample records for planarians platyhelminthes tricladida

  1. Occurrence and abundance of a mariner-like element in freshwater and terrestrial planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida) from southern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Transposable elements are DNA sequences present in all the large phylogenetic groups, both capable of changing position within the genome and constituting a significant part of eukaryotic genomes. The mariner family of transposons is one of the few which occurs in a wide variety of taxonomic groups, including freshwater planarians. Nevertheless, so far only five planarian species have been reported to carry mariner-like elements (MLEs), although several different species have been investigated. Regarding the number of copies of MLEs, Girardia tigrina is the only planarian species in which this has been evaluated, with an estimation of 8,000 copies of the element per haploid genome. Preliminary results obtained in our laboratory demonstrated that MLE is found in a large number of different species of planarians, including terrestrial. With this in mind, the aim was to evaluate the occurrence and estimate the number of MLE copies in different planarian species collected in south Brazil. Twenty-eight individuals from 15 planarian species were analyzed. By using PCR and the hybridization of nucleic acids, it was found that MLE was present in all the analyzed species, the number of copies being high, probably over 103 per haploid genome. PMID:21637447

  2. An ultrastructural study of oogenesis and cell dynamics during cocoon shell secretion in the subterranean freshwater planarian Dendrocoelum constrictum (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida).

    PubMed

    Harrath, A H; Ahmed, M; Sayed, S R; Saifi, M A; Alwasel, S H

    2013-02-01

    The ultrastructure of the ovary and the female atrium during cocoon formation was investigated in the subterranean freshwater planarian Dendrocoelum constrictum. In the peripheral portion of the ovary, the oogonia are recognized as undifferentiated germ cells, which are morphologically similar to neoblasts that have a high nucleus/cytoplasm ratio. Oocyte maturation is characterized by a marked growth of the cytoplasm because of the accumulation of cytoplasmic organelles and inclusions. The Golgi complexes begin to increase within the ooplasm and produce vesicles with an electron-dense content that fuse to produce larger spherical globules with homogeneous and electron-dense material. In the mature oocyte, the spherical globules migrate toward the cortical ooplasm, forming a continuous monolayer. We confirm that these spherical globules, which represent cortical granules rather than eggshell globules, vary in size up to 2?m and their electron-dense content shows concentric thin bands. After leaving the ovary through the oviduct, the mature and fertilized oocytes reach the female atrium where they are packaged with thousands of vitelline cells in the cocoon shell. Based on our ultrastructural analysis, we demonstrate that the wall of the cocoon shell is composed of two layers, each of which has a different origin. The shell granules extruded from the vitelline cells are involved in the secretion of the inner layer of the cocoon shell, whereas the outer layer of the cocoon shell is synthesized by the epithelial cells in the genital atrium. PMID:23107980

  3. Anatomical deviation of male organs of land planarians from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with description of two new species of Cratera (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida).

    PubMed

    Carbayo, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Two new land planarian species, collected in the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are described. Their external aspect is similar to that of Imbira marcusi Carbayo et al., 2013 and Pseudogeoplana theresopolitana (Schirch, 1929), respectively. The analysis of the internal organs, however, revealed they belong to the genus Cratera. The male copulatory organs of one species is very different from any other geoplaninid, for the penis papilla holds a large, distal cavity receiving the ejaculatory duct and, furthermore, the papilla projects vertically downwards from the roof of the male atrium. Thus we consider it as a new species, Cratera cuarassu sp. nov. The second species differs from its congeners in that the dorsal insertion of the penis papilla is anterior to the ventral one, and in that the female atrium is narrowed in the anterior portion. The species was found in the type locality of Pseudogeoplana theresopolitana (Schirch, 1929) and compares well with it in the external features. However, since its internal organs are unknown and the type material of the species is seemingly lost, we describe it as Cratera anamariae Carbayo, sp. nov. PMID:25781812

  4. Integrative taxonomy of a new species of planarian from the Lake Ohrid basin, including an analysis of biogeographical patterns in freshwater triclads from the Ohrid region (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Stocchino, Giacinta Angela; Sluys, Ronald; Deri, Paolo; Manconi, Renata

    2013-01-01

    Abstract A new species of the genus Dugesia is described from the Lake Ohrid region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula, forming the first fully documented species description for this genus in the Ohrid area. The morphological species delimitation is supported by complementary molecular, karyological, and cytogenetic data available from the literature. Therefore, species delineation is based on a truly integrative approach. Further, a short account on the degree of freshwater planarian endemicity in the Ohrid region is provided. PMID:23840163

  5. Integrative taxonomy of a new species of planarian from the Lake Ohrid basin, including an analysis of biogeographical patterns in freshwater triclads from the Ohrid region (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae).

    PubMed

    Stocchino, Giacinta Angela; Sluys, Ronald; Deri, Paolo; Manconi, Renata

    2013-01-01

    A new species of the genus Dugesia is described from the Lake Ohrid region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula, forming the first fully documented species description for this genus in the Ohrid area. The morphological species delimitation is supported by complementary molecular, karyological, and cytogenetic data available from the literature. Therefore, species delineation is based on a truly integrative approach. Further, a short account on the degree of freshwater planarian endemicity in the Ohrid region is provided. PMID:23840163

  6. The taxonomic status of Dugesia biblica from Israel and Turkey (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Solà, Eduard; Sluys, Ronald; Segev, Ori; Blaustein, Leon; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The taxonomic status of Dugesia biblica (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae) from Israel and Turkey is problematic due to its morphological similarity with Dugesia sicula since these nominal species present overlapping characters. In this study we analyzed histological preparations of specimens of these two nominal species and also compared mitochondrial COI gene sequences from Israeli populations to the already known haplotype composition of Dugesia sicula. We concluded that these animals belong to the same species and therefore we consider Dugesia biblica to be a junior synonym of Dugesia sicula. This implies that the distribution range of Dugesia sicula is even wider than previously thought, and that the species is present all around the Mediterranean Basin and on many of its islands. PMID:26085791

  7. The power of regeneration and the stem-cell kingdom: freshwater planarians (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Saló, Emili

    2006-05-01

    The great powers of regeneration shown by freshwater planarians, capable of regenerating a complete organism from any tiny body fragment, have attracted the interest of scientists throughout history. In 1814, Dalyell concluded that planarians could "almost be called immortal under the edge of the knife". Equally impressive is the developmental plasticity of these platyhelminthes, including continuous growth and fission (asexual reproduction) in well-fed organisms, and shrinkage (degrowth) during prolonged starvation. The source of their morphological plasticity and regenerative capability is a stable population of totipotent stem cells--"neoblasts"; this is the only cell type in the adult that has mitotic activity and differentiates into all cell types. This cellular feature is unique to planarians in the Bilateria clade. Over the last fifteen years, molecular studies have begun to reveal the role of developmental genes in regeneration, although it would be premature to propose a molecular model for planarian regeneration. Genomic and proteomic data are essential in answering some of the fundamental questions concerning this remarkable morphological plasticity. Such information should also pave the way to understanding the genetic pathways associated with metazoan somatic stem-cell regulation and pattern formation. PMID:16615086

  8. A new and aberrant species of Dugesia (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae) from Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Stocchino, Giacinta Angela; Sluys, Ronald; Manconi, Renata

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In this paper we report a new species of Dugesia of the family Dugesiidae from Madagascar, representing the fourth species of freshwater planarian known from this global biodiversity hotspot. In some respects the new species is aberrant, when compared with its congeners, being characterized by a head with smoothly rounded auricles, a peculiar course of the oviducts, including the presence of a common posterior extension, and by the asymmetrical openings of the vasa deferentia at about halfway along the seminal vesicle. Further, it is characterized by a ventral course of the ejaculatory duct with a terminal opening, very long spermiducal vesicles and unstalked cocoons. Its diploid chromosome complement with 18 chromosomes represents an uncommon feature among fissiparous species of Dugesia. PMID:25147450

  9. Fine-scale differences in diel activity among nocturnal freshwater planarias (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida)

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Although most freshwater planarias are well known photonegative organisms, their diel rhythms have never been quantified. Differences in daily activity rhythms may be particularly important for temperate-climate, freshwater planarias, which tend to overlap considerably in spatial distribution and trophic requirements. Methods Activity of stress-free, individually tested young adults of three common planarian species was recorded at 3-h intervals in a 10-d experiment under natural sunlight and photoperiod during autumnal equinox (D:L ~12:12). Individual activity status was averaged over the 10-d experiment, each tested individual thus serving as a true replicate. Twelve individuals per species were tested. Food was provided every 36 h, resulting in alternating day- and nighttime feeding events. Activity during the first post-feeding h was recorded and analyzed separately. Statistical procedures included ANOVAs, correlations, and second-order analyses of angles. Results Dugesia (= Girardia) tigrina Girard 1850 exhibited clear nocturnal behavior, Dugesia (= Schmidtea) polychroa Schmidt 1861 was predominantly but not exclusively nocturnal, and Polycelis tenuis Ijima 1884 was relatively more active from midnight through noon. Species-specific activity peaks were statistically similar, with peaks at dawn for P. tenuis and just before midnight for the two dugesiids; however, D. tigrina was comparatively more active in the early night hours, while D. polychroa was more active than D. tigrina during daytime. D. tigrina also responded less readily to daytime food addition. P. tenuis remained poorly active and unresponsive throughout the experiment. Individual variability in diel behavior was highest for D. polychroa and lowest for D. tigrina. P. tenuis's general low degree of activity and late activity peak in the experiment may be related to a strong reliance on external stimuli. Conclusions The tested species are mainly nocturnal, consistent with their photonegative characteristics. The fine-scale differences in diel behavior among these three triclad species may not be sufficient to allow coexistence in the wild, with the nonnative D. tigrina eventually displacing D. polychroa and P. tenuis in many European waters. The link between planarian diel rhythms and ecological characteristics are worth of further, detailed investigation. PMID:21477354

  10. Prey-tracking behavior in the invasive terrestrial planarian Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwai, Noriko; Sugiura, Shinji; Chiba, Satoshi

    2010-11-01

    Platydemus manokwari is a broadly distributed invasive terrestrial flatworm that preys heavily on land snails and has been credited with the demise of numerous threatened island faunas. We examined whether P. manokwari tracks the mucus trails of land snail prey, investigated its ability to determine trail direction, and evaluated prey preference among various land snail species. A plastic treatment plate with the mucus trail of a single species and a control plate without the trail were placed side by side at the exit of cages housing P. manokwari. All trials were then videotaped overnight. The flatworms moved along plates with mucus trails, but did not respond to plates without trails, blank control (distilled water), or with conspecific flatworm trails. When presented at the midpoint of a snail mucus trail, the flatworms followed the trail in a random direction. The flatworms showed a preference when choosing between two plates, each with a mucus trail of different land snail species. Our results suggest that P. manokwari follows snail mucus trails based on chemical cues to increase the chance of encountering prey; however, trail-tracking behavior showed no directionality.

  11. Dugesia sicula (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida): the colonizing success of an asexual Planarian

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Dugesia sicula is the only species of its genus not presenting an endemic or restricted distribution within the Mediterranean area. It mostly comprises fissiparous populations (asexual reproduction by body division and regeneration), most likely sexually sterile, and characterized by an extremely low genetic diversity interpreted as the consequence of a recent anthropic expansion. However, its fissiparous reproduction can result in an apparent lack of diversity within the species, since genetic variation within individuals can be as large as between them because most individuals within a population are clones. We have estimated haplotype and nucleotide diversity of cytochrome oxidase I within and among individuals along the species distribution of a broad sample of D. sicula, including asexual and the two only sexual populations known today; and predicted its potential distribution based on climatic variables. Our aim was to determine the centre of colonisation origin, whether the populations are recent, and whether the species is expanding. Results The species presents 3 most frequent haplotypes, differing in a maximum of 11 base pairs. As expected from their fissiparous mode of reproduction, in half of all the analysed localities many individuals have multiple heteroplasmic haplotypes. The distribution of haplotypes is not geographically structured; however, the distribution of haplotypes and heteroplasmic populations shows higher diversity in the central Mediterranean region. The potential distribution predicted by climatic variables based modelling shows a preference for coastal areas and fits well with the observed data. Conclusions The distribution and frequency of the most frequent haplotypes and the presence of heteroplasmic individuals allow us to gain an understanding of the recent history of the species, together with previous knowledge on its phylogenetic relationships and age: The species most probably originated in Africa and dispersed through the central Mediterranean. After one or multiple populations became triploid and fissiparous, the species colonized the Mediterranean basin, likely both by its own means and helped by human activities. Its present distribution practically fulfils its potential distribution as modelled with climatic variables. Its prevalence in coastal regions with higher water temperatures predicts a likely future expansion to northern and more interior areas following the increase in temperatures due to climate change. PMID:24330464

  12. Comparative transcriptome analysis between planarian Dugesia japonica and other platyhelminth species

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Planarians are considered to be among the extant animals close to one of the earliest groups of organisms that acquired a central nervous system (CNS) during evolution. Planarians have a bilobed brain with nine lateral branches from which a variety of external signals are projected into different portions of the main lobes. Various interneurons process different signals to regulate behavior and learning/memory. Furthermore, planarians have robust regenerative ability and are attracting attention as a new model organism for the study of regeneration. Here we conducted large-scale EST analysis of the head region of the planarian Dugesia japonica to construct a database of the head-region transcriptome, and then performed comparative analyses among related species. Results A total of 54,752 high-quality EST reads were obtained from a head library of the planarian Dugesia japonica, and 13,167 unigene sequences were produced by de novo assembly. A new method devised here revealed that proteins related to metabolism and defense mechanisms have high flexibility of amino-acid substitutions within the planarian family. Eight-two CNS-development genes were found in the planarian (cf. C. elegans 3; chicken 129). Comparative analysis revealed that 91% of the planarian CNS-development genes could be mapped onto the schistosome genome, but one-third of these shared genes were not expressed in the schistosome. Conclusions We constructed a database that is a useful resource for comparative planarian transcriptome studies. Analysis comparing homologous genes between two planarian species showed that the potential of genes is important for accumulation of amino-acid substitutions. The presence of many CNS-development genes in our database supports the notion that the planarian has a fundamental brain with regard to evolution and development at not only the morphological/functional, but also the genomic, level. In addition, our results indicate that the planarian CNS-development genes already existed before the divergence of planarians and schistosomes from their common ancestor. PMID:22747887

  13. Fluvial basin history in the northeastern Mediterranean region underlies dispersal and speciation patterns in the genus Dugesia (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae).

    PubMed

    Solà, Eduard; Sluys, Ronald; Gritzalis, Konstantinos; Riutort, Marta

    2013-03-01

    In this study we analyzed the phylogenetic relationships of eastern Mediterranean freshwater planarians of the genus Dugesia, estimated divergence times for the various clades, and correlated their phylogeographic patterns with geological and paleoclimatic events, in order to discover which evolutionary processes have shaped the present-day distribution of these animals. Specimens were collected from freshwater courses and lakes in continental and insular Greece. Genetic divergences and phylogenetic relationships were inferred by using the mitochondrial gene subunit I of cytochrome oxidase (COI) and the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer-1 (ITS-1) from 74 newly collected individuals from Greece. Divergence time estimates were obtained under a Bayesian framework, using the COI sequences. Two alternative geological dates for the isolation of Crete from the mainland were tested as calibration points. A clear phylogeographic pattern was present for Dugesia lineages in the Eastern Mediterranean. Morphological data, combined with information on genetic divergences, revealed that eight out of the nine known species were represented in the samples, while additional new, and still undescribed species were detected. Divergence time analyses suggested that Dugesia species became isolated in Crete after the first geological isolation of the island, and that their present distribution in the Eastern Mediterranean has been shaped mainly by vicariant events but also by dispersal. During the Messinian salinity crisis these freshwater planarians apparently were not able to cross the sea barrier between Crete and the mainland, while they probably did disperse between islands in the Aegean Sea. Their dependence on freshwater to survive suggests the presence of contiguous freshwater bodies in those regions. Our results also suggest a major extinction of freshwater planarians on the Peloponnese at the end of the Pliocene, while about 2Mya ago, when the current Mediterranean climate was established, these Peloponnese populations probably began to disperse again. At the end of the Pliocene or during the Pleistocene, mainland populations of Dugesia colonized the western coast, including the Ionian Islands, which were then part of the continent. PMID:23182762

  14. Planarians.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hummer, Paul J.

    1991-01-01

    Describes the easy collection procedures and classroom uses of live planarians. Suggests that the use of live animals in the classroom will allow students to observe different biological processes exhibited by living organisms. (ZWH)

  15. Planarian homeobox genes: cloning, sequence analysis, and expression.

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Fernàndez, J; Baguñà, J; Saló, E

    1991-01-01

    Freshwater planarians (Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria, and Tricladida) are acoelomate, triploblastic, unsegmented, and bilaterally symmetrical organisms that are mainly known for their ample power to regenerate a complete organism from a small piece of their body. To identify potential pattern-control genes in planarian regeneration, we have isolated two homeobox-containing genes, Dth-1 and Dth-2 [Dugesia (Girardia) tigrina homeobox], by using degenerate oligonucleotides corresponding to the most conserved amino acid sequence from helix-3 of the homeodomain. Dth-1 and Dth-2 homeodomains are closely related (68% at the nucleotide level and 78% at the protein level) and show the conserved residues characteristic of the homeodomains identified to data. Similarity with most homeobox sequences is low (30-50%), except with Drosophila NK homeodomains (80-82% with NK-2) and the rodent TTF-1 homeodomain (77-87%). Some unusual amino acid residues specific to NK-2, TTF-1, Dth-1, and Dth-2 can be observed in the recognition helix (helix-3) and may define a family of homeodomains. The deduced amino acid sequences from the cDNAs contain, in addition to the homeodomain, other domains also present in various homeobox-containing genes. The expression of both genes, detected by Northern blot analysis, appear slightly higher in cephalic regions than in the rest of the intact organism, while a slight increase is detected in the central period (5 days) or regeneration. Images PMID:1714599

  16. First report of the exotic blue land planarian, Caenoplana coerulea (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae), on Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)

    PubMed Central

    Breugelmans, Karin; Cardona, Josep Quintana; Artois, Tom; Jordaens, Kurt; Backeljau, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Abstract In April 2009 two specimens of a terrestrial flatworm were collected from under a rock in an orchard at Ciutadella de Menorca on the easternmost Balearic island of Menorca (Spain). Their external morphology suggested that both specimens belonged to the invasive blue planarian Caenoplana coerulea, a species which is native to eastern Australia. Sequence data of a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and of the entire 18S ribosomal RNA confirm its identification. This is one of the first records of the species in Europe where it has only been found in one locality in the United Kingdom, France and NE Spain. PMID:22711997

  17. The invasive land planarian Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae): records from six new localities, including the first in the USA

    PubMed Central

    Winsor, Leigh; Barrière, Patrick; Fanai, Crispus; Gey, Delphine; Han, Andrew Wee Kien; La Quay-Velázquez, Giomara; Lee, Benjamin Paul Yi-Hann; Lefevre, Jean-Marc; Meyer, Jean-Yves; Philippart, David; Robinson, David G.; Thévenot, Jessica; Tsatsia, Francis

    2015-01-01

    The land planarian Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 or “New Guinea flatworm” is a highly invasive species, mainly in the Pacific area, and recently in Europe (France). We report specimens from six additional countries and territories: New Caledonia (including mainland and two of the Loyalty Islands, Lifou and Maré), Wallis and Futuna Islands, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida, USA. We analysed the COI gene (barcoding) in these specimens with two sets of primers and obtained 909 bp long sequences. In addition, specimens collected in Townsville (Australia) were also sequenced. Two haplotypes of the COI sequence, differing by 3.7%, were detected: the “World haplotype” found in France, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Singapore, Florida and Puerto Rico; and the “Australian haplotype” found in Australia. The only locality with both haplotypes was in the Solomon Islands. The country of origin of Platydemus manokwari is New Guinea, and Australia and the Solomon Islands are the countries closest to New Guinea from which we had specimens. These results suggest that two haplotypes exist in the area of origin of the species, but that only one of the two haplotypes (the “World haplotype”) has, through human agency, been widely dispersed. However, since P. manokwari is now recorded from 22 countries in the world and we have genetic information from only 8 of these, with none from New Guinea, this analysis provides only partial knowledge of the genetic structure of the invasive species. Morphological analysis of specimens from both haplotypes has shown some differences in ratio of the genital structures but did not allow us to interpret the haplotypes as different species. The new reports from Florida and Puerto Rico are firsts for the USA, for the American continent, and the Caribbean. P. manokwari is a known threat for endemic terrestrial molluscs and its presence is a matter of concern. While most of the infected territories reported until now were islands, the newly reported presence of the species in mainland US in Florida should be considered a potential major threat to the whole US and even the Americas. PMID:26131377

  18. The invasive land planarian Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae): records from six new localities, including the first in the USA.

    PubMed

    Justine, Jean-Lou; Winsor, Leigh; Barrière, Patrick; Fanai, Crispus; Gey, Delphine; Han, Andrew Wee Kien; La Quay-Velázquez, Giomara; Lee, Benjamin Paul Yi-Hann; Lefevre, Jean-Marc; Meyer, Jean-Yves; Philippart, David; Robinson, David G; Thévenot, Jessica; Tsatsia, Francis

    2015-01-01

    The land planarian Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 or "New Guinea flatworm" is a highly invasive species, mainly in the Pacific area, and recently in Europe (France). We report specimens from six additional countries and territories: New Caledonia (including mainland and two of the Loyalty Islands, Lifou and Maré), Wallis and Futuna Islands, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida, USA. We analysed the COI gene (barcoding) in these specimens with two sets of primers and obtained 909 bp long sequences. In addition, specimens collected in Townsville (Australia) were also sequenced. Two haplotypes of the COI sequence, differing by 3.7%, were detected: the "World haplotype" found in France, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Singapore, Florida and Puerto Rico; and the "Australian haplotype" found in Australia. The only locality with both haplotypes was in the Solomon Islands. The country of origin of Platydemus manokwari is New Guinea, and Australia and the Solomon Islands are the countries closest to New Guinea from which we had specimens. These results suggest that two haplotypes exist in the area of origin of the species, but that only one of the two haplotypes (the "World haplotype") has, through human agency, been widely dispersed. However, since P. manokwari is now recorded from 22 countries in the world and we have genetic information from only 8 of these, with none from New Guinea, this analysis provides only partial knowledge of the genetic structure of the invasive species. Morphological analysis of specimens from both haplotypes has shown some differences in ratio of the genital structures but did not allow us to interpret the haplotypes as different species. The new reports from Florida and Puerto Rico are firsts for the USA, for the American continent, and the Caribbean. P. manokwari is a known threat for endemic terrestrial molluscs and its presence is a matter of concern. While most of the infected territories reported until now were islands, the newly reported presence of the species in mainland US in Florida should be considered a potential major threat to the whole US and even the Americas. PMID:26131377

  19. [Regeneration of planarians: experimental object].

    PubMed

    SheÄ­man, I M; Kreshchenko, I D

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the expediency of using invertebrates, such as flatworms and planarians, as experimental objects. Free-living planarian flatworms (phylum Platyhelminthes, class Turbellaria) are invertebrate animals in which a bilateral symmetry appears for the first time in evolution and organs and tissues form. As the highest ecological link of the food chain--predators--these animals are characterized by a set of behavioral reactions controlled by a differentiated central nervous system. Planarians have unsurpassed ability to regenerate lost or damaged body parts. Owing to the ease of their breeding and their convenience for manipulations, these animals are used to study the influence of chemical and physical factors on the processes of life, growth, and reproduction. Currently, planarians are recognized as a model for biological research in the field of regeneration, stem cell biology, study of their proliferation and differentiation, as well as the regulatory mechanisms of morphogenetic processes. The genome of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea was fully sequenced, which opened up the opportunity to work with this object at the molecular biological level. Furthermore, planarians are used in neurobiological and toxicological studies, in studying the evolutionary aspects of centralization of the nervous system, mechanisms of muscle contraction, and in the development of new antiparasitic drugs. This review aims to demonstrate the relevance and diversity of research conducted on simple biological objects--planarians--to awider audience to show the historical continuity of these studies and their wide geographical distribution and to focus on the studies carried out in Russia, which, as a rule, are not included in the foreign reviews on planarian regeneration. PMID:25898529

  20. Planarians Sense Simulated Microgravity and Hypergravity

    PubMed Central

    Adell, Teresa; Saló, Emili; van Loon, Jack J. W. A.

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are flatworms, which belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes. They have been a classical subject of study due to their amazing regenerative ability, which relies on the existence of adult totipotent stem cells. Nowadays they are an emerging model system in the field of developmental, regenerative, and stem cell biology. In this study we analyze the effect of a simulated microgravity and a hypergravity environment during the process of planarian regeneration and embryogenesis. We demonstrate that simulated microgravity by means of the random positioning machine (RPM) set at a speed of 60 °/s but not at 10 °/s produces the dead of planarians. Under hypergravity of 3 g and 4 g in a large diameter centrifuge (LDC) planarians can regenerate missing tissues, although a decrease in the proliferation rate is observed. Under 8 g hypergravity small planarian fragments are not able to regenerate. Moreover, we found an effect of gravity alterations in the rate of planarian scission, which is its asexual mode of reproduction. No apparent effects of altered gravity were found during the embryonic development. PMID:25309918

  1. Planarians sense simulated microgravity and hypergravity.

    PubMed

    Adell, Teresa; Saló, Emili; van Loon, Jack J W A; Auletta, Gennaro

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are flatworms, which belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes. They have been a classical subject of study due to their amazing regenerative ability, which relies on the existence of adult totipotent stem cells. Nowadays they are an emerging model system in the field of developmental, regenerative, and stem cell biology. In this study we analyze the effect of a simulated microgravity and a hypergravity environment during the process of planarian regeneration and embryogenesis. We demonstrate that simulated microgravity by means of the random positioning machine (RPM) set at a speed of 60 °/s but not at 10 °/s produces the dead of planarians. Under hypergravity of 3 g and 4 g in a large diameter centrifuge (LDC) planarians can regenerate missing tissues, although a decrease in the proliferation rate is observed. Under 8 g hypergravity small planarian fragments are not able to regenerate. Moreover, we found an effect of gravity alterations in the rate of planarian scission, which is its asexual mode of reproduction. No apparent effects of altered gravity were found during the embryonic development. PMID:25309918

  2. Phylogenetic analysis of the Argonaute protein family in platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Yadong

    2013-03-01

    Argonaute proteins (AGOs) are mediators of gene silencing via recruitment of small regulatory RNAs to induce translational regression or degradation of targeted molecules. Platyhelminths have been reported to express microRNAs but the diversity of AGOs in the phylum has not been explored. Phylogenetic relationships of members of this protein family were studied using data from six platyhelminth genomes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all cestode and trematode AGOs, along with some triclad planarian AGOs, were grouped into the Ago subfamily and its novel sister clade, here referred to as Cluster 1. These were very distant from Piwi and Class 3 subfamilies. By contrast, a number of planarian Piwi-like AGOs formed a novel sister clade to the Piwi subfamily. Extensive sequence searching revealed the presence of an additional locus for AGO2 in the cestode Echinococcus granulosus and exon expansion in this species and E. multilocularis. The current study suggests the absence of the Piwi subfamily and Class 3 AGOs in cestodes and trematodes and the Piwi-like AGO expansion in a free-living triclad planarian and the occurrence of exon expansion prior to or during the evolution of the most-recent common ancestor of the Echinococcus species studied. PMID:23211720

  3. Neurobehavioral toxicity of cadmium sulfate to the planarian Dugesia dorotocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Grebe, E.; Schaeffer, D.J. )

    1991-05-01

    The authors are developing bioassays which use planarians (free-living platyhelminthes) for the rapid determination of various types of toxicity, including acute mortality, tumorigenicity, and short-term neurobehavioral responses. Their motivation for using these animals is due to their importance as components of the aquatic ecology of unpolluted streams their sensitivity to low concentrations of environmental toxicants and the presence of a sensitive neurological system with a true brain which allows for complex social behavior. A previous paper described the results of a neurobehavioral bioassay using phenol in a crossover study. This paper reports a similar crossover study using cadmium sulfate.

  4. Comparative analysis of known miRNAs across platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Jin, Xiaoliang; Lu, Lixia; Su, Hailong; Lou, Zhongzi; Wang, Fang; Zheng, Yadong; Xu, Guo-Tong

    2013-08-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a subtype of small regulatory RNAs that are involved in numerous biological processes through small RNA-induced silencing networks. In an attempt to explore the phylogeny of miRNAs across five platyhelminths, we integrated annotated miRNAs and their full genomes. We identified conserved miRNA clusters and, in particular, miR-71/2 was conserved from planarian to parasitic flatworms and was expanded in free-living Schmidtea mediterranea. Analysis of 22 miRNA loci provided compelling evidence that most known miRNAs are conserved across platyhelminths. Meanwhile, we also observed alterations of known protein-coding genes flanking miRNA(s), such as transcriptional direction conversion and locus relocation, in around ~ 41% of 22 known miRNA loci. Compared with Echinococcus multilocularis, the majority of these events occurred in evolution-distant Hymenolepis microstoma, Schistosoma japonicum or/and S. mediterranea. These results imply rearrangement events occurred near the known miRNA loci. PMID:23777576

  5. Autophagy meets planarians.

    PubMed

    González-Estévez, Cristina

    2009-04-01

    This review aims to demonstrate the importance of freshwater planarians as model organisms, particularly emphasizing those characteristics of the animal that make them a good model to study autophagy. The aim of this review is to provide a better understanding of autophagy in this model for the nonplanarian reader, and elucidate the relevance of autophagy research in this peculiar model organism. Furthermore, I will try to synthesize the evidence showing the importance of autophagy in planarian body remodeling, and I will discuss some ideas about the role of autophagy in stem cell biology. In light of these new developments, it is likely that the planarian field will make an important contribution to the study of the molecular mechanisms involved in autophagy in the future. PMID:19164934

  6. Alterations in polyamine levels of nematode, earthworm, leech and planarian during regeneration, temperature and osmotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Hamana, K; Hamana, H; Shinozawa, T

    1995-05-01

    Free-living nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans and Dorylaimus fodori, contain putrescine and spermidine. Putrescine, spermidine and spermine occur in the parasitic Nematoda, Ascaris suum, Anisakis simplex and Dirofilaria immitis. Earthworms, Eisenia foetida, Tubifex hattai and Pheretima communissima and the leech, Hirudo nipponia (belonging to Annelida) and the planarian, Dugesia japonica (belonging to Platyhelminthes) contain homospermidine and spermine in addition to putrescine and spermidine. Regenerated heads of E. foetida and D. japonica are rich in putrescine indicating the stimulation of its synthesis during regeneration. Putrescine and spermidine levels temporarily increase after heat shock in C. elegans, E. foetida and D. japonica and cold shock and hypertonic osmotic shock treatments in D. japonica. PMID:7749639

  7. [Pharynx regeneration in planarians].

    PubMed

    Kreshchenko, N D

    2009-01-01

    The obtained and published data on pharynx regeneration in planarians have been reviewed. Planarians can regenerate from a small body fragment and restore all missing organs including the pharynx. The pharynx is a relatively autonomous organ with a differentiated structure and specialized function. Pharynx regeneration has specific features, and its studies are of considerable theoretical interest. Pharynx regeneration can also be a convenient model to study the molecular mechanisms of regeneration that remain undisclosed. In addition, this model can be used to test biologically active compounds in order to elucidate their effect on morphogenesis. This subject of investigation benefits by a simpler and more adequate analysis as well as a possibility to use large numbers of animals and small quantities of analyzed substances. PMID:19326839

  8. A quantitative metabolomics peek into planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Natarajan, Nivedita; Ramakrishnan, Padma; Lakshmanan, Vairavan; Palakodeti, Dasaradhi; Rangiah, Kannan

    2015-05-21

    The fresh water planarian species Schmidtea mediterranea is an emerging stem cell model because of its capability to regenerate a whole animal from a small piece of tissue. It is one of the best model systems to address the basic mechanisms essential for regeneration. Here, we are interested in studying the roles of various amines, thiols and nucleotides in planarian regeneration, stem cell function and growth. We developed mass spectrometry based quantitative methods and validated the differential enrichment of 35 amines, 7 thiol metabolites and 4 nucleotides from both intact and regenerating planarians. Among the amines, alanine in sexual and asparagine in asexual are the highest (>1000 ng/mg) in the intact planarians. The levels of thiols such as cysteine and GSH are 651 and 1107 ng mg(-1) in planarians. Among the nucleotides, the level of cGMP is the lowest (0.03 ng mg(-1)) and the level of AMP is the highest (187 ng mg(-1)) in both of the planarian strains. We also noticed increasing levels of amines in both anterior and posterior regenerating planarians. The blastema from day 3 regenerating planarians also showed higher amounts of many amines. Interestingly, the thiol (cysteine and GSH) levels are well maintained during planarian regeneration. This suggests an inherent and effective mechanism to control induced oxidative stress because of the robust regeneration and stem cell proliferation. Like in intact planarians, the level of cGMP is also very low in regenerating planarians. Surprisingly, the levels of amines and thiols in head regenerating blastemas are ∼3 times higher compared to those for tail regenerating blastemas. Thus our results strongly indicate the potential roles of amines, thiols and nucleotides in planarian regeneration. PMID:25815385

  9. Planarian resistance to blades and bugs.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Christian P

    2014-09-10

    Planarians famously can regenerate after decapitation. In this issue, Abnave et al. (2014) find they resist infection by multiple bacterial species pathogenic to humans, Drosophila and C. elegans, including M. tuberculosis. These results identify a conserved gene controlling phagocytosis and establish planarians as a powerful system for analyzing host-pathogen interactions. PMID:25211069

  10. Gradients in Planarian Regeneration and Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Adell, Teresa; Cebrià, Francesc; Saló, Emili

    2010-01-01

    Planarian regeneration was one of the first models in which the gradient concept was developed. Morphological studies based on the analysis of the regeneration rates of planarian fragments from different body regions, the generation of heteromorphoses, and experiments of tissue transplantation led T.H. Morgan (1901) and C.M Child (1911) to postulate different kinds of gradients responsible for the regenerative process in these highly plastic animals. However, after a century of research, the role of morphogens in planarian regeneration has yet to be demonstrated. This may change soon, as the sequencing of the planarian genome and the possibility of performing gene functional analysis by RNA interference (RNAi) have led to the isolation of elements of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), Wnt, and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) pathways that control patterning and axial polarity during planarian regeneration and homeostasis. Here, we discuss whether the actions of these molecules could be based on morphogenetic gradients. PMID:20182600

  11. Cadmium neurotoxicity to a freshwater planarian.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jui-Pin; Lee, Hui-Ling; Li, Mei-Hui

    2014-11-01

    Although freshwater planarians are evolutionarily primitive, they are some of the simplest bilateral animals possessing integrated neural networks similar to those in vertebrates. We attempted to develop planarian Dugesia japonica as a model for investigating the neurotoxicity of environmental pollutants such as cadmium (Cd). This study was therefore designed to study the effects of Cd on the locomotor activity, neurobehavior, and neurological enzymes of D. japonica. After planarians were exposed to Cd at high concentrations, altered neurobehavior was observed that exhibited concentration-dependent patterns. Morphological alterations in Cd-treated planarians included irregular shape, body elongation, screw-like hyperkinesia, and bridge-like position. To study the direct effects of Cd on neurological enzymes, tissue homogenates of planarians were incubated in vitro with Cd before their activity was measured. Results showed that acetylcholinesterase (AChE), adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), and monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) activities were inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner. MAO-B activity was significantly induced by Cd at low concentrations and inhibited at high concentrations. Changes in the in vivo activity of AChE and ATPase were also found after planarians were treated with Cd at a sublethal concentration (5.56 μM). These observations indicate that neurotransmission systems in planarians are disturbed after Cd exposure. PMID:24996536

  12. Photoperiodic modulation of cephalic melatonin in planarians.

    PubMed

    Morita, M; Hall, F; Best, J B; Gern, W

    1987-03-01

    Endogenous melatonin was detected by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with electrochemical detection (EC) in the head of the planarian Dugesia dorotocephala. The identity of this elution peak was further confirmed by radioimmunoassay. In groups of planarians adapted to either normal or reversed photoperiods, the melatonin levels were always higher in those heads collected in the dark period than in those collected in the light period. This indicates that primitive animals such as planarians have already evolved a melatonin-metabolizing system that is photically driven in a manner suggestive of the way melatonin synthesis is influenced by light and dark cycles in vertebrates. PMID:3585272

  13. Lipid binding proteins from parasitic platyhelminthes

    PubMed Central

    Alvite, Gabriela; Esteves, Adriana

    2012-01-01

    Two main families of lipid binding proteins have been identified in parasitic Platyhelminthes: hydrophobic ligand binding proteins (HLBPs) and fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs). Members of the former family of proteins are specific to the Cestoda class, while FABPs are conserved across a wide range of animal species. Because Platyhelminthes are unable to synthesize their own lipids, these lipid-binding proteins are important molecules in these organisms. HLBPs are a high molecular mass complex of proteins and lipids. They are composed of subunits of low molecular mass proteins and a wide array of lipid molecules ranging from CoA esters to cholesterol. These proteins are excretory-secretory molecules and are key serological tools for diagnosis of diseases caused by cestodes. FABPs are mainly intracellular proteins of low molecular weight. They are also vaccine candidates. Despite that the knowledge of their function is scarce, the differences in their molecular organization, ligand preferences, intra/extracellular localization, evolution, and phylogenetic distribution, suggest that platyhelminths HLBPs and FABPs should play different functions. FABPs might be involved in the removal of fatty acids from the inner surface of the cell membrane and in their subsequent targeting to specific cellular destinations. In contrast, HLBPs might be involved in fatty acid uptake from the host environment. PMID:22988444

  14. Dynamics of asexual reproduction in planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoetz, Eva-Maria; Lincoln, Bryan; Quinodoz, Sofia

    2011-03-01

    Planaria research is experiencing a resurgence due to the development of molecular tools, the Planarian genome project and database resources. Despite the resulting progress in planarian biology research, an extensive study of their physical properties remains to be undertaken. We developed a method to collect a large amount of data on the dynamics of clonal reproduction in the freshwater planarian S.mediterranea. The capability of planarians to regenerate an entire organism from a minuscule body part is based on a homogeneously distributed stem cell population that comprises 25-30% of all cells. Due to this stem cell contingent, planarians can reproduce spontaneously by dividing into a larger head and a smaller tail piece, which then will rebuild the missing body parts, including a central nervous system, within about a week. Time-lapse imaging allows us to characterize the fission process in detail, revealing the stages of the process as well as capturing the nature of the rupture itself. A traction force measurement setup is being developed to allow us to quantify the forces planarians exert on the substrate during reproduction, a macroscopic analog to the Traction Force Microscopy setups used to determine local cellular forces. We are particularly interested in the molecular processes during division and the interplay between tissue mechanics and cell signaling.

  15. Nociception and escape behavior in planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoetz Collins, Eva-Maria

    2015-03-01

    Planarians are famous and widely studied for their regenerative capabilities. When a moving planarian is cut through the middle, the resulting head and tail pieces instantaneously retract and exhibit a characteristic escape response that differs from normal locomotion. In asexual animals, a similar reaction is observed when the planarian undergoes fission, suggesting that reproduction through self-tearing is a rather traumatic event for the animal. Using a multiscale approach, we unravel the dynamics, mechanics, and functional aspects of the planarian escape response. This musculature-driven gait was found to be a dominating response that supersedes the urge to feed or reproduce and quantitatively differs from other modes of planarian locomotion (gliding, peristalsis). We show that this escape gait constitutes the animal's pain response mediated by TRP like receptors and the neurotransmitter histamine, and that it can be induced through adverse thermal, mechanical, electrical or chemical stimuli. Ultimately, we will examine the neuronal subpopulations involved in mediating escape reflexes in planarians and how they are functionally restored during regeneration, thereby gaining mechanistic insight into the neuronal circuits required for specific behaviors. Supported by BWF CASI and Sloan Foundation.

  16. Comparative analysis of cystatin superfamily in platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Guo, Aijiang

    2015-01-01

    The cystatin superfamily is comprised of cysteine proteinase inhibitors and encompasses at least 3 subfamilies: stefins, cystatins and kininogens. In this study, the platyhelminth cystatin superfamily was identified and grouped into stefin and cystatin subfamilies. The conserved domain of stefins (G, QxVxG) was observed in all members of platyhelminth stefins. The three characteristics of cystatins, the cystatin-like domain (G, QxVxG, PW), a signal peptide, and one or two conserved disulfide bonds, were observed in platyhelminths, with the exception of cestodes, which lacked the conserved disulfide bond. However, it is noteworthy that cestode cystatins had two tandem repeated domains, although the second tandem repeated domain did not contain a cystatin-like domain, which has not been previously reported. Tertiary structure analysis of Taenia solium cystatin, one of the cestode cystatins, demonstrated that the N-terminus of T. solium cystatin formed a five turn ?-helix, a five stranded ?-pleated sheet and a hydrophobic edge, similar to the structure of chicken cystatin. Although no conserved disulfide bond was found in T. solium cystatin, the models of T. solium cystatin and chicken cystatin corresponded at the site of the first disulfide bridge of the chicken cystatin. However, the two models were not similar regarding the location of the second disulfide bridge of chicken cystatin. These results showed that T. solium cystatin and chicken cystatin had similarities and differences, suggesting that the biochemistry of T. solium cystatin could be similar to chicken cystatin in its inhibitory function and that it may have further functional roles. The same results were obtained for other cestode cystatins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that cestode cystatins constituted an independent clade and implied that cestode cystatins should be considered to have formed a new clade during evolution. PMID:25853513

  17. Comparative Analysis of Cystatin Superfamily in Platyhelminths

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Aijiang

    2015-01-01

    The cystatin superfamily is comprised of cysteine proteinase inhibitors and encompasses at least 3 subfamilies: stefins, cystatins and kininogens. In this study, the platyhelminth cystatin superfamily was identified and grouped into stefin and cystatin subfamilies. The conserved domain of stefins (G, QxVxG) was observed in all members of platyhelminth stefins. The three characteristics of cystatins, the cystatin-like domain (G, QxVxG, PW), a signal peptide, and one or two conserved disulfide bonds, were observed in platyhelminths, with the exception of cestodes, which lacked the conserved disulfide bond. However, it is noteworthy that cestode cystatins had two tandem repeated domains, although the second tandem repeated domain did not contain a cystatin-like domain, which has not been previously reported. Tertiary structure analysis of Taenia solium cystatin, one of the cestode cystatins, demonstrated that the N-terminus of T. solium cystatin formed a five turn α-helix, a five stranded β-pleated sheet and a hydrophobic edge, similar to the structure of chicken cystatin. Although no conserved disulfide bond was found in T. solium cystatin, the models of T. solium cystatin and chicken cystatin corresponded at the site of the first disulfide bridge of the chicken cystatin. However, the two models were not similar regarding the location of the second disulfide bridge of chicken cystatin. These results showed that T. solium cystatin and chicken cystatin had similarities and differences, suggesting that the biochemistry of T. solium cystatin could be similar to chicken cystatin in its inhibitory function and that it may have further functional roles. The same results were obtained for other cestode cystatins. Phylogenetic analysis showed that cestode cystatins constituted an independent clade and implied that cestode cystatins should be considered to have formed a new clade during evolution. PMID:25853513

  18. Nicotine behavioral pharmacology: clues from planarians

    PubMed Central

    Rawls, Scott M.; Patil, Tanvi; Tallarida, Christopher S.; Baron, Steven; Kim, Myongji; Song, Kevin; Ward, Sara; Raffa, Robert B.

    2011-01-01

    Background Nicotine is one of the world’s most addictive substances and the primary reason that humans inhale tobacco smoke. The pharmacological effects of nicotine can be investigated in planarians, aquatic flatworms that possess an integrated neural network including cephalic ganglia that some consider the earliest “brain” and spinal cord. Here, we tested the hypothesis that nicotine exposure elicits mammalian-like behaviors in planarians. Methods Planarian motility and stereotypy (C-shape hyperkinesias) were quantified following acute nicotine exposure. During repeated nicotine exposure, we investigated the presence of withdrawal, tolerance, behavioral sensitization, and environmental place conditioning. Results Acute nicotine exposure increased stereotypical activity and elicited biphasic effects on motility. A low concentration (0.01 mM) increased motility whereas higher concentrations (0.3 – 10 mM) elicited the opposite effect. Planarians exposed to nicotine (0.03 mM) for 60 min and then tested in water displayed reduced motility that was not observed during exposure to water, acute nicotine, or continuous nicotine. Nicotine-treated planarians withdrawn from the drug for 3 days before being challenged with nicotine displayed behavioral sensitization at low concentrations (0.1, 0.3 mM) but tolerance at higher concentrations (1, 3 mM). Planarians conditioned with nicotine in the ambient light (non-preferred environment) displayed a reduction in their natural preference for a dark environment. Conclusions The present results suggest nicotine elicits mammalian-like effects in planarians, including decreased motility and increased stereotypy following acute administration and abstinence-induced withdrawal, behavioral sensitization, tolerance, and place conditioning during repeated exposure. PMID:21530106

  19. Sperm transfer in monogenean (platyhelminth) parasites.

    PubMed

    Kearn, Graham; Whittington, Ian

    2015-12-01

    There are three major groups of parasitic platyhelminths (flatworms). The digeneans and cestodes are endoparasites, while the monogeneans are ectoparasites mostly on the gills or skin of fishes. Monogeneans are hermaphrodite and, with the exception of the gyrodactylids, mostly protandrous, the male reproductive system maturing before the female system. Their ectoparasitic life-style provides unique opportunities to observe the reproductive biology of living platyhelminths, opportunities restricted in digeneans and cestodes by their endoparasitic habits. Moreover, the male copulatory organs (MCOs) of monogeneans are of special interest because of their perplexing diversity, ranging from sclerotised penis tubes, many with accessory sclerites, to cirruses and genital atrium armature (hooks and spines). The relatively few accounts in the literature of mating in monogeneans are reproduced in this review, together with consideration of the following aspects of sperm transfer: structure and function of MCOs; self-insemination; spermatophores and pseudospermatophores; "hypodermic" and transtegumental insemination; tissue fusion; glands associated with MCOs and vaginae; finding a mating partner. PMID:26408576

  20. Complex synaptic configurations in planarian brain.

    PubMed

    Best, J B; Noel, J

    1969-05-30

    Complex synaptic configurations which appear to have especial evolutionary and functional significance are shown in the neuropil of the brain of the planarian Dugesia dorotocephala. Some of the endings in these synaptic attachments contain dense core vesicles, suggesting that nonadrenaline or serotonin or both are neurotransmitters at a more primitive phyletic level than reported hitherto. The spatial proximity and connectivity of the synapses suggest modes of action permitting greater functional complexity to the planarian brain than previously supposed. Closely adjacent cellular processes which contain polysomal ribosomes, unusual in the neuropil, suggest synaptic transmission-protein synthesis coupling and a possible role in memory. PMID:4306013

  1. [Own Chemiluminescence of Planarian Neoblasts during Regeneration].

    PubMed

    Tiras, H P; Gudkov, S V; Emelyanenko, V I; Aslanidi, K B

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the kinetics of the luminescence induced by reactive oxygen species in planarians during regeneration process. It was found that regeneration is accompanied with changes in the concentration of reactive oxygen species correlating with energy-intensive processes such as oxidative stress, caused by damage to cell membranes in the dissection of the planarian, phagocytosis of dying cells and mitosis of neoblasts. We showed for the first time that there is an opportunity of registering the physiological state of pluripotent stem cells at the level of the organism in vivo. PMID:26591608

  2. Scrunching: a novel escape gait in planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Mickolajczyk, Keith J.; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2015-10-01

    The ability to escape a predator or other life-threatening situations is central to animal survival. Different species have evolved unique strategies under anatomical and environmental constraints. In this study, we describe a novel musculature-driven escape gait in planarians, ‘scrunching’, which is quantitatively different from other planarian gaits, such as gliding and peristalsis. We show that scrunching is a conserved gait among different flatworm species, underlying its importance as an escape mechanism. We further demonstrate that it can be induced by a variety of physical stimuli, including amputation, high temperature, electric shock and low pH. We discuss the functional basis for scrunching as the preferential gait when gliding is impaired due to a disruption of mucus production. Finally, we show that the key mechanical features of scrunching are adequately captured by a simple biomechanical model that is solely based on experimental data from traction force microscopy and tissue rheology without fit parameters. Together, our results form a complete description of this novel form of planarian locomotion. Because scrunching has distinct dynamics, this gait can serve as a robust behavioral readout for studies of motor neuron and muscular functions in planarians and in particular the restoration of these functions during regeneration.

  3. Scrunching: a novel escape gait in planarians.

    PubMed

    Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Mickolajczyk, Keith J; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2015-10-01

    The ability to escape a predator or other life-threatening situations is central to animal survival. Different species have evolved unique strategies under anatomical and environmental constraints. In this study, we describe a novel musculature-driven escape gait in planarians, 'scrunching', which is quantitatively different from other planarian gaits, such as gliding and peristalsis. We show that scrunching is a conserved gait among different flatworm species, underlying its importance as an escape mechanism. We further demonstrate that it can be induced by a variety of physical stimuli, including amputation, high temperature, electric shock and low pH. We discuss the functional basis for scrunching as the preferential gait when gliding is impaired due to a disruption of mucus production. Finally, we show that the key mechanical features of scrunching are adequately captured by a simple biomechanical model that is solely based on experimental data from traction force microscopy and tissue rheology without fit parameters. Together, our results form a complete description of this novel form of planarian locomotion. Because scrunching has distinct dynamics, this gait can serve as a robust behavioral readout for studies of motor neuron and muscular functions in planarians and in particular the restoration of these functions during regeneration. PMID:26356147

  4. A low percent ethanol method for immobilizing planarians.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Claire G; Beane, Wendy Scott

    2010-01-01

    Planarians have recently become a popular model system for the study of adult stem cells, regeneration and polarity. The system is attractive for both undergraduate and graduate research labs, since planarian colonies are low cost and easy to maintain. Also in situ hybridization, immunofluorescence and RNA-interference (RNAi) gene knockdown techniques have been developed for planarian studies. However, imaging of live worms (particularly at high magnifications) is difficult because animals are strongly photophobic; they quickly move away from light sources and out of frame. The current methods available to inhibit movement in planarians include RNAi injection and exposure to cold temperatures. The former is labor and time intensive, while the latter precludes the use of many fluorescent reporter dyes. Here, we report a simple, inexpensive and reversible method to immobilize planarians for live imaging. Our data show that a short 1 hour treatment with 3% ethanol (EtOH) is sufficient to inhibit both the fine and gross movements of Schmidtea mediterranea planarians, of the typical size used (4-6 mm), with full recovery of movement within 3-4 hours. Importantly, EtOH treatment did not interfere with regeneration, even after repeated exposure, nor lyse epithelial cells (as assayed by H&E staining). We demonstrate that a short exposure to a low concentration of EtOH is a quick and effective method of immobilizing planarians, one that is easily adaptable to planarians of all sizes and will increase the accessibility of live imaging assays to planarian researchers. PMID:21179478

  5. Planarian Immobilization, Partial Irradiation, and Tissue Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Guedelhoefer IV, Otto C.; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2012-01-01

    The planarian, a freshwater flatworm, has proven to be a powerful system for dissecting metazoan regeneration and stem cell biology1,2. Planarian regeneration of any missing or damaged tissues is made possible by adult stem cells termed neoblasts3. Although these stem cells have been definitively shown to be pluripotent and singularly capable of reconstituting an entire animal4, the heterogeneity within the stem cell population and the dynamics of their cellular behaviors remain largely unresolved. Due to the large number and wide distribution of stem cells throughout the planarian body plan, advanced methods for manipulating subpopulations of stem cells for molecular and functional study in vivo are needed. Tissue transplantation and partial irradiation are two methods by which a subpopulation of planarian stem cells can be isolated for further study. Each technique has distinct advantages. Tissue transplantation allows for the introduction of stem cells, into a naïve host, that are either inherently genetically distinct or have been previously treated pharmacologically. Alternatively, partial irradiation allows for the isolation of stem cells within a host, juxtaposed to tissue devoid of stem cells, without the introduction of a wound or any breech in tissue integrity. Using these two methods, one can investigate the cell autonomous and non-autonomous factors that control stem cell functions, such as proliferation, differentiation, and migration. Both tissue transplantation5,6 and partial irradiation7 have been used historically in defining many of the questions about planarian regeneration that remain under study today. However, these techniques have remained underused due to the laborious and inconsistent nature of previous methods. The protocols presented here represent a large step forward in decreasing the time and effort necessary to reproducibly generate large numbers of grafted or partially irradiated animals with efficacies approaching 100 percent. We cover the culture of large animals, immobilization, preparation for partial irradiation, tissue transplantation, and the optimization of animal recovery. Furthermore, the work described here demonstrates the first application of the partial irradiation method for use with the most widely studied planarian, Schmidtea mediterranea. Additionally, efficient tissue grafting in planaria opens the door for the functional testing of subpopulations of naïve or treated stem cells in repopulation assays, which has long been the gold-standard method of assaying adult stem cell potential in mammals8. Broad adoption of these techniques will no doubt lead to a better understanding of the cellular behaviors of adult stem cells during tissue homeostasis and regeneration. PMID:23007410

  6. Planarian Phototactic Assay Reveals Differential Behavioral Responses Based on Wavelength

    PubMed Central

    Paskin, Taylor R.; Jellies, John; Bacher, Jessica; Beane, Wendy S.

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are free-living aquatic flatworms that possess a well-documented photophobic response to light. With a true central nervous system and simple cerebral eyes (ocelli), planarians are an emerging model for regenerative eye research. However, comparatively little is known about the physiology of their photoreception or how their behavior is affected by various wavelengths. Most phototactic studies have examined planarian behavior using white light. Here, we describe a novel planarian behavioral assay to test responses to small ranges of visible wavelengths (red, blue, green), as well as ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) which have not previously been examined. Our data show that planarians display behavioral responses across a range of wavelengths. These responses occur in a hierarchy, with the shortest wavelengths (UV) causing the most intense photophobic responses while longer wavelengths produce no effect (red) or an apparent attraction (IR). In addition, our data reveals that planarian photophobia is comprised of both a general photophobic response (that drives planarians to escape the light source regardless of wavelength) and wavelength-specific responses that encompass specific behavioral reactions to individual wavelengths. Our results serve to improve the understanding of planarian phototaxis and suggest that behavioral studies performed with white light mask a complex behavioral interaction with the environment. PMID:25493551

  7. Collecting Planarians: A Good Choice for a Field Trip.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cha, Heeyoung

    2001-01-01

    Describes a field trip to collect planarians as successful in generating interest in the sciences. This activity is suitable for all grade levels as a field trip or biology lab. Planarians can be easily collected from streams across the United States. Once in the classroom, planaria are easily fed and cared for. (SAH)

  8. Planarian neoblast micronucleus assay for evaluating genotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Knakievicz, Tanise; Alves da Silveira, Priscila; Ferreira, Henrique Bunselmeyer

    2008-07-01

    Planarian neoblasts are somatic stem cells that have the potential to be used in genotoxicity assays due to their proliferative nature, sensitivity to genotoxic agents, and experimental accessibility. Two freshwater planarian species, Girardia tigrina and Girardia schubarti, were used to develop a neoblast-based micronucleus (MN) assay to assess genotoxicity. Intact or regenerating planarians were exposed to gamma-rays, methyl methanesulphonate (MMS), or cyclophosphamide (CP), and neoblast MN frequency was measured. Exposure to the clastogens had no detectable effect on the MN frequency of intact planarian neoblasts. However, for regenerating individuals, active neoblast proliferation was induced by decapitation, and gamma-ray doses as low as 0.5 Gy, and MMS and CP concentrations as low as 0.8 microM and 100 mM, respectively, induced a significant increase in MN frequency. Exposure to higher doses of gamma-rays consistently resulted in detectable increases in MN frequency. For MMS and CP, concentrations of up to 1.6 microM and 200 mM, respectively, resulted in significant increases in MN frequency, but exposures to higher concentrations led to a decrease to non-significant levels, possibly due to cytotoxic effects of MMS and CP. After completion of regeneration, the MN frequencies returned to those of non-exposed controls, indicating that the neoblast MN assay for regenerating G. tigrina or G. schubarti reflects chromosomal damage caused by acute exposure to clastogenic agents. Upon standardization, this assay may represent an interesting alternative that allows damage caused to freshwater organisms by potentially genotoxic environmental pollutants to be monitored. PMID:18534660

  9. Bipolar Planarians in a Stock Culture.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, M M

    1963-11-29

    Four long bipolar planarians were discovered in a stock culture of asexual Dugesia dorotocephala. Such worms have not been previously reported. Eyespots, auricles, and responses to stimuli were normal in each head-end, and functional pharynges were present. Worms in the stock culture had not been subjected to temperature variations, chemicals, or other experimentation. It is suggested that the axial gradient was effectively flattened by a normal head-inhibiting factor being unable to diffuse to the posterior end. PMID:17744110

  10. Recent identification of an ERK signal gradient governing planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Agata, Kiyokazu; Tasaki, Junichi; Nakajima, Elizabeth; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2014-06-01

    Planarians have strong regenerative abilities derived from their adult pluripotent stem cell (neoblast) system. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in planarian regeneration have long remained a mystery. In particular, no anterior-specifying factor(s) could be found, although Wnt family proteins had been successfully identified as posterior-specifying factors during planarian regeneration (Gurley et al., 2008; Petersen and Reddien, 2008). A recent textbook of developmental biology therefore proposes a Wnt antagonist as a putative anterior factor (Gilbert, 2013). That is, planarian regeneration was supposed to be explained by a single decreasing gradient of the ?-catenin signal from tail to head. However, recently we succeeded in demonstrating that in fact the extracellular-signal regulated kinases (ERK) form a decreasing gradient from head to tail to direct the reorganization of planarian body regionality after amputation (Umesono et al., 2013). PMID:24854393

  11. On-chip immobilization of planarians for in vivo imaging.

    PubMed

    Dexter, Joseph P; Tamme, Mary B; Lind, Christine H; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are an important model organism for regeneration and stem cell research. A complete understanding of stem cell and regeneration dynamics in these animals requires time-lapse imaging in vivo, which has been difficult to achieve due to a lack of tissue-specific markers and the strong negative phototaxis of planarians. We have developed the Planarian Immobilization Chip (PIC) for rapid, stable immobilization of planarians for in vivo imaging without injury or biochemical alteration. The chip is easy and inexpensive to fabricate, and worms can be mounted for and removed after imaging within minutes. We show that the PIC enables significantly higher-stability immobilization than can be achieved with standard techniques, allowing for imaging of planarians at sub-cellular resolution in vivo using brightfield and fluorescence microscopy. We validate the performance of the PIC by performing time-lapse imaging of planarian wound closure and sequential imaging over days of head regeneration. We further show that the device can be used to immobilize Hydra, another photophobic regenerative model organism. The simple fabrication, low cost, ease of use, and enhanced specimen stability of the PIC should enable its broad application to in vivo studies of stem cell and regeneration dynamics in planarians and Hydra. PMID:25227263

  12. On-chip immobilization of planarians for in vivo imaging

    PubMed Central

    Dexter, Joseph P.; Tamme, Mary B.; Lind, Christine H.; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are an important model organism for regeneration and stem cell research. A complete understanding of stem cell and regeneration dynamics in these animals requires time-lapse imaging in vivo, which has been difficult to achieve due to a lack of tissue-specific markers and the strong negative phototaxis of planarians. We have developed the Planarian Immobilization Chip (PIC) for rapid, stable immobilization of planarians for in vivo imaging without injury or biochemical alteration. The chip is easy and inexpensive to fabricate, and worms can be mounted for and removed after imaging within minutes. We show that the PIC enables significantly higher-stability immobilization than can be achieved with standard techniques, allowing for imaging of planarians at sub-cellular resolution in vivo using brightfield and fluorescence microscopy. We validate the performance of the PIC by performing time-lapse imaging of planarian wound closure and sequential imaging over days of head regeneration. We further show that the device can be used to immobilize Hydra, another photophobic regenerative model organism. The simple fabrication, low cost, ease of use, and enhanced specimen stability of the PIC should enable its broad application to in vivo studies of stem cell and regeneration dynamics in planarians and Hydra. PMID:25227263

  13. The origins of parasitism in the platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Rohde, K

    1994-12-01

    Symbiotic associations have arisen independently in several groups of the largely free-living turbellarians. Morphological adaptations of turbellarians to a symbiotic way of life include suckers and adhesive glands for attachment, elaborate systems of microvilli and other epidermal structures for absorption of food, glands for the formation of cysts, cocoons and cement material, and lack of a pharynx and intestine in some species. However, many species closely resemble their free-living relatives. Egg production is greatly increased at least in some species, and life cycles are always direct. Food of symbiotic turbellarians consists of host food and/or host tissue. Ectosymbiotes show fewer physiological adaptations than entosymbiotes. The major groups of parasitic Platyhelminthes (Trematoda Aspidogastrea, Trematoda Digenea, Monogenea, Udonellidea, Cestoda including Gyrocotylidea, Amphilinidea and Eucestoda), form one monophylum, the Neodermata, characterized by a neodermis (tegument) replacing the larval epidermis, epidermal cilia with a single horizontal rootlet, sensory receptors with electron-dense collars, spermatozoa with axonemes incorporated in the sperm body by proximodistal fusion, and protonephridial flame bulbs formed by two cells each contributing a row of longitudinal ribs to the filtration apparatus. The sister group of the Neodermata is unknown but is likely to be a large taxon including the Proseriata and some other turbellarian groups. Among the Neodermata, the Aspidogastrea is likely to be the most archaic group, as indicated by DNA studies, morphology, life cycles and physiology. Aspidogastreans can survive for many days or even weeks outside a host in simple media, they show little host specificity, and have an astonishingly complex nervous system and many types of sensory receptors, both in the larva and the adult. It is suggested that Aspidogastrea were originally parasites of molluscs (and possibly arthropods and other invertebrates) and that they are archaic forms which have remained at a stage where vertebrates represent facultative hosts or obligatory final hosts into which only the very last stages of the life cycle (maturation of the gonads) have been transferred. The complex life cycles of Digenea have evolved from the simple aspidogastrean ones by intercalation of multiplicative larval stages (sporocysts, rediae) in the mollusc host, and of cercarial stages ensuring dispersal to the now obligatory final host. Monogenea may have lost the molluscan host or evolved before the early neodermatans had acquired it. Cestoda either replaced the original molluscan with an arthropod host, retained an original arthropod host or evolved from an early neodermatan before molluscan hosts had been acquired, newly acquiring an arthropod host.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) PMID:7729971

  14. [Retinoic acid as a regulator of planarian morphogenesis].

    PubMed

    Ermakova, O N; Ermakov, A M; Tiras, Kh P; Lednev, V V

    2009-01-01

    The effect of retinoic acid on regeneration of two species of asexual planarian races, Girardia tigrina and Schmidtea mediterranea, was studied. It was established that retinoic acids at physiological concentrations (10(-7)-10(-10) M) inhibit the regeneration of the head part of planarians but have no effect on tail blastema growth. It is shown that regeneration of the head part is inhibited as a result of arrest of the cell cycle of neoblasts, proliferating stem cells, during the transition from the G1/G0 to the S phase. Thus, the morphogenetic role of retinoic acids in planarians, primitive bilaterally symmetrical animals, has been demonstrated. PMID:20058788

  15. Berberine exposure triggers developmental effects on planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Balestrini, Linda; Isolani, Maria Emilia; Pietra, Daniele; Borghini, Alice; Bianucci, Anna Maria; Deri, Paolo; Batistoni, Renata

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms of action underlying the pharmacological properties of the natural alkaloid berberine still need investigation. Planarian regeneration is instrumental in deciphering developmental responses following drug exposure. Here we report the effects of berberine on regeneration in the planarian Dugesia japonica. Our findings demonstrate that this compound perturbs the regenerative pattern. By real-time PCR screening for the effects of berberine exposure on gene expression, we identified alterations in the transcriptional profile of genes representative of different tissues, as well as of genes involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. Although berberine does not influence cell proliferation/apoptosis, our experiments prove that this compound causes abnormal regeneration of the planarian visual system. Potential berberine-induced cytotoxic effects were noticed in the intestine. Although we were unable to detect abnormalities in other structures, our findings, sustained by RNAi-based investigations, support the possibility that berberine effects are critically linked to anomalous ECM remodeling in treated planarians. PMID:24810466

  16. Toxicity of tributyltin (TBT) to the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Ofoegbu, Pearl U; Simão, Fátima C P; Cruz, Andreia; Mendo, Sónia; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Pestana, João L T

    2016-04-01

    The freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, one of the best characterized animal models for regeneration research and developmental biology, is being recognised as a useful species for ecotoxicological studies. Sensitive endpoints related to planarians' behaviour and regeneration can be easily evaluated after exposure to environmental stressors. In this work the sensitivity of S. mediterranea to a gradient of environmentally relevant concentrations of TBT was studied using multiple endpoints like survival, locomotion, head regeneration and DNA damage. In addition, a feeding assay based on planarian's predatory behaviour was performed. Results indicated that TBT is toxic to planarians with LC50's of 1.87 μg L(-1) Sn and 1.31 μg L(-1) Sn at 48 h and 96 h of exposure respectively. Sub-lethal exposures to TBT significantly reduced locomotion and feeding, delayed head regeneration and caused DNA damage in planarians. The behavioural endpoints (feeding and locomotion) and head regeneration were the most sensitive parameters followed by DNA damage. Similar to other aquatic model organisms, S. mediterranea showed high sensitivity towards TBT exposure. Based on our results, and though further research is required concerning their sensitivity to other pollutants, the use of freshwater planarians as a model species in ecotoxicology is discussed. PMID:26802264

  17. Toxic effects of selenium and copper on the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Rauscher, J.D.

    1988-01-01

    Aquatic toxicologists have become increasingly concerned with the effects of sublethal concentrations of toxicants on aquatic organisms. Sublethal effects of toxicants on freshwater invertebrates were reviewed. Selenium (Se) and copper (Cu) are both essential trace elements and toxicants. Se has been reported to alter the toxicity of heavy metals. Planarians, Dugesia dorotocephala, were used as test animals. The objectives of this study were to determine: (1) acute toxicity of Se on planarians and the effect of the number of planarians per test chamber, (2) interaction of the acute toxicity of Se and Cu on planarians, and (3) sublethal effects of Se and Cu on planarians.

  18. Pharmacological assessment of methamphetamine-induced behavioral hyperactivity mediated by dopaminergic transmission in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Tashiro, Natsuka; Nishimura, Kaneyasu; Daido, Kanako; Oka, Tomoe; Todo, Mio; Toshikawa, Asami; Tsushima, Jun; Takata, Kazuyuki; Ashihara, Eishi; Yoshimoto, Kanji; Agata, Kiyokazu; Kitamura, Yoshihisa

    2014-07-11

    The freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica has a simple central nervous system (CNS) and can regenerate complete organs, even a functional brain. Recent studies demonstrated that there is a great variety of neuronal-related genes, specifically expressed in several domains of the planarian brain. We identified a planarian dat gene, named it D. japonica dopamine transporter (Djdat), and analyzed its expression and function. Both in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence revealed that localization of Djdat mRNA and protein was the same as that of D. japonica tyrosine hydroxylase (DjTH). Although, dopamine (DA) content in Djdat(RNAi) planarians was not altered, Djdat(RNAi) planarians showed increased spontaneous locomotion. The hyperactivity in the Djdat(RNAi) planarians was significantly suppressed by SCH23390 or sulpiride pretreatment, which are D1 or D2 receptor antagonists, respectively. These results suggest that planarians have a Djdat ortholog and the ability to regulate dopaminergic neurotransmission and association with spontaneous locomotion. PMID:24858686

  19. Optical coherence tomography: A new strategy to image planarian regeneration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yu-Sheng; Chu, Chin-Chou; Lin, Jen-Jen; Chang, Chien-Cheng; Wang, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Chiao-Yin; Tsui, Po-Hsiang

    2014-09-01

    The planarian is widely used as a model for studying tissue regeneration. In this study, we used optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the real-time, high-resolution imaging of planarian tissue regeneration. Five planaria were sliced transversely to produce 5 head and 5 tail fragments. During a 2-week regeneration period, OCT images of the planaria were acquired to analyze the signal attenuation rates, intensity ratios, and image texture features (including contrast, correlation, homogeneity, energy, and entropy) to compare the primitive and regenerated tissues. In the head and tail fragments, the signal attenuation rates of the regenerated fragments decreased from -0.2 dB/μm to -0.05 dB/μm, between Day 1 and Day 6, and then increased to -0.2 dB/μm on Day 14. The intensity ratios decreased to approximately 0.8 on Day 6, and increased to between 0.8 and 0.9 on Day 14. The texture parameters of contrast, correlation, and homogeneity exhibited trends similar to the signal attenuation rates and intensity ratios during the planarian regeneration. The proposed OCT parameters might provide biological information regarding cell apoptosis and the formation of a mass of new cells during planarian regeneration. Therefore, OCT imaging is a potentially effective method for planarian studies.

  20. Optical coherence tomography: a new strategy to image planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yu-Sheng; Chu, Chin-Chou; Lin, Jen-Jen; Chang, Chien-Cheng; Wang, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Chiao-Yin; Tsui, Po-Hsiang

    2014-01-01

    The planarian is widely used as a model for studying tissue regeneration. In this study, we used optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the real-time, high-resolution imaging of planarian tissue regeneration. Five planaria were sliced transversely to produce 5 head and 5 tail fragments. During a 2-week regeneration period, OCT images of the planaria were acquired to analyze the signal attenuation rates, intensity ratios, and image texture features (including contrast, correlation, homogeneity, energy, and entropy) to compare the primitive and regenerated tissues. In the head and tail fragments, the signal attenuation rates of the regenerated fragments decreased from -0.2?dB/?m to -0.05?dB/?m, between Day 1 and Day 6, and then increased to -0.2?dB/?m on Day 14. The intensity ratios decreased to approximately 0.8 on Day 6, and increased to between 0.8 and 0.9 on Day 14. The texture parameters of contrast, correlation, and homogeneity exhibited trends similar to the signal attenuation rates and intensity ratios during the planarian regeneration. The proposed OCT parameters might provide biological information regarding cell apoptosis and the formation of a mass of new cells during planarian regeneration. Therefore, OCT imaging is a potentially effective method for planarian studies. PMID:25204535

  1. Neoplastic transformation in the planarian: I. Cocarcinogenesis and histopathology.

    PubMed

    Hall, F; Morita, M; Best, J B

    1986-11-01

    Although several investigators have reported that exposure to mammalian carcinogens induces abnormal tumorlike growths and teratogenic remodeling in planarians, there is no general agreement that these, or comparable responses in any other invertebrates, model mammalian carcinogenesis. To investigate this question, freshwater planarians of the species Dugesia dorotocephala were exposed to culture water containing an initiator and a promoter, either alone or in combination. Cadmium, a potent carcinogen, was used as an initiator in the protocol. Treatment with sublethal concentrations of cadmium sulfate produced a benign, but persistent, tumor in a small percentage of the planarians. The addition of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), a phorbol ester and well-known promoter, to the cadmium-containing solutions resulted in the induction of a progressive, potentially lethal, transplantable tumor in a large proportion of the treated flatworms. Light and electron microscopy revealed this particular tumor to be composed both of immature cells and of a single mature cell type: newly differentiated, but transformed, reticular cells. Further examination of the infiltrating tissue formations elucidated the profile of differentiation, from a population of mitotically active transformed stem cells through the transitional stages in the associated reticuloma. These results suggest that 1) the freshwater planarian displays the major phenomenology of mammalian cocarcinogenesis and that 2) the planarian reticuloma models several important features of a neoplastic stem cell disease. PMID:3794621

  2. Neoplastic transformation in the planarian: II. Ultrastructure of malignant reticuloma.

    PubMed

    Hall, F; Morita, M; Best, J B

    1986-11-01

    Cadmium and phorbol ester induced tumorigenesis in the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala, develops as a cocarcinogenic process involving initiation and promotion in the progression of neoplastic disease. Treatment of intact planarians with sublethal concentrations of cadmium sulfate and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) induced a type of infiltrating tumor that proved to be potentially lethal. Surgical transplantation of such tumorous tissues into otherwise healthy planarians resulted in the same histopathological progression to lethality, which confirmed the metastatic nature of the neoplasia. Electron microscopic studies revealed that both the chemically-induced and the transplantation-based tumors involved, exclusively, the proliferation and differentiation of abnormal reticular cells, referred to as reticuloma cells. Reticular cells normally are ameboid, phagocytic, and are thought to provide the planarian with a phylogenetic predecessor of an immune surveillance system. A considerable incidence of mitosis was observed within the tumor areas; and the sequence of differentiation, from transformed stem cells to mature but nonfunctional reticuloma cells, was elucidated. This profile of differentiation supports the concept of cellular derivation via stem cell dynamics as opposed to dedifferentiation. A variety of ultrastructural abnormalities were characterized: several of which tend to substantiate the anaplastic quality of the reticuloma, while others are more specifically diagnostic for malignancy. These findings further extend the potential usefulness of the planarian malignant reticuloma as a model system for the study of neoplastic stem cell diseases. PMID:3794622

  3. Reactivating head regrowth in a regeneration-deficient planarian species.

    PubMed

    Liu, S-Y; Selck, C; Friedrich, B; Lutz, R; Vila-Farré, M; Dahl, A; Brandl, H; Lakshmanaperumal, N; Henry, I; Rink, J C

    2013-08-01

    Species capable of regenerating lost body parts occur throughout the animal kingdom, yet close relatives are often regeneration incompetent. Why in the face of 'survival of the fittest' some animals regenerate but others do not remains a fascinating question. Planarian flatworms are well known and studied for their ability to regenerate from minute tissue pieces, yet species with limited regeneration abilities have been described even amongst planarians. Here we report the characterization of the regeneration defect in the planarian Dendrocoelum lacteum and its successful rescue. Tissue fragments cut from the posterior half of the body of this species are unable to regenerate a head and ultimately die. We find that this defect originates during the early stages of head specification, which require inhibition of canonical Wnt signalling in other planarian species. Notably, RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of Dlac-?-catenin-1, the Wnt signal transducer, restored the regeneration of fully functional heads on tail pieces, rescuing D. lacteum's regeneration defect. Our results demonstrate the utility of comparative studies towards the reactivation of regenerative abilities in regeneration-deficient animals. Furthermore, the availability of D. lacteum as a regeneration-impaired planarian model species provides a first step towards elucidating the evolutionary mechanisms that ultimately determine why some animals regenerate and others do not. PMID:23883932

  4. Optical coherence tomography: A new strategy to image planarian regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yu-Sheng; Chu, Chin-Chou; Lin, Jen-Jen; Chang, Chien-Cheng; Wang, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Chiao-Yin; Tsui, Po-Hsiang

    2014-01-01

    The planarian is widely used as a model for studying tissue regeneration. In this study, we used optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the real-time, high-resolution imaging of planarian tissue regeneration. Five planaria were sliced transversely to produce 5 head and 5 tail fragments. During a 2-week regeneration period, OCT images of the planaria were acquired to analyze the signal attenuation rates, intensity ratios, and image texture features (including contrast, correlation, homogeneity, energy, and entropy) to compare the primitive and regenerated tissues. In the head and tail fragments, the signal attenuation rates of the regenerated fragments decreased from ?0.2?dB/?m to ?0.05?dB/?m, between Day 1 and Day 6, and then increased to ?0.2?dB/?m on Day 14. The intensity ratios decreased to approximately 0.8 on Day 6, and increased to between 0.8 and 0.9 on Day 14. The texture parameters of contrast, correlation, and homogeneity exhibited trends similar to the signal attenuation rates and intensity ratios during the planarian regeneration. The proposed OCT parameters might provide biological information regarding cell apoptosis and the formation of a mass of new cells during planarian regeneration. Therefore, OCT imaging is a potentially effective method for planarian studies. PMID:25204535

  5. Mitochondrial genome data support the basal position of acoelomorpha and the polyphyly of the platyhelminthes

    SciTech Connect

    Ruiz-Trillo, Inaki; Riutort, Marta; Fourcade, H. Matthew; Baguna, Jaume; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-05-01

    We determined 9.7, 5.2, and 6.8 kb, respectively, of the mitochondrial genomes of the acoel Paratomella rubra, the nemertodermatid Nemertoderma westbladi and the free-living rhabditophoran platyhelminth Microstomum lineare. The identified gene arrangements are unique among metazoans, including each other, sharing no more than one or two single gene boundaries with a few distantly related taxa. Phylogenetic analysis of the amino acid sequences inferred from the sequenced genes confirms that the acoelomorph flatworms (acoels + nemertodermatids) do not belong to the Platyhelminthes, but are, instead, the most basal extant bilaterian group. Therefore, the Platyhelminthes, as traditionally constituted, is a polyphyletic phylum.

  6. Planarian regeneration under micro- and hyper-gravity simulated contexts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auletta, Gennaro; Van Loon, ing.. Jack J. W. A.; Adell, Teresa; Salo, Emili

    Planarians are non-parasitic flatworms of the Turbellaria class, some of which show the striking ability to regenerate any part of their body, even the head, in few days. Planarians are common to many parts of the world, living in both saltwater and freshwater, as well as in terrestrial areas. Due to their plasticity Planarians have been a classical model for the study of the mechanisms of regeneration. Currently, their cheap and easy maintenance, as well as the establishment of robust genetic tools, have converted them into an essential system in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine. The aim of our project is to study the effect that micro- and hyper- gravity could exert during the process of planarians regeneration. The reason for planarians extreme regenerative capability is the maintenance until adulthood of a population of totipotent stem cells as well as the continuous activation of the cell-cell communication molecular pathways. Our prediction is that the alteration of the forces could affect planarians regeneration at different levels: 1) To regenerate, planarians must activate both proliferative and apoptotic responses, in order to create new tissue and to remodel the pre-existing one, respectively. Both cellular processes have been reported to be altered in several models under differential gravitational forces; 2) In planarians, the main intercellular signalling pathways (Wnt, TGFb, BMP, Hh, EGF) must control the process of differentiation and determination of each cell. For instances, it has been demonstrated that the differential activity of the wnt/beta-catenin pathway specifies the posterior (tail) versus the anterior (head) identity. Those pathways rely on the distance that secreted molecules (morphogens) are able to reach. Either this mechanism consist in a passive diffusion or an active transport through phyllopodia, it could sense the magnitude of the gravitational force; 3) The epidermis of planarians is covered by cilia, which beat collectively and in synchrony to propel the mucus and allow the locomotion. The assembly of ciliary structures could be affected by gravity changes. Our strategy consists in the histological, immunological and transcriptomic analysis of planarians that have completely regenerated head and tail structures under different gravity conditions: earth gravity (1g), micro-gravity (in the random positioning machine) and hyper-gravity (in a large diameter centrifuge, at 4g and 8g). Our data shows that planarians regenerate properly head and tail structures, including the eyes and the brain, in all those conditions. However some differences between the groups could be detected: 1) a slight decrease in the number of mitotic cells is observed in hyper-gravity conditions with respect to normal and micro- gravity conditions; 2) an increase in the number of animals that fissioned the tail, which is a mechanism to reproduce asexually for planarians, was observed in hyper-gravity conditions with respect to the rest; 3) although trunk fragments regenerate head and tail properly, smaller fragments, that is, head or tail pieces, could not regenerate the missing tissues under 8g conditions, and they died. Under 4g conditions they could regenerate but not properly; 4) defects in the density and length of the cilia were observed under micro- and hyper- gravity. A transcriptomic analysis is being conducted with samples from all the groups, with the aim to detect gene categories differentially regulated under micro- and hyper- gravity contexts.

  7. Planarians: an In Vivo Model for Regenerative Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Karami, Ali; Tebyanian, Hamid; Goodarzi, Vahabodin; Shiri, Sajad

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of regenerative medicine has raised the hope of treating an extraordinary range of disease and serious injuries. Understanding the processes of cell proliferation, differentiation and pattern formation in regenerative organisms could help find ways to enhance the poor regenerative abilities shown by many other animals, including humans. Recently, planarians have emerged as an attractive model in which to study regeneration. These animals are considering as in vivo plate, during which we can study the behavior and characristics of stem cells in their own niche. A variety of characteristic such as: simplicity, easy to manipulate experimentally, the existence of more than 100 years of literature, makes these animals an extraordinary model for regenerative medicine researches. Among planarians free-living freshwater hermaphrodite Schmidtea mediterranea has emerged as a suitable model system because it displays robust regenerative properties and, unlike most other planarians, it is a stable diploid with a genome size of about 4.8×108 base pairs, nearly half that of other common planarians. Planarian regeneration involves two highly flexible systems: pluripotent neoblasts that can generate any new cell type and muscle cells that provide positional instructions for the regeneration of anybody region. neoblasts represent roughly 25~30 percent of all planarian cells and are scattered broadly through the parenchyma, being absent only from the animal head tips and the pharynx. Two models for neo-blast specification have been proposed; the naive model posits that all neoblasts are stem cells with the same potential and are a largely homogeneous population. PMID:26634061

  8. Planarians: an In Vivo Model for Regenerative Medicine.

    PubMed

    Karami, Ali; Tebyanian, Hamid; Goodarzi, Vahabodin; Shiri, Sajad

    2015-11-01

    The emergence of regenerative medicine has raised the hope of treating an extraordinary range of disease and serious injuries. Understanding the processes of cell proliferation, differentiation and pattern formation in regenerative organisms could help find ways to enhance the poor regenerative abilities shown by many other animals, including humans. Recently, planarians have emerged as an attractive model in which to study regeneration. These animals are considering as in vivo plate, during which we can study the behavior and characristics of stem cells in their own niche. A variety of characteristic such as: simplicity, easy to manipulate experimentally, the existence of more than 100 years of literature, makes these animals an extraordinary model for regenerative medicine researches. Among planarians free-living freshwater hermaphrodite Schmidtea mediterranea has emerged as a suitable model system because it displays robust regenerative properties and, unlike most other planarians, it is a stable diploid with a genome size of about 4.8×10(8) base pairs, nearly half that of other common planarians. Planarian regeneration involves two highly flexible systems: pluripotent neoblasts that can generate any new cell type and muscle cells that provide positional instructions for the regeneration of anybody region. neoblasts represent roughly 25~30 percent of all planarian cells and are scattered broadly through the parenchyma, being absent only from the animal head tips and the pharynx. Two models for neo-blast specification have been proposed; the naive model posits that all neoblasts are stem cells with the same potential and are a largely homogeneous population. PMID:26634061

  9. [Extracts of regenerating Planarians regulate proliferation of vertebrate cells].

    PubMed

    She?man, I M; Tiras, Kh P; Aptikaeva, G F; Pavulsone, S A

    1987-01-01

    The effects of extracts from intact and regenerating planarians on cell behaviour in culture were studied. The extracts were added to the culture of Chinese hamster fibroblasts and to the primary culture of human lymphocytes. Some extracts contained active agents which influenced the proliferation of fibroblasts increasing or decreasing the mitotic index. The extracts exerted no effect on the mitotic index of lymphocytes. When the extracts were added to the lymphocyte culture together with phytohemagglutinin, which induces the proliferation, the mitotic index somewhat increased. The extracts of regenerating planarians contain factors which activate and inhibit cell proliferation in culture. The active factors stimulated, rather than induced proliferation. PMID:3696681

  10. Disturbances to neurotransmitter levels and their metabolic enzyme activity in a freshwater planarian exposed to cadmium.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jui-Pin; Li, Mei-Hui; Chen, Jhih-Sheng; Chung, Szu-Yao; Lee, Hui-Ling

    2015-03-01

    Using specific neurobehaviors as endpoints, previous studies suggested that planarian neurotransmission systems could be targets of Cd neurotoxicity. However, direct evidence for disturbed neurotransmission systems by Cd in treated planarians is still lacking. In planarians, dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) play critical roles in neuromuscular function, but little is known about their metabolic degradation. Therefore, in this study, we attempted to determine the appearances of DA, 5-HT, and their metabolic products in the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica, characterize the activity of enzymes involved in their metabolism, and investigate the effects of Cd on planarian 5-HTergic and DAergic neurotransmission systems. Only DA, 5-HT, and 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid (5-HIAA) were found in planarian tissues. Further enzymatic study revealed the activity of planarian monoamine oxidase (MAO) but not catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT). These findings suggest that planarian MAO catalyzes the metabolism of 5-HT into 5-HIAA. However, DA metabolites from the MAO-involved metabolic pathway were not found, which might be due to a lack of COMT activity. Finally, in Cd-treated planarians, tissue levels of 5-HT and DA were decreased and MAO activity altered, suggesting that planarian neurotransmission systems are disturbed following Cd treatment. PMID:25644215

  11. Observations on planarian epithelization after wounding.

    PubMed

    Hori, I

    1989-04-01

    Wound closure of planarian regenerates was studied by light and electron microscopy. Quick response of epidermal cells after amputation depended on muscular contraction near the open wound. Early epithelization involved both active and passive cell migration phenomena. First, the old cells from the dorsal and ventral epidermis facing the wound simultaneously spread to close the wound surface, joining first near the wound center. This was facilitated by the contraction. Cell stratification at the wound margin was the result of active cell migration at the time of amputation. Secondly, these cells were passively stretched from the wound margin so that the stratification disappeared. Partial relaxation of the wound was a causative factor for extreme elongation of the wound epidermal cells. Disappearance of hemidesmosomal attachments was initiated by the collapse of the basal lamina. This was obviously linked to cell locomotion. Further development of the wound epidermis was accomplished by the successive supplementation of precursor cells from the newly formed regeneration blastema (mainly rhabdite-forming cells). PMID:2752361

  12. A regulatory program for excretory system regeneration in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Scimone, M. Lucila; Srivastava, Mansi; Bell, George W.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2011-01-01

    Planarians can regenerate any missing body part, requiring mechanisms for the production of organ systems in the adult, including their prominent tubule-based filtration excretory system called protonephridia. Here, we identify a set of genes, Six1/2-2, POU2/3, hunchback, Eya and Sall, that encode transcription regulatory proteins that are required for planarian protonephridia regeneration. During regeneration, planarian stem cells are induced to form a cell population in regeneration blastemas expressing Six1/2-2, POU2/3, Eya, Sall and Osr that is required for excretory system formation. POU2/3 and Six1/2-2 are essential for these precursor cells to form. Eya, Six1/2-2, Sall, Osr and POU2/3-related genes are required for vertebrate kidney development. We determined that planarian and vertebrate excretory cells express homologous proteins involved in reabsorption and waste modification. Furthermore, we identified novel nephridia genes. Our results identify a transcriptional program and cellular mechanisms for the regeneration of an excretory organ and suggest that metazoan excretory systems are regulated by genetic programs that share a common evolutionary origin. PMID:21937596

  13. Expression of Nephrin Homologue in the Freshwater Planarian, Dugesia japonica

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Tomomi; Takagi, Sota; Matsumoto, Midori; Tashiro, Fumio; Sakai, Tatsuo; Ichimura, Koichiro

    2014-01-01

    Excretory organs contain epithelial cells that form a filtration membrane specialized for ultrafiltration to produce primary urine. In vertebrates, the filtration membrane is made up of slit diaphragm (SD) formed by glomerular podocytes. Basal metazoans such as flatworms are also known have filtration epithelial cells, called flame cells, which exhibit SD-like structures. The molecular components of podocyte SD have been studied in detail, while those of the SD-like structures in basal metazoans including flatworms remain to be clarified. To determine whether the SD-like structures in flatworms have molecular components common to the SD in vertebrate podocytes, we examined the expression of gene homologue for mammalian nephrin, which encodes an essential transmembrane protein that participates in the formation of the SD, in a species of flatworms, planarian (Dugesia japonica). Flame cells were distributed throughout the entire body of the planarian, but the nephrin-expressing cells identified by in situ hybridization were mainly detected at body periphery excluding head region. The distribution pattern of nephrin-expressing cells was similar to that of proliferating cell nuclear antigen-expressing neoblasts, which are pluripotent stem cells characteristic to planarians. These findings indicated that the SD-like structures can be formed without the Nephrin protein in planarian flame cells. PMID:25859064

  14. Resistance of two planarian species to UV-irradiation.

    PubMed

    Kalafati?, Mirjana; Kovacevi?, Goran; Franjevi?, Damjan

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this work was to determine the effects of 20, 25 and 30 minute UV-irradiation periods lambda = 253.5 nm to two planarian species Dugesia tigrina (Gir.) and Polycelis felina (Daly.). In vivo, UV light effects have been reported to affect intracellular receptors and disrupt simple behaviour. The effects of UV-rays on mortality and behavior as well as morphological, cytological and histological changes in the two planarian species were assessed, and the course and the dynamics of regenerative processes were compared between them. Experimental populations of Dugesia tigrina and Polycelis felina species were maintained in laboratory conditions at room temperature. Mortality, behavioral and morphological changes were monitored daily by means of a light stereomicroscope. For cytological and histopathological analysis, planarians were fixed in Bouine fixative on the first, second, third, fifth and seventh day after exposure to UV-irradiation, respectively. They were embedded in paraffin, cut on a microtome, stained with toluidin blue and embedded in Canada-balsam. UV-rays caused mortality, behavioral, morphological, cytological and histological changes in each planarian species. In regeneration of damaged body parts reticular cells and neoblasts played the main role. Neoblasts as totipotent cells extremely increased in number in the area of damaged tissue, immediately after UV-exposure. Dugesia tigrina was more sensitive to UV-rays than Polycelis felina due to possession of less pigmented cells. The course of regeneration in both species was similar. Most individuals of both species regenerated in 5 to 12 days after UV-irradiation. PMID:17220004

  15. Freshwater Planarians as an Alternative Animal Model for Neurotoxicology.

    PubMed

    Hagstrom, Danielle; Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Zhang, Siqi; Khuu, Cindy; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2015-09-01

    Traditional toxicology testing has relied on low-throughput, expensive mammalian studies; however, timely testing of the large number of environmental toxicants requires new in vitro and in vivo platforms for inexpensive medium- to high-throughput screening. Herein, we describe the suitability of the asexual freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica as a new animal model for the study of developmental neurotoxicology. As these asexual animals reproduce by binary fission, followed by regeneration of missing body structures within approximately 1 week, development and regeneration occur through similar processes allowing us to induce neurodevelopment "at will" through amputation. This short time scale and the comparable sizes of full and regenerating animals enable parallel experiments in adults and developing worms to determine development-specific aspects of toxicity. Because the planarian brain, despite its simplicity, is structurally and molecularly similar to the mammalian brain, we are able to ascertain neurodevelopmental toxicity that is relevant to humans. As a proof of concept, we developed a 5-step semiautomatic screening platform to characterize the toxicity of 9 known neurotoxicants (consisting of common solvents, pesticides, and detergents) and a neutral agent, glucose, and quantified effects on viability, stimulated and unstimulated behavior, regeneration, and brain structure. Comparisons of our findings with other alternative toxicology animal models, such as zebrafish larvae and nematodes, demonstrated that planarians are comparably sensitive to the tested chemicals. In addition, we found that certain compounds induced adverse effects specifically in developing animals. We thus conclude that planarians offer new complementary opportunities for developmental neurotoxicology animal models. PMID:26116028

  16. Histone modifications and regeneration in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Robb, Sofia M C; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    The freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has emerged as a powerful model system for studying regeneration and adult stem cell (ASC) biology. This is largely due to the developmental plasticity of these organisms and the abundant distribution and experimental accessibility of their ASCs. Techniques such as whole mount in situ hybridization, dsRNA-mediated interference, halogenated thymidine analogs for defining cell lineages, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting among other methods, have allowed researchers to interrogate the biology and attendant pluripotent stem cells of these animals in great detail. Therefore, it has now become possible to interrogate and define the roles that epigenetic states may play in regulating ASCs, and by extension, regeneration proper. Here, we provide a primer on the types and number of histone families found in S. mediterranea, known as epigenetic marks of these molecules and a survey of epigenetic modifying enzymes encoded by the planarian genome. We also review experimental evidence indicating that such modifications may in fact play key roles in determining the activities of planarian stem cells. PMID:24512706

  17. Neural projections in planarian brain revealed by fluorescent dye tracing.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Keiji; Takeuchi, Kosei; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2005-05-01

    The planarian brain has an inverted-U shaped structure with functional regionalization. To investigate how each region in the brain connects to each other, we traced neural projections by microinjection of fluorescence dye tracers. We found that external light and olfactory/taste signals received in the head region are conveyed in the main lobes (sponge region) of the brain. Chemosensory neurons distributed in the lateral branches project to the peripheral region of the sponge and visual neurons project to the medial region of the sponge. Parts of the sensory neurons project directly to the corresponding sensory neurons on the opposite side of the brain. However, all of the dye labeled brain neurons in the left and right lobes connect to each other via commissural neurons in the central region of the sponge. In addition to these observations, we detected regional differences in the planarian visual neurons. Posterior visual neurons have ipsilateral projection, but anterior visual neurons project to the contralateral side of the brain. A pair of longitudinal ventral nerve cords (VNC) connect to the brain on the ventral side, suggesting that they transmit signals which are integrated and processed in the brain. We also detected the direct connection of neurons in the brain and those of the pharynx, even though most pharynx neurons connect to VNC neurons. Here, we report for the first time on neural connections in the planarian central nervous system after overcoming technical difficulties specific to flatworms. PMID:15930826

  18. Planarians in toxicology. Responses of asexual Dugesia dorotocephala to selected metals

    SciTech Connect

    Kapu, M.M.; Schaeffer, D.J. )

    1991-08-01

    The planarian Dugesia dorotocephala is a freshwater invertebrate found in unpolluted flowing surface waters. Planarians have a sensitive nervous system with synapses and true brain and evidence these in a variety of social and response behaviors. The inclusion of planarians in a screening battery would provide improved sensitivity in detecting toxicity because planarians commonly respond to lower levels of contamination than do other species. Numerous toxicity test have been conducted to determine the acute and chronic effects of toxicants to provide data necessary for the development of water quality criteria. The appropriateness of Illinois water quality standards for metals was investigated using a 1-hr behavioral test based on the responses of the planarian D. dorotocephala. One possible difficulty with water quality standards for metals is that the standard for each metal is usually established without regard to the effects of other metals present in the receiving water.

  19. Spontaneous Behaviors and Wall-Curvature Lead to Apparent Wall Preference in Planarian

    PubMed Central

    Akiyama, Yoshitaro; Agata, Kiyokazu; Inoue, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica tends to stay near the walls of its breeding containers and experimental dishes in the laboratory, a phenomenon called “wall preference”. This behavior is thought to be important for environmental adaptation, such as hiding by planarians in nature. However, the mechanisms regulating wall-preference behavior are not well understood, since this behavior occurs in the absence of any particular stimulation. Here we show the mechanisms of wall-preference behavior. Surprisingly, planarian wall-preference behavior was also shown even by the head alone and by headless planarians. These results indicate that planarian “wall-preference” behavior only appears to be a “preference” behavior, and is actually an outcome of spontaneous behaviors, rather than of brain function. We found that in the absence of environmental cues planarians moved basically straight ahead until they reached a wall, and that after reaching a wall, they changed their direction of movement to one tangential to the wall, suggesting that this spontaneous behavior may play a critical role in the wall preference. When we tested another spontaneous behavior, the wigwag movement of the planarian head, using computer simulation with various wigwag angles and wigwag intervals, large wigwag angle and short wigwag interval reduced wall-preference behavior. This indicated that wigwag movement may determine the probability of staying near the wall or leaving the wall. Furthermore, in accord with this simulation, when we tested planarian wall-preference behavior using several assay fields with different curvature of the wall, we found that concavity and sharp curvature of walls negatively impacted wall preference by affecting the permissible angle of the wigwag movement. Together, these results indicate that planarian wall preference may be involuntarily caused by the combination of two spontaneous planarian behaviors: moving straight ahead until reaching a wall and then moving along it in the absence of environmental cues, and wigwag movements of the head. PMID:26539715

  20. Spontaneous Behaviors and Wall-Curvature Lead to Apparent Wall Preference in Planarian.

    PubMed

    Akiyama, Yoshitaro; Agata, Kiyokazu; Inoue, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica tends to stay near the walls of its breeding containers and experimental dishes in the laboratory, a phenomenon called "wall preference". This behavior is thought to be important for environmental adaptation, such as hiding by planarians in nature. However, the mechanisms regulating wall-preference behavior are not well understood, since this behavior occurs in the absence of any particular stimulation. Here we show the mechanisms of wall-preference behavior. Surprisingly, planarian wall-preference behavior was also shown even by the head alone and by headless planarians. These results indicate that planarian "wall-preference" behavior only appears to be a "preference" behavior, and is actually an outcome of spontaneous behaviors, rather than of brain function. We found that in the absence of environmental cues planarians moved basically straight ahead until they reached a wall, and that after reaching a wall, they changed their direction of movement to one tangential to the wall, suggesting that this spontaneous behavior may play a critical role in the wall preference. When we tested another spontaneous behavior, the wigwag movement of the planarian head, using computer simulation with various wigwag angles and wigwag intervals, large wigwag angle and short wigwag interval reduced wall-preference behavior. This indicated that wigwag movement may determine the probability of staying near the wall or leaving the wall. Furthermore, in accord with this simulation, when we tested planarian wall-preference behavior using several assay fields with different curvature of the wall, we found that concavity and sharp curvature of walls negatively impacted wall preference by affecting the permissible angle of the wigwag movement. Together, these results indicate that planarian wall preference may be involuntarily caused by the combination of two spontaneous planarian behaviors: moving straight ahead until reaching a wall and then moving along it in the absence of environmental cues, and wigwag movements of the head. PMID:26539715

  1. Discovery of multiple neuropeptide families in the phylum Platyhelminthes

    PubMed Central

    McVeigh, Paul; Mair, Gunnar R.; Atkinson, Louise; Ladurner, Peter; Zamanian, Mostafa; Novozhilova, Ekaterina; Marks, Nikki J.; Day, Tim A.; Maule, Aaron G.

    2009-01-01

    Available evidence shows that short amidated neuropeptides are widespread and have important functions within the nervous systems of all flatworms (phylum Platyhelminthes) examined, and could therefore represent a starting point for new lead drug compounds with which to combat parasitic helminth infections. However, only a handful of these peptides have been characterised, the rigorous exploration of the flatworm peptide signalling repertoire having been hindered by the dearth of flatworm genomic data. Through searches of both expressed sequence tags and genomic resources using the basic local alignment search tool (BLAST), we describe 96 neuropeptides on 60 precursors from 10 flatworm species. Most of these (51 predicted peptides on 14 precursors) are novel and are apparently restricted to flatworms; the remainder comprise nine recognised peptide families including FMRFamide-like (FLPs), neuropeptide F (NPF)-like, myomodulin-like, buccalin-like and neuropeptide FF (NPFF)-like peptides; notably, the latter have only previously been reported in vertebrates. Selected peptides were localised immunocytochemically to the Schistosoma mansoni nervous system. We also describe several novel flatworm NPFs with structural features characteristic of the vertebrate neuropeptide Y (NPY) superfamily, previously unreported characteristics which support the common ancestry of flatworm NPFs with the NPY-superfamily. Our dataset provides a springboard for investigation of the functional biology and therapeutic potential of neuropeptides in flatworms, simultaneously launching flatworm neurobiology into the post-genomic era. PMID:19361512

  2. Planarian Body-Wall Muscle: Regeneration and Function beyond a Simple Skeletal Support

    PubMed Central

    Cebrià, Francesc

    2016-01-01

    The body-wall musculature of adult planarians consists of intricately organized muscle fibers, which after amputation are regenerated rapidly and with great precision through the proliferation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. These traits make the planarian body-wall musculature a potentially useful model for the study of cell proliferation, differentiation, and pattern formation. Planarian body-wall muscle shows some ambiguous features common to both skeletal and smooth muscle cells. However, its skeletal nature is implied by the expression of skeletal myosin heavy-chain genes and the myogenic transcription factor myoD. Where and when planarian stem cells become committed to the myogenic lineage during regeneration, how the new muscle cells are integrated into the pre-existing muscle net, and the identity of the molecular pathway controlling the myogenic gene program are key aspects of planarian muscle regeneration that need to be addressed. Expression of the conserved transcription factor myoD has been recently demonstrated in putative myogenic progenitors. Moreover, recent studies suggest that differentiated muscle cells may provide positional information to planarian stem cells during regeneration. Here, I review the limited available knowledge on planarian muscle regeneration. PMID:26904543

  3. Sucrose produces withdrawal and dopamine-sensitive reinforcing effects in planarians.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Charlie; Tallarida, Christopher S; Raffa, Robert B; Rawls, Scott M

    2013-03-15

    Sucrose produces physical dependence and reinforcing effects in rats. We hypothesized that similar effects could be demonstrated in planarians, the earliest animal with a centralized nervous system. We used two assays, one that quantifies withdrawal responses during drug absence as a reduction in motility and another that quantifies reinforcing effects using a conditioned place preference (CPP) design. In withdrawal experiments, planarians exposed to sucrose (1%) for 60 min and then tested in water for 5 min displayed reduced motility compared to water controls. Acute or continuous sucrose (1%) exposure did not affect motility. CPP experiments used a biased design to capitalize upon planarians' natural preference for the dark (pretest, sucrose conditioning in the light, posttest). Planarians conditioned with sucrose (1%) displayed a greater preference shift than sucrose-naïve planarians. Glucose (0.1, 1%), but not the non-digestible disaccharide lactulose (0.1, 1%), also produced a greater preference shift than water-exposed planarians. Development of sucrose-induced CPP was inhibited when sucrose (1%) conditioning was conducted in combination with dopamine receptor antagonists SCH 23390 (1 ?M) or sulpiride (1 ?M). These results suggest that the rewarding and reinforcing effects of sugar are highly conserved across species and that planarians offer an invertebrate model to provide insight into the pharmacological effects of sucrose and related sweeteners. PMID:23415661

  4. First evidence that drugs of abuse produce behavioral sensitization and cross-sensitization in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Rawls, Scott M.; Patil, Tavni; Yuvasheva, Ekaternia; Raffa, Robert B.

    2010-01-01

    Behavioral sensitization in mammals, including humans, is sensitive to factors such as administration route, testing environment, and pharmacokinetic confounds, unrelated to the drugs themselves, that are difficult to eliminate. Simpler animals less susceptible to these confounding influences may be advantageous substitutes for studying sensitization. We tested this hypothesis by determining if planarians display sensitization and cross-sensitization to cocaine and glutamate. Planarian hyperactivity was quantified as the number of C-like hyperkinesias during a 1-min drug exposure. Planarians exposed initially to cocaine (or glutamate) on day 1 were challenged with cocaine (or glutamate) after 2 or 6 days of abstinence. Acute cocaine or glutamate produced concentration-related hyperactivity. Cocaine or glutamate challenge after 2 and 6 days of abstinence enhanced the hyperactivity, indicating the substances produced planarian behavioral sensitization (pBS). Cross-sensitization experiments showed that cocaine produced greater hyperactivity in planarians previously exposed to glutamate than in glutamate-naïve planarians, and vice versa. Behavioral responses were pharmacologically selective because neither scopolamine nor caffeine produced pBS despite causing hyperactivity after initial administration, and acute GABA did not cause hyperactivity. Demonstration of pharmacologically-selective behavioral sensitization in planarians suggests these flatworms represent a sensitive in vivo model to study cocaine behavioral sensitization and to screen potential abuse-deterrent therapeutics. PMID:20512030

  5. Sucrose produces withdrawal and dopamine-sensitive reinforcing effects in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Charlie; Tallarida, Christopher S.; Raffa, Robert B.; Rawls, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    Sucrose produces physical dependence and reinforcing effects in rats. We hypothesized that similar effects could be demonstrated in planarians, the earliest animal with a centralized nervous system. We used two assays, one that quantifies withdrawal responses during drug absence as a reduction in motility and another that quantifies reinforcing effects using a conditioned place preference (CPP) design. In withdrawal experiments, planarians exposed to sucrose (1%) for 60 min and then tested in water for 5 min displayed reduced motility compared to water controls. Acute or continuous sucrose (1%) exposure did not affect motility. CPP experiments used a biased design to capitalize upon planarians’ natural preference for the dark (pretest, sucrose conditioning in the light, posttest). Planarians conditioned with sucrose (1%) displayed a greater preference shift than sucrose-naïve planarians. Glucose (0.1, 1%), but not the non-digestible disaccharide lactulose (0.1, 1%), also produced a greater preference shift than water-exposed planarians. Development of sucrose-induced CPP was inhibited when sucrose (1%) conditioning was conducted in combination with dopamine receptor antagonists SCH 23390 (1 µM) or sulpiride (1 µM). These results suggest that rewarding and reinforcing effects of sugar are highly conserved across species and that planarians offer an invertebrate model to provide insight into the pharmacological effects of sucrose and related sweeteners. PMID:23415661

  6. Basal bodies across eukaryotes series: basal bodies in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Azimzadeh, Juliette; Basquin, Cyril

    2016-01-01

    The freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has recently emerged as a valuable model system to study basal bodies (BBs) and cilia. Planarians are free-living flatworms that use cilia beating at the surface of their ventral epidermis for gliding along substrates. The ventral epidermis is composed of multiciliated cells (MCCs) that are similar to the MCCs in the respiratory airways, the brain ventricles, and the oviducts in vertebrates. In the planarian epidermis, each cell assembles approximately eighty cilia that beat in a coordinate fashion across the tissue. The BBs that nucleate these cilia all assemble de novo during terminal differentiation of MCCs. The genome of the planarian S. mediterranea has been sequenced and efficient methods for targeting gene expression by RNA interference are available. Defects induced by perturbing the expression of BB proteins can be detected simply by analyzing the locomotion of planarians. BBs are present in large numbers and in predictable orientation, which greatly facilitates analyses by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. The great ease in targeting gene expression and analyzing associated defects allowed to identify a set of proteins required for BB assembly and function in planarian MCCs. Future technological developments, including methods for transgenic expression in planarians and in related species, will achieve turning free-living flatworms into powerful model systems to study MCCs and the associated human pathologies. PMID:26998257

  7. Planarian Body-Wall Muscle: Regeneration and Function beyond a Simple Skeletal Support.

    PubMed

    Cebrià, Francesc

    2016-01-01

    The body-wall musculature of adult planarians consists of intricately organized muscle fibers, which after amputation are regenerated rapidly and with great precision through the proliferation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. These traits make the planarian body-wall musculature a potentially useful model for the study of cell proliferation, differentiation, and pattern formation. Planarian body-wall muscle shows some ambiguous features common to both skeletal and smooth muscle cells. However, its skeletal nature is implied by the expression of skeletal myosin heavy-chain genes and the myogenic transcription factor myoD. Where and when planarian stem cells become committed to the myogenic lineage during regeneration, how the new muscle cells are integrated into the pre-existing muscle net, and the identity of the molecular pathway controlling the myogenic gene program are key aspects of planarian muscle regeneration that need to be addressed. Expression of the conserved transcription factor myoD has been recently demonstrated in putative myogenic progenitors. Moreover, recent studies suggest that differentiated muscle cells may provide positional information to planarian stem cells during regeneration. Here, I review the limited available knowledge on planarian muscle regeneration. PMID:26904543

  8. Monogeneans (Platyhelminthes) from marine fishes of Tongyeong, Korea.

    PubMed

    Venmathi Maran, B A; Oh, Sung-Yong; Moon, Seong Yong; Soh, Ho Young; Kim, Chong-Kwan; Myoung, Jung-Goo

    2014-09-01

    Monogeneans (Platyhelminthes) mostly parasitize on fins, skin and gills of fishes. In Korea, the study on monogeneans is limited, although, fishes are frequently encountered with severe infection of monogeneans. Hence, some of ranched and wild fishes were collected from Tongyeong marine living resources research and conservation center, southern part of Korea to screen and understand the infection of monogeneans. All three fish hosts were found with the infection of monogeneans including five species from four different families. They are: (1) Anoplodiscus spari Yamaguti (Publ Seto Mar Biol Lab Kyoto Univ 7:53-88, 1958) (Anoplodiscidae) from the fins and body surface of blackhead seabream Acanthopagrus schlegelii schlegelii (Bleeker); (2) A. tai Ogawa (Fish Pathol 29:5-10, 1994) from the fins of red seabream Pagrus major (Temminck and Schlegel); (3) Benedenia sekii Yamaguti (Studies on the helminth fauna of Japan. Part 19. Fourteen new ectoparasitic trematodes of fishes. Published by the author, Kyoto, 1937), Meserve (Rep Allan Hancock Paci Exped (1932-1937) 2:31-89, 1938) (Capsalidae) from the body surface of P. major; (4) Choricotyle elongata Goto (J Coll Sci Imp Univ Tokyo 8:1-273, 1894) (Diclidophoridae) from the gills of P. major; (5) Udonella fugu Freeman and Ogawa (Int J Parasitol 40:255-264, 2010) (Udonellidae) hyperparasitized on the body of parasitic copepod Pseudocaligus fugu (Yamaguti 1936) (Caligidae) infecting the wild grass puffer Takifugu niphobles (Jordan and Snyder). Capsalids are commonly reported in Korea, except B. sekii, however, other reported genera are uncommon. Hence, all reported monogeneans are considered as a first record from Korea. PMID:25035585

  9. Cytosine methylation is a conserved epigenetic feature found throughout the phylum Platyhelminthes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The phylum Platyhelminthes (flatworms) contains an important group of bilaterian organisms responsible for many debilitating and chronic infectious diseases of human and animal populations inhabiting the planet today. In addition to their biomedical and veterinary relevance, some platyhelminths are also frequently used models for understanding tissue regeneration and stem cell biology. Therefore, the molecular (genetic and epigenetic) characteristics that underlie trophic specialism, pathogenicity or developmental maturation are likely to be pivotal in our continued studies of this important metazoan group. Indeed, in contrast to earlier studies that failed to detect evidence of cytosine or adenine methylation in parasitic flatworm taxa, our laboratory has recently defined a critical role for cytosine methylation in Schistosoma mansoni oviposition, egg maturation and ovarian development. Thus, in order to identify whether this epigenetic modification features in other platyhelminth species or is a novelty of S. mansoni, we conducted a study simultaneously surveying for DNA methylation machinery components and DNA methylation marks throughout the phylum using both parasitic and non-parasitic representatives. Results Firstly, using both S. mansoni DNA methyltransferase 2 (SmDNMT2) and methyl-CpG binding domain protein (SmMBD) as query sequences, we illustrate that essential DNA methylation machinery components are well conserved throughout the phylum. Secondly, using both molecular (methylation specific amplification polymorphism, MSAP) and immunological (enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay, ELISA) methodologies, we demonstrate that representative species (Echinococcus multilocularis, Protopolystoma xenopodis, Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum, Fasciola hepatica and Polycelis nigra) within all four platyhelminth classes (Cestoda, Monogenea, Trematoda and ‘Turbellaria’) contain methylated cytosines within their genome compartments. Conclusions Collectively, these findings provide the first direct evidence for a functionally conserved and enzymatically active DNA methylation system throughout the Platyhelminthes. Defining how this epigenetic feature shapes phenotypic diversity and development within the phylum represents an exciting new area of metazoan biology. PMID:23837670

  10. The phorbol ester TPA dramatically inhibits planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Pascolini, R; Panara, F; Di Rosa, I; Lorvik, S

    1989-01-01

    The effect of phorbol ester TPA (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate) on head regeneration in decapitated planarians (Dugesia lugubris s.1.) has been studied. TPA-treatment soon after head amputation dramatically inhibited the regenerative process. Ultrastructural analysis revealed that the migration of fixed parenchymal cells (FPCs) to the wound area was strongly activated by TPA. FPCs interacted with various types of cells inducing lysis and phagocyting cell debris. The resulting fluid was removed through diaphanous protrusions appearing at the level of the wound zone. Moreover the close association of FPCs with neoblastlike cell clusters in the parenchyma indicated their possible role in the modulation of neoblast migration. PMID:18620267

  11. THE HISTORY AND ENDURING CONTRIBUTIONS OF PLANARIANS TO THE STUDY OF ANIMAL REGENERATION

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, Sarah A.; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2012-01-01

    Having an almost unlimited capacity to regenerate tissues lost to age and injury, planarians have long fascinated naturalists. In the Western hemisphere alone, their documented history spans more than 200 years. Planarians were described in the early 19th century as being “immortal under the edge of the knife,” and initial investigation of these remarkable animals was significantly influenced by studies of regeneration in other organisms and from the flourishing field of experimental embryology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This review strives to place the study of planarian regeneration into a broader historical context by focusing on the significance and evolution of knowledge in this field. It also synthesizes our current molecular understanding of the mechanisms of planarian regeneration uncovered since this animal’s relatively recent entrance into the molecular-genetic age. PMID:23799578

  12. The history and enduring contributions of planarians to the study of animal regeneration.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Sarah A; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    Having an almost unlimited capacity to regenerate tissues lost to age and injury, planarians have long fascinated naturalists. In the Western hemisphere alone, their documented history spans more than 200 years. Planarians were described in the early 19th century as being 'immortal under the edge of the knife', and initial investigation of these remarkable animals was significantly influenced by studies of regeneration in other organisms and from the flourishing field of experimental embryology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This review strives to place the study of planarian regeneration into a broader historical context by focusing on the significance and evolution of knowledge in this field. It also synthesizes our current molecular understanding of the mechanisms of planarian regeneration uncovered since this animal's relatively recent entrance into the molecular-genetic age. PMID:23799578

  13. Innate immune system and tissue regeneration in planarians: an area ripe for exploration.

    PubMed

    Peiris, T Harshani; Hoyer, Katrina K; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2014-08-01

    The immune system has been implicated as an important modulator of tissue regeneration. However, the mechanisms driving injury-induced immune response and tissue repair remain poorly understood. For over 200 years, planarians have been a classical model for studies on tissue regeneration, but the planarian immune system and its potential role in repair is largely unknown. We found through comparative genomic analysis and data mining that planarians contain many potential homologs of the innate immune system that are activated during injury and repair of adult tissues. These findings support the notion that the relationship between adult tissue repair and the immune system is an ancient feature of basal Bilateria. Further analysis of the planarian immune system during regeneration could potentially add to our understanding of how the innate immune system and inflammatory responses interplay with regenerative signals to induce scar-less tissue repair in the context of the adult organism. PMID:25082737

  14. Innate immune system and tissue regeneration in Planarians: An area ripe for exploration

    PubMed Central

    Peiris, T. Harshani; Hoyer, Katrina K.; Oviedo, Néstor J.

    2014-01-01

    The immune system has been implicated as an important modulator of tissue regeneration. However, the mechanisms driving injury-induced immune response and tissue repair remain poorly understood. For over 200 years, planarians have been a classical model for studies on tissue regeneration, but the planarian immune system and its potential role in repair is largely unknown. We found through comparative genomic analysis and data mining that planarians contain many potential homologs of the innate immune system that are activated during injury and repair of adult tissues. These findings support the notion that the relationship between adult tissue repair and the immune system is an ancient feature of basal Bilateria. Further analysis of the planarian immune system during regeneration could potentially add to our understanding of how the innate immune system and inflammatory responses interplay with regenerative signals to induce scar-less tissue repair in the context of the adult organism. PMID:25082737

  15. On the organ trail: insights into organ regeneration in the planarian.

    PubMed

    Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Newmark, Phillip A

    2015-06-01

    Advances in stem cell biology have led to the derivation of diverse cell types, yet challenges remain in creating complex tissues and functional organs. Unlike humans, some animals regenerate all missing tissues and organs successfully after dramatic injuries. Studies of organisms with exceptional regenerative capacity, like planarians, could complement in vitro studies and reveal mechanistic themes underlying regeneration on the scale of whole organs and tissues. In this review, we outline progress in understanding planarian organ regeneration, with focus on recent studies of the nervous, digestive, and excretory systems. We further examine molecular mechanisms underlying establishment of diverse cell fates from the planarian stem cell pool. Finally, we explore conceptual directions for future studies of organ regeneration in planarians. PMID:25703843

  16. miR-71b regulation of insulin/IGF-1 signaling during starvation in planarians.

    PubMed

    Wu, Y Y; Zhao, J M; Liu, Q; Guo, Q; Liu, Z; Wang, X X; Wang, C Y; Li, R Y; Zhang, Y Z; Zhang, S T

    2015-01-01

    Planarians, which have a large population of stem cells called neoblasts, are molecularly tractable model systems used in the study of regeneration. However, planarians have strong resistance to hunger and have developed growth arrest strategies. For example, they can change their size and undergo growth regression during starvation periods. The results of the current study show that the microRNA, miR-71b, and the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway have important functions in the development of starvation-induced planarians. We demonstrate tissue-specific expression of miR-71b using in situ hybridization. By employing real-time polymerase chain reaction, we provide evidence that miR-71b is upregulated in starvation-induced planarians. Furthermore, we validate and verify the target genes of miR-71b. PMID:26505338

  17. Constitutive gene expression and specification of tissue identity in adult planarian biology

    PubMed Central

    Reddien, Peter W.

    2011-01-01

    Planarians are flatworms that constitutively maintain adult tissues through cell turnover and can regenerate entire organisms from tiny body fragments. In addition to requiring new cells (from neoblasts), these feats require mechanisms that specify tissue identity in the adult. Critical roles for Wnt and BMP signaling in regeneration and maintenance of the body axes have been uncovered, among other regulatory factors. Available data indicate that genes involved in positional identity regulation at key embryonic stages in other animals display persisting regionalized expression in adult planarians. These expression patterns suggest that a constitutively active gene expression map exists for maintenance of the planarian body. Planarians therefore present a fertile ground for identification of factors regulating regionalization of the metazoan body plan and for study of the attributes of these factors that can lead to maintenance and regeneration of adult tissues. PMID:21680047

  18. Neoblast Specialization in Regeneration of the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Scimone, M. Lucila; Kravarik, Kellie M.; Lapan, Sylvain W.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Planarians can regenerate any missing body part in a process requiring dividing cells called neoblasts. Historically, neoblasts have largely been considered a homogeneous stem cell population. Most studies, however, analyzed neoblasts at the population rather than the single-cell level, leaving the degree of heterogeneity in this population unresolved. We combined RNA sequencing of neoblasts from wounded planarians with expression screening and identified 33 transcription factors transcribed in specific differentiated cells and in small fractions of neoblasts during regeneration. Many neoblast subsets expressing distinct tissue-associated transcription factors were present, suggesting candidate specification into many lineages. Consistent with this possibility, klf, pax3/7, and FoxA were required for the differentiation of cintillo-expressing sensory neurons, dopamine-?-hydroxylase-expressing neurons, and the pharynx, respectively. Together, these results suggest that specification of cell fate for most-to-all regenerative lineages occurs within neoblasts, with regenerative cells of blastemas being generated from a highly heterogeneous collection of lineage-specified neoblasts. PMID:25254346

  19. Signification of the sexualizing substance produced by the sexualized planarians.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Arioka, Sachiko; Hase, Sumitaka; Hoshi, Motonori

    2002-06-01

    Asexual worms of an exclusively fissiparous strain (the OH strain) of the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis keep developing hermaphroditic reproductive organs and eventually undergo sexual reproduction instead of asexual reproduction, namely fission, if they are fed with sexually mature worms of an exclusively oviparous planarian, Bdellocephala brunnea, suggesting that the sexually mature worms has a sexualizing substance(s). The fully sexualized worms no longer need the feeding on sexual worms to maintain the sexuality. Here, we demonstrate that the sexualized worms produce enough of their own sexualizing substance similar to that contained in B. brunnea. In case of surgical ablation of the sexualized worms, the fragments with sexual organs regenerate to become sexual, while those without sexual organs, namely head fragments, regenerate to return to the asexual state. The asexual regenerants from the sexualized worms are also fully sexualized by being fed with B. brunnea. Additionally, it was reported that head region in sexually mature worms lacks the putative sexualizing substance necessary for complete sexualization (Sakurai, 1981). These results suggest that the fragments without sexual organ lack enough of an amount of the putative sexualizing substance and the sexuality is maintained by the sexualizing substance contained in the sexualized worms. PMID:12130794

  20. Neoblast specialization in regeneration of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Scimone, M Lucila; Kravarik, Kellie M; Lapan, Sylvain W; Reddien, Peter W

    2014-08-12

    Planarians can regenerate any missing body part in a process requiring dividing cells called neoblasts. Historically, neoblasts have largely been considered a homogeneous stem cell population. Most studies, however, analyzed neoblasts at the population rather than the single-cell level, leaving the degree of heterogeneity in this population unresolved. We combined RNA sequencing of neoblasts from wounded planarians with expression screening and identified 33 transcription factors transcribed in specific differentiated cells and in small fractions of neoblasts during regeneration. Many neoblast subsets expressing distinct tissue-associated transcription factors were present, suggesting candidate specification into many lineages. Consistent with this possibility, klf, pax3/7, and FoxA were required for the differentiation of cintillo-expressing sensory neurons, dopamine-?-hydroxylase-expressing neurons, and the pharynx, respectively. Together, these results suggest that specification of cell fate for most-to-all regenerative lineages occurs within neoblasts, with regenerative cells of blastemas being generated from a highly heterogeneous collection of lineage-specified neoblasts. PMID:25254346

  1. Estimation of the toxicity of silver nanoparticles by using planarian flatworms.

    PubMed

    Kustov, Leonid; Tiras, Kharlampii; Al-Abed, Souhail; Golovina, Natalia; Ananyan, Mikhail

    2014-03-01

    The regeneration of planarian flatworms - specifically, changes to the area of the regeneration bud (blastema) after surgical dissection - was proposed for use as a robust tool for estimating the toxicity of silver nanoparticles. The use of Planaria species, due to their unique regenerative capacity, could result in a reduction in the use of more-traditional laboratory animals for toxicity testing. With our novel approach, silver nanoparticles were found to be moderately toxic to the planarian, Girardia tigrina. PMID:24773488

  2. Protective effect of talipexole on MPTP-treated planarian, a unique parkinsonian worm model.

    PubMed

    Kitamura, Y; Kakimura, J; Taniguchi, T

    1998-09-01

    The planarian, a flatworm, has a high potential for regeneration, and dopamine plays a key role in its behavior. Planarians treated with MPTP underwent autolysis and individual death in a concentration-dependent manner. When the planarian body was cut into anterior, middle and posterior pieces, each piece subsequently regenerated and reorganized to form a new individual within approximately 10 days. The anterior piece was significantly more sensitive than the middle and posterior pieces to MPTP cytotoxicity. Concomitant treatment with talipexole, an anti-parkinsonian drug, inhibited MPTP-induced autolysis and individual death in a concentration-dependent manner. Pramipexole showed a similar protective effect. In addition, post-treatment with talipexole at 1 hr after MPTP completely inhibited MPTP-induced individual death. Although MPTP treatment caused 30% of the planarians to undergo autolysis and individual death within 12 hr, post-treatment with talipexole even at 12 hr completely rescued the remaining 70% of the planarians from death. These results suggest that the MPTP-treated planarian may be useful as a novel parkinsonian model in which talipexole has a protective effect even in the case of post-treatment. PMID:9804058

  3. SILAC proteomics of planarians identifies Ncoa5 as a conserved component of pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Böser, Alexander; Drexler, Hannes C A; Reuter, Hanna; Schmitz, Henning; Wu, Guangming; Schöler, Hans R; Gentile, Luca; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2013-11-27

    Planarian regeneration depends on the presence of pluripotent stem cells in the adult. We developed an in vivo stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) protocol in planarians to identify proteins that are enriched in planarian stem cells. Through a comparison of SILAC proteomes of normal and stem cell-depleted planarians and of a stem cell-enriched population of sorted cells, we identified hundreds of stem cell proteins. One of these is an ortholog of nuclear receptor coactivator-5 (Ncoa5/CIA), which is known to regulate estrogen-receptor-mediated transcription in human cells. We show that Ncoa5 is essential for the maintenance of the pluripotent stem cell population in planarians and that a putative mouse ortholog is expressed in pluripotent cells of the embryo. Our study thus identifies a conserved component of pluripotent stem cells, demonstrating that planarians, in particular, when combined with in vivo SILAC, are a powerful model in stem cell research. PMID:24268775

  4. A cembranoid from tobacco prevents the expression of nicotine-induced withdrawal behavior in planarian worms

    PubMed Central

    Pagán, Oné R.; Rowlands, Amanda L.; Fattore, Angela L.; Coudron, Tamara; Urban, Kimberly R.; Bidja, Apurva H.; Eterovi?, Vesna A.

    2010-01-01

    Using an adaptation of published behavioral protocols, we determined that acute exposure to the cholinergic compounds nicotine and carbamylcholine decreased planarian motility in a concentration-dependent manner. A tobacco cembranoid (1S,2E,4R,6R,7E,11E)-cembra-2,7,11-triene-4,6-diol (4R-cembranoid), also decreased planarian motility. Experiments in the presence of 1 ?M 4R-cembranoid did increase the IC50 for nicotine- but not carbamylcholine-induced decrease in planarian motility. When planarians were exposed for 24 h to either nicotine or carbamylcholine at concentrations near their respective IC50 values and then transferred to plain media, nicotine-exposed, but not carbamylcholine- or cembranoid-exposed worms displayed withdrawal-like distress behaviors. In experiments where planarians were pre-exposed to 100 ?M nicotine for 24 h in the presence of 1 ?M 4R-cembranoid, the withdrawal-like effects were significantly reduced. These results indicate that the 4R-cembranoid might have valuable applications for tobacco abuse research. This experimental approach using planarians is useful for the initial screening of compounds relevant to drug abuse and dependence. PMID:19490913

  5. PlanMine – a mineable resource of planarian biology and biodiversity

    PubMed Central

    Brandl, Holger; Moon, HongKee; Vila-Farré, Miquel; Liu, Shang-Yun; Henry, Ian; Rink, Jochen C.

    2016-01-01

    Planarian flatworms are in the midst of a renaissance as a model system for regeneration and stem cells. Besides two well-studied model species, hundreds of species exist worldwide that present a fascinating diversity of regenerative abilities, tissue turnover rates, reproductive strategies and other life history traits. PlanMine (http://planmine.mpi-cbg.de/) aims to accomplish two primary missions: First, to provide an easily accessible platform for sharing, comparing and value-added mining of planarian sequence data. Second, to catalyze the comparative analysis of the phenotypic diversity amongst planarian species. Currently, PlanMine houses transcriptomes independently assembled by our lab and community contributors. Detailed assembly/annotation statistics, a custom-developed BLAST viewer and easy export options enable comparisons at the contig and assembly level. Consistent annotation of all transcriptomes by an automated pipeline, the integration of published gene expression information and inter-relational query tools provide opportunities for mining planarian gene sequences and functions. For inter-species comparisons, we include transcriptomes of, so far, six planarian species, along with images, expert-curated information on their biology and pre-calculated cross-species sequence homologies. PlanMine is based on the popular InterMine system in order to make the rich biology of planarians accessible to the general life sciences research community. PMID:26578570

  6. PlanMine - a mineable resource of planarian biology and biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Brandl, Holger; Moon, HongKee; Vila-Farré, Miquel; Liu, Shang-Yun; Henry, Ian; Rink, Jochen C

    2016-01-01

    Planarian flatworms are in the midst of a renaissance as a model system for regeneration and stem cells. Besides two well-studied model species, hundreds of species exist worldwide that present a fascinating diversity of regenerative abilities, tissue turnover rates, reproductive strategies and other life history traits. PlanMine (http://planmine.mpi-cbg.de/) aims to accomplish two primary missions: First, to provide an easily accessible platform for sharing, comparing and value-added mining of planarian sequence data. Second, to catalyze the comparative analysis of the phenotypic diversity amongst planarian species. Currently, PlanMine houses transcriptomes independently assembled by our lab and community contributors. Detailed assembly/annotation statistics, a custom-developed BLAST viewer and easy export options enable comparisons at the contig and assembly level. Consistent annotation of all transcriptomes by an automated pipeline, the integration of published gene expression information and inter-relational query tools provide opportunities for mining planarian gene sequences and functions. For inter-species comparisons, we include transcriptomes of, so far, six planarian species, along with images, expert-curated information on their biology and pre-calculated cross-species sequence homologies. PlanMine is based on the popular InterMine system in order to make the rich biology of planarians accessible to the general life sciences research community. PMID:26578570

  7. Evolutionary analysis of mitogenomes from parasitic and free-living flatworms.

    PubMed

    Solà, Eduard; Álvarez-Presas, Marta; Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids. PMID:25793530

  8. Evolutionary Analysis of Mitogenomes from Parasitic and Free-Living Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D. Timothy J.; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids. PMID:25793530

  9. Characterization of the complete mitochondrial genomes from Polycladida (Platyhelminthes) using next-generation sequencing.

    PubMed

    Aguado, M Teresa; Grande, Cristina; Gerth, Michael; Bleidorn, Christoph; Noreña, Carolina

    2016-01-10

    The complete mitochondrial genomes of three polycladids, the acotylean Hoploplana elisabelloi and the cotyleans Enchiridium sp. and Prosthiostomum siphunculus have been assembled with high coverage from Illumina sequencing data. The mt genomes contain 36 genes including 12 of the 13 protein-coding genes characteristic for metazoan mitochondrial genomes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and 22 transfer RNA genes. Gene annotation, gene order, genetic code, start and stop codons and codon bias have been identified. In comparison with the well investigated parasitic Neodermata, our analysis reveals a great diversity of gene orders within Polycladida and Platyhelminthes in general. By analyzing representative genomes of the main groups of Platyhelminthes we explored the phylogenetic relationships of this group. The phylogenetic analyses strongly supported the monophyly of Polycladida, and based on a small taxon sampling suggest the monophyly of Acotylea and Cotylea. PMID:26325071

  10. A study of low power laser on the regenerative process of Girardia tigrina (Girard,1850) (Turbellaria; Tricladida; Dugesiidae).

    PubMed

    Lopes, K A R; Campos Velho, N M R; Munin, E

    2009-05-01

    The mechanism of regeneration does not start to restore the wound until its corresponding epimorphic phase. A bioestimulation of tissues and cells by laser radiation depends on the wavelength, on the dose, and on the intensity of the light. The goal of this work was to verify the effect of the low power laser at 660 nm on the regenerative process of Girardia tigrina. The specimens were maintained in the laboratory under a temperature ranging from 19 degrees up to 24 degrees C for 21 days. The planarians were anesthetized by placing them on ice and then cut them with a scalpel. The three treatments were as following: animals individually irradiated with 14 sessions with 1 minute duration (treatment 1), 14 sessions with 3 minutes duration (treatment 2), and without irradiation (control). The planarians were amputated and divided in three study treatments: a control group (without radiation), and two other treatments: irradiated for 1 minute, and irradiated for 3 minutes. The animals were irradiated with diode laser (660 nm) with 3.3 +/- 0.3 mW of power, using 0.94 mW.mm-2 power density for each irradiation procedure. During the experiment, 14 irradiation sessions were undertaken. The specimens were fixed in Bouin, and stained with hematoxyline and eosin. From observation and histological analysis, it was possible to assess the effects of interaction between laser and tissue. The head fragment after 1 minute of irradiation presented a better organized tissue scheme, when compared with the other treatments. Aspects of the body fragments submitted to 3 minutes of light treatment were very similar to fragments that had not been injured. It can be concluded that there are changes in the quality of regeneration when treated with low power laser under the conditions mentioned above. PMID:19675934

  11. Bioelectric signaling regulates head and organ size during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Beane, Wendy Scott; Morokuma, Junji; Lemire, Joan M; Levin, Michael

    2013-01-15

    A main goal of regenerative medicine is to replace lost or damaged tissues and organs with functional parts of the correct size and shape. But the proliferation of new cells is not sufficient; we will also need to understand how the scale and ultimate form of newly produced tissues are determined. Using the planarian model system, we report that membrane voltage-dependent bioelectric signaling determines both head size and organ scaling during regeneration. RNA interference of the H(+),K(+)-ATPase ion pump results in membrane hyperpolarization, which has no effect on the amount of new tissue (blastema) that is regenerated yet produces regenerates with tiny 'shrunken' heads and proportionally oversized pharynges. Our data show that this disproportionality results from a lack of the apoptosis required to adjust head and organ size and placement, highlighting apoptotic remodeling as the link between bioelectric signaling and the establishment of organ size during regeneration. PMID:23250205

  12. [Cellular origins of regeneration in planarians. Current concepts of neoblasts].

    PubMed

    Krichinskaia, E B

    1980-12-01

    The problem on the origin of cellular material for planarian regeneration is still disputable. Some old and modern authors, among them those of Et. Wolff's school (France), believe that the only construction material for regeneration are neoblasts which are considered as poorly differentiated cells of the embryonal type. Under light microscopy, they are seen as small highly basophilic cells with a large vesicular nucleus and a large nucleolus. Electron microscopic investigation demonstrates in the neoblasts a rather large nucleus with clumped chromatin scattered in the nucleoplasm and with small amount of cytoplasm rich in free ribosomes and poor in other organoids. A characteristic feature for activated neoblasts in the regenerating planaria is presence, in cytoplasm, of chromatoid bodies of nuclear origin. Another point of view suggested by some old authors and supported by several modern American investigators (E. D. Hay a. St. J. Coward) considers that the cells dedifferentiate within the wound area and convert into neoblasts. PMID:6166283

  13. Topiramate antagonism of L-glutamate-induced paroxysms in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Raffa, Robert B.; Finno, Kristin E.; Tallarida, Christopher S.; Rawls, Scott M.

    2010-01-01

    We recently reported that NMDA (N-Methyl-D-aspartate) and AMPA (?-Amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid) induce concentration-dependent paroxysms in planarians (Dugesia dorotocephala). Since the postulated mechanisms of action of the sulfamate-substituted monosaccharide antiepileptic drug topiramate include inhibition of glutamate-activated ion channels, we tested the hypothesis that topiramate would inhibit glutamate-induced paroxysms in our model. We demonstrate that: (1) L-glutamate (1–10 mM), but not D-glutamate, induced dose-related paroxysms, and that (2) topiramate dose-relatedly (0.3–3 mM) inhibited L-glutamate-induced paroxysms. These results provide further evidence of a topiramate-sensitive glutamate receptor-mediated activity in this model. PMID:20863783

  14. 5-HT1A-like receptor activation inhibits abstinence-induced methamphetamine withdrawal in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Rawls, Scott M.; Shah, Hardik; Ayoub, George; Raffa, Robert B.

    2010-01-01

    No pharmacological therapy is approved to treat methamphetamine physical dependence, but it has been hypothesized that serotonin (5-HT)-enhancing drugs might limit the severity of withdrawal symptoms. To test this hypothesis, we used a planarian model of physical dependence that quantifies withdrawal as a reduction in planarian movement. Planarians exposed to methamphetamine (10 µM) for 60 min, and then placed (tested) into drug-free water for 5 min, displayed less movement (i.e., withdrawal) than either methamphetamine-naïve planarians tested in water or methamphetamine-exposed planarians tested in methamphetamine. A concentration-related inhibition of withdrawal was observed when methamphetamine-exposed planarians were placed into a solution containing either methamphetamine and 5-HT (0.1 – 100 µM) or methamphetamine and the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-Hydroxy-N,N-dipropyl-2-aminotetralin (8-OH-DPAT) (10, 20 µM). Planarians with prior methamphetamine exposure displayed enhanced withdrawal when tested in a solution of the 5-HT1A receptor antagonist N-[2-[4-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1-piperazinyl]ethyl]- N-(2-pyridyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide (WAY 100635) (1 µM). Methamphetamine-induced withdrawal was not affected by the 5-HT2B/2C receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (m-CPZ) (0.1 – 20 µM). These results provide pharmacological evidence that serotonin-enhancing drugs inhibit expression of methamphetamine physical dependence in an invertebrate model of withdrawal, possibly through a 5-HT1A-like receptor-dependent mechanism. PMID:20709144

  15. Land Planarian Assemblages in Protected Areas of the Interior Atlantic Forest: Implications for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Negrete, Lisandro; Colpo, Karine D.; Brusa, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Land planarians are an interesting group of free-living flatworms that can be useful as bioindicators because of their high sensitivity to environmental changes and low dispersal capacity. In this study, we describe and compare assemblages of land planarians from areas with different conservation degrees of the Interior Atlantic Forest (Misiones, Argentina), and assess factors that could be related to their abundance and richness. Eight sites were tracked in search of land planarians in Reserva de Vida Silvestre Urugua-í (RVSU) and Campo Anexo Manuel Belgrano (CAMB). Diurnal and nocturnal surveys were performed in each site along nine sampling campaigns. We collected 237 individuals belonging to 18 species of the subfamily Geoplaninae. All sites were dominated by Geoplana sp. 1 and Pasipha hauseri. The richness estimators showed that there would be more species in RVSU than in CAMB. The abundance and richness of land planarians was high during the night and after rainfalls, suggesting an increased activity of flatworms under such conditions. The abundance and richness of land planarians were also related to the conservation condition of the sites. Disturbed sites showed less abundance and richness, and were segregated from non-disturbed ones by nmMDS analysis. Beta diversity between sites was higher than expected, indicating that the species turnover between sites contributed more to the total richness (gamma diversity) than the alpha diversity. PMID:24598934

  16. A Pitx transcription factor controls the establishment and maintenance of the serotonergic lineage in planarians.

    PubMed

    März, Martin; Seebeck, Florian; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2013-11-01

    In contrast to adult vertebrates, which have limited capacities for neurogenesis, adult planarians undergo constitutive cellular turnover during homeostasis and are even able to regenerate a whole brain after decapitation. This enormous plasticity derives from pluripotent stem cells residing in the planarian body in large numbers. It is still obscure how these stem cells are programmed for differentiation into specific cell lineages and how lineage identity is maintained. Here we identify a Pitx transcription factor of crucial importance for planarian regeneration. In addition to patterning defects that are co-dependent on the LIM homeobox transcription factor gene islet1, which is expressed with pitx at anterior and posterior regeneration poles, RNAi against pitx results in islet1-independent specific loss of serotonergic (SN) neurons during regeneration. Besides its expression in terminally differentiated SN neurons we found pitx in stem cell progeny committed to the SN fate. Also, intact pitx RNAi animals gradually lose SN markers, a phenotype that depends neither on increased apoptosis nor on stem cell-based turnover or transdifferentiation into other neurons. We propose that pitx is a terminal selector gene for SN neurons in planarians that controls not only their maturation but also their identity by regulating the expression of the Serotonin production and transport machinery. Finally, we made use of this function of pitx and compared the transcriptomes of regenerating planarians with and without functional SN neurons, identifying at least three new neuronal targets of Pitx. PMID:24131630

  17. Gtdap-1 promotes autophagy and is required for planarian remodeling during regeneration and starvation

    PubMed Central

    González-Estévez, Cristina; Felix, Daniel A.; Aboobaker, Aziz A.; Saló, Emili

    2007-01-01

    Remodeling is an integral component of tissue homeostasis and regeneration. In planarians, these processes occur constantly in a simple tractable model organism as part of the animal's normal life history. Here, we have studied the gene Gtdap-1, the planarian ortholog of human death-associated protein-1 or DAP-1. DAP-1, together with DAP-kinase, has been identified as a positive mediator of programmed cell death induced by γ-IFN in HeLa cells. Although the function of DAP-kinase is well characterized, the role of DAP-1 has not been studied in detail. Our findings suggest that Gtdap-1 is involved in autophagy in planarians, and that autophagy plays an essential role in the remodeling of the organism that occurs during regeneration and starvation, providing the necessary energy and building blocks to the neoblasts for cell proliferation and differentiation. The gene functions at the interface between survival and cell death during stress-inducing processes like regeneration and starvation in sexual and asexual races of planarians. Our findings provide insights into the complex interconnections among cell proliferation, homeostasis, and cell death in planarians and perspectives for the understanding of neoblast stem cell dynamics. PMID:17686979

  18. Posterior Wnts Have Distinct Roles in Specification and Patterning of the Planarian Posterior Region

    PubMed Central

    Sureda-Gómez, Miquel; Pascual-Carreras, Eudald; Adell, Teresa

    2015-01-01

    The wnt signaling pathway is an intercellular communication mechanism essential in cell-fate specification, tissue patterning and regional-identity specification. A βcatenin-dependent signal specifies the AP (Anteroposterior) axis of planarians, both during regeneration of new tissues and during normal homeostasis. Accordingly, four wnts (posterior wnts) are expressed in a nested manner in central and posterior regions of planarians. We have analyzed the specific role of each posterior wnt and the possible cooperation between them in specifying and patterning planarian central and posterior regions. We show that each posterior wnt exerts a distinct role during re-specification and maintenance of the central and posterior planarian regions, and that the integration of the different wnt signals (βcatenin dependent and independent) underlies the patterning of the AP axis from the central region to the tip of the tail. Based on these findings and data from the literature, we propose a model for patterning the planarian AP axis. PMID:26556349

  19. iTRAQ-Based Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of the Initiation of Head Regeneration in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Geng, Xiaofang; Wang, Gaiping; Qin, Yanli; Zang, Xiayan; Li, Pengfei; Geng, Zhi; Xue, Deming; Dong, Zimei; Ma, Kexue; Chen, Guangwen; Xu, Cunshuan

    2015-01-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica has amazing ability to regenerate a head from the anterior ends of the amputated stump with maintenance of the original anterior-posterior polarity. Although planarians present an attractive system for molecular investigation of regeneration and research has focused on clarifying the molecular mechanism of regeneration initiation in planarians at transcriptional level, but the initiation mechanism of planarian head regeneration (PHR) remains unclear at the protein level. Here, a global analysis of proteome dynamics during the early stage of PHR was performed using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomics strategy, and our data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002100. The results showed that 162 proteins were differentially expressed at 2 h and 6 h following amputation. Furthermore, the analysis of expression patterns and functional enrichment of the differentially expressed proteins showed that proteins involved in muscle contraction, oxidation reduction and protein synthesis were up-regulated in the initiation of PHR. Moreover, ingenuity pathway analysis showed that predominant signaling pathways such as ILK, calcium, EIF2 and mTOR signaling which were associated with cell migration, cell proliferation and protein synthesis were likely to be involved in the initiation of PHR. The results for the first time demonstrated that muscle contraction and ILK signaling might played important roles in the initiation of PHR at the global protein level. The findings of this research provide a molecular basis for further unraveling the mechanism of head regeneration initiation in planarians. PMID:26131905

  20. Planarian myosin essential light chain is involved in the formation of brain lateral branches during regeneration.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shuying; Chen, Xuhui; Yuan, Zuoqing; Zhou, Luming; Pang, Qiuxiang; Mao, Bingyu; Zhao, Bosheng

    2015-08-01

    The myosin essential light chain (ELC) is a structure component of the actomyosin cross-bridge, however, the functions in the central nervous system (CNS) development and regeneration remain poorly understood. Planarian Dugesia japonica has revealed fundamental mechanisms and unique aspects of neuroscience and neuroregeneration. In this study, the cDNA DjElc, encoding a planarian essential light chain of myosin, was identified from the planarian Dugesia japonica cDNA library. It encodes a deduced protein with highly conserved functionally domains EF-Hand and Ca(2+) binding sites that shares significant similarity with other members of ELC. Whole mount in situ hybridization studies show that DjElc expressed in CNS during embryonic development and regeneration of adult planarians. Loss of function of DjElc by RNA interference during planarian regeneration inhibits brain lateral branches regeneration completely. In conclusion, these results demonstrated that DjElc is required for maintenance of neurons and neurite outgrowth, particularly for involving the brain later branch regeneration. PMID:25585662

  1. Behavioural responses of freshwater planarians after short-term exposure to the insecticide chlorantraniliprole.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Andreia C M; Henriques, Jorge F; Domingues, Inês; Golovko, Oksana; Žlábek, Vladimír; Barata, Carlos; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Pestana, João L T

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in video tracking technologies provide the tools for a sensitive and reproducible analysis of invertebrate activity under stressful conditions nurturing the field of behavioural ecotoxicology. This study aimed to evaluate behavioural responses of the freshwater planarian Dugesia subtentaculata exposed to a model compound, chlorantraniliprole (CAP). This compound is an anthranilic diamide insecticide and due to its neurotoxic action can, at low concentrations, impair behaviour of exposed organisms. Behavioural endpoints measured included feeding and locomotor activities. Feeding responses were based on planarian predatory behaviour using Chironomus riparius larvae as prey. Locomotion was measured by the traditional planarian locomotor velocity (pLMV) assay and additionally using an automated video tracking system using a Zebrabox(®) (Viewpoint, France) device. While feeding and pLMV were significantly impaired at 131.7μg/L CAP, the video tracking system showed that total distance covered by planarians was significantly reduced at concentrations as low as 26.2μg/L CAP. Our results show that more advanced automated video recording systems can be used in the development of sensitive bioassays allowing a reliable, time- and cost-effective quantification of behaviour in aquatic invertebrates. Due to their ecological relevance, behavioural responses should not be disregarded in risk assessment strategies and we advocate the suitability of planarians as suitable organisms for behavioural ecotoxicological studies. PMID:26561438

  2. Posterior Wnts Have Distinct Roles in Specification and Patterning of the Planarian Posterior Region.

    PubMed

    Sureda-Gómez, Miquel; Pascual-Carreras, Eudald; Adell, Teresa

    2015-01-01

    The wnt signaling pathway is an intercellular communication mechanism essential in cell-fate specification, tissue patterning and regional-identity specification. A βcatenin-dependent signal specifies the AP (Anteroposterior) axis of planarians, both during regeneration of new tissues and during normal homeostasis. Accordingly, four wnts (posterior wnts) are expressed in a nested manner in central and posterior regions of planarians. We have analyzed the specific role of each posterior wnt and the possible cooperation between them in specifying and patterning planarian central and posterior regions. We show that each posterior wnt exerts a distinct role during re-specification and maintenance of the central and posterior planarian regions, and that the integration of the different wnt signals (βcatenin dependent and independent) underlies the patterning of the AP axis from the central region to the tip of the tail. Based on these findings and data from the literature, we propose a model for patterning the planarian AP axis. PMID:26556349

  3. Thermosensory signaling by TRPM is processed by brain serotonergic neurons to produce planarian thermotaxis.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Takeshi; Yamashita, Taiga; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2014-11-19

    For most organisms, sensitive recognition of even slight changes in environmental temperature is essential for adjusting their behavioral strategies to ensure homeostasis and survival. However, much remains to be understood about the molecular and cellular processes that regulate thermosensation and the corresponding behavioral responses. Planarians display clear thermotaxis, although they have a relatively simple brain. Here, we devised a quantitative thermotaxis assay and unraveled a neural pathway involved in planarian thermotaxis by combinatory behavioral assays and RNAi analysis. We found that thermosensory neurons that expressed a planarian Dugesia japonica homolog of the Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin family a (DjTRPMa) gene were required for the thermotaxis. Interestingly, although these thermosensory neurons are distributed throughout their body, planarians with a dysfunctional brain due to regeneration-dependent conditional gene knockdown (Readyknock) of the synaptotagmin gene completely lost their thermotactic behavior. These results suggest that brain function is required as a central processor for the thermosensory response. Therefore, we investigated the type(s) of brain neurons involved in processing the thermal signals by gene knockdown of limiting enzymes for neurotransmitter biosynthesis in the brain. We found that serotonergic neurons with dendrites that were elongated toward DjTRPMa-expressing thermosensory neurons might be required for the processing of signals from thermosensory neurons that results in thermotaxis. These results suggest that serotonergic neurons in the brain may interact with thermosensory neurons activated by TRPM ion channels to produce thermotaxis in planarians. PMID:25411498

  4. iTRAQ-Based Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of the Initiation of Head Regeneration in Planarians

    PubMed Central

    Geng, Xiaofang; Wang, Gaiping; Qin, Yanli; Zang, Xiayan; Li, Pengfei; Geng, Zhi; Xue, Deming; Dong, Zimei; Ma, Kexue; Chen, Guangwen; Xu, Cunshuan

    2015-01-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica has amazing ability to regenerate a head from the anterior ends of the amputated stump with maintenance of the original anterior-posterior polarity. Although planarians present an attractive system for molecular investigation of regeneration and research has focused on clarifying the molecular mechanism of regeneration initiation in planarians at transcriptional level, but the initiation mechanism of planarian head regeneration (PHR) remains unclear at the protein level. Here, a global analysis of proteome dynamics during the early stage of PHR was performed using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomics strategy, and our data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002100. The results showed that 162 proteins were differentially expressed at 2 h and 6 h following amputation. Furthermore, the analysis of expression patterns and functional enrichment of the differentially expressed proteins showed that proteins involved in muscle contraction, oxidation reduction and protein synthesis were up-regulated in the initiation of PHR. Moreover, ingenuity pathway analysis showed that predominant signaling pathways such as ILK, calcium, EIF2 and mTOR signaling which were associated with cell migration, cell proliferation and protein synthesis were likely to be involved in the initiation of PHR. The results for the first time demonstrated that muscle contraction and ILK signaling might played important roles in the initiation of PHR at the global protein level. The findings of this research provide a molecular basis for further unraveling the mechanism of head regeneration initiation in planarians. PMID:26131905

  5. Heterogeneity of chromatoid bodies in adult pluripotent stem cells of planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Kashima, Makoto; Kumagai, Nobuyoshi; Agata, Kiyokazu; Shibata, Norito

    2016-02-01

    The robust regenerative ability of planarians is known to be dependent on adult pluripotent stem cells called neoblasts. One of the morphological features of neoblasts is cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein granules (chromatoid bodies: CBs), which resemble germ granules present in germline cells in other animals. Previously, we showed by immuno-electron microscopic analysis that DjCBC-1, a planarian Me31B/Dhh1/DDX6 homologue, which is a component of ribonucleoprotein granules, was localized in CBs in the planarian Dugesia japonica. Also, recently it was reported using another planarian species that Y12 antibody recognizing symmetrical dimethylarginine (sDMA) specifically binds to CBs in which histone mRNA is co-localized. Here, we showed by double immunostaining and RNA interference (RNAi) that DjCBC-1-containing CBs and Y12-immunoreactive CBs are distinct structures, suggesting that CBs are composed of heterogeneous populations. We also found that the Y12-immunoreactive CBs specifically contained a cytoplasmic type of planarian PIWI protein (DjPiwiC). We revealed by RNAi experiments that Y12-immunoreactive CBs may have anti-transposable element activity involving the DjPiwiC protein in the neoblasts. PMID:26857694

  6. Land planarian assemblages in protected areas of the interior atlantic forest: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Negrete, Lisandro; Colpo, Karine D; Brusa, Francisco

    2014-01-01

    Land planarians are an interesting group of free-living flatworms that can be useful as bioindicators because of their high sensitivity to environmental changes and low dispersal capacity. In this study, we describe and compare assemblages of land planarians from areas with different conservation degrees of the Interior Atlantic Forest (Misiones, Argentina), and assess factors that could be related to their abundance and richness. Eight sites were tracked in search of land planarians in Reserva de Vida Silvestre Urugua-í (RVSU) and Campo Anexo Manuel Belgrano (CAMB). Diurnal and nocturnal surveys were performed in each site along nine sampling campaigns. We collected 237 individuals belonging to 18 species of the subfamily Geoplaninae. All sites were dominated by Geoplana sp. 1 and Pasipha hauseri. The richness estimators showed that there would be more species in RVSU than in CAMB. The abundance and richness of land planarians was high during the night and after rainfalls, suggesting an increased activity of flatworms under such conditions. The abundance and richness of land planarians were also related to the conservation condition of the sites. Disturbed sites showed less abundance and richness, and were segregated from non-disturbed ones by nmMDS analysis. Beta diversity between sites was higher than expected, indicating that the species turnover between sites contributed more to the total richness (gamma diversity) than the alpha diversity. PMID:24598934

  7. Egr-5 is a post-mitotic regulator of planarian epidermal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Tu, Kimberly C; Cheng, Li-Chun; T K Vu, Hanh; Lange, Jeffrey J; McKinney, Sean A; Seidel, Chris W; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2015-01-01

    Neoblasts are an abundant, heterogeneous population of adult stem cells (ASCs) that facilitate the maintenance of planarian tissues and organs, providing a powerful system to study ASC self-renewal and differentiation dynamics. It is unknown how the collective output of neoblasts transit through differentiation pathways to produce specific cell types. The planarian epidermis is a simple tissue that undergoes rapid turnover. We found that as epidermal progeny differentiate, they progress through multiple spatiotemporal transition states with distinct gene expression profiles. We also identified a conserved early growth response family transcription factor, egr-5, that is essential for epidermal differentiation. Disruption of epidermal integrity by egr-5 RNAi triggers a global stress response that induces the proliferation of neoblasts and the concomitant expansion of not only epidermal, but also multiple progenitor cell populations. Our results further establish the planarian epidermis as a novel paradigm to uncover the molecular mechanisms regulating ASC specification in vivo. PMID:26457503

  8. An RNAi screen reveals intestinal regulators of branching morphogenesis, differentiation, and stem cell proliferation in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Forsthoefel, David J.; James, Noelle P.; Escobar, David J.; Stary, Joel M.; Vieira, Ana P.; Waters, Forrest A.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Planarians grow and regenerate organs by coordinating proliferation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells with remodeling of post-mitotic tissues. Understanding how these processes are orchestrated requires characterizing cell type-specific gene expression programs and their regulation during regeneration and homeostasis. To this end, we analyzed the expression profile of planarian intestinal phagocytes, cells responsible for digestion and nutrient storage/distribution. Utilizing RNA interference, we identified cytoskeletal regulators required for intestinal branching morphogenesis, and a modulator of bioactive sphingolipid metabolism, ceramide synthase, required for the production of functional phagocytes. Additionally, we found that a gut-enriched homeobox transcription factor, nkx-2.2, is required for somatic stem cell proliferation, suggesting a niche-like role for phagocytes. Identification of evolutionarily conserved regulators of intestinal branching, differentiation, and stem cell dynamics demonstrates the utility of the planarian digestive system as a model for elucidating the mechanisms controlling post-embryonic organogenesis. PMID:23079596

  9. Planarian MBD2/3 is required for adult stem cell pluripotency independently of DNA methylation.

    PubMed

    Jaber-Hijazi, Farah; Lo, Priscilla J K P; Mihaylova, Yuliana; Foster, Jeremy M; Benner, Jack S; Tejada Romero, Belen; Chen, Chen; Malla, Sunir; Solana, Jordi; Ruzov, Alexey; Aziz Aboobaker, A

    2013-12-01

    Planarian adult stem cells (pASCs) or neoblasts represent an ideal system to study the evolution of stem cells and pluripotency as they underpin an unrivaled capacity for regeneration. We wish to understand the control of differentiation and pluripotency in pASCs and to understand how conserved, convergent or divergent these mechanisms are across the Bilateria. Here we show the planarian methyl-CpG Binding Domain 2/3 (mbd2/3) gene is required for pASC differentiation during regeneration and tissue homeostasis. The genome does not have detectable levels of 5-methylcytosine (5(m)C) and we find no role for a potential DNA methylase. We conclude that MBD proteins may have had an ancient role in broadly controlling animal stem cell pluripotency, but that DNA methylation is not involved in planarian stem cell differentiation. PMID:24063805

  10. Planarian regeneration: in vivo and in vitro effects of calcium and calmodulin on DNA synthesis.

    PubMed

    Martelly, I; Molla, A; Thomasset, M; Le Moigne, A

    1983-09-01

    Regeneration does not occur when planarians are grown in Ca2+-free medium. The possible effect of calcium upon DNA synthesis was therefore studied using cultured planarian cells and regenerating planarian fragments. In the cultures, DNA synthesis was Ca2+-dependent and required a minimum of 10(-6) M Ca2+ in the medium. It was gradually decreased in cells grown in Ca2+-free medium. Addition of Ca2+ to these cultures raised DNA synthesis. The time lag between addition of Ca2+ and stimulation of DNA synthesis varied with culture age. The triggering effect of Ca2+ was amplified by ionophore A 23187. A calcium binding protein, ram testis calmodulin, intensified the stimulatory effect of calcium, but EGTA blocked this effect. In the presence of trifluoperazine (TFP), DNA synthesis was not stimulated by Ca2+. This inhibition by TFP was overcome by adding calmodulin to the medium. Ca2+ therefore triggered DNA synthesis in vitro, and this role might have been potentiated by calmodulin. In vivo, DNA synthesis was shown to be dependent on the Ca2+ concentration in the medium in which intact or regenerating planarians were grown. In 12-h regenerates, the Ca2+ concentration in the medium was no longer critical. Total calcium content decreased just after sectioning until completion of healing (at 6 h) and then rose significantly to a peak at 12 h which coincided with the first peak of DNA synthesis. The calmodulin content gradually diminished during the first 6 h after sectioning. After a transient rise at 12 h, calmodulin content further decreased until 48 h. The results demonstrate the crucial role of Ca2+ in triggering DNA synthesis in planarian cells in vitro and in regenerating fragments. Calmodulin, whose concentration is very low in planarians compared to vertebrates, might help to induce the first peak of DNA synthesis at 12 h after sectioning, but is probably not the main Ca2+-binding protein involved in the regeneration process. PMID:6414722

  11. Evidence of Nicotine-Induced, Curare-Insensitive, Behavior in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Pagán, Oné R; Montgomery, Erica; Deats, Sean; Bach, Daniel; Baker, Debra

    2015-10-01

    Planarians are rapidly developing into very useful research subjects in pharmacology and neuroscience research. Here we report that curare, a cholinergic nicotinic receptor antagonist, alleviates the nicotine-induced planarian seizure-like movements (pSLM) by up to 50 % at equimolar concentrations of nicotine and curare (1 mM), while curare alone does not induce significant pSLMs. The simplest interpretation of our data is that there are nicotine induced behaviors insensitive to curare in our experimental organism. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on curare-insensitive, nicotine-induced effects in any organism. PMID:25614180

  12. Making Heads or Tails: Planarian Stem Cells in the Classroom†

    PubMed Central

    Srougi, Melissa C.; Thomas-Swanik, Jackie; Chan, John D.; Marchant, Jonathan S.; Carson, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Stem cells hold great promise in the treatment of diseases ranging from cancer to dementia. However, as rapidly as the field of stem cell biology has emerged, heated political debate has followed, scrutinizing the ethical implications of stem cell use. It is therefore imperative to promote scientific literacy by educating students about stem cell biology. Yet, there is a definite lack of material to engage students in this subject at the basic science level. Therefore, we have developed and implemented a hands-on introductory laboratory module that introduces students to stem cell biology and can be easily incorporated into existing curricula. Students learn about stem cell biology using an in vivo planarian model system in which they down-regulate two genes important in stem cell differentiation using RNA interference and then observe the regenerative phenotype. The module was piloted at the high school, community college, and university levels. Here, we report that introductory biology students enrolled at a community college were able to demonstrate gains in learning after completion of a one-hour lecture and four 45-minute laboratory sessions over the course of three weeks. These gains in learning outcomes were objectively evaluated both before and after its execution using a student quiz and experimental results. Furthermore, students’ self-assessments revealed increases in perceived knowledge as well as a general interest in stem cells. Therefore, these data suggest that this module is a simple, useful way to engage and to teach students about stem cell biology. PMID:24839511

  13. Bioelectrical regulation of cell cycle and the planarian model system.

    PubMed

    Barghouth, Paul G; Thiruvalluvan, Manish; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2015-10-01

    Cell cycle regulation through the manipulation of endogenous membrane potentials offers tremendous opportunities to control cellular processes during tissue repair and cancer formation. However, the molecular mechanisms by which biophysical signals modulate the cell cycle remain underappreciated and poorly understood. Cells in complex organisms generate and maintain a constant voltage gradient across the plasma membrane known as the transmembrane potential. This potential, generated through the combined efforts of various ion transporters, pumps and channels, is known to drive a wide range of cellular processes such as cellular proliferation, migration and tissue regeneration while its deregulation can lead to tumorigenesis. These cellular regulatory events, coordinated by ionic flow, correspond to a new and exciting field termed molecular bioelectricity. We aim to present a brief discussion on the biophysical machinery involving membrane potential and the mechanisms mediating cell cycle progression and cancer transformation. Furthermore, we present the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea as a tractable model system for understanding principles behind molecular bioelectricity at both the cellular and organismal level. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane channels and transporters in cancers. PMID:25749155

  14. Platyhelminth Venom Allergen-Like (VAL) proteins: revealing structural diversity, class-specific features and biological associations across the phylum

    PubMed Central

    CHALMERS, IAIN W.; HOFFMANN, KARL F.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY During platyhelminth infection, a cocktail of proteins is released by the parasite to aid invasion, initiate feeding, facilitate adaptation and mediate modulation of the host immune response. Included amongst these proteins is the Venom Allergen-Like (VAL) family, part of the larger sperm coating protein/Tpx-1/Ag5/PR-1/Sc7 (SCP/TAPS) superfamily. To explore the significance of this protein family during Platyhelminthes development and host interactions, we systematically summarize all published proteomic, genomic and immunological investigations of the VAL protein family to date. By conducting new genomic and transcriptomic interrogations to identify over 200 VAL proteins (228) from species in all 4 traditional taxonomic classes (Trematoda, Cestoda, Monogenea and Turbellaria), we further expand our knowledge related to platyhelminth VAL diversity across the phylum. Subsequent phylogenetic and tertiary structural analyses reveal several class-specific VAL features, which likely indicate a range of roles mediated by this protein family. Our comprehensive analysis of platyhelminth VALs represents a unifying synopsis for understanding diversity within this protein family and a firm context in which to initiate future functional characterization of these enigmatic members. PMID:22717097

  15. Nuclear genomic signals of the ‘microturbellarian’ roots of platyhelminth evolutionary innovation

    PubMed Central

    Laumer, Christopher E; Hejnol, Andreas; Giribet, Gonzalo

    2015-01-01

    Flatworms number among the most diverse invertebrate phyla and represent the most biomedically significant branch of the major bilaterian clade Spiralia, but to date, deep evolutionary relationships within this group have been studied using only a single locus (the rRNA operon), leaving the origins of many key clades unclear. In this study, using a survey of genomes and transcriptomes representing all free-living flatworm orders, we provide resolution of platyhelminth interrelationships based on hundreds of nuclear protein-coding genes, exploring phylogenetic signal through concatenation as well as recently developed consensus approaches. These analyses robustly support a modern hypothesis of flatworm phylogeny, one which emphasizes the primacy of the often-overlooked ‘microturbellarian’ groups in understanding the major evolutionary transitions within Platyhelminthes: perhaps most notably, we propose a novel scenario for the interrelationships between free-living and vertebrate-parasitic flatworms, providing new opportunities to shed light on the origins and biological consequences of parasitism in these iconic invertebrates. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05503.001 PMID:25764302

  16. Memory and obesity affect the population dynamics of asexual freshwater planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunkel, Jörn; Talbot, Jared; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2011-04-01

    Asexual reproduction in multicellular organisms is a complex biophysical process that is not yet well understood quantitatively. Here, we report a detailed population study for the asexual freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, which can reproduce via transverse fission due to a large stem cell contingent. Our long-term observations of isolated non-interacting planarian populations reveal that the characteristic fission waiting time distributions for head and tail fragments differ significantly from each other. The stochastic fission dynamics of tail fragments exhibits non-negligible memory effects, implying that an accurate mathematical description of future data should be based on non-Markovian tree models. By comparing the effective growth of non-interacting planarian populations with those of self-interacting populations, we are able to quantify the influence of interactions between flatworms and physical conditions on the population growth. A surprising result is the non-monotonic relationship between effective population growth rate and nutrient supply: planarians exhibit a tendency to become 'obese' if the feeding frequency exceeds a critical level, resulting in a decreased reproduction activity. This suggests that these flatworms, which possess many genes homologous to those of humans, could become a new model system for studying dietary effects on reproduction and regeneration in multicellular organisms.

  17. Unusually Large Number of Mutations in Asexually Reproducing Clonal Planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Nishimura, Osamu; Hosoda, Kazutaka; Kawaguchi, Eri; Yazawa, Shigenobu; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Inoue, Takeshi; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2015-01-01

    We established a laboratory clonal strain of freshwater planarian (Dugesia japonica) that was derived from a single individual and that continued to undergo autotomous asexual reproduction for more than 20 years, and we performed large-scale genome sequencing and transcriptome analysis on it. Despite the fact that a completely clonal strain of the planarian was used, an unusually large number of mutations were detected. To enable quantitative genetic analysis of such a unique organism, we developed a new model called the Reference Gene Model, and used it to conduct large-scale transcriptome analysis. The results revealed large numbers of mutations not only outside but also inside gene-coding regions. Non-synonymous SNPs were detected in 74% of the genes for which valid ORFs were predicted. Interestingly, the high-mutation genes, such as metabolism- and defense-related genes, were correlated with genes that were previously identified as diverse genes among different planarian species. Although a large number of amino acid substitutions were apparently accumulated during asexual reproduction over this long period of time, the planarian maintained normal body-shape, behaviors, and physiological functions. The results of the present study reveal a unique aspect of asexual reproduction. PMID:26588467

  18. Rhodopsin-like proteins in planarian eye and auricle: detection and functional analysis

    PubMed

    Azuma; Shinozawa

    1998-05-01

    The presence of rhodopsin-like proteins in the eyes and auricles of the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica was confirmed using anti-frog-rhodopsin rabbit IgG. The apparent relative molecular masses of these proteins were 65x10(3) and 62x10(3), and positive reactions to IgG were localized to the microvilli of the photoreceptor cells in the eyes and to the sensory cilia, rootlets and microvilli in the auricles. Eye- or head-excised planarians showed no negative phototaxis, whereas intact or auricle-excised planarians did. During regeneration in head-excised planarians, the appearance of rhodopsin-like proteins in the regenerating eyes corresponded to the recovery of negative phototaxis behaviour. Head or auricle excision enhanced asexual fission under continuous illumination. However, eye excision had no such effect. These results suggest that the rhodopsin-like proteins in the eyes work as photoreceptors for negative phototaxis behaviour and that, in the auricles, they are involved in asexual fission originating from the circadian rhythm. PMID:9547303

  19. Effect of ribonuclease on retention of conditioned response in regenerated planarians.

    PubMed

    CORNING, W C; JOHN, E R

    1961-10-27

    Conditioned planarians were transected and allowed to regenerate in a ribonuclease solution or in pond water. Heads which had regenerated in ribonuclease displayed a retention level equal to that of head and tail sections which had regenerated in pond water. However, tails regenerated in ribonuclease performed randomly although they could be retrained to criterion. PMID:13881412

  20. PRMT5 and the role of symmetrical dimethylarginine in chromatoid bodies of planarian stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Rouhana, Labib; Vieira, Ana P.; Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2012-01-01

    Planarian flatworms contain a population of adult stem cells (neoblasts) that proliferate and generate cells of all tissues during growth, regeneration and tissue homeostasis. A characteristic feature of neoblasts is the presence of chromatoid bodies, large cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules morphologically similar to structures present in the germline of many organisms. This study aims to reveal the function, and identify additional components, of planarian chromatoid bodies. We uncover the presence of symmetrical dimethylarginine (sDMA) on chromatoid body components and identify the ortholog of protein arginine methyltransferase PRMT5 as the enzyme responsible for sDMA modification in these proteins. RNA interference-mediated depletion of planarian PRMT5 results in defects in homeostasis and regeneration, reduced animal size, reduced number of neoblasts, fewer chromatoid bodies and increased levels of transposon and repetitive-element transcripts. Our results suggest that PIWI family member SMEDWI-3 is one sDMA-containing chromatoid body protein for which methylation depends on PRMT5. Additionally, we discover an RNA localized to chromatoid bodies, germinal histone H4. Our results reveal new components of chromatoid bodies and their function in planarian stem cells, and also support emerging studies indicative of sDMA function in stabilization of RNP granules and the Piwi-interacting RNA pathway. PMID:22318224

  1. Unusually Large Number of Mutations in Asexually Reproducing Clonal Planarian Dugesia japonica

    PubMed Central

    Nishimura, Osamu; Hosoda, Kazutaka; Kawaguchi, Eri; Yazawa, Shigenobu; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Inoue, Takeshi; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2015-01-01

    We established a laboratory clonal strain of freshwater planarian (Dugesia japonica) that was derived from a single individual and that continued to undergo autotomous asexual reproduction for more than 20 years, and we performed large-scale genome sequencing and transcriptome analysis on it. Despite the fact that a completely clonal strain of the planarian was used, an unusually large number of mutations were detected. To enable quantitative genetic analysis of such a unique organism, we developed a new model called the Reference Gene Model, and used it to conduct large-scale transcriptome analysis. The results revealed large numbers of mutations not only outside but also inside gene-coding regions. Non-synonymous SNPs were detected in 74% of the genes for which valid ORFs were predicted. Interestingly, the high-mutation genes, such as metabolism- and defense-related genes, were correlated with genes that were previously identified as diverse genes among different planarian species. Although a large number of amino acid substitutions were apparently accumulated during asexual reproduction over this long period of time, the planarian maintained normal body-shape, behaviors, and physiological functions. The results of the present study reveal a unique aspect of asexual reproduction. PMID:26588467

  2. Infertility in the hyperplasic ovary of freshwater planarians: the role of programmed cell death.

    PubMed

    Harrath, Abdel Halim; Semlali, Abdelhabib; Mansour, Lamjed; Ahmed, Mukhtar; Sirotkin, Alexander V; Al Omar, Suliman Y; Arfah, Maha; Al Anazi, Mohamed S; Alhazza, Ibrahim M; Nyengaard, Jens R; Alwasel, Saleh

    2014-11-01

    Ex-fissiparous planarians produce infertile cocoons or, in very rare cases, cocoons with very low fertility. Here, we describe the features of programmed cell death (PCD) occurring in the hyperplasic ovary of the ex-fissiparous freshwater planarian Dugesia arabica that may explain this infertility. Based on TEM results, we demonstrate a novel extensive co-clustering of cytoplasmic organelles, such as lysosomes and microtubules, and their fusion with autophagosomes during the early stage of oocyte cell death occurring through an autophagic pattern. During a later stage of cell death, the generation of apoptotic vesicles in the cytoplasm can be observed. The immunohistochemical labeling supports the ultrastructural results because it has been shown that the proapoptotic protein bax was more highly expressed in the hyperplasic ovary than in the normal one, whereas the anti-apoptotic protein bcl2 was slightly more highly expressed in the normal ovary compared to the hyperplasic one. TUNEL analysis of the hyperplasic ovary confirmed that the nuclei of the majority of differentiating oocytes were TUNEL-positive, whereas the nuclei of oogonia and young oocytes were TUNEL-negative; in the normal ovary, oocytes are TUNEL-negative. Considering all of these data, we suggest that the cell death mechanism of differentiating oocytes in the hyperplasic ovary of freshwater planarians is one of the most important factors that cause ex-fissiparous planarian infertility. We propose that autophagy precedes apoptosis during oogenesis, whereas apoptotic features can be observed later. PMID:25107610

  3. Discovery of Platyhelminth-Specific ?/?-Integrin Families and Evidence for Their Role in Reproduction in Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Beckmann, Svenja; Quack, Thomas; Dissous, Colette; Cailliau, Katia; Lang, Gabriele; Grevelding, Christoph G.

    2012-01-01

    In all metazoa, the response of cells to molecular stimuli from their environment represents a fundamental principle of regulatory processes controlling cell growth and differentiation. Among the membrane-linked receptors mediating extracellular communication processes are integrin receptors. Besides managing adhesion to the extracellular matrix or to other cells, they arrange information flow into the cells by activating intracellular signaling pathways often acting synergistically through cooperation with growth factor receptors. Although a wealth of information exists on integrins in different model organisms, there is a big gap of knowledge for platyhelminths. Here we report on the in silico detection and reconstruction of ? and ? integrins from free-living and parasitic platyhelminths, which according to structural and phylogenetic analyses form specific clades separate from each other and from further metazoan integrins. As representative orthologs of parasitic platyhelminths we have cloned one beta-integrin (Sm?-Int1) and four alpha-integrins (Sm?-Int1 - Sm?-Int4) from Schistosoma mansoni; they were characterized by molecular and biochemical analyses. Evidence is provided that Sm?-Int1 interacts and co-localizes in the reproductive organs with known schistosome cellular tyrosine kinases (CTKs), of which the Syk kinase SmTK4 appeared to be the strongest interaction partner as shown by yeast two-hybrid analyses and coimmunoprecipitation experiments. By a novel RNAi approach with adult schistosomes in vitro we demonstrate for the first time multinucleated oocytes in treated females, indicating a decisive role Sm?-Int1 during oogenesis as phenotypically analyzed by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Our findings provide a first comprehensive overview about platyhelminth integrins, of which the parasite group exhibits unique features allowing a clear distinction from the free-living groups. Furthermore, we shed first lights on the functions of integrins in a trematode model parasite, revealing the complexity of molecular processes involved in its reproductive biology, which may be representative for other platyhelminths. PMID:23300694

  4. Discovery of platyhelminth-specific ?/?-integrin families and evidence for their role in reproduction in Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Beckmann, Svenja; Quack, Thomas; Dissous, Colette; Cailliau, Katia; Lang, Gabriele; Grevelding, Christoph G

    2012-01-01

    In all metazoa, the response of cells to molecular stimuli from their environment represents a fundamental principle of regulatory processes controlling cell growth and differentiation. Among the membrane-linked receptors mediating extracellular communication processes are integrin receptors. Besides managing adhesion to the extracellular matrix or to other cells, they arrange information flow into the cells by activating intracellular signaling pathways often acting synergistically through cooperation with growth factor receptors. Although a wealth of information exists on integrins in different model organisms, there is a big gap of knowledge for platyhelminths. Here we report on the in silico detection and reconstruction of ? and ? integrins from free-living and parasitic platyhelminths, which according to structural and phylogenetic analyses form specific clades separate from each other and from further metazoan integrins. As representative orthologs of parasitic platyhelminths we have cloned one beta-integrin (Sm?-Int1) and four alpha-integrins (Sm?-Int1 - Sm?-Int4) from Schistosoma mansoni; they were characterized by molecular and biochemical analyses. Evidence is provided that Sm?-Int1 interacts and co-localizes in the reproductive organs with known schistosome cellular tyrosine kinases (CTKs), of which the Syk kinase SmTK4 appeared to be the strongest interaction partner as shown by yeast two-hybrid analyses and coimmunoprecipitation experiments. By a novel RNAi approach with adult schistosomes in vitro we demonstrate for the first time multinucleated oocytes in treated females, indicating a decisive role Sm?-Int1 during oogenesis as phenotypically analyzed by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Our findings provide a first comprehensive overview about platyhelminth integrins, of which the parasite group exhibits unique features allowing a clear distinction from the free-living groups. Furthermore, we shed first lights on the functions of integrins in a trematode model parasite, revealing the complexity of molecular processes involved in its reproductive biology, which may be representative for other platyhelminths. PMID:23300694

  5. Insights into the origin and distribution of biodiversity in the Brazilian Atlantic forest hot spot: a statistical phylogeographic study using a low-dispersal organism

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Presas, M; Sánchez-Gracia, A; Carbayo, F; Rozas, J; Riutort, M

    2014-01-01

    The relative importance of the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity is a major and controversial topic in evolutionary biology with large implications for conservation management. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil, one of the world's richest biodiversity hot spots, is severely damaged by human activities. To formulate an efficient conservation policy, a good understanding of spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns and their underlying evolutionary mechanisms is required. With this aim, we performed a comprehensive phylogeographic study using a low-dispersal organism, the land planarian species Cephaloflexa bergi (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida). Analysing multi-locus DNA sequence variation under the Approximate Bayesian Computation framework, we evaluated two scenarios proposed to explain the diversity of Southern Atlantic Forest (SAF) region. We found that most sampled localities harbour high levels of genetic diversity, with lineages sharing common ancestors that predate the Pleistocene. Remarkably, we detected the molecular hallmark of the isolation-by-distance effect and little evidence of a recent colonization of SAF localities; nevertheless, some populations might result from very recent secondary contacts. We conclude that extant SAF biodiversity originated and has been shaped by complex interactions between ancient geological events and more recent evolutionary processes, whereas Pleistocene climate changes had a minor influence in generating present-day diversity. We also demonstrate that land planarians are an advantageous biological model for making phylogeographic and, particularly, fine-scale evolutionary inferences, and propose appropriate conservation policies. PMID:24549112

  6. Insights into the origin and distribution of biodiversity in the Brazilian Atlantic forest hot spot: a statistical phylogeographic study using a low-dispersal organism.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Presas, M; Sánchez-Gracia, A; Carbayo, F; Rozas, J; Riutort, M

    2014-06-01

    The relative importance of the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity is a major and controversial topic in evolutionary biology with large implications for conservation management. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil, one of the world's richest biodiversity hot spots, is severely damaged by human activities. To formulate an efficient conservation policy, a good understanding of spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns and their underlying evolutionary mechanisms is required. With this aim, we performed a comprehensive phylogeographic study using a low-dispersal organism, the land planarian species Cephaloflexa bergi (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida). Analysing multi-locus DNA sequence variation under the Approximate Bayesian Computation framework, we evaluated two scenarios proposed to explain the diversity of Southern Atlantic Forest (SAF) region. We found that most sampled localities harbour high levels of genetic diversity, with lineages sharing common ancestors that predate the Pleistocene. Remarkably, we detected the molecular hallmark of the isolation-by-distance effect and little evidence of a recent colonization of SAF localities; nevertheless, some populations might result from very recent secondary contacts. We conclude that extant SAF biodiversity originated and has been shaped by complex interactions between ancient geological events and more recent evolutionary processes, whereas Pleistocene climate changes had a minor influence in generating present-day diversity. We also demonstrate that land planarians are an advantageous biological model for making phylogeographic and, particularly, fine-scale evolutionary inferences, and propose appropriate conservation policies. PMID:24549112

  7. Protein expression profiling in head fragments during planarian regeneration after amputation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoguang; Xu, Cunshuan

    2015-04-01

    Following amputation, a planarian tail fragment can regrow into a complete organism including a well-organized brain within about 2-3 weeks, thus restoring the structure and function to presurgical levels. Despite the enormous potential of these animals for regenerative medicine, our understanding of the exact mechanism of planarian regeneration is incomplete. To better understand the molecular nature of planarian head regeneration, we applied two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE)/matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF)/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF MS) technique to analyze the dynamic proteomic expression profiles over the course of 6 to 168 h post-decapitation. This approach identified a total of 141 differentially expressed proteins, 47 of which exhibited exceptionally high fold changes (≥3-fold change). Of these, Rx protein, an important regulator of head and brain development, was considered to be closely related to planarian head regeneration because of its exceptional high expression almost throughout the time course of regeneration process. Functional annotation analysis classified the 141 proteins into eight categories: (1) signaling, (2) Ca(2+) binding and translocation, (3) transcription and translation, (4) cytoskeleton, (5) metabolism, (6) cell protection, (7) tissue differentiation, and (8) cell cycle. Signaling pathway analysis indicated that Wnt1/Ca(2+) signaling pathway was activated during head regeneration. Integrating the analyses of proteome expression profiling, functional annotation, and signaling pathway, amputation-induced head reformation requires some mechanisms to promote cell proliferation and differentiation, including differential regulation of proapoptotic and antiapoptotic proteins, and the regulation of proliferation and differentiation-related proteins. Importantly, Wnt1/Ca(2+) signaling pathway upregulates Rx expression, finally facilitating the differentiation of neoblasts into various cell types. Taken together, our study demonstrated that proteomic analysis approach used by us is a powerful tool in understanding molecular process related to head regeneration of planarian. PMID:25697422

  8. [The effect of repeated amputations on planarian regeneration in the presence of the heat-stable toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis].

    PubMed

    Ziller, C

    1976-09-13

    The exotoxin of Bacillus thuringiensis, which is an inhibitor of RNA synthesis, inhibits Planarian regeneration. Planarians which have been cut twice at the same level are able to regenerate after the second section in the presence of the toxin. This indicates that the first amputation stimulates a synthesis of stable RNAs which thus are available for regeneration at the moment of the second section. PMID:825282

  9. Survival, mobility, and membrane-bound enzyme activities of freshwater planarian, Dugesia japonica, exposed to synthetic and natural surfactants.

    PubMed

    Li, Mei-Hui

    2012-04-01

    Surfactants are a major class of emerging pollutants widely used in large quantities in everyday life and commonly found in surface waters worldwide. Freshwater planarian was selected to examine the effects of different surfactants by measuring mortality, mobility, and membrane-bound enzyme activities. Among the 10 surfactants tested, the acute toxicities of betaine and polyethylene glycol (PEG-200) to planarians were relatively low, with a median lethal concentration (LC50) greater than 10,000 mg/L. The toxicity to planarians of the other eight surfactants based on 48-h LC50 could be arranged in the descending order of cetylpyridinum chloride (CPC)?>?4-tert-octylphenol (4-tert-OP)?>?ammonium lauryl sulfate?>?benzalkonium chloride?>?saponin?>?sodium lauroylsarcosinate?>?dioctyl sulfosuccinate?>?dodecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (DTAB). Both CPC and 4-tert-OP were very toxic to planarians, with 48-h LC50 values <1 mg/L. The median effective concentrations (EC50s) of planarian mobility were in the 0.1 to 50 mg/L range and were in the same range as the 24-h LC50 of planarians exposed to different surfactants, except for DTAB. In addition, significant inhibition of cholinesterase activity activities was found in planarians exposed to 4-tert-OP at 2.5 and 5 mg/L and to saponin at 10 mg/L after 2-h treatments. This result suggests that planarian mobility responses can be used as an alternative indicator for acute toxicity of surfactants after a very short exposure period. PMID:22278771

  10. Knockdown of the coenzyme Q synthesis gene Smed-dlp1 affects planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Shiobara, Yumiko; Harada, Chiaki; Shiota, Takeshi; Sakamoto, Kimitoshi; Kita, Kiyoshi; Tanaka, Saeko; Tabata, Kenta; Sekie, Kiyoteru; Yamamoto, Yorihiro; Sugiyama, Tomoyasu

    2015-01-01

    The freshwater planarian is a model organism used to study tissue regeneration that occupies an important position among multicellular organisms. Planarian genomic databases have led to the identification of genes that are required for regeneration, with implications for their roles in its underlying mechanism. Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a fundamental lipophilic molecule that is synthesized and expressed in every cell of every organism. Furthermore, CoQ levels affect development, life span, disease and aging in nematodes and mice. Because CoQ can be ingested in food, it has been used in preventive nutrition. In this study, we investigated the role of CoQ in planarian regeneration. Planarians synthesize both CoQ9 and rhodoquinone 9 (RQ9). Knockdown of Smed-dlp1, a trans-prenyltransferase gene that encodes an enzyme that synthesizes the CoQ side chain, led to a decrease in CoQ9 and RQ9 levels. However, ATP levels did not consistently decrease in these animals. Knockdown animals exhibited tissue regression and curling. The number of mitotic cells decreased in Smed-dlp1 (RNAi) animals. These results suggested a failure in physiological cell turnover and stem cell function. Accordingly, regenerating planarians died from lysis or exhibited delayed regeneration. Interestingly, the observed phenotypes were partially rescued by ingesting food supplemented with α-tocopherol. Taken together, our results suggest that oxidative stress induced by reduced CoQ9 levels affects planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis. PMID:26516985

  11. Knockdown of the coenzyme Q synthesis gene Smed-dlp1 affects planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Shiobara, Yumiko; Harada, Chiaki; Shiota, Takeshi; Sakamoto, Kimitoshi; Kita, Kiyoshi; Tanaka, Saeko; Tabata, Kenta; Sekie, Kiyoteru; Yamamoto, Yorihiro; Sugiyama, Tomoyasu

    2015-12-01

    The freshwater planarian is a model organism used to study tissue regeneration that occupies an important position among multicellular organisms. Planarian genomic databases have led to the identification of genes that are required for regeneration, with implications for their roles in its underlying mechanism. Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is a fundamental lipophilic molecule that is synthesized and expressed in every cell of every organism. Furthermore, CoQ levels affect development, life span, disease and aging in nematodes and mice. Because CoQ can be ingested in food, it has been used in preventive nutrition. In this study, we investigated the role of CoQ in planarian regeneration. Planarians synthesize both CoQ9 and rhodoquinone 9 (RQ9). Knockdown of Smed-dlp1, a trans-prenyltransferase gene that encodes an enzyme that synthesizes the CoQ side chain, led to a decrease in CoQ9 and RQ9 levels. However, ATP levels did not consistently decrease in these animals. Knockdown animals exhibited tissue regression and curling. The number of mitotic cells decreased in Smed-dlp1 (RNAi) animals. These results suggested a failure in physiological cell turnover and stem cell function. Accordingly, regenerating planarians died from lysis or exhibited delayed regeneration. Interestingly, the observed phenotypes were partially rescued by ingesting food supplemented with α-tocopherol. Taken together, our results suggest that oxidative stress induced by reduced CoQ9 levels affects planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis. PMID:26516985

  12. Planarians as a Model to Assess In Vivo the Role of Matrix Metalloproteinase Genes during Homeostasis and Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Isolani, Maria Emilia; Abril, Josep F.; Saló, Emili; Deri, Paolo; Bianucci, Anna Maria; Batistoni, Renata

    2013-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are major executors of extracellular matrix remodeling and, consequently, play key roles in the response of cells to their microenvironment. The experimentally accessible stem cell population and the robust regenerative capabilities of planarians offer an ideal model to study how modulation of the proteolytic system in the extracellular environment affects cell behavior in vivo. Genome-wide identification of Schmidtea mediterranea MMPs reveals that planarians possess four mmp-like genes. Two of them (mmp1 and mmp2) are strongly expressed in a subset of secretory cells and encode putative matrilysins. The other genes (mt-mmpA and mt-mmpB) are widely expressed in postmitotic cells and appear structurally related to membrane-type MMPs. These genes are conserved in the planarian Dugesia japonica. Here we explore the role of the planarian mmp genes by RNA interference (RNAi) during tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Our analyses identify essential functions for two of them. Following inhibition of mmp1 planarians display dramatic disruption of tissues architecture and significant decrease in cell death. These results suggest that mmp1 controls tissue turnover, modulating survival of postmitotic cells. Unexpectedly, the ability to regenerate is unaffected by mmp1(RNAi). Silencing of mt-mmpA alters tissue integrity and delays blastema growth, without affecting proliferation of stem cells. Our data support the possibility that the activity of this protease modulates cell migration and regulates anoikis, with a consequent pivotal role in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Our data provide evidence of the involvement of specific MMPs in tissue homeostasis and regeneration and demonstrate that the behavior of planarian stem cells is critically dependent on the microenvironment surrounding these cells. Studying MMPs function in the planarian model provides evidence on how individual proteases work in vivo in adult tissues. These results have high potential to generate significant information for development of regenerative and anti cancer therapies. PMID:23405188

  13. The More the Merrier?. Entropy and Statistics of Asexual Reproduction in Freshwater Planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinodoz, Sofia; Thomas, Michael A.; Dunkel, Jörn; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2011-04-01

    The trade-off between traits in life-history strategies has been widely studied for sexual and parthenogenetic organisms, but relatively little is known about the reproduction strategies of asexual animals. Here, we investigate clonal reproduction in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, an important model organism for regeneration and stem cell research. We find that these flatworms adopt a randomized reproduction strategy that comprises both asymmetric binary fission and fragmentation (generation of multiple offspring during a reproduction cycle). Fragmentation in planarians has primarily been regarded as an abnormal behavior in the past; using a large-scale experimental approach, we now show that about one third of the reproduction events in S. mediterranea are fragmentations, implying that fragmentation is part of their normal reproductive behavior. Our analysis further suggests that certain characteristic aspects of the reproduction statistics can be explained in terms of a maximum relative entropy principle.

  14. ?-Catenin Defines Head Versus Tail Identity During Planarian Regeneration and Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Gurley, Kyle A.; Rink, Jochen C.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2009-01-01

    Following amputation, freshwater planarians properly regenerate a head or tail from the resulting anterior or posterior wound. The mechanisms that differentiate anterior from posterior and direct the replacement of the appropriate missing body parts are unknown. Here we report that RNA interference (RNAi) of ?-catenin or dishevelled causes the inappropriate regeneration of a head instead of a tail at posterior amputations. Conversely, RNAi of the ?-catenin antagonist adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) results in the regeneration of a tail at anterior wounds. In addition, the silencing of ?-catenin is sufficient to transform the tail of uncut adult animals into a head. We suggest that ?-catenin functions as a molecular switch to specify and maintain anteroposterior (A/P) identity during regeneration and homeostasis in planarians. PMID:18063757

  15. Single-cell analysis reveals functionally distinct classes within the planarian stem cell compartment

    PubMed Central

    van Wolfswinkel, Josien C.; Wagner, Daniel E.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are flatworms capable of regenerating any missing body region. This capacity is mediated by neoblasts, a proliferative cell population that contains pluripotent stem cells. Although population-based studies have revealed many neoblast characteristics, whether functionally distinct classes exist within this population is unclear. Here, we used high-dimensional single-cell transcriptional profiling from over a thousand individual neoblasts to directly compare gene expression fingerprints during homeostasis and regeneration. We identified two prominent neoblast classes that we named ? (zeta) and ? (sigma). Zeta-neoblasts encompass specified cells that give rise to an abundant postmitotic lineage including epidermal cells, and are not required for regeneration. By contrast, sigma-neoblasts proliferate in response to injury, possess broad lineage capacity, and can give rise to zeta-neoblasts. These findings present a new view of planarian neoblasts, in which the population is comprised of two major and functionally distinct cellular compartments. PMID:25017721

  16. Analysis of the progress of hormone-receptor amplification during differentiation in regenerating planarians.

    PubMed

    Csaba, G; Kádár, M

    1979-01-01

    Planarians developing from isolated regenerates, when pretreated with epinephrine at different periods of their second regeneration, show a higher rate of sugar uptake than the controls, which were not treated with epinephrine. The hormone receptor development can be influenced most effectively by pretreatments performed during the 1--3 and 6--9 day periods, though some effect can be evoked at any time in the course of the second regeneration. The head regenerates developing from the anterior end of the original midpiece (and regenerating tails the second time, B1) were found to be most sensitive, while the similar regenerates developing from the hindpiece of the original planarian (C) showed the weakest reactivity. The experiments provide further evidence that the hormone receptors' activity can be amplified in the course of regenerative development, leading thus--at a later stage--to a more intense sugar uptake response of the cells. PMID:221282

  17. Planarian activity differences when maintained in water pre-treated with magnetic fields: a nonlinear effect.

    PubMed

    Gang, Noa; Persinger, Michael A

    2011-12-01

    There have been multiple claims that exposing water to a static magnetic field affects its properties which influence living systems. To test this hypothesis, planarian subsequent to dissection were maintained in spring water that had been previously exposed for only one day to one of three (16, 160, or 1,600 G) intensity static magnetic fields or to a reference condition. Although there was no significant difference in regeneration rates over the subsequent seven-day period, there was a statistically significant nonlinear effect for planarian mobility and diffusion rates. Both mobility rates and diffusion velocity of a liquid within the water that had been exposed to the 16 G field was about twice that for water exposed to the other intensities. These results imply that nonlinear biophysical effects may emerge under specific conditions of intensity ranges for particular volumes of water. PMID:22047458

  18. Single-cell analysis reveals functionally distinct classes within the planarian stem cell compartment.

    PubMed

    van Wolfswinkel, Josien C; Wagner, Daniel E; Reddien, Peter W

    2014-09-01

    Planarians are flatworms capable of regenerating any missing body region. This capacity is mediated by neoblasts, a proliferative cell population that contains pluripotent stem cells. Although population-based studies have revealed many neoblast characteristics, whether functionally distinct classes exist within this population is unclear. Here, we used high-dimensional single-cell transcriptional profiling from over a thousand individual neoblasts to directly compare gene expression fingerprints during homeostasis and regeneration. We identified two prominent neoblast classes that we named ? (zeta) and ? (sigma). Zeta-neoblasts encompass specified cells that give rise to an abundant postmitotic lineage, including epidermal cells, and are not required for regeneration. By contrast, sigma-neoblasts proliferate in response to injury, possess broad lineage capacity, and can give rise to zeta-neoblasts. These findings indicate that planarian neoblasts comprise two major and functionally distinct cellular compartments. PMID:25017721

  19. teashirt is required for head-versus-tail regeneration polarity in planarians.

    PubMed

    Owen, Jared H; Wagner, Daniel E; Chen, Chun-Chieh; Petersen, Christian P; Reddien, Peter W

    2015-03-15

    Regeneration requires that the identities of new cells are properly specified to replace missing tissues. The Wnt signaling pathway serves a central role in specifying posterior cell fates during planarian regeneration. We identified a gene encoding a homolog of the Teashirt family of zinc-finger proteins in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea to be a target of Wnt signaling in intact animals and at posterior-facing wounds. Inhibition of Smed-teashirt (teashirt) by RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in the regeneration of heads in place of tails, a phenotype previously observed with RNAi of the Wnt pathway genes β-catenin-1, wnt1, Dvl-1/2 or wntless. teashirt was required for β-catenin-1-dependent activation of posterior genes during regeneration. These findings identify teashirt as a transcriptional target of Wnt signaling required for Wnt-mediated specification of posterior blastemas. PMID:25725068

  20. teashirt is required for head-versus-tail regeneration polarity in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Jared H.; Wagner, Daniel E.; Chen, Chun-Chieh; Petersen, Christian P.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2015-01-01

    Regeneration requires that the identities of new cells are properly specified to replace missing tissues. The Wnt signaling pathway serves a central role in specifying posterior cell fates during planarian regeneration. We identified a gene encoding a homolog of the Teashirt family of zinc-finger proteins in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea to be a target of Wnt signaling in intact animals and at posterior-facing wounds. Inhibition of Smed-teashirt (teashirt) by RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in the regeneration of heads in place of tails, a phenotype previously observed with RNAi of the Wnt pathway genes β-catenin-1, wnt1, Dvl-1/2 or wntless. teashirt was required for β-catenin-1-dependent activation of posterior genes during regeneration. These findings identify teashirt as a transcriptional target of Wnt signaling required for Wnt-mediated specification of posterior blastemas. PMID:25725068

  1. The protective effect of blueberry anthocyanins against perfluorooctanoic acid-induced disturbance in planarian (Dugesia japonica).

    PubMed

    Yuan, Zuoqing; Zhang, Jianyong; Tu, Changchao; Wang, Zhijing; Xin, Wenpeng

    2016-05-01

    The influence of blueberry anthocyanins on perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)-induced stress response in planarian mitochondria was investigated. PFOA at 15mg/L and anthocyanins at 10 or 20mg/L were individually and simultaneously administered to planarians for up to 10d. The results showed PFOA treatment induced an increase in mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening and a decrease antioxidant capacity and enzyme activities. In anthocyanin treated animals, the activity of succinate dehydrogenase, cytochrome oxidase and monoamine oxidase increased, but mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening decreased and total antioxidant capacity increased. An improvement in above-mentioned physiological and biochemical parameters was found in the combined PFOA and anthocyanin treated animals, in a dose-dependent manner. Anthocyanins attenuated the PFOA induced toxicity; antioxidant capacity and enzyme activities are involved in the protective mechanism of anthocyanins. PMID:26836138

  2. A taste for exotic food: Neotropical land planarians feeding on an invasive flatworm

    PubMed Central

    Boll, Piter K.; Rossi, Ilana; Amaral, Silvana V.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive species establish successfully in new habitats especially due to their ability to include new species in their diet and due to the freedom from natural enemies. However, native species may also adapt to the use of new elements in their ecosystem. The planarian Endeavouria septemlineata, first recorded in Hawaii, was later found in Brazil. Recently, we found it in human-disturbed areas in southern Brazil and here we investigate its interactions with other invertebrates both in the field and in the laboratory. We observed the species in the field during collecting activities and hence maintained some specimens alive in small terraria in the laboratory, where we offered different invertebrate species as potential prey and also put them in contact with native land planarians in order to examine their interaction. Both in the field and in the laboratory, E. septemlineata showed a gregarious behavior and was found feeding on woodlice, millipedes, earwigs and gastropods. In the laboratory, specimens often did not attack live prey, but immediately approached dead specimens, indicating a scavenging behavior. In an experiment using the slug Deroceras laeve and the woodlouse Atlantoscia floridana, there was a higher consumption of dead specimens of woodlice and slugs compared to live specimens, as well as a higher consumption of dead woodlice over dead slugs. Four native land planarians of the genus Obama and one of the genus Paraba attacked and consumed E. septemlineata, which, after the beginning of the attack, tried to escape by tumbling or using autotomy. As a scavenger, E. septemlineata would have no impact on the populations of species used as food, but could possibly exclude native scavengers by competition. On the other hand, its consumption by native land planarians may control its spread and thus reduce its impact on the ecosystem. PMID:26500817

  3. [Comparison of the effects of actinomycin D on RNA synthesis of young and adult regenerating planarians].

    PubMed

    Martelly, I; Le Moigne, A

    1980-01-01

    The regeneration of adult planarians is completed inhibited by antinomycin D (AMD), although that of young animals is slightly affected. The proposed hypothesis such as the required mRNA were available prior to section must be revised. In fact, RNA synthesis does occur in spite of AMD in the young. The dose effect, degree of inhibition and rapidity of effect of the inhibitor on RNA synthesis are compared at both ages. PMID:6155980

  4. Nonlinear isobologram and superadditive withdrawal from cocaine:cannabinoid combinations in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Raffa, Robert B.; Stagliano, Gregory W.; Tallarida, Ronald J.

    2007-01-01

    Elucidation of interactions between drugs used in polydrug abuse is especially important. However, the necessary experimental conditions for precise quantitative analysis are difficult to establish. Because withdrawal effects of cocaine and the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55212-2 are easily quantified in planarians, demonstration of synergistic effects (P < 0.01) of certain ratios of this combination was possible. This synergy, here analyzed with the latest (nonlinear) isobolographic methodology, is now quantitatively established for the first time. PMID:17141755

  5. Genome-Wide Analyses Reveal a Role for Peptide Hormones in Planarian Germline Development

    PubMed Central

    Collins, James J.; Hou, Xiaowen; Romanova, Elena V.; Lambrus, Bramwell G.; Miller, Claire M.; Saberi, Amir; Sweedler, Jonathan V.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2010-01-01

    Bioactive peptides (i.e., neuropeptides or peptide hormones) represent the largest class of cell-cell signaling molecules in metazoans and are potent regulators of neural and physiological function. In vertebrates, peptide hormones play an integral role in endocrine signaling between the brain and the gonads that controls reproductive development, yet few of these molecules have been shown to influence reproductive development in invertebrates. Here, we define a role for peptide hormones in controlling reproductive physiology of the model flatworm, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Based on our observation that defective neuropeptide processing results in defects in reproductive system development, we employed peptidomic and functional genomic approaches to characterize the planarian peptide hormone complement, identifying 51 prohormone genes and validating 142 peptides biochemically. Comprehensive in situ hybridization analyses of prohormone gene expression revealed the unanticipated complexity of the flatworm nervous system and identified a prohormone specifically expressed in the nervous system of sexually reproducing planarians. We show that this member of the neuropeptide Y superfamily is required for the maintenance of mature reproductive organs and differentiated germ cells in the testes. Additionally, comparative analyses of our biochemically validated prohormones with the genomes of the parasitic flatworms Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum identified new schistosome prohormones and validated half of all predicted peptide-encoding genes in these parasites. These studies describe the peptide hormone complement of a flatworm on a genome-wide scale and reveal a previously uncharacterized role for peptide hormones in flatworm reproduction. Furthermore, they suggest new opportunities for using planarians as free-living models for understanding the reproductive biology of flatworm parasites. PMID:20967238

  6. A taste for exotic food: Neotropical land planarians feeding on an invasive flatworm.

    PubMed

    Boll, Piter K; Rossi, Ilana; Amaral, Silvana V; Leal-Zanchet, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Invasive species establish successfully in new habitats especially due to their ability to include new species in their diet and due to the freedom from natural enemies. However, native species may also adapt to the use of new elements in their ecosystem. The planarian Endeavouria septemlineata, first recorded in Hawaii, was later found in Brazil. Recently, we found it in human-disturbed areas in southern Brazil and here we investigate its interactions with other invertebrates both in the field and in the laboratory. We observed the species in the field during collecting activities and hence maintained some specimens alive in small terraria in the laboratory, where we offered different invertebrate species as potential prey and also put them in contact with native land planarians in order to examine their interaction. Both in the field and in the laboratory, E. septemlineata showed a gregarious behavior and was found feeding on woodlice, millipedes, earwigs and gastropods. In the laboratory, specimens often did not attack live prey, but immediately approached dead specimens, indicating a scavenging behavior. In an experiment using the slug Deroceras laeve and the woodlouse Atlantoscia floridana, there was a higher consumption of dead specimens of woodlice and slugs compared to live specimens, as well as a higher consumption of dead woodlice over dead slugs. Four native land planarians of the genus Obama and one of the genus Paraba attacked and consumed E. septemlineata, which, after the beginning of the attack, tried to escape by tumbling or using autotomy. As a scavenger, E. septemlineata would have no impact on the populations of species used as food, but could possibly exclude native scavengers by competition. On the other hand, its consumption by native land planarians may control its spread and thus reduce its impact on the ecosystem. PMID:26500817

  7. [Effects of weak magnetic fields on different phases of planarian regeneration].

    PubMed

    Tiras, Kh P; Petrova, O N; Miakisheva, S N; Popova, S S; Aslanidi, K B

    2015-01-01

    We analyzed the effects of weak combined magnetic fields, tuned to the cyclotron resonance condition for calcium ions, obtained in different phases of planarian regeneration. We showed that the result of regeneration in 72 hours after decapitation depends on the length of exposure, and the time between decapitation and initiation of a half-hour exposure. The experimental dependence can be explained by a multiplicity of enzymatic targets activated in different phases of the regeneration process. PMID:25868354

  8. Two distinct roles of the yorkie/yap gene during homeostasis in the planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Byulnim; An, Yang; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2015-04-01

    Adult planarians possess somatic pluripotent stem cells called neoblasts that give rise to all missing cell types during regeneration and homeostasis. Recent studies revealed that the Yorkie (Yki)/Yes-associated protein (YAP) transcriptional coactivator family plays an important role in the regulation of tissue growth during development and regeneration, and therefore we investigated the role of a planarian yki-related gene (termed Djyki) during regeneration and homeostasis of the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica. We found that knockdown of the function of Djyki by RNA interference (RNAi) downregulated neoblast proliferation and caused regeneration defects after amputation. In addition, Djyki RNAi caused edema during homeostasis. These seemingly distinct defects induced by Djyki RNAi were rescued by simultaneous RNAi of a planarian mats-related gene (termed Djmats), suggesting an important role of Djmats in the negative regulation of Djyki, in accordance with the conservation of the functional relationship of these two genes during the course of evolution. Interestingly, Djyki RNAi did not prevent normal protonephridial structure, suggesting that Djyki RNAi induced the edema phenotype without affecting the excretory system. Further analyses revealed that increased expression of the D. japonica gene DjaquaporinA (DjaqpA), which belongs to a large gene family that encodes a water channel protein for the regulation of transcellular water flow, promoted the induction of edema, but not defects in neoblast dynamics, in Djyki(RNAi) animals. Thus, we conclude that Djyki plays two distinct roles in the regulation of active proliferation of stem cells and in osmotic water transport across the body surface in D. japonica. PMID:25708270

  9. The in vivo effect of chelidonine on the stem cell system of planarians.

    PubMed

    Isolani, Maria Emilia; Pietra, Daniele; Balestrini, Linda; Borghini, Alice; Deri, Paolo; Imbriani, Marcello; Bianucci, Anna Maria; Batistoni, Renata

    2012-07-01

    The presence of adult pluripotent stem cells and the amazing regenerative capabilities make planarian flatworms an extraordinary experimental model to assess in vivo the effects of substances of both natural and synthetic origin on stem cell dynamics. This study focuses on the effects of chelidonine, an alkaloid obtained from Chelidonium majus. The expression levels of molecular markers specific for stem or differentiated cells were compared in chelidonine-treated and control planarians. The use of these markers demonstrates that chelidonine produces in vivo a significant anti-proliferative effect on planarian stem cells in a dose-dependent fashion. In response to chelidonine treatment mitotic abnormalities were also observed and the number of cells able to proceed to anaphase/telophase appeared significantly reduced with respect to the controls. Our results support the possibility that chelidonine acts on cell cycle progression by inhibition of tubulin polymerization. These studies provide a basis for preclinical evaluation in vivo of the effects of chelidonine on physiologically proliferating stem cells. PMID:22503932

  10. The use of planarians as in vivo animal model to study laser biomodulation effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Munin, Egberto; Garcia, Neila Maria Rocha; Braz, Allison Gustavo; de Souza, Sandra Cristina; Alves, Leandro Procópio; Salgado, Miguel Angel Castillo; Pilla, Viviane

    2007-02-01

    A variety of effects is attributed to the photo stimulation of tissues, such as improved healing of ulcers, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulation of the proliferation of cells of different origins and stimulation of bone repair. Some investigations that make qualitative evaluations, like wound healing and evaluation of pain and edema, can be conducted in human subjects. However, deeper investigations on the mechanisms of action of the light stimulus and other quantitative works that requires biopsies or destructive analysis has to be carried out in animal models or in cell cultures. In this work, we propose the use of planarians as a model to study laser-tissue interaction. Contrasting with cell cultures and unicellular organisms, planarians are among the simplest organism having tissue layers, central nerve system, digestive and excretory system that might have been platforms for the evolution of the complex and highly organized tissues and organs found in higher organisms. For the present study, 685 nm laser radiation was employed. Planarians were cut transversally, in a plane posterior to the auricles. The body fragments were left to regenerate and the proliferation dynamics of stem cells was studied by using histological analysis. Maximum cell count was obtained for the laser treated group at the 4 th experimental day. At that experimental time, we also had the largest difference between the irradiated and the non-irradiated control group. We concluded that the studied flatworm could be an interesting animal model for in vivo studies of laser-tissue interactions.

  11. Morphological and functional recovery of the planarian photosensing system during head regeneration.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Takeshi; Kumamoto, Hiroshi; Okamoto, Keiji; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Sakai, Masaki; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2004-03-01

    When exposed to light, planarians display a distinctive light avoidance behavior known as negative phototaxis. Such behavior is temporarily suppressed when animals are decapitated, and it is restored once the animals regenerate their heads. Head regeneration and the simple but reproducible phototactic response of planarians provides an opportunity to study the association between neuronal differentiation and the establishment of behavior in a simple, experimentally tractable metazoan. We have devised a phototaxis assay system to analyze light response recovery during head regeneration and determined that light evasion is markedly re-established 5 days after amputation. Immunohistological and in situ hybridization studies indicate that the photoreceptors and optic nerve connections to the brain begin by the fourth day of cephalic regeneration. To experimentally manipulate the light response recovery, we performed gene knockdown analysis using RNA interference (RNAi) on two genes (1020HH and eye53) previously reported to be expressed at 5 days after amputation and in the dorso-medial region of the brain (where the optic nerves project). Although RNAi failed to produce morphological defects in either the brain or the visual neurons, the recovery of the phototactic response normally observed in 5-day regenerates was significantly suppressed. The data suggest that 1020HH and eye53 may be involved in the functional recovery and maintenance of the visual system, and that the phototaxis assay presented here can be used to reliably quantify the negative phototactic behavior of planarians. PMID:15056922

  12. Tryptophan hydroxylase Is Required for Eye Melanogenesis in the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Lambrus, Bramwell G.; Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Gao, Jiarong; Newmark, Phillip A.; Collins, Eva-Maria S.; Collins, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Melanins are ubiquitous and biologically important pigments, yet the molecular mechanisms that regulate their synthesis and biochemical composition are not fully understood. Here we present a study that supports a role for serotonin in melanin synthesis in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We characterize the tryptophan hydroxylase (tph) gene, which encodes the rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin synthesis, and demonstrate by RNA interference that tph is essential for melanin production in the pigment cups of the planarian photoreceptors. We exploit this phenotype to investigate the biological function of pigment cups using a quantitative light-avoidance behavioral assay. Planarians lacking eye pigment remain phototactic, indicating that eye pigmentation is not essential for light avoidance in S. mediterranea, though it improves the efficiency of the photophobic response. Finally, we show that the eye pigmentation defect observed in tph knockdown animals can be rescued by injection of either the product of TPH, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), or serotonin. Together, these results highlight a role for serotonin in melanogenesis, perhaps as a regulatory signal or as a pigment substrate. To our knowledge, this is the first example of this relationship to be reported outside of mammalian systems. PMID:26017970

  13. Planarian regeneration involves distinct stem cell responses to wounds and tissue absence

    PubMed Central

    Wenemoser, Danielle; Reddien, Peter W.

    2010-01-01

    Regeneration requires signaling from a wound site for detection of the wound, and a mechanism that determines the nature of the injury to specify the appropriate regenerative response. Wound signals and tissue responses to wounds that elicit regeneration remain poorly understood. Planarians are able to regenerate from essentially any type of injury and present a novel system for the study of wound responses in regeneration initiation. Newly developed molecular and cellular tools now enable study of regeneration initiation using the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Planarian regeneration requires adult stem cells called neoblasts and amputation triggers two peaks in neoblast mitoses early in regeneration. We demonstrate that the first mitotic peak is a body-wide response to any injury and that a second, local, neoblast response is induced only when injury results in missing tissue. This second response was characterized by recruitment of neoblasts to wounds, even in areas that lack neoblasts in the intact animal. Subsequently, these neoblasts were induced to divide and differentiate near the wound, leading to formation of new tissue. We conclude that there exist two functionally distinct signaling phases of the stem cell wound response that distinguish between simple injury and situations that require the regeneration of missing tissue. PMID:20599901

  14. Stem cell-based growth, regeneration, and remodeling of the planarian intestine

    PubMed Central

    Forsthoefel, David J.; Park, Amanda E.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2011-01-01

    Although some animals are capable of regenerating organs, the mechanisms by which this is achieved are poorly understood. In planarians, pluripotent somatic stem cells called neoblasts supply new cells for growth, replenish tissues in response to cellular turnover, and regenerate tissues after injury. For most tissues and organs, however, the spatiotemporal dynamics of stem cell differentiation and the fate of tissue that existed prior to injury have not been characterized systematically. Utilizing in vivo imaging and bromodeoxyuridine pulse-chase experiments, we have analyzed growth and regeneration of the planarian intestine, the organ responsible for digestion and nutrient distribution. During growth, we observe that new gut branches are added along the entire anteroposterior axis. We find that new enterocytes differentiate throughout the intestine rather than in specific growth zones, suggesting that branching morphogenesis is achieved primarily by remodeling of differentiated intestinal tissues. During regeneration, we also demonstrate a previously unappreciated degree of intestinal remodeling, in which pre-existing posterior gut tissue contributes extensively to the newly formed anterior gut, and vice versa. By contrast to growing animals, differentiation of new intestinal cells occurs at preferential locations, including within newly generated tissue (the blastema), and along pre-existing intestinal branches undergoing remodeling. Our results indicate that growth and regeneration of the planarian intestine are achieved by coordinated differentiation of stem cells and the remodeling of pre-existing tissues. Elucidation of the mechanisms by which these processes are integrated will be critical for understanding organogenesis in a post-embryonic context. PMID:21664348

  15. PIWI homologs mediate histone H4 mRNA localization to planarian chromatoid bodies.

    PubMed

    Rouhana, Labib; Weiss, Jennifer A; King, Ryan S; Newmark, Phillip A

    2014-07-01

    The well-known regenerative abilities of planarian flatworms are attributed to a population of adult stem cells called neoblasts that proliferate and differentiate to produce all cell types. A characteristic feature of neoblasts is the presence of large cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein granules named chromatoid bodies, the function of which has remained largely elusive. This study shows that histone mRNAs are a common component of chromatoid bodies. Our experiments also demonstrate that accumulation of histone mRNAs, which is typically restricted to the S phase of eukaryotic cells, is extended during the cell cycle of neoblasts. The planarian PIWI homologs SMEDWI-1 and SMEDWI-3 are required for proper localization of germinal histone H4 (gH4) mRNA to chromatoid bodies. The association between histone mRNA and chromatoid body components extends beyond gH4 mRNA, since transcripts of other core histone genes were also found in these structures. Additionally, piRNAs corresponding to loci of every core histone type have been identified. Altogether, this work provides evidence that links PIWI proteins and chromatoid bodies to histone mRNA regulation in planarian stem cells. The molecular similarities between neoblasts and undifferentiated cells of other organisms raise the possibility that PIWI proteins might also regulate histone mRNAs in stem cells and germ cells of other metazoans. PMID:24903754

  16. Guarana Provides Additional Stimulation over Caffeine Alone in the Planarian Model

    PubMed Central

    Moustakas, Dimitrios; Mezzio, Michael; Rodriguez, Branden R.; Constable, Mic Andre; Mulligan, Margaret E.; Voura, Evelyn B.

    2015-01-01

    The stimulant effect of energy drinks is primarily attributed to the caffeine they contain. Many energy drinks also contain other ingredients that might enhance the tonic effects of these caffeinated beverages. One of these additives is guarana. Guarana is a climbing plant native to the Amazon whose seeds contain approximately four times the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans. The mix of other natural chemicals contained in guarana seeds is thought to heighten the stimulant effects of guarana over caffeine alone. Yet, despite the growing use of guarana as an additive in energy drinks, and a burgeoning market for it as a nutritional supplement, the science examining guarana and how it affects other dietary ingredients is lacking. To appreciate the stimulant effects of guarana and other natural products, a straightforward model to investigate their physiological properties is needed. The planarian provides such a system. The locomotor activity and convulsive response of planarians with substance exposure has been shown to provide an excellent system to measure the effects of drug stimulation, addiction and withdrawal. To gauge the stimulant effects of guarana we studied how it altered the locomotor activity of the planarian species Dugesia tigrina. We report evidence that guarana seeds provide additional stimulation over caffeine alone, and document the changes to this stimulation in the context of both caffeine and glucose. PMID:25880065

  17. Egr-5 is a post-mitotic regulator of planarian epidermal differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Kimberly C; Cheng, Li-Chun; TK Vu, Hanh; Lange, Jeffrey J; McKinney, Sean A; Seidel, Chris W; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2015-01-01

    Neoblasts are an abundant, heterogeneous population of adult stem cells (ASCs) that facilitate the maintenance of planarian tissues and organs, providing a powerful system to study ASC self-renewal and differentiation dynamics. It is unknown how the collective output of neoblasts transit through differentiation pathways to produce specific cell types. The planarian epidermis is a simple tissue that undergoes rapid turnover. We found that as epidermal progeny differentiate, they progress through multiple spatiotemporal transition states with distinct gene expression profiles. We also identified a conserved early growth response family transcription factor, egr-5, that is essential for epidermal differentiation. Disruption of epidermal integrity by egr-5 RNAi triggers a global stress response that induces the proliferation of neoblasts and the concomitant expansion of not only epidermal, but also multiple progenitor cell populations. Our results further establish the planarian epidermis as a novel paradigm to uncover the molecular mechanisms regulating ASC specification in vivo. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10501.001 PMID:26457503

  18. PIWI homologs mediate Histone H4 mRNA localization to planarian chromatoid bodies

    PubMed Central

    Rouhana, Labib; Weiss, Jennifer A.; King, Ryan S.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2014-01-01

    The well-known regenerative abilities of planarian flatworms are attributed to a population of adult stem cells called neoblasts that proliferate and differentiate to produce all cell types. A characteristic feature of neoblasts is the presence of large cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein granules named chromatoid bodies, the function of which has remained largely elusive. This study shows that histone mRNAs are a common component of chromatoid bodies. Our experiments also demonstrate that accumulation of histone mRNAs, which is typically restricted to the S phase of eukaryotic cells, is extended during the cell cycle of neoblasts. The planarian PIWI homologs SMEDWI-1 and SMEDWI-3 are required for proper localization of germinal histone H4 (gH4) mRNA to chromatoid bodies. The association between histone mRNA and chromatoid body components extends beyond gH4 mRNA, since transcripts of other core histone genes were also found in these structures. Additionally, piRNAs corresponding to loci of every core histone type have been identified. Altogether, this work provides evidence that links PIWI proteins and chromatoid bodies to histone mRNA regulation in planarian stem cells. The molecular similarities between neoblasts and undifferentiated cells of other organisms raise the possibility that PIWI proteins might also regulate histone mRNAs in stem cells and germ cells of other metazoans. PMID:24903754

  19. Tryptophan hydroxylase Is Required for Eye Melanogenesis in the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Lambrus, Bramwell G; Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Gao, Jiarong; Newmark, Phillip A; Collins, Eva-Maria S; Collins, James J

    2015-01-01

    Melanins are ubiquitous and biologically important pigments, yet the molecular mechanisms that regulate their synthesis and biochemical composition are not fully understood. Here we present a study that supports a role for serotonin in melanin synthesis in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We characterize the tryptophan hydroxylase (tph) gene, which encodes the rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin synthesis, and demonstrate by RNA interference that tph is essential for melanin production in the pigment cups of the planarian photoreceptors. We exploit this phenotype to investigate the biological function of pigment cups using a quantitative light-avoidance behavioral assay. Planarians lacking eye pigment remain phototactic, indicating that eye pigmentation is not essential for light avoidance in S. mediterranea, though it improves the efficiency of the photophobic response. Finally, we show that the eye pigmentation defect observed in tph knockdown animals can be rescued by injection of either the product of TPH, 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), or serotonin. Together, these results highlight a role for serotonin in melanogenesis, perhaps as a regulatory signal or as a pigment substrate. To our knowledge, this is the first example of this relationship to be reported outside of mammalian systems. PMID:26017970

  20. Guarana provides additional stimulation over caffeine alone in the planarian model.

    PubMed

    Moustakas, Dimitrios; Mezzio, Michael; Rodriguez, Branden R; Constable, Mic Andre; Mulligan, Margaret E; Voura, Evelyn B

    2015-01-01

    The stimulant effect of energy drinks is primarily attributed to the caffeine they contain. Many energy drinks also contain other ingredients that might enhance the tonic effects of these caffeinated beverages. One of these additives is guarana. Guarana is a climbing plant native to the Amazon whose seeds contain approximately four times the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans. The mix of other natural chemicals contained in guarana seeds is thought to heighten the stimulant effects of guarana over caffeine alone. Yet, despite the growing use of guarana as an additive in energy drinks, and a burgeoning market for it as a nutritional supplement, the science examining guarana and how it affects other dietary ingredients is lacking. To appreciate the stimulant effects of guarana and other natural products, a straightforward model to investigate their physiological properties is needed. The planarian provides such a system. The locomotor activity and convulsive response of planarians with substance exposure has been shown to provide an excellent system to measure the effects of drug stimulation, addiction and withdrawal. To gauge the stimulant effects of guarana we studied how it altered the locomotor activity of the planarian species Dugesia tigrina. We report evidence that guarana seeds provide additional stimulation over caffeine alone, and document the changes to this stimulation in the context of both caffeine and glucose. PMID:25880065

  1. Smed-dynA-1 is a planarian nervous system specific dynamin 1 homolog required for normal locomotion.

    PubMed

    Talbot, Jared A; Currie, Ko W; Pearson, Bret J; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2014-01-01

    Dynamins are GTPases that are required for separation of vesicles from the plasma membrane and thus are key regulators of endocytosis in eukaryotic cells. This role for dynamin proteins is especially crucial for the proper function of neurons, where they ensure that synaptic vesicles and their neurotransmitter cargo are recycled in the presynaptic cell. Here we have characterized the dynamin protein family in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea and showed that it possesses six dynamins with tissue specific expression profiles. Of these six planarian homologs, two are necessary for normal tissue homeostasis, and the loss of another, Smed-dynA-1, leads to an abnormal behavioral phenotype, which we have quantified using automated center of mass tracking. Smed-dynA-1 is primarily expressed in the planarian nervous system and is a functional homolog of the mammalian Dynamin I. The distinct expression profiles of the six dynamin genes makes planarians an interesting new system to reveal novel dynamin functions, which may be determined by their differential tissue localization. The observed complexity of neurotransmitter regulation combined with the tools of quantitative behavioral assays as a functional readout for neuronal activity, renders planarians an ideal system for studying how the nervous system controls behavior. PMID:24950970

  2. An automated training paradigm reveals long-term memory in planarians and its persistence through head regeneration.

    PubMed

    Shomrat, Tal; Levin, Michael

    2013-10-15

    Planarian flatworms are a popular system for research into the molecular mechanisms that enable these complex organisms to regenerate their entire body, including the brain. Classical data suggest that they may also be capable of long-term memory. Thus, the planarian system may offer the unique opportunity to study brain regeneration and memory in the same animal. To establish a system for the investigation of the dynamics of memory in a regenerating brain, we developed a computerized training and testing paradigm that avoided the many issues that confounded previous, manual attempts to train planarians. We then used this new system to train flatworms in an environmental familiarization protocol. We show that worms exhibit environmental familiarization, and that this memory persists for at least 14 days - long enough for the brain to regenerate. We further show that trained, decapitated planarians exhibit evidence of memory retrieval in a savings paradigm after regenerating a new head. Our work establishes a foundation for objective, high-throughput assays in this molecularly tractable model system that will shed light on the fundamental interface between body patterning and stored memories. We propose planarians as key emerging model species for mechanistic investigations of the encoding of specific memories in biological tissues. Moreover, this system is lik ely to have important implications for the biomedicine of stem-cell-derived treatments of degenerative brain disorders in human adults. PMID:23821717

  3. [A role of some intracellular signaling cascades in planarian regeneration activated under irradiation with low-temperature argon plasma].

    PubMed

    Ermakov, A M; Ermakova, O N; Maevski?, E I

    2014-01-01

    Using inhibitory analysis the role of some intracellular signaling pathways in activation of planarian regeneration under the influence of low-temperature argon plasma (LTAP) has been investigated. Inactivation of specific inhibitors of intracellular signaling enzymes such as the receptor tyrosine kinase (EGFR), TGF ? receptor, calmodulin, adenylate cyclase, phospholipase A2, phospholipase C, cyclin-dependent protein kinase, JAK2-protein kinase, JNK-protein kinase MEK-protein kinase led to inhibition of the head growth during its regeneration in planarians. Pretreatment with LTAP irradiation provided no inhibitory action of some cascades regulating proliferation. However, the inhibitors of the key regulators of regeneration: TGF ? receptor, calmodulin and MEK-protein kinase completely suppressed the activating effect of plasma. Thus, by the example of regenerating planarians it is shown, that biological activity of low-temperature argon plasma LTAP is caused by modulation of a plurality of cellular signaling systems. PMID:25715600

  4. Spoltud-1 is a chromatoid body component required for planarian long-term stem cell self-renewal

    PubMed Central

    Solana, Jordi; Lasko, Paul; Romero, Rafael

    2009-01-01

    Freshwater planarians exhibit a striking power of regeneration, based on a population of undifferentiated totipotent stem cells, called neoblasts. These somatic stem cells have several characteristics resembling those of germ line stem cells in other animals, such as the presence of perinuclear RNA granules (chromatoid bodies). We have isolated a Tudor domain-containing gene in the planarian species Schmidtea polychroa, Spoltud-1, and show that it is expressed in neoblast cells, germ line cells and central nervous system, and during embryonic development. Within the neoblasts, Spoltud-1 protein is enriched in chromatoid bodies. Spoltud-1 RNAi eliminates protein expression after 3 weeks, and abolishes the power of regeneration of planarians after 7 weeks. Neoblast cells are eliminated by the RNAi treatment, disappearing at the end rather than gradually during the process. Neoblasts with no detectable Spoltud-1 protein are able to proliferate and differentiate. These results suggest that Spoltud-1 is required for long term stem cell self renewal. PMID:19389344

  5. Evidence for a dispersed Hox gene cluster in the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Raymond J; Wu, Wenjie; Hirai, Hirohisa; Ivens, Al; Murphy, Lee D; Noël, Christophe; Johnston, David A; Artiguenave, François; Adams, Martin; Cornette, Jocelyne; Viscogliosi, Eric; Capron, Monique; Balavoine, Guillaume

    2005-12-01

    In most bilaterian organisms so far studied, Hox genes are organized in genomic clusters and determine development along the anteroposterior axis. It has been suggested that this clustering, together with spatial and temporal colinearity of gene expression, represents the ancestral condition. However, in organisms with derived modes of embryogenesis and lineage-dependent mechanisms for the determination of cell fate, temporal colinearity of expression can be lost and Hox cluster organization disrupted, as is the case for the ecdysozoans Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans and the urochordates Ciona intestinalis and Oikopleura dioica. We sought to determine whether a lophotrochozoan, the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni, possesses a conserved or disrupted Hox cluster. Using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based strategy, we have cloned and characterized three novel S. mansoni genes encoding orthologues of Drosophila labial (SmHox1), deformed (SmHox4), and abdominal A (SmHox8), as well as the full-length coding sequence of the previously described Smox1, which we identify as an orthologue of fushi tarazu. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR showed that the four genes were expressed at all life-cycle stages but that levels of expression were differentially regulated. Phylogenetic analysis and the conservation of "parapeptide" sequences C-terminal to the homeodomains of SmHox8 and Smox1 support the grouping of platyhelminths within the lophotrochozoan clade. However, Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) library screening followed by genome walking failed to reconstitute a cluster. The BAC clones containing Hox genes were sequenced, and in no case were other Hox genes found on the same clone. Moreover, the SmHox4 and SmHox8 genes contained single very large introns (>40 kbp) further indicating that the schistosome Hox cluster is highly extended. Localization of the Hox genes to chromosomes using fluorescence in situ hybridization showed that SmHox4 and SmHox8 are on the long arm of chromosome 4, whereas SmHox1 and Smox1 are on chromosome 3. In silico screening of the available genome sequences corroborated results of Southern blotting and BAC library screening that indicate that there are no paralogues of SmHox1, SmHox4, or SmHox8. The schistosome Hox cluster is therefore not duplicated, but is both dispersed and disintegrated in the genome. PMID:16120809

  6. Comparative study of adaptive radiations with an example using parasitic flatworms (Platyhelminthes): Cercomeria

    SciTech Connect

    Brooks, D.R.; McLennan, D.A. )

    1993-11-01

    Studies of adaptive radiations require robust phylogenies, estimates of species numbers for monophyletic groups within clades, assessments of the adaptive value of putative key innovations, and estimates of the frequency of speciation modes. Four criteria are necessary to identify an adaptive radiation within the parasitic platyhelminths: (1) a group contains significantly more species than its sister group, (2) species richness is apomorphic, (3) apomorphic traits enhance the potential for adaptively driven modes of speciation (sympatric speciation and speciation by peripheral isolation via host switching), and (4) the frequency of adaptively driven speciation modes is high within the group when compared with data from free-living groups. Only the species-rich Monogenea fulfill all four criteria. The Digenea and Eucestoda also are more species rich than their sister groups, their species richness is derived, and they possess unique characters that increase the potential for host switching to occur. However, because there is not enough information to determine whether the frequency of adaptive modes of speciation is high for those groups, we cannot yet assert that their radiations have been adaptive. 102 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  7. Problematic barcoding in flatworms: A case-study on monogeneans and rhabdocoels (Platyhelminthes)

    PubMed Central

    Vanhove, Maarten P. M.; Tessens, Bart; Schoelinck, Charlotte; Jondelius, Ulf; Littlewood, D. Tim J.; Artois, Tom; Huyse, Tine

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Some taxonomic groups are less amenable to mitochondrial DNA barcoding than others. Due to the paucity of molecular information of understudied groups and the huge molecular diversity within flatworms, primer design has been hampered. Indeed, all attempts to develop universal flatworm-specific COI markers have failed so far. We demonstrate how high molecular variability and contamination problems limit the possibilities for barcoding using standard COI-based protocols in flatworms. As a consequence, molecular identification methods often rely on other widely applicable markers. In the case of Monogenea, a very diverse group of platyhelminth parasites, and Rhabdocoela, representing one-fourth of all free-living flatworm taxa, this has led to a relatively high availability of nuclear ITS and 18S/28S rDNA sequences on GenBank. In a comparison of the effectiveness in species assignment we conclude that mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal markers perform equally well. In case intraspecific information is needed, rDNA sequences can guide the selection of the appropriate (i.e. taxon-specific) COI primers if available. PMID:24453567

  8. [Study of possible involvement of MEK mitogen-activated protein kinase and TGF-? receptor in planarian regeneration processes using pharmacological inhibition analysis].

    PubMed

    Ermakov, A M; Ermakova, O N; Ermolaeva, S A

    2014-01-01

    Possible involvement of MEK mitogen-activated protein kinase and TGF-? receptor in the processes of regeneration and morphogenesis in freshwater planarian flatworms Schmidtea mediterranea was studied using a pharmacological inhibitor analysis. It was found that pharmacological inhibitors of these kinases significantly inhibit the regeneration of the head end of the animals and that this effect is realized due to inhibition of proliferative activity of neoblasts, planarian stem cells. It is shown that that the inhibition of the studied protein kinases in regenerating planarians markedly disturbs stem cell differentiation and morphogenesis. PMID:25752153

  9. Inferring Regulatory Networks from Experimental Morphological Phenotypes: A Computational Method Reverse-Engineers Planarian Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lobo, Daniel; Levin, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Transformative applications in biomedicine require the discovery of complex regulatory networks that explain the development and regeneration of anatomical structures, and reveal what external signals will trigger desired changes of large-scale pattern. Despite recent advances in bioinformatics, extracting mechanistic pathway models from experimental morphological data is a key open challenge that has resisted automation. The fundamental difficulty of manually predicting emergent behavior of even simple networks has limited the models invented by human scientists to pathway diagrams that show necessary subunit interactions but do not reveal the dynamics that are sufficient for complex, self-regulating pattern to emerge. To finally bridge the gap between high-resolution genetic data and the ability to understand and control patterning, it is critical to develop computational tools to efficiently extract regulatory pathways from the resultant experimental shape phenotypes. For example, planarian regeneration has been studied for over a century, but despite increasing insight into the pathways that control its stem cells, no constructive, mechanistic model has yet been found by human scientists that explains more than one or two key features of its remarkable ability to regenerate its correct anatomical pattern after drastic perturbations. We present a method to infer the molecular products, topology, and spatial and temporal non-linear dynamics of regulatory networks recapitulating in silico the rich dataset of morphological phenotypes resulting from genetic, surgical, and pharmacological experiments. We demonstrated our approach by inferring complete regulatory networks explaining the outcomes of the main functional regeneration experiments in the planarian literature; By analyzing all the datasets together, our system inferred the first systems-biology comprehensive dynamical model explaining patterning in planarian regeneration. This method provides an automated, highly generalizable framework for identifying the underlying control mechanisms responsible for the dynamic regulation of growth and form. PMID:26042810

  10. Modification by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) of cadmium induced lesions in the planarian model, Dugesia dorotocephala.

    PubMed

    Hansen, L G; Tehseen, W M; Foley, G L; Schaeffer, D J

    1993-12-01

    The appearance of abnormal growths on the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala, in response to cadmium with and without pre-exposure to L-buthionine-R, S-sulfoximine (BSO) and concurrent exposure to the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Aroclor 1254, PCB 28, PCB 110 or PCB 126 is described. Pigmented rose thorn (PRT) lesions were non-invasive and appeared in response to PCBs. Post-head (PH) lesions developed in up to 100% of the animals within 6-20 days post-dosing, progressed rather rapidly and were highly invasive. Round tail tip (RTT) lesions appeared in lower frequencies within 10-30 days, but progressed extremely rapidly resulting in tail loss within 48 h. We have referred to these types of lesions as "tumors", but they are not necessarily characteristic of vertebrate neoplasms. PCBs interacted with cadmium in a complex way, in some cases increasing total lesions and decreasing time-to-lesion and in other cases having the opposite effects. A three-factor (PCB, PCB dose, Cd dose) nested analysis of variance model was used to determine lesion rates in order to compare PCB potencies as potentiators or antagonists. The Aroclor mixture was always the least potent co-toxicant but appeared to be the most potent antagonist; the coplanar PCB 126 was the most potent co-toxicant. The complex response surfaces and the lack of stoichiometry in dose-response relationships indicate that multiple mechanisms are responsible for PH and RTT lesions in planarians. These results emphasize the complexity of PCB toxicities and suggest further studies to validate the planarian model as a screen for combinations or environmental mixtures which may have altered biological potency in other species. PMID:8198753

  11. Inferring regulatory networks from experimental morphological phenotypes: a computational method reverse-engineers planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Lobo, Daniel; Levin, Michael

    2015-06-01

    Transformative applications in biomedicine require the discovery of complex regulatory networks that explain the development and regeneration of anatomical structures, and reveal what external signals will trigger desired changes of large-scale pattern. Despite recent advances in bioinformatics, extracting mechanistic pathway models from experimental morphological data is a key open challenge that has resisted automation. The fundamental difficulty of manually predicting emergent behavior of even simple networks has limited the models invented by human scientists to pathway diagrams that show necessary subunit interactions but do not reveal the dynamics that are sufficient for complex, self-regulating pattern to emerge. To finally bridge the gap between high-resolution genetic data and the ability to understand and control patterning, it is critical to develop computational tools to efficiently extract regulatory pathways from the resultant experimental shape phenotypes. For example, planarian regeneration has been studied for over a century, but despite increasing insight into the pathways that control its stem cells, no constructive, mechanistic model has yet been found by human scientists that explains more than one or two key features of its remarkable ability to regenerate its correct anatomical pattern after drastic perturbations. We present a method to infer the molecular products, topology, and spatial and temporal non-linear dynamics of regulatory networks recapitulating in silico the rich dataset of morphological phenotypes resulting from genetic, surgical, and pharmacological experiments. We demonstrated our approach by inferring complete regulatory networks explaining the outcomes of the main functional regeneration experiments in the planarian literature; By analyzing all the datasets together, our system inferred the first systems-biology comprehensive dynamical model explaining patterning in planarian regeneration. This method provides an automated, highly generalizable framework for identifying the underlying control mechanisms responsible for the dynamic regulation of growth and form. PMID:26042810

  12. [Seasonal differences in the regeneration of planarians subjected to long-term electromagnetic shielding].

    PubMed

    Temur'iants, N A; Demtsun, N A

    2010-01-01

    It has been found that the regeneration of planarians is most intensive in summer and least intensive in winter. In spring and autumn, the index of regeneration and the velocity of movement are higher than in winter but lower than in summer. Long-term electromagnetic shielding modifies the intensity of regenerative processes, and this effect is season-dependent. The stimulation is most clearly pronounced in winter and least pronounced in sommer and decreases with increasing duration of shielding. In spring, only a tendency to the stimulation of regeration is observed, which increases with the length of the observation period. PMID:20968086

  13. Whole-mount in situ hybridization using DIG-labeled probes in planarian.

    PubMed

    Rybak-Wolf, Agnieszka; Solana, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    In recent years freshwater flatworms (planarian) have become a powerful model for studies of regeneration and stem cell biology. Whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH) and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) are key and most commonly used techniques to determine and visualize gene expression patterns in planaria. Here, we present the established version of whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH) and whole-mount fluorescence in situ hybridization (WFISH) protocol optimized over the last years by several labs from the rapidly growing planaria field and give an overview of recently introduced modifications which can be critical in the study of low abundant transcripts. PMID:25218375

  14. Size Matters!. Birth Size and a Size-Independent Stochastic Term Determine Asexual Reproduction Dynamics in Freshwater Planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Michael A.; Quinodoz, Sofia; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2012-09-01

    Asexual reproduction by division in higher organisms is rare, because a prerequisite is the ability to regenerate an entire organism from a piece of the original body. Freshwater planarians are one of the few animals that can reproduce this way, but little is known about the regulation of their reproduction cycles or strategies. We have previously shown that a planarian's reproduction strategy is randomized to include fragmentations, producing multiple offspring, as well as binary fissions, and can be partially explained by a maximum relative entropy principle. In this study we attempt to decompose the factors controlling their reproduction cycle. Based on recent studies on the cell cycle of budding yeast, which suggest that molecular noise in gene expression and cell size at birth together control cell cycle variability, we investigated whether the variability in planarian reproduction waiting times could be similarly regulated. We find that such a model can indeed explain the observed distribution of waiting times between birth and next reproductive event, suggesting that birth size and a stochastic noise term govern the reproduction dynamics of asexual planarians.

  15. Planarian yorkie/YAP functions to integrate adult stem cell proliferation, organ homeostasis and maintenance of axial patterning.

    PubMed

    Lin, Alexander Y T; Pearson, Bret J

    2014-03-01

    During adult homeostasis and regeneration, the freshwater planarian must accomplish a constant balance between cell proliferation and cell death, while also maintaining proper tissue and organ size and patterning. How these ordered processes are precisely modulated remains relatively unknown. Here we show that planarians use the downstream effector of the Hippo signaling cascade, yorkie (yki; YAP in vertebrates) to control a diverse set of pleiotropic processes in organ homeostasis, stem cell regulation, regeneration and axial patterning. We show that yki functions to maintain the homeostasis of the planarian excretory (protonephridial) system and to limit stem cell proliferation, but does not affect the differentiation process or cell death. Finally, we show that Yki acts synergistically with WNT/?-catenin signaling to repress head determination by limiting the expression domains of posterior WNT genes and that of the WNT-inhibitor notum. Together, our data show that yki is a key gene in planarians that integrates stem cell proliferation control, organ homeostasis, and the spatial patterning of tissues. PMID:24523458

  16. Β-catenin-dependent control of positional information along the AP body axis in planarians involves a teashirt family member.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Hanna; März, Martin; Vogg, Matthias C; Eccles, David; Grífol-Boldú, Laura; Wehner, Daniel; Owlarn, Suthira; Adell, Teresa; Weidinger, Gilbert; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2015-01-13

    Wnt/β-catenin signaling regulates tissue homeostasis and regeneration in metazoans. In planarians-flatworms with high regenerative potential-Wnt ligands are thought to control tissue polarity by shaping a β-catenin activity gradient along the anterior-posterior axis, yet the downstream mechanisms are poorly understood. We performed an RNA sequencing (RNA-seq)-based screen and identified hundreds of β-catenin-dependent transcripts, of which several were expressed in muscle tissue and stem cells in a graded fashion. In particular, a teashirt (tsh) ortholog was induced in a β-catenin-dependent manner during regeneration in planarians and zebrafish, and RNAi resulted in two-headed planarians. Strikingly, intact planarians depleted of tsh induced anterior markers and slowly transformed their tail into a head, reminiscent of β-catenin RNAi phenotypes. Given that β-catenin RNAi enhanced the formation of muscle cells expressing anterior determinants in tail regions, our study suggests that this pathway controls tissue polarity through regulating the identity of differentiating cells during homeostasis and regeneration. PMID:25558068

  17. Analysis of Stem Cell Motility In Vivo Based on Immunodetection of Planarian Neoblasts and Tracing of BrdU-Labeled Cells After Partial Irradiation.

    PubMed

    Tasaki, Junichi; Uchiyama-Tasaki, Chihiro; Rouhana, Labib

    2016-01-01

    Planarian flatworms have become an important system for the study of stem cell behavior and regulation in vivo. These organisms are able to regenerate any part of their body upon damage or amputation. A crucial cellular event in the process of planarian regeneration is the migration of pluripotent stem cells (known as neoblasts) to the site of injury. Here we describe two approaches for analyzing migration of planarian stem cells to an area where these have been ablated by localized X-ray irradiation. The first approach involves immunolabeling of mitotic neoblasts, while the second is based on tracing stem cells and their progeny after BrdU incorporation. The use of planarians in studies of cell motility is suitable for the identification of factors that influence stem cell migration in vivo and is amenable to RNA interference or pharmacological screening. PMID:26498794

  18. Elucidating the phylogenetic position of Gnathostomulida and first mitochondrial genomes of Gnathostomulida, Gastrotricha and Polycladida (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Golombek, Anja; Tobergte, Sarah; Struck, Torsten H

    2015-05-01

    Gnathostomulida is a taxon of small marine worms, which exclusively inhabit the interstitium. The evolution of Gnathostomulida has been discussed for decades. Originally regarded as primitive animals with affinities to flatworms, the phylogenetic position of Gnathostomulida has been debated. Given the lack of an anus a close relationship to Platyhelminthes has been maintained (i.e., Plathelminthomorpha hypothesis). Alternative hypotheses proposed Gnathostomulida as being close to Gastrotricha due to the presence of a monociliary epidermis (i.e., Monokonta/Neotrichozoa hypothesis) or to Syndermata based on the complicated jaw apparatus (i.e., Gnathifera hypothesis). Molecular analyses using only few genes were inconclusive. Recent phylogenomic studies brought some progress by placing Gnathostomulida as sister to Syndermata, but support for this relationship was low and depended on the analytical strategy. Herein we present the first data of complete or nearly complete mitochondrial genomes for two gnathostomulids (Gnathostomula paradoxa &G. armata), one gastrotrich (Lepidodermella squamata) and one polyclad flatworm (Stylochoplana maculata) to address the uncertain phylogenetic affinity of Gnathostomulida. Our analyses found Gnathostomulida as sister to Syndermata (Gnathifera hypothesis). Thorough sensitivity analyses addressing taxon instability, branch length heterogeneity (also known as long branch attraction) and base composition heterogeneity showed that the position of Gnathostomulida is consistent across the different analyses and, hence, independent of potential misleading biases. Moreover, by ameliorating these different biases nodal support values could be increased to maximum values. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that the different jaw apparatuses of Syndermata and Gnathostomulida are indeed homologous structures as proposed by the Gnathifera hypothesis. PMID:25796325

  19. Septins of Platyhelminths: identification, phylogeny, expression and localization among developmental stages of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Zeraik, Ana E; Rinaldi, Gabriel; Mann, Victoria H; Popratiloff, Anastas; Araujo, Ana P U; Demarco, Ricardo; Brindley, Paul J

    2013-01-01

    Septins are a family of eukaryotic GTP binding proteins conserved from yeasts to humans. Originally identified in mutants of budding yeast, septins participate in diverse cellular functions including cytokinesis, organization of actin networks, cell polarity, vesicle trafficking and many others. Septins assemble into heteroligomers to form filaments and rings. Here, four septins of Schistosoma mansoni are described, which appear to be conserved within the phylum Platyhelminthes. These orthologues were related to the SEPT5, SEPT10 and SEPT7 septins of humans, and hence we have termed the schistosome septins SmSEPT5, SmSEPT10, SmSEPT7.1 and SmSEPT7.2. Septin transcripts were detected throughout the developmental cycle of the schistosome and a similar expression profile was observed for septins in the stages examined, consistent with concerted production of these proteins to form heterocomplexes. Immunolocalization analyses undertaken with antibodies specific for SmSEPT5 and SmSEPT10 revealed a broad tissue distribution of septins in the schistosomulum and colocalization of septin and actin in the longitudinal and circular muscles of the sporocyst. Ciliated epidermal plates of the miracidium were rich in septins. Expression levels for these septins were elevated in germ cells in the miracidium and sporocyst. Intriguingly, septins colocalize with the protonephridial system of the cercaria, which extends laterally along the length of this larval stage. Together, the findings revealed that schistosomes expressed several septins which likely form filaments within the cells, as in other eukaryotes. Identification and localization demonstrating a broad distribution of septins across organs and tissues of schistosome contributes towards the understanding of septins in schistosomes and other flatworms. PMID:24367716

  20. COE Loss-of-Function Analysis Reveals a Genetic Program Underlying Maintenance and Regeneration of the Nervous System in Planarians

    PubMed Central

    Cowles, Martis W.; Omuro, Kerilyn C.; Stanley, Brianna N.; Quintanilla, Carlo G.; Zayas, Ricardo M.

    2014-01-01

    Members of the COE family of transcription factors are required for central nervous system (CNS) development. However, the function of COE in the post-embryonic CNS remains largely unknown. An excellent model for investigating gene function in the adult CNS is the freshwater planarian. This animal is capable of regenerating neurons from an adult pluripotent stem cell population and regaining normal function. We previously showed that planarian coe is expressed in differentiating and mature neurons and that its function is required for proper CNS regeneration. Here, we show that coe is essential to maintain nervous system architecture and patterning in intact (uninjured) planarians. We took advantage of the robust phenotype in intact animals to investigate the genetic programs coe regulates in the CNS. We compared the transcriptional profiles of control and coe RNAi planarians using RNA sequencing and identified approximately 900 differentially expressed genes in coe knockdown animals, including 397 downregulated genes that were enriched for nervous system functional annotations. Next, we validated a subset of the downregulated transcripts by analyzing their expression in coe-deficient planarians and testing if the mRNAs could be detected in coe+ cells. These experiments revealed novel candidate targets of coe in the CNS such as ion channel, neuropeptide, and neurotransmitter genes. Finally, to determine if loss of any of the validated transcripts underscores the coe knockdown phenotype, we knocked down their expression by RNAi and uncovered a set of coe-regulated genes implicated in CNS regeneration and patterning, including orthologs of sodium channel alpha-subunit and pou4. Our study broadens the knowledge of gene expression programs regulated by COE that are required for maintenance of neural subtypes and nervous system architecture in adult animals. PMID:25356635

  1. COE loss-of-function analysis reveals a genetic program underlying maintenance and regeneration of the nervous system in planarians.

    PubMed

    Cowles, Martis W; Omuro, Kerilyn C; Stanley, Brianna N; Quintanilla, Carlo G; Zayas, Ricardo M

    2014-10-01

    Members of the COE family of transcription factors are required for central nervous system (CNS) development. However, the function of COE in the post-embryonic CNS remains largely unknown. An excellent model for investigating gene function in the adult CNS is the freshwater planarian. This animal is capable of regenerating neurons from an adult pluripotent stem cell population and regaining normal function. We previously showed that planarian coe is expressed in differentiating and mature neurons and that its function is required for proper CNS regeneration. Here, we show that coe is essential to maintain nervous system architecture and patterning in intact (uninjured) planarians. We took advantage of the robust phenotype in intact animals to investigate the genetic programs coe regulates in the CNS. We compared the transcriptional profiles of control and coe RNAi planarians using RNA sequencing and identified approximately 900 differentially expressed genes in coe knockdown animals, including 397 downregulated genes that were enriched for nervous system functional annotations. Next, we validated a subset of the downregulated transcripts by analyzing their expression in coe-deficient planarians and testing if the mRNAs could be detected in coe+ cells. These experiments revealed novel candidate targets of coe in the CNS such as ion channel, neuropeptide, and neurotransmitter genes. Finally, to determine if loss of any of the validated transcripts underscores the coe knockdown phenotype, we knocked down their expression by RNAi and uncovered a set of coe-regulated genes implicated in CNS regeneration and patterning, including orthologs of sodium channel alpha-subunit and pou4. Our study broadens the knowledge of gene expression programs regulated by COE that are required for maintenance of neural subtypes and nervous system architecture in adult animals. PMID:25356635

  2. Defining the molecular profile of planarian pluripotent stem cells using a combinatorial RNA-seq, RNA interference and irradiation approach

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Planarian stem cells, or neoblasts, drive the almost unlimited regeneration capacities of freshwater planarians. Neoblasts are traditionally described by their morphological features and by the fact that they are the only proliferative cell type in asexual planarians. Therefore, they can be specifically eliminated by irradiation. Irradiation, however, is likely to induce transcriptome-wide changes in gene expression that are not associated with neoblast ablation. This has affected the accurate description of their specific transcriptomic profile. Results We introduce the use of Smed-histone-2B RNA interference (RNAi) for genetic ablation of neoblast cells in Schmidtea mediterranea as an alternative to irradiation. We characterize the rapid, neoblast-specific phenotype induced by Smed-histone-2B RNAi, resulting in neoblast ablation. We compare and triangulate RNA-seq data after using both irradiation and Smed-histone-2B RNAi over a time course as means of neoblast ablation. Our analyses show that Smed-histone-2B RNAi eliminates neoblast gene expression with high specificity and discrimination from gene expression in other cellular compartments. We compile a high confidence list of genes downregulated by both irradiation and Smed-histone-2B RNAi and validate their expression in neoblast cells. Lastly, we analyze the overall expression profile of neoblast cells. Conclusions Our list of neoblast genes parallels their morphological features and is highly enriched for nuclear components, chromatin remodeling factors, RNA splicing factors, RNA granule components and the machinery of cell division. Our data reveal that the regulation of planarian stem cells relies on posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms and suggest that planarians are an ideal model for this understudied aspect of stem cell biology. PMID:22439894

  3. A mex3 homolog is required for differentiation during planarian stem cell lineage development

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Shu Jun; Hallows, Stephanie E; Currie, Ko W; Xu, ChangJiang; Pearson, Bret J

    2015-01-01

    Neoblasts are adult stem cells (ASCs) in planarians that sustain cell replacement during homeostasis and regeneration of any missing tissue. While numerous studies have examined genes underlying neoblast pluripotency, molecular pathways driving postmitotic fates remain poorly defined. In this study, we used transcriptional profiling of irradiation-sensitive and irradiation-insensitive cell populations and RNA interference (RNAi) functional screening to uncover markers and regulators of postmitotic progeny. We identified 32 new markers distinguishing two main epithelial progenitor populations and a planarian homolog to the MEX3 RNA-binding protein (Smed-mex3-1) as a key regulator of lineage progression. mex3-1 was required for generating differentiated cells of multiple lineages, while restricting the size of the stem cell compartment. We also demonstrated the utility of using mex3-1(RNAi) animals to identify additional progenitor markers. These results identified mex3-1 as a cell fate regulator, broadly required for differentiation, and suggest that mex3-1 helps to mediate the balance between ASC self-renewal and commitment. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07025.001 PMID:26114597

  4. A simple "soaking method" for RNA interference in the planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Orii, Hidefumi; Mochii, Makoto; Watanabe, Kenji

    2003-04-01

    A simple method was developed for RNA interference (RNAi) in the planarian Dugesia japonica. The DjIFb ( Dugesia japonica intermediate filament b) gene was used to evaluate the effect of RNAi because both the cDNA and an antiserum against the gene product were available. After transverse cutting at the pre- and post-pharyngeal regions, the middle part of the body fragment was soaked in water containing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) for about 5 h and then allowed to regenerate in water. On the 5th day of regeneration, little DjIFb protein was detected in the new tissues. When the worms were cut after soaking in dsRNA water, no RNAi effect was observed, suggesting that the dsRNA was introduced through the cut surface. A high concentration of dsRNA or repeated "cutting and soaking" resulted in more effective RNAi. This simple soaking method in combination with expressed sequence tag analysis should be very useful for high-throughput analyses of gene functions in planarian regeneration. PMID:12690452

  5. Planarian Hedgehog/Patched establishes anterior-posterior polarity by regulating Wnt signaling.

    PubMed

    Yazawa, Shigenobu; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Tarui, Hiroshi; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2009-12-29

    Despite long-standing interest, the molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment of anterior-posterior (AP) polarity remain among the unsolved mysteries in metazoans. In the planarians (a family of flatworms), canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is required for posterior specification, as it is in many animals. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating the posterior-specific induction of Wnt genes according to the AP polarity have remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is responsible for the establishment of AP polarity via its regulation of the transcription of Wnt family genes during planarian regeneration. We found that RNAi gene knockdown of Dugesia japonica patched (Djptc) caused ectopic tail formation in the anterior blastema of body fragments, resulting in bipolar-tails regeneration. In contrast, RNAi of hedgehog (Djhh) and gli (Djgli) caused bipolar-heads regeneration. We show that Patched-mediated Hh signaling was crucial for posterior specification, which is established by regulating the transcription of Wnt genes via downstream Gli activity. Moreover, differentiated cells were responsible for the posterior specification of undifferentiated stem cells through Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Surprisingly, Djhh was expressed in neural cells all along the ventral nerve cords (along the AP axis), but not in the posterior blastema of body fragments, where the expression of Wnt genes was induced for posteriorization. We therefore propose that Hh signals direct head or tail regeneration according to the AP polarity, which is established by Hh signaling activity along the body's preexisting nervous system. PMID:20018728

  6. Identification of neoblast- and regeneration-specific miRNAs in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Sasidharan, Vidyanand; Lu, Yi-Chien; Bansal, Dhiru; Dasari, Pranavi; Poduval, Deepak; Seshasayee, Aswin; Resch, Alissa M; Graveley, Brenton R; Palakodeti, Dasaradhi

    2013-10-01

    In recent years, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has emerged as a tractable model system to study stem cell biology and regeneration. MicroRNAs are small RNA species that control gene expression by modulating translational repression and mRNA stability and have been implicated in the regulation of various cellular processes. Though recent studies have identified several miRNAs in S. mediterranea, their expression in neoblast subpopulations and during regeneration has not been examined. Here, we identify several miRNAs whose expression is enriched in different neoblast subpopulations and in regenerating tissue at different time points in S. mediterranea. Some of these miRNAs were enriched within 3 h post-amputation and may, therefore, play a role in wound healing and/or neoblast migration. Our results also revealed miRNAs, such as sme-miR-2d-3p and the sme-miR-124 family, whose expression is enriched in the cephalic ganglia, are also expressed in the brain primordium during CNS regeneration. These results provide new insight into the potential biological functions of miRNAs in neoblasts and regeneration in planarians. PMID:23974438

  7. Planarian Hedgehog/Patched establishes anterior–posterior polarity by regulating Wnt signaling

    PubMed Central

    Yazawa, Shigenobu; Umesono, Yoshihiko; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Tarui, Hiroshi; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2009-01-01

    Despite long-standing interest, the molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment of anterior–posterior (AP) polarity remain among the unsolved mysteries in metazoans. In the planarians (a family of flatworms), canonical Wnt/?-catenin signaling is required for posterior specification, as it is in many animals. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating the posterior-specific induction of Wnt genes according to the AP polarity have remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Hedgehog (Hh) signaling is responsible for the establishment of AP polarity via its regulation of the transcription of Wnt family genes during planarian regeneration. We found that RNAi gene knockdown of Dugesia japonica patched (Djptc) caused ectopic tail formation in the anterior blastema of body fragments, resulting in bipolar-tails regeneration. In contrast, RNAi of hedgehog (Djhh) and gli (Djgli) caused bipolar-heads regeneration. We show that Patched-mediated Hh signaling was crucial for posterior specification, which is established by regulating the transcription of Wnt genes via downstream Gli activity. Moreover, differentiated cells were responsible for the posterior specification of undifferentiated stem cells through Wnt/?-catenin signaling. Surprisingly, Djhh was expressed in neural cells all along the ventral nerve cords (along the AP axis), but not in the posterior blastema of body fragments, where the expression of Wnt genes was induced for posteriorization. We therefore propose that Hh signals direct head or tail regeneration according to the AP polarity, which is established by Hh signaling activity along the body's preexisting nervous system. PMID:20018728

  8. A lophotrochozoan-specific nuclear hormone receptor is required for reproductive system development in the planarian.

    PubMed

    Tharp, Marla E; Collins, James J; Newmark, Phillip A

    2014-12-01

    Germ cells of sexually reproducing organisms receive an array of cues from somatic tissues that instruct developmental processes. Although the nature of these signals differs amongst organisms, the importance of germline-soma interactions is a common theme. Recently, peptide hormones from the nervous system have been shown to regulate germ cell development in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea; thus, we sought to investigate a second class of hormones with a conserved role in reproduction, the lipophilic hormones. In order to study these signals, we identified a set of putative lipophilic hormone receptors, known as nuclear hormone receptors, and analyzed their functions in reproductive development. We found one gene, nhr-1, belonging to a small class of functionally uncharacterized lophotrochozoan-specific receptors, to be essential for the development of differentiated germ cells. Upon nhr-1 knockdown, germ cells in the testes and ovaries fail to mature, and remain as undifferentiated germline stem cells. Further analysis revealed that nhr-1 mRNA is expressed in the accessory reproductive organs and is required for their development, suggesting that this transcription factor functions cell non-autonomously in regulating germ cell development. Our studies identify a role for nuclear hormone receptors in planarian reproductive maturation and reinforce the significance of germline-soma interactions in sexual reproduction across metazoans. PMID:25278423

  9. Identification and expression analysis of a Spsb gene in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zimei; Cheng, Fangfang; Yuwen, Yanqing; Chen, Jing; Li, Xiaoyan; Dou, He; Zhang, Haixia; Chen, Guangwen; Liu, Dezeng

    2015-06-15

    The SPSB family is comprised of four highly conserved proteins, each containing a C-terminal SOCS box motif and a central SPRY domain. Presently, Spsb genes have been found in mammals and in a few invertebrates, however, the specific functions of these genes are still unknown. In this study, we identified a Spsb gene from the planarian Dugesia japonica and termed it DjSpsb. The temporal and spatial expression patterns of DjSpsb were examined in both intact and regenerative animals, and expression levels were also quantified in response to various stressors. The results show that (1) DjSpsb is highly conserved in evolutionary history in metazoans and is at closer relationship to Spsb1, Spsb2 and Spsb4; (2) DjSpsb mRNA is mainly expressed in the head and also throughout head regeneration processes, particularly, its expression up-regulated observably on day 5 after amputation; (3) DjSpsb is also expressed in the testes and yolk glands; (4) DjSpsb expression is induced by high temperature and ethanol but inhibited by high doses of ionic liquids. The date suggests that the DjSpsb gene might be active in central nervous system (CNS) formation and functional recovery during head regeneration, and it is also involved in the development of germ cells and stress responses in the planarians. PMID:25827717

  10. Prohibitin 2 regulates cell proliferation and mitochondrial cristae morphogenesis in planarian stem cells.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Leonardo; Bonuccelli, Lucia; Iacopetti, Paola; Evangelista, Monica; Ghezzani, Claudio; Tana, Luigi; Salvetti, Alessandra

    2014-12-01

    Prohibitins are pleiotropic proteins, whose multiple roles are emerging as key elements in the regulation of cell survival and proliferation. Indeed, prohibitins interact with several intracellular proteins strategically involved in the regulation of cell cycle progression in response to extracellular growth signals. Prohibitins also have regulatory functions in mitochondrial fusion and cristae morphogenesis, phenomena related to the ability of self-renewing embryonic stem cells to undergo differentiation, during which mitochondria develop numerous cristae, increase in number, and generate an extensive reticular network. We recently identified a Prohibitin 2 homolog (DjPhb2) that is expressed in adult stem cells (neoblasts) of planarians, a well-known model system for in vivo studies on stem cells and tissue regeneration. Here, we show that in DjPhb2 silenced planarians, most proliferating cells disappear, with the exception of a subpopulation of neoblasts localized along the dorsal body midline. Neoblast depletion impairs regeneration and, finally, leads animals to death. Our in vivo findings demonstrate that prohibitin 2 plays an important role in regulating stem cell biology, being involved in both the control of cell cycle progression and mitochondrial cristae morphogenesis. PMID:24974103

  11. A mex3 homolog is required for differentiation during planarian stem cell lineage development.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shu Jun; Hallows, Stephanie E; Currie, Ko W; Xu, ChangJiang; Pearson, Bret J

    2015-01-01

    Neoblasts are adult stem cells (ASCs) in planarians that sustain cell replacement during homeostasis and regeneration of any missing tissue. While numerous studies have examined genes underlying neoblast pluripotency, molecular pathways driving postmitotic fates remain poorly defined. In this study, we used transcriptional profiling of irradiation-sensitive and irradiation-insensitive cell populations and RNA interference (RNAi) functional screening to uncover markers and regulators of postmitotic progeny. We identified 32 new markers distinguishing two main epithelial progenitor populations and a planarian homolog to the MEX3 RNA-binding protein (Smed-mex3-1) as a key regulator of lineage progression. mex3-1 was required for generating differentiated cells of multiple lineages, while restricting the size of the stem cell compartment. We also demonstrated the utility of using mex3-1(RNAi) animals to identify additional progenitor markers. These results identified mex3-1 as a cell fate regulator, broadly required for differentiation, and suggest that mex3-1 helps to mediate the balance between ASC self-renewal and commitment. PMID:26114597

  12. The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea as a model for studying motile cilia and multiciliated cells.

    PubMed

    Basquin, Cyril; Orfila, Anne-Marie; Azimzadeh, Juliette

    2015-01-01

    In the past few years, the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has emerged as a powerful model system to study the assembly and function of cilia. S. mediterranea is a free-living flatworm that uses the beating of cilia on its ventral epidermis for locomotion. The ventral epidermis is composed of a single layer of multiciliated cells highly similar to the multiciliated cells that line the airway, the brain ventricles, and the oviducts in humans. The genome of S. mediterranea has been sequenced and efficient methods for targeting gene expression by RNA interference (RNAi) are available. Locomotion defects induced by perturbing the expression of ciliary genes can be often detected by simple visual screening, and more subtle defects can be detected by measuring locomotion speed. Cilia are present in large numbers and are directly accessible, which facilitates analyses by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Here we describe a set of methods for maintaining planarians in the lab. These include gene knockout by RNAi, cilia visualization by immunofluorescence, transmission electron microscopy, and live imaging. PMID:25837395

  13. Proteomic profiling of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea and its mucous reveals similarities with human secretions and those predicted for parasitic flatworms.

    PubMed

    Bocchinfuso, Donald G; Taylor, Paul; Ross, Eric; Ignatchenko, Alex; Ignatchenko, Vladimir; Kislinger, Thomas; Pearson, Bret J; Moran, Michael F

    2012-09-01

    The freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has been used in research for over 100 years, and is an emerging stem cell model because of its capability of regenerating large portions of missing body parts. Exteriorly, planarians are covered in mucous secretions of unknown composition, implicated in locomotion, predation, innate immunity, and substrate adhesion. Although the planarian genome has been sequenced, it remains mostly unannotated, challenging both genomic and proteomic analyses. The goal of the current study was to annotate the proteome of the whole planarian and its mucous fraction. The S. mediterranea proteome was analyzed via mass spectrometry by using multidimensional protein identification technology with whole-worm tryptic digests. By using a proteogenomics approach, MS data were searched against an in silico translated planarian transcript database, and by using the Swiss-Prot BLAST algorithm to identify proteins similar to planarian queries. A total of 1604 proteins were identified. The mucous subproteome was defined through analysis of a mucous trail fraction and an extract obtained by treating whole worms with the mucolytic agent N-acetylcysteine. Gene Ontology analysis confirmed that the mucous fractions were enriched with secreted proteins. The S. mediterranea proteome is highly similar to that predicted for the trematode Schistosoma mansoni associated with intestinal schistosomiasis, with the mucous subproteome particularly highly conserved. Remarkably, orthologs of 119 planarian mucous proteins are present in human mucosal secretions and tear fluid. We suggest planarians have potential to be a model system for the characterization of mucous protein function and relevant to parasitic flatworm infections and diseases underlined by mucous aberrancies, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, and other lung diseases. PMID:22653920

  14. Venus Kinase Receptors Control Reproduction in the Platyhelminth Parasite Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Cailliau, Katia; Morel, Marion; Hahnel, Steffen; Leutner, Silke; Beckmann, Svenja; Grevelding, Christoph G.; Dissous, Colette

    2014-01-01

    The Venus Kinase Receptor (VKR) is a single transmembrane molecule composed of an intracellular tyrosine kinase domain close to that of insulin receptor and an extracellular Venus Flytrap (VFT) structure similar to the ligand binding domain of many class C G Protein Coupled Receptors. This receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) was first discovered in the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni, then in a large variety of invertebrates. A single vkr gene is found in most genomes, except in S. mansoni in which two genes Smvkr1 and Smvkr2 exist. VKRs form a unique family of RTKs present only in invertebrates and their biological functions are still to be discovered. In this work, we show that SmVKRs are expressed in the reproductive organs of S. mansoni, particularly in the ovaries of female worms. By transcriptional analyses evidence was obtained that both SmVKRs fulfill different roles during oocyte maturation. Suppression of Smvkr expression by RNA interference induced spectacular morphological changes in female worms with a strong disorganization of the ovary, which was dominated by the presence of primary oocytes, and a defect of egg formation. Following expression in Xenopus oocytes, SmVKR1 and SmVKR2 receptors were shown to be activated by distinct ligands which are L-Arginine and calcium ions, respectively. Signalling analysis in Xenopus oocytes revealed the capacity of SmVKRs to activate the PI3K/Akt/p70S6K and Erk MAPK pathways involved in cellular growth and proliferation. Additionally, SmVKR1 induced phosphorylation of JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase). Activation of JNK by SmVKR1 was supported by the results of yeast two-hybrid experiments identifying several components of the JNK pathway as specific interacting partners of SmVKR1. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the functions of SmVKR in gametogenesis, and particularly in oogenesis and egg formation. By eliciting signalling pathways potentially involved in oocyte proliferation, growth and migration, these receptors control parasite reproduction and can therefore be considered as potential targets for anti-schistosome therapies. PMID:24875530

  15. Long-range Neural and Gap Junction Protein-mediated Cues Control Polarity During Planarian Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Oviedo, Néstor J.; Morokuma, Junji; Walentek, Peter; Kema, Ido P.; Gu, Man Bock; Ahn, Joo-Myung; Hwang, Jung Shan; Gojobori, Takashi; Levin, Michael

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Having the ability to coordinate the behavior of stem cells to induce regeneration of specific large-scale structures would have far reaching consequences in the treatment of degenerative diseases, acute injury, and aging. Thus, identifying and learning to manipulate the sequential steps that determine the fate of new tissue within the overall morphogenetic program of the organism is fundamental. We identified novel early signals, mediated by the central nervous system and 3 innexin proteins, which determine the fate and axial polarity of regenerated tissue in planarians. Modulation of gap junction-dependent and neural signals specifically induces ectopic anterior regeneration blastemas in posterior and lateral wounds. These ectopic anterior blastemas differentiate new brains that establish permanent primary axes re-established during subsequent rounds of unperturbed regeneration. These data reveal powerful novel controls of pattern formation and suggest a constructive model linking nervous inputs and polarity determination in early stages of regeneration. PMID:20026026

  16. Cytological approach to morphogenesis in the planarian blastema. II. The effect of neuropeptides.

    PubMed

    Hori, I

    1997-01-01

    The regeneration blastema consists of three cell types, undifferentiated cells, regenerative cells, and differentiated cells all of which can be identified by their ultrastructural characteristics. Quantitative changes in the numbers of these cells within the blastema offer important clues about the detailed process of regeneration. When decapitated worms were allowed to regenerate in neuropeptide-containing tap water, the undifferentiated cells accumulated rapidly and initiated blastema formation. These cells were then replaced with regenerative cells, and subsequently with differentiated cells. In the non-treated regenerating worms, the proportion of undifferentiated cells was much lower than in the neuropeptide-treated ones. The results of this study indicate that neuropeptides have a remarkable effect on the early stage of regeneration in planarians. Immunoelectron microscopy using a gold-conjugated anti-neuropeptide antiserum revealed the presence of neuropeptides in some kinds of parenchymal cells in the post-blastemal area. PMID:9066147

  17. Preparation of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea for high-resolution histology and transmission electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Brubacher, John L; Vieira, Ana P; Newmark, Phillip A

    2014-03-01

    The flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea is an emerging model species in fields such as stem cell biology, regeneration and evolutionary biology. Excellent molecular tools have been developed for S. mediterranea, but ultrastructural techniques have received far less attention. Processing specimens for histology and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is notoriously idiosyncratic for particular species or specimen types. Unfortunately, however, most methods for S. mediterranea described in the literature lack numerous essential details, and those few that do provide them rely on specialized equipment that may not be readily available. Here we present an optimized protocol for ultrastructural preparation of S. mediterranea. The protocol can be completed in 6 d, much of which is 'hands-off' time. To aid with troubleshooting, we also illustrate the major effects of seemingly minor variations in fixative, buffer concentration and dehydration steps. This procedure will be useful for all planarian researchers, particularly those with relatively little experience in tissue processing. PMID:24556788

  18. Topiramate-antagonism of L-glutamate-induced paroxysms in planarians.

    PubMed

    Raffa, Robert B; Finno, Kristin E; Tallarida, Christopher S; Rawls, Scott M

    2010-12-15

    We recently reported that NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) and AMPA (?-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid) induce concentration-dependent paroxysms in planarians (Dugesia dorotocephala). Since the postulated mechanisms of action of the sulfamate-substituted monosaccharide antiepileptic drug topiramate include inhibition of glutamate-activated ion channels, we tested the hypothesis that topiramate would inhibit glutamate-induced paroxysms in our model. We demonstrate that: (1) L-glutamate (1-10 mM), but not D-glutamate, induced dose-related paroxysms, and that (2) topiramate dose-relatedly (0.3-3 mM) inhibited L-glutamate-induced paroxysms. These results provide further evidence of a topiramate-sensitive glutamate receptor-mediated activity in this model. PMID:20863783

  19. Cloning of fragments of novel homeobox genes expressed during regeneration in planarians

    SciTech Connect

    Lukyanov, K.A.; Tarabykin, V.S.; Potapov, V.K.

    1994-11-01

    The polymerase chain reaction with degenerate primers corresponding to the most conservative amino acids 16-21 (ELEKEF) and 49-54 (WPQNRR) of the Antennapedia class homeodomains was used for the amplification of cDNA from regenerating planarians (asexual race of Dugesia tigrina). A total of six new Antennapedia-like homeobox sequences, designated Dutarh-1-Dutarh-6 (Dugesia tigrina asexual race homeobox gene), have been identified. Their comparison with other homeobox genes using a Genebee software (the EMBL Data Library) showed that all sequences except Dutarh-6 belong to the Antennapedia class. Dutarh-6 is closely related to a recently described novel homeobox gene subfamily which includes mouse mesodermal homeobox genes Max-1 and Max-2 and rat homeobox gene Gax. 17 refs., 2 figs.

  20. Preparation of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea for high-resolution histology and transmission electron microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Brubacher, John L.; Vieira, Ana P.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2014-01-01

    The flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea is an emerging model species in such fields as stem-cell biology, regeneration, and evolutionary biology. Excellent molecular tools have been developed for S. mediterranea, but ultrastructural techniques have received far less attention. Processing specimens for histology and transmission electron microscopy is notoriously idiosyncratic for particular species or specimen types. Unfortunately however, most methods for S. mediterranea described in the literature lack numerous essential details, and those few that do provide them rely on specialized equipment that may not be readily available. Here we present an optimized protocol for ultrastructural preparation of S. mediterranea. The protocol can be completed in six days, much of which is “hands-off” time. To aid with troubleshooting, we also illustrate the significant effects of seemingly minor variations in fixative, buffer concentration, and dehydration steps. This procedure will be useful for all planarian researchers, particularly those with relatively little experience in tissue processing. PMID:24556788

  1. Global irradiation effects, stem cell genes and rare transcripts in the planarian transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Galloni, Mireille

    2012-01-01

    Stem cells are the closest relatives of the totipotent primordial cell, which is able to spawn millions of daughter cells and hundreds of cell types in multicellular organisms. Stem cells are involved in tissue homeostasis and regeneration, and may play a major role in cancer development. Among animals, planarians host a model stem cell type, called the neoblast, which essentially confers immortality. Gaining insights into the global transcriptional landscape of these exceptional cells takes an unprecedented turn with the advent of Next Generation Sequencing methods. Two Digital Gene Expression transcriptomes of Schmidtea mediterranea planarians, with or without neoblasts lost through irradiation, were produced and analyzed. Twenty one bp NlaIII tags were mapped to transcripts in the Schmidtea and Dugesia taxids. Differential representation of tags in normal versus irradiated animals reflects differential gene expression. Canonical and non-canonical tags were included in the analysis, and comparative studies with human orthologs were conducted. Transcripts fell into 3 categories: invariant (including housekeeping genes), absent in irradiated animals (potential neoblast-specific genes, IRDOWN) and induced in irradiated animals (potential cellular stress response, IRUP). Different mRNA variants and gene family members were recovered. In the IR-DOWN class, almost all of the neoblast-specific genes previously described were found. In irradiated animals, a larger number of genes were induced rather than lost. A significant fraction of IRUP genes behaved as if transcript versions of different lengths were produced. Several novel potential neoblast-specific genes have been identified that varied in relative abundance, including highly conserved as well as novel proteins without predicted orthologs. Evidence for a large body of antisense transcripts, for example regulated antisense for the Smed-piwil1 gene, and evidence for RNA shortening in irradiated animals is presented. Novel neoblast-specific candidates include a peroxiredoxin protein that appears to be preferentially expressed in human embryonic stem cells. PMID:22450998

  2. Weak extremely-low-frequency magnetic field-induced regeneration anomalies in the planarian Dugesia tigrina.

    PubMed

    Jenrow, K A; Smith, C H; Liboff, A R

    1996-01-01

    We recently reported that cephalic regeneration in the planarian Dugesia tigrina was significantly delayed in populations exposed continuously to combined parallel DC and AC magnetic fields. This effect was consistent with hypotheses suggesting an underlying resonance phenomenon. We report here, in a parallel series of investigations on the same model system, that the incidence of regeneration anomalies presenting as tumor-like protuberances also increases significantly (P < .001) in association with exposure to weak 60 Hz magnetic fields, with peak intensities ranging between 1.0 and 80.0 microT. These anomalies often culminate in the complete disaggregation of the organism. Similar to regeneration rate effects, the incidence of regeneration anomalies is specifically dependent upon the planaria possessing a fixed orientation with respect to the applied magnetic field vectors. However, unlike the regeneration rate effects, the AC magnetic field alone, in the absence of any measurable DC field, is capable of producing these anomalies. Moreover, the incidence of regeneration anomalies follows a clear dose-response relationship as a function of AC magnetic field intensity, with the threshold for induced electric field intensity estimated at 5 microV/m. The addition of either 51.1 or 78.4 microT DC magnetic fields, applied in parallel combination with the AC field, enhances the appearance of anomalies relative to the 60 Hz AC field alone, but only at certain AC field intensities. Thus, whereas our previous study of regeneration rate effects appeared to involve exclusively resonance interactions, the regeneration anomalies reported here appear to result primarily from Faraday induction coupling. These results together with those reported previously point to two distinct physiological effects produced in regenerating planaria by exposure to weak extremely-low-frequency (ELF) magnetic fields. They further suggest that the planarian, which has recently been identified elsewhere as an excellent system for use in teratogenic investigations involving chemical teratogens, might be used similarly in teratogenic investigations involving ELF magnetic fields. PMID:8986364

  3. Ammonia toxicity to the freshwater planarian Polycelis felina: contrasting effects of continuous versus discontinuous exposures.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Álvaro; Camargo, Julio A

    2015-05-01

    Aquatic animals can be exposed to fluctuating concentrations of toxicants. In fact, for some toxicants (i.e., pesticides, ammonia), discontinuous exposure is more environmentally relevant than constant exposure. Responses of aquatic animals to each type of exposure may be different. However, despite the high ecological relevance of behaviour, there is still scarce information on the effects of discontinuous exposure on behaviour. Our study focused on the assessment of unionized ammonia toxicity on the behaviour of a freshwater planarian under continuous exposure (3 days of exposure and 18 days of recovery) versus discontinuous exposure (3 pulses of 1 day with 6 days of recovery between pulses = total 3 days of exposure and 18 days of recovery). Behaviour was assessed as locomotion activity. Bioassays with continuous and discontinuous exposure were performed with one control and five unionized ammonia concentrations (0.14-0.35 mg N-NH3/L). Unionized ammonia in continuous exposure caused less impact on behaviour than equivalent concentrations provided in a discontinuous exposure. By contrast, continuous exposures caused more impact on survival. The discontinuous exposure may allow detoxification during recovery periods, thus increasing the probability of survival in the next pulse. Under continuous exposure, the mortality threshold could be exceeded, and animals could die in greater proportion during exposure as well as the recovery period. We conclude that behavioural activity was a sensitive endpoint to assess the contrasting effects of continuous versus discontinuous exposure and that the response of planarians to discontinuous exposure is different to its response to continuous exposure. PMID:25604922

  4. Toxicity profiles and solvent-toxicant interference in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea after dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) exposure.

    PubMed

    Stevens, An-Sofie; Pirotte, Nicky; Plusquin, Michelle; Willems, Maxime; Neyens, Thomas; Artois, Tom; Smeets, Karen

    2015-03-01

    To investigate hydrophobic test compounds in toxicological studies, solvents like dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) are inevitable. However, using these solvents, the interpretation of test compound-induced responses can be biased. DMSO concentration guidelines are available, but are mostly based on acute exposures involving one specific toxicity endpoint. Hence, to avoid solvent-toxicant interference, we use multiple chronic test endpoints for additional interpretation of DMSO concentrations and propose a statistical model to assess possible synergistic, antagonistic or additive effects of test compounds and their solvents. In this study, the effects of both short- (1 day) and long-term (2 weeks) exposures to low DMSO concentrations (up to 1000 µl l(-1) ) were studied in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We measured different biological levels in both fully developed and developing animals. In a long-term exposure set-up, a concentration of 500 µl l(-1) DMSO interfered with processes on different biological levels, e.g. behaviour, stem cell proliferation and gene expression profiles. After short exposure times, 500 µl l(-1) DMSO only affected motility, whereas the most significant changes on different parameters were observed at a concentration of 1000 µl l(-1) DMSO. As small sensitivity differences exist between biological levels and developmental stages, we advise the use of this solvent in concentrations below 500 µl l(-1) in this organism. In the second part of our study, we propose a statistical approach to account for solvent-toxicant interactions and discuss full-scale solvent toxicity studies. In conclusion, we reassessed DMSO concentration limits for different experimental endpoints in the planarian S. mediterranea. PMID:24964768

  5. Cephalic mechanism for social control of fissioning in planarians: III. Central nervous system centers of facilitation and inhibition.

    PubMed

    Best, J B; Abelein, M; Kreutzer, E; Pigon, A

    1975-10-01

    Previous studies have indicated that asexual reproduction (fissioning) in the planarian Dugesia dorotocephala is socially controlled through a cephalic mechanism: Isolation releases fissioning; grouping inhibits it; decapitation, at the level of the auricles, releases it even in grouped subjects. The brain is not necessary for programming the actual events of fissioning; these are orchestrated by the segmental plexus fissioning (SPF) system. Various surgical cuts were made to ablate selected portions of the central nervous system of isolated and grouped planarians in order to ascertain the inhibitory or facilitatory effects of these in the physiological mediation of such control on the SPF system. These results were synthesized into a model of this control system; the anterior lobes and optic regions of the brain inhibit the SPF system, and the anterior and caudal segmental plexuses facilitate it. These influences are partially tonic and partially contingent upon social stimulation. PMID:1184799

  6. New Acotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from the east coast of the North Atlantic Ocean with special mention of the Iberian littoral.

    PubMed

    Noreña, Carolina; Rodríguez, Jorge; Pérez, Jacinto; Almon, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Polyclad species diversity, although generally well known for European North Atlantic waters, is nearly unknown for the Iberian Peninsula. The "Ría de Arousa", located on the Atlantic coast of Galicia (Spain), is a place where many positive biological factors for species biodiversity converge. Therefore, it is an ideal location to study polyclad diversity. This research, which describes new records and new species, contributes to the knowledge of the distribution of Polycladida (Platyhelminthes), particularly of the suborder Acotylea, in the Atlantic waters of the Iberian Peninsula. The new records include the re-descriptions of Cryptocelis compacta Lang, 1884, Stylochus neapolitanus (Delle Chiaje, 1841-1844) and Discocelis tigrina (Blanchard, 1847), while the two newly described species are Hoploplana elisabelloi n. sp. and Armatoplana celta n. sp. PMID:26624472

  7. Immunoenzymatic visualization of tetrodotoxin (TTX) in Cephalothrix species (Nemertea: Anopla: Palaeonemertea: Cephalotrichidae) and Planocera reticulata (Platyhelminthes: Turbellaria: Polycladida: Planoceridae).

    PubMed

    Tanu, Mohosena Begum; Mahmud, Yahia; Arakawa, Osamu; Takatani, Tomohiro; Kajihara, Hiroshi; Kawatsu, Kentaro; Hamano, Yonekazu; Asakawa, Manabu; Miyazawa, Keisuke; Noguchi, Tamao

    2004-10-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) was localized as brown color in different tissues of an undescribed species of the nemertean genus Cephalothrix (phylum Nemertea) and a turbellarian Planocera reticulata (phylum Platyhelminthes) on light microscopy by means of a monoclonal anti-TTX antibody. In the Cephalothrix sp., TTX was recognized in the vesicles apically arranged in the bacillary cells in the epidermis, basal lamina, the granular cells in the proboscis epithelium, rhynchocoel epithelium, and the vesicles in the basal portion of the intestinal wall near the blood vessels and rhynchocoel. The excretory system and the ovum also showed positive reaction of TTX antigen-antibody. On the other hand, the hermaphrodite flatworm P. reticulata exhibited TTX antigen-antibody complex only in their ovum. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental effort on micro-distribution of TTX in invertebrates. PMID:15450926

  8. Some Platyhelminths inhabiting white-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis (Aves: Emberizidae: Emberizinae), from Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Brooks, D R; Hoberg, E P; Houtman, A

    1993-08-01

    Twenty-two of 26 white-throated sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis, from Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, hosted 1 or 2 species of platyhelminths. One species of cestode and 3 of digeneans were collected. Anonchotaenia quiscali inhabited 50% of the sparrows. This is the third report of A. quiscali; Z. albicollis is a new host. Brachylecithum nanum inhabited 43%, Zonorchis alveyi 15%, and Prosthogonimus macrorchis 8% of the sparrows examined. Ontario is a new geographic distribution record from all 4 parasite species. The proportion of hosts infected with 2 species was not significantly different from expected based on single species prevalences, indicating that there is no competitive interaction among these species of parasites for access to the avian hosts. PMID:8331482

  9. Specific features of the planarian Dugesia tigrina regeneration and mollusk Helix albescens nociception under weak electromagnetic shielding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temur'yants, N. A.; Demtsun, N. A.; Kostyuk, A. S.; Yarmolyuk, N. S.

    2012-12-01

    It has been demonstrated that weak electromagnetic shielding stimulates regeneration in the planarian Dugesia tigrina, the stimulating intensity being dependent on both the initial state of the animals, which is determined by season, and their functional asymmetry. As has been shown, the effect of a weak electromagnetic field induces phasic changes in the nociceptive sensitivity of the mollusk Helix albescens: an increase in the sensitivity to a thermal stimulus is replaced by the development of the hypalgesic effect.

  10. [Incorporation of 3H-5 uridine and 3H-5 leucine into cultured planarian cells, Polycelis tenuis (Iijima) in vitro].

    PubMed

    Franquinet, R; Lender, T; Moigne, A L

    1975-05-21

    RNA and protein synthesis in Planarian cells cultivated in vitro was studied by histoautoradiography. In the non-differentiated cells, uptake of precursor is intense from the beginning of the culture, and sensitive to addition of trophic factor known for their activating effect on mitosis and regeneration. On the contrary the rate of incorporation in differentiated cells is low and uniform, independently of the differents factors added to the medium. PMID:807412

  11. Two distinct roles of the yorkie/yap gene during homeostasis in the planarian Dugesia japonica

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Byulnim; An, Yang; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2015-01-01

    Adult planarians possess somatic pluripotent stem cells called neoblasts that give rise to all missing cell types during regeneration and homeostasis. Recent studies revealed that the Yorkie (Yki)/Yes-associated protein (YAP) transcriptional coactivator family plays an important role in the regulation of tissue growth during development and regeneration, and therefore we investigated the role of a planarian yki-related gene (termed Djyki) during regeneration and homeostasis of the freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica. We found that knockdown of the function of Djyki by RNA interference (RNAi) downregulated neoblast proliferation and caused regeneration defects after amputation. In addition, Djyki RNAi caused edema during homeostasis. These seemingly distinct defects induced by Djyki RNAi were rescued by simultaneous RNAi of a planarian mats-related gene (termed Djmats), suggesting an important role of Djmats in the negative regulation of Djyki, in accordance with the conservation of the functional relationship of these two genes during the course of evolution. Interestingly, Djyki RNAi did not prevent normal protonephridial structure, suggesting that Djyki RNAi induced the edema phenotype without affecting the excretory system. Further analyses revealed that increased expression of the D. japonica gene DjaquaporinA (DjaqpA), which belongs to a large gene family that encodes a water channel protein for the regulation of transcellular water flow, promoted the induction of edema, but not defects in neoblast dynamics, in Djyki(RNAi) animals. Thus, we conclude that Djyki plays two distinct roles in the regulation of active proliferation of stem cells and in osmotic water transport across the body surface in D. japonica. PMID:25708270

  12. Planarians as a model of aging to study the interaction between stem cells and senescent cells in vivo.

    PubMed

    Perrigue, Patrick M; Najbauer, Joseph; Jozwiak, Agnieszka A; Barciszewski, Jan; Aboody, Karen S; Barish, Michael E

    2015-01-01

    The depletion of stem cell pools and the accumulation of senescent cells in animal tissues are linked to aging. Planarians are invertebrate flatworms and are unusual in that their stem cells, called neoblasts, are constantly replacing old and dying cells. By eliminating neoblasts in worms via irradiation, the biological principles of aging are exposed in the absence of wound healing and regeneration, making planaria a powerful tool for aging research. PMID:26654402

  13. Planarians as a model of aging to study the interaction between stem cells and senescent cells in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Perrigue, Patrick M.; Najbauer, Joseph; Jozwiak, Agnieszka A.; Barciszewski, Jan; Aboody, Karen S.; Barish, Michael E.

    2015-01-01

    The depletion of stem cell pools and the accumulation of senescent cells in animal tissues are linked to aging. Planarians are invertebrate flatworms and are unusual in that their stem cells, called neoblasts, are constantly replacing old and dying cells. By eliminating neoblasts in worms via irradiation, the biological principles of aging are exposed in the absence of wound healing and regeneration, making planaria a powerful tool for aging research. PMID:26654402

  14. Screening in planarians identifies MORN2 as a key component in LC3-associated phagocytosis and resistance to bacterial infection.

    PubMed

    Abnave, Prasad; Mottola, Giovanna; Gimenez, Gregory; Boucherit, Nicolas; Trouplin, Virginie; Torre, Cedric; Conti, Filippo; Ben Amara, Amira; Lepolard, Catherine; Djian, Benjamin; Hamaoui, Daniel; Mettouchi, Amel; Kumar, Atul; Pagnotta, Sophie; Bonatti, Stefano; Lepidi, Hubert; Salvetti, Alessandra; Abi-Rached, Laurent; Lemichez, Emmanuel; Mege, Jean-Louis; Ghigo, Eric

    2014-09-10

    Dugesia japonica planarian flatworms are naturally exposed to various microbes but typically survive this challenge. We show that planarians eliminate bacteria pathogenic to Homo sapiens, Caenorhabditis elegans, and/or Drosophila melanogaster and thus represent a model to identify innate resistance mechanisms. Whole-transcriptome analysis coupled with RNAi screening of worms infected with Staphylococcus aureus or Legionella pneumophila identified 18 resistance genes with nine human orthologs, of which we examined the function of MORN2. Human MORN2 facilitates phagocytosis-mediated restriction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, L. pneumophila, and S. aureus in macrophages. MORN2 promotes the recruitment of LC3, an autophagy protein also involved in phagocytosis, to M. tuberculosis-containing phagosomes and subsequent maturation to degradative phagolysosomes. MORN2-driven trafficking of M. tuberculosis to single-membrane, LC3-positive compartments requires autophagy-related proteins Atg5 and Beclin-1, but not Ulk-1 and Atg13, highlighting the importance of MORN2 in LC3-associated phagocytosis. These findings underscore the value of studying planarian defenses to identify immune factors. PMID:25211076

  15. Molecular cloning and characterization of SL3: a stem cell-specific SL RNA from the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Alessandro; Ross, Eric J; Jack, Antonia; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    Spliced leader (SL) trans-splicing is a biological phenomenon, common among many metazoan taxa, consisting in the transfer of a short leader sequence from a small SL RNA to the 5' end of a subset of pre-mRNAs. While knowledge of the biochemical mechanisms driving this process has accumulated over the years, the functional consequences of such post-transcriptional event at the organismal level remain unclear. In addition, the fact that functional analyses have been undertaken mainly in trypanosomes and nematodes leaves a somehow fragmented picture of the possible biological significance and evolution of SL trans-splicing in eukaryotes. Here, we analyzed the spatial expression of SL RNAs in the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea, with the goal of identifying novel developmental paradigms for the study of trans-splicing in metazoans. Besides the previously identified SL1 and SL2, S. mediterranea expresses a third SL RNA described here as SL3. While, SL1 and SL2 are collectively expressed in a broad range of planarian cell types, SL3 is highly enriched in a subset of the planarian stem cells engaged in regenerative responses. Our findings provide new opportunities to study how trans-splicing may regulate the phenotype of a cell. PMID:24120894

  16. Embryonic development of the nervous system in the planarian Schmidtea polychroa.

    PubMed

    Monjo, Francisco; Romero, Rafael

    2015-01-15

    The development of a nervous system is a key innovation in the evolution of metazoans, which is illustrated by the presence of a common developmental toolkit for the formation of this organ system. Neurogenesis in the Spiralia, in particular the Platyhelminthes, is, however, poorly understood when compared with other animal groups. Here, we characterize embryonic neurogenesis in the freshwater flatworm Schmidtea polychroa and analyze the expression of soxB and a set of proneural bHLH genes, which are gene families with a well-established role in metazoan early neural development. We show that the nervous system is fully de novo assembled after the early embryo ingests the maternal nutrients. At early stages of neurogenesis, soxB1 genes are expressed in putative neural progenitor cells, whereas soxB2 and neural bHLH genes (achaete-scute, neuroD and beta3) are associated with late neurogenesis and the specification of neural subpopulations of the central and peripheral nervous system. Our findings are consistent with the role of proneural genes in other bilaterians, suggesting that the ancestral neural-specific gene regulatory network is conserved in triclads, despite exhibiting a divergent mode of development. PMID:25446032

  17. Ethanol and cocaine: environmental place conditioning, stereotypy and synergism in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Tallarida, Christopher S.; Bires, Kristopher; Avershal, Jacob; Tallarida, Ronald J.; Seo, Stephanie; Rawls, Scott M.

    2015-01-01

    More than 90% of individuals who use cocaine also report concurrent ethanol use, but only a few studies, all conducted with vertebrates, have investigated pharmacodynamic interactions between ethanol and cocaine. Planaria, a type of flatworm often considered to have the simplest ‘brain’, is an invertebrate species especially amenable to the quantification of drug-induced behavioral responses and identification of conserved responses. Here, we investigated stereotypical and environmental place conditioning (EPC) effects of ethanol administered alone and in combination with cocaine. Planarians displayed concentration-related increases in C-shape movements following exposure to ethanol (0.01 – 1%) (maximal effect: 9.9 ± 1.1 C-shapes/5 min at 0.5%) or cocaine (0.1 – 5 mM) (maximal effect: 42.8 ± 4.1 C-shapes/5 min at 5 mM). For combined administration, cocaine (0.1 – 5 mM) were tested with submaximal ethanol concentrations (0.01, 0,1%), the observed effect for the combination was enhanced compared to its predicted effect, indicating synergism for the interaction. The synergy with ethanol was specific for cocaine, as related experiments revealed that combinations of ethanol and nicotine did not result in synergy. For EPC experiments, ethanol (0.0001 – 1%) concentration-dependently increased EPC, with significant environmental shifts detected at 0.01 and 1%. Cocaine (0.001 – 1 ?M) produced an inverted U-shaped concentration-effect curve, with a significant environmental shift observed at 0.01 ?M. For combined exposure, variable cocaine concentrations (0.001 – 1 ?M) were administered with a statistically ineffective concentration of ethanol (0.0001%). For each concentration of cocaine, the environmental shift was enhanced by ethanol, with significance detected at 1 ?M. Cocaethylene, a metabolite of cocaine and ethanol, also produced C-shapes and EPC. Lidocaine (0.001 – 10 ?M), an anesthetic and analog of cocaine, did not produce EPC or C-shape movements. Evidence from planarians that ethanol produces place-conditioning effects, motor dysfunction, and interacts synergistically with cocaine suggests that aspects of ethanol neuropharmacology are conserved across species. PMID:25212751

  18. Reactive Oxygen Species in Planarian Regeneration: An Upstream Necessity for Correct Patterning and Brain Formation.

    PubMed

    Pirotte, Nicky; Stevens, An-Sofie; Fraguas, Susanna; Plusquin, Michelle; Van Roten, Andromeda; Van Belleghem, Frank; Paesen, Rik; Ameloot, Marcel; Cebrià, Francesc; Artois, Tom; Smeets, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Recent research highlighted the impact of ROS as upstream regulators of tissue regeneration. We investigated their role and targeted processes during the regeneration of different body structures using the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, an organism capable of regenerating its entire body, including its brain. The amputation of head and tail compartments induces a ROS burst at the wound site independently of the orientation. Inhibition of ROS production by diphenyleneiodonium (DPI) or apocynin (APO) causes regeneration defaults at both the anterior and posterior wound sites, resulting in reduced regeneration sites (blastemas) and improper tissue homeostasis. ROS signaling is necessary for early differentiation and inhibition of the ROS burst results in defects on the regeneration of the nervous system and on the patterning process. Stem cell proliferation was not affected, as indicated by histone H3-P immunostaining, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), in situ hybridization of smedwi-1, and transcript levels of proliferation-related genes. We showed for the first time that ROS modulate both anterior and posterior regeneration in a context where regeneration is not limited to certain body structures. Our results indicate that ROS are key players in neuroregeneration through interference with the differentiation and patterning processes. PMID:26180588

  19. Characterization of an organ-specific differentiator substance in the planarian Dugesia etrusca.

    PubMed

    Steele, V E; Lange, C S

    1977-02-01

    A substance which inhibits brain formation in decapitated regenerating planarians (Dugesia etrusca) was characterized and partially purified. The substance's inhibitory activity was followed during each purification procedure by adding freshly decapitated animals of a standard size to each fraction, and later measuring the resultant regenerated brain volume. The inhibitory activity remained in the supernatant after a 10000 g centrifugation of a cell-free homogenate. Most of the activity sedimented when the 10000 g supernatant was centrifuged at 32000 g. The degree of inhibitory activity increased with increased numbers of animals in the initial homogenate. The substance has an apparent molecular weight between 2 X 10(5) and 4 X 10(5) daltons. Digestion by pronase destroyed the activity, but treatment with RNase, DNase I, or lipase had no significant effect. The inhibiting substance has an isoelectric point (pI) of between 4-75 and 5-38 and migrates to the anode when electrophorezed in pH 6-8 buffer. PMID:870591

  20. zic-1 Expression in Planarian Neoblasts after Injury Controls Anterior Pole Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Vásquez-Doorman, Constanza; Petersen, Christian P.

    2014-01-01

    Mechanisms that enable injury responses to prompt regenerative outgrowth are not well understood. Planarians can regenerate essentially any tissue removed by wounding, even after decapitation, due to robust regulation of adult pluripotent stem cells of the neoblast population. Formation of pole signaling centers involving Wnt inhibitors or Wnt ligands promotes head or tail regeneration, respectively, and this process requires the use of neoblasts early after injury. We used expression profiling of purified neoblasts to identify factors needed for anterior pole formation. Using this approach, we identified zic-1, a Zic-family transcription factor, as transcriptionally activated in a subpopulation of neoblasts near wound sites early in head regeneration. As head regeneration proceeds, the Wnt inhibitor notum becomes expressed in the newly forming anterior pole in zic-1-expressing cells descended from neoblasts. Inhibition of zic-1 by RNAi resulted in a failure to express notum at the anterior pole and to regenerate a head, but did not affect tail regeneration. Both injury and canonical Wnt signaling inhibition are required for zic-1 expression, and double-RNAi experiments suggest zic-1 inhibits Wnt signaling to allow head regeneration. Analysis of neoblast fate determinants revealed that zic-1 controls specification of notum-expressing cells from foxD-expressing neoblasts to form the anterior pole, which organizes subsequent outgrowth. Specialized differentiation programs may in general underlie injury-dependent formation of tissue organizing centers used for regenerative outgrowth. PMID:24992682

  1. A planarian p53 homolog regulates proliferation and self-renewal in adult stem cell lineages

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Bret J.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2010-01-01

    The functions of adult stem cells and tumor suppressor genes are known to intersect. However, when and how tumor suppressors function in the lineages produced by adult stem cells is unknown. With a large population of stem cells that can be manipulated and studied in vivo, the freshwater planarian is an ideal system with which to investigate these questions. Here, we focus on the tumor suppressor p53, homologs of which have no known role in stem cell biology in any invertebrate examined thus far. Planaria have a single p53 family member, Smed-p53, which is predominantly expressed in newly made stem cell progeny. When Smed-p53 is targeted by RNAi, the stem cell population increases at the expense of progeny, resulting in hyper-proliferation. However, ultimately the stem cell population fails to self-renew. Our results suggest that prior to the vertebrates, an ancestral p53-like molecule already had functions in stem cell proliferation control and self-renewal. PMID:20040488

  2. zic-1 Expression in Planarian neoblasts after injury controls anterior pole regeneration.

    PubMed

    Vásquez-Doorman, Constanza; Petersen, Christian P

    2014-07-01

    Mechanisms that enable injury responses to prompt regenerative outgrowth are not well understood. Planarians can regenerate essentially any tissue removed by wounding, even after decapitation, due to robust regulation of adult pluripotent stem cells of the neoblast population. Formation of pole signaling centers involving Wnt inhibitors or Wnt ligands promotes head or tail regeneration, respectively, and this process requires the use of neoblasts early after injury. We used expression profiling of purified neoblasts to identify factors needed for anterior pole formation. Using this approach, we identified zic-1, a Zic-family transcription factor, as transcriptionally activated in a subpopulation of neoblasts near wound sites early in head regeneration. As head regeneration proceeds, the Wnt inhibitor notum becomes expressed in the newly forming anterior pole in zic-1-expressing cells descended from neoblasts. Inhibition of zic-1 by RNAi resulted in a failure to express notum at the anterior pole and to regenerate a head, but did not affect tail regeneration. Both injury and canonical Wnt signaling inhibition are required for zic-1 expression, and double-RNAi experiments suggest zic-1 inhibits Wnt signaling to allow head regeneration. Analysis of neoblast fate determinants revealed that zic-1 controls specification of notum-expressing cells from foxD-expressing neoblasts to form the anterior pole, which organizes subsequent outgrowth. Specialized differentiation programs may in general underlie injury-dependent formation of tissue organizing centers used for regenerative outgrowth. PMID:24992682

  3. DrRad51 is required for chiasmata formation in meiosis in planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis.

    PubMed

    Chinone, Ayako; Matsumoto, Midori

    2014-05-01

    Rad51, a conserved eukaryotic protein, mediates the homologous-recombination repair of DNA double-strand breaks that occur during both mitosis and meiosis. During prophase I of meiosis, homologous recombination enhances the linkage between homologous chromosomes to increase the accuracy of segregation at anaphase I. In polyploidy situations, however, difficulties with homologous chromosome segregation often disrupt meiosis. Yet, triploid individuals of the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis are able to produce functional gametes through a specialized form of meiosis. To shed light on the molecular mechanisms that promote successful meiosis in triploid D. ryukyuensis, we investigated rad51 gene function. We isolated three genes of the Rad51 family, the Rad51 homolog Dr-rad51 and the Rad51 paralogs Dr-rad51B and Dr-rad51C. Dr-rad51 was expressed in germ-line and presumably in somatic stem cells, but was not necessary for the regeneration of somatic tissue. RNA-interference (RNAi) depletion of Dr-rad51 during sexualization did not affect chromosome behavior in zygotene oocytes, but did result in the loss of chiasmata at the diplotene stage. Thus, homologous recombination does not appear to be necessary for synapsis, but is needed for crossover and proper segregation in D. ryukyuensis. PMID:24488935

  4. Reactive Oxygen Species in Planarian Regeneration: An Upstream Necessity for Correct Patterning and Brain Formation

    PubMed Central

    Pirotte, Nicky; Stevens, An-Sofie; Fraguas, Susanna; Plusquin, Michelle; Van Roten, Andromeda; Van Belleghem, Frank; Paesen, Rik; Ameloot, Marcel; Cebrià, Francesc; Artois, Tom; Smeets, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Recent research highlighted the impact of ROS as upstream regulators of tissue regeneration. We investigated their role and targeted processes during the regeneration of different body structures using the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, an organism capable of regenerating its entire body, including its brain. The amputation of head and tail compartments induces a ROS burst at the wound site independently of the orientation. Inhibition of ROS production by diphenyleneiodonium (DPI) or apocynin (APO) causes regeneration defaults at both the anterior and posterior wound sites, resulting in reduced regeneration sites (blastemas) and improper tissue homeostasis. ROS signaling is necessary for early differentiation and inhibition of the ROS burst results in defects on the regeneration of the nervous system and on the patterning process. Stem cell proliferation was not affected, as indicated by histone H3-P immunostaining, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), in situ hybridization of smedwi-1, and transcript levels of proliferation-related genes. We showed for the first time that ROS modulate both anterior and posterior regeneration in a context where regeneration is not limited to certain body structures. Our results indicate that ROS are key players in neuroregeneration through interference with the differentiation and patterning processes. PMID:26180588

  5. A Generic and Cell-Type-Specific Wound Response Precedes Regeneration in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Wurtzel, Omri; Cote, Lauren E; Poirier, Amber; Satija, Rahul; Regev, Aviv; Reddien, Peter W

    2015-12-01

    Regeneration starts with injury. Yet how injuries affect gene expression in different cell types and how distinct injuries differ in gene expression remain unclear. We defined the transcriptomes of major cell types of planarians-flatworms that regenerate from nearly any injury-and identified 1,214 tissue-specific markers across 13 cell types. RNA sequencing on 619 single cells revealed that wound-induced genes were expressed either in nearly all cell types or specifically in one of three cell types (stem cells, muscle, or epidermis). Time course experiments following different injuries indicated that a generic wound response is activated with any injury regardless of the regenerative outcome. Only one gene, notum, was differentially expressed early between anterior- and posterior-facing wounds. Injury-specific transcriptional responses emerged 30 hr after injury, involving context-dependent patterning and stem-cell-specialization genes. The regenerative requirement of every injury is different; however, our work demonstrates that all injuries start with a common transcriptional response. PMID:26651295

  6. Toxicity of a hazardous chemical mixture in the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Ramsdell, H.S.; Matthews, C.M.

    1995-12-31

    The responses of the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala to toxic chemical mixtures representative of water contaminants associated with hazardous waste sites have been studied in laboratory experiments. These free-living flatworms are readily maintained under laboratory conditions and are a useful invertebrate model for toxicology studies. Their widespread occurrence also makes them potentially useful for environmental studies. Mature asexual Dugesia dorotocephala were exposed for 14 days to mixtures of seven contaminants frequently detected in water at hazardous waste sites. The complete 1X mixture contained both metals (As, 3.1 ppm; Cr, 0.7 ppm; Pb, 3.7 ppm) and organics (chloroform, 1.5 ppm; benzene, 5.0 ppm; phenol, 3.4 ppm; trichloroethylene, 3.8 ppm). Groups of planaria were treated with the complete mixture at 0.1X, 1X and 10X concentrations. Additional groups were exposed to the metals-only or organics-only submixtures, also at 0.1X, 1X and 10X concentrations. Treatment solutions were renewed daily. Suppression of fissioning was observed in all of the 1X and 10X treatment groups. Significant mortality occurred only in the 10X complete and 1 0X metals-only treatments. It appears that the toxic effects of the complete mixture are primarily associated with the metal components.

  7. JNK Controls the Onset of Mitosis in Planarian Stem Cells and Triggers Apoptotic Cell Death Required for Regeneration and Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Almuedo-Castillo, María; Crespo, Xenia; Seebeck, Florian; Bartscherer, Kerstin; Salò, Emili; Adell, Teresa

    2014-01-01

    Regeneration of lost tissues depends on the precise interpretation of molecular signals that control and coordinate the onset of proliferation, cellular differentiation and cell death. However, the nature of those molecular signals and the mechanisms that integrate the cellular responses remain largely unknown. The planarian flatworm is a unique model in which regeneration and tissue renewal can be comprehensively studied in vivo. The presence of a population of adult pluripotent stem cells combined with the ability to decode signaling after wounding enable planarians to regenerate a complete, correctly proportioned animal within a few days after any kind of amputation, and to adapt their size to nutritional changes without compromising functionality. Here, we demonstrate that the stress-activated c-jun–NH2–kinase (JNK) links wound-induced apoptosis to the stem cell response during planarian regeneration. We show that JNK modulates the expression of wound-related genes, triggers apoptosis and attenuates the onset of mitosis in stem cells specifically after tissue loss. Furthermore, in pre-existing body regions, JNK activity is required to establish a positive balance between cell death and stem cell proliferation to enable tissue renewal, remodeling and the maintenance of proportionality. During homeostatic degrowth, JNK RNAi blocks apoptosis, resulting in impaired organ remodeling and rescaling. Our findings indicate that JNK-dependent apoptotic cell death is crucial to coordinate tissue renewal and remodeling required to regenerate and to maintain a correctly proportioned animal. Hence, JNK might act as a hub, translating wound signals into apoptotic cell death, controlled stem cell proliferation and differentiation, all of which are required to coordinate regeneration and tissue renewal. PMID:24922054

  8. JNK controls the onset of mitosis in planarian stem cells and triggers apoptotic cell death required for regeneration and remodeling.

    PubMed

    Almuedo-Castillo, María; Crespo-Yanez, Xenia; Crespo, Xenia; Seebeck, Florian; Bartscherer, Kerstin; Salò, Emili; Adell, Teresa

    2014-06-01

    Regeneration of lost tissues depends on the precise interpretation of molecular signals that control and coordinate the onset of proliferation, cellular differentiation and cell death. However, the nature of those molecular signals and the mechanisms that integrate the cellular responses remain largely unknown. The planarian flatworm is a unique model in which regeneration and tissue renewal can be comprehensively studied in vivo. The presence of a population of adult pluripotent stem cells combined with the ability to decode signaling after wounding enable planarians to regenerate a complete, correctly proportioned animal within a few days after any kind of amputation, and to adapt their size to nutritional changes without compromising functionality. Here, we demonstrate that the stress-activated c-jun-NH2-kinase (JNK) links wound-induced apoptosis to the stem cell response during planarian regeneration. We show that JNK modulates the expression of wound-related genes, triggers apoptosis and attenuates the onset of mitosis in stem cells specifically after tissue loss. Furthermore, in pre-existing body regions, JNK activity is required to establish a positive balance between cell death and stem cell proliferation to enable tissue renewal, remodeling and the maintenance of proportionality. During homeostatic degrowth, JNK RNAi blocks apoptosis, resulting in impaired organ remodeling and rescaling. Our findings indicate that JNK-dependent apoptotic cell death is crucial to coordinate tissue renewal and remodeling required to regenerate and to maintain a correctly proportioned animal. Hence, JNK might act as a hub, translating wound signals into apoptotic cell death, controlled stem cell proliferation and differentiation, all of which are required to coordinate regeneration and tissue renewal. PMID:24922054

  9. No Evidence for a Culturable Bacterial Tetrodotoxin Producer in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda: Pleurobranchidae) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida)

    PubMed Central

    Salvitti, Lauren R.; Wood, Susanna A.; McNabb, Paul; Cary, Stephen Craig

    2015-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a potent neurotoxin found in the tissues of many taxonomically diverse organisms. Its origin has been the topic of much debate, with suggestions including endogenous production, acquisition through diet, and symbiotic bacterial synthesis. Bacterial production of TTX has been reported in isolates from marine biota, but at lower than expected concentrations. In this study, 102 strains were isolated from Pleurobranchaea maculata (Opisthobranchia) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes). Tetrodotoxin production was tested utilizing a recently developed sensitive method to detect the C9 base of TTX via liquid chromatography—mass spectrometry. Bacterial strains were characterized by sequencing a region of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. To account for the possibility that TTX is produced by a consortium of bacteria, a series of experiments using marine broth spiked with various P. maculata tissues were undertaken. Sixteen unique strains from P. maculata and one from Stylochoplana sp. were isolated, representing eight different genera; Pseudomonadales, Actinomycetales, Oceanospirillales, Thiotrichales, Rhodobacterales, Sphingomonadales, Bacillales, and Vibrionales. Molecular fingerprinting of bacterial communities from broth experiments showed little change over the first four days. No C9 base or TTX was detected in isolates or broth experiments (past day 0), suggesting a culturable microbial source of TTX in P. maculata and Stylochoplana sp. is unlikely. PMID:25635464

  10. Complete Sequence of the mitochondrial genome of the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta: Gene arrangements indicate that platyhelminths are eutrochozoans

    SciTech Connect

    von Nickisch-Rosenegk, Markus; Brown, Wesley M.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2001-01-01

    Using ''long-PCR'' we have amplified in overlapping fragments the complete mitochondrial genome of the tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda) and determined its 13,900 nucleotide sequence. The gene content is the same as that typically found for animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) except that atp8 appears to be lacking, a condition found previously for several other animals. Despite the small size of this mtDNA, there are two large non-coding regions, one of which contains 13 repeats of a 31 nucleotide sequence and a potential stem-loop structure of 25 base pairs with an 11-member loop. Large potential secondary structures are identified also for the non-coding regions of two other cestode mtDNAs. Comparison of the mitochondrial gene arrangement of H. diminuta with those previously published supports a phylogenetic position of flatworms as members of the Eutrochozoa, rather than being basal to either a clade of protostomes or a clade of coelomates.

  11. A new genus and species for the first recorded cave-dwelling Cavernicola (Platyhelminthes) from South America

    PubMed Central

    Leal-Zanchet, Ana Maria; de Souza, Stella Teles; Ferreira, Rodrigo Lopes

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Species diversity of Brazilian cave fauna has been seriously underestimated. A karst area located in Felipe Guerra, northeastern Brazil, which is a hotspot of subterranean diversity in Brazil, has revealed more than 20 troglobitic species, most of them still undescribed. Based on recent samplings in this karst area, we document the occurrence of the suborder Cavernicola (Platyhelminthes) in South American hypogean environments for the first time and describe a new genus and species for this suborder. Hausera Leal-Zanchet & Souza, gen. n. has features concordant with those defined for the family Dimarcusidae. The new genus is characterized by two unique features, viz. an intestine extending dorsally to the brain and ovovitelline ducts located dorsally to the nerve cords, which is complemented by a combination of other characters. The type-specimens of Hausera hauseri Leal-Zanchet & Souza, sp. n. are typical stygobionts, unpigmented and eyeless, and they may constitute an oceanic relict as is the case of other stygobiotic invertebrates found in this karst area in northeastern Brazil. PMID:25349486

  12. Regeneration-dependent conditional gene knockdown (Readyknock) in planarian: demonstration of requirement for Djsnap-25 expression in the brain for negative phototactic behavior.

    PubMed

    Takano, Tomomi; Pulvers, Jeremy N; Inoue, Takeshi; Tarui, Hiroshi; Sakamoto, Hiroshi; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2007-06-01

    Freshwater planarians have a simple and evolutionarily primitive brain structure. Here, we identified the Djsnap-25 gene encoding a homolog of the evolutionarily conserved synaptic protein SNAP-25 from the planarian Dugesia japonica and assessed its role in brain function. Djsnap-25 was expressed widely in the nervous system. To investigate the specific role of Djsnap-25 in the brain, we developed a unique technique of RNA interference (RNAi), regeneration-dependent conditional gene knockdown (Readyknock), exploiting the high regenerative capacity of planarians, and succeeded in selectively eliminating the DjSNAP-25 activity in the head region while leaving the DjSNAP-25 activity in the trunk region intact. These knockdown animals showed no effect on brain morphology or on undirected movement of the trunk itself. Light-avoidance behavior or negative phototaxis was used to quantitatively analyze brain function in the knockdown animals. The results suggested that the DjSNAP-25 activity within the head region is required for two independent sensory-processing pathways that regulate locomotive activity and directional movement downstream of distinct primary sensory outputs coming from the head margin and the eyes, respectively, during negative phototaxis. Our approach demonstrates that planarians are a powerful model organism to study the molecular basis of the brain as an information-processing center. PMID:17547648

  13. Planarians in toxicology. I. Physiology of sexual-only Dugesia dorotocephala: effects of diet and population density on adult weight and cocoon production.

    PubMed

    Kostelecky, J; Elliott, B; Schaeffer, D J

    1989-12-01

    A rare sexual-only race of Dugesia dorotocephala produces offspring from cocoons rather than by fissioning, allowing individuals to be accurately aged. Because each animal possesses fully developed male and female reproductive systems and a true brain with synapses, many types of toxicological studies which normally use vertebrates are possible with these animals. Prior to using this race for toxicological studies, a 3(3) factorial study was carried out to determine the effects of environmental conditions on reproduction and growth. The factors studied were crowding (2, 4, or 8 animals/50 ml medium), age (17, 19, 21 months), and type of dietary protein (soy, liver, cooked egg yolk). Protein composition dramatically affected the numbers of cocoons deposited per planarian, mean weight, and temporal patterns of weight changes. During 65 days of observation, planarians fed liver deposited an average of 3.28 cocoons/planarian while those fed soya or egg yolk deposited an average of 0.24 cocoon/planarian. Crowding, but not age, affected the numbers of cocoons deposited. Statistical analysis showed that protein composition, age, and crowding, alone and in factorial combinations, affected both the absolute weight changes and the temporal patterns in weight changes in each group. PMID:2612420

  14. A comparative study of the regenerative processes in a trematode, Philophthalmus gralli, and a planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala.

    PubMed

    Allen, W B; Nollen, P M

    1991-07-01

    Adults of Philophthalmus gralli, an eyefluke of birds, were laterally amputated mid-way between the anterior testis and the ventral sucker. Worms were sampled at various short time intervals (30 min-6 h) after in vitro culture and long time intervals (1-8 days) after transplantation back to the host. Specimens were fixed for scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy and compared to the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala, which was laterally transected in the pharyngeal region and maintained in springwater. It was found that wound closure took place by 2 days in the planaria; however, at the end of 8 days wound closure had been initiated but not yet completed in P. gralli. Replacement of major tissues was observed only in D. dorotocephala. Because calcium had been reported to be critical for planarian regeneration, a histochemical stain for calcium distribution was carried out. At the end of the 2-day study, no differences could be found in calcium distribution between the two organisms. No areas of calcium concentration were noted in any tissue important for the regenerative process. PMID:1917284

  15. Wnt/Notum spatial feedback inhibition controls neoblast differentiation to regulate reversible growth of the planarian brain.

    PubMed

    Hill, Eric M; Petersen, Christian P

    2015-12-15

    Mechanisms determining final organ size are poorly understood. Animals undergoing regeneration or ongoing adult growth are likely to require sustained and robust mechanisms to achieve and maintain appropriate sizes. Planarians, well known for their ability to undergo whole-body regeneration using pluripotent adult stem cells of the neoblast population, can reversibly scale body size over an order of magnitude by controlling cell number. Using quantitative analysis, we showed that after injury planarians perfectly restored brain:body proportion by increasing brain cell number through epimorphosis or decreasing brain cell number through tissue remodeling (morphallaxis), as appropriate. We identified a pathway controlling a brain size set-point that involves feedback inhibition between wnt11-6/wntA/wnt4a and notum, encoding conserved antagonistic signaling factors expressed at opposite brain poles. wnt11-6/wntA/wnt4a undergoes feedback inhibition through canonical Wnt signaling but is likely to regulate brain size in a non-canonical pathway independently of beta-catenin-1 and APC. Wnt/Notum signaling tunes numbers of differentiated brain cells in regenerative growth and tissue remodeling by influencing the abundance of brain progenitors descended from pluripotent stem cells, as opposed to regulating cell death. These results suggest that the attainment of final organ size might be accomplished by achieving a balance of positional signaling inputs that regulate the rates of tissue production. PMID:26525673

  16. Identification of HECT E3 ubiquitin ligase family genes involved in stem cell regulation and regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Jordana M; Nisperos, Sean V; Weeks, Joi; Ghulam, Mahjoobah; Marín, Ignacio; Zayas, Ricardo M

    2015-08-15

    E3 ubiquitin ligases constitute a large family of enzymes that modify specific proteins by covalently attaching ubiquitin polypeptides. This post-translational modification can serve to regulate protein function or longevity. In spite of their importance in cell physiology, the biological roles of most ubiquitin ligases remain poorly understood. Here, we analyzed the function of the HECT domain family of E3 ubiquitin ligases in stem cell biology and tissue regeneration in planarians. Using bioinformatic searches, we identified 17 HECT E3 genes that are expressed in the Schmidtea mediterranea genome. Whole-mount in situ hybridization experiments showed that HECT genes were expressed in diverse tissues and most were expressed in the stem cell population (neoblasts) or in their progeny. To investigate the function of all HECT E3 ligases, we inhibited their expression using RNA interference (RNAi) and determined that orthologs of huwe1, wwp1, and trip12 had roles in tissue regeneration. We show that huwe1 RNAi knockdown led to a significant expansion of the neoblast population and death by lysis. Further, our experiments showed that wwp1 was necessary for both neoblast and intestinal tissue homeostasis as well as uncovered an unexpected role of trip12 in posterior tissue specification. Taken together, our data provide insights into the roles of HECT E3 ligases in tissue regeneration and demonstrate that planarians will be a useful model to evaluate the functions of E3 ubiquitin ligases in stem cell regulation. PMID:25956527

  17. Modeling planarian regeneration: a primer for reverse-engineering the worm.

    PubMed

    Lobo, Daniel; Beane, Wendy S; Levin, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A mechanistic understanding of robust self-assembly and repair capabilities of complex systems would have enormous implications for basic evolutionary developmental biology as well as for transformative applications in regenerative biomedicine and the engineering of highly fault-tolerant cybernetic systems. Molecular biologists are working to identify the pathways underlying the remarkable regenerative abilities of model species that perfectly regenerate limbs, brains, and other complex body parts. However, a profound disconnect remains between the deluge of high-resolution genetic and protein data on pathways required for regeneration, and the desired spatial, algorithmic models that show how self-monitoring and growth control arise from the synthesis of cellular activities. This barrier to progress in the understanding of morphogenetic controls may be breached by powerful techniques from the computational sciences-using non-traditional modeling approaches to reverse-engineer systems such as planaria: flatworms with a complex bodyplan and nervous system that are able to regenerate any body part after traumatic injury. Currently, the involvement of experts from outside of molecular genetics is hampered by the specialist literature of molecular developmental biology: impactful collaborations across such different fields require that review literature be available that presents the key functional capabilities of important biological model systems while abstracting away from the often irrelevant and confusing details of specific genes and proteins. To facilitate modeling efforts by computer scientists, physicists, engineers, and mathematicians, we present a different kind of review of planarian regeneration. Focusing on the main patterning properties of this system, we review what is known about the signal exchanges that occur during regenerative repair in planaria and the cellular mechanisms that are thought to underlie them. By establishing an engineering-like style for reviews of the molecular developmental biology of biomedically important model systems, significant fresh insights and quantitative computational models will be developed by new collaborations between biology and the information sciences. PMID:22570595

  18. Mortality and antioxidant responses in the planarian (Dugesia japonica) after exposure to copper.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiufang; Zhang, Bowen; Yi, Hongyang; Zhao, Bosheng

    2014-03-01

    The planarians (Dugesia japonica) are distributed widely in China, Japan, Korea, and southern Siberia. In this study, the acute toxicity of copper on D. japonica was evaluated using mortality and the activity of the enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and reactive oxygen species (ROS) as endpoints. Acute toxicity tests were conducted according to the American Society for Testing and Materials guidelines. The 24-, 48-, 72-, and 96-h median lethal concentration that killed 50% of individuals (LC50) were calculated as 8.70, 6.31, 4.48, and 4.23 mg Cu²⁺/L, respectively, based on measured copper concentrations. When compared with different phyla or classes of freshwater animals, the rank of D. japonica in species sensitivity was in the range of 25-26 for 96-h LC₅₀. The antioxidant enzymes SOD and CAT were determined in D. japonica exposed to two copper concentrations (50 and 100 μg Cu²⁺/L) with a short-term exposure (15 days). They all attained peak value and then reduced during the experimental period. The GPx activities were activated only for 100 μg/L treatments at days 3 and 6 and then renewed to the original level. Meanwhile, copper significantly increased the levels of ROS in D. japonica. Our study suggests that the adult D. japonica was less sensitive to copper than most other aquatic species. Copper may induce oxidative stress and interfere with the antioxidant defense system of the D. japonica, including SOD and CAT. GPx might be an insusceptible antioxidant enzyme in the metabolic detoxification processes in adult D. japonica. PMID:22773437

  19. Modeling Planarian Regeneration: A Primer for Reverse-Engineering the Worm

    PubMed Central

    Lobo, Daniel; Beane, Wendy S.; Levin, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A mechanistic understanding of robust self-assembly and repair capabilities of complex systems would have enormous implications for basic evolutionary developmental biology as well as for transformative applications in regenerative biomedicine and the engineering of highly fault-tolerant cybernetic systems. Molecular biologists are working to identify the pathways underlying the remarkable regenerative abilities of model species that perfectly regenerate limbs, brains, and other complex body parts. However, a profound disconnect remains between the deluge of high-resolution genetic and protein data on pathways required for regeneration, and the desired spatial, algorithmic models that show how self-monitoring and growth control arise from the synthesis of cellular activities. This barrier to progress in the understanding of morphogenetic controls may be breached by powerful techniques from the computational sciences—using non-traditional modeling approaches to reverse-engineer systems such as planaria: flatworms with a complex bodyplan and nervous system that are able to regenerate any body part after traumatic injury. Currently, the involvement of experts from outside of molecular genetics is hampered by the specialist literature of molecular developmental biology: impactful collaborations across such different fields require that review literature be available that presents the key functional capabilities of important biological model systems while abstracting away from the often irrelevant and confusing details of specific genes and proteins. To facilitate modeling efforts by computer scientists, physicists, engineers, and mathematicians, we present a different kind of review of planarian regeneration. Focusing on the main patterning properties of this system, we review what is known about the signal exchanges that occur during regenerative repair in planaria and the cellular mechanisms that are thought to underlie them. By establishing an engineering-like style for reviews of the molecular developmental biology of biomedically important model systems, significant fresh insights and quantitative computational models will be developed by new collaborations between biology and the information sciences. PMID:22570595

  20. Cocarcinogenesis between cadmium and Aroclor 1254 in planarians is enhanced by inhibition of glutathione synthesis.

    PubMed

    Schaeffer, D J; Tehseen, W M; Johnson, L R; McLaughlin, G L; Hassan, A S; Reynolds, H A; Hansen, L G

    1991-10-01

    Asexual Dugesia dorotocephala planaria continuously exposed to 50 micrograms/beaker of Aroclor 1254 (A1254) and cadmium (Cd) developed tumors after 11 days of continuous exposure to 0.65 or 1.3 mg/liter Cd and after 23 days to 0.13 mg/liter Cd. The tumor rate at 14 days averaged 53% for the survivors in both 0.65 and 1.3 mg/liter Cd + A1254 and 40% at 0.13 mg/liter Cd + A1254. Other groups were either preexposed or coexposed to L-buthionine-S,R-sulfoximine (BSO), a specific inhibitor of glutathione synthesis. In the presence of A1254 (50 micrograms/beaker), animals continuously exposed to BSO and 0.13 mg/liter Cd first developed tumors at 18 days, with a tumor yield equal to 41% of the survivors. Tumors developed by 6 days at 0.65 mg/liter Cd, with a yield equal to 75% of survivors. At 1.3 mg/liter Cd, BSO did not change the rate or frequency of planarian tumor production. Continuous BSO always produced high mortality over 20 days. In contrast, a 24-h preexposure to BSO caused little mortality. In these groups, tumor yields increased with cadmium concentration (0.13, 0.25, 0.65 mg/liter), and the large cocarcinogenic effect of A1254 was clearly evident. No tumors developed in animals exposed only to 50 micrograms/beaker of Aroclor 1254 or continuously only to 1 mM BSO. PMID:1669966

  1. Weak extremely-low-frequency magnetic field-induced regeneration anomalies in the planarian, Dugesia tigrina

    SciTech Connect

    Jenrow, K.A.; Smith, C.H.; Liboff, A.R.

    1996-12-31

    The authors recently reported that cephalic regeneration in the planarian Dugesia tigrina was significantly delayed in populations exposed continuously to combined parallel DC and AC magnetic fields. This effect was consistent with hypotheses suggesting an underlying resonance phenomenon. The authors report here, in a parallel series of investigations on the same model system, that the incidence of regeneration anomalies presenting as tumor-like protuberances also increases significantly (P < .001) in association with exposure to weak 60 Hz magnetic fields, with peak intensities ranging between 1.0 and 80.0 {micro}T. These anomalies often culminate in the complete disaggregation of the organism. Similar to regeneration rate effects, the incidence of regeneration anomalies is specifically dependent upon the planaria possessing a fixed orientation with respect to the applied magnetic field vectors. However, unlike the regeneration rate effects, the AC magnetic field alone, in the absence of any measurable DC field, is capable of producing these anomalies. Moreover, the incidence of regeneration anomalies follows a clear dose-response relationship as a function of AC magnetic field intensity, with the threshold for induced electric field intensity estimated at 5 {micro} V/m. The addition of either 51.1 or 78.4 {micro}T DC magnetic fields, applied in parallel combination with the AC field, enhances the appearance of anomalies relative to the 60 Hz AC field alone, but only at certain AC field intensities. Thus, whereas the previous study of regeneration rate effects appeared to involve exclusively resonance interactions, the regeneration anomalies reported here appear to result primarily from Faraday induction coupling.

  2. Diversity, specificity and speciation in larval Diplostomidae (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) in the eyes of freshwater fish, as revealed by DNA barcodes.

    PubMed

    Locke, Sean A; Al-Nasiri, Fatima S; Caffara, Monica; Drago, Fabiana; Kalbe, Martin; Lapierre, Angela Rose; McLaughlin, J Daniel; Nie, Pin; Overstreet, Robin M; Souza, Geza T R; Takemoto, Ricardo M; Marcogliese, David J

    2015-11-01

    Larvae (metacercariae) in some species of Diplostomidae (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) inhabit fish eyes and are difficult to identify to species based on morphology. DNA barcoding has clarified the diversity and life cycles of diplostomids in North America, Europe and Africa, but has seldom been used in parasites sampled in large numbers or at large spatial scales. Here, distance-based analysis of cytochrome c oxidase 1 barcodes and, in some specimens, internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1, 5.8S, ITS-2) sequences was performed for over 2000 diplostomids from Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Fifty-two species of Diplostomum, Tylodelphys and Austrodiplostomum (Digenea: Diplostomidae) were distinguished. The 52 species comprise 12 identified species, six species in two species complexes and 34 putative species, and 33/52 had been delineated in previous studies. Most (23/40) of the unidentified, putative species distinguished by cytochrome c oxidase 1 distances were supported by at least one additional line of evidence. As the intensity of sampling of the 52 species increased, variation in cytochrome c oxidase 1 decreased between and increased within species, while the spatial scale at which species were sampled had no effect. Nonetheless, variation between species always exceeded variation within species. New life-cycle linkages, geographic and host records, and genetic data were recorded in several species, including Tylodelphys jenynsiae, Tylodelphys immer and Diplostomum ardeae. Species of Diplostomum inhabiting the lens are less host-specific and less numerous than those infecting other tissues, suggesting that reduced immune activity in the lens has influenced rates of speciation. PMID:26276524

  3. Durable sensitization of hormone receptors during differentiation in regenerating planarians by treatment with homologous or analogous hormone molecules.

    PubMed

    Csaba, G; Kádár, M

    1980-01-01

    Hormonal (dopamine, epinephrine) treatment of planarians during total regeneration (sensitizing treatment) resulted in amplification of the receptors, which accounted for an increased response to later hormone exposure (provocative treatment). While not presensitized specimens showed an identical increase of glucose uptake upon provocative treatment with either hormone, dopamine proved to be more active than epinephrine regardless of homologous or analogous presensitization. The glucose-uptake-enhancing effect of dopamine was independent of the presensitizing dose level, whereas that of epinephrine was not, having increased as the presensitizer concentration was elevated. The experimental observations indicate that the hormone receptors may become modified, i.e. durably amplified, during the differentiation stage and that exposure of the differentiating receptor to a structurally dissimilar, analogous molecule may result not only in deformation, but also in amplification of the receptor. PMID:7371900

  4. Planarian homologs of netrin and netrin receptor are required for proper regeneration of the central nervous system and the maintenance of nervous system architecture.

    PubMed

    Cebrià, Francesc; Newmark, Phillip A

    2005-08-01

    Conserved axon guidance mechanisms are essential for proper wiring of the nervous system during embryogenesis; however, the functions of these cues in adults and during regeneration remain poorly understood. Because freshwater planarians can regenerate a functional central nervous system (CNS) from almost any portion of their body, they are useful models in which to study the roles of guidance cues during neural regeneration. Here, we characterize two netrin homologs and one netrin receptor family member from Schmidtea mediterranea. RNAi analyses indicate that Smed-netR (netrin receptor) and Smed-netrin2 are required for proper CNS regeneration and that Smed-netR may mediate the response to Smed-netrin2. Remarkably, Smed-netR and Smed-netrin2 are also required in intact planarians to maintain the proper patterning of the CNS. These results suggest a crucial role for guidance cues, not only in CNS regeneration but also in maintenance of neural architecture. PMID:16033796

  5. Genome-wide analysis of the bHLH gene family in planarians identifies factors required for adult neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration.

    PubMed

    Cowles, Martis W; Brown, David D R; Nisperos, Sean V; Stanley, Brianna N; Pearson, Bret J; Zayas, Ricardo M

    2013-12-01

    In contrast to most well-studied model organisms, planarians have a remarkable ability to completely regenerate a functional nervous system from a pluripotent stem cell population. Thus, planarians provide a powerful model to identify genes required for adult neurogenesis in vivo. We analyzed the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family of transcription factors, many of which are crucial for nervous system development and have been implicated in human diseases. However, their potential roles in adult neurogenesis or central nervous system (CNS) function are not well understood. We identified 44 planarian bHLH homologs, determined their patterns of expression in the animal and assessed their functions using RNAi. We found nine bHLHs expressed in stem cells and neurons that are required for CNS regeneration. Our analyses revealed that homologs of coe, hes (hesl-3) and sim label progenitors in intact planarians, and following amputation we observed an enrichment of coe(+) and sim(+) progenitors near the wound site. RNAi knockdown of coe, hesl-3 or sim led to defects in CNS regeneration, including failure of the cephalic ganglia to properly pattern and a loss of expression of distinct neuronal subtype markers. Together, these data indicate that coe, hesl-3 and sim label neural progenitor cells, which serve to generate new neurons in uninjured or regenerating animals. Our study demonstrates that this model will be useful to investigate how stem cells interpret and respond to genetic and environmental cues in the CNS and to examine the role of bHLH transcription factors in adult tissue regeneration. PMID:24173799

  6. Flumazenil-sensitive dose-related physical dependence in planarians produced by two benzodiazepine and one non-benzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonists

    PubMed Central

    Raffa, Robert B.; Cavallo, Federica; Capasso, Anna

    2009-01-01

    Two benzodiazepine (midazolam and clorazepate) and one non-benzodiazepine (zolpidem) benzodiazepine-receptor agonists produced dose-related physical dependence, as evidenced by abstinence-induced decrease in planarian locomotor velocity (pLMV) when drug-exposed planarians were placed into drug-free water, but not when they were placed into drug-containing water (i.e., an abstinence-induced withdrawal, since the effect was only obtained in the removal of dug and not in the continued presence of drug). We have previously shown that the decrease in pLMV is associated with specific and transient withdrawal signs. In the present study, the selective benzodiazepine receptor antagonist flumazenil significantly antagonized (P < 0.05), by co-application, the ability of each agonist to produce the withdrawal. These results: (1) suggest that benzodiazepine receptor agonists, for two different chemical categories, produce dose-related physical dependence manifested as abstinence-induced withdrawal in this simple and convenient model, and (2) in the absence of cloning or radioligand binding literature, suggest a possible specific interaction site (receptor?) for these compounds in planarians. PMID:17368613

  7. Molecular Characterization of Gastrothylax crumenifer (Platyhelminthes: Gastrothylacidae) from Goats in the Western Part of India by LSU of Nuclear Ribosomal DNA

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Ashwani; Verma, Chandni; Singh, Hridaya Shanker

    2014-01-01

    The rumen parasite, Gastrothylax crumenifer (Platyhelminthes: Gastrothylacidae), is a highly pathogenic trematode parasite of goat (Capra hircus). It sucks blood that causes acute disease like anemia, and severe economic losses occur due to morbidity and mortality of the ruminant infected by these worms. The study of these rumen paramphistomes, their infection, and public health importance remains unclear in India especially in the western part of state Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Meerut, India, where the goat meat consumption is very high. This paper provides the molecular characterization of G. crumenifer recovered from the rumen of Capra hircus from Meerut, U.P., India by the partial sequence of 28S rDNA. Nucleotide sequence similarity searching on BLAST of 28S rDNA from parasites showed the highest identity with those of G. crumenifer from the same host Capra hircus. This is the first report of molecular identification of G. crumenifer from this part of India. PMID:25548426

  8. Transfection of Platyhelminthes

    PubMed Central

    Moguel, Bárbara; Bobes, Raúl J.; Carrero, Julio C.; Laclette, Juan P.

    2015-01-01

    Flatworms are one of the most diverse groups within Lophotrochozoa with more than 20,000 known species, distributed worldwide in different ecosystems, from the free-living organisms in the seas and lakes to highly specialized parasites living in a variety of hosts, including humans. Several infections caused by flatworms are considered major neglected diseases affecting countries in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. For several decades, a particular interest on free-living flatworms was due to their ability to regenerate considerable portions of the body, implying the presence of germ cells that could be important for medicine. The relevance of reverse genetics for this group is clear; understanding the phenotypic characteristics of specific genes will shed light on developmental traits of free-living and parasite worms. The genetic manipulation of flatworms will allow learning more about the mechanisms for tissue regeneration, designing new and more effective anthelmintic drugs, and explaining the host-parasite molecular crosstalk so far partially inaccessible for experimentation. In this review, availability of transfection techniques is analyzed across flatworms, from the initial transient achievements to the stable manipulations now developed for free-living and parasite species. PMID:26090388

  9. [Effect of the extremely weak alternating magnetic fields on the regeneration of planarians and the gravitropic response of plants].

    PubMed

    Belova, N A; Ermakov, A M; Znobishcheva, A V; Skrebnitskaia, L K; Lednev, V V

    2010-01-01

    The influence of extremely weak alternating magnetic fields (EW AMF) directed colinearly to the static Earth magnetic field on the rate of regeneration of planarians and the rate of gravitropic response in the stem segments of flax has been studied. The value of bioeffects of EW AMF is determined by the parameter gamma B(AC)/f, where y is the gyromagnetic ratio of the magnetic moments induced by the orbital movements of electrons in atoms, and B(AC) and f correspond to magnetic induction and frequency of the alternating magnetic component. It was shown that the magnitude of bioeffects depends on the amplitude (at fixed 1000 Hz - frequency) and frequency (at fixed 192 nT - amplitude) of the alternating component. Maxima of bioeffects are observed at gamma B(AC)/f = 0.9; 2.75, and minor maxima gamma B(AC)/f = 4.5; 6.1. The bioeffects are absent at gamma B(AC)/f = 1.8, 3.8, 5.3, 6.7. The positions of the maxima and minima of bioeffects correspond to the theoretical prediction (at gamma = 14000 Hz/microT). Primary targets for the EW AMF of this type are the magnetic moments induced by the orbital movements of electrons in atoms. PMID:20968085

  10. A forkhead Transcription Factor Is Wound-Induced at the Planarian Midline and Required for Anterior Pole Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Scimone, M. Lucila; Lapan, Sylvain W.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    Planarian regeneration requires positional information to specify the identity of tissues to be replaced as well as pluripotent neoblasts capable of differentiating into new cell types. We found that wounding elicits rapid expression of a gene encoding a Forkhead-family transcription factor, FoxD. Wound-induced FoxD expression is specific to the ventral midline, is regulated by Hedgehog signaling, and is neoblast-independent. FoxD is subsequently expressed within a medial subpopulation of neoblasts at wounds involving head regeneration. Ultimately, FoxD is co-expressed with multiple anterior markers at the anterior pole. Inhibition of FoxD with RNA interference (RNAi) results in the failure to specify neoblasts expressing anterior markers (notum and prep) and in anterior pole formation defects. FoxD(RNAi) animals fail to regenerate a new midline and to properly pattern the anterior blastema, consistent with a role for the anterior pole in organizing pattern of the regenerating head. Our results suggest that wound signaling activates a forkhead transcription factor at the midline and, if the head is absent, FoxD promotes specification of neoblasts at the prior midline for anterior pole regeneration. PMID:24415944

  11. A forkhead transcription factor is wound-induced at the planarian midline and required for anterior pole regeneration.

    PubMed

    Scimone, M Lucila; Lapan, Sylvain W; Reddien, Peter W

    2014-01-01

    Planarian regeneration requires positional information to specify the identity of tissues to be replaced as well as pluripotent neoblasts capable of differentiating into new cell types. We found that wounding elicits rapid expression of a gene encoding a Forkhead-family transcription factor, FoxD. Wound-induced FoxD expression is specific to the ventral midline, is regulated by Hedgehog signaling, and is neoblast-independent. FoxD is subsequently expressed within a medial subpopulation of neoblasts at wounds involving head regeneration. Ultimately, FoxD is co-expressed with multiple anterior markers at the anterior pole. Inhibition of FoxD with RNA interference (RNAi) results in the failure to specify neoblasts expressing anterior markers (notum and prep) and in anterior pole formation defects. FoxD(RNAi) animals fail to regenerate a new midline and to properly pattern the anterior blastema, consistent with a role for the anterior pole in organizing pattern of the regenerating head. Our results suggest that wound signaling activates a forkhead transcription factor at the midline and, if the head is absent, FoxD promotes specification of neoblasts at the prior midline for anterior pole regeneration. PMID:24415944

  12. Stem cell-dependent formation of a functional anterior regeneration pole in planarians requires Zic and Forkhead transcription factors.

    PubMed

    Vogg, Matthias C; Owlarn, Suthira; Pérez Rico, Yuvia A; Xie, Jianlei; Suzuki, Yoko; Gentile, Luca; Wu, Wei; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2014-06-15

    Planarians can regenerate their head within days. This process depends on the direction of adult stem cells to wound sites and the orchestration of their progenitors to commit to appropriate lineages and to arrange into patterned tissues. We identified a zinc finger transcription factor, Smed-ZicA, as a downstream target of Smed-FoxD, a Forkhead transcription factor required for head regeneration. Smed-zicA and Smed-FoxD are co-expressed with the Wnt inhibitor notum and the Activin inhibitor follistatin in a cluster of cells at the anterior-most tip of the regenerating head - the anterior regeneration pole - and in surrounding stem cell progeny. Depletion of Smed-zicA and Smed-FoxD by RNAi abolishes notum and follistatin expression at the pole and inhibits head formation downstream of initial polarity decisions. We suggest a model in which ZicA and FoxD transcription factors synergize to control the formation of Notum- and Follistatin-producing anterior pole cells. Pole formation might constitute an early step in regeneration, resulting in a signaling center that orchestrates cellular events in the growing tissue. PMID:24704339

  13. egr-4, a target of EGFR signaling, is required for the formation of the brain primordia and head regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Fraguas, Susanna; Barberán, Sara; Iglesias, Marta; Rodríguez-Esteban, Gustavo; Cebrià, Francesc

    2014-05-01

    During the regeneration of freshwater planarians, polarity and patterning programs play essential roles in determining whether a head or a tail regenerates at anterior or posterior-facing wounds. This decision is made very soon after amputation. The pivotal role of the Wnt/?-catenin and Hh signaling pathways in re-establishing anterior-posterior (AP) polarity has been well documented. However, the mechanisms that control the growth and differentiation of the blastema in accordance with its AP identity are less well understood. Previous studies have described a role of Smed-egfr-3, a planarian epidermal growth factor receptor, in blastema growth and differentiation. Here, we identify Smed-egr-4, a zinc-finger transcription factor belonging to the early growth response gene family, as a putative downstream target of Smed-egfr-3. Smed-egr-4 is mainly expressed in the central nervous system and its silencing inhibits anterior regeneration without affecting the regeneration of posterior regions. Single and combinatorial RNA interference to target different elements of the Wnt/?-catenin pathway, together with expression analysis of brain- and anterior-specific markers, revealed that Smed-egr-4: (1) is expressed in two phases - an early Smed-egfr-3-independent phase and a late Smed-egfr-3-dependent phase; (2) is necessary for the differentiation of the brain primordia in the early stages of regeneration; and (3) that it appears to antagonize the activity of the Wnt/?-catenin pathway to allow head regeneration. These results suggest that a conserved EGFR/egr pathway plays an important role in cell differentiation during planarian regeneration and indicate an association between early brain differentiation and the proper progression of head regeneration. PMID:24700819

  14. Optimal durations of single exposures to a frequency-modulated magnetic field immediately after bisection in planarian predict final growth values.

    PubMed

    Tessaro, Lucas W E; Persinger, Michael A

    2013-12-01

    Planarian (Dugesia tigrinia) were exposed to a frequency-modulated ("Thomas"), patterned electromagnetic field (EMF) immediately following transection through the pharynx. Subjects were exposed from 15 min to 3 h as well as single versus repeated exposures. Results from multiple experiments indicated that those planaria exposed from 45 to 90 min regenerated at significantly higher rates than those exposed less than 45 min. In addition, the study revealed that exposures greater than 45 min were not significantly different beyond this inflection point. We suggest that this particular pattern of EMF is capable of inducing biochemical pathways associated with cell proliferation, in particular the p38-MAPK and hsp70 pathways. PMID:24115101

  15. Light and electron microscopic studies of the intestinal epithelium in Notoplana humilis (Platyhelminthes, Polycladida): the contribution of mesodermal/gastrodermal neoblasts to intestinal regeneration.

    PubMed

    Okano, Daisuke; Ishida, Sachiko; Ishiguro, Sei-Ichi; Kobayashi, Kazuya

    2015-12-01

    Some free-living flatworms in the phylum Platyhelminthes possess strong regenerative capability that depends on putative pluripotent stem cells known as neoblasts. These neoblasts are defined based on several criteria, including their proliferative capacity and the presence of cellular components known as chromatoid bodies. Polyclads, which are marine flatworms, have the potential to be a good model system for stem cell research, yet little information is available regarding neoblasts and regeneration. In this study, transmission electron microscopy and immunostaining analyses, using antibodies against phospho-histone H3 and BrdU, were used to identify two populations of neoblasts in the polyclad Notoplana humilis: mesodermal neoblasts (located in the mesenchymal space) and gastrodermal neoblasts (located within the intestine, where granular club cells and phagocytic cells are also located). Light and electron microscopic analyses also suggested that phagocytic cells and mesodermal/gastrodermal neoblasts, but not granular club cells, migrated into blastemas and remodeled the intestine during regeneration. Therefore, we suggest that, in polyclads, intestinal regeneration is accomplished by mechanisms underlying both morphallaxis (remodeling of pre-existing tissues) and epimorphosis (de novo tissue formation derived from mesodermal/gastrodermal neoblasts). Based on the assumption that gastrodermal neoblasts, which are derived from mesodermal neoblasts, are intestinal stem cells, we propose a model to study intestinal regeneration. PMID:26104134

  16. Early post-larval development of the endoparasitic platyhelminth Mesocestoides corti: trypsin provokes reversible tegumental damage leading to serum-induced cell proliferation and growth.

    PubMed

    Espinoza, I; Galindo, M; Bizarro, C V; Ferreira, H B; Zaha, A; Galanti, N

    2005-11-01

    Mesocestoides corti is a suitable in vitro model for studying the development of human endoparasitic platyhelminthes. Treatment with trypsin, supplemented with fetal bovine serum (FBS), induces M. corti development from larvae (tetrathyridia) to segmented adult worm; however, the role of this protease and of FBS in post-larval development induction remains unknown. To characterize the participation of trypsin enzymatic activity and of FBS in the induction of tetrathyridia growth and development, both stimuli were added to the larvae either together or sequentially. Additionally, specific inhibition of trypsin activity was also monitored. Finally, the effect of the enzyme on the parasite tegument as well as the proliferative activity and location of proliferating cells after induction of tetrathyridia development were also studied. We conclude that trypsin-induced tetrathyridia development to adult worm is FBS-dependent and that the effect of serum factors is dependent upon a previous trypsin-induced reversible damage to the larva tegument. In dividing and non-dividing tetrathyridia, proliferative activity of cells is mainly located within the apical massif in the anterior region and nerve cords of larvae, respectively. In tetrathyridia stimulated to develop to adult worms, an intense proliferative activity is evident along the nerve cords. Our results suggest that in natural infections the tetrathyridia tegument is temporally made permeable to growth factors by proteolytic enzyme activity in the intestine juice of the definitive host, thus leading to development to adult worms. PMID:15887242

  17. Effect of weak static and low-frequency alternating magnetic fields on the fission and regeneration of the planarian dugesia (Girardia) tigrina.

    PubMed

    Novikov, Vadim V; Sheiman, Inna M; Fesenko, Evgeny E

    2008-07-01

    The effect of weak static (DC) and alternating (AC) magnetic fields (MFs), as well as combined (AC/DC) collinear MFs on the intensity of morphogenesis processes in the planarian Dugesia (Girardia) tigrina has been studied. It was found that combined MFs produce a stimulating effect on the fission and regeneration of planarians. Both components of the combined MFs, the direct (DC) and the alternating (AC), are important in the realization of the effects of weak MFs. The practically complete absence of one of the components (DC) reverses the sign of the effect. It was shown that the presence of concomitant background MFs does not substantially influence the effects of combined MFs with a very small AC component (100 nT). The effect of the "zero" field is significant and comparable in magnitude with the effects of combined MFs at effective frequencies. Narrow zones of effective amplitudes (in the region of tens and hundreds of nT) of the AC component of the combined MFs, with the DC component close to the value of the geomagnetic field were found, which alternate with regions where the response of the biological object to the influence is absent. PMID:18288681

  18. A central body region defined by a position-specific molecule in the planarian Dugesia (Girardia) tigrina: spatial and temporal variations during regeneration.

    PubMed

    Bueno, D; Baguñà, J; Romero, R

    1996-09-15

    We have isolated a monoclonal antibody, TCEN49, that displays position-specific binding to the central body region of the planarian Dugesia (Girardia) tigrina. TCEN49 binds to all cell types of the central area with the exception of epithelial cells. Labeled cells are more related by position than by lineage. In the intact organism, boundaries between labeled and unlabeled regions are very sharp and in a dynamic state as they shift in relative position along the body axis during growth and degrowth. During regeneration, TCEN49 antigen is present in the area which will form the central region before it is morphologically apparent. Moreover, when animals are cut through the central region, TCEN49 label fades quickly from those regions determined to become head or tail well before morphogenesis takes place. Taken together, these data suggest that expression of TCEN49 antigen is very sensitive to positional information changes and that it could be involved in the expression of central-body positional identity. TCEN49 antigen is a glycoprotein with an apparent molecular weight of 4.5 kDa, as determined by gel immunoblotting. Immunogold light and electron microscopy demonstrate that the main location of TCEN49 antigen is intracellular (granular components of secretory cells and, to a lesser extent, clear cytoplasmic vesicles and heterochromatin blocks), though it is also detected in the extracellular matrix. TCEN49 antigen represents the first position-specific molecule reported in planarians to date. PMID:8812141

  19. A common origin of complex life cycles in parasitic flatworms: evidence from the complete mitochondrial genome of Microcotyle sebastis (Monogenea: Platyhelminthes)

    PubMed Central

    Park, Joong-Ki; Kim, Kyu-Heon; Kang, Seokha; Kim, Won; Eom, Keeseon S; Littlewood, DTJ

    2007-01-01

    Background The parasitic Platyhelminthes (Neodermata) contains three parasitic groups of flatworms, each having a unique morphology, and life style: Monogenea (primarily ectoparasitic), Trematoda (endoparasitic flukes), and Cestoda (endoparasitic tapeworms). The evolutionary origin of complex life cyles (multiple obligate hosts, as found in Trematoda and Cestoda) and of endo-/ecto-parasitism in these groups is still under debate and these questions can be resolved, only if the phylogenetic position of the Monogenea within the Neodermata clade is correctly estimated. Results To test the interrelationships of the major parasitic flatworm groups, we estimated the phylogeny of the Neodermata using complete available mitochondrial genome sequences and a newly characterized sequence of a polyopisthocotylean monogenean Microcotyle sebastis. Comparisons of inferred amino acid sequences and gene arrangement patterns with other published flatworm mtDNAs indicate Monogenea are sister group to a clade of Trematoda+Cestoda. Conclusion Results confirm that vertebrates were the first host for stem group neodermatans and that the addition of a second, invertebrate, host was a single event occurring in the Trematoda+Cestoda lineage. In other words, the move from direct life cycles with one host to complex life cycles with multiple hosts was a single evolutionary event. In association with the evolution of life cycle patterns, our result supports the hypothesis that the most recent common ancestor of the Neodermata giving rise to the Monogenea adopted vertebrate ectoparasitism as its initial life cycle pattern and that the intermediate hosts of the Trematoda (molluscs) and Cestoda (crustaceans) were subsequently added into the endoparasitic life cycles of the Trematoda+Cestoda clade after the common ancestor of these branched off from the monogenean lineage. Complex life cycles, involving one or more intermediate hosts, arose through the addition of intermediate hosts and not the addition of a vertebrate definitive host. Additional evidence is required from monopisthocotylean monogeneans in order to confirm the monophyly of the group. PMID:17270057

  20. De Novo Transcriptome Analysis Provides Insights into Immune Related Genes and the RIG-I-Like Receptor Signaling Pathway in the Freshwater Planarian (Dugesia japonica)

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Hongkuan; Zhang, Yichao; Sun, Xiaowen; Zhu, Guangzhong; Liu, Baohua; Zhao, Bosheng

    2016-01-01

    Background The freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica (D. japonica) possesses extraordinary ability to regenerate lost organs or body parts. Interestingly, in the process of regeneration, there is little wound infection, suggesting that D. japonica has a formidable innate immune system. The importance of immune system prompted us to search for immune-related genes and RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathways. Results Transcriptome sequencing of D. japonica was performed on an IlluminaHiSeq2000 platform. A total of 27,180 transcripts were obtained by Trinity assembler. CEGMA analysis and mapping of all trimmed reads back to the assembly result showed that our transcriptome assembly covered most of the whole transcriptome. 23,888 out of 27,180 transcripts contained ORF (open reading fragment), and were highly similar to those in Schistosoma mansoni using BLASTX analysis. 8,079 transcripts (29.7%) and 8,668 (31.9%) were annotated by Blast2GO and KEGG respectively. A DYNLRB-like gene was cloned to verify its roles in the immune response. Finally, the expression patterns of 4 genes (RIG-I, TRAF3, TRAF6, P38) in the RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathway were detected, and the results showed they are very likely to be involved in planarian immune response. Conclusion RNA-Seq analysis based on the next-generation sequencing technology was an efficient approach to discover critical genes and to understand their corresponding biological functions. Through GO and KEGG analysis, several critical and conserved signaling pathways and genes related to RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathway were identified. Four candidate genes were selected to identify their expression dynamics in the process of pathogen stimulation. These annotated transcripts of D. japonica provide a useful resource for subsequent investigation of other important pathways. PMID:26986572

  1. Evolutionary processes involved in the diversification of chelonian and mammal polystomatid parasites (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea, Polystomatidae) revealed by palaeoecology of their hosts.

    PubMed

    Héritier, Laurent; Badets, Mathieu; Du Preez, Louis H; Aisien, Martins S O; Lixian, Fan; Combes, Claude; Verneau, Olivier

    2015-11-01

    Polystomatid flatworms (Platyhelminthes) are monogenean parasites that infect exclusively aquatic or semi-aquatic sarcopterygians such as the Australian lungfish, amphibians, freshwater turtles and the African common hippopotamus. Previous studies on the phylogenetic relationships of these parasites, excluding Oculotrema hippopotami infecting common hippos, showed a global coevolution between hosts and their parasites at a macroevolutionary scale. These studies also demonstrated a strong correlation between the diversification of early neobatrachian polystomes and Gondwana breakup in the Mesozoic period. However the origin of chelonian polystomes is still in question as a switch from presumably primitive aquatic amniotes to turtles at the time of their first appearance, or soon after during their radiation, was assumed. In order to resolve this sticking point, we extended the phylogeny of polystomes with broader parasite sampling, i.e. 55 polystome species including Nanopolystoma tinsleyi a polystome infecting caecilians and O. hippopotami, and larger set of sequence data covering two nuclear and two mitochondrial genes coding for the ribosomal RNA 18S and 28S, the Cytochrome c Oxidase I and the ribosomal RNA 12S, respectively. The secondary structure of nuclear rRNAs genes (stems and loops) was taken into account for sequence alignments and Bayesian analyses were performed based on the appropriate models of evolution selected independently for the four designed partitions. Molecular calibrations were also conducted for dating the main speciation events in the polystome tree. The phylogenetic position of chelonian parasites that are phylogenetically closer to N. tinsleyi than all other amphibian polystomes and molecular time estimates suggest that these parasites originated following a switch from caecilians, at a geological period when primitive turtles may already have adapted to an aquatic life style, i.e. at about 178Million years ago, or a little later when the crown group of extant turtles have already diversified, i.e. at about 152Mya. Similarly, because O. hippopotami constitutes the sister group of chelonian parasites, proposing that an African caecilian could be the ancestral host for this polystome species seems at this stage the most likely hypothesis to explain its occurrence within the common hippo. Regardless of the scenario that may be predicted to explain the origin of polystomes within aquatic or semi-aquatic amniotes, their presence and evolution are indicative of early aquatic ecological habits within ancestral lineages. PMID:26072314

  2. Schmidtea mediterranea phylogeography: an old species surviving on a few Mediterranean islands?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Schmidtea mediterranea (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Continenticola) is found in scattered localities on a few islands and in coastal areas of the western Mediterranean. Although S. mediterranea is the object of many regeneration studies, little is known about its evolutionary history. Its present distribution has been proposed to stem from the fragmentation and migration of the Corsica-Sardinia microplate during the formation of the western Mediterranean basin, which implies an ancient origin for the species. To test this hypothesis, we obtained a large number of samples from across its distribution area. Using known and new molecular markers and, for the first time in planarians, a molecular clock, we analysed the genetic variability and demographic parameters within the species and between its sexual and asexual populations to estimate when they diverged. Results A total of 2 kb from three markers (COI, CYB and a nuclear intron N13) was amplified from ~200 specimens. Molecular data clustered the studied populations into three groups that correspond to the west, central and southeastern geographical locations of the current distribution of S. mediterranea. Mitochondrial genes show low haplotype and nucleotide diversity within populations but demonstrate higher values when all individuals are considered. The nuclear marker shows higher values of genetic diversity than the mitochondrial genes at the population level, but asexual populations present lower variability than the sexual ones. Neutrality tests are significant for some populations. Phylogenetic and dating analyses show the three groups to be monophyletic, with the west group being the basal group. The time when the diversification of the species occurred is between ~20 and ~4 mya, although the asexual nature of the western populations could have affected the dating analyses. Conclusions S. mediterranea is an old species that is sparsely distributed in a harsh habitat, which is probably the consequence of the migration of the Corsica-Sardinia block. This species probably adapted to temperate climates in the middle of a changing Mediterranean climate that eventually became dry and hot. These data also suggest that in the mainland localities of Europe and Africa, sexual individuals of S. mediterranea are being replaced by asexual individuals that are either conspecific or are from other species that are better adapted to the Mediterranean climate. PMID:21943163

  3. Toxicity of selenium (Na sub 2 SeO sub 3 ) and mercury (HgCl sub 2 ) on the planarian Dugesia gonocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Congiu, A.M.; Casu, S.; Ugazio, G. )

    1989-10-01

    The toxicity of selenium (Na{sub 2}SeO{sub 3}) and mercury (HgCl{sub 2}) was determined by using a freshwater planarian which is particularly sensitive to pollution, and belongs to a fissiparous breed of Dugesia gonocephala. The mortality and fissiparity frequency of the subjects were studied. They were exposed to intense treatments (48 hours) or for medium to long periods of time (21 days) to either the single compounds or a combination of both, and were fed or fasting. The lethal effect of sodium selenite is correlated to the food intake, whereas the toxicity of mercurous chloride is probably the result of a fixative effect which does not depend on feeding. The 21-day treatment with the first compound has a non-negligible lethal effect which is probably due to an accumulation phenomenon. At doses where an antioxidant effect prevails, fissiparity is stimulated. On the other hand, the second compound reduces reproduction frequency to half the base values. Compared to the Paracentrotus lividus, the Dugesia gonocephala offers various advantages concerning toxicological experiments; besides being easier to handle in the laboratory, it is available all year round and is not subject to seasonal cycles. It is also more susceptible to the toxic effect of mercury, which is a common and highly toxic pollutant, than the sea urchin.

  4. Vitellogenesis of diphyllobothriidean cestodes (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Yoneva, Aneta; Scholz, Tomáš; Bru?anská, Magdaléna; Kuchta, Roman

    2015-03-01

    The recently erected cestode order Diphyllobothriidea is unique among all tapeworm orders in that its species infect all major groups of tetrapods, including man. In the present paper, the vitellogenesis of representatives of all three currently recognized families of this order was evaluated, based on ultrastructural (transmission electron microscopy) and cytochemical (detection of glycogen) observations. Vitelline follicles of all taxa studied, i.e. Cephalochlamys namaquensis from clawed frogs (Xenopus), Duthiersia expansa from monitors (Varanus) and Schistocephalus solidus that matures in fish-eating birds, contain vitelline cells at various stages of development and interstitial cells. Developing vitellocytes are characterized by the presence of mitochondria, granular endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complexes involved in the synthesis of shell globules and formation of shell globule clusters. Mature vitellocytes contain lipids and glycogen in different proportions. The most significant differences among the three diphyllobothriidean families were found in the presence or absence of lamellar bodies. Variations of vitelline clusters morphology and types of lipid droplets are described and discussed in relation to the presumed evolutionary history of diphyllobothriideans, which belong to the most basal cestode groups. PMID:25641503

  5. The ?-opioid receptor antagonist nor-BNI inhibits cocaine and amphetamine, but not cannabinoid (WIN 52212-2), abstinence-induced withdrawal in planarians: an instance of ‘pharmacologic congruence’

    PubMed Central

    Raffa, Robert B.; Stagliano, Gregory W.; Ross, Geoffrey; Powell, Jenay A.; Phillips, Austin G.; Ding, Zhe; Rawls, Scott M.

    2009-01-01

    The broad applicability of receptor theory to diverse species, from invertebrates to mammals, provides evidence for the evolution in complexity of pharmacologic receptor diversification and of receptor-effector signal transduction mechanisms. However, pre-mammalian species have less receptor subtype differentiation and thus might share signal transduction pathways to a greater extent than do mammals, a phenomenon that we term ‘pharmacologic congruence’. We have demonstrated previously that the lowest species considered to have a centralized nervous system, planarians, display both abstinence-induced and antagonist-precipitated withdrawal signs, indicative of the development of physical dependence. We report here: (1) amphetamine abstinence-induced withdrawal, and (2) the attenuation of cocaine and amphetamine, but not cannabinoid agonist (WIN 52212-2), abstinence-induced withdrawal by the opioid receptor antagonist naloxone and by the selective ?-opioid receptor subtype antagonist nor-BNI (nor-Binaltorphimine), but not by the selective ?-opioid or the ?-opioid receptor subtype antagonists CTAP (D-Phe-Cys-Tyr-D-Trp-Arg-Thr-Pen-Thr-NH2) and naltrindole. These results provide evidence that the withdrawal from cocaine and amphetamine, but not cannabinoids, in planarians is mediated through a common nor-BNI-sensitive (?-opioid receptor-like) pathway. PMID:18178175

  6. A scientific basis for proposed quality assurance of a new screening method for tumor-like growths in the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala.

    PubMed

    Tehseen, W M; Hansen, L G; Schaeffer, D J; Reynolds, H A

    1992-06-01

    Various abnormal growths appear on planarians, Dugesia dorotocephala, during and after exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) 28, 110, and 126; Aroclor 1254; cadmium sulfate; and L-buthionine-(R,S)-sulfoximine (BSO). Daily observations under magnification were used to describe the location, development, and morphology of three different types of tumor-like growths ("tumors"). "Post-head tumors" were found to be highly invasive, progressive, and lethal to the animal depending on concentrations and combinations of the compounds used. Survivors from post-head tumors exhibited aberrant morphogenesis, but developmental abnormalities were eventually shed. Post-head tumors occurred within 2 weeks of initial exposure, while "round tail tip tumors" appeared after 2-3 weeks. The rate of progression and invasiveness was greater for the round tail tip tumors. "Pigmented rose thorn tail tumors" occurred in low incidence (4-20%) and appeared to be harmless and noninvasive, requiring months to develop from the first appearance of pigmentation. The aggressive, proliferative, and invasive characteristics of post-head and round tail tip tumors are analogous to those of malignant tumors, while pigmented rose thorn tumors were benign. High dose of cadmium alone were sufficient to initiate the post-head and round tail tip tumors. PCBs potentiated the tumorigenicity of low cadmium doses and enhanced the very low spontaneous incidence of pigmented rose thorn tumors. PCBs also impaired motor activity, causing the graceful gliding locomotion to be replaced by a twisting serpentine movement accompanied by muscular dystrophy. In addition, high (50 micrograms) doses of PCB 110 depressed activity, while lower (5 micrograms) doses and 50 micrograms Aroclor 1254 induced restlessness and enhanced locomotion. These data provide the basis for quality assurance. PMID:1344677

  7. Effects of 3-iodo-L-tyrosine, a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor, on eye pigmentation and biogenic amines in the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala.

    PubMed

    Ness, D K; Foley, G L; Villar, D; Hansen, L G

    1996-04-01

    Planarians (Dugesia dorotocephala) were evaluated as bioassay organisms to detect inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of catecholamines. Thirty planaria per dose were exposed to 0 (control), 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, or 1 mM 3-iodo-L-tyrosine (monoiodotyrosine or MIT) in standard test media beginning 24 hr before decapitation and continuing for 13 days. Complete regeneration of normal heads occurred over the first 6 days in all dose groups, a response reported to be partially dependent on catecholamines. Beginning on Day 7, the black eye pigments began fading in the 0.1 and 1 mM dose groups and were completely absent macroscopically and histologically by Day 11. The 0, 0.001, and 0.01 mM dose groups did not lose visible eye pigments. On Day 13, 3 planaria/dose were harvested for histopathology; 15 planaria/dose were decapitated a second time and remained in MIT solutions; and 12 planaria/dose were left intact, placed in fresh control media, and evaluated for eye repigmentation. Normal head regeneration (including eyes) was detected grossly in all groups, even in those animals devoid of eye pigments at the time of decapitation. As before, eye pigments began fading 7 days after decapitation (Day 20 of experiment) and were completely absent in 73 and 33% of the animals in the 0.1 and 1 mM groups, respectively, on Day 25. All animals moved to control media reformed eye pigments, beginning within 48 hr. Analysis of the decapitated heads by HPLC-ECD on Day 13 revealed a significant decrease in dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) concentrations in MIT-exposed animals. Tyrosine hydroxylase activity (and possibly tyrosinase activity) was shown to be inhibited by the highest two concentrations for whole planaria homogenates in vitro. PMID:8812261

  8. A Transcriptomic-Phylogenomic Analysis of the Evolutionary Relationships of Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Egger, Bernhard; Lapraz, François; Tomiczek, Bartłomiej; Müller, Steven; Dessimoz, Christophe; Girstmair, Johannes; Škunca, Nives; Rawlinson, Kate A.; Cameron, Christopher B.; Beli, Elena; Todaro, M. Antonio; Gammoudi, Mehrez; Noreña, Carolina; Telford, Maximilian J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The interrelationships of the flatworms (phylum Platyhelminthes) are poorly resolved despite decades of morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies [1, 2]. The earliest-branching clades (Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, and Polycladida) share spiral cleavage and entolecithal eggs with other lophotrochozoans. Lecithoepitheliata have primitive spiral cleavage but derived ectolecithal eggs. Other orders (Rhabdocoela, Proseriata, Tricladida and relatives, and Bothrioplanida) all have derived ectolecithal eggs but have uncertain affinities to one another. The orders of parasitic Neodermata emerge from an uncertain position from within these ectolecithal classes. To tackle these problems, we have sequenced transcriptomes from 18 flatworms and 5 other metazoan groups. The addition of published data produces an alignment of >107,000 amino acids with less than 28% missing data from 27 flatworm taxa in 11 orders covering all major clades. Our phylogenetic analyses show that Platyhelminthes consist of the two clades Catenulida and Rhabditophora. Within Rhabditophora, we show the earliest-emerging branch is Macrostomorpha, not Polycladida. We show Lecithoepitheliata are not members of Neoophora but are sister group of Polycladida, implying independent origins of the ectolecithal eggs found in Lecithoepitheliata and Neoophora. We resolve Rhabdocoela as the most basally branching euneoophoran taxon. Tricladida, Bothrioplanida, and Neodermata constitute a group that appears to have lost both spiral cleavage and centrosomes. We identify Bothrioplanida as the long-sought closest free-living sister group of the parasitic Neodermata. Among parasitic orders, we show that Cestoda are closer to Trematoda than to Monogenea, rejecting the concept of the Cercomeromorpha. Our results have important implications for understanding the evolution of this major phylum. PMID:25866392

  9. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha) are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata) are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian) platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features under a consensus phylogeny of the phylum. PMID:22429930

  10. Diversity of introduced terrestrial flatworms in the Iberian Peninsula: a cautionary tale

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Presas, Marta; Tudó, Àngels; Jones, Hugh; Riutort, Marta

    2014-01-01

    Many tropical terrestrial planarians (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) have been introduced around the globe. One of these species is known to cause significant decline in earthworm populations, resulting in a reduction of ecological functions that earthworms provide. Flatworms, additionally, are a potential risk to other species that have the same dietary needs. Hence, the planarian invasion might cause significant economic losses in agriculture and damage to the ecosystem. In the Iberian Peninsula only Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 had been cited till 2007. From that year on, four more species have been cited, and several reports of the presence of these animals in particular gardens have been received. In the present study we have: (1) analyzed the animals sent by non-specialists and also the presence of terrestrial planarians in plant nurseries and garden centers; (2) identified their species through morphological and phylogenetic molecular analyses, including representatives of their areas of origin; (3) revised their dietary sources and (4) used Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) for one species to evaluate the risk of its introduction to natural areas. The results have shown the presence of at least ten species of alien terrestrial planarians, from all its phylogenetic range. International plant trade is the source of these animals, and many garden centers are acting as reservoirs. Also, landscape restoration to reintroduce autochthonous plants has facilitated their introduction close to natural forests and agricultural fields. In conclusion, there is a need to take measures on plant trade and to have special care in the treatment of restored habitats. PMID:24949245

  11. Diversity of introduced terrestrial flatworms in the Iberian Peninsula: a cautionary tale.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Presas, Marta; Mateos, Eduardo; Tudó, Angels; Jones, Hugh; Riutort, Marta

    2014-01-01

    Many tropical terrestrial planarians (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) have been introduced around the globe. One of these species is known to cause significant decline in earthworm populations, resulting in a reduction of ecological functions that earthworms provide. Flatworms, additionally, are a potential risk to other species that have the same dietary needs. Hence, the planarian invasion might cause significant economic losses in agriculture and damage to the ecosystem. In the Iberian Peninsula only Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 had been cited till 2007. From that year on, four more species have been cited, and several reports of the presence of these animals in particular gardens have been received. In the present study we have: (1) analyzed the animals sent by non-specialists and also the presence of terrestrial planarians in plant nurseries and garden centers; (2) identified their species through morphological and phylogenetic molecular analyses, including representatives of their areas of origin; (3) revised their dietary sources and (4) used Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) for one species to evaluate the risk of its introduction to natural areas. The results have shown the presence of at least ten species of alien terrestrial planarians, from all its phylogenetic range. International plant trade is the source of these animals, and many garden centers are acting as reservoirs. Also, landscape restoration to reintroduce autochthonous plants has facilitated their introduction close to natural forests and agricultural fields. In conclusion, there is a need to take measures on plant trade and to have special care in the treatment of restored habitats. PMID:24949245

  12. Stem cell systems and regeneration in planaria.

    PubMed

    Rink, Jochen C

    2013-03-01

    Planarians are members of the Platyhelminthes (flatworms). These animals have evolved a remarkable stem cell system. A single pluripotent adult stem cell type ("neoblast") gives rise to the entire range of cell types and organs in the planarian body plan, including a brain, digestive-, excretory-, sensory- and reproductive systems. Neoblasts are abundantly present throughout the mesenchyme and divide continuously. The resulting stream of progenitors and turnover of differentiated cells drive the rapid self-renewal of the entire animal within a matter of weeks. Planarians grow and literally de-grow ("shrink") by the food supply-dependent adjustment of organismal turnover rates, scaling body plan proportions over as much as a 50-fold size range. Their dynamic body architecture further allows astonishing regenerative abilities, including the regeneration of complete and perfectly proportioned animals even from tiny tissue remnants. Planarians as an experimental system, therefore, provide unique opportunities for addressing a spectrum of current problems in stem cell research, including the evolutionary conservation of pluripotency, the dynamic organization of differentiation lineages and the mechanisms underlying organismal stem cell homeostasis. The first part of this review focuses on the molecular biology of neoblasts as pluripotent stem cells. The second part examines the fascinating mechanistic and conceptual challenges posed by a stem cell system that epitomizes a universal design principle of biological systems: the dynamic steady state. PMID:23138344

  13. Evolution and Functional Morphology of the Proboscis in Kalyptorhynchia (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Smith, Julian P S; Litvaitis, Marian K; Gobert, Stefan; Uyeno, Theodore; Artois, Tom

    2015-08-01

    Predatory flatworms belonging to the taxon Kalyptorhynchia are characterized by an anterior muscular proboscis that they use to seize prey. In many cases, the proboscis is armed with hooks, derived either from the extracellular matrix that surrounds the muscles or from intracellular deposits in the epithelium covering the proboscis. Glands associated with the proboscis reportedly are venomous; however, there are few direct tests of this hypothesis. This article reviews the structure and current knowledge of the function of the proboscis in the Kalyptorhynchia, points to areas in which the current understanding of phylogenetic relationships within this taxon is incongruent with our hypothesis of how the proboscis evolved, and addresses areas in need of further research, especially as regards functional morphology and biomechanics. PMID:26002347

  14. [Phylogenetic analyses of the family Tetraonchidae (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea)].

    PubMed

    Gerasev, P I

    2004-01-01

    A phylogenetic reconstruction of the monogenean family Tetraonchidae was carried out by methods of parsimony-based cladistics. The analysis included 20 species of tetraonchids and two out-groups (Sundanonchus tomanorum and Dactylogyrus amphibothrium) and was based on 34 morphofunctional characters. Software PAUP 4.0 and Winclada were used for the phylogenetic reconstructions. Obtained results allow proposing a preliminary phylogenetic hypothesis of the family Tetraonchidae along with the discussion of host-parasite association. According to the current taxonomic view, the family Tetraonchidae included two genera. Cladistic analysis showed a monophyly of the family and the genus Tetraonchus Diesing, 1858. Two representative of the former genus, Tetraoncus monenteron and T. borealis, parasitize the pikes (Esocoformes: Esocidae) and the grayling (Salmonidae: Thymallinae) respectively. The genus Salmonchus Spassky et Roytman, 1958 has a complicated structure and its intrageneric relationships were not completely resolved; in general, the analysis allows to recognise several species groups: Salmonchus oncorhynchi--the parasite of the Oncorhynchus masou smolt living during the first year of life in fresh water; four species (S. variabilis, S. gussevi, S. grumosus, S. alaskensis) inhabiting specifically the whitefishes (Salmonidae: Coregoninae); all reminder of Salmonchus species occurring on the salmons (Salmonidae: Salmoninae). The bootstrap test gives a support only for the following clades: family Tetraonchidae (75%), genus Tetraonchus (88%); a group of Salmonchus species associated with the whitefishes (93%) and grouping of four species (S. huhonis, S. pseudolenoki, S. skrjabini and S. lenoki) from the lenoks (Brachymystax) and taimens (Hucho) (61%). PMID:15553772

  15. Checklist of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda) of vertebrates in Finland

    PubMed Central

    Haukisalmi, Voitto

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A checklist of tapeworms (Cestoda) of vertebrates (fishes, birds and mammals) in Finland is presented, based on published observations, specimens deposited in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Helsinki) and the Zoological Museum of the University of Turku, and additional specimens identified by the present author. The checklist includes 170 tapeworm species from 151 host species, comprising 447 parasite species/host species combinations. Thirty of the tapeworm species and 96 of the parasite/host species combinations have not been previously reported from Finland. The total number of tapeworm species in Finland (170 spp.) is significantly lower than the corresponding figure for the Iberian Peninsula (257 spp.), Slovakia (225 spp.) and Poland (279 spp.). The difference between Finland and the other three regions is particularly pronounced for anseriform, podicipediform, charadriiform and passeriform birds, reflecting inadequate and/or biased sampling of these birds in Finland. It is predicted that there are actually ca. 270 species of tapeworms in Finland, assuming that true number of bird tapeworms in Finland corresponds to that in other European countries with more comprehensive knowledge of the local tapeworm fauna. The other main pattern emerging from the present data is the seemingly unexplained absence in (northern) Fennoscandia of several mammalian tapeworms that otherwise have extensive distributions in the Holarctic region or in Eurasia, including the northern regions. Previously unknown type specimens, that is, the holotype of Bothrimonus nylandicus Schneider, 1902 (a junior synonym of Diplocotyle olrikii Krabbe, 1874) (MZH 127096) and the syntypes of Caryophyllaeides fennica (Schneider, 1902) (MZH 127097) were located in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. PMID:26668540

  16. Checklist of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda) of vertebrates in Finland.

    PubMed

    Haukisalmi, Voitto

    2015-01-01

    A checklist of tapeworms (Cestoda) of vertebrates (fishes, birds and mammals) in Finland is presented, based on published observations, specimens deposited in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History (Helsinki) and the Zoological Museum of the University of Turku, and additional specimens identified by the present author. The checklist includes 170 tapeworm species from 151 host species, comprising 447 parasite species/host species combinations. Thirty of the tapeworm species and 96 of the parasite/host species combinations have not been previously reported from Finland. The total number of tapeworm species in Finland (170 spp.) is significantly lower than the corresponding figure for the Iberian Peninsula (257 spp.), Slovakia (225 spp.) and Poland (279 spp.). The difference between Finland and the other three regions is particularly pronounced for anseriform, podicipediform, charadriiform and passeriform birds, reflecting inadequate and/or biased sampling of these birds in Finland. It is predicted that there are actually ca. 270 species of tapeworms in Finland, assuming that true number of bird tapeworms in Finland corresponds to that in other European countries with more comprehensive knowledge of the local tapeworm fauna. The other main pattern emerging from the present data is the seemingly unexplained absence in (northern) Fennoscandia of several mammalian tapeworms that otherwise have extensive distributions in the Holarctic region or in Eurasia, including the northern regions. Previously unknown type specimens, that is, the holotype of Bothrimonus nylandicus Schneider, 1902 (a junior synonym of Diplocotyle olrikii Krabbe, 1874) (MZH 127096) and the syntypes of Caryophyllaeides fennica (Schneider, 1902) (MZH 127097) were located in the collections of the Finnish Museum of Natural History. PMID:26668540

  17. Ca2+ channels and Praziquantel: a view from the free world

    PubMed Central

    Chan, John D.; Zarowiecki, Magdalena; Marchant, Jonathan S.

    2012-01-01

    Targeting the cellular Ca2+ channels and pumps that underpin parasite Ca2+ homeostasis may realize novel antihelmintic agents. Indeed, the antischistosomal drug praziquantel (PZQ) is a key clinical agent that has been proposed to work in this manner. Heterologous expression data has implicated an action of PZQ on voltage-operated Ca2+ channels, although the relevant in vivo target of this drug has remained undefined over three decades of clinical use. The purpose of this review is to bring new perspective to this issue by discussing the potential utility of free-living planarian flatworms for providing new insight into the mechanism of PZQ action. First, we discuss in vivo functional genetic data from the planarian system that broadly supports the molecular data collected in heterologous systems and the ‘Ca2+ hypothesis’ of PZQ action. On the basis of these similarities we highlight our current knowledge of platyhelminth voltage operated Ca2+ channels, their unique molecular pharmacology and the downstream functional PZQ interactome engaged by dysregulation of Ca2+ influx that has potential to yield novel antischistosomal targets. Overall the broad dataset underscore a common theme of PZQ-evoked disruptions of Ca2+ homeostasis in trematodes, cestodes and turbellarians, and showcase the utility of the planarian model for deriving insight into drug action and targets in parasitic flatworms. PMID:23246536

  18. The regeneration capacity of the flatworm Macrostomum lignano—on repeated regeneration, rejuvenation, and the minimal size needed for regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Ladurner, P.; Nimeth, K.; Gschwentner, R.; Rieger, R.

    2006-01-01

    The lion’s share of studies on regeneration in Plathelminthes (flatworms) has been so far carried out on a derived taxon of rhabditophorans, the freshwater planarians (Tricladida), and has shown this group’s outstanding regeneration capabilities in detail. Sharing a likely totipotent stem cell system, many other flatworm taxa are capable of regeneration as well. In this paper, we present the regeneration capacity of Macrostomum lignano, a representative of the Macrostomorpha, the basal-most taxon of rhabditophoran flatworms and one of the most basal extant bilaterian protostomes. Amputated or incised transversally, obliquely, and longitudinally at various cutting levels, M. lignano is able to regenerate the anterior-most body part (the rostrum) and any part posterior of the pharynx, but cannot regenerate a head. Repeated regeneration was observed for 29 successive amputations over a period of almost 12 months. Besides adults, also first-day hatchlings and older juveniles were shown to regenerate after transversal cutting. The minimum number of cells required for regeneration in adults (with a total of 25,000 cells) is 4,000, including 160 neoblasts. In hatchlings only 1,500 cells, including 50 neoblasts, are needed for regeneration. The life span of untreated M. lignano was determined to be about 10 months. PMID:16604349

  19. Effect of Donepezil, Tacrine, Galantamine and Rivastigmine on Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition in Dugesia tigrina.

    PubMed

    Bezerra da Silva, Cristiane; Pott, Arnildo; Elifio-Esposito, Selene; Dalarmi, Luciane; Fialho do Nascimento, Kátia; Moura Burci, Ligia; de Oliveira, Maislian; de Fátima Gaspari Dias, Josiane; Maria Warumby Zanin, Sandra; Gomes Miguel, Obdulio; Dallarmi Miguel, Marilis

    2016-01-01

    Dugesia tigrina is a non-parasitic platyhelminth, which has been recently utilized in pharmacological models, regarding the nervous system, as it presents a wide sensitivity to drugs. Our trials aimed to propose a model for an in vivo screening of substances with inhibitory activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. Trials were performed with four drugs commercialized in Brazil: donepezil, tacrine, galantamine and rivastigmine, utilized in the control of Alzheimer's disease, to inhibit the activity of acetylcholinesterase. We tested five concentrations of the drugs, with an exposure of 24 h, and the mortality and the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase planarian seizure-like activity (pSLA) and planarian locomotor velocity (pLMV) were measured. Galantamine showed high anticholinesterasic activity when compared to the other drugs, with a reduction of 0.05 μmol·min(-1) and 63% of convulsant activity, presenting screw-like movement and hypokinesia, with pLMV of 65 crossed lines during 5 min. Our results showed for the first time the anticholinesterasic and convulsant effect, in addition to the decrease in locomotion induced by those drugs in a model of invertebrates. The experimental model proposed is simple and low cost and could be utilized in the screening of substances with anticholinesterasic action. PMID:26760993

  20. Three new species of freshwater Macrostomum (Platyhelminthes, Macrostomida) from southern China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Ting; Zhang, Lv; Wang, An-Tai; Zhang, Yu

    2015-01-01

    Macrostomum is a diverse genus of turbellarians with more than 180 species described from around the world. However, the Macrostomum fauna in China is poorly known. In this study, three new species of freshwater Macrostomum were described from southern China based on morphology of the penis stylet, an important character for species identification in this genus. In M. heyuanensis n. sp., the penis stylet bends 108° leftwards at its 1/2 length then backwards besides the distal opening, and the terminal region is thicker than other parts of penis stylet. In M. dongyuanensis n. sp., the penis stylet is J-shaped, with the opening at the tail end. In M. bicaudatum n. sp., the penis stylet is C-shaped, with the upper margin of the distal end longer but slimmer than the lower margin. In addition, molecular phylogenetic analyses were conducted to aid the classification of the novel species. Finally, their habitat and taxonomic status are compared and discussed. PMID:26623848

  1. MicroRNA loci support conspecificity of Gyrodactylus salaris and Gyrodactylus thymalli (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea).

    PubMed

    Fromm, Bastian; Burow, Susann; Hahn, Christoph; Bachmann, Lutz

    2014-10-01

    The monogenean flatworm Gyrodactylus salaris is a serious threat to wild and farmed Atlantic salmon stocks in Norway. Morphologically, the closely related but harmless Gyrodactylus thymalli on grayling can hardly be distinguished from G. salaris. Until now, molecular approaches could not resolve unambiguously whether G. salaris and G. thymalli represent just one polytypic species, two polytypic species or a complex of more than two species. In the first known genome-wide analysis utilizing 37 conserved microRNA loci, the genetic differentiation of seven populations of G. salaris and G. thymalli was assessed. The concatenated alignment spanned 21,742bp including 62 variable positions. A neighbor-joining cluster analysis did not support any host-based or mitochondrial haplotype-based grouping of strains. We conclude that a two species concept for G. salaris and G. thymalli does not reflect meaningful biological entities. Instead, G. salaris and G. thymalli are just one species comprising several pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains on various primary hosts. Following the International Code for Zoological Nomenclature, G. salaris Malmberg, 1957 is the valid species name with G. thymalli Žit?an, 1960 becoming the junior synonym. Accordingly, the range of G. salaris is significantly increased, given that formerly G. salaris-free countries such as e.g., Great Britain are now within the species' natural range. The synonymization of G. salaris and G. thymalli implies severe challenges to current disease management routines, which assume that G. salaris and G. thymalli are readily distinguishable. Protocols for reliable identification of pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of G. salaris need to be developed. PMID:24998346

  2. Description of a New Temnocephala Species (Platyhelminthes) from the Southern Neotropical Region.

    PubMed

    de León, Rodrigo Ponce; Vera, Bárbara Berón; Volonterio, Odile

    2015-08-01

    The genus Temnocephala is endemic to the Neotropical region. Temnocephala mexicana and Temnocephala chilensis are the only 2 temnocephalans whose known distribution ranges extend to the south beyond Parallel 40°S. No Temnocephala species has ever been recorded from the extensive area between Parallel 43°S and the southern end of the South American continent, which makes the study of the southern limit of the distribution of the genus a topic of great interest. The southernmost report corresponds to T. chilensis from the Telsen River, Chubut Province, Argentina. In March 2000, several temnocephalans were found on the freshwater anomuran crustacean Aegla neuquensis from the same locality; the specimens were identified as belonging to a new species, which is described here. This species is characterized by possessing an unusually thin-walled, narrow zone that has the appearance of a deep groove connecting the introvert to the shaft of the penial stylet; an introvert with 36 longitudinal rows of spines, each bearing 6-8 spines that are progressively smaller towards the distal end; a distal end of the introvert with a very thin, sclerotized wall without spines; a seminal vesicle that opens sub-polarly into the contractile vesicle; a pair of paranephrocytes at the level of the pharynx and a second pair at the level of the anterior portion of the anterior testes, and eggs with very long stalks. On the basis of their overall morphology, host preference, and geographical distribution, T. chilensis and the new species are closely related, so a diagnostic key for the southern species of Temnocephala is also included. The type locality of the new species is in the southern limit of the known distribution area of T. chilensis, so after this work there are 2 known species marking the southern limit of the distribution of the genus. PMID:25871978

  3. Co-Speciation of the Ectoparasite Gyrodactylus teuchis (Monogenea, Platyhelminthes) and Its Salmonid Hosts

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Christoph; Weiss, Steven J.; Stojanovski, Stojmir; Bachmann, Lutz

    2015-01-01

    Co-speciation is a fundamental concept of evolutionary biology and intuitively appealing, yet in practice hard to demonstrate as it is often blurred by other evolutionary processes. We investigate the phylogeographic history of the monogenean ectoparasites Gyrodactylus teuchis and G. truttae on European salmonids of the genus Salmo. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 and the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 were sequenced for 189 Gyrodactylus individuals collected from 50 localities, distributed across most major European river systems, from the Iberian- to the Balkan Peninsula. Despite both anthropogenic and naturally caused admixture of the principal host lineages among major river basins, co-phylogenetic analyses revealed significant global congruence for host and parasite phylogenies, providing firm support for co-speciation of G. teuchis and its salmonid hosts brown trout (S. trutta) and Atlantic salmon (S. salar). The major split within G. teuchis, coinciding with the initial divergence of the hosts was dated to ~1.5 My BP, using a Bayesian framework based on an indirect calibration point obtained from the host phylogeny. The presence of G. teuchis in Europe thus predates some of the major Pleistocene glaciations. In contrast, G. truttae exhibited remarkably low intraspecific genetic diversity. Given the direct life cycle and potentially high transmission potential of gyrodactylids, this finding is interpreted as indication for a recent emergence (<60 ky BP) of G. truttae via a host-switch. Our study thus suggests that instances of two fundamentally different mechanisms of speciation (co-speciation vs. host-switching) may have occurred on the same hosts in Europe within a time span of less than 1.5 My in two gyrodactylid ectoparasite species. PMID:26080029

  4. Occurrence and possible adaptive significance of some histochemically demonstrable dehydrogenases in two entosymbiotic rhabdocoels (Platyhelminthes: Turbellaria).

    PubMed

    Jennings, J B; LeFlore, W B

    1979-01-01

    1. The occurrence and distribution of twelve dehydrogenases have been studied histochemically in two species of rhabdocoel turbellarians entosymbiotic in marine bivalves. 2. Both species (Paravortex scrobiculariae in Scrobicularia plana and P. cardii in Cerastoderma edule) possess dehydrogenases concerned with the three major energy-producing pathways. 3. P. scrobiculariae shows a much greater emphasis on glycolysis than does P. cardii. 4. It is suggested that the emphasis on glycolysis in P. scrobiculariae is an adaptation to regular variations in oxygen supply in its habitat; this adaptation facilitates feeding and associated migrations within the host which occur at times when the host is not submerged by the tide and when oxygen is likely to be in short supply. 5. Dehydrogenases associated with the pentose phosphate shunt are especially evident in the developing embryos of both species and are probably concerned with synthesis of nucleotides and nucleoproteins. PMID:318447

  5. Comparative Genomics of Flatworms (Platyhelminthes) Reveals Shared Genomic Features of Ecto- and Endoparastic Neodermata

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Christoph; Fromm, Bastian; Bachmann, Lutz

    2014-01-01

    The ectoparasitic Monogenea comprise a major part of the obligate parasitic flatworm diversity. Although genomic adaptations to parasitism have been studied in the endoparasitic tapeworms (Cestoda) and flukes (Trematoda), no representative of the Monogenea has been investigated yet. We present the high-quality draft genome of Gyrodactylus salaris, an economically important monogenean ectoparasite of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). A total of 15,488 gene models were identified, of which 7,102 were functionally annotated. The controversial phylogenetic relationships within the obligate parasitic Neodermata were resolved in a phylogenomic analysis using 1,719 gene models (alignment length of >500,000 amino acids) for a set of 16 metazoan taxa. The Monogenea were found basal to the Cestoda and Trematoda, which implies ectoparasitism being plesiomorphic within the Neodermata and strongly supports a common origin of complex life cycles. Comparative analysis of seven parasitic flatworm genomes identified shared genomic features for the ecto- and endoparasitic lineages, such as a substantial reduction of the core bilaterian gene complement, including the homeodomain-containing genes, and a loss of the piwi and vasa genes, which are considered essential for animal development. Furthermore, the shared loss of functional fatty acid biosynthesis pathways and the absence of peroxisomes, the latter organelles presumed ubiquitous in eukaryotes except for parasitic protozoans, were inferred. The draft genome of G. salaris opens for future in-depth analyses of pathogenicity and host specificity of poorly characterized G. salaris strains, and will enhance studies addressing the genomics of host–parasite interactions and speciation in the highly diverse monogenean flatworms. PMID:24732282

  6. Insight into the role of cetaceans in the life cycle of the tetraphyllideans (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Aznar, F J; Agustí, C; Littlewood, D T J; Raga, J A; Olson, P D

    2007-02-01

    Four types of tetraphyllidean larvae infect cetaceans worldwide: two plerocercoids differing in size, 'small' (SP) and 'large' (LP), and two merocercoids referred to as Phyllobothrium delphini and Monorygma grimaldii. The latter merocercoid larvae parasitize marine mammals exclusively and exhibit a specialised cystic structure. Adult stages are unknown for any of the larvae and thus the role of cetaceans in the life cycle of these species has been a long-standing problem. The SP and LP forms are thought to be earlier stages of P. delphini and M. grimaldii that are presumed to infect large pelagic sharks that feed on cetaceans. A molecular analysis of the D2 variable region of the large subunit ribosomal DNA gene based on several individuals of each larval type collected from three Mediterranean species of cetaceans showed consistent and unique molecular signatures for each type regardless of host species or site of infection. The degree of divergence suggested that LP, P. delphini and M. grimaldii larvae may represent separate species, whereas SP may be conspecific with M. grimaldii. In all host species, individuals of SP accumulated in the gut areas in which the lymphoid tissue was especially developed. We suggest therefore that these larvae use the lymphatic system to migrate to the abdominal peritoneum and mesenteries where they develop into forms recognizable as M. grimaldii. The plerocercoid stage of P. delphini remains unknown. In a partial phylogenetic tree of the Tetraphyllidea, all larvae formed a clade that included a representative of the genus Clistobothrium, some species of which parasitize sharks such as the great white which is known to feed on cetaceans. A bibliographic examination of tetraphyllidean infections in marine mammals indicated that these larvae are acquired mostly offshore. In summary, the evidence suggests that cetaceans play a significant role in the life cycle of these larvae. In addition, it seems clear that cetaceans act as natural intermediate hosts for P. delphini and M. grimaldii, as within these hosts they undergo development from the plerocercoid stage to the merocercoid stage. Because tetraphyllidean species use fish, cephalopods and other marine invertebrates as intermediate hosts, the inclusion of cetaceans in the life cycle would have facilitated their transmission to apex predators such as the large, lamnid sharks. The biological significance of infections of LP in cetaceans is unclear, but infections do not seem to be accidental as such larvae show high prevalence and abundance as well as a high degree of site specificity, particularly in the anal crypts and bile ducts. PMID:17161403

  7. Mapping and sequencing of acetylcholinesterase genes from the platyhelminth blood fluke Schistosoma.

    PubMed

    Bentley, Geoffrey N; Jones, Andrew K; Agnew, Alison

    2003-09-18

    Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) on the surface of the parasitic blood fluke Schistosoma is the likely target for schistosomicidal anticholinesterases. Determination of the molecular structure of this drug target is key for the development of improved anticholinesterase drugs and potentially a novel vaccine. We have recently cloned the cDNA encoding the AChE from the human parasite Schistosoma haematobium and succeeded in expressing functional recombinant protein. We now describe the cloning and molecular characterisation of homologues from two other schistosome species-Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma bovis, which are important parasites of man and cattle, respectively, but which differ in their sensitivity to the therapeutic anticholinesterase metrifonate. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences revealed that the AChE from all three species posses a high degree of identity, with conservation of all of the residues known to be important for substrate binding and catalytic activity. Also conserved is a unique C-terminal domain which is unusual in that it lacks the consensus for GPI modification, even though the native protein is considered to be GPI-anchored. We have also established the AChE gene structures for all three species and cloned the complete gene for S. haematobium AChE. The gene structure is relatively complex, comprising nine coding exons; the location of the splice sites is identical in all three species, but the size of the introns varies considerably. The two C-terminal splicing sites that are conserved in all species are also present in Schistosoma, but a third C-terminal conserved splicing site which is located 11-13 amino acids upstream of the histidine of the catalytic triad in all invertebrate AChE genes characterised to date is absent. We discuss our findings in the context of the molecular phylogeny of the AChE genes and the potential application to the control of schistosomiasis. PMID:14527722

  8. First records of Cotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) for the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Noreña, Carolina; Marquina, Daniel; Perez, Jacinto; Almon, Bruno

    2014-01-01

    Abstract A study of polyclad fauna of the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula was carried out from 2010 to 2013. The paper reports nine new records belonging to three Cotylean families: the family Euryleptidae Lang, 1884, Pseudocerotidae Lang, 1884 and the family Prosthiostomidae Lang, 1884, and describes one new species, Euryleptodes galikias sp. n. PMID:24843268

  9. Patterns of interaction between Neotropical freshwater fishes and their gill Monogenoidea (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Braga, Mariana P; Araújo, Sabrina B L; Boeger, Walter A

    2014-02-01

    Using network analysis, we looked for broad patterns of distribution of Monogenoidea gill parasites on Neotropical freshwater fishes within a host phylogenetic framework. We analyzed a database of Monogenoidea parasitizing fishes from Neotropical rivers, from 23 watersheds, based on species descriptions published until 2011. Host-parasite interactions were organized into five matrices grouping species at different taxonomic levels. The network of interactions between host families and parasite genera was significantly modular and revealed that each fish order has a unique composition of parasite genera. Hence, interactions between lower taxa were analyzed separately for the largest fish orders (Perciformes, Siluriformes, and Characiformes). Networks tended to be loosely connected and organized in modules. Despite the putative high host specificity of monogenoids, some have a wider host range that includes distantly related host species. Among the hosts, the clade composed by the piranhas (Serrasalmus spp. and related species, Serrasalmidae) stands out in terms of parasite richness per host species, resulting in a more connected network. The history of the lineages of each host order within Neotropical freshwaters seems to have a great influence on the extent of parasite sharing. The observed modularity was influenced by both spatial structure and phylogenetic relatedness of species. In average, 37 % of modules of networks between host species and parasite genera were associated with a particular river basin and 63 % of modules were associated with a host family. Hence, spatial structure determines the co-occurrence of host and parasite species, but their evolutionary history is the main factor defining which interactions are possible. PMID:24221891

  10. Biogeographical implications of Zambezian Cichlidogyrus species (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea: Ancyrocephalidae) parasitizing Congolian cichlids.

    PubMed

    Vanhove, Maarten P M; Van Steenberge, Maarten; Dessein, Steven; Volckaert, Filip A M; Snoeks, Jos; Huyse, Tine; Pariselle, Antoine

    2013-01-01

    Fishes normally restricted to inland waters are valuable model systems for historical biogeography, inter alia, because of their limited dispersal abilities and concordance with the distribution patterns of other freshwater taxa (Zogaris et al. 2009). The comparison of fish species assemblages has been the major biogeographical tool for delineating African aquatic ecoregions as the fossil record is often meagre and merely offers complementary information. This is, for example, the case for the Zambezian and Congolian ichthyofaunal provinces, which display substantial contemporary fish diversity (Stewart 2001). Between both regions lies the Bangweulu-Mweru ecoregion (sensu Scott 2005), known for its high percentage of endemicity. Although hydrographically belonging to the Congo Basin, the Bangweulu-Mweru ecoregion has a high affinity with the Zambezi province (Scott 2005), due to historical river connections (Tweddle 2010). Studies comparing the Zambezi and Congo ichthyofaunal provinces are rare and hampered by lack of data from the Congo Basin. The latter harbours more than 1250 fish species (Snoeks et al. 2011) while in the Zambezi, only 120 freshwater fishes are found (Tweddle 2010). Indeed, species richness declines in all major African teleost families from the Congo Basin southwards, riverine haplochromine cichlids forming a notable exception to this rule (Joyce et al. 2005). Although it was hypothesized by Tweddle (2010) that the origin of many Zambezian fish species is in the Congo Basin, the haplochromines Serranochromis Regan, Sargochromis Regan, Pharyngochromis Greenwood and Chetia Trewavas, together forming the serranochromines, have their centre of diversity in the rivers of the Zambezian ichthyofaunal province (Joyce et al. 2005). Therefore, the biogeographical history of Cichlidae across the Zambezi- Congo watershed is not only key to cichlid biogeography on an African scale, but also complementary to biogeography of all other teleosts in the region. Yet, colonisation and speciation patterns are difficult to unravel due to complex hydrological history (Katongo et al. 2007; Schwarzer et al. 2012). PMID:24614480

  11. Ultrastructural and cytochemical aspects of the germarium and the vitellarium in Syndesmis patagonica (Platyhelminthes, Rhabdocoela, Umagillidae).

    PubMed

    Falleni, Alessandra; Lucchesi, Paolo; Ghezzani, Claudio; Brogger, Martín I

    2014-06-01

    The cytoarchitecture of the female gonad of the endosymbiont umagillid Syndesmis patagonica has been investigated using electron microscopy and cytochemical techniques. The female gonad consists of paired germaria and vitellaria located behind the pharynx in the mid-posterior region of the body. Both the germaria and the vitellaria are enveloped by an outer extracellular lamina and an inner sheath of accessory cells which contribute to the extracellular lamina. Oocyte maturation occurs completely during the prophase of the first meiotic division. Oocyte differentiation is characterized by the appearance of chromatoid bodies and the development of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complexes. These organelles appear to be involved in the production of round granules, about 2-2.5 ?m in diameter, with a homogeneous electron-dense core surrounded by a granular component and a translucent halo delimited by a membrane. These egg granules migrate to the periphery of mature oocytes, are positive to the cytochemical test for polyphenol detection, are unaffected by protease and have been interpreted as eggshell granules. The mature oocytes also contain a small number of yolk granules, lipid droplets, and glycogen particles scattered throughout the ooplasm. The vitellaria are branched organs composed of vitelline follicles with vitellocytes at different stages of maturation. Developing vitellocytes contain well-developed rough endoplasmic reticulum and small Golgi complexes involved in the production of eggshell and yolk globules. Eggshell globules are round, measure 4-5 ?m in diameter, and have a mosaic-like patterned content which contains polyphenols. The yolk globules, 2-3 ?m in diameter, show a homogeneous protein content of medium electron density, devoid of polyphenols, and completely digested by protease. The mature vitellocytes also contain glycogen as further reserve material. The presence of polyphenolic eggshell granules in the oocytes and of polyphenolic eggshell globules with a mosaic-like pattern in the vitellocytes have been considered apomorphic features of the Rhabdocoela + Prolecithophora. PMID:24469987

  12. Comparative genomic analysis of aspartic proteases in eight parasitic platyhelminths: insights into functions and evolution.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuai; Wei, Wei; Luo, Xuenong; Wang, Sen; Hu, Songnian; Cai, Xuepeng

    2015-03-15

    We performed genome-wide identifications and comparative genomic analyses of the predicted aspartic proteases (APs) from eight parasitic flatworms, focusing on their evolution, potentials as drug targets and expression patterns. The results revealed that: i) More members of family A01 were identified from the schistosomes than from the cestodes; some evidence implied gene loss events along the class Cestoda, which may be related to the different ways to ingest host nutrition; ii) members in family A22 were evolutionarily highly conserved among all the parasites; iii) one retroviral-like AP in family A28 shared a highly similar predicted 3D structure with the HIV protease, implying its potential to be inhibited by HIV inhibitor-like molecules; and iiii) retrotransposon-associated APs were extensively expanded among these parasites. These results implied that the evolutionary histories of some APs in these parasites might relate to adaptations to their parasitism and some APs might have potential serving as intervention targets. PMID:25595353

  13. The first troglobitic species of freshwater flatworm of the suborder Continenticola (Platyhelminthes) from South America

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Stella Teles; Morais, Ana Laura Nunes; Cordeiro, Lívia Medeiros; Leal-Zanchet, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Brazilian cave diversity, especially of invertebrates, is poorly known. The Bodoquena Plateau, which is located in the Cerrado Biome in central Brazil, has approximately 200 recorded caves with a rich system of subterranean water resources and high troglobitic diversity. Herein we describe a new troglobitic species of Girardia that represents the first obligate cave-dwelling species of the suborder Continenticola in South America. Specimens of the new species, which occur in a limestone cave in the Bodoquena Plateau, in the Cerrado biome, are unpigmented and eyeless. Species recognition in the genus Girardia is difficult, due to their great morphological resemblance. However, the new species can be easily recognized by a unique feature in its copulatory apparatus, namely a large, branched bulbar cavity with multiple diverticula. PMID:25632242

  14. Molecular phylogeny and systematics of the Echinostomatoidea Looss, 1899 (Platyhelminthes: Digenea).

    PubMed

    Tkach, Vasyl V; Kudlai, Olena; Kostadinova, Aneta

    2016-03-01

    The Echinostomatoidea is a large, cosmopolitan group of digeneans currently including nine families and 105 genera, the vast majority parasitic, as adults, in birds with relatively few taxa parasitising mammals, reptiles and, exceptionally, fish. Despite the complex structure, diverse content and substantial species richness of the group, almost no attempt has been made to elucidate its phylogenetic relationships at the suprageneric level based on molecules due to the lack of data. Herein, we evaluate the consistency of the present morphology-based classification system of the Echinostomatoidea with the phylogenetic relationships of its members based on partial sequences of the nuclear lsrRNA gene for a broad diversity of taxa (80 species, representing eight families and 40 genera), including representatives of five subfamilies of the Echinostomatidae, which currently exhibits the most complex taxonomic structure within the superfamily. This first comprehensive phylogeny for the Echinostomatoidea challenged the current systematic framework based on comparative morphology. A morphology-based evaluation of this new molecular framework resulted in a number of systematic and nomenclatural changes consistent with the phylogenetic estimates of the generic and suprageneric boundaries and a new phylogeny-based classification of the Echinostomatoidea. In the current systematic treatment: (i) the rank of two family level lineages, the former Himasthlinae and Echinochasminae, is elevated to full family status; (ii) Caballerotrema is distinguished at the family level; (iii) the content and diagnosis of the Echinostomatidae (sensu stricto) (s. str.) are revised to reflect its phylogeny, resulting in the abolition of the Nephrostominae and Chaunocephalinae as synonyms of the Echinostomatidae (s. str.); (iv) Artyfechinostomum, Cathaemasia, Rhopalias and Ribeiroia are re-allocated within the Echinostomatidae (s. str.), resulting in the abolition of the Cathaemasiidae, Rhopaliidae and Ribeiroiinae, which become synonyms of the Echinostomatidae (s. str.); and (v) refinements of the generic boundaries within the Echinostomatidae (s. str.), Psilostomidae and Fasciolidae are made. PMID:26699402

  15. The first troglobitic species of freshwater flatworm of the suborder Continenticola (Platyhelminthes) from South America.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Stella Teles; Morais, Ana Laura Nunes; Cordeiro, Lívia Medeiros; Leal-Zanchet, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Brazilian cave diversity, especially of invertebrates, is poorly known. The Bodoquena Plateau, which is located in the Cerrado Biome in central Brazil, has approximately 200 recorded caves with a rich system of subterranean water resources and high troglobitic diversity. Herein we describe a new troglobitic species of Girardia that represents the first obligate cave-dwelling species of the suborder Continenticola in South America. Specimens of the new species, which occur in a limestone cave in the Bodoquena Plateau, in the Cerrado biome, are unpigmented and eyeless. Species recognition in the genus Girardia is difficult, due to their great morphological resemblance. However, the new species can be easily recognized by a unique feature in its copulatory apparatus, namely a large, branched bulbar cavity with multiple diverticula. PMID:25632242

  16. [Effect of actinomycin D and cycloheximide on planarian regeneration after repeated amputation].

    PubMed

    Ziller, C

    1976-07-19

    A Planaria deprived of its head twice at an interval of a few days can regenerate in the presence of actinomycin D, even if the second amputation takes place 13 days after the first one, but it cannot regenerate in the presence of cyclohemixide. This indicates that at the moment of the second amputation, stable RNAs are available for regeneration in the tissues behind the level of section, whereas proteins have to be synthesized in situ in the blastema. PMID:825268

  17. Weak extremely-low-frequency magnetic fields and regeneration in the planarian Dugesia tigrina.

    PubMed

    Jenrow, K A; Smith, C H; Liboff, A R

    1995-01-01

    Extremely-low-frequency (ELF), low-intensity magnetic fields have been shown to influence cell signaling processes in a variety of systems, both in vivo and in vitro. Similar effects have been demonstrated for nervous system development and neurite outgrowth. We report that regeneration in planaria, which incorporates many of these processes, is also affected by ELF magnetic fields. The rate of cephalic regeneration, reflected by the mean regeneration time (MRT), for planaria populations regenerating under continuous exposure to combined DC (78.4 muT) and AC (60.0 Hz at 10.0 muTpeak) magnetic fields applied in parallel was found to be significantly delayed (P < 0.001) by 48 +/- 1 h relative to two different types of control populations (MRT approximately 140 +/- 12 h). One control population was exposed to only the AC component of this field combination, while the other experienced only the ambient geomagnetic field. All measurements were conducted in a low-gradient, low-noise magnetics laboratory under well-maintained temperature conditions. This delay in regeneration was shown to be dependent on the planaria having a fixed orientation with respect to the magnetic field vectors. Results also indicate that this orientation-dependent transduction process does not result from Faraday induction but is consistent with a Ca2+ cyclotron resonance mechanism. Data interpretation also permits the tentative conclusion that the effect results from an inhibition of events at an early stage in the regeneration process before the onset of proliferation and differentiation. PMID:7612025

  18. Planarian Worms, Shock Generators and Apathetic Witnesses: Teaching Psychology and Graphic Novels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aleixo, Paul A.; Norris, Claire E.

    2013-01-01

    Comics and graphic novels have made a greater impact on popular culture in recent years and can be used for enhancing the learning experience of psychology students. One of the best known and respected comic book writers of the last 30 years is Alan Moore, who has included a number of detailed references to psychological studies and experiments in…

  19. A proteomics approach to decipher the molecular nature of planarian stem cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In recent years, planaria have emerged as an important model system for research into stem cells and regeneration. Attention is focused on their unique stem cells, the neoblasts, which can differentiate into any cell type present in the adult organism. Sequencing of the Schmidtea mediterranea genome and some expressed sequence tag projects have generated extensive data on the genetic profile of these cells. However, little information is available on their protein dynamics. Results We developed a proteomic strategy to identify neoblast-specific proteins. Here we describe the method and discuss the results in comparison to the genomic high-throughput analyses carried out in planaria and to proteomic studies using other stem cell systems. We also show functional data for some of the candidate genes selected in our proteomic approach. Conclusions We have developed an accurate and reliable mass-spectra-based proteomics approach to complement previous genomic studies and to further achieve a more accurate understanding and description of the molecular and cellular processes related to the neoblasts. PMID:21356107

  20. Planarian Worms, Shock Generators and Apathetic Witnesses: Teaching Psychology and Graphic Novels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aleixo, Paul A.; Norris, Claire E.

    2013-01-01

    Comics and graphic novels have made a greater impact on popular culture in recent years and can be used for enhancing the learning experience of psychology students. One of the best known and respected comic book writers of the last 30 years is Alan Moore, who has included a number of detailed references to psychological studies and experiments in…

  1. Acute toxic responses of the freshwater planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala, to methylmercury

    SciTech Connect

    Best, J.B.; Morita, M.; Ragin, J.; Best, J. Jr.

    1981-07-01

    Toxic responses of planaria to various aquatic habitat concentrations of methylmercury chloride (MMC) were investigated. One hundred percent lethality occurred within 5 h in 2 ppM MMC, 24 h in 1 ppM MMC, and 5 days in 0.5 ppM MMC. No deaths occurred in 0.2 ppM MMC over a 10 day period, however, non-lethal toxic responses were observed. Varying degrees of head resorption, progressing caudally from the snout were observed. With continuing exposure, partial head regeneration and recovery toward more normal appearance occurred by 10 days. Teratogenic effects were observed in surgical decapitation experiments. Head regeneration was retarded in 0.1 and 0.2 ppM MMC. Malformations, visible lesions, or gross behavioral abnormalities were produced by 2 week exposure of planaria to concentrations of 20 ppB MMC or lower. (RJC)

  2. Weak extremely-low-frequency magnetic fields and regeneration in the planarian Dugesia tigrina

    SciTech Connect

    Jenrow, K.A.; Smith, C.H.; Liboff, A.R.

    1995-06-01

    Extremely-low-frequency (ELF), low-intensity magnetic fields have been shown to influence cell signaling processes in a variety of systems, both in vivo and in vitro. Similar effects have been demonstrated for nervous system development and neurite outgrowth. The authors report that regeneration in planaria, which incorporates many of these processes, is also affected by ELF magnetic fields. The rate of cephalic regeneration, reflected by the mean regeneration time (MRT), for planaria populations regenerating under continuous exposure to combined DC (78.4 {mu}T) and AC (60.0 Hz at 10.0 {mu}T{sub peak}) magnetic fields applied in parallel was found to be significantly delayed (P {much_lt} 0.001) by 48 {+-} 1 h relative to two different types of control populations (MRT {minus}140 {+-} 12 h). One control population was exposed to only the AC component of this field combination, while the other experienced only the ambient geomagnetic field. All measurements were conducted in a low-gradient, low-noise magnetics laboratory under well-maintained temperature conditions. This delay in regeneration was shown to be dependent on the planaria having a fixed orientation with respect to the magnetic field vectors. Results also indicate that this orientation-dependent transduction process does not result from Faraday induction but is consistent with a Ca{sup 2+} cyclotron resonance mechanism. Data interpretation also permits the tentative conclusion that the effect results from an inhibition of events at an early stage in the regeneration process before the onset of proliferation and differentiation.

  3. First documentation and molecular confirmation of three trematode species (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda) infecting the polychaete Marenzelleria viridis (Annelida: Spionidae).

    PubMed

    Phelan, Krystin; Blakeslee, April M H; Krause, Maureen; Williams, Jason D

    2016-01-01

    Polychaete worms are hosts to a wide range of marine parasites; yet, studies on trematodes using these ecologically important species as intermediate hosts are lacking. During examination of the spionid polychaete Marenzelleria viridis collected on the north shore of Long Island, New York, putative trematode cysts were discovered in the body cavity of these polychaetes. In order to verify these cysts as metacercariae of trematodes, specimens of the eastern mudsnail Ilyanassa obsoleta (a very common first intermediate host of trematodes in the region) were collected for molecular comparison. DNA barcoding using cytochrome C oxidase I regions confirmed the presence of three species of trematodes (Himasthla quissetensis, Lepocreadium setiferoides, and Zoogonus lasius) in both M. viridis and I. obsoleta hosts. Brown bodies were also recovered from polychaetes, and molecular testing confirmed the presence of L. setiferoides and Z. lasius, indicating an immune response of the polychaete leading to encapsulation of the cysts. From the 125 specimens of M. viridis collected in 2014, 95 (76.8 %) were infected with trematodes; of these 95 infected polychaetes, 86 (90.5 %) contained brown bodies. This is the first confirmation that trematodes use M. viridis as a second intermediate host and that this intermediate host demonstrates a clear immune response to metacercarial infection. Future research should explore the role of these polychaetes in trematode life cycles, the effectiveness of the immune response, and transmission pathways to vertebrate definitive hosts. PMID:26385466

  4. A new and alien species of ``oyster leech'' (Platyhelminthes, Polycladida, Stylochidae) from the brackish North Sea Canal, The Netherlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sluys, Ronald; Faubel, Anno; Rajagopal, Sanjeevi; Velde, Gerard Van Der

    2005-11-01

    A new species of polyclad flatworm, Imogine necopinata Sluys, sp. nov., is described from a brackish habitat in The Netherlands. Taxonomic affinities with Asian species and the ecology of the animals suggest that the species is an introduced, exotic component of the Dutch fauna. The new species belongs to a group of worms with species that are known to predate on oysters.

  5. Cryptostylochus hullensis sp. nov. (Polycladida, Acotylea, Platyhelminthes): A possible case of transoceanic dispersal on a ship's hull

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faubel, A.; Gollasch, S.

    1996-12-01

    In July 1993, the car carrier “Faust” entered Bremerhaven after a voyage from the North-American Atlantic coast to Europe. In a dockyard, five living specimens of the order Polycladida were collected from the hull of the ship. This could be a possible case of trans-atlantic dispersal of plathelminths living as fouling organisms of ships. The specimens found represent a new species of the genus Cryptostylochus Faubel, 1983, Cryptostylochus hullensis sp. nov.

  6. Ribosomal DNA as molecular markers and their applications in the identification of fish parasites (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) from India

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhary, Anshu; Verma, Chandni; Singh, Hridaya Shanker

    2014-01-01

    The development of molecular techniques for taxonomic analysis of monogenean parasites has led to a great increase for proper identification and factualness. These molecular techniques, in particular the use of molecular markers, have been used to identify and validate the monogenean parasites. Although, improvements in marker detection systems particularly of elements of rDNA like 18S, ITS and 28S used in monogeneans parasites have enabled great advances to be made in recent years in India. However, the molecular sequence analysis and phylogenetic relationships among the parasitic helminthes is unconventional in India. Many workers have been always questioned the validity of Indian species of monogeneans and emphasized the need to ascertain the status of species from Indian fish. Here we would like to provide additional resolution for the interpretation of use of molecular markers in study of monogeneans in India. This review provides an overview of current stage of studies in India that have been used in applying molecular techniques to monogenean.

  7. A Comprehensive Molecular Phylogeny of Dalytyphloplanida (Platyhelminthes: Rhabdocoela) Reveals Multiple Escapes from the Marine Environment and Origins of Symbiotic Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Van Steenkiste, Niels; Tessens, Bart; Willems, Wim; Backeljau, Thierry; Jondelius, Ulf; Artois, Tom

    2013-01-01

    In this study we elaborate the phylogeny of Dalytyphloplanida based on complete 18S rDNA (156 sequences) and partial 28S rDNA (125 sequences), using a Maximum Likelihood and a Bayesian Inference approach, in order to investigate the origin of a limnic or limnoterrestrial and of a symbiotic lifestyle in this large group of rhabditophoran flatworms. The results of our phylogenetic analyses and ancestral state reconstructions indicate that dalytyphloplanids have their origin in the marine environment and that there was one highly successful invasion of the freshwater environment, leading to a large radiation of limnic and limnoterrestrial dalytyphloplanids. This monophyletic freshwater clade, Limnotyphloplanida, comprises the taxa Dalyelliidae, Temnocephalida, and most Typhloplanidae. Temnocephalida can be considered ectosymbiotic Dalyelliidae as they are embedded within this group. Secondary returns to brackish water and marine environments occurred relatively frequently in several dalyeliid and typhloplanid taxa. Our phylogenies also show that, apart from the Limnotyphloplanida, there have been only few independent invasions of the limnic environment, and apparently these were not followed by spectacular speciation events. The distinct phylogenetic positions of the symbiotic taxa also suggest multiple origins of commensal and parasitic life strategies within Dalytyphloplanida. The previously established higher-level dalytyphloplanid clades are confirmed in our topologies, but many of the traditional families are not monophyletic. Alternative hypothesis testing constraining the monophyly of these families in the topologies and using the approximately unbiased test, also statistically rejects their monophyly. PMID:23536894

  8. Expression of the histone chaperone SET/TAF-I? during the strobilation process of Mesocestoides corti (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Costa, Caroline B; Monteiro, Karina M; Teichmann, Aline; da Silva, Edileuza D; Lorenzatto, Karina R; Cancela, Martín; Paes, Jéssica A; Benitz, André de N D; Castillo, Estela; Margis, Rogério; Zaha, Arnaldo; Ferreira, Henrique B

    2015-08-01

    The histone chaperone SET/TAF-I? is implicated in processes of chromatin remodelling and gene expression regulation. It has been associated with the control of developmental processes, but little is known about its function in helminth parasites. In Mesocestoides corti, a partial cDNA sequence related to SET/TAF-I? was isolated in a screening for genes differentially expressed in larvae (tetrathyridia) and adult worms. Here, the full-length coding sequence of the M. corti SET/TAF-I? gene was analysed and the encoded protein (McSET/TAF) was compared with orthologous sequences, showing that McSET/TAF can be regarded as a SET/TAF-I? family member, with a typical nucleosome-assembly protein (NAP) domain and an acidic tail. The expression patterns of the McSET/TAF gene and protein were investigated during the strobilation process by RT-qPCR, using a set of five reference genes, and by immunoblot and immunofluorescence, using monospecific polyclonal antibodies. A gradual increase in McSET/TAF transcripts and McSET/TAF protein was observed upon development induction by trypsin, demonstrating McSET/TAF differential expression during strobilation. These results provided the first evidence for the involvement of a protein from the NAP family of epigenetic effectors in the regulation of cestode development. PMID:25823644

  9. Structural and Population Polymorphism of RT-Like Sequences in Avian Schistosomes Trichobilharzia szidati (Platyhelminthes: Digenea: Schistosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Semyenova, S K; Chrisanfova, G G; Guliaev, A S; Yesakova, A P; Ryskov, A P

    2015-01-01

    Recently we developed the genus-specific markers of the avian schistosomes of the genus Trichobilharzia, the causative agents of human cercarial dermatitis. The 7 novel genome sequences of T. franki, T. regenti, and T. szidati revealed similarity with genome repeat region of African schistosome Schistosoma mansoni. In the present work we analyzed the 37 new T. szidati sequences to study intragenome variability and host specificity for the parasite from three localities of East Europe. DNAs were isolated from cercariae or single sporocysts obtained from 6 lymnaeid snails Lymnaea stagnalis and L. palustris from Belarus and Russia. All sequences formed three diverged groups, one of which consists of the sequences with multiple deletions; other groups involved two paralogous copies with stop codons and frameshift mutations. Strong association between geographical distribution and snail host specificity cannot be established. All studied sequences have homology with the reverse transcriptase domain (RT) of Penelope-like elements (PLE) of S. mansoni and S. japonicum and new members of RT family were identified. We proposed that three diverged groups RT sequences of T. szidati are results of duplication or transposition of PLE during parasite evolution. Implications of the retroelement dynamics in the life history of avian schistosomes are discussed. PMID:26114104

  10. An animal model to study human muscular diseases involving mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, Hélène; Warren, Blair E

    2012-08-01

    Mitochondria are producing most of the energy needed for many cellular functions by a process named oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). It is now well recognized that mitochondrial dysfunctions are involved in several pathologies or degenerative processes, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and aging. Animal models are currently used to try to understand the role of mitochondria in human diseases but a major problem is that mitochondria from different species and tissues are variable in terms of regulation. Analysis of mitochondrial function in three species of planarian flatworms (Tricladia, Platyhelminthes) shows that they share a very rare characteristic with human mitochondria: a strong control of oxidative phosphorylation by the phosphorylation system. The ratio of coupled OXPHOS over maximal electron transport capacity after uncoupling (electron transport system; ETS) well below 1.0 indicates that the phosphorylation system is limiting the rate of OXPHOS. The OXPHOS/ETS ratios are 0.62?±?0.06 in Dugesia tigrina, 0.63?±?0.05 in D. dorotocephala and 0.62?±?0.05 in Procotyla fluviatilis, comparable to the value measured in human muscles. To our knowledge, no other animal model displays this peculiarity. This new model offers a venue in which to test the phosphorylation system as a potential therapeutic control point within humans. PMID:22706663

  11. Cells showing immunoreactivity for calcitonin or calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the central nervous system of some invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Sasayama, Y; Katoh, A; Oguro, C; Kambegawa, A; Yoshizawa, H

    1991-09-01

    In the central nervous system of some species of several invertebrate phyla, including land planarians (Platyhelminthes), ribbon worms (Nemertina), slugs (Mollusca), polychaetes, earthworms and leeches (Annelida), pill bugs (Arthropoda), and beard worms (Pogonophora), salmon calcitonin-immunoreactive cells and rat calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-immunoreactive cells were found by immunohistochemistry. These immunoreactive cells were located in the region surrounding the neuropile, although the sizes of the cells varied according to species. Some of them were round or polygonal and regarded as apolar nerve cells because of their lack of cytoplasmic processes, whereas others were spindle-shaped or elongated, being comparable with unipolar nerve cells because of extension of their cytoplasmic processes in the direction of the neuropile. In some cases, it was noted that the cytoplasmic processes had complicated branches or formed loop-like structures at their ends. These observations suggest that a calcitonin-like or CGRP-like substance is extensively present in invertebrates as well as vertebrates. PMID:1936921

  12. Mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis is ancestral in metazoans

    PubMed Central

    Bender, Cheryl E.; Fitzgerald, Patrick; Tait, Stephen W. G.; Llambi, Fabien; McStay, Gavin P.; Tupper, Douglas O.; Pellettieri, Jason; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez; Salvesen, Guy S.; Green, Douglas R.

    2012-01-01

    The mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis is the major mechanism of physiological cell death in vertebrates. In this pathway, proapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family cause mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP), allowing the release of cytochrome c, which interacts with Apaf-1 to trigger caspase activation and apoptosis. Despite conservation of Bcl-2, Apaf-1, and caspases in invertebrate phyla, the existence of the mitochondrial pathway in any invertebrate is, at best, controversial. Here we show that apoptosis in a lophotrochozoan, planaria (phylum Platyhelminthes), is associated with MOMP and that cytochrome c triggers caspase activation in cytosolic extracts from these animals. Further, planarian Bcl-2 family proteins can induce and/or regulate cell death in yeast and can replace Bcl-2 proteins in mammalian cells to regulate MOMP. These results suggest that the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis in animals predates the emergence of the vertebrates but was lost in some lineages (e.g., nematodes). In further support of this hypothesis, we surveyed the ability of cytochrome c to trigger caspase activation in cytosolic extracts from a variety of organisms and found this effect in cytosolic extracts from invertebrate deuterostomes (phylum Echinodermata). PMID:22416118

  13. Identification of the Boudicca and Sinbad retrotransposons in the genome of the human blood fluke Schistosoma haematobium.

    PubMed

    Copeland, Claudia S; Lewis, Fred A; Brindley, Paul J

    2006-08-01

    Schistosomes have a comparatively large genome, estimated for Schistosoma mansoni to be about 270 megabase pairs (haploid genome). Recent findings have shown that mobile genetic elements constitute significant proportions of the genomes of S. mansoni and S. japonicum. Much less information is available on the genome of the third major human schistosome, S. haematobium. In order to investigate the possible evolutionary origins of the S. mansoni long terminal repeat retrotransposons Boudicca and Sinbad, several genomes were searched by Southern blot for the presence of these retrotransposons. These included three species of schistosomes, S. mansoni, S. japonicum, and S. haematobium, and three related platyhelminth genomes, the liver flukes Fasciola hepatica and Fascioloides magna and the planarian, Dugesia dorotocephala. In addition, Homo sapiens and three snail host genomes, Biomphalaria glabrata, Oncomelania hupensis, and Bulinus truncatus, were examined for possible indications of a horizontal origin for these retrotransposons. Southern hybridization analysis indicated that both Boudicca and Sinbad were present in the genome of S. haematobium. Furthermore, low stringency Southern hybridization analyses suggested that a Boudicca-like retrotransposon was present in the genome of B. truncatus, the snail host of S. haematobium. PMID:17072464

  14. Transparency Master: Planaria in the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jensen, Lauritz A.; Allen, A. Lester

    1983-01-01

    Background information on the morphology and physiology of planarians and uses of the organism in schools is provided. Also provided is a transparency master demonstrating a planarian with an everted proboscis, two-headed/two-tailed planarians, and a planarian demonstrating the digestive tract. (JN)

  15. [Histological and cytological study of neoblasts and fixed parenchymal cells in Dendrocoelum lacteum planarians deprived of their anterior region].

    PubMed

    Stéphan-Dubois, F; Bautz, A

    1975-01-01

    On amputating either at the root of the pharynx or between the mouth and the genital pore, the posterior parts which are thereby isolated do not regenerate. However they are capable of surviving for ever a year, without feeding. The wounded region is occupied by neoblasts which degenerate within a few days after an initial secretory activity. Their degeneration is of autophagic type. The abortive blastems disappear only slowly, because the degeneration of their neoblasts is partly compensated by the continual immigration of new regeneration cells which come from the posterior region. Several months after amputation, under the effect of prolonged starvation, neoblasts and fixed parenchymal cells begin to degenerate. PMID:1217901

  16. A large 28S rDNA-based phylogeny confirms the limitations of established morphological characters for classification of proteocephalidean tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda)

    PubMed Central

    de Chambrier, Alain; Waeschenbach, Andrea; Fisseha, Makda; Scholz, Tomáš; Mariaux, Jean

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Proteocephalidean tapeworms form a diverse group of parasites currently known from 315 valid species. Most of the diversity of adult proteocephalideans can be found in freshwater fishes (predominantly catfishes), a large proportion infects reptiles, but only a few infect amphibians, and a single species has been found to parasitize possums. Although they have a cosmopolitan distribution, a large proportion of taxa are exclusively found in South America. We analyzed the largest proteocephalidean cestode molecular dataset to date comprising more than 100 species (30 new), including representatives from 54 genera (80%) and all subfamilies, thus significantly improving upon previous works to develop a molecular phylogeny for the group. The Old World origin of proteocephalideans is confirmed, with their more recent expansion in South America. The earliest diverging lineages are composed of Acanthotaeniinae and Gangesiinae but most of the presently recognized subfamilies (and genera) appear not to be monophyletic; a deep systematic reorganization of the order is thus needed and the present subfamilial system should be abandoned. The main characters on which the classical systematics of the group has been built, such as scolex morphology or relative position of genital organs in relation to the longitudinal musculature, are of limited value, as demonstrated by the very weak support for morphologically-defined subfamilies. However, new characters, such as the pattern of uterus development, relative ovary size, and egg structure have been identified, which may be useful in defining phylogenetically well-supported subgroups. A strongly supported lineage infecting various snakes from a wide geographical distribution was found. Although several improvements over previous works regarding phylogenetic resolution and taxon coverage were achieved in this study, the major polytomy in our tree, composed largely of siluriform parasites from the Neotropics, remained unresolved and possibly reflects a rapid radiation. The genus Spasskyellina Freze, 1965 is resurrected for three species of Monticellia bearing spinitriches on the margins of their suckers. PMID:25987870

  17. Seussapex, a new genus of lecanicephalidean tapeworm (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda) from the stingray genus Himantura (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatidae) in the Indo-West Pacific with investigation of mode of attachment.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Kirsten; Russell, Shelbi L

    2014-06-01

    A new lecanicephalidean genus, Seussapex gen. n., is erected for specimens collected from stingrays from the Indo-West Pacific resembling the little known species Tenia [sic] narinari MacCallum, 1917 from the spotted eagle ray, Aetobatus narinari (Euphrasen). Members of this new genus are unique in their possession of a multi-tiered apical structure comprising a bipartite apical modification of the scolex proper, and an externally bipartite apical organ with anterior and posterior glandular compartments internally. The appearance of the scolex varies dramatically depending on state of protrusion and/or evagination of these different parts which appear to be able to function independently. Seussapex karybares sp. n. parasitizing Himantura uarnak 2 (sensu Naylor et al., 2012) in northern Australia is described as the type species and Tenia [sic] narinari is transferred to the new genus. The two species differ in scolex length and width of the posterior dome-shaped portion of the apical organ. Histological sections of scoleces stained using the periodic acid-Schiff(PAS) reaction showed the surface of the anterior part of the apical organ and the anterior glandular compartment to stain PAS positive, suggesting a chemical mode of attachment to the host's intestinal mucosal surface. Extensive collecting efforts of stingrays in the Indo-West Pacific shows Seussapex gen. n. to be restricted to species of Himantura Miller et Henle and suggests additional diversity in this group of hosts. In addition, the host identity of Seussapex narinari (MacCallum, 1917) comb. n. is called into question. PMID:25065129

  18. A large 28S rDNA-based phylogeny confirms the limitations of established morphological characters for classification of proteocephalidean tapeworms (Platyhelminthes, Cestoda).

    PubMed

    de Chambrier, Alain; Waeschenbach, Andrea; Fisseha, Makda; Scholz, Tomáš; Mariaux, Jean

    2015-01-01

    Proteocephalidean tapeworms form a diverse group of parasites currently known from 315 valid species. Most of the diversity of adult proteocephalideans can be found in freshwater fishes (predominantly catfishes), a large proportion infects reptiles, but only a few infect amphibians, and a single species has been found to parasitize possums. Although they have a cosmopolitan distribution, a large proportion of taxa are exclusively found in South America. We analyzed the largest proteocephalidean cestode molecular dataset to date comprising more than 100 species (30 new), including representatives from 54 genera (80%) and all subfamilies, thus significantly improving upon previous works to develop a molecular phylogeny for the group. The Old World origin of proteocephalideans is confirmed, with their more recent expansion in South America. The earliest diverging lineages are composed of Acanthotaeniinae and Gangesiinae but most of the presently recognized subfamilies (and genera) appear not to be monophyletic; a deep systematic reorganization of the order is thus needed and the present subfamilial system should be abandoned. The main characters on which the classical systematics of the group has been built, such as scolex morphology or relative position of genital organs in relation to the longitudinal musculature, are of limited value, as demonstrated by the very weak support for morphologically-defined subfamilies. However, new characters, such as the pattern of uterus development, relative ovary size, and egg structure have been identified, which may be useful in defining phylogenetically well-supported subgroups. A strongly supported lineage infecting various snakes from a wide geographical distribution was found. Although several improvements over previous works regarding phylogenetic resolution and taxon coverage were achieved in this study, the major polytomy in our tree, composed largely of siluriform parasites from the Neotropics, remained unresolved and possibly reflects a rapid radiation. The genus Spasskyellina Freze, 1965 is resurrected for three species of Monticellia bearing spinitriches on the margins of their suckers. PMID:25987870

  19. Morphological and molecular differentiation between Dicrocoelium dendriticum (Rudolphi, 1819) and Dicrocoelium chinensis (Sudarikov and Ryjikov, 1951) Tang and Tang, 1978 (Platyhelminthes: Digenea).

    PubMed

    Otranto, Domenico; Rehbein, Steffen; Weigl, Stefania; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Parisi, Antonio; Lia, Riccardo Paolo; Olson, Peter D

    2007-01-01

    Dicrocoelium dendriticum (Rudolphi, 1819) and Dicrocoelium hospes (Looss, 1907) are recognised to affect the liver of domestic and wild ruminants. A third species, Dicrocoelium orientalis which was described from musk deer in the Baikal region of the former Soviet Union and re-named to Dicrocoelium chinensis (Sudarikov and Ryjikov, 1951) Tang and Tang, 1978 was isolated from other species of deer in Asian countries and from mouflon and roe deer in Europe. Scant information is available for D. chinensis, including the range of species that act as definitive and intermediate hosts. To provide morphological and molecular evidences differentiating D. chinensis versus D. dendriticum, 239 Dicrocoelium spp. specimens were collected from sheep, cattle and sika deer from different localities in Austria, Germany and Italy. Specimens were morphologically identified based on the testes orientation, overall size, and level of maximum body width and other morphometric measurements. From this sample, 10 specimens of D. chinensis and 25 of D. dendriticum from different hosts and geographical localities were characterized molecularly through sequencing of partial 18S rDNA (approximately 1400 bp) and ITS-2 (including the 5.8S and 28S flanking regions; approximately 600 bp). Interspecific differences between D. dendriticum and D. chinensis of 0.14% and 3.8% were recorded in 18S rRNA and ITS-2 sequences, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses via Bayesian inference were conducted using sequences of ITS-2 (276 bp) and partial 28S (221 bp) of the above species of Dicrocoelium together with 20 species belonging to the Xiphidiata within the Plagiorchiida available in GenBank. Both gene regions were strongly concordant in differentiating the Dicrocoeliidae, Gorgoderidae and Plagiorchiidae and were in agreement with their current classification. Morphological and molecular characterization clearly differentiate D. dendriticum and D. chinensis as two distinct digeneans infecting ruminants. The implications on the separate status of D. chinensis on the etiology, biology and diagnosis of dicrocoeliosis are discussed. PMID:17803950

  20. Intraspecific pairing of planaria,Dugesia tigrina andDugesia dorotocephala (Platyhelminthes: Turbellaria), and observations on lipophilic excretory-secretory worm products.

    PubMed

    Perkins, C; Fried, B

    1982-06-01

    Intraspecific pairing of the planaria,Dugesia tigrina andD. dorotocephala, was studied for 24 hr at 22 ± 1 °C in Petri dish cultures containing an agar substrate and a water overlay. Pairing of fed planaria in the light and dark and starved planaria in the light was studied, and worms in contact or within 5 mm of each other were considered paired. Fed planaria of both species paired significantly in the light and dark, whereas starved planaria did not pair. Our results suggest that worm-emitted chemical factors are involved in intraspecific pairing of planaria. Thin-layer chromatographic analysis was used to study the release of lipophilic worm products. Phospholipids, free sterols, and free fatty acids were detected in all trials, and triglycerides in most. Thin-layer densitometric analysis was used to quantitate the weight of free sterols released by planaria. PMID:24415246

  1. The description of Gyrodactylus corleonis sp. n. and G. neretum sp. n. (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) with comments on other gyrodactylids parasitising pipefish (Pisces: Syngnathidae).

    PubMed

    Paladini, Giuseppe; Cable, Joanne; Fioravanti, Maria Letizia; Faria, Patricia J; Shinn, Andrew P

    2010-03-01

    The current work describes two new species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 collected from pipefish Syngnathus scovelli (Evermann et Kendall) and Syngnathus typhle L. during two separate gyrodactylosis episodes on fish held in a public aquarium located in northern Italy. The gyrodactylids collected from the skin, fins and gills of pipefish were subjected to a morphological analysis of the attachment hooks and the morphometric data were compared to the four species of Gyrodactylus previously described from syngnathid hosts, namely G. eyipayipi Vaughan, Christison, Hansen et Shinn, 2010, G. pisculentui Williams, Kritsky, Dunnigan, Lash et Klein, 2008, G. shorti Holliman, 1963 and G. syngnathi Appleby, 1996. Principal components analysis (PCA) of the morphological data indicated six clusters; two discrete groups among the specimens taken from the pipefisli held in the Italian aquarium and four further groups representing G. eyipayipi, G. pisculentus, G. shorti and G. syngnathi. Molecular sequences of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) and the 5.8S gene for the new species considered here were then compared with those available for other species in GenBank. The comparison did not reveal any identical match, supporting the morphological analysis that Gyrodactylus corleonis sp. n. from S. typhle and Gyrodactylus neretum sp. n. from S. scovelli represent distinct species. Both G. corleonis and G. neretum possess robust hamuli, marginal hook blades that curve smoothly from their sickle base to a point beyond the toe and, ventral bars with a broad median portion and a reduced membrane. Gyrodactylus corleonis, however, can be distinguished on the basis of its heart-shaped ventral bar; G. neretum has a 1:2 hamulus point:shaft ratio and a rectangular-shaped ventral bar. A redescription of the haptoral hard parts of the four species previously recorded on pipefish is also presented. PMID:20449996

  2. Assessment of platyhelminth diversity within amphibians of French Guiana revealed a new species of Nanopolystoma (Monogenea: Polystomatidae) in the caecilian Typhlonectes compressicauda.

    PubMed

    du Preez, Louis H; Badets, Mathieu; Verneau, Olivier

    2014-12-01

    An expedition was undertaken to French Guiana in search of amphibian parasites. Of the 23 anuran species collected and screened for polystomes, the toad Rhinella margaritifera (Laurenti) was the sole species found to be infected with a polystome, namely Wetapolystoma almae Gray, 1983. Of the two caecilian species collected, a new species of Nanopolystoma du Preez, Huyse et Wilkinson, 2008 was discovered from the urinary bladder of the aquatic caecilian Typhlonectes compressicauda (Duméril et Bibron). The small size of the mature worm, two non-diverticulated caeca of equal length that are non-confluent posteriorly, vitelline follicles in two dense lateral fields, a single follicular testis in the middle of the body, small ovary and a single operculated egg in utero, vaginae present and the caecilian host allowed the identification of the specimen as Nanopolystoma. Larger body size, hamulus length, egg diameter and occurrence in the caecilian family Typhlonectidae distinguishes the new species from the two other known polystomes in Nanopolystoma; thus, the description of Nanopolystoma tinsleyi sp. n. is provided within this paper. PMID:25651695

  3. Ultrastructure of the vitellarium of Ancyrocephalus paradoxus (Monogenea: Monopisthocotylea), with comments on the nature of the vitellarium in the Monogenea and related platyhelminth groups.

    PubMed

    Poddubnaya, Larisa G; Bru?anská, Magdaléna; Swiderski, Zdzis?aw; Gibson, David I

    2013-03-01

    Fine structural features of the vitelline follicles of the monopisthocotylean monogenean Ancyrocephalus paradoxus are revealed and compared with those of other monogenean species. As in other monogeneans, each vitelline follicle of A. paradoxus is composed of a single cell type, i.e. vitellocytes at various stages of development, with no sign of any interstitial cells. There is no special isolation of the vitelline follicles from the surrounding tissue, and both heterologous (between adjacent membranes of the vitelline and surrounding parenchymal cells) and homologous (between adjacent membranes of the vitelline cells) cell junctions (zonulae occludentes) are present. Non-membrane-bound vitelline clusters of A. paradoxus contain 50-100 vitelline globules, moderately electron-dense lipid droplets and glycogen particles present in the mature cell cytoplasm. In a search for phylogenetically informative characters of the fine structure of the vitellarium, the new findings are compared with those known for trematodes, and, to enable this, additional observations were made on the structure of the vitellarium of the aspidogastrean Aspidogaster limacoides. Some new discriminatory traits are revealed in A. limacoides; these include the presence of a single type of cellular component within the vitellarium, sarcoplasmic processes filling the space between and around the vitellocytes and zonulae occludentes between adjacent membranes of vitelline and muscle cells. On the basis of ultrastructural features of the vitellarium, a relationship between the Monogenea and the Aspidogastrea is indicated. PMID:23269512

  4. Development and Evaluation of a Single-Step Duplex PCR for Simultaneous Detection of Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica (Family Fasciolidae, Class Trematoda, Phylum Platyhelminthes)

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Khue Thi; Nguyen, Nga Thi Bich; Doan, Huong Thi Thanh; Le, Xuyen Thi Kim; Hoang, Chau Thi Minh; De, Nguyen Van

    2012-01-01

    A single-step multiplex PCR (here referred to as a duplex PCR) has been developed for simultaneous detection and diagnosis of Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica. These species overlap in distribution in many countries of North and East Africa and Central and Southeast Asia and are similar in egg morphology, making identification from fecal samples difficult. Based on a comparative alignment of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) spanning the region of cox1-trnT-rrnL, two species-specific forward primers were designed, FHF (for F. hepatica) and FGF (for F. gigantica), and a single reverse primer, FHGR (common for both species). Conventional PCR followed by sequencing was applied using species-specific primer pairs to verify the specificity of primers and the identity of Fasciola DNA templates. Duplex PCR (using three primers) was used for testing with the DNA extracted from adult worms, miracidia, and eggs, producing amplicons of 1,031 bp for F. hepatica and 615 bp for F. gigantica. The duplex PCR failed to amplify from DNA of other common liver and intestinal trematodes, including two opisthorchiids, three heterophyids, an echinostomid, another fasciolid, and a taeniid cestode. The sensitivity assay showed that the duplex PCR limit of detection for each Fasciola species was between 0.012 ng and 0.006 ng DNA. Evaluation using DNA templates from 32 Fasciola samples (28 adults and 4 eggs) and from 25 field-collected stools of ruminants and humans revealed specific bands of the correct size and the presence of Fasciola species. This novel mtDNA duplex PCR is a sensitive and fast tool for accurate identification of Fasciola species in areas of distributional and zonal overlap. PMID:22692744

  5. The first multi-gene phylogeny of the Macrostomorpha sheds light on the evolution of sexual and asexual reproduction in basal Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Janssen, Toon; Vizoso, Dita B; Schulte, Gregor; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Waeschenbach, Andrea; Schärer, Lukas

    2015-11-01

    The Macrostomorpha-an early branching and species-rich clade of free-living flatworms-is attracting interest because it contains Macrostomum lignano, a versatile model organism increasingly used in evolutionary, developmental, and molecular biology. We elucidate the macrostomorphan molecular phylogeny inferred from both nuclear (18S and 28S rDNA) and mitochondrial (16S rDNA and COI) marker genes from 40 representatives. Although our phylogeny does not recover the Macrostomorpha as a statistically supported monophyletic grouping, it (i) confirms many taxa previously proposed based on morphological evidence, (ii) permits the first placement of many families and genera, and (iii) reveals a number of unexpected placements. Specifically, Myozona and Bradynectes are outside the three classic families (Macrostomidae, Microstomidae and Dolichomacrostomidae) and the asexually fissioning Myomacrostomum belongs to a new subfamily, the Myozonariinae nov. subfam. (Dolichomacrostomidae), rather than diverging early. While this represents the first evidence for asexuality among the Dolichomacrostomidae, we show that fissioning also occurs in another Myozonariinae, Myozonaria fissipara nov. sp. Together with the placement of the (also fissioning) Microstomidae, namely as the sister taxon of Dolichomacrostomidae, this suggests that fissioning is not basal within the Macrostomorpha, but rather restricted to the new taxon Dolichomicrostomida (Dolichomacrostomidae+Microstomidae). Furthermore, our phylogeny allows new insights into the evolution of the reproductive system, as ancestral state reconstructions reveal convergent evolution of gonads, and male and female genitalia. Finally, the convergent evolution of sperm storage organs in the female genitalia appears to be linked to the widespread occurrence of hypodermic insemination among the Macrostomorpha. PMID:26093054

  6. New records of Cotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with remarks on the distribution of the Pseudoceros Lang, 1884 and Pseudobiceros Faubel, 1984 species of the Indo-Pacific Marine Region.

    PubMed

    Marquina, Daniel; Aguado, M Teresa; Noreña, Carolina

    2015-01-01

    In the present work eleven polyclad species of Lizard Island are studied. Seven of them are new records for this locality of the Australian coral reef and one is new to science, Lurymare clavocapitata n. sp. (Family Prosthiostomidae). The remaining recorded species belong to the genera Pseudoceros (P. bimarginatus, P. jebborum, P. stimpsoni, P. zebra, P. paralaticlavus and P. prudhoei) and Pseudobiceros (Pb. hancockanus, Pb. hymanae, Pb. flowersi and Pb. uniarborensis). Regardless of the different distribution patterns, all pseudocerotid species show brilliant colours, but similar internal morphology. Furthermore, differences in the form and size of the stylet are characteristic, because it is a sclerotic structure that is not affected during fixation. In Pseudoceros, the distance between the sucker and the female pore also differs among species. These features do not vary enough to be considered as diagnostic, but they provide information that can help to disentangle similarly coloured species complexes. A key of the genera Pseudoceros and Pseudobiceros of the Indo-Pacific region is provided, in order to facilitate the identification of species from this area. PMID:26624074

  7. Morphological and molecular description of eight new species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) from poeciliid fishes, collected in their natural distribution range in the Gulf of Mexico slope, Mexico.

    PubMed

    García-Vásquez, Adriana; Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; Rubio-Godoy, Miguel

    2015-09-01

    Eight new species of Gyrodactylus are described from Poecilia mexicana, Poeciliopsis gracilis, Pseudoxiphophorus bimaculatus [syn. = Heterandria bimaculata], and Xiphophorus hellerii collected in the Nautla and La Antigua River Basins in Veracruz, and in the Tecolutla River Basin in Puebla, Mexico. Analyzing the morphology of the marginal hooks, Gyrodactylus pseudobullatarudis n. sp. and Gyrodactylus xtachuna n. sp. are both very similar to Gyrodactylus bullatarudis; Gyrodactylus takoke n. sp. resembles Gyrodactylus xalapensis; Gyrodactylus lhkahuili n. sp. is similar to Gyrodactylus jarocho; and both Gyrodactylus microdactylus n. sp. and Gyrodactylus actzu n. sp. are similar to Gyrodactylus poeciliae in that all three species possess extremely short shaft points. A hypothesis of the systematic relationships of the eight new Gyrodactylus species and some of the known gyrodactylids infecting poeciliids was constructed with sequences of the Internal Transcribed Spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) and the 5.8S ribosomal gene of the rRNA. Phylogenetic trees showed that the new and previously described species of Gyrodactylus infecting poeciliid fishes do not form a monophyletic assemblage. Trees also showed that the eight new species described morphologically correspond to well-supported monophyletic groups; and that morphologically similar species are also phylogenetically close. Additionally, we correct previous erroneous records of the presence of Gyrodactylus bullatarudis on wild Poecilia mexicana and Xiphophorus hellerii collected in Mexico, as re-examination of the original specimens indicated that these corresponded to Gyrodactylus pseudobullatarudis n. sp. (infecting Poecilia mexicana and Xiphophorus hellerii) and to Gyrodactylus xtachuna n. sp. (on Xiphophorus hellerii). Finally, given the widespread anthropogenic translocation of poeciliid fishes for the aquarium trade and mosquito control programs, as well as the existence of invasive, feral poeciliid populations worldwide, we discuss the possibility that gyrodactylid parasites could be introduced along with the fish hosts-this work provides taxonomic information to assess that possibility, as it describes parasites collected from poeciliid fishes within their native distribution range. PMID:26091759

  8. First report of gastrocotylinean post-oncomiracidia (Platyhelminthes: Monogenoidea: Heteronchoinea) on gills of flyingfish (Exocoetidae), snapper (Lutjanidae), dolphinfish (Coryphaenidae), and amberjack (Carangidae) from the Gulf of Mexico: decoy hosts and the dilution effect.

    PubMed

    Kritsky, Delane C; Bullard, Stephen A; Bakenhaster, Micah D

    2011-09-01

    Larvae, identified as post-oncomiracidia of the suborder Gastrocotylinea (Monogenoidea), were collected from formalin-fixed gills excised from six species of marine fishes captured from the Gulf of Mexico off Mississippi and Florida: common dolphinfish, Coryphaena hippurus and pompano dolphinfish, Coryphaena equiselis (both Perciformes, Coryphaenidae); gray snapper, Lutjanus griseus (Perciformes, Lutjanidae); greater amberjack, Seriola dumerili (Perciformes, Carangidae); and Atlantic flyingfish, Cheilopogon melanurus and sailfin flyingfish, Parexocoetus hillianus (both Beloniformes and Exocoetidae). Based on a combination of diagnostic morphological features, the specimens were divided into two basic forms, each of which was further subdivided into two morphotypes. No gastrocotylinean post-oncomiracidium had been reported previously from these hosts. Of the six host species, only C. hippurus serves as a host (unconfirmed) for the adult of a gastrocotylinean species, suggesting that the recorded fishes from the Gulf of Mexico comprise dead-end hosts acting as decoys for the oncomiracidia. These comparatively non-susceptible "decoy hosts" apparently dilute the susceptible fish-host population and by intercepting infective larvae (oncomiracidia) decrease the abundance of parasites on their typical hosts. PMID:21497672

  9. Monogenoideans (Platyhelminthes) from the gill lamellae of the spotted sea trout, Cynoscion nebulosus (Perciformes, Sciaenidae), from the western coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, with redescription of Diplectanum bilobatus Hargis 1955 (Diplectanidae).

    PubMed

    Franco, Edgar F Mendoza; Rodríguez, R E del Rio; Tun, M del C Rosado

    2013-08-01

    The gill lamellae ectoparasites of the spotted sea trout, Cynoscion nebulosus (Sciaenidae), in the western coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico, revealed three species of Monogenoidea: Cynoscionicola heteracantha (Manter 1938) Price, 1962 (Microcotylidae); Choricotyle cynoscioni (MacCallum, 1917) Llewellyn, 1941 (Diclidophoridae); and Diplectanum bilobatus Hargis, 1955 (Diplectanidae). Brief comments about the current taxonomic status as well as supplemental observations of all these monogenoids originally described and/or reported from the same host fish species found in the USA are provided. New illustrations, prevalence and mean intensity of infection, as well morphological and biometric data based on new specimens are shown. C. heteracantha and C. cynoscioni collected in this study represent the second and first records of the species of these genera for the Atlantic coast of Mexico. The specimens of D. bilobatus are provisionally retained within Diplectanum until an emendation of the genus and a formal revision of all named species of this monogenoidean genus are undertaken. PMID:23686533

  10. The Worm's Turn.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, John C., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses experiments involving classical conditioning of planarians. Suitable for advanced high school students or college-level independent study, flatworms are trained to curl up under a bright light. Then the planarians to are subjected to controlled reproduction experiments to determine whether the learned behavior is inherited by their…

  11. The Worm's Turn.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, John C., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    Discusses experiments involving classical conditioning of planarians. Suitable for advanced high school students or college-level independent study, flatworms are trained to curl up under a bright light. Then the planarians to are subjected to controlled reproduction experiments to determine whether the learned behavior is inherited by their…

  12. [The morphogenetic function of neuropeptides].

    PubMed

    She?man, I M; Tiras, Kh P; Balobanova, E F

    1989-05-01

    Morphogenetic effects of neuropeptides on the regeneration of planarians and the development of grain beetle larvae, were investigated. Macromorphological parameters and the proportions of planarian body were estimated using the technique of vital computer morphometry; the weight and moulting intensity changes were measured in larvae. Vasopressin, dalargin, somatostatin and hydra activator (morphogen) activated, sleep-inducing peptide exerted no effect, and LH-RH inhibited the planarian regeneration. The hydra morphogen and LH-RH stimulated normal development of grain beetle larvae. The dose- and structure-dependent action of neuropeptides on the morphogenesis were similar to those related to other physiological functions. PMID:2767268

  13. Heal Thy Cell(f): A Single-Cell View of Regeneration.

    PubMed

    Issigonis, Melanie; Newmark, Phillip A

    2015-12-01

    In this issue of Developmental Cell, Wurtzel et al. (2015) use single-cell transcriptome sequencing on planarian cells to investigate the cell-type specificity and temporal dynamics underlying the regenerative wound response. PMID:26651286

  14. Identification of genes needed for regeneration, stem cell function, and tissue homeostasis by systematic gene perturbation in planaria

    PubMed Central

    Reddien, Peter W.; Bermange, Adam L.; Murfitt, Kenneth J.; Jennings, Joya R.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2007-01-01

    Summary Planarians have been a classic model system for the study of regeneration, tissue homeostasis, and stem cell biology for over a century, but have not historically been accessible to extensive genetic manipulation. Here we utilize RNA-mediated genetic interference (RNAi) to introduce large-scale gene inhibition studies to the classic planarian system. 1065 genes were screened. Phenotypes associated with the RNAi of 240 genes identify many specific defects in the process of regeneration and define the major categories of defects planarians display following gene perturbations. We assessed the effects of inhibiting genes with RNAi on tissue homeostasis in intact animals and stem cell (neoblast) proliferation in amputated animals identifying candidate stem cell, regeneration, and homeostasis regulators. Our study demonstrates the great potential of RNAi for the systematic exploration of gene function in understudied organisms and establishes planarians as a powerful model for the molecular genetic study of stem cells, regeneration, and tissue homeostasis. PMID:15866156

  15. Phylogenetic position of Nemertea derived from phylogenomic data.

    PubMed

    Struck, Torsten H; Fisse, Frauke

    2008-04-01

    Nemertea and Platyhelminthes have traditionally been grouped together because they possess a so-called acoelomate organization, but lateral vessels and rhynchocoel of nemerteans have been regarded as coelomic cavities. Additionally, both taxa show spiral cleavage patterns prompting the placement of Nemertea as sister to coelomate Protostomia, that is, either to Neotrochozoa (Mollusca and Annelida) or to Teloblastica (Neotrochozoa plus Arthropoda). Some workers maintain a sister group relationship of Nemertea and Platyhelminthes as Parenchymia because of an assumed homology of Götte's and Müller's larvae of polyclad Platyhelminthes and the pilidium larvae of heteronemerteans. So far, molecular data were only able to significantly reject a sister group relationship to Teloblastica. Although phylogenomic data are available for Platyhelminthes, Annelida, Mollusca, and Arthropoda, they are lacking for Nemertea. Herein, we present the first analysis specifically addressing nemertean phylogenetic position using phylogenomic data. More specifically, we collected expressed sequence tag data from Lineus viridis (O.F. Müller, 1774) and combined it with available data to produce a data set of 9,377 amino acid positions from 60 ribosomal proteins. Maximum likelihood analyses and Bayesian inferences place Nemertea in a clade together with Annelida and Mollusca. Furthermore, hypothesis testing significantly rejected a sister group relationship to either Platyhelminthes or Teloblastica. The Coelomata hypothesis, which groups coelomate taxa together to the exclusion of acoelomate and pseudocoelomate taxa, is not congruent with our results. Thus, the supposed acoelomate organization evolved independently in Nemertea and Platyhelminthes. In Nemertea, evolution of acoely is most likely due to a secondary reduction of the coelom as it is found in certain species of Mollusca and Annelida. Though looking very similar, the Götte's and Müller's larvae of polyclad Platyhelminthes are not homologous to the pilidium larvae of heteronemerteans. Finally, the convergent evolution of segmentation in Annelida and Arthropoda is further substantiated. PMID:18222945

  16. Schistosoma comparative genomics: integrating genome structure, parasite biology and anthelmintic discovery

    PubMed Central

    Swain, Martin T.; Larkin, Denis M.; Caffrey, Conor R.; Davies, Stephen J.; Loukas, Alex; Skelly, Patrick J.; Hoffmann, Karl F.

    2011-01-01

    Schistosoma genomes provide a comprehensive resource for identifying the molecular processes that shape parasite evolution and for discovering novel chemotherapeutic or immunoprophylactic targets. Here, we demonstrate how intra- and intergenus comparative genomics can be used to drive these investigations forward, illustrate the advantages and limitations of these approaches and review how post genomic technologies offer complementary strategies for genome characterisation. While sequencing and functional characterisation of other schistosome/platyhelminth genomes continues to expedite anthelmintic discovery, we contend that future priorities should equally focus on improving assembly quality, and chromosomal assignment, of existing schistosome/platyhelminth genomes. PMID:22024648

  17. Nuclear hormone receptors in parasitic helminths

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wenjie; LoVerde, Philip T

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) belong to a large protein superfamily that are important transcriptional modulators in metazoans. Parasitic helminths include parasitic worms from the Lophotrochozoa (Platyhelminths) and Ecdysozoa (Nematoda). NRs in parasitic helminths diverged into two different evolutionary lineages. NRs in parasitic Platyhelminths have orthologues in Deuterostomes, in arthropods or both with a feature of extensive gene loss and gene duplication within different gene groups. NRs in parasitic Nematoda follow the nematode evolutionary lineage with a feature of multiple duplication of SupNRs and gene loss. PMID:20600585

  18. SmedGD: the Schmidtea mediterranea genome database.

    PubMed

    Robb, Sofia M C; Ross, Eric; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2008-01-01

    The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea is rapidly emerging as a model organism for the study of regeneration, tissue homeostasis and stem cell biology. The recent sequencing, assembly and annotation of its genome are expected to further buoy the biomedical importance of this organism. In order to make the extensive data associated with the genome sequence accessible to the biomedical and planarian communities, we have created the Schmidtea mediterranea Genome Database (SmedGD). SmedGD integrates in a single web-accessible portal all available data associated with the planarian genome, including predicted and annotated genes, ESTs, protein homologies, gene expression patterns and RNAi phenotypes. Moreover, SmedGD was designed using tools provided by the Generic Model Organism Database (GMOD) project, thus making its data structure compatible with other model organism databases. Because of the unique phylogenetic position of planarians, SmedGD (http://smedgd.neuro.utah.edu) will prove useful not only to the planarian research community, but also to those engaged in developmental and evolutionary biology, comparative genomics, stem cell research and regeneration. PMID:17881371

  19. 'Death and axes': unexpected Ca²? entry phenologs predict new anti-schistosomal agents.

    PubMed

    Chan, John D; Agbedanu, Prince N; Zamanian, Mostafa; Gruba, Sarah M; Haynes, Christy L; Day, Timothy A; Marchant, Jonathan S

    2014-02-01

    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic flatworm disease that infects 200 million people worldwide. The drug praziquantel (PZQ) is the mainstay therapy but the target of this drug remains ambiguous. While PZQ paralyses and kills parasitic schistosomes, in free-living planarians PZQ caused an unusual axis duplication during regeneration to yield two-headed animals. Here, we show that PZQ activation of a neuronal Ca²? channel modulates opposing dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways to regulate 'head' structure formation. Surprisingly, compounds with efficacy for either bioaminergic network in planarians also displayed antischistosomal activity, and reciprocally, agents first identified as antischistocidal compounds caused bipolar regeneration in the planarian bioassay. These divergent outcomes (death versus axis duplication) result from the same Ca²? entry mechanism, and comprise unexpected Ca²? phenologs with meaningful predictive value. Surprisingly, basic research into axis patterning mechanisms provides an unexpected route for discovering novel antischistosomal agents. PMID:24586156

  20. [Formation of the photosensing system function in early development].

    PubMed

    She?man, I M; Kreshchenko, N D; Netreba, M V

    2010-01-01

    The function of simple prototypic eyes in two planarian species, the two ocular Girardia tigrina and the multiocular Polycelis tenuis, has been studied. When exposed to light, planarians display the light avoidance reaction known as negative phototaxis. This reaction has been investigated in intact animals and in head and tail fragments after their section in the course of eye regeneration. Specific features of the phototaxis reaction have been described in all groups of animals. The differences in light response recovery were shown between two planarian species and two regenerating fragments. No correlation between phototaxic reactions and the restoration of the eye structure, the number of eyes, the maturation of ganglion, the growth of regenerative blastema, and motor system has been found. The phototaxic response occurred two days after the recovery of the morphology of eyes and their connection with the brain. The participation of conserved and novel genes in early development of the eye function is discussed. PMID:20968081

  1. ‘Death and Axes’: Unexpected Ca2+ Entry Phenologs Predict New Anti-schistosomal Agents

    PubMed Central

    Chan, John D.; Agbedanu, Prince N.; Zamanian, Mostafa; Gruba, Sarah M.; Haynes, Christy L.; Day, Timothy A.; Marchant, Jonathan S.

    2014-01-01

    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic flatworm disease that infects 200 million people worldwide. The drug praziquantel (PZQ) is the mainstay therapy but the target of this drug remains ambiguous. While PZQ paralyses and kills parasitic schistosomes, in free-living planarians PZQ caused an unusual axis duplication during regeneration to yield two-headed animals. Here, we show that PZQ activation of a neuronal Ca2+ channel modulates opposing dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways to regulate ‘head’ structure formation. Surprisingly, compounds with efficacy for either bioaminergic network in planarians also displayed antischistosomal activity, and reciprocally, agents first identified as antischistocidal compounds caused bipolar regeneration in the planarian bioassay. These divergent outcomes (death versus axis duplication) result from the same Ca2+ entry mechanism, and comprise unexpected Ca2+ phenologs with meaningful predictive value. Surprisingly, basic research into axis patterning mechanisms provides an unexpected route for discovering novel antischistosomal agents. PMID:24586156

  2. Stem cells and fluid flow drive cyst formation in an invertebrate excretory organ.

    PubMed

    Thi-Kim Vu, Hanh; Rink, Jochen C; McKinney, Sean A; McClain, Melainia; Lakshmanaperumal, Naharajan; Alexander, Richard; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2015-01-01

    Cystic kidney diseases (CKDs) affect millions of people worldwide. The defining pathological features are fluid-filled cysts developing from nephric tubules due to defective flow sensing, cell proliferation and differentiation. The underlying molecular mechanisms, however, remain poorly understood, and the derived excretory systems of established invertebrate models (Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster) are unsuitable to model CKDs. Systematic structure/function comparisons revealed that the combination of ultrafiltration and flow-associated filtrate modification that is central to CKD etiology is remarkably conserved between the planarian excretory system and the vertebrate nephron. Consistently, both RNA-mediated genetic interference (RNAi) of planarian orthologues of human CKD genes and inhibition of tubule flow led to tubular cystogenesis that share many features with vertebrate CKDs, suggesting deep mechanistic conservation. Our results demonstrate a common evolutionary origin of animal excretory systems and establish planarians as a novel and experimentally accessible invertebrate model for the study of human kidney pathologies. PMID:26057828

  3. To Each His Own

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, Jason A.; Lind, Christine H.; Truong, M. Phuong; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2015-10-01

    Planarians are among the most complex animals with the ability to regenerate complete organisms from small tissue pieces. This ability allows them to reproduce by splitting themselves into a head and a tail piece, making them a rare example of asexual reproduction via transverse fission in multi-cellular organisms. Due to the stochastic nature of long reproductive cycles, which range from days to months, few and primarily qualitative studies have been conducted to understand the reproductive behaviors of asexual planarians. We have executed the largest long-term study on planarian asexual reproduction to date, tracking more than 23,000 reproductive events of three common planarian species found in Europe, North America, and Asia, respectively: Schmidtea mediterranea, Dugesia tigrina, and Dugesia japonica. This unique data collection allowed us to perform a detailed statistical analysis of their reproductive strategies. Since the three species share a similar anatomy and mode of reproduction by transverse division, we were surprised to find that each species had acquired its own distinct strategy for optimizing its reproductive success. We statistically examined each strategy, associated trade-offs, and the potential regulatory mechanisms on the population level. Interestingly, models for cell cycle length regulation in unicellular organisms could be directly applied to describe reproductive cycle lengths of planarians, despite the difference in underlying biological mechanisms. Finally, we examined the ecological implications of each strategy through intra- and inter-species competition experiments and found that D. japonica outcompeted the other two species due to its relatively equal distribution of resources on head and tail pieces, its cannibalistic behaviors and ability to thrive in crowded environments. These results show that this species would pose a serious threat to endogenous planarian populations if accidentally introduced in their habitats.

  4. To Be or Not to Be a Flatworm: The Acoel Controversy

    PubMed Central

    Arendt, Detlev; Borgonie, Gaëtan; Funayama, Noriko; Gschwentner, Robert; Hartenstein, Volker; Hobmayer, Bert; Hooge, Matthew; Hrouda, Martina; Ishida, Sachiko; Kobayashi, Chiyoko; Kuales, Georg; Nishimura, Osamu; Pfister, Daniela; Rieger, Reinhard; Salvenmoser, Willi; Smith, Julian; Technau, Ulrich; Tyler, Seth; Agata, Kiyokazu; Salzburger, Walter; Ladurner, Peter

    2009-01-01

    Since first described, acoels were considered members of the flatworms (Platyhelminthes). However, no clear synapomorphies among the three large flatworm taxa - the Catenulida, the Acoelomorpha and the Rhabditophora - have been characterized to date. Molecular phylogenies, on the other hand, commonly positioned acoels separate from other flatworms. Accordingly, our own multi-locus phylogenetic analysis using 43 genes and 23 animal species places the acoel flatworm Isodiametra pulchra at the base of all Bilateria, distant from other flatworms. By contrast, novel data on the distribution and proliferation of stem cells and the specific mode of epidermal replacement constitute a strong synapomorphy for the Acoela plus the major group of flatworms, the Rhabditophora. The expression of a piwi-like gene not only in gonadal, but also in adult somatic stem cells is another unique feature among bilaterians. These two independent stem-cell-related characters put the Acoela into the Platyhelminthes-Lophotrochozoa clade and account for the most parsimonious evolutionary explanation of epidermal cell renewal in the Bilateria. Most available multigene analyses produce conflicting results regarding the position of the acoels in the tree of life. Given these phylogenomic conflicts and the contradiction of developmental and morphological data with phylogenomic results, the monophyly of the phylum Platyhelminthes and the position of the Acoela remain unresolved. By these data, both the inclusion of Acoela within Platyhelminthes, and their separation from flatworms as basal bilaterians are well-supported alternatives. PMID:19430533

  5. [Effect of weak electromagnetic radiation on regeneration of the pharynx in Dugesia tigrina planaria].

    PubMed

    Kreshchenko, N D; She?man, I M; Fesenko, E E

    2001-01-01

    We have studied the effect of weak electromagnetic field on the morphogenesis of the planarian Dugesia tigrina. Regeneration of the pharynx was examined after its amputation. We have determined the rate of the appearance of the food response of a new pharynx. Experimental conditions were varied, such as dose and duration of irradiation, season, and time of irradiation after surgery. The results of experiments conducted with 2966 planarians have shown that weak electromagnetic field has various effects, which appear either as stimulation of regeneration or as its inhibition. In some experiments, there was no effect at all. These differences depend on numerous factors and may be modulated. PMID:11544766

  6. The cellular basis for animal regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Elly; Reddien, Peter W.

    2011-01-01

    The ability of animals to regenerate missing parts is a dramatic and poorly understood aspect of biology. The sources of new cells for these regenerative phenomena have been sought for decades. Recent advances involving cell fate tracking in complex tissues have shed new light on the cellular underpinnings of regeneration in Hydra, planarians, zebrafish, Xenopus, and Axolotl. Planarians accomplish regeneration with use of adult pluripotent stem cells, whereas several vertebrates utilize a collection of lineage-restricted progenitors from different tissues. Together, an array of cellular strategies—from pluripotent stem cells to tissue-specific stem cells and dedifferentiation—are utilized for regeneration. PMID:21763617

  7. Regeneration: The origin of cancer or a possible cure?

    PubMed

    Oviedo, Néstor J; Beane, Wendy S

    2009-07-01

    A better understanding of the forces controlling cell growth will be essential for developing effective therapies in regenerative medicine and cancer. Historically, the literature has linked cancer and tissue regeneration-proposing regeneration as both the source of cancer and a method to inhibit tumorigenesis. This review discusses two powerful regeneration models, the vertebrate urodele amphibians and invertebrate planarians, in light of cancer regulation. Urodele limb and eye lens regeneration is described, as well as the planarian's emergence as a molecular and genetic model system in which recent insights begin to molecularly dissect cancer and regeneration in adult tissues. PMID:19427247

  8. The cellular basis for animal regeneration.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Elly M; Reddien, Peter W

    2011-07-19

    The ability of animals to regenerate missing parts is a dramatic and poorly understood aspect of biology. The sources of new cells for these regenerative phenomena have been sought for decades. Recent advances involving cell fate tracking in complex tissues have shed new light on the cellular underpinnings of regeneration in Hydra, planarians, zebrafish, Xenopus, and Axolotl. Planarians accomplish regeneration with use of adult pluripotent stem cells, whereas several vertebrates utilize a collection of lineage-restricted progenitors from different tissues. Together, an array of cellular strategies-from pluripotent stem cells to tissue-specific stem cells and dedifferentiation-are utilized for regeneration. PMID:21763617

  9. Substantial Loss of Conserved and Gain of Novel MicroRNA Families in Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Fromm, Bastian; Worren, Merete Molton; Hahn, Christoph; Hovig, Eivind; Bachmann, Lutz

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies on microRNA (miRNA) evolution focused mainly on the comparison of miRNA complements between animal clades. However, evolution of miRNAs within such groups is poorly explored despite the availability of comparable data that in some cases lack only a few key taxa. For flatworms (Platyhelminthes), miRNA complements are available for some free-living flatworms and all major parasitic lineages, except for the Monogenea. We present the miRNA complement of the monogenean flatworm Gyrodactylus salaris that facilitates a comprehensive analysis of miRNA evolution in Platyhelminthes. Using the newly designed bioinformatics pipeline miRCandRef, the miRNA complement was disentangled from next-generation sequencing of small RNAs and genomic DNA without a priori genome assembly. It consists of 39 miRNA hairpin loci of conserved miRNA families, and 22 novel miRNAs. A comparison with the miRNA complements of Schmidtea mediterranea (Turbellaria), Schistosoma japonicum (Trematoda), and Echinococcus granulosus (Cestoda) reveals a substantial loss of conserved bilaterian, protostomian, and lophotrochozoan miRNAs. Eight of the 46 expected conserved miRNAs were lost in all flatworms, 16 in Neodermata and 24 conserved miRNAs could not be detected in the cestode and the trematode. Such a gradual loss of miRNAs has not been reported before for other animal phyla. Currently, little is known about miRNAs in Platyhelminthes, and for the majority of the lost miRNAs there is no prediction of function. As suggested earlier they might be related to morphological simplifications. The presence and absence of 153 conserved miRNAs was compared for platyhelminths and 32 other metazoan taxa. Phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of Platyhelminthes (Turbellaria + Neodermata [Monogenea {Trematoda + Cestoda}]). PMID:24025793

  10. Substantial loss of conserved and gain of novel MicroRNA families in flatworms.

    PubMed

    Fromm, Bastian; Worren, Merete Molton; Hahn, Christoph; Hovig, Eivind; Bachmann, Lutz

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies on microRNA (miRNA) evolution focused mainly on the comparison of miRNA complements between animal clades. However, evolution of miRNAs within such groups is poorly explored despite the availability of comparable data that in some cases lack only a few key taxa. For flatworms (Platyhelminthes), miRNA complements are available for some free-living flatworms and all major parasitic lineages, except for the Monogenea. We present the miRNA complement of the monogenean flatworm Gyrodactylus salaris that facilitates a comprehensive analysis of miRNA evolution in Platyhelminthes. Using the newly designed bioinformatics pipeline miRCandRef, the miRNA complement was disentangled from next-generation sequencing of small RNAs and genomic DNA without a priori genome assembly. It consists of 39 miRNA hairpin loci of conserved miRNA families, and 22 novel miRNAs. A comparison with the miRNA complements of Schmidtea mediterranea (Turbellaria), Schistosoma japonicum (Trematoda), and Echinococcus granulosus (Cestoda) reveals a substantial loss of conserved bilaterian, protostomian, and lophotrochozoan miRNAs. Eight of the 46 expected conserved miRNAs were lost in all flatworms, 16 in Neodermata and 24 conserved miRNAs could not be detected in the cestode and the trematode. Such a gradual loss of miRNAs has not been reported before for other animal phyla. Currently, little is known about miRNAs in Platyhelminthes, and for the majority of the lost miRNAs there is no prediction of function. As suggested earlier they might be related to morphological simplifications. The presence and absence of 153 conserved miRNAs was compared for platyhelminths and 32 other metazoan taxa. Phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of Platyhelminthes (Turbellaria + Neodermata [Monogenea {Trematoda + Cestoda}]). PMID:24025793

  11. Inexpensive Animal Learning Exercises for Huge Introductory Laboratory Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katz, Albert N.

    1978-01-01

    Suggests use of the planarian D. Dorotocephala, an animal 20 mm in size, in order to provide inexpensive lab experiences for students in large introductory psychology courses. The animal can be used to study perception, memory, behavior modification, and group processes. (Author/AV)

  12. The evaluation of the activity of medicinal remedies of plant and animal origin on the regeneration of the earthworms' tail segments.

    PubMed

    Bybin, Viktor Alexandrovich; Stom, Daevard Iosifovich

    2014-01-01

    Now, in the global community there is enough hard recommendation to replace the vertebrate test animals into simpler organisms at the development, testing, and evaluation of the quality pharmaceuticals. The feature of planarian to regenerate in new individual planarian from a piece, which is only 1/7 of the original animal, allowed to create the alternative methods of testing of drugs, dietary supplements, water quality, influence of electromagnetic fields, and other radiations. The tests on planarian can replace the ones that are held today on mammals. However, the lacks of the bioassays based on the planarian regeneration are the need for complex and expensive video equipment for recording the regrowth of worms' body, the difficulties of culturing of flatworms and fairly long period of response. These difficulties can be avoided by using another group of the worms of type Annelida. The new individual can be fully recovered only from the front half of the body in many species of earthworms. Thus, the influence of the pharmaceuticals from earthworms, mummy, and Orthilia secunda on the ability of earthworms to regenerate lost tail segments has been investigated. The relations of the activity of preparations tested with doses and the time of the storage have been revealed. The principal possibility of applicability of the test reaction studied as a way to evaluate the effects and quality of remedies based on medicinal plants and earthworms has been shown. PMID:26692755

  13. Temporally-Patterned Magnetic Fields Induce Complete Fragmentation in Planaria

    PubMed Central

    Murugan, Nirosha J.; Karbowski, Lukasz M.; Lafrenie, Robert M.; Persinger, Michael A.

    2013-01-01

    A tandem sequence composed of weak temporally-patterned magnetic fields was discovered that produced 100% dissolution of planarian in their home environment. After five consecutive days of 6.5 hr exposure to a frequency-modulated magnetic field (0.1 to 2 µT), immediately followed by an additional 6.5 hr exposure on the fifth day, to another complex field (0.5 to 5 µT) with exponentially increasing spectral power 100% of planarian dissolved within 24 hr. Reversal of the sequence of the fields or presentation of only one pattern for the same duration did not produce this effect. Direct video evidence showed expansion (by visual estimation ∼twice normal volume) of the planarian following the first field pattern followed by size reduction (estimated ∼1/2 of normal volume) and death upon activation of the second pattern. The contortions displayed by the planarian during the last field exposure suggest effects on contractile proteins and alterations in the cell membrane’s permeability to water. PMID:23620783

  14. The evaluation of the activity of medicinal remedies of plant and animal origin on the regeneration of the earthworms’ tail segments

    PubMed Central

    Bybin, Viktor Alexandrovich; Stom, Daevard Iosifovich

    2015-01-01

    Now, in the global community there is enough hard recommendation to replace the vertebrate test animals into simpler organisms at the development, testing, and evaluation of the quality pharmaceuticals. The feature of planarian to regenerate in new individual planarian from a piece, which is only 1/7 of the original animal, allowed to create the alternative methods of testing of drugs, dietary supplements, water quality, influence of electromagnetic fields, and other radiations. The tests on planarian can replace the ones that are held today on mammals. However, the lacks of the bioassays based on the planarian regeneration are the need for complex and expensive video equipment for recording the regrowth of worms’ body, the difficulties of culturing of flatworms and fairly long period of response. These difficulties can be avoided by using another group of the worms of type Annelida. The new individual can be fully recovered only from the front half of the body in many species of earthworms. Thus, the influence of the pharmaceuticals from earthworms, mummy, and Orthilia secunda on the ability of earthworms to regenerate lost tail segments has been investigated. The relations of the activity of preparations tested with doses and the time of the storage have been revealed. The principal possibility of applicability of the test reaction studied as a way to evaluate the effects and quality of remedies based on medicinal plants and earthworms has been shown. PMID:26692755

  15. Cocaine and kappa-opioid withdrawal in Planaria blocked by D-, but not L-, glucose.

    PubMed

    Umeda, Sumiyo; Stagliano, Gregory W; Raffa, Robert B

    2004-08-27

    Planarians (Dugesia dorotocephala) that were exposed for 1 h to cocaine (80 microM) or to the kappa-selective opioid receptor agonist U-50,488H (1 microM) displayed an abstinence-induced withdrawal syndrome, indicative of the development of physical dependence, when they were tested in cocaine- (or U-50,488H-) free water, but not when they were tested in cocaine- (or U-50,488H-) containing water. The withdrawal was manifested as a significant (P<0.05) decrease in the rate of planarian spontaneous locomotor activity over a 5-min observation period, using a recently designed metric. Co-exposure of the planarians to D-glucose (1 microM) or to 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG, 1 microM), but not to L-glucose (1 microM), significantly attenuated (P<0.05) the development of physical dependence, shown by an attenuated withdrawal syndrome, from cocaine and U-50,488H. These results suggest that either D-glucose and 2-deoxy-D-glucose compete with a common cocaine and kappa-opioid transport mechanism or that the development of physical dependence (or the inhibition of abstinence-induced withdrawal) in planarians requires energy supplied from glucose metabolism. PMID:15276876

  16. Teratological research using in vitro systems. V. Nonmammalian model systems.

    PubMed Central

    Collins, T F

    1987-01-01

    In this review of alternative tests to whole-animal rodent studies, the use of sub-mammalian and sub-vertebrate systems is investigated. The history, methodology, known limitations, end points, dose response, and requirements of virus, hydra, planarian, cricket, fish, amphibia, Drosophila, and chicken embryo systems are discussed. PMID:3113934

  17. The dawn of bilaterian animals: the case of acoelomorph flatworms.

    PubMed

    Baguñà, Jaume; Riutort, Marta

    2004-10-01

    The origin of the bilaterian metazoans from radial ancestors is one of the biggest puzzles in animal evolution. A way to solve it is to identify the nature and main features of the last common ancestor of the bilaterians (LCB). Recent progress in molecular phylogeny has shown that many platyhelminth flatworms, regarded for a long time as basal bilaterians, now belong to the lophotrochozoan protostomates. In contrast, the LCB is now considered a complex organism bearing several features of modern bilaterians. Here we discuss an alternative view, in which acoelomorph (Acoela + Nemertodermatida) flatworms, which do not belong to the Platyhelminthes, represent the earliest extant bilaterian clade. Sequences from ribosomal and other nuclear genes, Hox cluster genes, and reinterpretation of some morphological features strongly support the basal position of acoelomorphs arguing against a complex LCB. This reconstruction backs the old planuloid-acoeloid hypothesis and may help our understanding of the evolution of body axes, Hox genes and the Cambrian explosion. PMID:15382134

  18. A phylogenetic analysis of myosin heavy chain type II sequences corroborates that Acoela and Nemertodermatida are basal bilaterians

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Trillo, I.; Paps, J.; Loukota, M.; Ribera, C.; Jondelius, U.; Baguñà, J.; Riutort, M.

    2002-01-01

    Bilateria are currently subdivided into three superclades: Deuterostomia, Ecdysozoa, and Lophotrochozoa. Within this new taxonomic frame, acoelomate Platyhelminthes, for a long time held to be basal bilaterians, are now considered spiralian lophotrochozoans. However, recent 18S rDNA [small subunit (SSU)] analyses have shown Platyhelminthes to be polyphyletic with two of its orders, the Acoela and the Nemertodermatida, as the earliest extant bilaterians. To corroborate such position and avoid the criticisms of saturation and long-branch effects thrown on the SSU molecule, we have searched for independent molecular data bearing good phylogenetic information at deep evolutionary nodes. Here we report a phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences from the myosin heavy chain type II (myosin II) gene from a large set of metazoans, including acoels and nemertodermatids. Our study demonstrates, both for the myosin II data set alone and for a combined SSU + myosin II data set, that Platyhelminthes are polyphyletic and that acoels and nemertodermatids are the extant earliest bilaterians. Hence, the common bilaterian ancestor was not, as currently held, large and complex but small, simple, and likely with direct development. This scenario has far-reaching implications for understanding the evolution of major body plans and for perceptions of the Cambrian evolutionary explosion. PMID:12177440

  19. A phylogenetic analysis of myosin heavy chain type II sequences corroborates that Acoela and Nemertodermatida are basal bilaterians.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Trillo, I; Paps, J; Loukota, M; Ribera, C; Jondelius, U; Baguna, J; Riutort, M

    2002-08-20

    Bilateria are currently subdivided into three superclades: Deuterostomia, Ecdysozoa, and Lophotrochozoa. Within this new taxonomic frame, acoelomate Platyhelminthes, for a long time held to be basal bilaterians, are now considered spiralian lophotrochozoans. However, recent 18S rDNA [small subunit (SSU)] analyses have shown Platyhelminthes to be polyphyletic with two of its orders, the Acoela and the Nemertodermatida, as the earliest extant bilaterians. To corroborate such position and avoid the criticisms of saturation and long-branch effects thrown on the SSU molecule, we have searched for independent molecular data bearing good phylogenetic information at deep evolutionary nodes. Here we report a phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences from the myosin heavy chain type II (myosin II) gene from a large set of metazoans, including acoels and nemertodermatids. Our study demonstrates, both for the myosin II data set alone and for a combined SSU + myosin II data set, that Platyhelminthes are polyphyletic and that acoels and nemertodermatids are the extant earliest bilaterians. Hence, the common bilaterian ancestor was not, as currently held, large and complex but small, simple, and likely with direct development. This scenario has far-reaching implications for understanding the evolution of major body plans and for perceptions of the Cambrian evolutionary explosion. PMID:12177440

  20. Phylogenetic analysis of the endoribonuclease Dicer family.

    PubMed

    Gao, Zeqian; Wang, Miao; Blair, David; Zheng, Yadong; Dou, Yongxi

    2014-01-01

    Dicers are proteins of the ribonuclease III family with the ability to process dsRNA, involved in regulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Dicers are conserved from basal metazoans to higher metazoans and contain a number of functional domains that interact with dsRNA. The completed genome sequences of over 34 invertebrate species allowed us to systematically investigate Dicer genes over a diverse range of phyla. The majority of invertebrate Dicers clearly fell into the Dicer1 or Dicer2 subfamilies. Most nematodes possessed only one Dicer gene, a member of the Dicer1 subfamily, whereas two Dicer genes (Dicer1 and Dicer2) were present in all platyhelminths surveyed. Analysis of the key domains showed that a 5' pocket was conserved across members of the Dicer1 subfamily, with the exception of the nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Interestingly, Nematostella vectensis DicerB grouped into Dicer2 subfamily harbored a 5' pocket, which is commonly present in Dicer1. Similarly, the 3' pocket was also found to be conserved in all Dicer proteins with the exceptions of Schmidtea mediterranea Dicer2 and Trichoplax adherens Dicer A. The loss of catalytic residues in the RNase III domain was noted in platyhelminths and cnidarians, and the 'ball' and 'socket' junction between two RNase III domains in platyhelminth Dicers was different from the canonical junction, suggesting the possibility of different conformations. The present data suggest that Dicers might have duplicated and diversified independently, and have evolved for various functions in invertebrates. PMID:24748168

  1. The protection of invertebrates, fish, and vascular plants against inorganic mercury poisoning by sulfur and selenium derivatives.

    PubMed

    Siegel, B Z; Siegel, S M; Correa, T; Dagan, C; Galvez, G; LeeLoy, L; Padua, A; Yaeger, E

    1991-02-01

    Protection of organisms against mercury (Hg) poisoning is most commonly associated with the antagonistic effects of selenium (Se)-compounds against mercury alkyls in higher animals. This study shows that there is no consistent difference among Periodic Group VIA derivatives including S(IV), S(II) organic, Se (IV), Se (II) organic, possibly Se VI, as well and Te (IV) in their ability to protect against mercury poisoning. The organisms used in assays were: Coleus explants (leaf abscission); turnip (germination); pea (growth inhibition and Hg uptake); a planarian (regeneration); the brineshrimp (excystment, phototaxy); the mealworm larva Tenebrio (metamorphosis) and the fish "tilapia" (survival, Hg uptake). Thiamine was the most effective of the Group VIA derivatives against the widest spectrum of organisms and test systems. In planarian regeneration, it was active where S and Se compounds failed. The most unexpected observation was the hastening of insect metamorphosis by HgCl2 and the enhancement of that effect by thiamine. PMID:2014999

  2. A pumilio homolog in Polycelis sp.

    PubMed

    Yuwen, Yanqing; Dong, Zimei; Si, Xiaohui; Chen, Guangwen

    2014-02-01

    Pumilio proteins (PUMs), members of the pumilio/fem-3 mRNA-binding factor (PUF) family, are eukaryote-specific RNA-binding proteins. We isolated a 2,048-basepair cDNA fragment of a pumilio homolog from the planarian flatworm Polycelis sp. This pumilio protein (PyPUM) contains a conserved pumilio homology domain (PUM-HD) consisting of eight repeats and two flanking half repeats. PyPUM shows high similarity to Dugesia japonica pumilio (DjPUM) from another planarian D. japonica, and their PUM-HD also shows high similarity to each other. Furthermore, our data showed that there is a flatworm-specific spacer between repeats 7 and 8. Phylogenetic analysis showed that PyPUM has a closer relationship to other PUM homologs from flatworms. These results provide a foundation for future functional studies of pumilio gene in Polycelis sp. PMID:24292205

  3. Inhibitory effects of pain relief drugs on neurological enzymes: implications on their potential neurotoxicity to aquatic animals.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jui-Pin; Li, Mei-Hui

    2015-03-01

    Pain relief medications commonly occur in the aquatic environment at measurable levels. While the neurotoxicity of pain relievers to higher vertebrates is currently known, little is known about their effects on aquatic animals. This study investigated the neurotoxicity of pain relievers to aquatic animals. We used three neurological enzymes, cholinesterase (ChE), adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase), and monoamine oxidase (MAO), from a freshwater planarian (Dugesia japonica) and green neon shrimp (Neocaridina denticulata) as biomarkers to examine the effects of pain relievers on in vitro activity. The activity of MAO and ChE, but not ATPase, was significantly inhibited by acetaminophen, but not by other pain relievers examined. It was likely that the inhibitory effects of acetaminophen on shrimp neurological enzymes were more severe than on the planarian. These findings suggest that acetaminophen is potentially neurotoxic to aquatic animals, at least in terms of neurotransmission disturbance. PMID:25801321

  4. Types or States? Cellular Dynamics and Regenerative Potential.

    PubMed

    Adler, Carolyn E; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2015-11-01

    Many of our organs can maintain and repair themselves during homeostasis and injury, as a result of the action of tissue-specific, multipotent stem cells. However, recent evidence from mammalian systems suggests that injury stimulates dramatic plasticity, or transient changes in cell potential, in both stem cells and more differentiated cells. Planarian flatworms possess abundant stem cells, making them an exceptional model for understanding the cellular behavior underlying homeostasis and regeneration. Recent discoveries of cell lineages and regeneration-specific events provide an initial framework for unraveling the complex cellular contributions to regeneration. In this review, we discuss the concept of cellular plasticity in the context of planarian regeneration, and consider the possibility that pluripotency may be a transient, probabilistic state exhibited by stem cells. PMID:26437587

  5. Regeneration across metazoan phylogeny: lessons from model organisms.

    PubMed

    Li, Qiao; Yang, Hao; Zhong, Tao P

    2015-02-20

    Comprehending the diversity of the regenerative potential across metazoan phylogeny represents a fundamental challenge in biology. Invertebrates like Hydra and planarians exhibit amazing feats of regeneration, in which an entire organism can be restored from minute body segments. Vertebrates like teleost fish and amphibians can also regrow large sections of the body. While this regenerative capacity is greatly attenuated in mammals, there are portions of major organs that remain regenerative. Regardless of the extent, there are common basic strategies to regeneration, including activation of adult stem cells and proliferation of differentiated cells. Here, we discuss the cellular features and molecular mechanisms that are involved in regeneration in different model organisms, including Hydra, planarians, zebrafish and newts as well as in several mammalian organs. PMID:25697100

  6. Towards a bioinformatics of patterning: a computational approach to understanding regulative morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Lobo, Daniel; Malone, Taylor J.; Levin, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Summary The mechanisms underlying the regenerative abilities of certain model species are of central importance to the basic understanding of pattern formation. Complex organisms such as planaria and salamanders exhibit an exceptional capacity to regenerate complete body regions and organs from amputated pieces. However, despite the outstanding bottom-up efforts of molecular biologists and bioinformatics focused at the level of gene sequence, no comprehensive mechanistic model exists that can account for more than one or two aspects of regeneration. The development of computational approaches that help scientists identify constructive models of pattern regulation is held back by the lack of both flexible morphological representations and a repository for the experimental procedures and their results (altered pattern formation). No formal representation or computational tools exist to efficiently store, search, or mine the available knowledge from regenerative experiments, inhibiting fundamental insights from this huge dataset. To overcome these problems, we present here a new class of ontology to encode formally and unambiguously a very wide range of possible morphologies, manipulations, and experiments. This formalism will pave the way for top-down approaches for the discovery of comprehensive models of regeneration. We chose the planarian regeneration dataset to illustrate a proof-of-principle of this novel bioinformatics of shape; we developed a software tool to facilitate the formalization and mining of the planarian experimental knowledge, and cured a database containing all of the experiments from the principal publications on planarian regeneration. These resources are freely available for the regeneration community and will readily assist researchers in identifying specific functional data in planarian experiments. More importantly, these applications illustrate the presented framework for formalizing knowledge about functional perturbations of morphogenesis, which is widely applicable to numerous model systems beyond regenerating planaria, and can be extended to many aspects of functional developmental, regenerative, and evolutionary biology. PMID:23429669

  7. The adaptive evolution divergence of triosephosphate isomerases between parasitic and free-living flatworms and the discovery of a potential universal target against flatworm parasites.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bing; Wen, Jian-Fan

    2011-08-01

    Triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) is an important drug target or vaccine candidate for pathogenetic organisms such as schistosomes. Parasitic and free-living flatworms shared their last common ancestor but diverged from each other for adapting to parasitic and free-living lives afterwards, respectively. Therefore, adaptive evolution divergence must have occurred between them. Here, for the first time, TIMs were identified from three free-living planarian flatworms, namely Dugesia japonica, Dugesia ryukyuensis, and Schmidtea mediterranea. When these were compared with parasitic flatworms and other organisms, the following results were obtained: (1) planarian TIM genes each contain only one intron, while parasitic flatworm genes each contain other four introns, which are usually present in common metazoans, suggesting planarian-specific intron loss must have occurred; (2) planarian TIM protein sequences are more similar to those of vertebrates rather than to their parasitic relatives or other invertebrates. This implies that relatively rapid evolution occurred in parasitic flatworm TIMs; (3) All the investigated parasitic flatworm TIMs contain a unique tripeptide insert (SXD/E), which may imply its insertion importance to the adaptation of parasitic life. Moreover, our homology modeling results showed the insert region was largely surface-exposed and predicted to be of a B cell epitope location. Finally, the insert is located within one of the three regions previously suggested to be promising immunogenic epitopes in Schistosoma mansoni TIM. Therefore, this unique insert might be significant to developing new effective vaccines or specific drugs against all parasitic flatworm diseases such as schistosomiasis and taeniosis/cysticercosis. PMID:21246382

  8. Galantamine reverses scopolamine-induced behavioral alterations in Dugesia tigrina.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnan, Latha; Amatya, Christina; DeSaer, Cassie J; Dalhoff, Zachary; Eggerichs, Michael R

    2014-09-01

    In planaria (Dugesia tigrina), scopolamine, a nonselective muscarinic receptor antagonist, induced distinct behaviors of attenuated motility and C-like hyperactivity. Planarian locomotor velocity (pLMV) displayed a dose-dependent negative correlation with scopolamine concentrations from 0.001 to 1.0 mM, and a further increase in scopolamine concentration to 2.25 mM did not further decrease pLMV. Planarian hyperactivity counts was dose-dependently increased following pretreatment with scopolamine concentrations from 0.001 to 0.5 mM and then decreased for scopolamine concentrations ≥ 1 mM. Planarian learning and memory investigated using classical Pavlovian conditioning experiments demonstrated that scopolamine (1 mM) negatively influenced associative learning indicated by a significant decrease in % positive behaviors from 86 % (control) to 14 % (1 mM scopolamine) and similarly altered memory retention, which is indicated by a decrease in % positive behaviors from 69 % (control) to 27 % (1 mM scopolamine). Galantamine demonstrated a complex behavior in planarian motility experiments since co-application of low concentrations of galantamine (0.001 and 0.01 mM) protected planaria against 1 mM scopolamine-induced motility impairments; however, pLMV was significantly decreased when planaria were tested in the presence of 0.1 mM galantamine alone. Effects of co-treatment of scopolamine and galantamine on memory retention in planaria via classical Pavlovian conditioning experiments showed that galantamine (0.01 mM) partially reversed scopolamine (1 mM)-induced memory deficits in planaria as the % positive behaviors increased from 27 to 63 %. The results demonstrate, for the first time in planaria, scopolamine's effects in causing learning and memory impairments and galantamine's ability in reversing scopolamine-induced memory impairments. PMID:24402079

  9. Dynamics of asexual reproduction in flatworms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoetz, Eva-Maria; Talbot, Jared; Dunkel, Joern

    2010-03-01

    Planarians (flatworms) are one of the simplest bilaterally symmetric organisms and famous for their extraordinary regenerative capabilities. One can cut a worm in 100 pieces and after a few weeks one obtains 100 new worms that have reconstructed their entire body, including a central nervous system. This amazing regenerative capability is due to a population of stem cells distributed throughout the planarian body. These stem cells do not only allow the worms to heal without scarring after wounding, they also allow for asexual reproduction: Planarians can split themselves in two, and then regenerate the missing body parts within about a week. Naively, one would think that this kind of asexual reproduction could be captured by simple models that describe cell growth in bacteria or other lower organisms. However, we find that there is much more to the story by monitoring >15 generations of many individuals, as well as the long-term behavior (> 9 months) of worm populations under different environmental conditions, such as population density, temperature, and feeding frequency. Surprisingly, we observe that reproduction decreases with increasing food supply, opposite to the relationship between food and reproduction in other asexually reproducing organisms (e.g. bacteria, yeast), and causing obese worms. Finally, our data allows us to address the question of aging in an organism that is thought to be ``forever young''.

  10. A nitric oxide synthase inhibitor (L-NAME) attenuates abstinence-induced withdrawal from both cocaine and a cannabinoid agonist (WIN 55212-2) in Planaria.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Rodriguez, Tonatiu; Baron, David A; Raffa, Robert B

    2006-07-12

    We previously reported that planarians (Dugesia dorotocephala) that have been exposed to cocaine for 1 h undergo abstinence-induced withdrawal when placed into cocaine-free, but not cocaine-containing, water. We now report that planarians also display dose-related abstinence-induced withdrawal following exposure to the synthetic cannabinoid agonist WIN 55212-2, but not its inactive enantiomer (WIN 55212-3). The withdrawal from WIN 55212-2 was manifested as a significant (P < 0.05) decrease in the rate of planarian spontaneous locomotor activity over a 5-min observation period, using a recently designed metric (pLMV). We also report that withdrawal from cocaine (80 microM) or WIN 55212-2 (10 microM) was attenuated by the selective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthesis L-NAME (L-nitro-arginine methyl ester), which had no effect of its own on pLMV. These results suggest a common NO-dependent pathway of withdrawal from cocaine and WIN 55212-2 in Planaria. PMID:16782070

  11. SmedGD 2.0: The Schmidtea mediterranea genome database.

    PubMed

    Robb, Sofia M C; Gotting, Kirsten; Ross, Eric; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2015-08-01

    Planarians have emerged as excellent models for the study of key biological processes such as stem cell function and regulation, axial polarity specification, regeneration, and tissue homeostasis among others. The most widely used organism for these studies is the free-living flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. In 2007, the Schmidtea mediterranea Genome Database (SmedGD) was first released to provide a much needed resource for the small, but growing planarian community. SmedGD 1.0 has been a depository for genome sequence, a draft assembly, and related experimental data (e.g., RNAi phenotypes, in situ hybridization images, and differential gene expression results). We report here a comprehensive update to SmedGD (SmedGD 2.0) that aims to expand its role as an interactive community resource. The new database includes more recent, and up-to-date transcription data, provides tools that enhance interconnectivity between different genome assemblies and transcriptomes, including next-generation assemblies for both the sexual and asexual biotypes of S. mediterranea. SmedGD 2.0 (http://smedgd.stowers.org) not only provides significantly improved gene annotations, but also tools for data sharing, attributes that will help both the planarian and biomedical communities to more efficiently mine the genomics and transcriptomics of S. mediterranea. PMID:26138588

  12. Combined effect of invertebrate predation and sublethal pesticide exposure on the behavior and survival of Asellus aquaticus (Crustacea; Isopoda).

    PubMed

    Bundschuh, Mirco; Appeltauer, Andreas; Dabrunz, André; Schulz, Ralf

    2012-07-01

    Invertebrate communities of lentic habitats comprise, amongst others, the crustacean Asellus aquaticus (Isopoda) and the turbellarian Dendrocoelum lacteum (Tricladida). Because D. lacteum preferentially preys on A. aquaticus, contaminants introduced into the aquatic environment may affect this predator-prey interaction, finally influencing the performance of the predator. However, no studies investigating implications of organic pollutants on this food web subsystem currently exist. Hence, the present study assessed short-term implications of pesticides with different modes of action, namely, the triazole fungicide tebuconazole and the pyrethroid insecticide lambda-cyhalothrin, during a 72 h trial. The experiments for tebuconazole showed a statistically significant decrease in predatory success of D. lacteum. Lambda-cyhalothrin, in contrast, increased predation success by 40%, which is, however, not statistically significant. Both the decrease and the increase in predation seemed to be primarily driven by an altered activity of the prey A. aquaticus. This may be hypothesized because any shift in the prey's activity influenced its probability to stick to mucus, a viscous substance released by D. lacteum, or to encounter the predator directly. PMID:22223070

  13. Phylogenetic Analysis of the Endoribonuclease Dicer Family

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Zeqian; Wang, Miao; Blair, David; Zheng, Yadong; Dou, Yongxi

    2014-01-01

    Dicers are proteins of the ribonuclease III family with the ability to process dsRNA, involved in regulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Dicers are conserved from basal metazoans to higher metazoans and contain a number of functional domains that interact with dsRNA. The completed genome sequences of over 34 invertebrate species allowed us to systematically investigate Dicer genes over a diverse range of phyla. The majority of invertebrate Dicers clearly fell into the Dicer1 or Dicer2 subfamilies. Most nematodes possessed only one Dicer gene, a member of the Dicer1 subfamily, whereas two Dicer genes (Dicer1 and Dicer2) were present in all platyhelminths surveyed. Analysis of the key domains showed that a 5′ pocket was conserved across members of the Dicer1 subfamily, with the exception of the nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. Interestingly, Nematostella vectensis DicerB grouped into Dicer2 subfamily harbored a 5′ pocket, which is commonly present in Dicer1. Similarly, the 3′ pocket was also found to be conserved in all Dicer proteins with the exceptions of Schmidtea mediterranea Dicer2 and Trichoplax adherens Dicer A. The loss of catalytic residues in the RNase III domain was noted in platyhelminths and cnidarians, and the ‘ball’ and ‘socket’ junction between two RNase III domains in platyhelminth Dicers was different from the canonical junction, suggesting the possibility of different conformations. The present data suggest that Dicers might have duplicated and diversified independently, and have evolved for various functions in invertebrates. PMID:24748168

  14. Phylogenetic relationships among higher Nemertean (Nemertea) Taxa inferred from 18S rDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Sundberg, P; Turbeville, J M; Lindh, S

    2001-09-01

    We estimated the phylogenetic relationships of 15 nemertean (phylum Nemertea) species from the four subclasses Hoplo-, Hetero-, Palaeo-, and Bdellonemertea with 18S rDNA sequence data. Three outgroup taxa were used for rooting: Annelida, Platyhelminthes, and Mollusca. Parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses supported the monophyletic status of the Heteronemertea and a taxon consisting of hoplonemerteans and Bdellonemertea, while indicating that Palaeonemertea is paraphyletic. The monophyletic status of the two nemertean classes Anopla and Enopla is not supported by the data. The unambiguous clades are well supported, as assessed by a randomization test (bootstrapping) and branch support values. PMID:11527461

  15. Phylogeny of protostome worms derived from 18S rRNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Winnepenninckx, B; Backeljau, T; De Wachter, R

    1995-07-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of protostome worms were studied by comparing new complete 18S rRNA sequences of Vestimentifera, Pogonophora, Sipuncula, Echiura, Nemertea, and Annelida with existing 18S rRNA sequences of Mollusca, Arthropoda, Chordata, and Platyhelminthes. Phylogenetic trees were inferred via neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony analyses. These suggest that (1) Sipuncula and Echiura are not sister groups; (2) Nemertea are protostomes; (3) Vestimentifera and Pogonophora are protostomes that have a common ancestor with Echiura; and (4) Vestimentifera and Pogonophora are a monophyletic clade. PMID:7659019

  16. When does a ganglion become a brain? Evolutionary origin of the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Sarnat, Harvey B; Netsky, Martin G

    2002-12-01

    A brain, a neural structure located in the head, differs from a ganglion by the following characteristics: (1) a brain subserves the entire body, not just restricted segments; (2) it has functionally specialized parts; (3) it is bilobar; (4) commissures and neurons form the surface with axons in the central core; (5) interneurons are more numerous than primary motor or primary sensory neurons; and (6) multisynaptic rather than monosynaptic circuits predominate. A "cephalic ganglion" does not exist in any living animal and probably never occurred even in extinct ancestral species. It also is not a developmental stage in the ontogenesis of any vertebrate. Amphioxus may represent an intermediate stage in the evolution of the vertebrate nervous system, but the anatomic relationship between the notochord and neural tube is more complex. The decussating interneuron of amphioxus, to mediate a primitive coiling reflex away from any stimulus, provides a phylogenetic explanation for the pattern of crossed long ascending and descending pathways in the subsequent evolution of the vertebrate central nervous system. The evolution of the vertebrate central nervous system may have begun with free-living flatworms (planaria) that evolved before the divergence of metazoans into invertebrate and chordate branches. The planarian is the simplest animal to develop a body plan of bilateral symmetry and axes of growth with gradients of genetic expression, enabling cephalization, dorsal and ventral surfaces, medial and lateral regions, and an aggregate of neural cells in the head that form a bilobed brain. Neurons of the planarian brain more closely resemble those of vertebrates than those of advanced invertebrates, exhibiting typical vertebrate features of multipolar shape, dendritic spines with synaptic boutons, a single axon, expression of vertebrate-like neural proteins, and relatively slow spontaneously generated electrical activity. The planarian is thus not only the first animal to possess a brain, but may be the ancestor of the vertebrate brain. PMID:12523550

  17. Molecular phylogeny of metazoan intermediate filament proteins.

    PubMed

    Erber, A; Riemer, D; Bovenschulte, M; Weber, K

    1998-12-01

    We have cloned cytoplasmic intermediate filament (IF) proteins from a large number of invertebrate phyla using cDNA probes, the monoclonal antibody IFA, peptide sequence information, and various RT-PCR procedures. Novel IF protein sequences reported here include the urochordata and nine protostomic phyla, i.e., Annelida, Brachiopoda, Chaetognatha, Echiura, Nematomorpha, Nemertea, Platyhelminthes, Phoronida, and Sipuncula. Taken together with the wealth of data on IF proteins of vertebrates and the results on IF proteins of Cephalochordata, Mollusca, Annelida, and Nematoda, two IF prototypes emerge. The L-type, which includes 35 sequences from 11 protostomic phyla, shares with the nuclear lamins the long version of the coil 1b subdomain and, in most cases, a homology segment of some 120 residues in the carboxyterminal tail domain. The S-type, which includes all four subfamilies (types I to IV) of vertebrate IF proteins, lacks 42 residues in the coil 1b subdomain and the carboxyterminal lamin homology segment. Since IF proteins from all three phyla of the chordates have the 42-residue deletion, this deletion arose in a progenitor prior to the divergence of the chordates into the urochordate, cephalochordate, and vertebrate lineages, possibly already at the origin of the deuterostomic branch. Four phyla recently placed into the protostomia on grounds of their 18S rDNA sequences (Brachiopoda, Nemertea, Phoronida, and Platyhelminthes) show IF proteins of the L-type and fit by sequence identity criteria into the lophotrochozoic branch of the protostomia. PMID:9847417

  18. The European eel may tolerate multiple infections at a low biological cost.

    PubMed

    Mayo-Hernández, Elvira; Serrano, Emmanuel; Peñalver, Jose; García-Ayala, Alfonsa; Ruiz de Ybáñez, Rocío; Muñoz, Pilar

    2015-06-01

    Most animals are concurrently infected with multiple parasites, and interactions among them may influence both disease dynamics and host fitness. However, the sublethal costs of parasite infections are difficult to measure and the effects of concomitant infections with multiple parasite species on individual physiology and fitness are poorly described for wild hosts. To understand the costs of co-infection, we investigated the relationships among 189 European eel (Anguilla anguilla) from Mar Menor, parasites (richness and intensity) and eel's 'health status' (fluctuant asymmetry, splenic somatic index and the scaled mass index) by partial least squares regression. We found a positive relationship with 44% of the health status variance explained by parasites. Contracaecum sp. (Nematoda: Anisakidae) was the strongest predictor variable (44·72%) followed by Bucephalus anguillae (Platyhelminthes: Bucephalidae), (29·26%), considered the two most relevant parasites in the analysis. Subsequently, 15·67 and 12·01% of the response variables block were explained by parasite richness and Deropristis inflata (Platyhelminthes: Deropristiidae), respectively. Thus, the presence of multiple parasitic exposures with little effect on condition, strongly suggests that eels from Mar Menor tolerate multiparasitism. PMID:25711727

  19. Identification of novel glutathione transferases in Echinococcus granulosus. An evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Iriarte, Andrés; Arbildi, Paula; La-Rocca, Silvana; Musto, Héctor; Fernández, Verónica

    2012-09-01

    Glutathione transferase enzymes (GSTs) constitute a major detoxification system in helminth parasites and have been related to the modulation of host immune response mechanisms. At least three different GSTs classes have been described in Platyhelminthes: Mu, Sigma and Omega. Mining the genome of Echinococcus multilocularis and the ESTs databases of Taenia solium and E. granulosus identified two new GSTs from the cestode E. granulosus, named EgGST2 and EgGST3. It also revealed that the Omega class of GSTs was absent from the Taenidae family. EgGST2 and EgGST3 are actively expressed in the parasite. In order to know the origin of these new GSTs, in silico analyses were performed. While EgGST2 is classified as belonging to the Sigma class, the data obtained for EgGST3 allowed a less clear interpretation. The study of the evolutionary relatedness based on the C-terminal domain sequence, gene structure conservation and three-dimensional structure predictions, suggests that EgGST3 is derived from the Platyhelminthes' Sigma-class cluster. Interestingly, the N-terminal domain displays some characteristic Omega-class residues, including a Cys residue that is likely to be involved in the catalytic mechanism. We discuss different evolutionary scenarios that could explain the observed patterns. PMID:22659461

  20. Put a tiger in your tank: the polyclad flatworm Maritigrella crozieri as a proposed model for evo-devo

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Polyclad flatworms are an early branching clade within the rhabditophoran Platyhelminthes. They provide an interesting system with which to explore the evolution of development within Platyhelminthes and amongst Spiralia (Lophotrochozoa). Unlike most other flatworms, polyclads undergo spiral cleavage (similar to that seen in some other spiralian taxa), they are the only free-living flatworms where development via a larval stage occurs, and they are the only flatworms in which embryos can be reared outside of their protective egg case, enabling embryonic manipulations. Past work has focused on comparing early cleavage patterns and larval anatomy between polyclads and other spiralians. We have selected Maritigrella crozieri, the tiger flatworm, as a suitable polyclad species for developmental studies, because it is abundant and large in size compared to other species. These characteristics have facilitated the generation of a transcriptome from embryonic and larval material and are enabling us to develop methods for gene expression analysis and immunofluorescence techniques. Here we give an overview of M. crozieri and its development, we highlight the advantages and current limitations of this animal as a potential evo-devo model and discuss current lines of research. PMID:24107307

  1. [Effects of weak physical and chemical factors on morphogenetic processes in invertebrates].

    PubMed

    She?man, I M; Novikov, V V; Kreshchenko, N D

    2009-01-01

    Numerous data of long-term investigations of weak agents on morphogenetic processes in invertebrates (regeneration of planarians, Dugesia (Girardia) tigrina and postembryonic development of insects, the grain beetle Tenebrio molitor) have been analyzed. Weak physical and chemical factors were used: electromagnetic radiation, static, alternating, and combined magnetic fields, and low concentrations of solutions of neuropeptides. Some common features of the influence of weak factors on morphogenesis were found, namely, the instability and the opposite direction of the effect. The dependence of the effects on external conditions and the dynamics of physiological functions of objects was established. PMID:20067193

  2. A simple method for studying chemotaxis using sustained release of attractants from inert polymers.

    PubMed

    Langer, R; Fefferman, M; Gryska, P; Bergman, K

    1980-02-01

    Chemotaxis of the bacterium Escherichia coli and the planarian Dugesia dorotocephala toward a variety of substances impregnated in sustained-release polymers has been demonstrated. Tests were carried out in soft agar and in aqueous medium with highly consistent results. The simplicity of this method may make it particularly useful for rapid qualitative screening of new wild-type and mutant strains of bacteria for chemotaxis toward nonmetabolites. The cost, ease of fabrication, and the facility with which they can be utilized in test systems suggest that these sustained-release vehicles will provide a new and general method of creating concentration gradients to study chemotaxis. PMID:6773648

  3. Removal of methyl parathion in water, by Dugesia dorotocephala.

    PubMed

    Amaya-Chávez, A; López-López, E; Galar-Martínez, M; Gómez-Oliván, L M; García-Fabila, M M

    2009-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the efficiency of Dugesia dorotocephala on Methyl parathion removal. An initial concentration of 1.25 microg mL(-1) of MeP was used to evaluate the removal capacity of planarian. A first-order removal kinetics was obtained with a disappearance rate constant (k(r)) of 0.49 days(-1) and 69% efficiency on contaminant removal. This is significantly different (p < 0.5) from the degradation occurring in control systems, leading us to conclude that D. dorotocephala effectively removes MeP from contaminated water. PMID:19424652

  4. Glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) inhibitor displays anti-glutamate and anti-cocaine effects in an invertebrate assay

    PubMed Central

    Tallarida, Chris; Song, Kevin; Raffa, Robert B.; Rawls, Scott M.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII) inhibitors are promising anti-glutamatergic and anti-addictive agents. We hypothesized that a GCPII inhibitor 2 (phosphonomethyl)pentanedioic acid (2-PMPA) would display anti-stereotypical activity in planarians. Experiments revealed that 2-PMPA displayed no overt behavioral activity by itself but attenuated stereotypical counts (C-shape hyperkinesias) elicited by four compounds (2-PMPA rank order potency: glutamate > NMDA > pilocarpine > cocaine). These data suggest GCPII inhibitors display broad-spectrum efficacy against behavioral activity produced by glutamatergic and non-glutamatergic compounds in an invertebrate assay. PMID:21850438

  5. Selective amputation of the pharynx identifies a FoxA-dependent regeneration program in planaria

    PubMed Central

    Adler, Carolyn E; Seidel, Chris W; McKinney, Sean A; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    Planarian flatworms regenerate every organ after amputation. Adult pluripotent stem cells drive this ability, but how injury activates and directs stem cells into the appropriate lineages is unclear. Here we describe a single-organ regeneration assay in which ejection of the planarian pharynx is selectively induced by brief exposure of animals to sodium azide. To identify genes required for pharynx regeneration, we performed an RNAi screen of 356 genes upregulated after amputation, using successful feeding as a proxy for regeneration. We found that knockdown of 20 genes caused a wide range of regeneration phenotypes and that RNAi of the forkhead transcription factor FoxA, which is expressed in a subpopulation of stem cells, specifically inhibited regrowth of the pharynx. Selective amputation of the pharynx therefore permits the identification of genes required for organ-specific regeneration and suggests an ancient function for FoxA-dependent transcriptional programs in driving regeneration. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02238.001 PMID:24737865

  6. Set1 and MLL1/2 Target Distinct Sets of Functionally Different Genomic Loci In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Elizabeth M; Chitsazan, Alex D; Seidel, Chris W; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2015-12-29

    Histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) is known to correlate with both active and poised genomic loci, yet many questions remain regarding its functional roles in vivo. We identify functional genomic targets of two H3K4 methyltransferases, Set1 and MLL1/2, in both the stem cells and differentiated tissue of the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. We show that, despite their common substrate, these enzymes target distinct genomic loci in vivo, which are distinguishable by the pattern each enzyme leaves on the chromatin template, i.e., the breadth of the H3K4me3 peak. Whereas Set1 targets are largely associated with the maintenance of the stem cell population, MLL1/2 targets are specifically enriched for genes involved in ciliogenesis. These data not only confirm that chromatin regulation is fundamental to planarian stem cell function but also provide evidence for post-embryonic functional specificity of H3K4me3 methyltransferases in vivo. PMID:26711341

  7. Ergot Alkaloids (Re)generate New Leads as Antiparasitics.

    PubMed

    Chan, John D; Agbedanu, Prince N; Grab, Thomas; Zamanian, Mostafa; Dosa, Peter I; Day, Timothy A; Marchant, Jonathan S

    2015-01-01

    Praziquantel (PZQ) is a key therapy for treatment of parasitic flatworm infections of humans and livestock, but the mechanism of action of this drug is unresolved. Resolving PZQ-engaged targets and effectors is important for identifying new druggable pathways that may yield novel antiparasitic agents. Here we use functional, genetic and pharmacological approaches to reveal that serotonergic signals antagonize PZQ action in vivo. Exogenous 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) rescued PZQ-evoked polarity and mobility defects in free-living planarian flatworms. In contrast, knockdown of a prevalently expressed planarian 5-HT receptor potentiated or phenocopied PZQ action in different functional assays. Subsequent screening of serotonergic ligands revealed that several ergot alkaloids possessed broad efficacy at modulating regenerative outcomes and the mobility of both free living and parasitic flatworms. Ergot alkaloids that phenocopied PZQ in regenerative assays to cause bipolar regeneration exhibited structural modifications consistent with serotonergic blockade. These data suggest that serotonergic activation blocks PZQ action in vivo, while serotonergic antagonists phenocopy PZQ action. Importantly these studies identify the ergot alkaloid scaffold as a promising structural framework for designing potent agents targeting parasitic bioaminergic G protein coupled receptors. PMID:26367744

  8. Whole-body acoel regeneration is controlled by Wnt and Bmp-Admp signaling.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Mansi; Mazza-Curll, Kathleen L; van Wolfswinkel, Josien C; Reddien, Peter W

    2014-05-19

    Whole-body regeneration is widespread in the Metazoa, yet little is known about how underlying molecular mechanisms compare across phyla. Acoels are an enigmatic phylum of invertebrate worms that can be highly informative about many questions in bilaterian evolution, including regeneration. We developed the three-banded panther worm, Hofstenia miamia, as a new acoelomorph model system for molecular studies of regeneration. Hofstenia were readily cultured, with accessible embryos, juveniles, and adults for experimentation. We developed molecular resources and tools for Hofstenia, including a transcriptome and robust systemic RNAi. We report the identification of molecular mechanisms that promote whole-body regeneration in Hofstenia. Wnt signaling controls regeneration of the anterior-posterior axis, and Bmp-Admp signaling controls regeneration of the dorsal-ventral axis. Perturbation of these pathways resulted in regeneration-abnormal phenotypes involving axial feature duplication, such as the regeneration of two heads following Wnt perturbation or the regeneration of ventral cells in place of dorsal ones following bmp or admp RNAi. Hofstenia regenerative mechanisms are strikingly similar to those guiding regeneration in planarians. However, phylogenetic analyses using the Hofstenia transcriptome support an early branching position for acoels among bilaterians, with the last common ancestor of acoels and planarians being the ancestor of the Bilateria. Therefore, these findings identify similar whole-body regeneration mechanisms in animals separated by more than 550 million years of evolution. PMID:24768051

  9. Selective amputation of the pharynx identifies a FoxA-dependent regeneration program in planaria.

    PubMed

    Adler, Carolyn E; Seidel, Chris W; McKinney, Sean A; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    Planarian flatworms regenerate every organ after amputation. Adult pluripotent stem cells drive this ability, but how injury activates and directs stem cells into the appropriate lineages is unclear. Here we describe a single-organ regeneration assay in which ejection of the planarian pharynx is selectively induced by brief exposure of animals to sodium azide. To identify genes required for pharynx regeneration, we performed an RNAi screen of 356 genes upregulated after amputation, using successful feeding as a proxy for regeneration. We found that knockdown of 20 genes caused a wide range of regeneration phenotypes and that RNAi of the forkhead transcription factor FoxA, which is expressed in a subpopulation of stem cells, specifically inhibited regrowth of the pharynx. Selective amputation of the pharynx therefore permits the identification of genes required for organ-specific regeneration and suggests an ancient function for FoxA-dependent transcriptional programs in driving regeneration. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02238.001. PMID:24737865

  10. The characteristics of sox gene in Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zimei; Shi, Changying; Zhang, Haixia; Dou, He; Cheng, Fangfang; Chen, Guangwen; Liu, Dezeng

    2014-07-10

    Sox genes play important roles in animal developmental processes, including embryogenesis, neural cell stemness, neurogenesis, sex determination, among others. Here, the full length sox gene in planarian Dugesia japonica, named DjsoxB, was cloned using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that DjsoxB is highly conserved evolutionarily in metazoans. Whole-mount in situ hybridization found DjsoxB mRNA to be mainly expressed in the head, intestine and mouth in both sexually mature and immature planarians. Moreover, DjsoxB transcripts were detected in the blastema after amputation and throughout the head regeneration processes. The data from real-time PCR showed that the mRNA expression levels of DjsoxB were distinctly up-regulated from 3 to 7days after amputation. These results suggest that DjsoxB gene might be active in CNS formation and functional recovery during head regeneration, maintenance of adult CNS function and the development of other tissues (e.g. intestine) in D. japonica. PMID:24768739

  11. The mammalian anti-alpha-smooth muscle actin monoclonal antibody recognizes an alpha-actin-like protein in planaria (Dugesia lugubris s.l.).

    PubMed

    Pascolini, R; Di Rosa, I; Fagotti, A; Panara, F; Gabbiani, G

    1992-11-01

    The presence of an alpha-smooth muscle (alpha-sm) actin-like protein in planaria (Dugesia lugubris s.l.) is reported. The protein shows a 42 kDa molecular weight determined by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and is specifically recognized by the mammalian anti alpha-sm actin monoclonal antibody. When a planarian is induced to regenerate by head amputation, the immunostaining of the alpha-sm actin-like molecule becomes important in the area of growing blastema, reaching a maximum between 70-120 hours after injury. Conventional electron microscopy at the 4-day-regeneration stage shows that blastema-forming cells are a homogeneous population whose morphological features resemble those of migrating mesenchyme-like cells; only the myoblasts show a recognizable phenotype. The immunocytochemical localization of alpha-sm actin-like molecule by immunoperoxidase (light microscopy) and immunogold stains (electron microscopy) was carried out on both intact and injured worms. The antigen was localized mainly at the basal portion of the epidermal cells and in the undifferentiated mesenchyme-like cells. Myoblasts, but not differentiated myofibers, were also labelled by this antibody. The results indicate that in the lower Eumetazoan planarians, as well as in vertebrates, the alpha-sm actin can be considered to be a marker for myoid differentiation. The suggestion that alpha-sm actin can be used as a marker for mesenchyme-like cells in vertebrates and in invertebrates is also discussed. PMID:1459358

  12. ?-lactamase inhibitors display anti-seizure properties in an invertebrate assay

    PubMed Central

    Rawls, Scott M.; Karaca, Fatma; Madhani, Isha; Bhojani, Vineeta; Martinez, Rogelilo L.; Abou-Gharbia, Magid; Raffa, Robert B.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Antibiotics containing a ?-lactam ring (e.g., ceftriaxone) display anti-glutamate effects that underlie their efficacy in animal models of CNS diseases (Rothstein et al., 2005). We hypothesized that the structurally related ?-lactamase inhibitors (clavulanic acid, tazobactam)- which also contain a ?-lactam ring - will mimic ceftriaxone efficacy in an invertebrate (planarian) assay designed to screen for anti-seizure activity (Rawls et al., 2009). Glutamate or cocaine administration produced planarian seizure-like activity (pSLA). Glutamate- or cocaine-induced pSLA was inhibited by ceftriaxone, clavulanic acid, or tazobactam, but not by the non-?-lactam antibiotic vancomyocin. The present findings indicate ?-lactamase inhibitors display efficacy, and mimic ceftriaxone activity, in an invertebrate anti-seizure screen. These results suggest ?-lactamase inhibitors particularly ones such as clavulanic acid that display enhanced brain penetrability, oral bioavailability, and negligible anti-bacterial activity might offer an attractive alternative to direct antibiotic therapy for managing CNS diseases caused by increased glutamate transmission and provide a solution to the growing concern that ceftriaxone will be of only limited utility as a CNS-active therapeutic because of its intolerable side effects. PMID:20600649

  13. Mephedrone (‘bath salt’) pharmacology: insights from invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Ramoz, Leda; Lodi, Sabah; Bhatt, Parth; Reitz, Allen B.; Tallarida, Chris; Tallarida, Ronald J.; Raffa, Robert B.; Rawls, Scott M.

    2014-01-01

    Psychoactive bath salts (also called meph, drone, meow meow, m-CAT, bounce, bubbles, mad cow, etc.) contain a substance called mephedrone (4-methylcathinone) that may share psychostimulant properties with amphetamine and cocaine. However, there are only limited studies of the neuropharmacological profile of mephedrone. The present study used an established invertebrate (planarian) assay to test the hypothesis that acute and repeated mephedrone exposure produces psychostimulant-like behavioral effects. Acute mephedrone administration (50 – 1000 µM) produced stereotyped movements that were attenuated by a dopamine receptor antagonist (SCH 23390) (0.3 µM). Spontaneous discontinuation of mephedrone exposure (1, 10 µM) (60 min) resulted in an abstinence-induced withdrawal response (i.e., reduced motility). In place conditioning experiments, planarians in which mephedrone (100, 500 µM) was paired with the non-preferred environment during conditioning displayed a shift in preference upon subsequent testing. These results suggest that mephedrone produces three behavioral effects associated with psychostimulant drugs, namely dopamine-sensitive stereotyped movements, abstinence-induced withdrawal, and environmental place conditioning. PMID:22300981

  14. Mephedrone ("bath salt") pharmacology: insights from invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ramoz, L; Lodi, S; Bhatt, P; Reitz, A B; Tallarida, C; Tallarida, R J; Raffa, R B; Rawls, S M

    2012-04-19

    Psychoactive bath salts (also called meph, drone, meow meow, m-CAT, bounce, bubbles, mad cow, etc.) contain a substance called mephedrone (4-methylcathinone) that may share psychostimulant properties with amphetamine and cocaine. However, there are only limited studies of the neuropharmacological profile of mephedrone. The present study used an established invertebrate (planarian) assay to test the hypothesis that acute and repeated mephedrone exposure produces psychostimulant-like behavioral effects. Acute mephedrone administration (50-1000 μM) produced stereotyped movements that were attenuated by a dopamine receptor antagonist (SCH 23390) (0.3 μM). Spontaneous discontinuation of mephedrone exposure (1, 10 μM) (60 min) resulted in an abstinence-induced withdrawal response (i.e. reduced motility). In place conditioning experiments, planarians in which mephedrone (100, 500 μM) was paired with the non-preferred environment during conditioning displayed a shift in preference upon subsequent testing. These results suggest that mephedrone produces three behavioral effects associated with psychostimulant drugs, namely dopamine-sensitive stereotyped movements, abstinence-induced withdrawal, and environmental place conditioning. PMID:22300981

  15. Ergot Alkaloids (Re)generate New Leads as Antiparasitics

    PubMed Central

    Chan, John D.; Agbedanu, Prince N.; Grab, Thomas; Zamanian, Mostafa; Dosa, Peter I.; Day, Timothy A.; Marchant, Jonathan S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Praziquantel (PZQ) is a key therapy for treatment of parasitic flatworm infections of humans and livestock, but the mechanism of action of this drug is unresolved. Resolving PZQ-engaged targets and effectors is important for identifying new druggable pathways that may yield novel antiparasitic agents. Here we use functional, genetic and pharmacological approaches to reveal that serotonergic signals antagonize PZQ action in vivo. Exogenous 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) rescued PZQ-evoked polarity and mobility defects in free-living planarian flatworms. In contrast, knockdown of a prevalently expressed planarian 5-HT receptor potentiated or phenocopied PZQ action in different functional assays. Subsequent screening of serotonergic ligands revealed that several ergot alkaloids possessed broad efficacy at modulating regenerative outcomes and the mobility of both free living and parasitic flatworms. Ergot alkaloids that phenocopied PZQ in regenerative assays to cause bipolar regeneration exhibited structural modifications consistent with serotonergic blockade. These data suggest that serotonergic activation blocks PZQ action in vivo, while serotonergic antagonists phenocopy PZQ action. Importantly these studies identify the ergot alkaloid scaffold as a promising structural framework for designing potent agents targeting parasitic bioaminergic G protein coupled receptors. PMID:26367744

  16. Ethanol exposure induces a delay in the reacquisition of function during head regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Jesse R; Mahool, Tyler D; Staehle, Mary M

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal exposure to ethanol affects neurodevelopmental processes, leading to a variety of physical and cognitive impairments collectively termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The molecular level ethanol-induced alterations that underlie FASD are poorly understood and are difficult to study in mammals. Ethanol exposure has been shown to affect regulation and differentiation of embryonic stem cells in vitro, suggesting that in vivo effects such as FASD could arise from similar alterations of stem cells. In this study, we hypothesize that ethanol exposure affects head regeneration and neuroregeneration in the Schmidtea mediterranea planarian. S. mediterranea freshwater flatworms have remarkable regenerative abilities arising from an abundant population of pluripotent adult somatic stem cells known as neoblasts. Here, we evaluated the mobility-normalized photophobic behavior of ethanol-exposed planaria as an indicator of cognitive function in intact and head-regenerating worms. Our studies show that exposure to 1% ethanol induces a delay in the reacquisition of behavior during head regeneration that cannot be attributed to the effect of ethanol on intact worms. This suggests that the S. mediterranea planarian could provide insight into conserved neurodevelopmental processes that are affected by ethanol and that lead to FASD in humans. PMID:25612472

  17. Set1 and MLL1/2 target distinct sets of functionally different genomic loci in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Elizabeth M.; Chitsazan, Alex D.; Seidel, Chris W.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) is known to correlate with both active and poised genomic loci, yet many questions remain regarding its functional roles in vivo. We identify functional genomic targets of two H3K4 methyltransferases, Set1 and MLL1/2, in both the stem cells and differentiated tissue of the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. We show that, despite their common substrate, these enzymes target distinct genomic loci in vivo, which are distinguishable by the pattern each enzyme leaves on the chromatin template, i.e., the breadth of the H3K4me3 peak. Whereas Set1 targets are largely associated with the maintenance of the stem cell population, MLL1/2 targets are specifically enriched for genes involved in ciliogenesis. These data not only confirm that chromatin regulation is fundamental to planarian stem cell function, but also provide evidence for post-embryonic functional specificity of H3K4me3 methyltransferases in vivo. PMID:26711341

  18. JNK signalling is necessary for a Wnt- and stem cell-dependent regeneration programme.

    PubMed

    Tejada-Romero, Belen; Carter, Jean-Michel; Mihaylova, Yuliana; Neumann, Bjoern; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2015-07-15

    Regeneration involves the integration of new and old tissues in the context of an adult life history. It is clear that the core conserved signalling pathways that orchestrate development also play central roles in regeneration, and further study of conserved signalling pathways is required. Here we have studied the role of the conserved JNK signalling cascade during planarian regeneration. Abrogation of JNK signalling by RNAi or pharmacological inhibition blocks posterior regeneration and animals fail to express posterior markers. While the early injury-induced expression of polarity markers is unaffected, the later stem cell-dependent phase of posterior Wnt expression is not established. This defect can be rescued by overactivation of the Hh or Wnt signalling pathway to promote posterior Wnt activity. Together, our data suggest that JNK signalling is required to establish stem cell-dependent Wnt expression after posterior injury. Given that Jun is known to be required in vertebrates for the expression of Wnt and Wnt target genes, we propose that this interaction may be conserved and is an instructive part of planarian posterior regeneration. PMID:26062938

  19. JNK signalling is necessary for a Wnt- and stem cell-dependent regeneration programme

    PubMed Central

    Tejada-Romero, Belen; Carter, Jean-Michel; Mihaylova, Yuliana; Neumann, Bjoern; Aboobaker, A. Aziz

    2015-01-01

    Regeneration involves the integration of new and old tissues in the context of an adult life history. It is clear that the core conserved signalling pathways that orchestrate development also play central roles in regeneration, and further study of conserved signalling pathways is required. Here we have studied the role of the conserved JNK signalling cascade during planarian regeneration. Abrogation of JNK signalling by RNAi or pharmacological inhibition blocks posterior regeneration and animals fail to express posterior markers. While the early injury-induced expression of polarity markers is unaffected, the later stem cell-dependent phase of posterior Wnt expression is not established. This defect can be rescued by overactivation of the Hh or Wnt signalling pathway to promote posterior Wnt activity. Together, our data suggest that JNK signalling is required to establish stem cell-dependent Wnt expression after posterior injury. Given that Jun is known to be required in vertebrates for the expression of Wnt and Wnt target genes, we propose that this interaction may be conserved and is an instructive part of planarian posterior regeneration. PMID:26062938

  20. Identification and expression analysis of a heat-shock protein 70 gene in Polycelis sp.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Fangfang; Dong, Zimei; Dong, Yanping; Sima, Yingxu; Chen, Jing; Li, Xiaoyan; Chen, Guangwen; Liu, Dezeng

    2015-11-01

    Heat-shock protein 70 (HSP70) is ubiquitously found in a variety of organisms and plays an important role in cytoprotection, environmental monitoring, and disease resistance. In this study, the full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) of hsp70 from planarian Polycelis sp. was first cloned using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The expression levels of Pyhsp70 were analyzed in the presence of various stressors by real-time PCR, and its temporal-spatial expression patterns were also examined in both intact and regenerative animals by whole-mount in situ hybridization. The results show that (1) the deduced amino acid sequence of Pyhsp70 includes three typical HSP70 family signature motifs and is highly conserved during evolution; (2) Pyhsp70 expression is induced by prolonged starvation, tissue damage, and ionic liquid but inhibited by high or low temperatures; and (3) Pyhsp70 mRNA is mainly expressed in the head peripheral region and in the regenerating blastema during regeneration. These results suggest that the highly expressed Pyhsp70 gene may contribute to enhance cytoprotection and tolerance against stress-induced molecular damage, and the migration of neoblasts to the wound, which might also be involved in the proliferation and differentiation of neoblasts. Our work provides basic data for the study of stress responses and regenerative mechanism in freshwater planarians. PMID:26311284

  1. A Transcriptomic Analysis of Echinococcus granulosus Larval Stages: Implications for Parasite Biology and Host Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Parkinson, John; Wasmuth, James D.; Salinas, Gustavo; Bizarro, Cristiano V.; Sanford, Chris; Berriman, Matthew; Ferreira, Henrique B.; Zaha, Arnaldo; Blaxter, Mark L.; Maizels, Rick M.; Fernández, Cecilia

    2012-01-01

    Background The cestode Echinococcus granulosus - the agent of cystic echinococcosis, a zoonosis affecting humans and domestic animals worldwide - is an excellent model for the study of host-parasite cross-talk that interfaces with two mammalian hosts. To develop the molecular analysis of these interactions, we carried out an EST survey of E. granulosus larval stages. We report the salient features of this study with a focus on genes reflecting physiological adaptations of different parasite stages. Methodology/Principal Findings We generated ∼10,000 ESTs from two sets of full-length enriched libraries (derived from oligo-capped and trans-spliced cDNAs) prepared with three parasite materials: hydatid cyst wall, larval worms (protoscoleces), and pepsin/H+-activated protoscoleces. The ESTs were clustered into 2700 distinct gene products. In the context of the biology of E. granulosus, our analyses reveal: (i) a diverse group of abundant long non-protein coding transcripts showing homology to a middle repetitive element (EgBRep) that could either be active molecular species or represent precursors of small RNAs (like piRNAs); (ii) an up-regulation of fermentative pathways in the tissue of the cyst wall; (iii) highly expressed thiol- and selenol-dependent antioxidant enzyme targets of thioredoxin glutathione reductase, the functional hub of redox metabolism in parasitic flatworms; (iv) candidate apomucins for the external layer of the tissue-dwelling hydatid cyst, a mucin-rich structure that is critical for survival in the intermediate host; (v) a set of tetraspanins, a protein family that appears to have expanded in the cestode lineage; and (vi) a set of platyhelminth-specific gene products that may offer targets for novel pan-platyhelminth drug development. Conclusions/Significance This survey has greatly increased the quality and the quantity of the molecular information on E. granulosus and constitutes a valuable resource for gene prediction on the parasite genome and for further genomic and proteomic analyses focused on cestodes and platyhelminths. PMID:23209850

  2. Multigene analysis of lophophorate and chaetognath phylogenetic relationships.

    PubMed

    Helmkampf, Martin; Bruchhaus, Iris; Hausdorf, Bernhard

    2008-01-01

    Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses of seven concatenated fragments of nuclear-encoded housekeeping genes indicate that Lophotrochozoa is monophyletic, i.e., the lophophorate groups Bryozoa, Brachiopoda and Phoronida are more closely related to molluscs and annelids than to Deuterostomia or Ecdysozoa. Lophophorates themselves, however, form a polyphyletic assemblage. The hypotheses that they are monophyletic and more closely allied to Deuterostomia than to Protostomia can be ruled out with both the approximately unbiased test and the expected likelihood weights test. The existence of Phoronozoa, a putative clade including Brachiopoda and Phoronida, has also been rejected. According to our analyses, phoronids instead share a more recent common ancestor with bryozoans than with brachiopods. Platyhelminthes is the sister group of Lophotrochozoa. Together these two constitute Spiralia. Although Chaetognatha appears as the sister group of Priapulida within Ecdysozoa in our analyses, alternative hypothesis concerning chaetognath relationships could not be rejected. PMID:17937996

  3. The evolution of the serotonergic nervous system.

    PubMed Central

    Hay-Schmidt, A

    2000-01-01

    The pattern of development of the serotonergic nervous system is described from the larvae of ctenophores, platyhelminths, nemerteans, entoprocts, ectoprocts (bryozoans), molluscs, polychaetes, brachiopods, phoronids, echinoderms, enteropneusts and lampreys. The larval brain (apical ganglion) of spiralian protostomes (except nermerteans) generally has three serotonergic neurons and the lateral pair always innervates the ciliary band of the prototroch. In contrast, brachiopods, phoronids, echinoderms and enteropneusts have numerous serotonergic neurons in the apical ganglion from which the ciliary band is innervated. This pattern of development is much like the pattern seen in lamprey embryos and larvae, which leads the author to conclude that the serotonergic raphe system found in vertebrates originated in the larval brain of deuterostome invertebrates. Further, the neural tube of chordates appears to be derived, at least in part, from the ciliary band of deuterostome invertebrate larvae. The evidence shows no sign of a shift in the dorsal ventral orientation within the line leading to the chordates. PMID:10885511

  4. 18S rRNA suggests that Entoprocta are protostomes, unrelated to Ectoprocta.

    PubMed

    Mackey, L Y; Winnepenninckx, B; De Wachter, R; Backeljau, T; Emschermann, P; Garey, J R

    1996-05-01

    The Ento- and Ectoprocta are sometimes placed together in the Bryozoa, which have variously been regarded as proto- or deuterostomes. However, Entoprocta have also been allied to the pseudocoelomates, while Ectoprocta are often united with the Brachiopoda and Phoronida in the (super)phylum Lophophorata. Hence, the phylogenetic relationships of these taxa are still much debated. We determined complete 18S rRNA sequences of two entoprocts, an ectoproct, an inarticulate brachiopod, a phoronid, two annelids, and a platyhelminth. Phylogenetic analyses of these data show that (1) entoprocts and lophophorates have spiralian, protostomous affinities, (2) Ento- and Ectoprocta are not sister taxa, (3) phoronids and brachiopods form a monophyletic clade, and (4) neither Ectoprocta or Annelida appear to be monophyletic. Both deuterostomous and pseudocoelomate features may have arisen at least two times in evolutionary history. These results advocate a Spiralia-Radialia-based classification rather than one based on the Protostomia-Deuterostomia concept. PMID:8662007

  5. Platyzoan mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Wey-Fabrizius, Alexandra R; Podsiadlowski, Lars; Herlyn, Holger; Hankeln, Thomas

    2013-11-01

    Platyzoa is a putative lophotrochozoan (spiralian) subtaxon within the protostome clade of Metazoa, comprising a range of biologically diverse, mostly small worm-shaped animals. The monophyly of Platyzoa, the relationships between the putative subgroups Platyhelminthes, Gastrotricha and Gnathifera (the latter comprising at least Gnathostomulida, "Rotifera" and Acanthocephala) as well as some aspects of the internal phylogenies of these subgroups are highly debated. Here we review how complete mitochondrial (mt) genome data contribute to these debates. We highlight special features of the mt genomes and discuss problems in mtDNA phylogenies of the clade. Mitochondrial genome data seem to be insufficient to resolve the position of the platyzoan clade within the Spiralia but can help to address internal phylogenetic questions. The present review includes a tabular survey of all published platyzoan mt genomes. PMID:23274056

  6. Analysis of 18S rRNA gene sequences suggests significant molecular differences between Macrodasyida and Chaetonotida (Gastrotricha).

    PubMed

    Manylov, Oleg G; Vladychenskaya, Natalia S; Milyutina, Irina A; Kedrova, Olga S; Korokhov, Nikolai P; Dvoryanchikov, Gennady A; Aleshin, Vladimir V; Petrov, Nikolai B

    2004-03-01

    Partial 18S rRNA gene sequences of four macrodasyid and one chaetonotid gastrotrichs were obtained and compared with the available sequences of other gastrotrich species and representatives of various metazoan phyla. Contrary to the earlier molecular data, the gastrotrich sequences did not comprise a monophyletic group but formed two distinct clades, corresponding to the Macrodasyida and Chaetonotida, with the basal position occupied by the sequences of Tetranchyroderma sp. and Xenotrichula sp., respectively. Depending on the taxon sampling and methods of analysis, the two clades were separated by various combinations of clades Rotifera, Gnathostomulida, and Platyhelminthes, and never formed a clade with Nematoda. Thus, monophyly of the Gastrotricha is not confirmed by analysis of the presently available molecular data. PMID:15012964

  7. Ultrastructure of the spermatozoon of Acanthostomum spiniceps (Digenea: Acanthostomidae), a parasite of Bagrus spp. (Siluriformes:Bagridae).

    PubMed

    Mansour, Mohamed Fathy A

    2012-04-01

    The present study describes, for the first time, the sperm ultrastructure of the parasite Acanthostomum spiniceps (Digenea: Acanthostomidae). The adult worms of this species were collected from the freshwater fishes, Bagrus bayad and Bagrus docmac, caught from the Damietta branch of the River Nile in Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt. Ultrastructure of the sperm of this species revealed that it can be differentiated into seven regions. It is characterized by its filiform shape, tapers anterior, and posterior ends; the two axonemes are in close contact with the plasma membrane and the presence of two mitochondria as one anterior and the other is posterior. The two mitochondria are parallel at a short distance enclosing the first part of nucleus in between. The nucleus is characteristically formed of unusual network of chromatin which is vacuolated. The spermatozoon of A. spiniceps is similar to that of most parasitic Platyhelminthes. PMID:21922241

  8. Calcium channels of schistosomes: unresolved questions and unexpected answers

    PubMed Central

    Salvador-Recatalà, Vicenta; Greenberg, Robert M.

    2011-01-01

    Parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma are the causative agents of schistosomiasis, a highly prevalent, neglected tropical disease that causes significant morbidity in hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The current treatment of choice against schistosomiasis is praziquantel (PZQ), which is known to affect Ca2+ homeostasis in schistosomes, but which has an undefined molecular target and mode of action. PZQ is the only available antischistosomal drug in most parts of the world, making reports of PZQ resistance particularly troubling. Voltage-gated Ca2+ (Cav) channels have been proposed as possible targets for PZQ, and, given their central role in the neuromuscular system, may also serve as targets for new anthelmintic therapeutics. Indeed, ion channels constitute the majority of targets for current anthelmintics. Cav channel subunits from schistosomes and other platyhelminths have several unique properties that make them attractive as potential drug targets, and that could also provide insights into structure-function relationships in, and evolution of, Cav channels. PMID:22347719

  9. The revised microRNA complement of Fasciola hepatica reveals a plethora of overlooked microRNAs and evidence for enrichment of immuno-regulatory microRNAs in extracellular vesicles.

    PubMed

    Fromm, B; Trelis, M; Hackenberg, M; Cantalapiedra, F; Bernal, D; Marcilla, A

    2015-09-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are gene regulators that have recently been shown to down-regulate the immune response via extracellular vesicles in the mammalian host of helminthic parasites. Using the miRNA prediction pipeline miRCandRef, we expanded the current miRNA set of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica (Platyhelminthes, Trematoda) from 16 to 54 miRNAs (42 conserved and 13 novel). Comparing the cellular expression levels with extracellular vesicles, we found all miRNAs expressed and enriched for miRNAs with immuno-regulatory function, tissue growth and cancer. Our findings support the hypothesis that miRNAs are the molecular mediators of the previously demonstrated immune modulatory function of extracellular vesicles. PMID:26183562

  10. Phylogenetic study of the oxytocin-like immunoreactive system in invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, J; Takeda, N

    1988-01-01

    1. A phylogenetic study of oxytocin (OXT)-like immunoreactive cells was performed by the PAP method in the central nervous system of invertebrates. 2. The immunoreactivity was detected in the nerve cells of Hydra magnipapillata of the Coelenterata; Neanthes japonica and Pheretima communissima of the Annelida; Oncidium verrucosum, Limax marginatus and Meretrix lamarckii of the Mollusca; and Baratha brassica of the Arthropoda. 3. No immunoreactive cells were found in Bipalium sp. of the Platyhelminthes; Pomacea canaliculata, Aplysia kurodai, Bradybaena similaris and Achatina fulica of the Mollusca; and Gnorimosphaeroma rayi, Procambarus clarkii, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, Helice tridens and Gryllus bimaculatus of the Arthropoda; Asterina pectinifera of the Echinodermata; and Halocynthia roretzi of the Protochordata. 4. These results demonstrate that an OXT-immunoreactive substance is widely present not only in vertebrates but also in invertebrates. 5. OXT seems to have been introduced into these invertebrates at an early stage of their phylogenetic history. PMID:2907439

  11. Phylogenetic study of the arginine-vasotocin/arginine-vasopressin-like immunoreactive system in invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Mizuno, J; Takeda, N

    1988-01-01

    1. A phylogenetic study of arg-vasotocin (AVT)/arg-vasopressin (AVP)-like immunoreactive cells was performed by the PAP method in the central nervous system of invertebrates. 2. The immunoreactivity was detected in the nerve cells of Hydra magnipapillata of the Coelenterata; Neanthes japonica and Pheretima communissima of the Annelida; Pomacea canaliculata, Aplysia kurodai, Oncidium verrucosum, Bradybaena similaris, Achatina fulica, Limax marginatus and Meretrix lamarckii of the Mollusca; Gnorimosphaeroma rayi, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, Gryllus bimaculatus and Baratha brassicae of the Arthropoda; Asterina pectinifera of the Echinodermata; and Halocynthia roretzi of the Protochordata. 3. No immunoreactivity was detected in Bipalium sp. of the Platyhelminthes, or in Procambarus clarkii and Helice tridens of the Arthropoda. 4. From these results, it appears that AVT/AVP is a phylogenetically ancient peptide which is present in a wide variety of invertebrates. 5. The actions of AVT/AVP and its presence in invertebrates are discussed. PMID:2907440

  12. Eukaryotic opportunists dominate the deep-subsurface biosphere in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Borgonie, G; Linage-Alvarez, B; Ojo, A O; Mundle, S O C; Freese, L B; Van Rooyen, C; Kuloyo, O; Albertyn, J; Pohl, C; Cason, E D; Vermeulen, J; Pienaar, C; Litthauer, D; Van Niekerk, H; Van Eeden, J; Sherwood Lollar, B; Onstott, T C; Van Heerden, E

    2015-01-01

    Following the discovery of the first Eukarya in the deep subsurface, intense interest has developed to understand the diversity of eukaryotes living in these extreme environments. We identified that Platyhelminthes, Rotifera, Annelida and Arthropoda are thriving at 1.4 km depths in palaeometeoric fissure water up to 12,300 yr old in South African mines. Protozoa and Fungi have also been identified; however, they are present in low numbers. Characterization of the different species reveals that many are opportunistic organisms with an origin due to recharge from surface waters rather than soil leaching. This is the first known study to demonstrate the in situ distribution of biofilms on fissure rock faces using video documentation. Calculations suggest that food, not dissolved oxygen is the limiting factor for eukaryal population growth. The discovery of a group of Eukarya underground has important implications for the search for life on other planets in our solar system. PMID:26597082

  13. Why the radiation-attenuated cercarial immunization studies failed to guide the road for an effective schistosomiasis vaccine: A review

    PubMed Central

    El Ridi, Rashika; Tallima, Hatem

    2014-01-01

    Schistosomiasis is a debilitating parasitic disease caused by platyhelminthes of the genus Schistosoma, notably Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosoma haematobium, and Schistosoma japonicum. Pioneer researchers used radiation-attenuated (RA) schistosome larvae to immunize laboratory rodent and non-human primate hosts. Significant and reproducible reduction in challenge worm burden varying from 30% to 90% was achieved, providing a sound proof that vaccination against this infection is feasible. Extensive histopathological, tissue mincing and incubation, autoradiographic tracking, parasitological, and immunological studies led to defining conditions and settings for achieving optimal protection and delineating the resistance underlying mechanisms. The present review aims to summarize these findings and draw the lessons that should have guided the development of an effective schistosomiasis vaccine. PMID:26257924

  14. Eukaryotic opportunists dominate the deep-subsurface biosphere in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Borgonie, G.; Linage-Alvarez, B.; Ojo, A. O.; Mundle, S.O.C.; Freese, L B.; Van Rooyen, C.; Kuloyo, O.; Albertyn, J.; Pohl, C.; Cason, E. D.; Vermeulen, J.; Pienaar, C.; Litthauer, D.; Van Niekerk, H.; Van Eeden, J.; Lollar, B. Sherwood.; Onstott, T. C.; Van Heerden, E.

    2015-01-01

    Following the discovery of the first Eukarya in the deep subsurface, intense interest has developed to understand the diversity of eukaryotes living in these extreme environments. We identified that Platyhelminthes, Rotifera, Annelida and Arthropoda are thriving at 1.4 km depths in palaeometeoric fissure water up to 12,300 yr old in South African mines. Protozoa and Fungi have also been identified; however, they are present in low numbers. Characterization of the different species reveals that many are opportunistic organisms with an origin due to recharge from surface waters rather than soil leaching. This is the first known study to demonstrate the in situ distribution of biofilms on fissure rock faces using video documentation. Calculations suggest that food, not dissolved oxygen is the limiting factor for eukaryal population growth. The discovery of a group of Eukarya underground has important implications for the search for life on other planets in our solar system. PMID:26597082

  15. Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness (Addenda 2013).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhi-Qiang

    2013-01-01

    The kingdom Animalia is here estimated to have a total of 1,659,420 described species (including 133,692 fossil species) in 40 phyla. Among these, the most successful phylum Arthropoda alone represents 1,302,809 species, or about 78.5% of the total. The second largest phylum, Mollusca (118,061 species), is <10% of Arthropoda in diversity, but it is still much more diverse than other successful invertebrate phyla Platyhelminthes (29,488 species), Nematoda (25,043 species), Echinodermata (20,550 species), Annelida (17,426 species), Cnidaria (16,363 species), Bryozoa (11,474 species) and Porifera (10,876 species). The phylum Craniata, including the vertebrates, represents 85,432 species (including 19,974 fossil species): among these, 35,644 species of "fishes", 7,171 species of amphibians, 15,507 species of reptiles, 11,087 species of birds, and 16,014 species of mammals. PMID:26146682

  16. A PCR survey of Hox genes in the myzostomid Myzostoma cirriferum.

    PubMed

    Bleidorn, Christoph; Lanterbecq, Deborah; Eeckhaut, Igor; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2009-04-01

    Using degenerate primers, we were able to identify seven Hox genes for the myzostomid Myzostoma cirriferum. The recovered fragments belong to anterior class (Mci_lab, Mci_pb), central class (Mci_Dfd, Mci_Lox5, Mci_Antp, Mci_Lox4), and posterior class (Mci_Post2) paralog groups. Orthology assignment was verified by phylogenetic analyses and presence of diagnostic regions in the homeodomain as well as flanking regions. The presence of Lox5, Lox4, and Post2 supports the inclusion of Myzostomida within Lophotrochozoa. We found signature residues within flanking regions of Lox5, which are also found in annelids, but not in Platyhelminthes. As such the available Hox genes data of myzostomids support an annelid relationship. PMID:19319567

  17. New approaches for understanding mechanisms of drug resistance in schistosomes

    PubMed Central

    GREENBERG, ROBERT M.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Schistosomes are parasitic flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease that affects hundreds of millions worldwide. Treatment and control of schistosomiasis relies almost entirely on the single drug praziquantel (PZQ), making the prospect of emerging drug resistance particularly worrisome. This review will survey reports of PZQ (and other drug) resistance in schistosomes and other platyhelminths, and explore mechanisms by which drug resistance might develop. Newer genomic and post-genomic strategies that offer the promise of better understanding of how drug resistance might arise in these organisms will be discussed. These approaches could also lead to insights into the mode of action of these drugs and potentially provide markers for monitoring the emergence of resistance. PMID:23552512

  18. Mini review on chemotherapy of taeniasis and cysticercosis due to Taenia solium in Asia, and a case report with 20 tapeworms in China.

    PubMed

    Ito, A; Li, T; Chen, X; Long, C; Yanagida, T; Nakao, M; Sako, Y; Okamoto, M; Wu, Y; Raoul, F; Giraudoux, P; Craig, P S

    2013-06-01

    A 43-year-old Tibetan woman living in northwest Sichuan, China, confirmed to be a taeniasis carrier of Taenia solium was treated with pumpkin seeds combined with Areca nut extract in October 2009. All 20 tapeworms except one without scolex were expelled under good conditions. She was free of secondary cysticercosis within one year follow up. Although the first choice for treatment of taeniasis is still praziquantel, it may often cause serious side effect on asymptomatic cysticercosis cases to suddenly become symptomatic within a half day of the treatment. Therefore, the problems in treatment of taeniasis and/or cysticercosis in Asia are briefly overviewed, since other platyhelminthic diseases including schistosomiasis, opisthorchiasis etc. are more common and praziquantel is strongly recommended for mass treatment of these trematodiases with no idea on the co-infection with eggs of T. solium which cause asymptomatic cysticercosis. PMID:23959481

  19. Cytosine methylation regulates oviposition in the pathogenic blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Geyer, Kathrin K.; Rodríguez López, Carlos M.; Chalmers, Iain W.; Munshi, Sabrina E.; Truscott, Martha; Heald, James; Wilkinson, Mike J.; Hoffmann, Karl F.

    2011-01-01

    Similar to other metazoan pathogens, Schistosoma mansoni undergoes transcriptional and developmental regulation during its complex lifecycle and host interactions. DNA methylation as a mechanism to control these processes has, to date, been discounted in this parasite. Here we show the first evidence for cytosine methylation in the S. mansoni genome. Transcriptional coregulation of novel DNA methyltransferase (SmDnmt2) and methyl-CpG-binding domain proteins mirrors the detection of cytosine methylation abundance and implicates the presence of a functional DNA methylation machinery. Genome losses in cytosine methylation upon SmDnmt2 silencing and the identification of a hypermethylated, repetitive intron within a predicted forkhead gene confirm this assertion. Importantly, disruption of egg production and egg maturation by 5-azacytidine establishes an essential role for 5-methylcytosine in this parasite. These findings provide the first functional confirmation for this epigenetic modification in any worm species and link the cytosine methylation machinery to platyhelminth oviposition processes. PMID:21829186

  20. Lophotrochozoan mitochondrial genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Valles, Yvonne; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-10-01

    Progress in both molecular techniques and phylogeneticmethods has challenged many of the interpretations of traditionaltaxonomy. One example is in the recognition of the animal superphylumLophotrochozoa (annelids, mollusks, echiurans, platyhelminthes,brachiopods, and other phyla), although the relationships within thisgroup and the inclusion of some phyla remain uncertain. While much ofthis progress in phylogenetic reconstruction has been based on comparingsingle gene sequences, we are beginning to see the potential of comparinglarge-scale features of genomes, such as the relative order of genes.Even though tremendous progress is being made on the sequencedetermination of whole nuclear genomes, the dataset of choice forgenome-level characters for many animals across a broad taxonomic rangeremains mitochondrial genomes. We review here what is known aboutmitochondrial genomes of the lophotrochozoans and discuss the promisethat this dataset will enable insight into theirrelationships.

  1. Ultrastructure and development of the rhabdomeric eyes in Lineus viridis (Heteronemertea, Nemertea).

    PubMed

    von Döhren, Jörn; Bartolomaeus, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    Nemerteans are undoubtedly members of the Spiralia, although their phylogenetic relationships are still a matter of debate. The apparently acoelomate organization suggests a relationship with the platyhelminths, whereas the blood-vascular system has been interpreted as an equivalent to coelomic cavities of annelids, indicating a close relation between annelids and nemerteans. Like other spiralians, most nemertean species are known to have one or several pairs of rhabdomeric and subepidermally situated eyes when adult. The development of these eyes as well as the mode in which the eyes are multiplied is as yet unknown. This is the first attempt to investigate eye formation in a nemertean. In the heteronemertean Lineus viridis (Müller, 1774) the everse rhabdomeric eyes are located deeply underneath the epidermis and consist of a few pigment cells that form a cup-like structure with interdigitating processes that contain numerous pigment granules. In hatchlings, the optical cavity contains processes of 12 sensory cells, each bearing a single cilium and various microvilli. The perikarya of these cells are located distally from the pigment cup. During further development the number of cells increases. Eye development starts with a small anlage situated underneath the epidermis, irrespective of whether this is the first eye or any additional one. The anlage consists of five unpigmented cells and three dendritic processes, each bearing apical microvilli and a single cilium. There is no evidence for an epidermal origin of the eyes. In L. viridis eye formation resembles that described in platyhelminths in which eyes also develop as cerebral derivatives. Although this result has the potential to influence the discussion on the position of Nemertea, the data have to be interpreted with care, since development of L. viridis is derived within the Nemertea. PMID:17913481

  2. Visualization and 3D Reconstruction of Flame Cells of Taenia solium (Cestoda)

    PubMed Central

    Valverde-Islas, Laura E.; Arrangoiz, Esteban; Vega, Elio; Robert, Lilia; Villanueva, Rafael; Reynoso-Ducoing, Olivia; Willms, Kaethe; Zepeda-Rodríguez, Armando; Fortoul, Teresa I.; Ambrosio, Javier R.

    2011-01-01

    Background Flame cells are the terminal cells of protonephridial systems, which are part of the excretory systems of invertebrates. Although the knowledge of their biological role is incomplete, there is a consensus that these cells perform excretion/secretion activities. It has been suggested that the flame cells participate in the maintenance of the osmotic environment that the cestodes require to live inside their hosts. In live Platyhelminthes, by light microscopy, the cells appear beating their flames rapidly and, at the ultrastructural, the cells have a large body enclosing a tuft of cilia. Few studies have been performed to define the localization of the cytoskeletal proteins of these cells, and it is unclear how these proteins are involved in cell function. Methodology/Principal Findings Parasites of two different developmental stages of T. solium were used: cysticerci recovered from naturally infected pigs and intestinal adults obtained from immunosuppressed and experimentally infected golden hamsters. Hamsters were fed viable cysticerci to recover adult parasites after one month of infection. In the present studies focusing on flame cells of cysticerci tissues was performed. Using several methods such as video, confocal and electron microscopy, in addition to computational analysis for reconstruction and modeling, we have provided a 3D visual rendition of the cytoskeletal architecture of Taenia solium flame cells. Conclusions/Significance We consider that visual representations of cells open a new way for understanding the role of these cells in the excretory systems of Platyhelminths. After reconstruction, the observation of high resolution 3D images allowed for virtual observation of the interior composition of cells. A combination of microscopic images, computational reconstructions and 3D modeling of cells appears to be useful for inferring the cellular dynamics of the flame cell cytoskeleton. PMID:21412407

  3. Characterization of the stem cell system of the acoel Isodiametra pulchra

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Tissue plasticity and a substantial regeneration capacity based on stem cells are the hallmark of several invertebrate groups such as sponges, cnidarians and Platyhelminthes. Traditionally, Acoela were seen as an early branching clade within the Platyhelminthes, but became recently positioned at the base of the Bilateria. However, little is known on how the stem cell system in this new phylum is organized. In this study, we wanted to examine if Acoela possess a neoblast-like stem cell system that is responsible for development, growth, homeostasis and regeneration. Results We established enduring laboratory cultures of the acoel Isodiametra pulchra (Acoela, Acoelomorpha) and implemented in situ hybridization and RNA interference (RNAi) for this species. We used BrdU labelling, morphology, ultrastructure and molecular tools to illuminate the morphology, distribution and plasticity of acoel stem cells under different developmental conditions. We demonstrate that neoblasts are the only proliferating cells which are solely mesodermally located within the organism. By means of in situ hybridisation and protein localisation we could demonstrate that the piwi-like gene ipiwi1 is expressed in testes, ovaries as well as in a subpopulation of somatic stem cells. In addition, we show that germ cell progenitors are present in freshly hatched worms, suggesting an embryonic formation of the germline. We identified a potent stem cell system that is responsible for development, homeostasis, regeneration and regrowth upon starvation. Conclusions We introduce the acoel Isodiametra pulchra as potential new model organism, suitable to address developmental questions in this understudied phylum. We show that neoblasts in I. pulchra are crucial for tissue homeostasis, development and regeneration. Notably, epidermal cells were found to be renewed exclusively from parenchymally located stem cells, a situation known only from rhabditophoran flatworms so far. For further comparison, it will be important to analyse the stem cell systems of other key-positioned understudied taxa. PMID:20017953

  4. Venus Kinase Receptors: Prospects in Signaling and Biological Functions of These Invertebrate Kinases

    PubMed Central

    Dissous, Colette; Morel, Marion; Vanderstraete, Mathieu

    2014-01-01

    Venus kinase receptors (VKRs) form a family of invertebrate receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) initially discovered in the parasitic platyhelminth Schistosoma mansoni. VKRs are single transmembrane receptors that contain an extracellular venus fly trap structure similar to the ligand-binding domain of G protein-coupled receptors of class C, and an intracellular tyrosine kinase domain close to that of insulin receptors. VKRs are found in a large variety of invertebrates from cnidarians to echinoderms and are highly expressed in larval stages and in gonads, suggesting a role of these proteins in embryonic and larval development as well as in reproduction. VKR gene silencing could demonstrate the function of these receptors in oogenesis as well as in spermatogenesis in S. mansoni. VKRs are activated by amino acids and are highly responsive to arginine. As many other RTKs, they form dimers when activated by ligands and induce intracellular pathways involved in protein synthesis and cellular growth, such as MAPK and PI3K/Akt/S6K pathways. VKRs are not present in vertebrates or in some invertebrate species. Questions remain open about the origin of this little-known RTK family in evolution and its role in emergence and specialization of Metazoa. What is the meaning of maintenance or loss of VKR in some phyla or species in terms of development and physiological functions? The presence of VKRs in invertebrates of economical and medical importance, such as pests, vectors of pathogens, and platyhelminth parasites, and the implication of these RTKs in gametogenesis and reproduction processes are valuable reasons to consider VKRs as interesting targets in new programs for eradication/control of pests and infectious diseases, with the main advantage in the case of parasite targeting that VKR counterparts are absent from the vertebrate host kinase panel. PMID:24860549

  5. Differential sensitivity of Dugesia dorotocephala and Cheumatopsyche pettiti to water acidification: ecological implication for predator-prey interactions.

    PubMed

    Camargo, J A; Ward, J V

    1992-07-01

    The initial hypothesis that predation pressure should decrease with decreasing pH in aquatic macrobenthic communities if predatory invertebrates are more sensitive to water acidification than prey invertebrates is tested. Short-term toxicity bioassays were conducted in soft water (average value of total hardness 38.0 mg CaCO3/L) to determine the differential sensitivity of the predator, Dugesia dorotocephala (Turbellaria, Tricladida), and the prey, larvae of Cheumatopsyche pettiti (Insecta, Trichoptera), to low pH. Test pH solutions were prepared with sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Test species were also exposed to high concentrations of sulfate ion (95 mg SO4 =/L for D. dorotocephala and 340 mg SO4 =/L for C. pettiti) as sulfate toxicity controls, using potassium sulfate (K2SO4). No mortality was observed during these toxicity controls, indicating that toxic effects generated by low pH were fundamentally due to H+ ions. The 72 and 96-h LC50s (as pH values) and their 95% confidence limits were 4.88 (4.72-5.05) and 5.04 (4.89-5.21) for D. dorotocephala, and 3.25 (3.00-3.51) and 3.48 (3.24-3.73) for C. pettiti. Net-spinning caddis-fly larvae migrated from their retreat nets and protruded their anal papillae before dying. After short-term bioassays, predation-pressure laboratory experiments were performed for 6 days. The cumulative mortality of C. pettiti by predation of D. dorotocephala decreased with decreasing sublethal pH values. The average predation rates at mean pH values of 7.7, 7.7, 6.6, 6.5, 6.2 and 6.0 were 2.5, 2.0, 1.33, 1.17, 0.67 and 0.33 larvae/day, respectively. The major biotic factor affecting predation pressure appears to be the reduction in the physiological activity of triclads at low pH.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1637199

  6. Evolutionarily Conserved Repulsive Guidance Role of Slit in the Silkworm Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chun; Cui, Wei-Zheng; Mu, Zhi-Mei; Zhao, Xiao; Liu, Qing-Xin

    2014-01-01

    Axon guidance molecule Slit is critical for the axon repulsion in neural tissues, which is evolutionarily conserved from planarians to humans. However, the function of Slit in the silkworm Bombyx mori was unknown. Here we showed that the structure of Bombyx mori Slit (BmSlit) was different from that in most other species in its C-terminal sequence. BmSlit was localized in the midline glial cell, the neuropil, the tendon cell, the muscle and the silk gland and colocalized with BmRobo1 in the neuropil, the muscle and the silk gland. Knock-down of Bmslit by RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in abnormal development of axons and muscles. Our results suggest that BmSlit has a repulsive role in axon guidance and muscle migration. Moreover, the localization of BmSlit in the silk gland argues for its important function in the development of the silk gland. PMID:25285792

  7. Epidermal cell migration during wound healing in Dugesia lugubris. Observations based on scanning electron microscopy and treatment with cytochalasin.

    PubMed

    Pascolini, R; Tei, S; Vagnetti, D; Bondi, C

    1984-01-01

    The epidermal cells that migrate over the surface during the wound closure stage of head regeneration in Dugesia lugubris s.l. were examined by scanning electron microscopy. The effect of cytochalasin B on epidermal cell migration was also examined. During the first few hours after decapitation epidermal cells at the edges of the wound showed significant changes of shape related to the process of migration that was accomplished approximately 10 h after wounding. Flattening of the marginal cells was associated with active epidermal spreading throughout the healing period. Suitable support for migrating cells appeared to be a rhabditic network attached to the wound tissue. Epidermal cell migration was inhibited by cytochalasin B. These results demonstrate that the basis for cell movement in planarians is similar to that of many other systems. PMID:6733761

  8. An In Vivo Requirement for the Mediator Subunit Med14 in the Maintenance of Stem Cell Populations

    PubMed Central

    Burrows, Jeffrey T.A.; Pearson, Bret J.; Scott, Ian C.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The Mediator complex has recently been shown to be a key player in the maintenance of embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. However, the in vivo consequences of loss of many Mediator subunits are unknown. We identified med14 as the gene affected in the zebrafish logelei (log) mutant, which displayed a morphological arrest by 2 days of development. Surprisingly, microarray analysis showed that transcription was not broadly affected in log mutants. Indeed, log cells transplanted into a wild-type environment were able to survive into adulthood. In planarians, RNAi knockdown demonstrated a requirement for med14 and many other Mediator components in adult stem cell maintenance and regeneration. Multiple stem/progenitor cell populations were observed to be reduced or absent in zebrafish med14 mutant embryos. Taken together, our results show a critical, evolutionarily conserved, in vivo function for Med14 (and Mediator) in stem cell maintenance, distinct from a general role in transcription. PMID:25772472

  9. Opening the genetic toolbox of niche model organisms with high throughput techniques: novel proteins in regeneration as a case study.

    PubMed

    Looso, Mario

    2014-04-01

    Understanding in vivo regeneration of complex structures offers a fascinating perspective for translation into medical applications. Unfortunately, mammals in general lack large-scale regenerative capacity, whereas planarians, newts or Hydra can regenerate complete body parts. Such organisms are, however, poorly annotated because of the lack of sequence information. This leads to limited access for molecular biological investigations. In the last decade, high throughput technologies and new methods enabling the effective generation of transgenic animals have rapidly evolved. These developments have allowed the extensive use of niche model organisms as part of a trend towards the accessibility of a greater panel of model species for scientific research. The case study that follows provides an insight into the impact of high throughput techniques on the landscape of models of regeneration. The cases presented here give evidence of alternative stem cell maintenance pathways, the identification of new protein families and new stem cell markers. PMID:24741707

  10. A common cellular basis for muscle regeneration in arthropods and vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Konstantinides, Nikolaos; Averof, Michalis

    2014-02-14

    Many animals are able to regenerate amputated or damaged body parts, but it is unclear whether different taxa rely on similar strategies. Planarians and vertebrates use different strategies, based on pluripotent versus committed progenitor cells, respectively, to replace missing tissues. In most animals, however, we lack the experimental tools needed to determine the origin of regenerated tissues. Here, we present a genetically tractable model for limb regeneration, the crustacean Parhyale hawaiensis. We demonstrate that regeneration in Parhyale involves lineage-committed progenitors, as in vertebrates. We discover Pax3/7-expressing muscle satellite cells, previously identified only in chordates, and show that these cells are a source of regenerating muscle in Parhyale. These similarities point to a common cellular basis of regeneration, dating back to the common ancestors of bilaterians. PMID:24385602

  11. SAPling: a Scan-Add-Print barcoding database system to label and track asexual organisms

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Michael A.; Schötz, Eva-Maria

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY We have developed a ‘Scan-Add-Print’ database system, SAPling, to track and monitor asexually reproducing organisms. Using barcodes to uniquely identify each animal, we can record information on the life of the individual in a computerized database containing its entire family tree. SAPling has enabled us to carry out large-scale population dynamics experiments with thousands of planarians and keep track of each individual. The database stores information such as family connections, birth date, division date and generation. We show that SAPling can be easily adapted to other asexually reproducing organisms and has a strong potential for use in large-scale and/or long-term population and senescence studies as well as studies of clonal diversity. The software is platform-independent, designed for reliability and ease of use, and provided open source from our webpage to allow project-specific customization. PMID:21993779

  12. Evolution of multicellular animals as deduced from 5S rRNA sequences: a possible early emergence of the Mesozoa.

    PubMed

    Ohama, T; Kumazaki, T; Hori, H; Osawa, S

    1984-06-25

    The nucleotide sequences of 5S rRNA from a mesozoan Dicyema misakiense and three metazoan species, i.e., an acorn-worm Saccoglossus kowalevskii, a moss-animal Bugula neritina, and an octopus Octopus vulgaris have been determined. A phylogenic tree of multicellular animals has been constructed from 73 5S rRNA sequences available at present including those from the above four sequences. The tree suggests that the mesozoan is the most ancient multicellular animal identified so far, its emergence time being almost the same as that of flagellated or ciliated protozoans. The branching points of planarians and nematodes are a little later than that of the mesozoan but are clearly earlier than other metazoan groups including sponges and jellyfishes. Many metazoan groups seem to have diverged within a relatively short period. PMID:6539911

  13. What RNAi screens in model organisms revealed about microbicidal response in mammals?

    PubMed Central

    Abnave, Prasad; Conti, Filippo; Torre, Cedric; Ghigo, Eric

    2015-01-01

    The strategies evolved by pathogens to infect hosts and the mechanisms used by the host to eliminate intruders are highly complex. Because several biological pathways and processes are conserved across model organisms, these organisms have been used for many years to elucidate and understand the mechanisms of the host-pathogen relationship and particularly to unravel the molecular processes enacted by the host to kill pathogens. The emergence of RNA interference (RNAi) and the ability to apply it toward studies in model organisms have allowed a breakthrough in the elucidation of host-pathogen interactions. The aim of this mini-review is to highlight and describe recent breakthroughs in the field of host-pathogen interactions using RNAi screens of model organisms. We will focus specifically on the model organisms Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Danio rerio. Moreover, a recent study examining the immune system of planarian will be discussed. PMID:25629007

  14. What RNAi screens in model organisms revealed about microbicidal response in mammals?

    PubMed

    Abnave, Prasad; Conti, Filippo; Torre, Cedric; Ghigo, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The strategies evolved by pathogens to infect hosts and the mechanisms used by the host to eliminate intruders are highly complex. Because several biological pathways and processes are conserved across model organisms, these organisms have been used for many years to elucidate and understand the mechanisms of the host-pathogen relationship and particularly to unravel the molecular processes enacted by the host to kill pathogens. The emergence of RNA interference (RNAi) and the ability to apply it toward studies in model organisms have allowed a breakthrough in the elucidation of host-pathogen interactions. The aim of this mini-review is to highlight and describe recent breakthroughs in the field of host-pathogen interactions using RNAi screens of model organisms. We will focus specifically on the model organisms Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, and Danio rerio. Moreover, a recent study examining the immune system of planarian will be discussed. PMID:25629007

  15. A Colony Multiplex Quantitative PCR-Based 3S3DBC Method and Variations of It for Screening DNA Libraries

    PubMed Central

    An, Yang; Toyoda, Atsushi; Zhao, Chen; Fujiyama, Asao; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2015-01-01

    A DNA library is a collection of DNA fragments cloned into vectors and stored individually in host cells, and is a valuable resource for molecular cloning, gene physical mapping, and genome sequencing projects. To take the best advantage of a DNA library, a good screening method is needed. After describing pooling strategies and issues that should be considered in DNA library screening, here we report an efficient colony multiplex quantitative PCR-based 3-step, 3-dimension, and binary-code (3S3DBC) method we used to screen genes from a planarian genomic DNA fosmid library. This method requires only 3 rounds of PCR reactions and only around 6 hours to distinguish one or more desired clones from a large DNA library. According to the particular situations in different research labs, this method can be further modified and simplified to suit their requirements. PMID:25646755

  16. BmRobo2/3 is required for axon guidance in the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Tong; Yu, Qi; Zhou, Qi-Sheng; Zhao, Xiao; Liu, Zhao-Yang; Cui, Wei-Zheng; Liu, Qing-Xin

    2016-02-15

    Axon guidance is critical for proper wiring of the nervous system. During the neural development, the axon guidance molecules play a key role and direct axons to choose the correct way to reach the target. Robo, as the receptor of axon guidance molecule Slit, is evolutionarily conserved from planarians to humans. However, the function of Robo in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, remained unknown. In this study, we cloned robo2/3 from B. mori (Bmrobo2/3), a homologue of robo2/3 in Tribolium castaneum. Moreover, BmRobo2/3 was localized in the neuropil, and RNAi-mediated knockdown of Bmrobo2/3 resulted in the longitudinal connectives forming closer to the midline. These data demonstrate that BmRobo2/3 is required for axon guidance in the silkworm. PMID:26625973

  17. How Somatic Adult Tissues Develop Organizer Activity.

    PubMed

    Vogg, Matthias C; Wenger, Yvan; Galliot, Brigitte

    2016-01-01

    The growth and patterning of anatomical structures from specific cellular fields in developing organisms relies on organizing centers that instruct surrounding cells to modify their behavior, namely migration, proliferation, and differentiation. We discuss here how organizers can form in adult organisms, a process of utmost interest for regenerative medicine. Animals like Hydra and planarians, which maintain their shape and fitness thanks to a highly dynamic homeostasis, offer a useful paradigm to study adult organizers in steady-state conditions. Beside the homeostatic context, these model systems also offer the possibility to study how organizers form de novo from somatic adult tissues. Both extracellular matrix remodeling and caspase activation play a key role in this transition, acting as promoters of organizer formation in the vicinity of the wound. Their respective roles and the crosstalk between them just start to be deciphered. PMID:26970630

  18. A colony multiplex quantitative PCR-Based 3S3DBC method and variations of it for screening DNA libraries.

    PubMed

    An, Yang; Toyoda, Atsushi; Zhao, Chen; Fujiyama, Asao; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2015-01-01

    A DNA library is a collection of DNA fragments cloned into vectors and stored individually in host cells, and is a valuable resource for molecular cloning, gene physical mapping, and genome sequencing projects. To take the best advantage of a DNA library, a good screening method is needed. After describing pooling strategies and issues that should be considered in DNA library screening, here we report an efficient colony multiplex quantitative PCR-based 3-step, 3-dimension, and binary-code (3S3DBC) method we used to screen genes from a planarian genomic DNA fosmid library. This method requires only 3 rounds of PCR reactions and only around 6 hours to distinguish one or more desired clones from a large DNA library. According to the particular situations in different research labs, this method can be further modified and simplified to suit their requirements. PMID:25646755

  19. Synaptonemal complex extension from clustered telomeres mediates full-length chromosome pairing in Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, Youbin; Miller, Danny E.; Ross, Eric J.; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro; Hawley, R. Scott

    2014-01-01

    In the 1920s, József Gelei proposed that chromosome pairing in flatworms resulted from the formation of a telomere bouquet followed by the extension of synapsis from telomeres at the base of the bouquet, thus facilitating homolog pairing in a processive manner. A modern interpretation of Gelei’s model postulates that the synaptonemal complex (SC) is nucleated close to the telomeres and then extends progressively along the full length of chromosome arms. We used the easily visible meiotic chromosomes, a well-characterized genome, and RNAi in the sexual biotype of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea to test that hypothesis. By identifying and characterizing S. mediterranea homologs of genes encoding synaptonemal complex protein 1 (SYCP1), the topoisomerase-like protein SPO11, and RAD51, a key player in homologous recombination, we confirmed that SC formation begins near the telomeres and progresses along chromosome arms during zygotene. Although distal regions pair at the time of bouquet formation, pairing of a unique interstitial locus is not observed until the formation of full-length SC at pachytene. Moreover, neither full extension of the SC nor homologous pairing is dependent on the formation of double-strand breaks. These findings validate Gelei’s speculation that full-length pairing of homologous chromosomes is mediated by the extension of the SC formed near the telomeres. S. mediterranea thus becomes the first organism described (to our knowledge) that forms a canonical telomere bouquet but does not require double-strand breaks for synapsis between homologous chromosomes. However, the initiation of SC formation at the base of the telomere bouquet, which then is followed by full-length homologous pairing in planarian spermatocytes, is not observed in other species and may not be conserved. PMID:25404302

  20. Cell death: a program to regenerate.

    PubMed

    Vriz, Sophie; Reiter, Silke; Galliot, Brigitte

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies in Drosophila, Hydra, planarians, zebrafish, mice, indicate that cell death can open paths to regeneration in adult animals. Indeed injury can induce cell death, itself triggering regeneration following an immediate instructive mechanism, whereby the dying cells release signals that induce cellular responses over short and/or long-range distances. Cell death can also provoke a sustained derepressing response through the elimination of cells that suppress regeneration in homeostatic conditions. Whether common properties support what we name "regenerative cell death," is currently unclear. As key parameters, we review here the injury proapoptotic signals, the signals released by the dying cells, the cellular responses, and their respective timing. ROS appears as a common signal triggering cell death through MAPK and/or JNK pathway activation. But the modes of ROS production vary, from a brief pulse upon wounding, to repeated waves as observed in the zebrafish fin where ROS supports two peaks of cell death. Indeed regenerative cell death can be restricted to the injury phase, as in Hydra, Drosophila, or biphasic, immediate, and delayed, as in planarians and zebrafish. The dying cells release in a caspase-dependent manner a variety of signaling molecules, cytokines, growth factors, but also prostaglandins or ATP as recorded in Drosophila, Hydra, mice, and zebrafish, respectively. Interestingly, the ROS-producing cells often resist to cell death, implying a complex paracrine mode of signaling to launch regeneration, involving ROS-producing cells, ROS-sensing cells that release signaling molecules upon caspase activation, and effector cells that respond to these signals by proliferating, migrating, and/or differentiating. PMID:24512708

  1. Method of isolation and characterization of Girardia tigrina stem cells

    PubMed Central

    LOPES, K.A.R.; DE CAMPOS VELHO, N.M.R.; PACHECO-SOARES, C.

    2015-01-01

    Tissue regeneration is widely studied due to its importance for understanding the biology of stem cells, aiming at their application in medicine for therapeutic and various other purposes. The establishment of experimental models is necessary, as certain invertebrates and vertebrates have different regeneration abilities depending on their taxon position on the evolutionary scale. Planarians are an efficacious in vivo model for stem cell biology, but the correlation between planarian cellular and molecular neoblast pluripotency mechanisms and those of mammalian stem cells is unknown. The present study had the following objectives: i) Establish Girardia tigrina cell culture, ii) determine the time required for complete cell disintegration and iii) obtain neoblasts by cell subdivision. Twenty-four specimens were deprived of food for seven days. After this time, disintegration was performed by incubation protected at three temperatures for 48 h in an antibiotic, antimycotic and trypsin solution, after which the suspension was homogenized and centrifuged. Histopaque® 1077 was used for cell separation and interphases were collected and monitored by optical and fluorescence microscopy. Optical microscopy analysis informed the nucleus-to-cytoplasm ratio, cell morphology and cell size. Under fluorescence microscopy, interphase 1 (I1) was subdivided into two groups and neoblasts were marked for characterization; one group was stained with 4?,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole and the other was immunolabeled with octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4) and isolated and observed after 10 days of cultivation. Neoblasts predominated in I1 with a small amount of other cell types. In conclusion, sample disintegration with a trypsin and antibiotic solution was effective at 18?C and Iscove's modified Dulbecco's medium supplemented with fetal bovine serum was adequate for the establishment of primary cell cultures after 48-h incubation and centrifugation. Antibody anti-OCT4 was used for the characterization of stem cells and was successfully labeled with concentrated neoblasts on interphase 1. PMID:25798241

  2. Lack of metabolic ageing in the long-lived flatworm Schmidtea polychroa.

    PubMed

    Mouton, Stijn; Willems, Maxime; Houthoofd, Wouter; Bert, Wim; Braeckman, Bart P

    2011-09-01

    Freshwater planarians have a large totipotent stem cell population allowing high rates of cell renewal and morphological plasticity. It is often suggested that they are able to rejuvenate during fission, regeneration and starvation. These features, together with the rapidly expanding molecular toolset, make planarians such as Schmidtea polychroa and S. mediterranea interesting for ageing research. Yet, the basic demographic and physiological data are lacking or still based on fragmentary observations of one century ago. Here, we present the first longitudinal physiological study of the species S. polychroa. Survival, size and metabolic rate, measured by microcalorimetry, of a cohort of 28 individuals were followed over a period of three years. Sexual maturity was reached during the second month after which the worms continued growing up to 5 months. This initial growth phase was followed by alternating periods of synchronised growth and degrowth. Although mass-specific metabolic rates declined during the initial growth phase, no changes were found later in life. The absence of metabolic ageing may be explained by the very high rate of cell renewal during homeostasis and alternating phases of degrowth and growth during which tissues are renewed. Surprisingly, all deaths occurred in pairs of worms that were housed in the same culture recipient, suggesting that worms did not die from ageing. Taking into account the metabolic and demographic data, we suggest that S. polychroa shows negligible ageing. Detailed analyses of size and metabolic rate revealed a remarkable biphasic allometric scaling relation. During the initial growth phase (months 1-5) the allometric scaling exponent b was 0.86 while later in life, it increased to an unusually large value of 1.17, indicating that mass-specific metabolic rate increases with size in adult S. polychroa. PMID:21549188

  3. Adult somatic stem cells in the human parasite, Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Collins, James J.; Wang, Bo; Lambrus, Bramwell G.; Tharp, Marla; Iyer, Harini; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Schistosomiasis is among the most prevalent human parasitic diseases, affecting more than 200 million people worldwide1. The etiological agents of this disease are trematode flatworms (Schistosoma) that live and lay eggs within the vasculature of the host. These eggs lodge in host tissues, causing inflammatory responses that are the primary cause of morbidity. Because these parasites can live and reproduce within human hosts for decades2, elucidating the mechanisms that promote their longevity is of fundamental importance. Although adult pluripotent stem cells, called neoblasts, drive long-term homeostatic tissue maintenance in long-lived free-living flatworms3,4 (e.g., planarians), and neoblast-like cells have been described in some parasitic tapeworms5, little is known about whether similar cell types exist in any trematode species. Here, we describe a population of neoblast-like cells in the trematode Schistosoma mansoni. These cells resemble planarian neoblasts morphologically and share their ability to proliferate and differentiate into derivatives of multiple germ layers. Capitalizing on available genomic resources6,7 and RNAseq-based gene expression profiling, we find that these schistosome neoblast-like cells express a fibroblast growth factor receptor ortholog. Using RNA interference we demonstrate that this gene is required for the maintenance of these neoblast-like cells. Our observations suggest that adaptation of developmental strategies shared by free-living ancestors to modern-day schistosomes likely contributed to the success of these animals as long-lived obligate parasites. We expect that future studies deciphering the function of these neoblast-like cells will have important implications for understanding the biology of these devastating parasites. PMID:23426263

  4. Stereochemistry and neuropharmacology of a 'bath salt' cathinone: S-enantiomer of mephedrone reduces cocaine-induced reward and withdrawal in invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Vouga, Alexandre; Gregg, Ryan A; Haidery, Maryah; Ramnath, Anita; Al-Hassani, Hassan K; Tallarida, Christopher S; Grizzanti, David; Raffa, Robert B; Smith, Garry R; Reitz, Allen B; Rawls, Scott M

    2015-04-01

    Knowledge about the neuropharmacology of mephedrone (MEPH) applies primarily to the racemate, or street form of the drug, but not to its individual enantiomers. Here, through chemical isolation of MEPH enantiomers and subsequent behavioral characterization in established invertebrate (planarian) assays, we began separating adverse effects of MEPH from potential therapeutic actions. We first compared stereotypical and environmental place conditioning (EPC) effects of racemic MEPH, S-MEPH, and R-MEPH. Stereotypy was enhanced by acute treatment (100-1000 μM) with each compound; however, S-MEPH was less potent and efficacious than racemate and R-MEPH. Both R-MEPH (10, 100, 250 μM) and racemate (100 μM) produced EPC, but S-MEPH was ineffective at all concentrations (10-100 μM). After showing that S-MEPH lacked rewarding efficacy, we investigated its ability to alter three of cocaine's behavioral effects (EPC, withdrawal, and stereotypy). Cocaine (1 μM) produced EPC that was abolished when S-MEPH (100 μM) was administered after cocaine conditioning. Spontaneous withdrawal from chronic cocaine exposure caused a reduction in motility that was not evident during acute or continuous cocaine treatment but was attenuated by S-MEPH (100 μM) treatment during the cocaine abstinence interval. Acute stereotypy produced by 1 mM cocaine, nicotine or racemic MEPH was not affected by S-MEPH (10-250 μM). The present results obtained using planarian assays suggest that the R-enantiomer of MEPH is predominantly responsible for its stimulant and rewarding effects and the S-enantiomer is capable of antagonizing cocaine's addictive-like behaviors without producing rewarding effects of its own. PMID:25496724

  5. Synaptonemal complex extension from clustered telomeres mediates full-length chromosome pairing in Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Youbin; Miller, Danny E; Ross, Eric J; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro; Hawley, R Scott

    2014-12-01

    In the 1920s, József Gelei proposed that chromosome pairing in flatworms resulted from the formation of a telomere bouquet followed by the extension of synapsis from telomeres at the base of the bouquet, thus facilitating homolog pairing in a processive manner. A modern interpretation of Gelei's model postulates that the synaptonemal complex (SC) is nucleated close to the telomeres and then extends progressively along the full length of chromosome arms. We used the easily visible meiotic chromosomes, a well-characterized genome, and RNAi in the sexual biotype of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea to test that hypothesis. By identifying and characterizing S. mediterranea homologs of genes encoding synaptonemal complex protein 1 (SYCP1), the topoisomerase-like protein SPO11, and RAD51, a key player in homologous recombination, we confirmed that SC formation begins near the telomeres and progresses along chromosome arms during zygotene. Although distal regions pair at the time of bouquet formation, pairing of a unique interstitial locus is not observed until the formation of full-length SC at pachytene. Moreover, neither full extension of the SC nor homologous pairing is dependent on the formation of double-strand breaks. These findings validate Gelei's speculation that full-length pairing of homologous chromosomes is mediated by the extension of the SC formed near the telomeres. S. mediterranea thus becomes the first organism described (to our knowledge) that forms a canonical telomere bouquet but does not require double-strand breaks for synapsis between homologous chromosomes. However, the initiation of SC formation at the base of the telomere bouquet, which then is followed by full-length homologous pairing in planarian spermatocytes, is not observed in other species and may not be conserved. PMID:25404302

  6. Modular evolution of glutathione peroxidase genes in association with different biochemical properties of their encoded proteins in invertebrate animals

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Young-An; Cai, Guo-Bin; Kim, Seon-Hee; Zo, Young-Gun; Kong, Yoon

    2009-01-01

    Background Phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidases (PHGPx), the most abundant isoforms of GPx families, interfere directly with hydroperoxidation of lipids. Biochemical properties of these proteins vary along with their donor organisms, which has complicated the phylogenetic classification of diverse PHGPx-like proteins. Despite efforts for comprehensive analyses, the evolutionary aspects of GPx genes in invertebrates remain largely unknown. Results We isolated GPx homologs via in silico screening of genomic and/or expressed sequence tag databases of eukaryotic organisms including protostomian species. Genes showing strong similarity to the mammalian PHGPx genes were commonly found in all genomes examined. GPx3- and GPx7-like genes were additionally detected from nematodes and platyhelminths, respectively. The overall distribution of the PHGPx-like proteins with different biochemical properties was biased across taxa; selenium- and glutathione (GSH)-dependent proteins were exclusively detected in platyhelminth and deuterostomian species, whereas selenium-independent and thioredoxin (Trx)-dependent enzymes were isolated in the other taxa. In comparison of genomic organization, the GSH-dependent PHGPx genes showed a conserved architectural pattern, while their Trx-dependent counterparts displayed complex exon-intron structures. A codon for the resolving Cys engaged in reductant binding was found to be substituted in a series of genes. Selection pressure to maintain the selenocysteine codon in GSH-dependent genes also appeared to be relaxed during their evolution. With the dichotomized fashion in genomic organizations, a highly polytomic topology of their phylogenetic trees implied that the GPx genes have multiple evolutionary intermediate forms. Conclusion Comparative analysis of invertebrate GPx genes provides informative evidence to support the modular pathways of GPx evolution, which have been accompanied with sporadic expansion/deletion and exon-intron remodeling. The differentiated enzymatic properties might be acquired by the evolutionary relaxation of selection pressure and/or biochemical adaptation to the acting environments. Our present study would be beneficial to get detailed insights into the complex GPx evolution, and to understand the molecular basis of the specialized physiological implications of this antioxidant system in their respective donor organisms. PMID:19344533

  7. The invasive New Guinea flatworm Platydemus manokwari in France, the first record for Europe: time for action is now.

    PubMed

    Justine, Jean-Lou; Winsor, Leigh; Gey, Delphine; Gros, Pierre; Thévenot, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    Non-indigenous terrestrial flatworms (Platyhelminthes) have been recorded in thirteen European countries. They include Bipalium kewense and Dolichoplana striata that are largely restricted to hothouses and may be regarded as non-invasive species. In addition there are species from the southern hemisphere such as the invasive New Zealand flatworm Arthurdendyus triangulatus in the United Kingdom, Eire and the Faroe Islands, the Australian flatworm Australoplana sanguinea alba in Eire and the United Kingdom, and the Australian Blue Garden flatworm Caenoplana coerulea in France, Menorca and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has some twelve or more non-indigenous species most of which are Australian and New Zealand species. These species may move to an invasive stage when optimum environmental and other conditions occur, and the flatworms then have the potential to cause economic or environmental harm. In this paper, we report the identification (from morphology and molecular analysis of COI sequences) of non-indigenous terrestrial flatworms found in a hothouse in Caen (France) as the New Guinea flatworm Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 (Platyhelminthes, Continenticola, Geoplanidae, Rhynchodeminae). Platydemus manokwari is among the "100 World's Worst Invader Alien Species". Lists of World geographic records, prey in the field and prey in laboratories of P. manokwari are provided. This species is considered a threat to native snails wherever it is introduced. The recent discovery of P. manokwari in France represents a significant extension of distribution of this Invasive Alien Species from the Indo-Pacific region to Europe. If it escaped the hothouse, the flatworm might survive winters and become established in temperate countries. The existence of this species in France requires an early warning of this incursion to State and European Union authorities, followed by the eradication of the flatworm in its locality, tightening of internal quarantine measures to prevent further spread of the flatworm to and from this site, identifying if possible the likely primary source of the flatworm, and tracing other possible incursions that may have resulted from accidental dispersal of plants and soil from the site. PMID:24688873

  8. The invasive New Guinea flatworm Platydemus manokwari in France, the first record for Europe: time for action is now

    PubMed Central

    Winsor, Leigh; Gey, Delphine; Gros, Pierre; Thévenot, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    Non-indigenous terrestrial flatworms (Platyhelminthes) have been recorded in thirteen European countries. They include Bipalium kewense and Dolichoplana striata that are largely restricted to hothouses and may be regarded as non-invasive species. In addition there are species from the southern hemisphere such as the invasive New Zealand flatworm Arthurdendyus triangulatus in the United Kingdom, Eire and the Faroe Islands, the Australian flatworm Australoplana sanguinea alba in Eire and the United Kingdom, and the Australian Blue Garden flatworm Caenoplana coerulea in France, Menorca and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has some twelve or more non-indigenous species most of which are Australian and New Zealand species. These species may move to an invasive stage when optimum environmental and other conditions occur, and the flatworms then have the potential to cause economic or environmental harm. In this paper, we report the identification (from morphology and molecular analysis of COI sequences) of non-indigenous terrestrial flatworms found in a hothouse in Caen (France) as the New Guinea flatworm Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963 (Platyhelminthes, Continenticola, Geoplanidae, Rhynchodeminae). Platydemus manokwari is among the “100 World’s Worst Invader Alien Species”. Lists of World geographic records, prey in the field and prey in laboratories of P. manokwari are provided. This species is considered a threat to native snails wherever it is introduced. The recent discovery of P. manokwari in France represents a significant extension of distribution of this Invasive Alien Species from the Indo-Pacific region to Europe. If it escaped the hothouse, the flatworm might survive winters and become established in temperate countries. The existence of this species in France requires an early warning of this incursion to State and European Union authorities, followed by the eradication of the flatworm in its locality, tightening of internal quarantine measures to prevent further spread of the flatworm to and from this site, identifying if possible the likely primary source of the flatworm, and tracing other possible incursions that may have resulted from accidental dispersal of plants and soil from the site. PMID:24688873

  9. Purification and kinetic analysis of cytosolic and mitochondrial thioredoxin glutathione reductase extracted from Taenia solium cysticerci.

    PubMed

    Plancarte, Agustin; Nava, Gabriela

    2015-02-01

    Thioredoxin glutathione reductases (TGRs) (EC 1.8.1.9) were purified to homogeneity from the cytosolic (cTsTGR) and mitochondrial (mTsTGR) fractions of Taenia solium, the agent responsible for neurocysticercosis, one of the major central nervous system parasitic diseases in humans. TsTGRs had a relative molecular weight of 132,000, while the corresponding value per subunit obtained under denaturing conditions, was of 62,000. Specific activities for thioredoxin reductase and glutathione reductase substrates for both TGRs explored were in the range or lower than values obtained for other platyhelminths and mammalian TGRs. cTsTGR and mTsTGR also showed hydroperoxide reductase activity using hydroperoxide as substrate. Km(DTNB) and Kcat(DTNB) values for cTsTGR and mTsTGR (88 µM and 1.9 s(-1); 45 µM and 12.6 s(-1), respectively) and Km(GSSG) and Kcat(GSSG) values for cTsTGR and mTsTGR (6.3 µM and 0.96 s(-1); 4 µM and 1.62 s(-1), respectively) were similar to or lower than those reported for mammalian TGRs. Mass spectrometry analysis showed that 12 peptides from cTsTGR and seven from mTsTGR were a match for gi|29825896 thioredoxin glutathione reductase [Echinococcus granulosus], confirming that both enzymes are TGRs. Both T. solium TGRs were inhibited by the gold compound auranofin, a selective inhibitor of thiol-dependent flavoreductases (I₅₀ = 3.25, 2.29 nM for DTNB and GSSG substrates, respectively for cTsTGR; I₅₀ = 5.6, 25.4 nM for mTsTGR toward the same substrates in the described order). Glutathione reductase activity of cTsTGR and mTsTGR exhibited hysteretic behavior with moderate to high concentrations of GSSG; this result was not observed either with thioredoxin, DTNB or NADPH. However, the observed hysteretic kinetics was suppressed with increasing amounts of both parasitic TGRs. These data suggest the existence of an effective substitute which may account for the lack of the detoxification enzymes glutathione reductase and thioredoxin reductase in T. solium, as has been described for very few other platyhelminths. PMID:25541385

  10. A New Family of Receptor Tyrosine Kinases with a Venus Flytrap Binding Domain in Insects and Other Invertebrates Activated by Aminoacids

    PubMed Central

    Ahier, Arnaud; Rondard, Philippe; Gouignard, Nadège; Khayath, Naji; Huang, Siluo; Trolet, Jacques; Donoghue, Daniel J.; Gauthier, Monique; Pin, Jean-Philippe; Dissous, Colette

    2009-01-01

    Background Tyrosine kinase receptors (RTKs) comprise a large family of membrane receptors that regulate various cellular processes in cell biology of diverse organisms. We previously described an atypical RTK in the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni, composed of an extracellular Venus flytrap module (VFT) linked through a single transmembrane domain to an intracellular tyrosine kinase domain similar to that of the insulin receptor. Methods and Findings Here we show that this receptor is a member of a new family of RTKs found in invertebrates, and particularly in insects. Sixteen new members of this family, named Venus Kinase Receptor (VKR), were identified in many insects. Structural and phylogenetic studies performed on VFT and TK domains showed that VKR sequences formed monophyletic groups, the VFT group being close to that of GABAB receptors and the TK one being close to that of insulin receptors. We show that a recombinant VKR is able to autophosphorylate on tyrosine residues, and report that it can be activated by L-arginine. This is in agreement with the high degree of conservation of the alpha amino acid binding residues found in many amino acid binding VFTs. The presence of high levels of vkr transcripts in larval forms and in female gonads indicates a putative function of VKR in reproduction and/or development. Conclusion The identification of RTKs specific for parasites and insect vectors raises new perspectives for the control of human parasitic and infectious diseases. PMID:19461966

  11. Diagnostic PCR can be used to illuminate meiofaunal diets and trophic relationships

    PubMed Central

    Maghsoud, Hanna; Weiss, Austin; Smith, Julian P.S.; Litvaitis, Marian K.; Fegley, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    Analysis of the meiofaunal food web is hampered because few prey have features that persist long enough in a predator’s digestive tract to allow identification to species. Hence, at least for platyhelminth predators, direct observations of prey preference are almost nonexistent, and where they occur, prey identification is often limited to phylum. Studies using an in vitro approach are rare because they are extremely time-consuming and are subject to the criticism that predators removed from their natural environment may exhibit altered behaviors. Although PCR-based approaches have achieved wide application in food-web analysis, their application to meiofaunal flatworms suffers from a number of limitations. Most importantly, the microscopic size of both the predator and prey does not allow for removal of prey material from the digestive tract of the predator, and thus the challenge is to amplify prey sequences in the presence of large quantities of predator sequence. Here, we report on the successful use of prey-taxon-specific primers in diagnostic PCR to identify, to species level, specific prey items of 13 species of meiofaunal flatworms. Extension of this method will allow, for the first time, the development of a species-level understanding of trophic interactions among the meiofauna. PMID:25071364

  12. Spiral cleavage and early embryology of a loxosomatid entoproct and the usefulness of spiralian apical cross patterns for phylogenetic inferences

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Among the four major bilaterian clades, Deuterostomia, Acoelomorpha, Ecdysozoa, and Lophotrochozoa, the latter shows an astonishing diversity of bodyplans. While the largest lophotrochozoan assemblage, the Spiralia, which at least comprises Annelida, Mollusca, Entoprocta, Platyhelminthes, and Nemertea, show a spiral cleavage pattern, Ectoprocta, Brachiopoda and Phoronida (the Lophophorata) cleave radially. Despite a vast amount of recent molecular phylogenetic analyses, the interrelationships of lophotrochozoan phyla remain largely unresolved. Thereby, Entoprocta play a key role, because they have frequently been assigned to the Ectoprocta, despite their differently cleaving embryos. However, developmental data on entoprocts employing modern methods are virtually non-existent and the data available rely exclusively on sketch drawings, thus calling for thorough re-investigation. Results By applying fluorescence staining in combination with confocal microscopy and 3D-imaging techniques, we analyzed early embryonic development of a basal loxosomatid entoproct. We found that cleavage is asynchronous, equal, and spiral. An apical rosette, typical for most spiralian embryos, is formed. We also identified two cross-like cellular arrangements that bear similarities to both, a "molluscan-like" as well as an "annelid-like" cross, respectively. Conclusions A broad comparison of cleavage types and apical cross patterns across Lophotrochozoa shows high plasticity of these character sets and we therefore argue that these developmental traits should be treated and interpreted carefully when used for phylogenetic inferences. PMID:22458754

  13. Efficacy of garlic (Allium sativum) extract applied as a therapeutic immersion treatment for Neobenedenia sp. management in aquaculture.

    PubMed

    Militz, T A; Southgate, P C; Carton, A G; Hutson, K S

    2014-05-01

    Garlic, Allium sativum L., extract administered as a therapeutic bath was shown to have antiparasitic properties towards Neobenedenia sp. (MacCallum) (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) infecting farmed barramundi, Lates calcarifer (Bloch). The effect of garlic extract (active component allicin) immersion on Neobenedenia sp. egg development, hatching success, oncomiracidia (larvae) longevity, infection success and juvenile Neobenedenia survival was examined and compared with freshwater and formalin immersion. Garlic extract was found to significantly impede hatching success (5% ± 5%) and oncomiracidia longevity (<2 h) at allicin concentrations of 15.2 ?L L(-1) , while eggs in the seawater control had >95% hatching success and mean oncomiracidia longevity of 37 ± 3 h. At much lower allicin concentrations (0.76 and 1.52 ?L L(-1)), garlic extract also significantly reduced Neobenedenia infection success of L. calcarifer to 25% ± 4% and 11% ± 4%, respectively, compared with 55% ± 7% in the seawater control. Juvenile Neobenedenia attached to host fish proved to be highly resistant to allicin with 96% surviving 1-h immersion in 10 mL L(-1) (15.2 ?L L(-1) allicin) of garlic extract. Allicin-containing garlic extracts show potential for development as a therapy to manage monogenean infections in intensive aquaculture with the greatest impact at the egg and larval stages. PMID:23952605

  14. Laboratory maintenance of the bacterial endosymbiont, Neorickettsia sp., through the life cycle of a digenean, Plagiorchis elegans.

    PubMed

    Greiman, Stephen E; Tkach, Maksym; Vaughan, Jefferson A; Tkach, Vasyl V

    2015-10-01

    The Digenea (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda) are a diverse and complex group of internal metazoan parasites. These parasites can serve as hosts to obligate intracellular bacteria belonging to the genus Neorickettsia (Family: Anaplasmataceae). Neorickettsiae persist within all stages of the fluke life cycle and thus are maintained through vertical transmission. However, the low prevalence of Neorickettsia in nature limits study of their transmission biology at different steps of digenean life cycles. To resolve this dilemma, we have developed for the first time a laboratory model allowing to maintain Neorickettsia sp. through the whole life cycle of a digenean, Plagiorchis elegans. The laboratory life cycle of P. elegans consists of a snail first intermediate host, Lymnaea stagnalis, an aquatic arthropod second intermediate host, Culex pipiens (mosquito larva), and a vertebrate definitive host, Mesocricetus auratus (Syrian hamster). This paper focuses on the development of the laboratory life cycle, as well as outlines its potential uses in studying the transmission biology of Neorickettsia and its evolutionary relationship within its digenean host. PMID:26160679

  15. WormBase 2016: expanding to enable helminth genomic research

    PubMed Central

    Howe, Kevin L.; Bolt, Bruce J.; Cain, Scott; Chan, Juancarlos; Chen, Wen J.; Davis, Paul; Done, James; Down, Thomas; Gao, Sibyl; Grove, Christian; Harris, Todd W.; Kishore, Ranjana; Lee, Raymond; Lomax, Jane; Li, Yuling; Muller, Hans-Michael; Nakamura, Cecilia; Nuin, Paulo; Paulini, Michael; Raciti, Daniela; Schindelman, Gary; Stanley, Eleanor; Tuli, Mary Ann; Van Auken, Kimberly; Wang, Daniel; Wang, Xiaodong; Williams, Gary; Wright, Adam; Yook, Karen; Berriman, Matthew; Kersey, Paul; Schedl, Tim; Stein, Lincoln; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2016-01-01

    WormBase (www.wormbase.org) is a central repository for research data on the biology, genetics and genomics of Caenorhabditis elegans and other nematodes. The project has evolved from its original remit to collect and integrate all data for a single species, and now extends to numerous nematodes, ranging from evolutionary comparators of C. elegans to parasitic species that threaten plant, animal and human health. Research activity using C. elegans as a model system is as vibrant as ever, and we have created new tools for community curation in response to the ever-increasing volume and complexity of data. To better allow users to navigate their way through these data, we have made a number of improvements to our main website, including new tools for browsing genomic features and ontology annotations. Finally, we have developed a new portal for parasitic worm genomes. WormBase ParaSite (parasite.wormbase.org) contains all publicly available nematode and platyhelminth annotated genome sequences, and is designed specifically to support helminth genomic research. PMID:26578572

  16. Two new species of Urocleidoides Mizelle et Price, 1964 (Monogenoidea) from the gill lamellae of profundulids and poeciliids from Central America and southern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Mendoza-Franco, Edgar F; Caspeta-Mandujano, Juan Manuel; Salgado-Maldonado, Guillermo; Matamoros, Wilfredo Antonio

    2015-01-01

    During investigations of gill ectoparasites (Platyhelminthes) parasitising freshwater fish from Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Panama) and southeastern Mexico (Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas), the following dactylogyrid monogenoidean were found: Urocleidoides simonae sp. n. from Profundulus punctatus (Günther) (type host), Profundulus balsanus Ahl, Profundulus guatemalensis (Günther), Profundulus kreiseri Matamoros, Shaefer, Hernández et Chakrabarty, Profundulus labialis (Günther), Profundulus oaxacae (Meek), Profundulus sp. 1 and Profundulus sp. 2 (all Profundulidae); Urocleidoides vaginoclaustroides sp. n. from Pseudoxiphophorus bimaculata (Heckel) (type host) and Poeciliopsis retropinna (Regan) (both Poeciliidae); and Urocleidoides vaginoclaustrum Jogunoori, Kritsky et Venkatanarasaiah, 2004 from P. labialis, Profundulus portillorum Matamoros et Shaefer and Xiphophorus hellerii Heckel (Poeciliidae). Urocleidoides simonae sp. n. differs from all other congeneric species in having anchors with well-differentiated roots, curved elongate shaft and short point. Urocleidoides vaginoclaustroides sp. n. most closely resembles U. vaginoclaustrum, but differs from this species mainly in the shape of its anchors (i.e. evenly curved shaft and short point vs curved shaft and elongate point extending just past the tip of the superficial anchor root). The complexity of potential hosts for species of Urocleidoides and their effect on its distribution on profundulid and poeciliid fishes are briefly discussed. PMID:26580223

  17. Environmental Induction of Polyembryony in Echinoid Echinoderms.

    PubMed

    Allen, Jonathan D; Armstrong, Anne Frances; Ziegler, Shelby L

    2015-12-01

    Polyembryony, or the production of multiple offspring from a single zygote, is a widespread phenomenon in the animal kingdom. Various types of polyembryony have been described in arthropods, bryozoans, chordates, cnidarians, echinoderms, and platyhelminthes. We describe the induction of polyembryony in embryos of the sand dollar Echinarachnius parma and the pencil urchin Eucidaris tribuloides in response to elevated temperature and reduced salinity. Data on the environmental variation in temperature and salinity that normally occurs during the spawning season, combined with the range of laboratory conditions over which polyembryony was induced, suggest that polyembryony may occur frequently in these species under natural conditions. We tested an additional two species of echinoids for similar responses, but found little evidence for polyembryony in the green urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis or the variegated urchin Lytechinus variegatus, suggesting that polyembryony is not a universal response of echinoids to fluctuations in temperature and salinity. The unexpected developmental changes that we observed in response to present-day fluctuations in temperature and salinity suggest that ongoing and future environmental shifts may drive substantial changes in marine invertebrate developmental patterns, and that these changes will be different across taxa. PMID:26695821

  18. Enhanced primers for amplification of DNA barcodes from a broad range of marine metazoans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Building reference libraries of DNA barcodes is relatively straightforward when specifically designed primers are available to amplify the COI-5P region from a relatively narrow taxonomic group (e.g. single class or single order). DNA barcoding marine communities have been comparatively harder to accomplish due to the broad taxonomic diversity and lack of consistently efficient primers. Although some of the so-called “universal” primers have been relatively successful, they still fail to amplify COI-5P of many marine animal groups, while displaying random success even among species within each group. Here we propose a new pair of primers designed to enhance amplification of the COI-5P region in a wide range of marine organisms. Results Amplification tests conducted on a wide range of marine animal taxa, rendered possible the first–time sequencing of DNA barcodes from eight separated phyla (Annelida, Arthropoda, Chordata, Cnidaria, Echinodermata, Mollusca, Nemertea and Platyhelminthes), comprising a total of 14 classes, 28 orders, 57 families, 68 genus and 76 species. Conclusions These primers demonstrated to be highly cost-effective, which is of key importance for DNA barcoding procedures, such as for building comprehensive DNA barcode libraries of marine communities, where the processing of a large numbers of specimens from a wide variety of marine taxa is compulsory. PMID:24020880

  19. The complete mitochondrial genome of Cephalothrix simula (Iwata) (Nemertea: Palaeonemertea).

    PubMed

    Chen, Hai-Xia; Sundberg, Per; Norenburg, Jon L; Sun, Shi-Chun

    2009-08-01

    The first complete mitochondrial genome sequence for a nemertean, Cephalothrix simula, was determined by conventional and long PCR and sequencing with primer walking methods. This circular genome is 16,296 bp in size and encodes 37 genes (13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNAs, and 22 transfer RNAs) typically found in metazoans. All genes are encoded on H-strand except two tRNAs (trnT and trnP). It differs from those reported for other metazoans, but some gene junctions are shared with those of other protostomes. Structure of the mitochondrial genome of C. simula is mostly concordant with the partial mitochondrial genome known for Cephalothrix rufifrons, but notable differences include three large indel events and transposition of 2 tRNAs. Nucleotide composition of the mitochondrial genome of C. simula is highly A+T biased. The compositional skew is strongly reflected in the codon-usage patterns and the amino acid compositions of the mitochondrial proteins. An AT-rich noncoding region with potential to form stem-loop structures may be involved in the initiation of replication or transcription. Gene adjacencies and phylogenetic analysis based on the 12 concatenated amino acid sequences (except atp8) of mitochondrial protein-coding genes show that the nemertean is close to the coelomate lophotrochozoans, rather than the acoelomate platyhelminths. PMID:19397957

  20. Progress in nemertean biology: development and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Turbeville, J M

    2002-07-01

    This paper reviews progress in developmental biology and phylogeny of the Nemertea, a common but poorly studied spiralian taxon of considerable ecological and evolutionary significance. Analyses of reproductive biology (including calcium dynamics during fertilization and oocyte maturation), larval morphology and development and developmental genetics have significantly extended our knowledge of spiralian developmental biology. Developmental genetics studies have in addition provided characters useful for reconstructing metazoan phylogeny. Reinvestigation of the cell lineage of Cerebratulus lacteus using fluorescent tracers revealed that endomesoderm forms from the 4d cell as in other spiralians and that ectomesoderm is derived from the 3a and 3b cells as in annelids, echiurans and molluscs. Studies examining blastomere specification show that cell fates are established precociously in direct developers and later in indirect developers. Morphological characters used to estimate the phylogenetic position of nemerteans are critically re-evaluated, and cladistic analyses of morphology reveal that conflicting hypotheses of nemertean relationships result because of different provisional homology statements. Analyses that include disputed homology statements (1, gliointerstitial cell system 2, coelomic circulatory system) suggest that nemerteans form the sister taxon to the coelomate spiralian taxa rather than the sister taxon to Platyhelminthes. Analyses of small subunit rRNA (18S rDNA) sequences alone or in combination with morphological characters support the inclusion of the nemerteans in a spiralian coelomate clade nested within a more inclusive lophotrochozoan clade. Ongoing evaluation of nemertean relationships with mitochondrial gene rearrangements and other molecular characters is discussed. PMID:21708766

  1. Helminth.net: expansions to Nematode.net and an introduction to Trematode.net

    PubMed Central

    Martin, John; Rosa, Bruce A.; Ozersky, Philip; Hallsworth-Pepin, Kymberlie; Zhang, Xu; Bhonagiri-Palsikar, Veena; Tyagi, Rahul; Wang, Qi; Choi, Young-Jun; Gao, Xin; McNulty, Samantha N.; Brindley, Paul J.; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2015-01-01

    Helminth.net (http://www.helminth.net) is the new moniker for a collection of databases: Nematode.net and Trematode.net. Within this collection we provide services and resources for parasitic roundworms (nematodes) and flatworms (trematodes), collectively known as helminths. For over a decade we have provided resources for studying nematodes via our veteran site Nematode.net (http://nematode.net). In this article, (i) we provide an update on the expansions of Nematode.net that hosts omics data from 84 species and provides advanced search tools to the broad scientific community so that data can be mined in a useful and user-friendly manner and (ii) we introduce Trematode.net, a site dedicated to the dissemination of data from flukes, flatworm parasites of the class Trematoda, phylum Platyhelminthes. Trematode.net is an independent component of Helminth.net and currently hosts data from 16 species, with information ranging from genomic, functional genomic data, enzymatic pathway utilization to microbiome changes associated with helminth infections. The databases’ interface, with a sophisticated query engine as a backbone, is intended to allow users to search for multi-factorial combinations of species’ omics properties. This report describes updates to Nematode.net since its last description in NAR, 2012, and also introduces and presents its new sibling site, Trematode.net. PMID:25392426

  2. Reconstruction of cyclooxygenase evolution in animals suggests variable, lineage-specific duplications, and homologs with low sequence identity.

    PubMed

    Havird, Justin C; Kocot, Kevin M; Brannock, Pamela M; Cannon, Johanna T; Waits, Damien S; Weese, David A; Santos, Scott R; Halanych, Kenneth M

    2015-04-01

    Cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymatically converts arachidonic acid into prostaglandin G/H in animals and has importance during pregnancy, digestion, and other physiological functions in mammals. COX genes have mainly been described from vertebrates, where gene duplications are common, but few studies have examined COX in invertebrates. Given the increasing ease in generating genomic data, as well as recent, although incomplete descriptions of potential COX sequences in Mollusca, Crustacea, and Insecta, assessing COX evolution across Metazoa is now possible. Here, we recover 40 putative COX orthologs by searching publicly available genomic resources as well as ~250 novel invertebrate transcriptomic datasets. Results suggest the common ancestor of Cnidaria and Bilateria possessed a COX homolog similar to those of vertebrates, although such homologs were not found in poriferan and ctenophore genomes. COX was found in most crustaceans and the majority of molluscs examined, but only specific taxa/lineages within Cnidaria and Annelida. For example, all octocorallians appear to have COX, while no COX homologs were found in hexacorallian datasets. Most species examined had a single homolog, although species-specific COX duplications were found in members of Annelida, Mollusca, and Cnidaria. Additionally, COX genes were not found in Hemichordata, Echinodermata, or Platyhelminthes, and the few previously described COX genes in Insecta lacked appreciable sequence homology (although structural analyses suggest these may still be functional COX enzymes). This analysis provides a benchmark for identifying COX homologs in future genomic and transcriptomic datasets, and identifies lineages for future studies of COX. PMID:25758350

  3. The bilaterian roots of cordon-bleu

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The actin cytoskeleton is essential for many physiological processes of eukaryotic cells. The emergence of new actin fibers is initiated by actin nucleators. Whereas most of them are evolutionary old, the cordon-bleu actin nucleator is classified as vertebrate specific. Findings Using sensitive methods for sequence similarity detection, we identified homologs of cordon-bleu not only in non-vertebrate chordates but also in arthropods, molluscs, annelids and platyhelminthes. These genes contain only a single WH2 domain and therefore resemble more the vertebrate cordon-bleu related 1 protein than the three WH2 domain containing cordon-bleu. Furthermore, we identified a homolog of the N-terminal, ubiquitin like, cobl domain of cordon-bleu in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis. Conclusion Our results suggest that the ur-form of the cordon-bleu protein family evolved already with the emergence of the bilateria by the combination of existing cobl and WH2 domains. Following a vertebrate specific gene-duplication, one copy gained two additional WH2 domains leading to the actin nucleating cordon-bleu. The function of the ur-form of the cordon-bleu protein family is so far unknown. The identification of a homolog in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster could facilitate its experimental characterization. PMID:24079804

  4. On the quantitative distribution and community structure of the meio and macrofaunal communities in the coastal area of the Central Adriatic Sea (Italy).

    PubMed

    Frontalini, Fabrizio; Semprucci, Federica; Coccioni, Rodolfo; Balsamo, Maria; Bittoni, Paolo; Covazzi-Harriague, Anabella

    2011-09-01

    Many coastal areas have served as repositories of different anthropogenic and naturally induced organic material and nutrients. The major sources thereof are riverine inputs which strongly influence the spatial and temporal distribution of benthic communities. In this study, the benthic foraminiferal, meiofaunal, and macrofaunal colonies in front of three rivers in a poorly known, but environmentally valuable, area of the Central Adriatic Sea have been examined concurrently. The physico-chemical parameters of bottom water and sediment characteristics were determined in order to characterize both the sediment-water interface and the benthic environments. Although changes in the biota are neither univocal nor unidirectional, a moderate influence of riverine input on the different communities' components can be inferred. The most affected taxa are foraminifera and copepods and, to a lesser extent, meiofaunal polychaetes and platyhelminthes. These results are also tested by the ABC curves, which reveal that the macrofaunal communities closest to the river mouths are moderately disturbed. This integrated investigation documents, for the first time, how benthic communities can be used as an early warning indicator with which to monitor the health quality of a coastal ecosystem. PMID:21120690

  5. HelmCoP: an online resource for helminth functional genomics and drug and vaccine targets prioritization.

    PubMed

    Abubucker, Sahar; Martin, John; Taylor, Christina M; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2011-01-01

    A vast majority of the burden from neglected tropical diseases result from helminth infections (nematodes and platyhelminthes). Parasitic helminthes infect over 2 billion, exerting a high collective burden that rivals high-mortality conditions such as AIDS or malaria, and cause devastation to crops and livestock. The challenges to improve control of parasitic helminth infections are multi-fold and no single category of approaches will meet them all. New information such as helminth genomics, functional genomics and proteomics coupled with innovative bioinformatic approaches provide fundamental molecular information about these parasites, accelerating both basic research as well as development of effective diagnostics, vaccines and new drugs. To facilitate such studies we have developed an online resource, HelmCoP (Helminth Control and Prevention), built by integrating functional, structural and comparative genomic data from plant, animal and human helminthes, to enable researchers to develop strategies for drug, vaccine and pesticide prioritization, while also providing a useful comparative genomics platform. HelmCoP encompasses genomic data from several hosts, including model organisms, along with a comprehensive suite of structural and functional annotations, to assist in comparative analyses and to study host-parasite interactions. The HelmCoP interface, with a sophisticated query engine as a backbone, allows users to search for multi-factorial combinations of properties and serves readily accessible information that will assist in the identification of various genes of interest. HelmCoP is publicly available at: http://www.nematode.net/helmcop.html. PMID:21760913

  6. Helminth.net: expansions to Nematode.net and an introduction to Trematode.net.

    PubMed

    Martin, John; Rosa, Bruce A; Ozersky, Philip; Hallsworth-Pepin, Kymberlie; Zhang, Xu; Bhonagiri-Palsikar, Veena; Tyagi, Rahul; Wang, Qi; Choi, Young-Jun; Gao, Xin; McNulty, Samantha N; Brindley, Paul J; Mitreva, Makedonka

    2015-01-01

    Helminth.net (http://www.helminth.net) is the new moniker for a collection of databases: Nematode.net and Trematode.net. Within this collection we provide services and resources for parasitic roundworms (nematodes) and flatworms (trematodes), collectively known as helminths. For over a decade we have provided resources for studying nematodes via our veteran site Nematode.net (http://nematode.net). In this article, (i) we provide an update on the expansions of Nematode.net that hosts omics data from 84 species and provides advanced search tools to the broad scientific community so that data can be mined in a useful and user-friendly manner and (ii) we introduce Trematode.net, a site dedicated to the dissemination of data from flukes, flatworm parasites of the class Trematoda, phylum Platyhelminthes. Trematode.net is an independent component of Helminth.net and currently hosts data from 16 species, with information ranging from genomic, functional genomic data, enzymatic pathway utilization to microbiome changes associated with helminth infections. The databases' interface, with a sophisticated query engine as a backbone, is intended to allow users to search for multi-factorial combinations of species' omics properties. This report describes updates to Nematode.net since its last description in NAR, 2012, and also introduces and presents its new sibling site, Trematode.net. PMID:25392426

  7. Acoelomorph flatworms are deuterostomes related to Xenoturbella.

    PubMed

    Philippe, Hervé; Brinkmann, Henner; Copley, Richard R; Moroz, Leonid L; Nakano, Hiroaki; Poustka, Albert J; Wallberg, Andreas; Peterson, Kevin J; Telford, Maximilian J

    2011-02-10

    Xenoturbellida and Acoelomorpha are marine worms with contentious ancestry. Both were originally associated with the flatworms (Platyhelminthes), but molecular data have revised their phylogenetic positions, generally linking Xenoturbellida to the deuterostomes and positioning the Acoelomorpha as the most basally branching bilaterian group(s). Recent phylogenomic data suggested that Xenoturbellida and Acoelomorpha are sister taxa and together constitute an early branch of Bilateria. Here we assemble three independent data sets-mitochondrial genes, a phylogenomic data set of 38,330 amino-acid positions and new microRNA (miRNA) complements-and show that the position of Acoelomorpha is strongly affected by a long-branch attraction (LBA) artefact. When we minimize LBA we find consistent support for a position of both acoelomorphs and Xenoturbella within the deuterostomes. The most likely phylogeny links Xenoturbella and Acoelomorpha in a clade we call Xenacoelomorpha. The Xenacoelomorpha is the sister group of the Ambulacraria (hemichordates and echinoderms). We show that analyses of miRNA complements have been affected by character loss in the acoels and that both groups possess one miRNA and the gene Rsb66 otherwise specific to deuterostomes. In addition, Xenoturbella shares one miRNA with the ambulacrarians, and two with the acoels. This phylogeny makes sense of the shared characteristics of Xenoturbellida and Acoelomorpha, such as ciliary ultrastructure and diffuse nervous system, and implies the loss of various deuterostome characters in the Xenacoelomorpha including coelomic cavities, through gut and gill slits. PMID:21307940

  8. The LBP/BPI multigenic family in invertebrates: Evolutionary history and evidences of specialization in mollusks.

    PubMed

    Baron, Olga Lucia; Deleury, Emeline; Reichhart, Jean-Marc; Coustau, Christine

    2016-04-01

    LBPs (lipopolysaccharide binding proteins) and BPIs (bactericidal permeability increasing proteins) are important proteins involved in defense against bacterial pathogens. We recently discovered a novel biocidal activity of a LBP/BPI from the gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata and demonstrated its role in parental immune protection of eggs, highlighting the importance of LBP/BPIs in invertebrate immunity. Here we characterize four additional LBP/BPI from B. glabrata, presenting conserved sequence architecture and exon-intron structure. Searches of invertebrate genomes revealed that existence of LBP/BPIs is not a conserved feature since they are absent from phyla such as arthropods and platyhelminths. Analyses of LBP/BPI transcripts from selected mollusk species showed recent parallel duplications in some species, including B. glabrata. In this snail species, LBP/BPI members vary in their expression tissue localization as well as their change in expression levels after immune challenges (Gram-negative bacterium; Gram-positive bacterium or yeast). These results, together with the predicted protein features provide evidences of functional specialization of LBP/BPI family members in molluscs. PMID:26608112

  9. The distribution of Schistosoma bovis Sonsino, 1876 in relation to intermediate host mollusc-parasite relationships.

    PubMed

    Moné, H; Mouahid, G; Morand, S

    1999-01-01

    Schistosoma bovis is a digenean platyhelminth that is responsible for a parasitic disease called schistosomiasis or bilharziasis in bovines. It has a natural wide mollusc intermediate host spectrum and is compatible, experimentally, with a wide range of species. Our working hypothesis is that the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara were two physical barriers that could have separated the populations of S. bovis in three parts and may have played a role in gene flow. Experimental data were collected from earlier published studies, and the different intermediate host spectra and the mollusc-parasite geographical compatibilities were compared between the North Mediterranean zone, the South Mediterranean zone and the South Saharan zone. From our results, the three major groups of S. bovis populations that could be determined were the Iberian, the Mediterranean and the South Saharan populations. Our tested hypothesis was thus not confirmed concerning the Mediterranean sea barrier but was confirmed with the Saharan one. A paleogeographical scenario of S. bovis is proposed following three major steps from a South Saharan origin to a possible local adaptation of the parasite in the Iberian Peninsula. PMID:10563396

  10. Macrofauna associated to Mycale microsigmatosa (Porifera, Demospongiae) in Rio de Janeiro State, SE Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, Suzi M.; Omena, Elianne P.; Muricy, Guilherme

    2003-08-01

    The macrofauna (endo- and epi-biotic) associated to the sponge Mycale ( Carmia) microsigmatosa Arndt, 1927 was studied at three sites in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil (Arraial do Cabo, Niterói, and Rio de Janeiro). A total of 2235 individuals (over 1 mm long) of 75 invertebrate species were found associated to 19 specimens of the sponge. The most abundant and diverse taxa were the crustaceans (83%, 31 spp.), polychetes (10%, 18 spp.), and molluscs (3.7%, 15 spp.). Cnidarians, platyhelminthes, ascidians, echinoderms, pycnogonids, bryozoans, and sponges were also represented. Amphipod crustaceans were the dominant group, comprising 61% of all individuals collected. Species richness and abundance of associated fauna were highly correlated with sponge volume, but diversity and evenness were not. The site of collection influenced the species composition of the fauna associated to M. microsigmatosa but did not change significantly its diversity, abundance, richness, and dominance patterns of higher taxa. Pregnant females and juvenile stages of 29% of the species associated, including crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms, and pycnogonids were frequently found inside M. microsigmatosa. Although many of these organisms do occur and reproduce in other habitats outside the sponge as well, M. microsigmatosa is also important for their reproduction and survivorship, thus contributing for the maintenance of biodiversity in Southwestern Atlantic sublittoral rocky shores.

  11. A temperature-tolerant interstitial worm with associated epibiotic bacteria from the shallow water fumaroles of Deception Island, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bright, M.; Arndt, C.; Keckeis, H.; Felbeck, H.

    2003-06-01

    A prominent not previously identified species of Monocelidae (Platyhelminthes, Proseriata) was found in the vicinity of fumarole activity at Fumarole Bay. The distribution of this animal and the metazoan meiobenthos in the vicinity of this area suggests that this species constitutes the most abundant species and the bulk of the biomass at these shallow water fumaroles. In contrast to the other metazoan meiofauna, the distribution of this species is positively correlated with the water temperature and gas emissions, indicating a preference for the areas around fumaroles. The range of temperature tolerated by this animal was determined in in vivo experiments to be at least 30-40°C. The outer surface the animals is colonized by apparently symbiotic bacteria, which are usually rod-like and approximately 0.68 ?m wide and 2.07 ?m long. The results of this study revealed a remarkable difference between shallow-water and deep-sea hydrothermal vent meiobenthic communities. Generalists capable of tolerating extreme abiotic conditions appear to dominate shallow-water vents, whereas endemism seems to be the rule in the deep-sea vents.

  12. Evolution of flatworm central nervous systems: Insights from polyclads.

    PubMed

    Quiroga, Sigmer Y; Carolina Bonilla, E; Marcela Bolaños, D; Carbayo, Fernando; Litvaitis, Marian K; Brown, Federico D

    2015-01-01

    The nervous systems of flatworms have diversified extensively as a consequence of the broad range of adaptations in the group. Here we examined the central nervous system (CNS) of 12 species of polyclad flatworms belonging to 11 different families by morphological and histological studies. These comparisons revealed that the overall organization and architecture of polyclad central nervous systems can be classified into three categories (I, II, and III) based on the presence of globuli cell masses -ganglion cells of granular appearance-, the cross-sectional shape of the main nerve cords, and the tissue type surrounding the nerve cords. In addition, four different cell types were identified in polyclad brains based on location and size. We also characterize the serotonergic and FMRFamidergic nervous systems in the cotylean Boninia divae by immunocytochemistry. Although both neurotransmitters were broadly expressed, expression of serotonin was particularly strong in the sucker, whereas FMRFamide was particularly strong in the pharynx. Finally, we test some of the major hypothesized trends during the evolution of the CNS in the phylum by a character state reconstruction based on current understanding of the nervous system across different species of Platyhelminthes and on up-to-date molecular phylogenies. PMID:26500427

  13. The complete mitochondrial genome of the onychophoran Epiperipatus biolleyi reveals a unique transfer RNA set and provides further support for the ecdysozoa hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Podsiadlowski, Lars; Braband, Anke; Mayer, Georg

    2008-01-01

    Onychophora (velvet worms) play a crucial role in current discussions on position of arthropods. The ongoing Articulata/Ecdysozoa debate is in need of additional ground pattern characters for Panarthropoda (Arthropoda, Tardigrada, and Onychophora). Hence, Onychophora is an important outgroup taxon in resolving the relationships among arthropods, irrespective of whether morphological or molecular data are used. To date, there has been a noticeable lack of mitochondrial genome data from onychophorans. Here, we present the first complete mitochondrial genome sequence of an onychophoran, Epiperipatus biolleyi (Peripatidae), which shows several characteristic features. Specifically, the gene order is considerably different from that in other arthropods and other bilaterians. In addition, there is a lack of 9 tRNA genes usually present in bilaterian mitochondrial genomes. All these missing tRNAs have anticodon sequences corresponding to 4-fold degenerate codons, whereas the persisting 13 tRNAs all have anticodons pairing with 2-fold degenerate codons. Sequence-based phylogenetic analysis of the mitochondrial protein-coding genes provides a robust support for a clade consisting of Onychophora, Priapulida, and Arthropoda, which confirms the Ecdysozoa hypothesis. However, resolution of the internal ecdysozoan relationships suffers from a cluster of long-branching taxa (including Nematoda and Platyhelminthes) and a lack of data from Tardigrada and further nemathelminth taxa in addition to nematodes and priapulids. PMID:17934206

  14. Gastrointestinal Parasites of Ecuadorian