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Sample records for planarians platyhelminthes tricladida

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Investigation of the ultrastructure of Dendrocoelum constrictum (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida) spermatogenesis and mature spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Harrath, Abdel Halim; Gammoudi, Mehrez; Mansour, Lamjed; Ahmed, Mukhtar; Sirotkin, Alexander V; Al Omar, Suliman Y; Ibrahim, Khalid E; Alwasel, Saleh H

    2014-09-01

    To add to our understanding of dendrocoelid spermatozoa and to describe additional phylogenetic characters, the ultrastructure of the testis was investigated in the subterranean freshwater planarian Dendrocoelum constrictum. This is the first study investigating spermatogenesis and spermatozoon ultrastructure in a subterranean freshwater planarian species. We found that the basic structure of spermatozoa in D. constrictum is similar to that of other Tricladida that have been studied previously. In fact, D. constrictum spermatozoa possess an elongated nucleus, one giant mitochondrion, and two subterminal flagella with a 9+'1' pattern. The flagella emerge together from one side of the spermatozoon. However, D. constrictum has some characteristics that have not yet been described for other freshwater planarians. In fact, the number of cortical microtubules reaches the maximum number in the anterior and middle part of region I, and then decrease until they disappear towards the posterior extremity of the spermatozoon. The extreme tip of the anterior region of the spermatozoon exhibits a specific external ornamentation of the plasma membrane. PMID:25242690

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Ultrastructure of spermatogenesis and mature spermatozoon of the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea (Platyhelminthes, Paludicola).

    PubMed

    Harrath, Abdul Halim; Alwasel, Saleh; Zghal, Fathia; Tekaya, Saïda

    2012-02-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize for the first time spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea using both light and electron microscopy. Starting from the border towards the testis lumen we found types I and II spermatogonia, clusters of primary and secondary spermatocytes, spermatids and free spermatozoa. Light microscope observations show that type I spermatogonia have a large and pale nucleus whereas type II spermatogonia are significantly smaller than the one of type I, and show a darker and central bulky nucleus. At the ultrastructure level, both type I and type II spermatogonia are characterized by a wide nucleus with scanty cytoplasm containing free ribosomes, mitochondria and a dense chromatoid body whereas endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex were not observed. The cytoplasm of primary and secondary spermatocytes displays numerous free ribosomes and many endoplasmic reticulum cisternae and Golgi complexes, suggesting that the development of these organelles during spermatogenesis might contribute to the synthesis of hormones and proteins such as testosterone, transcription factors and tubulin. Mature spermatozoa structure closely resembles those of other freshwater triclads with a nucleus, a single fused mitochondrion, a row of cortical microtubules and a pair of flagella conforming to the 9+'1' microtubule pattern described for other Platyhelminthes. PMID:22325561

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

    PubMed

    Sol, 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

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. [An ultrastructural study of oogenesis in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea (Platyhelminthe, Paludicola)].

    PubMed

    Harrath, Abdul Halim; Alwasal, Saleh H; Alhazza, Ibrahim; Zghal, Fathia; Tekaya, Saida

    2011-07-01

    The ovary of the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea has been studied for the first time using both light and electron microscopy methods. The ultrastructure of the ovary revealed two types of cells: accessory cells and germinal cells at various stages of differentiation, distributed along a maturation axis. Initially, oogonia underwent cytoplasm growth due to the development of organelles, such as endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi complex, and mitochondria, which are all involved in the production of cytoplasmic inclusions or yolk globules. It is shown that the chromatoid body and fibrogranular aggregates may participate in the synthesis of vitelline inclusions. When completely mature, the oocytes have become larger, due to the accumulation of nutritive inclusions, which are round in shape and have a paracrystalline structure. These inclusions are interpreted as being yolk globules and may represent a kind of nutritive material for the developing embryo. These ultrastructural features of the ovary agree with the available phylogenetic tree, based on morphological and karyological characters that considers Schmidtea group as a genus and not a subgenus. The presence of sperm between the oocytes suggests that fertilization may occur within the ovary, representing an uncommon condition within the Triclads, in which fertilization usually takes places outside of the ovaries. PMID:21784361

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. [Regeneration of planarians: experimental object].

    PubMed

    Sheĭman, 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Spliced-leader trans-splicing in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Zayas, Ricardo M; Bold, Tyler D; Newmark, Phillip A

    2005-10-01

    trans-Splicing, in which a spliced-leader (SL) RNA is appended to the most 5' exon of independently transcribed pre-mRNAs, has been described in a wide range of eukaryotes, from protozoans to chordates. Here we describe trans-splicing in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, a free-living member of the phylum Platyhelminthes. Analysis of an expressed sequence tag (EST) collection from this organism showed that over 300 transcripts shared one of two approximately 35-base sequences (Smed SL-1 and SL-2) at their 5' ends. Examination of genomic sequences encoding representatives of these transcripts revealed that these shared sequences were transcribed elsewhere in the genome. RNA blot analysis, 5' and 3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends, as well as genomic sequence data showed that 42-nt SL sequences were derived from small RNAs of approximately 110 nt. Similar sequences were also found at the 5' ends of ESTs from the planarian Dugesia japonica. trans-Splicing has already been described in numerous representatives of the phylum Platyhelminthes (trematodes, cestodes, and polyclads); its presence in two representatives of the triclads supports the hypothesis that this mode of RNA processing is ancestral within this group. The upcoming complete genome sequence of S. mediterranea, combined with this animal's experimental accessibility and susceptibility to RNAi, provide another model organism in which to study the function of the still-enigmatic trans-splicing. PMID:15972844

  1. 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

  2. Platyhelminth FMRFamide-related peptides.

    PubMed

    Shaw, C; Maule, A G; Halton, D W

    1996-04-01

    Platyhelminths are the most primitive metazoan phylum to possess a true central nervous system, comprising a brain and longitudinal nerve cords connected by commissures. Additional to the presence of classical neurotransmitters, the nervous systems of all major groups of flatworms examined have widespread and abundant peptidergic components. Decades of research on the major invertebrate phyla, Mollusca and Arthropoda, have revealed the primary structures and putative functions of several families of structurally related peptides, the best studied being the FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs). Recently, the first platyhelminth FaRP was isolated from the tapeworm, Moniezia expansa, and was found to be a hexapeptide amide, GNFFRFamide. Two additional FaRPs were isolated from species of turbellarians; these were pentapeptides, RYIRFamide (Artioposthia triangulata) and GYIRFamide (Dugesia tigrina). The primary structure of a monogenean or digenean FaRP has yet to be deduced. Preliminary physiological studies have shown that both of the turbellarian FaRPs elicit dose-dependent contractions of isolated digenean and turbellarian somatic muscle fibres. Unlike the high structural diversity of FaRPs found in molluscs, arthropods and nematodes, the complement of FaRPs in individual species of platyhelminths appears to be restricted to 1 or 2 related molecules. Much remains to be learnt about platyhelminth FaRPs, particularly from peptide isolation, molecular cloning of precursor proteins, receptor localization, and physiological studies. PMID:8773520

  3. Adhesive secretions in the Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Whittington, I D; Cribb, B W

    2001-01-01

    This review is the first to draw together knowledge about bioadhesives secreted by a group of parasites. Mechanisms of mechanical attachment are well known among parasites, but some can also attach to host surfaces by chemical means using a thin layer of adhesive material secreted at the parasite-host interface. Attachment by adhesives to living surfaces has not been studied in detail previously. A significant volume of research has determined much about the chemistry and nature of bioadhesives secreted by various marine macroinvertebrates from different phyla for attachment to inert substrates. Mussels and barnacles are sessile and adhere permanently, whereas starfish display temporary but firm adhesion during locomotion, feeding and burrowing. We focus on the Platyhelminthes that comprises the largely free-living Turbellaria and the wholly parasitic Monogenea, Cestoda, Digenea and Aspidogastrea. The term tissue adhesion is introduced to describe attachment by adhesives to epithelial surfaces such as fish epidermis and the lining of the vertebrate gut. These living layers regenerate rapidly, secrete mucus, are a site for immune activity and are therefore especially hostile environments for organisms that inhabit them, presenting a significant challenge for adhesion. Not all platyhelminths adhere to living surfaces and types of adhesion to inert substrates by the free-living turbellarians are also reviewed. Tissue adhesion is particularly well exemplified by monopisthocotylean monogeneans, parasites that are especially mobile as larvae, juveniles and adults on the epidermis of the body and gill surfaces of fish. These monogeneans secrete adhesives from the anterior end when they move from site to site, but some have secondarily developed adhesives at the posterior end to supplement or replace mechanical attachment by hooks and/or by suction. The temporary but tenacious anterior adhesives of monogeneans display remarkable properties of instant attachment to and detachment from their host fish surfaces. In contrast to the mobility of turbellarians and monopisthocotylean monogeneans and the simplicity of their direct life cycles, the largely endoparasitic Cestoda and Digenea are considered to be less mobile as adults. The complex cestode and digenean life cycles, involving intermediate hosts, place different demands on their various stages. Diverse, mostly anterior, gland cells in larvae, metacestodes and adults of the true tapeworms (Eucestoda), and in larval and adult Gyrocotylidea and Amphilinidea are reviewed. Conspicuous gland cells, mostly but not exclusively at the anterior end, in miracidia, cercariae and adults of digeneans and in cotylocidia and adults of aspidogastreans are also reviewed. Unlike turbellarians and monogeneans, accounts of unequivocal adhesive secretions in the Cestoda, but especially in the Digenea and Aspidogastrea, are relatively rare. The primary purpose of many conspicuous glands in the different stages of these mostly endoparasitic flatworms is for penetration into, or escape from, different hosts in their life cycle. We provide a detailed review of current knowledge about adhesion (in the sense of a thin layer of chemical material) in the Platyhelminthes including uses among eggs, larval, juvenile and adult stages. Information on structure, morphology and ultrastructure of the various adhesive systems that have been described is reviewed. Application of the 'duo gland' model is discussed. Comparisons are made between the little that is known about the chemistry of flatworm adhesives and the significant knowledge of the chemical nature of other invertebrate bioadhesives, especially those from marine macroinvertebrates. The potential importance of adhesives in parasitism is discussed. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED) PMID:11013756

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. [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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Germline Defects Caused by Smed-boule RNA-Interference Reveal That Egg Capsule Deposition Occurs Independently of Fertilization, Ovulation, Mating, or the Presence of Gametes in Planarian Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Steiner, Jessica Kathryne; Tasaki, Junichi; Rouhana, Labib

    2016-01-01

    Few animals are known to lay eggs in the absence of ovulation or copulation, as it is presumably energetically wasteful and subjected to negative selection. Characterization of Smed-boule, a member of the DAZ family of germline RNA-binding proteins, revealed that egg capsule (or capsule) production and deposition occurs independently of the presence of gametes in the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. Reduction of Smed-boule expression by RNA-interference (RNAi) causes ablation of spermatogonial stem cells and the inability of ovarian germline stem cells to undergo oogenesis. Although animals subjected to Smed-boule RNAi lose their gametes and become sterile, they continue to lay egg capsules. Production of sterile capsules is even observed in virgin Smed-boule(RNAi) and control planarians maintained in complete isolation, demonstrating that egg production in S. mediterranea occurs independently of ovulation, fertilization, or mating. Evidence suggests that this is a conserved feature amongst Platyhelminthes, and therefore relevant to the pathology and dissemination of parasitic flatworms. These findings demonstrate that Smed-boule functions at different stages during male and female germline stem cell development, and also demonstrate that egg capsule production by planarian flatworms occurs independently of signals produced by mating or ova. PMID:27149082

  15. Germline Defects Caused by Smed-boule RNA-Interference Reveal That Egg Capsule Deposition Occurs Independently of Fertilization, Ovulation, Mating, or the Presence of Gametes in Planarian Flatworms.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Jessica Kathryne; Tasaki, Junichi; Rouhana, Labib

    2016-05-01

    Few animals are known to lay eggs in the absence of ovulation or copulation, as it is presumably energetically wasteful and subjected to negative selection. Characterization of Smed-boule, a member of the DAZ family of germline RNA-binding proteins, revealed that egg capsule (or capsule) production and deposition occurs independently of the presence of gametes in the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. Reduction of Smed-boule expression by RNA-interference (RNAi) causes ablation of spermatogonial stem cells and the inability of ovarian germline stem cells to undergo oogenesis. Although animals subjected to Smed-boule RNAi lose their gametes and become sterile, they continue to lay egg capsules. Production of sterile capsules is even observed in virgin Smed-boule(RNAi) and control planarians maintained in complete isolation, demonstrating that egg production in S. mediterranea occurs independently of ovulation, fertilization, or mating. Evidence suggests that this is a conserved feature amongst Platyhelminthes, and therefore relevant to the pathology and dissemination of parasitic flatworms. These findings demonstrate that Smed-boule functions at different stages during male and female germline stem cell development, and also demonstrate that egg capsule production by planarian flatworms occurs independently of signals produced by mating or ova. PMID:27149082

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. 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 β-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

  20. 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

  1. Berberine exposure triggers developmental effects on planarian regeneration

    PubMed Central

    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

  2. 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

  3. The Retinoblastoma pathway regulates stem cell proliferation in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shu Jun; Pearson, Bret J

    2013-01-15

    Freshwater planarians are flatworms of the Lophotrochozoan superphylum and are well known for their regenerative abilities, which rely on a large population of pluripotent adult stem cells. However, the mechanisms by which planarians maintain a precise population of adult stem cells while balancing proliferation and cell death, remain to be elucidated. Here we have identified, characterized, and functionally tested the core Retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway components in planarian adult stem cell biology. The Rb pathway is an ancient and conserved mechanism of proliferation control from plants to animals and is composed of three core components: an Rb protein, and a transcription factor heterodimer of E2F and DP proteins. Although the planarian genome contains all components of the Rb pathway, we found that they have undergone gene loss from the ancestral state, similar to other species in their phylum. The single Rb homolog (Smed-Rb) was highly expressed in planarian stem cells and was required for stem cell maintenance, similar to the Rb-homologs p107 and p130 in vertebrates. We show that planarians and their phylum have undergone the most severe reduction in E2F genes observed thus far, and the single remaining E2F was predicted to be a repressive-type E2F (Smed-E2F4-1). Knockdown of either Smed-E2F4-1 or its dimerization partner Dp (Smed-Dp) by RNAi resulted in temporary hyper-proliferation. Finally, we showed that known Rb-interacting genes in other systems, histone deacetylase 1 and cyclinD (Smed-HDAC1; Smed-cycD), were similar to Rb in expression and phenotypes when knocked down by RNAi, suggesting that these established interactions with Rb may also be conserved in planarians. Together, these results showed that planarians use the conserved components of the Rb tumor suppressor pathway to control proliferation and cell survival. PMID:23123964

  4. GPCRs Direct Germline Development and Somatic Gonad Function in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Saberi, Amir; Jamal, Ayana; Beets, Isabel; Schoofs, Liliane; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-05-01

    Planarians display remarkable plasticity in maintenance of their germline, with the ability to develop or dismantle reproductive tissues in response to systemic and environmental cues. Here, we investigated the role of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in this dynamic germline regulation. By genome-enabled receptor mining, we identified 566 putative planarian GPCRs and classified them into conserved and phylum-specific subfamilies. We performed a functional screen to identify NPYR-1 as the cognate receptor for NPY-8, a neuropeptide required for sexual maturation and germ cell differentiation. Similar to NPY-8, knockdown of this receptor results in loss of differentiated germ cells and sexual maturity. NPYR-1 is expressed in neuroendocrine cells of the central nervous system and can be activated specifically by NPY-8 in cell-based assays. Additionally, we screened the complement of GPCRs with expression enriched in sexually reproducing planarians, and identified an orphan chemoreceptor family member, ophis, that controls differentiation of germline stem cells (GSCs). ophis is expressed in somatic cells of male and female gonads, as well as in accessory reproductive tissues. We have previously shown that somatic gonadal cells are required for male GSC specification and maintenance in planarians. However, ophis is not essential for GSC specification or maintenance and, therefore, defines a secondary role for planarian gonadal niche cells in promoting GSC differentiation. Our studies uncover the complement of planarian GPCRs and reveal previously unappreciated roles for these receptors in systemic and local (i.e., niche) regulation of germ cell development. PMID:27163480

  5. 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

  6. GPCRs Direct Germline Development and Somatic Gonad Function in Planarians

    PubMed Central

    Saberi, Amir; Beets, Isabel; Schoofs, Liliane; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2016-01-01

    Planarians display remarkable plasticity in maintenance of their germline, with the ability to develop or dismantle reproductive tissues in response to systemic and environmental cues. Here, we investigated the role of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in this dynamic germline regulation. By genome-enabled receptor mining, we identified 566 putative planarian GPCRs and classified them into conserved and phylum-specific subfamilies. We performed a functional screen to identify NPYR-1 as the cognate receptor for NPY-8, a neuropeptide required for sexual maturation and germ cell differentiation. Similar to NPY-8, knockdown of this receptor results in loss of differentiated germ cells and sexual maturity. NPYR-1 is expressed in neuroendocrine cells of the central nervous system and can be activated specifically by NPY-8 in cell-based assays. Additionally, we screened the complement of GPCRs with expression enriched in sexually reproducing planarians, and identified an orphan chemoreceptor family member, ophis, that controls differentiation of germline stem cells (GSCs). ophis is expressed in somatic cells of male and female gonads, as well as in accessory reproductive tissues. We have previously shown that somatic gonadal cells are required for male GSC specification and maintenance in planarians. However, ophis is not essential for GSC specification or maintenance and, therefore, defines a secondary role for planarian gonadal niche cells in promoting GSC differentiation. Our studies uncover the complement of planarian GPCRs and reveal previously unappreciated roles for these receptors in systemic and local (i.e., niche) regulation of germ cell development. PMID:27163480

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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/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. PMID:25204535

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Planarian GSK3s are involved in neural regeneration.

    PubMed

    Adell, Teresa; Marsal, Maria; Saló, Emili

    2008-02-01

    Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) is a key element in several signaling cascades that is known to be involved in both patterning and neuronal organization. It is, therefore, a good candidate to play a role in neural regeneration in planarians. We report the characterization of three GSK3 genes in Schmidtea mediterranea. Phylogenetic analysis shows that Smed-GSK3.1 is highly conserved compared to GSK3 sequences from other species, whereas Smed-GSK3.2 and Smed-GSK3.3 are more divergent. Treatment of regenerating planarians with 1-azakenpaullone, a synthetic GSK3 inhibitor, suggests that planarian GSK3s are essential for normal differentiation and morphogenesis of the nervous system. Cephalic ganglia appear smaller and disconnected in 1-azakenpaullone-treated animals, whereas visual axons are ectopically projected, and the pharynx does not regenerate properly. This phenotype is consistent with a role for Smed-GSK3s in neuronal polarization and axonal growth. PMID:18202849

  3. pbx is required for pole and eye regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Chieh G; Wang, Irving E; Reddien, Peter W

    2013-02-01

    Planarian regeneration involves regionalized gene expression that specifies the body plan. After amputation, planarians are capable of regenerating new anterior and posterior poles, as well as tissues polarized along the anterior-posterior, dorsal-ventral and medial-lateral axes. Wnt and several Hox genes are expressed at the posterior pole, whereas Wnt inhibitory genes, Fgf inhibitory genes, and prep, which encodes a TALE-family homeodomain protein, are expressed at the anterior pole. We found that Smed-pbx (pbx for short), which encodes a second planarian TALE-family homeodomain transcription factor, is required for restored expression of these genes at anterior and posterior poles during regeneration. Moreover, pbx(RNAi) animals gradually lose pole gene expression during homeostasis. By contrast, pbx was not required for initial anterior-posterior polarized responses to wounds, indicating that pbx is required after wound responses for development and maintenance of poles during regeneration and homeostatic tissue turnover. Independently of the requirement for pbx in pole regeneration, pbx is required for eye precursor formation and, consequently, eye regeneration and eye replacement in homeostasis. Together, these data indicate that pbx promotes pole formation of body axes and formation of regenerative progenitors for eyes. PMID:23318641

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 μM) or sulpiride (1 μM). 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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-β-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

  3. 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-β-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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Planarian PTEN homologs regulate stem cells and regeneration through TOR signaling

    PubMed Central

    Oviedo, Néstor J.; Pearson, Bret J.; Levin, Michael; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY We have identified two genes, Smed-PTEN-1 and Smed-PTEN-2, capable of regulating stem cell function in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Both genes encode proteins homologous to the mammalian tumor suppressor, phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN). Inactivation of Smed-PTEN-1 and -2 by RNA interference (RNAi) in planarians disrupts regeneration, and leads to abnormal outgrowths in both cut and uncut animals followed soon after by death (lysis). The resulting phenotype is characterized by hyperproliferation of neoblasts (planarian stem cells), tissue disorganization and a significant accumulation of postmitotic cells with impaired differentiation capacity. Further analyses revealed that rapamycin selectively prevented such accumulation without affecting the normal neoblast proliferation associated with physiological turnover and regeneration. In animals in which PTEN function is abrogated, we also detected a significant increase in the number of cells expressing the planarian Akt gene homolog (Smed-Akt). However, functional abrogation of Smed-Akt in Smed-PTEN RNAi-treated animals does not prevent cell overproliferation and lethality, indicating that functional abrogation of Smed-PTEN is sufficient to induce abnormal outgrowths. Altogether, our data reveal roles for PTEN in the regulation of planarian stem cells that are strikingly conserved to mammalian models. In addition, our results implicate this protein in the control of stem cell maintenance during the regeneration of complex structures in planarians. PMID:19048075

  7. The use of lectins as markers for differentiated secretory cells in planarians.

    PubMed

    Zayas, Ricardo M; Cebrià, Francesc; Guo, Tingxia; Feng, Junjie; Newmark, Phillip A

    2010-11-01

    Freshwater planarians have reemerged as excellent models to investigate mechanisms underlying regeneration. The introduction of molecular tools has facilitated the study of planarians, but cell- and tissue-specific markers are still needed to examine differentiation of most cell types. Here we report the utility of fluorescent lectin-conjugates to label tissues in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We show that 16 lectin-conjugates stain planarian cells or tissues; 13 primarily label the secretory cells, their cytoplasmic projections, and terminal pores. Thus, we examined regeneration of the secretory system using lectin markers and functionally characterized two genes expressed in the secretory cells: marginal adhesive gland-1 (mag-1) and Smed-reticulocalbin1 (Smed-rcn1). RNAi knockdown of these genes caused a dramatic reduction of secretory cell lectin staining, suggesting a role for mag-1 and Smed-rcn1 in secretory cell differentiation. Our results provide new insights into planarian secretory system regeneration and add new markers for labeling several planarian tissues. PMID:20865784

  8. Planarian PTEN homologs regulate stem cells and regeneration through TOR signaling.

    PubMed

    Oviedo, Néstor J; Pearson, Bret J; Levin, Michael; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2008-01-01

    We have identified two genes, Smed-PTEN-1 and Smed-PTEN-2, capable of regulating stem cell function in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Both genes encode proteins homologous to the mammalian tumor suppressor, phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN). Inactivation of Smed-PTEN-1 and -2 by RNA interference (RNAi) in planarians disrupts regeneration, and leads to abnormal outgrowths in both cut and uncut animals followed soon after by death (lysis). The resulting phenotype is characterized by hyperproliferation of neoblasts (planarian stem cells), tissue disorganization and a significant accumulation of postmitotic cells with impaired differentiation capacity. Further analyses revealed that rapamycin selectively prevented such accumulation without affecting the normal neoblast proliferation associated with physiological turnover and regeneration. In animals in which PTEN function is abrogated, we also detected a significant increase in the number of cells expressing the planarian Akt gene homolog (Smed-Akt). However, functional abrogation of Smed-Akt in Smed-PTEN RNAi-treated animals does not prevent cell overproliferation and lethality, indicating that functional abrogation of Smed-PTEN is sufficient to induce abnormal outgrowths. Altogether, our data reveal roles for PTEN in the regulation of planarian stem cells that are strikingly conserved to mammalian models. In addition, our results implicate this protein in the control of stem cell maintenance during the regeneration of complex structures in planarians. PMID:19048075

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. nanos function is essential for development and regeneration of planarian germ cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuying; Zayas, Ricardo M; Guo, Tingxia; Newmark, Phillip A

    2007-04-01

    Germ cells are required for the successful propagation of sexually reproducing species. Understanding the mechanisms by which these cells are specified and how their totipotency is established and maintained has important biomedical and evolutionary implications. Freshwater planarians serve as fascinating models for studying these questions. They can regenerate germ cells from fragments of adult tissues that lack reproductive structures, suggesting that inductive signaling is involved in planarian germ cell specification. To study the development and regeneration of planarian germ cells, we have functionally characterized an ortholog of nanos, a gene required for germ cell development in diverse organisms, from Schmidtea mediterranea. In the hermaphroditic strain of this species, Smed-nanos mRNA is detected in developing, regenerating, and mature ovaries and testes. However, it is not detected in the vast majority of newly hatched planarians or in small tissue fragments that will ultimately regenerate germ cells, consistent with an epigenetic origin of germ cells. We show that Smed-nanos RNA interference (RNAi) results in failure to develop, regenerate, or maintain gonads in sexual planarians. Unexpectedly, Smed-nanos mRNA is also detected in presumptive testes primordia of asexual individuals that reproduce strictly by fission. These presumptive germ cells are lost after Smed-nanos RNAi, suggesting that asexual planarians specify germ cells, but their differentiation is blocked downstream of Smed-nanos function. Our results reveal a conserved function of nanos in germ cell development in planarians and suggest that these animals will serve as useful models for dissecting the molecular basis of epigenetic germ cell specification. PMID:17376870

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Characterization of a collagenolytic enzyme released from wounded planarians Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Sawada, T; Oofusa, K; Yoshizato, K

    1999-01-01

    Planarians (Dugesia japonica) were cultured on gels of type I bovine collagen under various conditions that damaged the worms to test the possibility that the animals secrete a collagenolytic enzyme when they are wounded. The planarians were shown to release a potent collagenolytic enzyme around their body when the animals received damage-inducing treatments such as heating at 37 degrees C, freezing and thawing, and amputation. This release of the enzyme did not require the synthesis of RNA or protein. Isolated planarian cells did not release the enzyme even when cultured at 37 degrees C. The collagenolytic activity was found in the supernatants, but not in the insoluble fraction prepared from disintegrated tissues of the wounded animals. These results indicated that the enzyme was stored extracellularly in the normal planarian body. Partial purification of the enzyme and the action spectra of various protease inhibitors on the enzyme showed that the enzyme was a neutral type I collagen-degrading 40 kDa metalloproteinase. We named this enzyme the planarian collagenase. PMID:10633005

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Regeneration and maintenance of the planarian midline is regulated by a slit orthologue.

    PubMed

    Cebrià, Francesc; Guo, Tingxia; Jopek, Jessica; Newmark, Phillip A

    2007-07-15

    Several families of evolutionarily conserved axon guidance cues orchestrate the precise wiring of the nervous system during embryonic development. The remarkable plasticity of freshwater planarians provides the opportunity to study these molecules in the context of neural regeneration and maintenance. Here we characterize a homologue of the Slit family of guidance cues from the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Smed-slit is expressed along the planarian midline, in both dorsal and ventral domains. RNA interference (RNAi) targeting Smed-slit results in the collapse of many newly regenerated tissues at the midline; these include the cephalic ganglia, ventral nerve cords, photoreceptors, and the posterior digestive system. Surprisingly, Smed-slit RNAi knockdown animals also develop morphologically distinguishable, ectopic neural structures near the midline in uninjured regions of intact and regenerating planarians. These results suggest that Smed-slit acts not only as a repulsive cue required for proper midline formation during regeneration but that it may also act to regulate the behavior of neural precursors at the midline in intact planarians. PMID:17553481

  2. EGFR signaling regulates cell proliferation, differentiation and morphogenesis during planarian regeneration and homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Fraguas, Susanna; Barberán, Sara; Cebrià, Francesc

    2011-06-01

    Similarly to development, the process of regeneration requires that cells accurately sense and respond to their external environment. Thus, intrinsic cues must be integrated with signals from the surrounding environment to ensure appropriate temporal and spatial regulation of tissue regeneration. Identifying the signaling pathways that control these events will not only provide insights into a fascinating biological phenomenon but may also yield new molecular targets for use in regenerative medicine. Among classical models to study regeneration, freshwater planarians represent an attractive system in which to investigate the signals that regulate cell proliferation and differentiation, as well as the proper patterning of the structures being regenerated. Recent studies in planarians have begun to define the role of conserved signaling pathways during regeneration. Here, we extend these analyses to the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor pathway. We report the characterization of three epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Silencing of these genes by RNA interference (RNAi) yielded multiple defects in intact and regenerating planarians. Smed-egfr-1(RNAi) resulted in decreased differentiation of eye pigment cells, abnormal pharynx regeneration and maintenance, and the development of dorsal outgrowths. In contrast, Smed-egfr-3(RNAi) animals produced smaller blastemas associated with abnormal differentiation of certain cell types. Our results suggest important roles for the EGFR signaling in controlling cell proliferation, differentiation and morphogenesis during planarian regeneration and homeostasis. PMID:21458439

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Smed-betacatenin-1 is required for anteroposterior blastema polarity in planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Christian P; Reddien, Peter W

    2008-01-18

    Planarian flatworms can regenerate heads at anterior-facing wounds and tails at posterior-facing wounds throughout the body. How this regeneration polarity is specified has been a classic problem for more than a century. We identified a planarian gene, Smed-betacatenin-1, that controls regeneration polarity. Posterior-facing blastemas regenerate a head instead of a tail in Smed-betacatenin-1(RNAi) animals. Smed-betacatenin-1 is required after wounding and at any posterior-facing wound for polarity. Additionally, intact Smed-betacatenin-1(RNAi) animals display anteriorization during tissue turnover. Five Wnt genes and a secreted Frizzled-related Wnt antagonist-like gene are expressed in domains along the anteroposterior axis that reset to new positions during regeneration, which suggests that Wnts control polarity through Smed-betacatenin-1. Our data suggest that beta-catenin specifies the posterior character of the anteroposterior axis throughout the Bilateria and specifies regeneration polarity in planarians. PMID:18063755

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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 (5mC) 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. The molecular logic for planarian regeneration along the anterior-posterior axis.

    PubMed

    Umesono, Yoshihiko; Tasaki, Junichi; Nishimura, Yui; Hrouda, Martina; Kawaguchi, Eri; Yazawa, Shigenobu; Nishimura, Osamu; Hosoda, Kazutaka; Inoue, Takeshi; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2013-08-01

    The planarian Dugesia japonica can regenerate a complete individual from a head, trunk or tail fragment via activation of somatic pluripotent stem cells. About a century ago, Thomas Hunt Morgan attempted to explain the extraordinary regenerative ability of planarians by positing two opposing morphogenetic gradients of formative "head stuff" and "tail stuff" along the anterior-posterior axis. However, Morgan's hypothesis remains open to debate. Here we show that extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) and Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathways establish a solid framework for planarian regeneration. Our data suggest that ERK signalling forms a spatial gradient in the anterior region during regeneration. The fibroblast growth factor receptor-like gene nou-darake (which serves as an output of ERK signalling in the differentiating head) and posteriorly biased β-catenin activity negatively regulate ERK signalling along the anterior-posterior axis in distinct manners, and thereby posteriorize regenerating tissues outside the head region to reconstruct a complete head-to-tail axis. On the basis of this knowledge about D. japonica, we proposed that β-catenin signalling is responsible for the lack of head-regenerative ability of tail fragments in the planarian Phagocata kawakatsui, and our confirmation thereof supports the notion that posterior β-catenin signalling negatively modulates the ERK signalling involved in anteriorization across planarian species. These findings suggest that ERK signalling has a pivotal role in triggering globally dynamic differentiation of stem cells in a head-to-tail sequence through a default program that promotes head tissue specification in the absence of posteriorizing signals. Thus, we have confirmed the broad outline of Morgan's hypothesis, and refined it on the basis of our proposed default property of planarian stem cells. PMID:23883928

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. Staining of Platyhelminthes by herbal dyes: An eco-friendly technique for the taxonomist

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Niranjan; Mehul, Jadav; Das, Bhupamani; Solanki, J. B.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: An environment compatible technique to stain Platyhelminthes, Fasciola gigantica, Gastrothylax crumenifer, Taenia solium, and Moniezia expansa using aqueous and alcoholic extract of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris), China rose (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), and red rose (Rosa hybrida) were described to minimized the deleterious effects of the synthetic dyes. Materials and Methods: Aqueous/ethanolic extracts of roses were extracted from the flowers while red beet was extracted from the roots. Results: Stained helminthes acquired a comparable level of pigmentation with the distinction of their internal structure in these natural dyes. The flukes (liver and rumen) internal structure, oral and ventral/posterior sucker, cirrus sac, gravid uterus, testes, ovary, and vitallaria were appeared pink color in aqueous and alcoholic extract of either China or red rose and yellow to brown color in sugar beet stain. The interior of the proglottid of T. solium and M. expansa took yellow to brown color with good contrast in sugar beet stain and of pink to pink-red in China and red rose stain. Conclusion: The extract of roses (red rose followed by China rose) followed by red beet possess the potential to replace the conventional stains in the taxonomic study of Platyhelminthes parasites. PMID:27047037

  18. Nuclear genomic signals of the 'microturbellarian' roots of platyhelminth evolutionary innovation.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25764302

  19. 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

  20. Discovery of Platyhelminth-Specific α/β-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 α and β 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 (Smβ-Int1) and four alpha-integrins (Smα-Int1 - Smα-Int4) from Schistosoma mansoni; they were characterized by molecular and biochemical analyses. Evidence is provided that Smβ-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 Smβ-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

  1. 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

  2. Planarians require an intact brain to behaviorally react to cocaine, but not to react to nicotine

    PubMed Central

    Pagán, Oné R.; Deats, Sean; Baker, Debra; Montgomery, Erica; Wilk, Galia; Tenaglia, Matthew; Semon, Joshua

    2013-01-01

    Planarians possess a rudimentary brain with many features in common with vertebrate brains. They also display a remarkable capacity for tissue regeneration including the complete regeneration of the nervous system. Using the induction of planarian seizure-like movements (pSLMs) as a behavioral endpoint, we demonstrate that an intact nervous system is necessary for this organism to react to cocaine exposure, but not necessary to react to nicotine administration. Decapitated planarians (Girardia tigrina) display pSLMs indistinguishable from intact worms when exposed to nicotine, but cocaine-induced pSLMs are reduced by about 95% upon decapitation. Decapitated worms recover their normal sensitivity to cocaine within five days after head amputation. In worms where half of the brain was removed or partially dissected, the expression of cocaine-induced pSLMs was reduced by approximately 75 %. Similar amputations at the level of the tail did not show a significant decrease to cocaine exposure. To the best of our knowledge, our work is the first report that explores how regenerating planarians react to the exposure of cocaine. PMID:23684614

  3. Group planarian sudden mortality: Is the threshold around global geomagnetic activity ≥K6?

    PubMed Central

    Murugan, Nirosha J; Karbowski, Lukasz M; Mekers, William Ft; Persinger, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    Sudden deaths in groups of animals have been observed by field and laboratory biologists. We have measured mortalities in large group-housed planarian during the infrequent periods of very intense geomagnetic activity. In 13 separate episodes over the last 5 y we have observed the sudden death in our laboratory of hundreds of planarian if their density was about 1 worm per cc and the global geomagnetic activity was K≥6 the day before or the day of the observation of the mortality. Such mortality never occurred in other conditions or days. Both estimates of the "magnetic moment" of a planarian in magnetic fields above this threshold of sustained magnetic flux density as well as the magnetic energy within the planarian volume predict values that could affect phenomenon associated with the total numbers of pH-dependent charges within each worm. These conditions could affect the Levin-Burr bioelectrical signals and networks that affect patterning information and sustainability in whole living systems. The establishment of a central reservoir for the report of these transient events might allow Life Scientists to more fully appreciate the impact of these pervasive global stimuli upon dense groups of animals. PMID:27066174

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Expression of secreted Wnt pathway components reveals unexpected complexity of the planarian amputation response.

    PubMed

    Gurley, Kyle A; Elliott, Sarah A; Simakov, Oleg; Schmidt, Heiko A; Holstein, Thomas W; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2010-11-01

    Regeneration is widespread throughout the animal kingdom, but our molecular understanding of this process in adult animals remains poorly understood. Wnt/β-catenin signaling plays crucial roles throughout animal life from early development to adulthood. In intact and regenerating planarians, the regulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling functions to maintain and specify anterior/posterior (A/P) identity. Here, we explore the expression kinetics and RNAi phenotypes for secreted members of the Wnt signaling pathway in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Smed-wnt and sFRP expression during regeneration is surprisingly dynamic and reveals fundamental aspects of planarian biology that have been previously unappreciated. We show that after amputation, a wounding response precedes rapid re-organization of the A/P axis. Furthermore, cells throughout the body plan can mount this response and reassess their new A/P location in the complete absence of stem cells. While initial stages of the amputation response are stem cell independent, tissue remodeling and the integration of a new A/P address with anatomy are stem cell dependent. We also show that WNT5 functions in a reciprocal manner with SLIT to pattern the planarian mediolateral axis, while WNT11-2 patterns the posterior midline. Moreover, we perform an extensive phylogenetic analysis on the Smed-wnt genes using a method that combines and integrates both sequence and structural alignments, enabling us to place all nine genes into Wnt subfamilies for the first time. PMID:20707997

  8. DjPiwiB: A Rich Nuclear Inheritance for Descendants of Planarian Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Tharp, Marla E; Bortvin, Alex

    2016-05-01

    Stem cell differentiation involves a delicate balance of gene expression and transposon repression. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Shibata et al. (2016) show that a PIWI protein expressed in planarian stem cells is inherited by their differentiating descendants to ensure regenerative capacity of the flatworm via transposon silencing. PMID:27165550

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Toxicity testing of herbicide norflurazon on an aquatic bioindicator species--the planarian Polycelis felina (Daly.).

    PubMed

    Horvat, T; Kalafatić, M; Kopjar, N; Kovacević, G

    2005-07-30

    Norflurazon is a bleaching, preemergence herbicide. Due to its mobility and long half-life it presents a potential for groundwater contamination. The aim of our study was to investigate toxic effects of norflurazon on non-targeted aquatic bioindicator organism, the planarian Polycelis felina (Daly.). Animals were exposed to water solutions of norflurazon in concentrations 200, 20, 2 and 0.2 microM. Mortality, locomotive and morphological changes were monitored. Histological changes were studied both on treated and control animals with light microscopy. The primary DNA damage on single planarian cells was studied using the alkaline comet assay. Three comet parameters were studied: tail length, percentage of DNA in comet tail and tail moment. The results showed that norflurazon caused mortality, locomotive, morphological and histological changes in treated animals compared to corresponding controls. The most prominent histological changes were damage of the outer mucous layer, lack of rhabdites, damage to epidermis and extensive damage to parenchyma cells. The results of alkaline comet assay indicated that norflurazon in concentrations of 2 and 0.2 microM induces significant increase of primary DNA damage in planarian cells compared to the corresponding control animals. The mean values of all three measured parameters were significantly elevated on the fourth day of the treatment compared with the first and the seventh day. Based on the results of mortality and locomotive observations, we conclude that the fourth day of the treatment represents a certain threshold within planarian metabolism followed by the beginning of detoxification and recovery. However, histological preparations and comet data statistics show results indicating that high toxicity on the seventh day of the treatment gave the results of decrease of DNA damage due to the tissue/cell damage (apoptosis) and not recovery. The present study showed the ability of norflurazon to induce a wide range of different toxicological responses in freshwater planarian Polycelis felina (Daly.). PMID:15899527

  12. Epigenetic regulation of planarian stem cells by the SET1/MLL family of histone methyltransferases

    PubMed Central

    Hubert, Amy; Henderson, Jordana M.; Ross, Kelly G.; Cowles, Martis W.; Torres, Jessica; Zayas, Ricardo M.

    2013-01-01

    Chromatin regulation is a fundamental mechanism underlying stem cell pluripotency, differentiation, and the establishment of cell type-specific gene expression profiles. To examine the role of chromatin regulation in stem cells in vivo, we study regeneration in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. These animals possess a high concentration of pluripotent stem cells, which are capable of restoring any damaged or lost tissues after injury or amputation. Here, we identify the S. mediterranea homologs of the SET1/MLL family of histone methyltransferases and COMPASS and COMPASS-like complex proteins and investigate their role in stem cell function during regeneration. We identified six S. mediterranea homologs of the SET1/MLL family (set1, mll1/2, trr-1, trr-2, mll5–1 and mll5–2), characterized their patterns of expression in the animal, and examined their function by RNAi. All members of this family are expressed in the stem cell population and differentiated tissues. We show that set1, mll1/2, trr-1, and mll5–2 are required for regeneration and that set1, trr-1 and mll5–2 play roles in the regulation of mitosis. Most notably, knockdown of the planarian set1 homolog leads to stem cell depletion. A subset of planarian homologs of COMPASS and COMPASS-like complex proteins are also expressed in stem cells and implicated in regeneration, but the knockdown phenotypes suggest that some complex members also function in other aspects of planarian biology. This work characterizes the function of the SET1/MLL family in the context of planarian regeneration and provides insight into the role of these enzymes in adult stem cell regulation in vivo. PMID:23235145

  13. Inhibitory Smads and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) modulate anterior photoreceptor cell number during planarian eye regeneration.

    PubMed

    González-Sastre, Alejandro; Molina, Ma Dolores; Saló, Emili

    2012-01-01

    Planarians represent an excellent model to study the processes of body axis and organ re-specification during regeneration. Previous studies have revealed a conserved role for the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathway and its intracellular mediators Smad1/5/8 and Smad4 in planarian dorsoventral (DV) axis re-establishment. In an attempt to gain further insight into the role of this signalling pathway in planarians, we have isolated and functionally characte-rized the inhibitory Smads (I-Smads) in Schmidtea mediterranea. Two I-Smad homologues have been identified: Smed-smad6/7-1 and Smed-smad6/7-2. Expression of smad6/7-1 was detected in the parenchyma, while smad6/7-2 was found to be ex-pressed in the central nervous system and the eyes. Neither single smad6/7-1 and smad6/7-2 nor double smad6/7-1,-2 silencing gave rise to any apparent disruption of the DV axis. However, both regenerating and intact smad6/7-2 (RNAi) planarians showed defects in eye morphogenesis and displayed small, rounded eyes that lacked the anterior subpopulation of photoreceptor cells. The number of pigment cells was also reduced in these animals at later stages of regeneration. In contrast, after low doses of Smed-bmp(RNAi), planarians regenerated larger eyes in which the anterior subpopulation of photoreceptor cells was expanded. Our results suggest that Smed-smad6/7-2 and Smed-bmp control the re-specification and maintenance of anterior photoreceptor cell number in S. mediterranea. PMID:22451003

  14. Development of in vivo biotransformation enzyme assays for ecotoxicity screening: In vivo measurement of phases I and II enzyme activities in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Li, Mei-Hui

    2016-08-01

    The development of a high-throughput tool is required for screening of environmental pollutants and assessing their impacts on aquatic animals. Freshwater planarians can be used in rapid and sensitive toxicity bioassays. Planarians are known for their remarkable regeneration ability but much less known for their metabolic and xenobiotic biotransformation abilities. In this study, the activities of different phase I and II enzymes were determined in vivo by directly measuring fluorescent enzyme substrate disappearance or fluorescent enzyme metabolite production in planarian culture media. For phase I enzyme activity, O-deethylation activities with alkoxyresorufin could not be detected in planarian culture media. By contrast, O-deethylation activities with alkoxycoumarin were detected in planarian culture media. Increases in 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase (ECOD) activities was only observed in planarians exposed to 1μM, but not 10μM, β-naphthoflavone for 24h. ECOD activity was inhibited in planarians exposed to 10 and 100μM rifampicin or carbamazepine for 24h. For phase II enzyme activity, DT-diaphorase, arylsulfatases, uridine 5'-diphospho (UDP)-glucuronosyltransferase or catechol-O-methyltransferase activity was determined in culture media containing planarians. The results of this study indicate that freshwater planarians are a promising model organism to monitor exposure to environmental pollutants or assess their impacts through the in vivo measurement of phase I and II enzyme activities. PMID:27062342

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. New species of Gieysztoria (Platyhelminthes, Rhabdocoela) from Peruvian Amazon floodplain with description of their stylet ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Damborenea, Cristina; Brusa, Francisco; Noreña, Carolina

    2005-12-01

    The free-living Platyhelminthes of the Amazon basin are poorly known. Presently only four turbellarian species have been mentioned from the Amazon river, a fact that confirms the lack of information on this kind of faunas in this huge basin. Three new species of Gieysztoria from Amazonian floodplain in Peru are described herein: G. chiqchi n. sp., G. kasasapa n. sp. and G. sasa n. sp. The samples were taken in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (Peru) during September 2002. Besides the usual description of the stylet based on whole mounted specimens, we provide a complementary description using SEM, which allowed differentiation of the new species within the currently yet imperfect picture of the Amazonian turbellarian fauna. Although further research is desired, current findings are suggestive of high diversity of free-living Turbellaria in the surveyed region. PMID:16462104

  18. 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

  19. Planarians as a model to assess in vivo the role of matrix metalloproteinase genes during homeostasis and regeneration.

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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 ζ (zeta) and σ (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

  2. Detection of planarian Antennapedia-like homeobox genes expressed during regeneration.

    PubMed

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

    1995-06-01

    Using the polymerase chain reaction with degenerate oligo primers we identified six new Antennapedia-like homeobox sequences expressed in a regenerating planarian. cDNA fragments containing the entire homeobox sequences for four of these genes were obtained. Two of them, Dutarh-3 and Dutarh-4, belong to the classical Antennapedia type and display extensive identity with Antennapedia- and Deformed-type homeodomains respectively. The third homeodomain, Dutarh-1, exhibits some similarity to the Hox1.5-, AbdB- and Dfd-type homeodomains and a fourth gene, Dutarh-6, is very similar to Mox2 in the mouse. Our results suggest that, in spite of their simple body plan, planarians contain a number of Antennapedia-like homeobox genes, probably enough to fill a cluster such as found in higher animals. PMID:7607541

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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 ζ (zeta) and σ (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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. [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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Early exposure of rotating magnetic fields promotes central nervous regeneration in planarian Girardia sinensis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Qiang; Lin, Gui-Miao; Wu, Nan; Tang, Sheng-Wei; Zheng, Zhi-Jia; Lin, Marie Chia-Mi; Xu, Gai-Xia; Liu, Hao; Deng, Yue-Yue; Zhang, Xiao-Yun; Chen, Si-Ping; Wang, Xiao-Mei; Niu, Han-Ben

    2016-05-01

    Magnetic field exposure is an accepted safe and effective modality for nerve injury. However, it is clinically used only as a supplement or salvage therapy at the later stage of treatment. Here, we used a planarian Girardia sinensis decapitated model to investigate beneficial effects of early rotary non-uniform magnetic fields (RMFs) exposure on central nervous regeneration. Our results clearly indicated that magnetic stimulation induced from early RMFs exposure significantly promoted neural regeneration of planarians. This stimulating effect is frequency and intensity dependent. Optimum effects were obtained when decapitated planarians were cultured at 20 °C, starved for 3 days before head-cutting, and treated with 6 Hz 0.02 T RMFs. At early regeneration stage, RMFs exposure eliminated edema around the wound and facilitated subsequent formation of blastema. It also accelerated cell proliferation and recovery of neuron functionality. Early RMFs exposure up-regulated expression of neural regeneration related proteins, EGR4 and Netrin 2, and mature nerve cell marker proteins, NSE and NPY. These results suggest that RMFs therapy produced early and significant benefit in central nervous regeneration, and should be clinically used at the early stage of neural regeneration, with appropriate optimal frequency and intensity. Bioelectromagnetics. Bioelectromagnetics. 37:244-255, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27061713

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The maintenance and regeneration of the planarian excretory system are regulated by EGFR signaling

    PubMed Central

    Rink, Jochen C.; Vu, Hanh Thi-Kim; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2011-01-01

    The maintenance of organs and their regeneration in case of injury are crucial to the survival of all animals. High rates of tissue turnover and nearly unlimited regenerative capabilities make planarian flatworms an ideal system with which to investigate these important processes, yet little is known about the cell biology and anatomy of their organs. Here we focus on the planarian excretory system, which consists of internal protonephridial tubules. We find that these assemble into complex branching patterns with a stereotyped succession of cell types along their length. Organ regeneration is likely to originate from a precursor structure arising in the blastema, which undergoes extensive branching morphogenesis. In an RNAi screen of signaling molecules, we identified an EGF receptor (Smed-EGFR-5) as a crucial regulator of branching morphogenesis and maintenance. Overall, our characterization of the planarian protonephridial system establishes a new paradigm for regenerative organogenesis and provides a platform for exploring its functional and evolutionary homologies with vertebrate excretory systems. PMID:21828097

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Loss of DNA mismatch repair imparts a selective advantage in planarian adult stem cells.

    PubMed

    Hollenbach, Jessica P; Resch, Alissa M; Palakodeti, Dasaradhi; Graveley, Brenton R; Heinen, Christopher D

    2011-01-01

    Lynch syndrome (LS) leads to an increased risk of early-onset colorectal and other types of cancer and is caused by germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. Loss of MMR function results in a mutator phenotype that likely underlies its role in tumorigenesis. However, loss of MMR also results in the elimination of a DNA damage-induced checkpoint/apoptosis activation barrier that may allow damaged cells to grow unchecked. A fundamental question is whether loss of MMR provides pre-cancerous stem cells an immediate selective advantage in addition to establishing a mutator phenotype. To test this hypothesis in an in vivo system, we utilized the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea which contains a significant population of identifiable adult stem cells. We identified a planarian homolog of human MSH2, a MMR gene which is mutated in 38% of LS cases. The planarian Smed-msh2 is expressed in stem cells and some progeny. We depleted Smed-msh2 mRNA levels by RNA-interference and found a striking survival advantage in these animals treated with a cytotoxic DNA alkylating agent compared to control animals. We demonstrated that this tolerance to DNA damage is due to the survival of mitotically active, MMR-deficient stem cells. Our results suggest that loss of MMR provides an in vivo survival advantage to the stem cell population in the presence of DNA damage that may have implications for tumorigenesis. PMID:21747960

  2. The maintenance and regeneration of the planarian excretory system are regulated by EGFR signaling.

    PubMed

    Rink, Jochen C; Vu, Hanh Thi-Kim; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2011-09-01

    The maintenance of organs and their regeneration in case of injury are crucial to the survival of all animals. High rates of tissue turnover and nearly unlimited regenerative capabilities make planarian flatworms an ideal system with which to investigate these important processes, yet little is known about the cell biology and anatomy of their organs. Here we focus on the planarian excretory system, which consists of internal protonephridial tubules. We find that these assemble into complex branching patterns with a stereotyped succession of cell types along their length. Organ regeneration is likely to originate from a precursor structure arising in the blastema, which undergoes extensive branching morphogenesis. In an RNAi screen of signaling molecules, we identified an EGF receptor (Smed-EGFR-5) as a crucial regulator of branching morphogenesis and maintenance. Overall, our characterization of the planarian protonephridial system establishes a new paradigm for regenerative organogenesis and provides a platform for exploring its functional and evolutionary homologies with vertebrate excretory systems. PMID:21828097

  3. A Bruno-like gene is required for stem cell maintenance in planarians.

    PubMed

    Guo, Tingxia; Peters, Antoine H F M; Newmark, Phillip A

    2006-08-01

    The regenerative abilities of freshwater planarians are based on neoblasts, stem cells maintained throughout the animal's life. We show that a member of the Bruno-like family of RNA binding proteins is critical for regulating neoblasts in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Smed-bruno-like (bruli) mRNA and protein are expressed in neoblasts and the central nervous system. Following bruli RNAi, which eliminates detectable Bruli protein, planarians initiate the proliferative response to amputation and form small blastemas but then undergo tissue regression and lysis. We characterize the neoblast population by using antibodies recognizing SMEDWI-1 and Histone H4 (monomethyl-K20) and cell-cycle markers to label subsets of neoblasts and their progeny. bruli knockdown results in a dramatic reduction/elimination of neoblasts. Our analyses indicate that neoblasts lacking Bruli can respond to wound stimuli and generate progeny that can form blastemas and differentiate; yet, they are unable to self-renew. These results suggest that Bruli is required for stem cell maintenance. PMID:16890156

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT 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

  6. 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

  7. Smed-Evi/Wntless is required for beta-catenin-dependent and -independent processes during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Adell, Teresa; Salò, Emili; Boutros, Michael; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2009-03-01

    Planarians can regenerate a whole animal from only a small piece of their body, and have become an important model for stem cell biology. To identify regenerative processes dependent on Wnt growth factors in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea (Smed), we analyzed RNAi phenotypes of Evi, a transmembrane protein specifically required for the secretion of Wnt ligands. We show that, during regeneration, Smed-evi loss-of-function prevents posterior identity, leading to two-headed planarians that resemble Smed-beta-catenin1 RNAi animals. In addition, we observe regeneration defects of the nervous system that are not found after Smed-beta-catenin1 RNAi. By systematic knockdown of all putative Smed Wnts in regenerating planarians, we identify Smed-WntP-1 and Smed-Wnt11-2 as the putative posterior organizers, and demonstrate that Smed-Wnt5 is a regulator of neuronal organization and growth. Thus, our study provides evidence that planarian Wnts are major regulators of regeneration, and that they signal through beta-catenin-dependent and -independent pathways. PMID:19211673

  8. 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

  9. [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; Maevskiĭ, 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 β 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 β 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Preliminary characterisation and extraction of anterior adhesive secretion in monogenean (platyhelminth) parasites.

    PubMed

    Hamwood, Tamarind E; Cribb, Bronwen W; Halliday, Judy A; Kearn, Graham C; Whittington, Ian D

    2002-01-01

    Secreted anterior adhesives, used for temporary attachment to epithelial surfaces of fishes (skin and gills) by some monogenean (platyhelminth) parasites have been partially characterised. Adhesive is composed of protein. Amino acid composition has been determined for seven monopisthocotylean monogeneans. Six of these belong to the Monocotylidae and one species, Entobdella soleae (van Beneden et Hesse, 1864) Johnston, 1929, is a member of the Capsalidae. Histochemistry shows that the adhesive does not contain polysaccharides, including acid mucins, or lipids. The adhesive before secretion and in its secreted form contains no dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa). Secreted adhesive is highly insoluble, but has a soft consistency and is mechanically removable from glass surfaces. Generally there are high levels of glycine and alanine, low levels of tyrosine and methionine, and histidine is often absent. However, amino acid content varies between species, the biggest differences evident when the monocotylid monogeneans were compared with E. soleae. Monogenean adhesive shows similarity in amino acid profile with adhesives from starfish, limpets and barnacles. However, there are some differences in individual amino acids in the temporary adhesive secretions of, on the one hand, the monogeneans and, on the other hand, the starfish and limpets. These differences may reflect the fact that monogeneans, unlike starfish and barnacles, attach to living tissue (tissue adhesion). A method of extracting unsecreted adhesive was investigated for use in further characterisation studies on monogenean glues. PMID:11993550

  13. [Study of possible involvement of MEK mitogen-activated protein kinase and TGF-β 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-β 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Silencing of Smed-betacatenin1 generates radial-like hypercephalized planarians.

    PubMed

    Iglesias, Marta; Gomez-Skarmeta, Jose Luis; Saló, Emili; Adell, Teresa

    2008-04-01

    Little is known about the molecular mechanisms responsible for axis establishment during non-embryonic processes such as regeneration and homeostasis. To address this issue, we set out to analyze the role of the canonical Wnt pathway in planarians, flatworms renowned for their extraordinary morphological plasticity. Canonical Wnt signalling is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism to confer polarity during embryonic development, specifying the anteroposterior (AP) axis in most bilaterians and the dorsoventral (DV) axis in early vertebrate embryos. beta-Catenin is a key element in this pathway, although it is a bifunctional protein that is also involved in cell-cell adhesion. Here, we report the characterization of two beta-catenin homologs from Schmidtea mediterranea (Smed-betacatenin1/2). Loss of function of Smed-betacatenin1, but not Smed-betacatenin2, in both regenerating and intact planarians, generates radial-like hypercephalized planarians in which the AP axis disappears but the DV axis remains unaffected, representing a unique example of a striking body symmetry transformation. The radial-like hypercephalized phenotype demonstrates the requirement for Smed-betacatenin1 in AP axis re-establishment and maintenance, and supports a conserved role for canonical Wnt signalling in AP axis specification, whereas the role of beta-catenin in DV axis establishment would be a vertebrate innovation. When considered alongside the protein domains present in each S. mediterranea beta-catenin and the results of functional assays in Xenopus embryos demonstrating nuclear accumulation and axis induction with Smed-betacatenin1, but not Smed-betacatenin2, these data suggest that S. mediterranea beta-catenins could be functionally specialized and that only Smed-betacatenin1 is involved in Wnt signalling. PMID:18287199

  17. 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

  18. Amphetamine-induced increase in planarian locomotor activity and block by UV light.

    PubMed

    Raffa, Robert B; Martley, Andrea F

    2005-01-01

    The dopamine D2-receptor antagonist sulpiride decreases spontaneous locomotor velocity of planarians (pLMV) in an enantiomeric-selective and dose-dependent manner and is significantly attenuated by UV light (254 and 366 nm). We now report that amphetamine (10 microM) produced the opposite effect and was also reversed by UV light. These findings strengthen the hypothesis that the effects of dopaminergic ligands and UV light on pLMV relate to interaction with neurotransmitter transduction process(es). PMID:15621023

  19. Septins of Platyhelminths: Identification, Phylogeny, Expression and Localization among Developmental Stages of Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    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. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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/β-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

  4. 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.

  5. The BMP pathway is essential for re-specification and maintenance of the dorsoventral axis in regenerating and intact planarians.

    PubMed

    Molina, M Dolores; Saló, Emili; Cebrià, Francesc

    2007-11-01

    The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathway has been shown to play an important role in the establishment of the dorsoventral axis during development in both vertebrate and invertebrate species. In an attempt to unravel the role of BMPs in pattern formation during planarian regeneration, we studied this signaling pathway in Schmidtea mediterranea. Here, we functionally characterize planarian homologues of two key elements of the pathway: Smed-BMP and Smed-Smad1. Whole-mount in situ hybridization showed that Smed-BMP is expressed at the planarian dorsal midline, suggesting a role in dorsoventral patterning, while Smed-Smad1 is widely expressed throughout the mesenchyme and in the central nervous system. RNA interference (RNAi) knockdowns of Smed-BMP or Smed-Smad1 led to the disappearance of dorsal markers along with the ectopic expression of ventral markers on the dorsal side of the treated animals. In almost all cases, a duplicated central nervous system differentiated dorsally after Smed-BMP or Smed-Smad1 RNAi. These defects were observed not only during regeneration but also in intact non-regenerating animals. Our results suggest that the BMP signaling pathway is conserved in planarians and that it plays a key role in the regeneration and maintenance of the dorsoventral axis. PMID:17905225

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Early planarian brain regeneration is independent of blastema polarity mediated by the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

    PubMed

    Iglesias, Marta; Almuedo-Castillo, Maria; Aboobaker, A Aziz; Saló, Emili

    2011-10-01

    Analysis of anteroposterior (AP) axis specification in regenerating planarian flatworms has shown that Wnt/β-catenin signaling is required for posterior specification and that the FGF-like receptor molecule nou-darake (ndk) may be involved in restricting brain regeneration to anterior regions. The relationship between re-establishment of AP identity and correct morphogenesis of the brain is, however, still poorly understood. Here we report the characterization of two axin paralogs in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Although Axins are well known negative regulators of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, no role in AP specification has previously been reported for axin genes in planarians. We show that silencing of Smed-axin genes by RNA interference (RNAi) results in two-tailed planarians, a phenotype previously reported after silencing of Smed-APC-1, another β-catenin inhibitor. More strikingly, we show for the first time that while early brain formation at anterior wounds remains unaffected, subsequent development of the brain is blocked in the two-tailed planarians generated after silencing of Smed-axin genes and Smed-APC-1. These findings suggest that the mechanisms underlying early brain formation can be uncoupled from the specification of AP identity by the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Finally, the posterior expansion of the brain observed following Smed-ndk RNAi is enhanced by silencing Smed-APC-1, revealing an indirect relationship between the FGFR/Ndk and Wnt/β-catenin signaling systems in establishing the posterior limits of brain differentiation. PMID:21806978

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Morphogenesis defects are associated with abnormal nervous system regeneration following roboA RNAi in planarians.

    PubMed

    Cebrià, Francesc; Newmark, Phillip A

    2007-03-01

    The process by which the proper pattern is restored to newly formed tissues during metazoan regeneration remains an open question. Here, we provide evidence that the nervous system plays a role in regulating morphogenesis during anterior regeneration in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown of a planarian ortholog of the axon-guidance receptor roundabout (robo) leads to unexpected phenotypes during anterior regeneration, including the development of a supernumerary pharynx (the feeding organ of the animal) and the production of ectopic, dorsal outgrowths with cephalic identity. We show that Smed-roboA RNAi knockdown disrupts nervous system structure during cephalic regeneration: the newly regenerated brain and ventral nerve cords do not re-establish proper connections. These neural defects precede, and are correlated with, the development of ectopic structures. We propose that, in the absence of proper connectivity between the cephalic ganglia and the ventral nerve cords, neurally derived signals promote the differentiation of pharyngeal and cephalic structures. Together with previous studies on regeneration in annelids and amphibians, these results suggest a conserved role of the nervous system in pattern formation during blastema-based regeneration. PMID:17251262

  14. PBX/extradenticle is required to re-establish axial structures and polarity during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Blassberg, Robert A; Felix, Daniel A; Tejada-Romero, Belen; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2013-02-01

    Recent advances in a number of systems suggest many genes involved in orchestrating regeneration are redeployed from similar processes in development, with others being novel to the regeneration process in particular lineages. Of particular importance will be understanding the architecture of regenerative genetic regulatory networks and whether they are conserved across broad phylogenetic distances. Here, we describe the role of the conserved TALE class protein PBX/Extradenticle in planarians, a representative member of the Lophotrocozoa. PBX/Extradenticle proteins play central roles in both embryonic and post-embryonic developmental patterning in both vertebrates and insects, and we demonstrate a broad requirement during planarian regeneration. We observe that Smed-pbx has pleiotropic functions during regeneration, with a primary role in patterning the anterior-posterior (AP) axis and AP polarity. Smed-pbx is required for expression of polarity determinants notum and wnt1 and for correct patterning of the structures polarized along the AP axis, such as the brain, pharynx and gut. Overall, our data suggest that Smed-pbx functions as a central integrator of positional information to drive patterning of regeneration along the body axis. PMID:23318635

  15. Dishevelled is essential for neural connectivity and planar cell polarity in planarians.

    PubMed

    Almuedo-Castillo, Maria; Saló, Emili; Adell, Teresa

    2011-02-15

    The Wingless/Integrated (Wnt) signaling pathway controls multiple events during development and homeostasis. It comprises multiple branches, mainly classified according to their dependence on β-catenin activation. The Wnt/β-catenin branch is essential for the establishment of the embryonic anteroposterior (AP) body axis throughout the phylogenetic tree. It is also required for AP axis establishment during planarian regeneration. Wnt/β-catenin-independent signaling encompasses several different pathways, of which the most extensively studied is the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, which is responsible for planar polarization of cell structures within an epithelial sheet. Dishevelled (Dvl) is the hub of Wnt signaling because it regulates and channels the Wnt signal into every branch. Here, we analyze the role of Schmidtea mediterranea Dvl homologs (Smed-dvl-1 and Smed-dvl-2) using gene silencing. We demonstrate that in addition to a role in AP axis specification, planarian Dvls are involved in at least two different β-catenin-independent processes. First, they are essential for neural connectivity through Smed-wnt5 signaling. Second, Smed-dvl-2, together with the S. mediterranea homologs of Van-Gogh (Vang) and Diversin (Div), is required for apical positioning of the basal bodies of epithelial cells. These data represent evidence not only of the function of the PCP network in lophotrocozoans but of the involvement of the PCP core elements Vang and Div in apical positioning of the cilia. PMID:21282632

  16. TOR signaling regulates planarian stem cells and controls localized and organismal growth.

    PubMed

    Peiris, T Harshani; Weckerle, Frank; Ozamoto, Elyse; Ramirez, Daniel; Davidian, Devon; García-Ojeda, Marcos E; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2012-04-01

    Target of Rapamycin (TOR) controls an evolutionarily conserved signaling pathway that modulates cellular growth and division by sensing levels of nutrients, energy and stress. As such, TOR signaling is a crucial component of tissues and organs that translates systemic signals into cellular behavior. The ubiquitous nature of TOR signaling, together with the difficulty of analyzing tissue during cellular turnover and repair, have limited our understanding of how this kinase operates throughout the body. Here, we use the planarian model system to address TOR regulation at the organismal level. The planarian TOR homolog (Smed-TOR) is ubiquitously expressed, including stem cells (neoblasts) and differentiated tissues. Inhibition of TOR with RNA interference severely restricts cell proliferation, allowing the study of neoblasts with restricted proliferative capacity during regeneration and systemic cell turnover. Strikingly, TOR signaling is required for neoblast response to amputation and localized growth (blastema). However, in the absence of TOR signaling, regeneration takes place only within differentiated tissues. In addition, TOR is essential for maintaining the balance between cell division and cell death, and its dysfunction leads to tissue degeneration and lack of organismal growth in the presence of nutrients. Finally, TOR function is likely to be mediated through TOR Complex 1 as its disruption recapitulates signs of the TOR phenotype. Our data reveal novel roles for TOR signaling in controlling adult stem cells at a systemic level and suggest a new paradigm for studying TOR function during physiological turnover and regeneration. PMID:22427692

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Venus kinase receptors control reproduction in the platyhelminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Vanderstraete, Mathieu; Gouignard, Nadège; Cailliau, Katia; Morel, Marion; Hahnel, Steffen; Leutner, Silke; Beckmann, Svenja; Grevelding, Christoph G; Dissous, Colette

    2014-05-01

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Planarian peptidylglycine-hydroxylating monooxygenase, a neuropeptide processing enzyme, colocalizes with cytochrome b561 along the central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Asada, Akikazu; Orii, Hidefumi; Watanabe, Kenji; Tsubaki, Motonari

    2005-02-01

    Planarians are one of the simplest animal groups with a central nervous system. Their primitive central nervous system produces large quantities of a variety of neuropeptides, of which many are amidated at their C terminus. In vertebrates, peptide amidation is catalyzed by two enzymes [peptidylglycine alpha-hydroxylating monooxygenase (PHM) and peptidyl-alpha-hydroxylglycine alpha-amidating lyase] acting sequentially. In mammals, both enzymatic activities are contained within a single protein that is encoded by a single gene. By utilizing PCR with degenerate oligonucleotides derived from conserved regions of PHM, we succeeded in cloning a full-length cDNA encoding planarian PHM. The deduced amino acid sequence showed full conservation of five His residues and one Met residue, which bind two Cu atoms that are essential for the activity of PHM. Northern blot analysis confirmed the expression of a PHM mRNA of the expected size. Distribution of the mRNA was analyzed by in situ hybridization, showing specific expression in neurons with two morphologically distinct structures, a pair of the ventral nerve cords and the brain. The distribution of PHM was very similar to that of cytochrome b561. This indicates that the ascorbate-related electron transfer system operates in the planarian central nervous system to support the PHM activity and that it predates the emergence of Plathelminthes in the evolutionary history. PMID:15691328

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    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-shaped 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) was 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 μM) produced an inverted U-shaped concentration-effect curve, with a significant environmental shift observed at 0.01 μM. For combined exposure, variable cocaine concentrations (0.001-1 μM) 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 μM. Cocaethylene, a metabolite of cocaine and ethanol, also produced C-shapes and EPC. Lidocaine (0.001-10 μM), an anesthetic and analog of cocaine, did not produce EPC or C-shaped movements. Evidence from planarians that ethanol produces place-conditioning effects and motor dysfunction, and interacts synergistically with cocaine, suggests that aspects of ethanol neuropharmacology are conserved across species. PMID:25212751

  20. 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 μM) produced an inverted U-shaped concentration-effect curve, with a significant environmental shift observed at 0.01 μM. For combined exposure, variable cocaine concentrations (0.001 – 1 μM) 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 μM. Cocaethylene, a metabolite of cocaine and ethanol, also produced C-shapes and EPC. Lidocaine (0.001 – 10 μM), 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

  1. 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

  2. Taxonomy of Cotylea (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida) from Cabo Frio, southeastern Brazil, with the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Bahia, Juliana; Padula, Vinicius; Lavrado, Helena Passeri; Quiroga, Sigmer

    2014-01-01

    Polyclads are free-living Platyhelminthes with a simple, dorsoventrally flattened body and a much ramified intestine. In Brazil, 66 species are reported; only three from Rio de Janeiro State (RJ). The main objective of this study is to describe and illustrate coloration pattern, external morphology, reproductive system morphology and, when possible, biological and ecological aspects of species of the suborder Cotylea found in Cabo Frio, RJ. Of the 13 cotylean polyclad species found, Pseudobiceros pardalis, Cycloporus variegatus and Eurylepta aurantiaca are new records from the Brazilian coast and one species is new to science, Pseudoceros juani sp. nov. Feeding observations were made of four species. It is the first time that Lurymare utarum, Cycloporus gabriellae, C. variegatus and E. aurantiaca are illustrated with digital photographs of live specimens and histological preparations. This study increases to 70 the number of Brazilian Polycladida and to 14 the number of species known from Rio de Janeiro State. However, the knowledge about Polycladida in Brazil still has gaps, with great parts of the coast remaining unsampled.  PMID:25544234

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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 Hauserahauseri 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Pearson, Bret J; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Bret J.; Alvarado, Alejandro Snchez

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Smed-SmB, a member of the LSm protein superfamily, is essential for chromatoid body organization and planarian stem cell proliferation.

    PubMed

    Fernandéz-Taboada, Enrique; Moritz, Sören; Zeuschner, Dagmar; Stehling, Martin; Schöler, Hans R; Saló, Emili; Gentile, Luca

    2010-04-01

    Planarians are an ideal model system to study in vivo the dynamics of adult pluripotent stem cells. However, our knowledge of the factors necessary for regulating the 'stemness' of the neoblasts, the adult stem cells of planarians, is sparse. Here, we report on the characterization of the first planarian member of the LSm protein superfamily, Smed-SmB, which is expressed in stem cells and neurons in Schmidtea mediterranea. LSm proteins are highly conserved key players of the splicing machinery. Our study shows that Smed-SmB protein, which is localized in the nucleus and the chromatoid body of stem cells, is required to safeguard the proliferative ability of the neoblasts. The chromatoid body, a cytoplasmatic ribonucleoprotein complex, is an essential regulator of the RNA metabolism required for the maintenance of metazoan germ cells. However, planarian neoblasts and neurons also rely on its functions. Remarkably, Smed-SmB dsRNA-mediated knockdown results in a rapid loss of organization of the chromatoid body, an impairment of the ability to post-transcriptionally process the transcripts of Smed-CycB, and a severe proliferative failure of the neoblasts. This chain of events leads to a quick depletion of the neoblast pool, resulting in a lethal phenotype for both regenerating and intact animals. In summary, our results suggest that Smed-SmB is an essential component of the chromatoid body, crucial to ensure a proper RNA metabolism and essential for stem cell proliferation. PMID:20215344

  18. A LIM-homeobox gene is required for differentiation of Wnt-expressing cells at the posterior end of the planarian body.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Motoishi, Minako; Yazawa, Shigenobu; Itomi, Kazu; Tanegashima, Chiharu; Nishimura, Osamu; Agata, Kiyokazu; Tarui, Hiroshi

    2011-09-01

    Planarians have high regenerative ability, which is dependent on pluripotent adult somatic stem cells called neoblasts. Recently, canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling was shown to be required for posterior specification, and Hedgehog signaling was shown to control anterior-posterior polarity via activation of the Djwnt1/P-1 gene at the posterior end of planarians. Thus, various signaling molecules play an important role in planarian stem cell regulation. However, the molecular mechanisms directly involved in stem cell differentiation have remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that one of the planarian LIM-homeobox genes, Djislet, is required for the differentiation of Djwnt1/P-1-expressing cells from stem cells at the posterior end. RNA interference (RNAi)-treated planarians of Djislet [Djislet(RNAi)] show a tail-less phenotype. Thus, we speculated that Djislet might be involved in activation of the Wnt signaling pathway in the posterior blastema. When we carefully examined the expression pattern of Djwnt1/P-1 by quantitative real-time PCR during posterior regeneration, we found two phases of Djwnt1/P-1 expression: the first phase was detected in the differentiated cells in the old tissue in the early stage of regeneration and then a second phase was observed in the cells derived from stem cells in the posterior blastema. Interestingly, Djislet is expressed in stem cell-derived DjPiwiA- and Djwnt1/P-1-expressing cells, and Djislet(RNAi) only perturbed the second phase. Thus, we propose that Djislet might act to trigger the differentiation of cells expressing Djwnt1/P-1 from stem cells. PMID:21828095

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. A Bmp/Admp regulatory circuit controls maintenance and regeneration of dorsal-ventral polarity in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Gaviño, Michael A.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2011-01-01

    Animal embryos have diverse anatomy and vary greatly in size. It is therefore remarkable that a common signaling pathway – BMP signaling – controls development of the dorsoventral (DV) axis throughout the Bilateria [1-8]. In vertebrates, spatially opposed expression of the BMP-family signaling proteins Bmp4 and Admp (anti-dorsalizing morphogenetic protein) can promote restoration of DV pattern following tissue removal [9-11]. bmp4 orthologs have been identified in all three groups of the Bilateria (deuterostomes, ecdysozoans, and lophotrochozoans) [12]. By contrast, the absence of admp orthologs in ecdysozoans such as Drosophila and C. elegans has suggested that a DV regulatory circuit of oppositely expressed bmp4 and admp genes represents an innovation specific to deuterostomes. Here we describe the existence of spatially opposed bmp and admp expression in a protostome. An admp ortholog (Smed-admp) is expressed at the ventral pole and laterally in adult Schmidtea mediterranea planarians, spatially opposing the dorsal-pole domain of Smed-bmp4 expression. Smed-admp is required for planarian regeneration following parasagittal amputation. Furthermore, Smed-admp promotes Smed-bmp4 expression and Smed-bmp4 inhibits Smed-admp expression, generating a regulatory circuit that buffers against perturbations of Bmp signaling. These results suggest that a Bmp/Admp regulatory circuit is a central feature of the Bilateria, used broadly for the establishment, maintenance, and regeneration of the DV axis. PMID:21295483

  2. The Mi-2-like Smed-CHD4 gene is required for stem cell differentiation in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Scimone, M Lucila; Meisel, Joshua; Reddien, Peter W

    2010-04-01

    Freshwater planarians are able to regenerate any missing part of their body and have extensive tissue turnover because of the action of dividing cells called neoblasts. Neoblasts provide an excellent system for in vivo study of adult stem cell biology. We identified the Smed-CHD4 gene, which is predicted to encode a chromatin-remodeling protein similar to CHD4/Mi-2 proteins, as required for planarian regeneration and tissue homeostasis. Following inhibition of Smed-CHD4 with RNA interference (RNAi), neoblast numbers were initially normal, despite an inability of the animals to regenerate. However, the proliferative response of neoblasts to amputation or growth stimulation in Smed-CHD4(RNAi) animals was diminished. Smed-CHD4(RNAi) animals displayed a dramatic reduction in the numbers of certain neoblast progeny cells. Smed-CHD4 was required for the formation of these neoblast progeny cells. Together, these results indicate that Smed-CHD4 is required for neoblasts to produce progeny cells committed to differentiation in order to control tissue turnover and regeneration and suggest a crucial role for CHD4 proteins in stem cell differentiation. PMID:20223763

  3. Inheritance of a Nuclear PIWI from Pluripotent Stem Cells by Somatic Descendants Ensures Differentiation by Silencing Transposons in Planarian.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Norito; Kashima, Makoto; Ishiko, Taisuke; Nishimura, Osamu; Rouhana, Labib; Misaki, Kazuyo; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Saito, Kuniaki; Siomi, Haruhiko; Siomi, Mikiko C; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2016-05-01

    Differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) requires transposon silencing throughout the process. PIWIs, best known as key factors in germline transposon silencing, are also known to act in somatic differentiation of planarian PSCs (neoblasts). However, how PIWIs control the latter process remains elusive. Here, using Dugesia japonica, we show that a nuclear PIWI, DjPiwiB, was bound to PIWI-interacting RNAs (generally key mediators of PIWI-dependent transposon silencing), and was detected in not only neoblasts but also their descendant somatic cells, which do not express piwi. In contrast, cytoplasmic DjPiwiA and DjPiwiC were detected only in neoblasts, in accord with their transcription there. DjPiwiB was indispensable for regeneration, but dispensable for transposon silencing in neoblasts. However, transposons were derepressed at the onset of differentiation in DjPiwiB-knockdown planarians. Thus, DjPiwiB appears to be inherited by descendant somatic cells of neoblasts to ensure transposon silencing in those cells, which are unable to produce PIWI proteins. PMID:27165555

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. A wound-induced Wnt expression program controls planarian regeneration polarity.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Christian P; Reddien, Peter W

    2009-10-01

    Regeneration requires specification of the identity of new tissues to be made. Whether this process relies only on intrinsic regulative properties of regenerating tissues or whether wound signaling provides input into tissue repatterning is not known. The head-versus-tail regeneration polarity decision in planarians, which requires Wnt signaling, provides a paradigm to study the process of tissue identity specification during regeneration. The Smed-wntP-1 gene is required for regeneration polarity and is expressed at the posterior pole of intact animals. Surprisingly, wntP-1 was expressed at both anterior- and posterior-facing wounds rapidly after wounding. wntP-1 expression was induced by all types of wounds examined, regardless of whether wounding prompted tail regeneration. Regeneration polarity was found to require new expression of wntP-1. Inhibition of the wntP-2 gene enhanced the polarity phenotype due to wntP-1 inhibition, with new expression of wntP-2 in regeneration occurring subsequent to expression of wntP-1 and localized only to posterior-facing wounds. New expression of wntP-2 required wound-induced wntP-1. Finally, wntP-1 and wntP-2 expression changes occurred even in the absence of neoblast stem cells, which are required for regeneration, suggesting that the role of these genes in polarity is independent of and instructive for tail formation. These data indicate that wound-induced input is involved in resetting the normal polarized features of the body axis during regeneration. PMID:19805089

  7. Platyhelminth FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs) contract Schistosoma mansoni (Trematoda: Digenea) muscle fibres in vitro.

    PubMed

    Day, T A; Maule, A G; Shaw, C; Halton, D W; Moore, S; Bennett, J L; Pax, R A

    1994-11-01

    Molluscan FMRFamide and two recently discovered platyhelminth FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs), GNFFRFamide from the cestode Moniezia expansa and RYIRFamide from the terrestrial turbellarian Artioposthia triangulata, cause dose-dependent contractions of individual muscle fibres from Schistosoma mansoni in vitro. The most potent FaRP tested was the turbellarian peptide RYIRFamide, which produced a concentration-dependent effect between 10(-9) and 10(-7) M. FMRFamide and GNFFRFamide were less potent, inducing contractions between 10(-8)-10(-6) M and 10(-7)-10(-5) M respectively. The contractile effect of each of these peptides was blocked by the presence of 1 microM FMR-D-Famide. FMRF free acid did not elicit contraction of the muscle fibres. The FaRP-induced contractions did not occur if the Ca2+ was omitted and 0.5 microM EGTA was added to the extracellular medium. The FaRP-induced contractions were not blocked by the Ca2+ channel blockers nicardipine, verapamil or diltiazem, although high K+-induced contractions of these fibres were blocked by nicardipine. These data indicate the presence of FaRP receptors on schistosome muscle fibres and demonstrate their ability to mediate muscle contraction. The action of these endogenous flatworm peptides on schistosome muscle is the first demonstration of a direct excitatory effect of any putative neurotransmitter on the muscle of a flatworm, and establishes a role for FaRPs in neuromuscular transmission in trematodes. In addition, it provides the first evidence that the peptidergic nervous system is a rational target for chemotherapeutic attack in parasitic platyhelmiths. PMID:7800413

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. The CCR4-NOT complex mediates deadenylation and degradation of stem cell mRNAs and promotes planarian stem cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Solana, Jordi; Gamberi, Chiara; Mihaylova, Yuliana; Grosswendt, Stefanie; Chen, Chen; Lasko, Paul; Rajewsky, Nikolaus; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2013-01-01

    Post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms are of fundamental importance to form robust genetic networks, but their roles in stem cell pluripotency remain poorly understood. Here, we use freshwater planarians as a model system to investigate this and uncover a role for CCR4-NOT mediated deadenylation of mRNAs in stem cell differentiation. Planarian adult stem cells, the so-called neoblasts, drive the almost unlimited regenerative capabilities of planarians and allow their ongoing homeostatic tissue turnover. While many genes have been demonstrated to be required for these processes, currently almost no mechanistic insight is available into their regulation. We show that knockdown of planarian Not1, the CCR4-NOT deadenylating complex scaffolding subunit, abrogates regeneration and normal homeostasis. This abrogation is primarily due to severe impairment of their differentiation potential. We describe a stem cell specific increase in the mRNA levels of key neoblast genes after Smed-not1 knock down, consistent with a role of the CCR4-NOT complex in degradation of neoblast mRNAs upon the onset of differentiation. We also observe a stem cell specific increase in the frequency of longer poly(A) tails in these same mRNAs, showing that stem cells after Smed-not1 knock down fail to differentiate as they accumulate populations of transcripts with longer poly(A) tails. As other transcripts are unaffected our data hint at a targeted regulation of these key stem cell mRNAs by post-transcriptional regulators such as RNA-binding proteins or microRNAs. Together, our results show that the CCR4-NOT complex is crucial for stem cell differentiation and controls stem cell-specific degradation of mRNAs, thus providing clear mechanistic insight into this aspect of neoblast biology. PMID:24367277

  11. 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

  12. Transcription factors lhx1/5-1 and pitx are required for the maintenance and regeneration of serotonergic neurons in planarians.

    PubMed

    Currie, Ko W; Pearson, Bret J

    2013-09-01

    In contrast to most adult organisms, freshwater planarians can regenerate any injured body part, including their entire nervous system. This allows for the analysis of genes required for both the maintenance and regeneration of specific neural subtypes. In addition, the loss of specific neural subtypes may uncover previously unknown behavioral roles for that neural population in the context of the adult animal. Here we show that two homeodomain transcription factor homologs, Smed-lhx1/5-1 and Smed-pitx, are required for the maintenance and regeneration of serotonergic neurons in planarians. When either lhx1/5-1 or pitx was knocked down by RNA interference, the expression of multiple canonical markers for serotonergic neurons was lost. Surprisingly, the loss of serotonergic function uncovered a role for these neurons in the coordination of motile cilia on the ventral epidermis of planarians that are required for their nonmuscular gliding locomotion. Finally, we show that in addition to its requirement in serotonergic neurons, Smed-pitx is required for proper midline patterning during regeneration, when it is required for the expression of the midline-organizing molecules Smed-slit in the anterior and Smed-wnt1 in the posterior. PMID:23903188

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. A Bmp/Admp regulatory circuit controls maintenance and regeneration of dorsal-ventral polarity in planarians.

    PubMed

    Gaviño, Michael A; Reddien, Peter W

    2011-02-22

    Animal embryos have diverse anatomy and vary greatly in size. It is therefore remarkable that a common signaling pathway, BMP signaling, controls development of the dorsoventral (DV) axis throughout the Bilateria. In vertebrates, spatially opposed expression of the BMP family proteins Bmp4 and Admp (antidorsalizing morphogenetic protein) can promote restoration of DV pattern following tissue removal. bmp4 orthologs have been identified in all three groups of the Bilateria (deuterostomes, ecdysozoans, and lophotrochozoans). By contrast, the absence of admp orthologs in ecdysozoans such as Drosophila and C. elegans has suggested that a regulatory circuit of oppositely expressed bmp4 and admp genes represents a deuterostome-specific innovation. Here we describe the existence of spatially opposed bmp and admp expression in a protostome. An admp ortholog (Smed-admp) is expressed ventrally and laterally in adult Schmidtea mediterranea planarians, opposing the dorsal-pole expression of Smed-bmp4. Smed-admp is required for regeneration following parasagittal amputation. Furthermore, Smed-admp promotes Smed-bmp4 expression and Smed-bmp4 inhibits Smed-admp expression, generating a regulatory circuit that buffers against perturbations of Bmp signaling. These results suggest that a Bmp/Admp regulatory circuit is a central feature of the Bilateria, used broadly for the establishment, maintenance, and regeneration of the DV axis. PMID:21295483

  18. 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/β-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/β-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/β-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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Gyrodactylus salinae n. sp. (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) infecting the south European toothcarp Aphanius fasciatus (Valenciennes) (Teleostei, Cyprinodontidae) from a hypersaline environment in Italy

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Historically, non-native species of Gambusia (Poeciliidae) have been used to control larval stages of the Asian tiger mosquito, Stegomyia albopicta Reinert, Harbach et Kitching, 2004 throughout Italy. The potential utility of indigenous populations of Aphanius fasciatus (Valenciennes) (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) as an appropriate alternative biological control is currently being explored. A sub-sample of ten fish collected from Cervia Saline, Italy (salinity 65 ppt; 30°C) to assess their reproductive capability in captivity, harboured a moderate infection of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea). A subsequent morphological and molecular study identified this as being a new species. Results Gyrodactylus salinae n. sp. is described from the skin, fins and gills of A. fasciatus. Light and scanning electron microscopical (SEM) examination of the opisthaptoral armature and their comparison with all other recorded species suggested morphological similarities to Gyrodactylus rugiensoides Huyse et Volckaert, 2002 from Pomatoschistus minutus (Pallas). Features of the ventral bar, however, permit its discrimination from G. rugiensoides. Sequencing of the nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2 and the 5.8S rRNA gene and a comparison with all species listed in GenBank confirmed they are unique and represent a new species (most similar to Gyrodactylus anguillae Ergens, 1960, 8.3% pair-wise distance based on 5.8S+ITS2). This represents the first species of Gyrodactylus to be described from Aphanius and, to date, has the longest ITS1 (774 bp) sequenced from any Gyrodactylus. Additional sampling of Cervia Saline throughout the year, found G. salinae n. sp. to persist in conditions ranging from 35 ppt and 5°C in December to 65 ppt and 30°C in July, while in captivity a low level of infection was present, even in freshwater conditions (0 ppt). Conclusions The ability of G. salinae n. sp. to tolerate a wide range of salinities and temperatures shows its potential to readily adapt to several environmental conditions. These findings, together with the fact that A. fasciatus is a protected species and is considered as a biological control organism, necessitate further studies on the ecology and virulence of G. salinae n. sp. PMID:21658217

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Origin of the epidermis in parasitic platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Tyler, S; Tyler, M S

    1997-06-01

    The epidermis of members of the major parasitic taxon Neodermata is distinctive among flatworms, being a syncytial, insunk, non-ciliated epidermis that develops through a wholesale replacement of larval epidermis at metamorphosis when the larva attacks a host. How it arose in evolution from what must have been a turbellarian-like ancestor is not immediately evident. While many turbellarian flatworms have also adopted a symbiotic way of life, the literature on ultrastructure of epidermis in these symbionts shows quite a variety of morphologies, many not so different from that of their free-living relatives. Various turbellarians do have syncytial or insunk epidermises or reduction of epidermal ciliation as is characteristic of the Neodermata, but co-occurrence in a single turbellarian of all features common to neodermatans has not been reported. Urastoma cyprinae, for example, which is ectosymbiotic on bivalves, has a ciliated cellular epidermis that is little different from what is known of epidermises of its free-living relatives. The endoparasitic Anoplodium hymanae, from the coelom of sea cucumbers, also bears a ciliated cellular epidermis, as is typical of many other rhabdocoels, but it shows marked phagocytic activity as well as incorporation of endosymbiotic bacteria. The closest similarity to neodermatan epidermis is that of the turbellarian Genostoma kozloffi, an ectosymbiont of the crustacean Nebalia: covering the bulk of the body is a non-ciliated syncytium with multiple branching connections to insunk nucleated portions, much as in epidermis of adult neodermatans and, on its ventral surface, is a field of ciliated cellular insunk epidermis resembling the epidermis of some larval neodermatans. Developmental clues to the origin of the neodermatan epidermis can be seen in turbellarian embryos. Before hatching, embryos of proseriate and triclad embryos go through 3 generations of epidermis, each replacing the next; 2 generations of epidermis are reported in the literature on rhabdocoel embryos. This process of replacement parallels the epidermal replacement that larval neodermatans undergo at metamorphosis. Ultrastructural study of developing acoel, polyclad and macrostomid embryos shows that they, too, have epidermal replacement and growth through immigration of deeper-lying cells, comparable to the processes seen in higher flatworms. Succession of distinct generations of epidermis in such animals as the proseriates, triclads and rhabdocoels is probably an adaptation to development of ectolecithal eggs, providing the means for the embryo to use yolk that resides in vitellocytes, outside its blastomeres. We propose that the Neodermata has taken advantage of this developmental mechanism, producing successive generations of epidermal cells even in its larval stages, to counter the defenses of hosts. PMID:9229254

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. [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

  12. Platyhelminthes in tongue--a rare case and review.

    PubMed

    Gupta, D S; Goyal, Arun K; Tandon, Padam Narayan; Jurel, Sunit K; Srivastava, Shilpi; Dangi, Uday R; Singh, Sudhansu; Jain, Ravi

    2012-11-01

    Humans are the only known definitive host of the tapeworm Taenia solium and become a carrier by eating undercooked pork contaminated with "Cysticercus cellulosae" (cysticerci). Pigs act as an intermediate host and acquire cysticercosis by ingestion of eggs or proglottids from human feces, which develop into cysticerci within tissue, mostly without causing clinical symptoms in the host. Cysticercosis occurs in humans in a context of "fecal peril" by ingestion of egg-contaminated soil, water, vegetation, or auto-infestation. It has been reported in the published data that the separation of swine from humans, healthy cooking, and hygienic practices would lead to the eradication of the disease. However, cysticercosis is still a major public health problem in endemic regions, with more than 50 million infected people and is now a re-emerging disease in industrialized countries owing to human migration. It is the second most common cause of seizures in tropical countries. We report a case of oral cysticercosis in a 28-year-old woman who presented with a painless swelling in the ventral portion of the tongue. An excisional biopsy was performed, and histopathologic examination revealed a cystic cavity containing the tapeworm. PMID:22364857

  13. Microturbellarians (Platyhelminthes and Acoelomorpha) in Brazil: invisible organisms?

    PubMed

    Braccini, J A L; Amaral, S V; Leal-Zanchet, A M

    2016-06-01

    Microturbellarians typically belong to the benthos and may occur in a wide variety of environments. They are abundant in freshwater and marine ecosystems and may occur in moist terrestrial habitats. However, turbellarians are seldom taken into account in studies of biodiversity. Most studies on Brazilian microturbellarians had taxonomical purposes and were done in the years 1940-1950. Thus, information on their occurrence and ecological aspects are dispersed throughout several papers. We intend here to summarize the biogeographical distribution and ecological aspects of microturbellarians recorded for Brazil, indicating the main gaps in their knowledge and possible actions to enhance studies on this group. There are 239 species of microturbellarians registered for Brazil, with records distributed in 12 states. However, just three states located in southern Brazil have records of 94% of microturbellarian species. Thus, knowledge on the systematics and geographical distribution of Brazilian microturbellarians clearly reflect the scientific activity over many years or decades in two states of southeastern and southern Brazil. Considering the scant information on this group in Brazil, which is also the situation of the Neotropical microturbellarians in general, some actions should be proposed. First, it would be necessary to sample in the diverse biomes, as well as in the various river and sea basins, based on standardized sampling protocols. Second, it would be necessary to encourage diverse research groups to include microturbellarians and/or turbellarians in general into biodiversity inventories and studies on community structure of invertebrates. Third, it is necessary to increase the number of research groups on microturbellarians, in order to augment the studies on their morphology, systematics, and ecology. Considering their abundance, species richness and ecological importance in aquatic environments, despite some peculiarities regarding their sampling, sorting and identification procedures, the challenge to study microturbellarians and enhance knowledge about them in Brazilian ecosystems should be faced. PMID:26959945

  14. New primers for DNA barcoding of digeneans and cestodes (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Van Steenkiste, Niels; Locke, Sean A; Castelin, Magalie; Marcogliese, David J; Abbott, Cathryn L

    2015-07-01

    Digeneans and cestodes are species-rich taxa and can seriously impact human health, fisheries, aqua- and agriculture, and wildlife conservation and management. DNA barcoding using the COI Folmer region could be applied for species detection and identification, but both 'universal' and taxon-specific COI primers fail to amplify in many flatworm taxa. We found that high levels of nucleotide variation at priming sites made it unrealistic to design primers targeting all flatworms. We developed new degenerate primers that enabled acquisition of the COI barcode region from 100% of specimens tested (n = 46), representing 23 families of digeneans and 6 orders of cestodes. This high success rate represents an improvement over existing methods. Primers and methods provided here are critical pieces towards redressing the current paucity of COI barcodes for these taxa in public databases. PMID:25490869

  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. Genetic differences among several species of Tricladida from the relict Lake Ohrid as revealed by enzyme electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Sywula, Tadeusz; Krstanovski, Zdravko; Tasevska, Orhideja; Sell, Jerzy; Kretowicz, Tomasz

    2003-01-01

    Six endemic and two widely distributed species living in Lake Ohrid were studied. In general, these hermaphroditic animals displayed no signs of departure from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. Genetic variation in all but one of the endemic species was of the same extent as that in geographically wide ranging invertebrates. On the other hand, the Lake Ohrid population of the common European species Dendrocoelum lacteum was monomorphic at all loci examined. D. sanctinaumi, one of the endemic species, exhibited a clear genetic subdivision into spring and littoral subpopulations. The genetic differentiation of Crenobia alpina alpina and C. a. montenigrina proved commensurable to that of well separated species from other genera. The data suggest that the separation of particular lineages in the set of Lake Ohrid endemics was widely dispersed over time. PMID:14686654

  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. 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; Warumby Zanin, Sandra Maria; 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Alternative development in Polystoma gallieni (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea) and life cycle evolution.

    PubMed

    Badets, Mathieu; Du Preez, Louis; Verneau, Olivier

    2013-10-01

    Considering the addition of intermediate transmission steps during life cycle evolution, developmental plasticity, canalization forces and inherited parental effect must be invoked to explain new host colonization. Unfortunately, there is a lack of experimental procedures and relevant models to explore the adaptive value of alternative developmental phenotypes during life cycle evolution. However, within the monogeneans that are characterized by a direct life cycle, an extension of the transmission strategy of amphibian parasites has been reported within species of Polystoma and Metapolystoma (Polyopisthocotylea; Polystomatidae). In this study, we tested whether the infection success of Polystoma gallieni within tadpoles of its specific host, the Stripeless Tree Frog Hyla meridionalis, differs depending on the parental origin of the oncomiracidium. An increase in the infection success of the parasitic larvae when exposed to the same experimental conditions as their parents was expected as an adaptive pattern of non-genetic inherited information. Twice as many parasites were actually recorded from tadpoles infected with oncomiracidia hatching from eggs of the bladder parental phenotype (1.63 ± 0.82 parasites per host) than from tadpoles infected with oncomiracidia hatching from eggs of the branchial parental phenotype (0.83 ± 0.64 parasites per host). Because in natural environments the alternation of the two phenotypes is likely to occur due to the ecology of its host, the differential infection success within young tadpoles could have an adaptive value that favors the parasite transmission over time. PMID:23896124

  9. Occurrence of Biomphalaria cousini (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in Brazil and its susceptibility to Schistosoma mansoni (Platyhelminths: Trematoda).

    PubMed

    Teodoro, Tatiana Maria; Janotti-Passos, Liana Konovalloff; Carvalho, Omar dos Santos; Caldeira, Roberta Lima

    2010-10-01

    In Brazil, there are three intermediate snail vectors and two potential hosts of Schistosoma mansoni. Previous studies showed three variant molecular profiles to B. amazonica and evidenced intraspecific variations using sequence data. In this context, the aim of this study was to verify whether such differences would correspond to either B. amazonica or B. cousini. The snails were morphologically identified; PCR-RFLP and sequencing were carried out. Besides, B. cousini were submitted to susceptibility experiments to S. mansoni. Noteworthy, morphological data of Brazilian specimens predominantly showed the morphology described for B. amazonica. Nevertheless, PCR-RFLP results exhibited three variant molecular profiles for the specimens previously identified as B. amazonica and the phylogenetic analyses showed two groups one to B. amazonica and another to B. cousini. Furthermore, B. cousini showed to be susceptible to S. mansoni. These results confirm the occurrence of B. cousini in Brazil and points to the risk of introduction of schistosomiasis mansoni into new areas. PMID:20580934

  10. Coevolution of the Monogenoidea (Platyhelminthes) based on a revised hypothesis of parasite phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Boeger, W A; Kritsky, D C

    1997-12-01

    A revised hypothesis for the phylogeny of the Subclass Polyonchoinea (Monogenoidea) was constructed employing phylogenetic systematics. The Acanthocotylidae (formerly of the Order Capsalidea) is transferred to the Order Gyrodactylidea based on this analysis. The new phylogeny is used to determine coevolutionary relationships of the familial taxa of Monogenoidea with their hosts. The coevolutionary analysis suggests that the Monogenoidea apparently underwent sympatric speciation or dispersal while parasitic on ancestral Gnathostomata, resulting in two primary clades: the Polyonchoinea and the Oligonchoinea + Polystomatoinea. The two parasite clades apparently cospeciated independently with divergence of the Chondrichthyes and Osteichthyes. In the Polyonchoinea, the clade associated with Chondrichthyes experienced primary extinction within the Holocephala, but coevolved into the Loimoidae and Monocotylidae in the Galeomorphii and Squalea (Elasmobranchii), respectively. Within the Osteichthyes, polyonchoineans experienced primary extinction with the divergence of Sarcopterygii, Polypteriformes and Acipenseriformes. They demonstrate primary dispersal from the Neopterygii into the Squalea (as Amphibdellatinea), Actinistia (as Neodactylodiscinea) and Urodela (as Lagarocotylidea). Secondary dispersals of polyonchoineans occurred in the Gyrodactylidae to the Polypteriformes, Urodela and Anura; in the Acanthocotylidae to the Myxinoidea and Squalea; in the Capsalidae to the Acipenseriformes and Elasmobranchii; and in the Monocotylidae to the Holocephala. The Oligonchoinea and Polystomatoinea developed upon divergence of the Chondrichthyes and Osteichthyes. Oligonchoineans cospeciated within the Chondrichthyes, with the Chimaericolidea developing within the Holocephala and the ancestor of the Diclybothriidea + Mazocraeidea within the Elasmobranchii. Two cases of primary dispersal occurred within this clade: the Diclybothriidae to the Acipenseriformes and the ancestor of mazocraeidean families to the Neopterygii (both Osteichthyes). Secondary dispersal within the Oligonchoinea includes host switching of the common ancestor of Callorhynchocotyle (Hexabothriidae) to the Holocephala. Polystomatoineans coevolved within the Osteichthyes, but experienced primary extinctions in the Actinopterygii, Actinistia, Dipnoi and Amniota. Coevolution of the Sphyranuridae and Polystomatidae occurred with divergence of the Urodela and Anura, respectively. Secondary dispersal of Polystomatids to the Urodela, Dipnoi and Amniota is suggested. A preliminary phylogenetic analysis of the Polystomatoinea suggests that primary extinction with secondary dispersal of polystomatids to the Dipnoi may not be necessary to explain extant parasite distributions, since Concinnocotyla (Concinnocotylinae) appears to represent the sister taxon of the remaining Polystomatidae + Sphyranuridae. PMID:9467734

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Expression of the histone chaperone SET/TAF-Iβ 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-Iβ 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-Iβ 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-Iβ 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-Iβ 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

  2. Differential transcriptomic responses of Biomphalaria glabrata (Gastropoda, Mollusca) to bacteria and metazoan parasites, Schistosoma mansoni and Echinostoma paraensei (Digenea, Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Adema, Coen M; Hanington, Patrick C; Lun, Cheng-Man; Rosenberg, George H; Aragon, Anthony D; Stout, Barbara A; Lennard Richard, Mara L; Gross, Paul S; Loker, Eric S

    2010-01-01

    A 70-mer-oligonucleotide-based microarray (1152 features) that emphasizes stress and immune responses factors was constructed to study transcriptomic responses of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata to different immune challenges. In addition to sequences with relevant putative ID and Gene Ontology (GO) annotation, the array features non-immune factors and unknown B. glabrata ESTs for functional gene discovery. The transcription profiles of B. glabrata (3 biological replicates, each a pool of 5 snails) were recorded at 12h post-wounding, exposure to Gram negative or Gram positive bacteria (Escherichia coli and Micrococcus luteus, respectively), or infection with compatible trematode parasites (Schistosoma mansoni or Echinostoma paraensei, 20 miracidia/snail), relative to controls, using universal reference RNA. The data were subjected to Significance Analysis for Microarrays (SAM), with a false positive rate (FPR)

  3. When proglottids and scoleces conflict: phylogenetic relationships and a family-level classification of the Lecanicephalidea (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Jensen, Kirsten; Caira, Janine N; Cielocha, Joanna J; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Waeschenbach, Andrea

    2016-05-01

    This study presents the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the interrelationships of the morphologically diverse elasmobranch-hosted tapeworm order Lecanicephalidea, based on molecular sequence data. With almost half of current generic diversity having been erected or resurrected within the last decade, an apparent conflict between scolex morphology and proglottid anatomy has hampered the assignment of many of these genera to families. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of two nuclear markers (D1-D3 of lsrDNA and complete ssrDNA) and two mitochondrial markers (partial rrnL and partial cox1) for 61 lecanicephalidean species representing 22 of the 25 valid genera were conducted; new sequence data were generated for 43 species and 11 genera, including three undescribed genera. The monophyly of the order was confirmed in all but the analyses based on cox1 data alone. Sesquipedalapex placed among species of Anteropora and was thus synonymized with the latter genus. Based on analyses of the concatenated dataset, eight major groups emerged which are herein formally recognised at the familial level. Existing family names (i.e., Lecanicephalidae, Polypocephalidae, Tetragonocephalidae, and Cephalobothriidae) are maintained for four of the eight clades, and new families are proposed for the remaining four groups (Aberrapecidae n. fam., Eniochobothriidae n. fam., Paraberrapecidae n. fam., and Zanobatocestidae n. fam.). The four new families and the Tetragonocephalidae are monogeneric, while the Cephalobothriidae, Lecanicephalidae and Polypocephalidae comprise seven, eight and four genera, respectively. As a result of their unusual morphologies, the three genera not included here (i.e., Corrugatocephalum, Healyum and Quadcuspibothrium) are considered incertae sedis within the order until their familial affinities can be examined in more detail. All eight families are newly circumscribed based on morphological features and a key to the families is provided. Aspects of morphological evolution and host associations are discussed in a phylogenetic context for each family and for the order as a whole. Lecanicephalidean genera lacking apical structures were confirmed as the earliest diverging lineages. Proglottid anatomy was determined to be much more conserved and indicative of phylogenetic affinities than scolex morphology. Collectively, the Lecanicephalidea parasitize three of the four orders of Batoidea-their almost exclusive absence from skates (Order Rajiformes) appears to be real; only a few records from sharks exist. At the family level, the breadth of host associations is correlated with taxonomic diversity of the family. The degree to which factors such as intermediate host use or host specificity at any stage in the life-cycle shape these patterns is currently unknown. PMID:26994689

  4. The complete mitochondrial genome of the bird schistosome Trichobilharzia regenti (Platyhelminthes: Digenea), causative agent of cercarial dermatitis.

    PubMed

    Webster, Bonnie L; Rudolfová, Jitka; Horák, Petr; Littlewood, D T J

    2007-06-01

    The complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of the neuropathogenic bird schistosome Trichobilharzia regenti was fully sequenced in order to develop molecular markers for future diagnostic, molecular ecological, population, and phylogenetic studies. The genome was 14,838 bp in length, with a 68.4% AT bias in protein coding regions. A repeat element (3 x 184 bp) between trnV and trnW distinguished a single short noncoding region. As 9 of 14 genera of schistosomes parasitize birds, future characterization of their mt genomes is desirable for species-specific and strain- or population-specific diagnostic markers; this concerns not only the nasal representatives, e.g., T. regenti characterized in this study, but also numerous species within the predominant group of visceral (blood dwelling) bird schistosomes. PMID:17626347

  5. Development of mitochondrial loop-mediated isothermal amplification for detection of the small liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini (Opisthorchiidae; Trematoda; Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Le, Thanh Hoa; Nguyen, Nga Thi Bich; Truong, Nam Hai; De, Nguyen Van

    2012-04-01

    Mitochondrial DNA sequences offer major advantages over the more usual nuclear targets for loop-mediated isothermal amplification approaches (mito-LAMP) because multiple copies occur in every cell. Four LAMP primers [F3, FIP(F1c+F2), BIP(B1c+B2), and B3] were designed based on the mitochondrial nad1 sequence of Opisthorchis viverrini and used for a highly specific assay (mito-OvLAMP) to distinguish DNA of O. viverrini from that of another opisthorchiid (Clonorchis sinensis) and other trematodes (Haplorchis pumilio, Haplorchis taichui, Fasciola hepatica, and Fasciola gigantica). Conventional PCR was applied using F3/B3 primer pairs to verify the specificity of the primers for O. viverrini DNA templates. All LAMP-positive samples could be detected with the naked eye in sunlight, by gel electrophoresis (stained with ethidium bromide), and by addition of SYBR green I to the product in sunlight or under UV light. Only DNA from O. viverrini yielded amplification products by LAMP (and by PCR verification), and the LAMP limit of detection was as little as 100 fg (10(-4) ng DNA), indicating that this assay is 10 to 100 times more sensitive than PCR. Field testing was done using representative egg and metacercarial samples collected from localities where the fluke is endemic. With the advantages of simplicity, rapidity, sensitivity, and cost effectiveness, mito-OvLAMP is a good tool for molecular detection and epidemiology studies in regions or countries where O. viverrini is endemic, which can lead to more effective control of opisthorchiasis and trematodiasis. PMID:22322346

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Morphological and molecular characterisation of Gyrodactylus salmonis (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea) isolates collected in Mexico from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum).

    PubMed

    Rubio-Godoy, Miguel; Paladini, Giuseppe; Freeman, Mark A; García-Vásquez, Adriana; Shinn, Andrew P

    2012-05-25

    Gyrodactylus salmonis (Yin et Sproston, 1948) isolates collected from feral rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum) in Veracruz, southeastern Mexico are described. Morphological and molecular variation of these isolates to G. salmonis collected in Canada and the U.S.A. is characterised. Morphologically, the marginal hook sickles of Mexican isolates of G. salmonis closely resemble those of Canadian specimens - their shaft and hook regions align closely with one another; only features of the sickle base and a prominent bridge to the toe permit their separation. The 18S sequence determined from the Mexican specimens was identical to two variable regions of SSU rDNA obtained from a Canadian population of G. salmonis. Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions (spanning ITS1, 5.8S and ITS2) of Mexican isolates of G. salmonis are identical to ITS sequences of an American population of G. salmonis and to Gyrodactylus salvelini Kuusela, Ziętara et Lumme, 2008 from Finland. Analyses of the ribosomal RNA gene of Mexican isolates of G. salmonis show 98-99% similarity to those of Gyrodactylus gobiensis Gläser, 1974, Gyrodactylus salaris Malmberg, 1957, and Gyrodactylus rutilensis Gläser, 1974. Mexican and American isolates of G. salmonis are 98% identical, as assessed by sequencing the mitochondrial cox1 gene. Oncorhynchus mykiss is one of the most widely-dispersed fish species in the world and has been shown to be an important vector for parasite/disease transmission. Considering that Mexican isolates of G. salmonis were collected well outside the native distribution range of all salmonid fish, we discuss the possibility that the parasites were translocated with their host through the aquacultural trade. In addition, this study includes a morphological review of Gyrodactylus species collected from rainbow trout and from other salmonid fish of the genus Oncorhynchus which occur throughout North America. PMID:22169222

  10. 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

  11. An animal model to study human muscular diseases involving mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Lemieux, Hlne; 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

  12. 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

  13. 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)

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. A new species of Unilatus (Platyhelminthes: Monogenoidea) from the gills of Leporacanthicus galaxias Isbrücker et Nijssen (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Branches, Bárbara; Domingues, Marcus V

    2014-03-01

    Unilatus irae sp. nov. (Dactylogyridae) is described from the gills of the armored catfish, Leporacanthicus galaxias Isbrücker et Nijssen (Loricariidae: Ancistrinae), from Guamá river, Pará State, Brazil. The new species can be differentiated from its cogeneners by the combination of the following features: anterior anchor with well-developed superficial root, inconspicuous deep root, shaft bent at midpoint, forming angle of approximately 60°, evenly short curved point; posterior anchor with inconspicuous roots, sclerotized cap of base with small protuberance for articulation to posterior bar; evenly curved shaft and short point; anterior bar broadly V-shaped, with small posteromedial projection; and posterior bar anteriorly expanded on it midportion, with expanded ends slightly curved in posterior direction. PMID:24570054

  17. Infections by helminth parasites in "puyenes", Galaxias maculatus (Galaxiidae, Salmoniformes), from Southern Argentina with special reference to Tylodelphys barilochensis (Digenea, Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Revenga, J; Scheinert, P

    1999-01-01

    The occurrence of Tylodelphys barilochensis, Acanthostomoides apophalliformis, Contracaecum sp. and Camallanus corderoi infecting Galaxias maculatus ("puyenes") was quantified for the first time in Lake Nahuel Huapi, southern Argentina. T. barilochensis was recorded in this lake for the first time. The role of G. maculatus population in transmission of parasites to the salmonids is more important for Contracaecum sp. (prevalence 14-34%) and A. apophalliformis (prevalence 30-54%) than for C. corderoi (prevalence 6-8%). The absence of Diphyllobothrium spp. in samples shows that the G. maculatus population does not play any role in the life cycles of these important zoonotic parasites. The sex of the host had no effect on T. barilochensis abundance. Statistical differences in T. barilochensis abundance between "puyenes" of the same size class between sampling stations and positive correlation between prevalence of infected snails and T. barilochensis abundance in fish suggest that different stocks have been sampled. Factors influencing T. barilochensis abundance are discussed. PMID:10464401

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Revision of Potamotrygonocotyle Mayes, Brooks & Thorson, 1981 (Platyhelminthes: Monogenoidea: Monocotylidae), with descriptions of four new species from the gills of the freshwater stingrays Potamotrygon spp. (Rajiformes: Potamotrygonidae) from the La Plata river basin.

    PubMed

    Domingues, Marcus V; Marques, Fernando P L

    2007-07-01

    The only known monocotylid genus to parasitise Neotropical freshwater stingrays (Potamotrygonidae) is Potamotrygonocotyle Mayes, Brooks & Thorson, 1981, a monotypic genus erected to accommodate P. tsalickisi Mayes, Brooks & Thorson, 1981. For more than 20 years, no other species has been recognised in this genus, but new efforts to survey the diversity of parasites inhabiting potamotrygonids have revealed the existence of new species and the need to redefine the genus. Here, the generic diagnosis of Potamotrygonocotyle is amended, P. tsalickisi is redescribed and four new species are recognised and described based on samples collected from the gills of freshwater potamotrygonids from the La Plata river basin: Potamotrygonocotyle chisholmae n. sp. and P. dromedarius n. sp. from Potamotrygon motoro; Potamotrygonocotyle eurypotamoxenus n. sp. from Potamotrygon cf. motoro (type-host), P. castexi, P. falkneri and P. histrix; and Potamotrygonocotyle uruguayensis n. sp. from Potamotrygon brachyura. Potamotrygonocotyle is characterised by species possessing: (1) slightly sinuous sclerotised ridges on all septa; (2) two pairs of the dorsal haptoral accessory structures associated with the four posterior peripheral loculi and with anterior dorsal haptoral accessory structure bilobate or semicircular; and (3) male copulatory organ without an accessory piece. PMID:17464482

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Neuropeptide physiology in helminths.

    PubMed

    Mousley, Angela; Novozhilova, Ekaterina; Kimber, Michael J; Day, Tim A

    2010-01-01

    Parasitic worms come from two distinct, distant phyla, Nematoda (roundworms) and Platyhelminthes (flatworms). The nervous systems of worms from both phyla are replete with neuropeptides and there is ample physiological evidence that these neuropeptides control vital aspects of worm biology. In each phyla, the physiological evidence for critical roles for helminth neuropeptides is derived from both parasitic and free-living members. In the nematodes, the intestinal parasite Ascaris suum and the free-living Caenorhabditis elegans have yielded most of the data; in the platyhelminths, the most physiological data has come from the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. FMRFamide-like peptides (FLPs) have many varied effects (excitation, relaxation, or a combination) on somatic musculature, reproductive musculature, the pharynx and motor neurons in nematodes. Insulin-like peptides (INSs) play an essential role in nematode dauer formation and other developmental processes. There is also some evidence for a role in somatic muscle control for the somewhat heterogeneous grouping ofpeptides known as neuropeptide-like proteins (NLPs). In platyhelminths, as in nematodes, FLPs have a central role in somatic muscle function. Reports of FLP physiological action in platyhelminths are limited to a potent excitation of the somatic musculature. Platyhelminths are also abundantly endowed with neuropeptide Fs (NPFs), which appear absent from nematodes. There is not yet any data linking platyhelminth NPF to any particular physiological outcome, but this neuropeptide does potently and specifically inhibit cAMP accumulation in schistosomes. In nematodes and platyhelminths, there is an abundance of physiological evidence demonstrating that neuropeptides play critical roles in the biology of both free-living and parasitic helminths. While it is certainly true that there remains a great deal to learn about the biology of neuropeptides in both phyla, physiological evidence presently available points to neuropeptidergic signaling as a very promising field from which to harvest future drug targets. PMID:21189675

  11. Parasitic peptides! The structure and function of neuropeptides in parasitic worms.

    PubMed

    Day, T A; Maule, A G

    1999-01-01

    Parasitic worms come from two very different phyla-Platyhelminthes (flatworms) and Nematoda (roundworms). Although both phyla possess nervous systems with highly developed peptidergic components, there are key differences in the structure and action of native neuropeptides in the two groups. For example, the most abundant neuropeptide known in platyhelminths is the pancreatic polypeptide-like neuropeptide F, whereas the most prevalent neuropeptides in nematodes are FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs), which are also present in platyhelminths. With respect to neuropeptide diversity, platyhelminth species possess only one or two distinct FaRPs, whereas nematodes have upwards of 50 unique FaRPs. FaRP bioactivity in platyhelminths appears to be restricted to myoexcitation, whereas both excitatory and inhibitory effects have been reported in nematodes. Recently interest has focused on the peptidergic signaling systems of both phyla because elucidation of these systems will do much to clarify the basic biology of the worms and because the peptidergic systems hold the promise of yielding novel targets for a new generation of antiparasitic drugs. PMID:10503780

  12. Echinococcus granulosus fatty acid binding proteins subcellular localization.

    PubMed

    Alvite, Gabriela; Esteves, Adriana

    2016-05-01

    Two fatty acid binding proteins, EgFABP1 and EgFABP2, were isolated from the parasitic platyhelminth Echinococcus granulosus. These proteins bind fatty acids and have particular relevance in flatworms since de novo fatty acids synthesis is absent. Therefore platyhelminthes depend on the capture and intracellular distribution of host's lipids and fatty acid binding proteins could participate in lipid distribution. To elucidate EgFABP's roles, we investigated their intracellular distribution in the larval stage by a proteomic approach. Our results demonstrated the presence of EgFABP1 isoforms in cytosolic, nuclear, mitochondrial and microsomal fractions, suggesting that these molecules could be involved in several cellular processes. PMID:26873273

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. '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

  17. ‘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

  18. 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

  19. To Be or Not to Be a Flatworm: The Acoel Controversy

    PubMed Central

    Arendt, Detlev; Borgonie, Gatan; 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Smed454 dataset: unravelling the transcriptome of Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Freshwater planarians are an attractive model for regeneration and stem cell research and have become a promising tool in the field of regenerative medicine. With the availability of a sequenced planarian genome, the recent application of modern genetic and high-throughput tools has resulted in revitalized interest in these animals, long known for their amazing regenerative capabilities, which enable them to regrow even a new head after decapitation. However, a detailed description of the planarian transcriptome is essential for future investigation into regenerative processes using planarians as a model system. Results In order to complement and improve existing gene annotations, we used a 454 pyrosequencing approach to analyze the transcriptome of the planarian species Schmidtea mediterranea Altogether, 598,435 454-sequencing reads, with an average length of 327 bp, were assembled together with the ~10,000 sequences of the S. mediterranea UniGene set using different similarity cutoffs. The assembly was then mapped onto the current genome data. Remarkably, our Smed454 dataset contains more than 3 million novel transcribed nucleotides sequenced for the first time. A descriptive analysis of planarian splice sites was conducted on those Smed454 contigs that mapped univocally to the current genome assembly. Sequence analysis allowed us to identify genes encoding putative proteins with defined structural properties, such as transmembrane domains. Moreover, we annotated the Smed454 dataset using Gene Ontology, and identified putative homologues of several gene families that may play a key role during regeneration, such as neurotransmitter and hormone receptors, homeobox-containing genes, and genes related to eye function. Conclusions We report the first planarian transcript dataset, Smed454, as an open resource tool that can be accessed via a web interface. Smed454 contains significant novel sequence information about most expressed genes of S. mediterranea. Analysis of the annotated data promises to contribute to identification of gene families poorly characterized at a functional level. The Smed454 transcriptome data will assist in the molecular characterization of S. mediterranea as a model organism, which will be useful to a broad scientific community. PMID:21194483

  10. THE URBILATERIAN BRAIN REVISITED: NOVEL INSIGHTS INTO OLD QUESTIONS FROM NEW FLATWORM CLADES

    PubMed Central

    Bailly, Xavier; Reichert, Heinrich; Hartenstein, Volker

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Flatworms are classically considered to represent the simplest organizational form of all living bilaterians with a true central nervous system. Based on their simple body plans, all flatworms have been traditionally grouped together in a single phylum at the base of the bilaterians. Current molecular phylogenomic studies now split the flatworms into two widely separated clades, the acoelomorph flatworms and the platyhelminth flatworms, such that the last common ancestor of both clades corresponds to the urbilaterian ancestor of all bilaterian animals. Remarkably, recent comparative neuroanatomical analyses of acoelomorphs and platyhelminths show that both of these flatworm groups have complex anterior brains with surprisingly similar basic neuroarchitectures. Taken together, these findings imply that fundamental neuroanatomical features of the brain in the two separate flatworm groups are likely to be primitive and derived from the urbilaterian brain. PMID:23143292

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The peptidergic nervous system of the triclad turbellarian, Bdelloura candida (Maricola, Bdellouridae): an immunocytochemical study using an antiserum raised to an endogenous neuropeptide, GYIRFamide.

    PubMed

    Johnston, R N; Halton, D W; Anderson, P A; Johnston, C F; Shaw, C

    1996-12-01

    The organisation of the nervous system of Bdelloura candida (Tricladida, Maricola, and Bdellouridae) was studied by immunocytochemistry, by using an antiserum raised to the authentic B. candida FMRFamide-related peptide (FaRP), GYIRFamide. Immunostaining was intense and abundant throughout both the central and peripheral nervous systems, being localised to the brain, the longitudinal nerve cords and their transverse and lateral connections, the pharyngeal plexus, the extensive sub-epidermal and sub-muscular plexuses, and elements of the reproductive apparatus. Compared to an earlier anatomical investigation of this species, and also to the neuroanatomy of other triclad turbellarians, the pattern of GYIRFamide-immunoreactivity reveals differences in the following aspects: the shape and structure of the brain, the distribution of longitudinal nerve cords and their relationships with the peripheral nervous system, the structure and distribution of the lateral nerves and the transverse connectives between the longitudinal nerve cords, organisation of the pharyngeal nervous system, and innervation of the eyespots and epidermal sensory structures. Although this study focuses on a descriptive account of the neuroanatomy of Bdelloura candida, by using anti-GYIRFamide as a neuronal marker, the possible functions of the native peptide are also discussed. The quality and reproducibility of the immunostaining obtained during this work highlights the effectiveness of the GYIRFamide antiserum in the neuroanatomical study of flatworms, and also the suitability of B. candida as a model species in studies of the turbellarian nervous system. PMID:8951638

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. SmedGD 2.0: The Schmidtea mediterranea genome database

    PubMed Central

    Robb, Sofia M.C.; Gotting, Kirsten; Ross, Eric; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2016-01-01

    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

  2. Characterization of a flatworm inositol (1,4,5) trisphosphate receptor (IP3R) reveals a role in reproductive physiology

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Dan; Liu, Xiaolong; Chan, John D.; Marchant, Jonathan S.

    2013-01-01

    Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) are intracellular Ca2+channels that elevate cytoplasmic Ca2+ in response to the second messenger IP3. Here, we describe the identification and in vivo functional characterization of the planarian IP3R, the first intracellular Ca2+ channel to be defined in flatworms. A single IP3R gene in Dugesia japonica encoded a 2666 amino acid protein (Dj.IP3R) that shared well conserved structural features with vertebrate IP3R counterparts. Expression of an NH2-terminal Dj.IP3R region (amino acid residues 223–585) recovered high affinity 3H-IP3 binding (0.9 ± 0.1 nM) which was abolished by a single point mutation of an arginine residue (R495L) important for IP3 coordination. In situ hybridization revealed that Dj.IP3R mRNA was most strongly expressed in the pharynx and optical nerve system as well as the reproductive system in sexualized planarians. Consistent with this observed tissue distribution, in vivo RNAi of Dj.IP3R resulted in a decreased egg-laying behavior suggesting Dj.IP3R plays an upstream role in planarian reproductive physiology. PMID:23481272

  3. Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Identification of Peptides Associated with Cephalic Ganglia Regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea*

    PubMed Central

    Ong, Ta-Hsuan; Romanova, Elena V.; Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H.; Yang, Ning; Zimmerman, Tyler A.; Collins, James J.; Lee, Ji Eun; Kelleher, Neil L.; Newmark, Phillip A.; Sweedler, Jonathan V.

    2016-01-01

    Tissue regeneration is a complex process that involves a mosaic of molecules that vary spatially and temporally. Insights into the chemical signaling underlying this process can be achieved with a multiplex and untargeted chemical imaging method such as mass spectrometry imaging (MSI), which can enable de novo studies of nervous system regeneration. A combination of MSI and multivariate statistics was used to differentiate peptide dynamics in the freshwater planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea at different time points during cephalic ganglia regeneration. A protocol was developed to make S. mediterranea tissues amenable for MSI. MS ion images of planarian tissue sections allow changes in peptides and unknown compounds to be followed as a function of cephalic ganglia regeneration. In conjunction with fluorescence imaging, our results suggest that even though the cephalic ganglia structure is visible after 6 days of regeneration, the original chemical composition of these regenerated structures is regained only after 12 days. Differences were observed in many peptides, such as those derived from secreted peptide 4 and EYE53-1. Peptidomic analysis further identified multiple peptides from various known prohormones, histone proteins, and DNA- and RNA-binding proteins as being associated with the regeneration process. Mass spectrometry data also facilitated the identification of a new prohormone, which we have named secreted peptide prohormone 20 (SPP-20), and is up-regulated during regeneration in planarians. PMID:26884331

  4. Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Identification of Peptides Associated with Cephalic Ganglia Regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Ong, Ta-Hsuan; Romanova, Elena V; Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Yang, Ning; Zimmerman, Tyler A; Collins, James J; Lee, Ji Eun; Kelleher, Neil L; Newmark, Phillip A; Sweedler, Jonathan V

    2016-04-01

    Tissue regeneration is a complex process that involves a mosaic of molecules that vary spatially and temporally. Insights into the chemical signaling underlying this process can be achieved with a multiplex and untargeted chemical imaging method such as mass spectrometry imaging (MSI), which can enablede novostudies of nervous system regeneration. A combination of MSI and multivariate statistics was used to differentiate peptide dynamics in the freshwater planarian flatwormSchmidtea mediterraneaat different time points during cephalic ganglia regeneration. A protocol was developed to makeS. mediterraneatissues amenable for MSI. MS ion images of planarian tissue sections allow changes in peptides and unknown compounds to be followed as a function of cephalic ganglia regeneration. In conjunction with fluorescence imaging, our results suggest that even though the cephalic ganglia structure is visible after 6 days of regeneration, the original chemical composition of these regenerated structures is regained only after 12 days. Differences were observed in many peptides, such as those derived from secreted peptide 4 and EYE53-1. Peptidomic analysis further identified multiple peptides from various known prohormones, histone proteins, and DNA- and RNA-binding proteins as being associated with the regeneration process. Mass spectrometry data also facilitated the identification of a new prohormone, which we have named secreted peptide prohormone 20 (SPP-20), and is up-regulated during regeneration in planarians. PMID:26884331

  5. 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

  6. 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''.

  7. 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

  8. Phylogenetic analysis reveals wide distribution of globin X

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The vertebrate globin gene repertoire consists of seven members that differ in terms of structure, function and phyletic distribution. While hemoglobin, myoglobin, cytoglobin, and neuroglobin are present in almost all gnathostomes examined so far, other globin genes, like globin X, are much more restricted in their phyletic distribution. Till today, globin X has only been found in teleost fish and Xenopus. Here, we report that globin X is also present in the genomes of the sea lamprey, ghost shark and reptiles. Moreover, the identification of orthologs of globin X in crustacean, insects, platyhelminthes, and hemichordates confirms its ancient origin. PMID:22004552

  9. The defensive function of trichocysts in Paramecium tetraurelia against metazoan predators compared with the chemical defense of two species of toxin-containing ciliates.

    PubMed

    Buonanno, Federico; Harumoto, Terue; Ortenzi, Claudio

    2013-04-01

    The time-honored assumption about the defensive function of trichocysts in Paramecium against predators was recently verified experimentally against different species of unicellular predators. In the present study, we examined the defensive function of trichocysts against three metazoan predators, Cephalodella sp. (Rotifera), Eucypris sp. (Arthropoda), and Stenostomum sphagnetorum (Platyhelminthes). The results confirmed the defensive function of trichocysts against two of these metazoan predators (Cephalodella sp. and Eucypris sp.), while they seem ineffective against S. sphagnetorum. We also compared the defensive efficiency of the trichocysts of P. tetraurelia with that of toxin-containing extrusomes of two ciliates. PMID:23537235

  10. Mesocestoides corti (syn. M. vogae): modulation of larval motility by neuropeptides, serotonin and acetylcholine.

    PubMed

    Hrckova, G; Velenbný, S; Halton, D W; Maule, A G

    2002-04-01

    The effect of platyhelminth FaRPs and selected classical neurotransmitters on the motility of intact Mesocestoides corti (syn. M. vogae) tetrathyridial larvae was studied in vitro using a micromotility meter. The effects of the test substances were temperature dependent and these were examined at 4, 23, 30 and 36 degrees C. At 36 degrees C all test substances had concentration-dependent excitatory effects, with thresholds for activity of: 100 nM (GNFFRFamide), 10 microm (YIRFamide), 30 microM (GYIRFamide), 100 nM (serotonin) and 100 microM (acetylcholine). At this temperature significant elevation of motility indices (MI) was recorded within 5 min of the addition of peptide or serotonin. The effect of acetylcholine was slower in onset and appeared 15-20 min post-addition. At 30 degrees C larval motility diminished more rapidly than that recorded at 36 degrees C, following the addition of 1 mM of each test substance. At 23 degrees C only serotonin (1 mM) significantly increased the MI, all other test substances having no apparent effect. Larval movement was completely arrested at 4 degrees C. The results demonstrate for the first time excitatory effects of platyhelminth neuropeptides and acetylcholine on muscle systems in cestode larvae. The fact that the only known cestode FaRP, GNFFRF amide, was more potent than any of the turbellarian FaRPs tested, suggests structural conservation of FaRPs and FaRP receptors within the cestodes. PMID:12003065

  11. Variation in worm assemblages associated with Pomacea canaliculata (Caenogastropoda, Ampullariidae) in sites near the Río de la Plata estuary, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Damborenea, C; Brusa, E; Paola, A

    2006-12-01

    Pomacea canaliculata is a common gastropod in freshwater habitats from Central and Northern Argentina, extending northwards into the Amazon basin. Several Platyhelminthes have been reported associated to P. canaliculata, sharing an intimate relationship with this gastropod host. The objectives of this study were to describe the symbiotic species assemblages associated to P. canaliculata in the study area, and to disclose differences among them. Samples were taken in three typical small streams and one artificial lentic lagoon, all connected with the Rio de la Plata estuary. The 81.53% were infested with different symbiotic (sensu lato) species. Among the Platyhelminthes, the commensal Temnocephala iheringi Haswell, 1893 was highly prevalent in all samples, always in the mantle cavity. Four trematode taxa were recognized: (a) metacercariae of Echinostoma parcespinosum Lutz, 1924 in the mantle cavity and sporocysts in the digestive gland; (b) metacercariae of Dietziella egregia (Dietz, 1909) in the pericardial cavity; (c) unidentified xiphidiocercariae and (d) unidentified sporocysts and furcocercariae in the digestive gland. Nematode larvae and oligochaetes were found in two localities in the mantle cavity. Among the Annelida, Helobdella ampullariae Ringuelet, 1945 was found in the mantle cavity and lung of snails only from one locality. Our results show that although some of the symbionts are present in all localities, others are restricted to some particular ones, whether in their absolute numbers or in their relative abundance. Thus, each hosting population at the studied localities may be defined by the particular combination of symbionts that bears. PMID:17375466

  12. 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

  13. Structural analysis of the α subunit of Na(+)/K(+) ATPase genes in invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Thabet, Rahma; Rouault, J-D; Ayadi, Habib; Leignel, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    The Na(+)/K(+) ATPase is a ubiquitous pump coordinating the transport of Na(+) and K(+) across the membrane of cells and its role is fundamental to cellular functions. It is heteromer in eukaryotes including two or three subunits (α, β and γ which is specific to the vertebrates). The catalytic functions of the enzyme have been attributed to the α subunit. Several complete α protein sequences are available, but only few gene structures were characterized. We identified the genomic sequences coding the α-subunit of the Na(+)/K(+) ATPase, from the whole-genome shotgun contigs (WGS), NCBI Genomes (chromosome), Genomic Survey Sequences (GSS) and High Throughput Genomic Sequences (HTGS) databases across distinct phyla. One copy of the α subunit gene was found in Annelida, Arthropoda, Cnidaria, Echinodermata, Hemichordata, Mollusca, Placozoa, Porifera, Platyhelminthes, Urochordata, but the nematodes seem to possess 2 to 4 copies. The number of introns varied from 0 (Platyhelminthes) to 26 (Porifera); and their localization and length are also highly variable. Molecular phylogenies (Maximum Likelihood and Maximum Parsimony methods) showed some clusters constituted by (Chordata/(Echinodermata/Hemichordata)) or (Plathelminthes/(Annelida/Mollusca)) and a basal position for Porifera. These structural analyses increase our knowledge about the evolutionary events of the α subunit genes in the invertebrates. PMID:26812300

  14. Put a tiger in your tank: the polyclad flatworm Maritigrella crozieri as a proposed model for evo-devo.

    PubMed

    Lapraz, François; Rawlinson, Kate A; Girstmair, Johannes; Tomiczek, Bartłomiej; Berger, Jürgen; Jékely, Gáspár; Telford, Maximilian J; Egger, Bernhard

    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

  15. 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

  16. Energy-dependent UV light-induced disruption of (-)sulpiride antagonism of dopamine.

    PubMed

    Raffa, R B; Valdez, J M; Holland, L J; Schulingkamp, R J

    2000-10-20

    The dopamine D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride decreases the spontaneous locomotor activity of Planaria in an enantiomeric-selective and dose-dependent manner. We now report that (-)sulpiride (0.1 microM)-induced decrease of planarian locomotor activity is significantly (P<0.05) attenuated by low-energy (366 nm) ultraviolet (UV) light and to a greater extent by high-energy (254 nm) UV light. The phenomenon offers a novel approach for studying dopamine D2 receptor transduction processes in a simple in vivo model. PMID:11040357

  17. Wnt Signaling in Axial Patterning and Regeneration: Lessons from Planaria

    PubMed Central

    De Robertis, Edward M.

    2011-01-01

    Wnt signal transduction plays a crucial role in stem cell proliferation and regeneration. When canonical Wnt signaling is low, heads develop, and when it is high, tails are formed. In planarians, Wnt transcription is activated by wounding in a β-catenin–independent way. Hedgehog is one of the signals involved, because it induces regeneration of tails (instead of heads) through the activation of Wnt transcription. Depletion of Smad4 blocks regeneration entirely, which suggests that the bone morphogenetic protein signaling pathway and the Wnt pathway are required for regeneration and body patterning. PMID:20571126

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Heterochromatin protein 1 promotes self-renewal and triggers regenerative proliferation in adult stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, An; Li, Yong-Qin; Wang, Chen; Han, Xiao-Shuai; Li, Ge; Wang, Jian-Yong; Li, Dang-Sheng; Qin, Yong-Wen; Shi, Yufang; Brewer, Gary

    2013-01-01

    Adult stem cells (ASCs) capable of self-renewal and differentiation confer the potential of tissues to regenerate damaged parts. Epigenetic regulation is essential for driving cell fate decisions by rapidly and reversibly modulating gene expression programs. However, it remains unclear how epigenetic factors elicit ASC-driven regeneration. In this paper, we report that an RNA interference screen against 205 chromatin regulators identified 12 proteins essential for ASC function and regeneration in planarians. Surprisingly, the HP1-like protein SMED–HP1-1 (HP1-1) specifically marked self-renewing, pluripotent ASCs, and HP1-1 depletion abrogated self-renewal and promoted differentiation. Upon injury, HP1-1 expression increased and elicited increased ASC expression of Mcm5 through functional association with the FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription) complex, which consequently triggered proliferation of ASCs and initiated blastema formation. Our observations uncover an epigenetic network underlying ASC regulation in planarians and reveal that an HP1 protein is a key chromatin factor controlling stem cell function. These results provide important insights into how epigenetic mechanisms orchestrate stem cell responses during tissue regeneration. PMID:23629965

  7. 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

  8. Conservation status of Chinese species: (2) Invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yan; Wang, Sung

    2007-06-01

    A total of 2441 invertebrate species were evaluated using the IUCN Red List Criteria and Regional Guidelines. Approximately 30 experts were involved in this project, which covered a wide range of species, including jellyfish, corals, planarians, snails, mollusks, bivalves, decapods, benthic crustaceans, arachnids (spiders, scorpions), butterflies, moths, beetles, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, sea stars, acorn worms and lancelets. In general, invertebrate species in China were found to be severely threatened, with 0.9% being critically endangered, 13.44% endangered and 20.63% vulnerable. All species of hermatypic corals and planarians are threatened. More than 80% of evaluated species face serious threat due to habitat destruction by coral collection, logging, non-woody vegetation collection, timber plantations, non-timber plantations, extraction and/or livestock. Other threats are intrinsic factors, harvesting by humans, alien invasive species and pollution. The main intrinsic factors contributing to the high levels of threat are limited dispersal and restricted range. No conservation measures have been taken for 70% of the threatened invertebrates evaluated. Existing conservation measures include: strengthening of national and international legislation (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), increasing public awareness, studying population trends/monitoring, and establishment of protected areas. The major conservation measure employed is strengthening of policies. Relative to the situation worldwide (2006 IUCN Red List), there is little information available about invertebrate extinctions in China. PMID:21396022

  9. Regeneration and the need for simpler model organisms.

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2004-01-01

    The problem of regeneration is fundamentally a problem of tissue homeostasis involving the replacement of cells lost to normal 'wear and tear' (cell turnover), and/or injury. This attribute is of particular significance to organisms possessing relatively long lifespans, as maintenance of all body parts and their functional integration is essential for their survival. Because tissue replacement is broadly distributed among multicellular life-forms, and the molecules and mechanisms controlling cellular differentiation are considered ancient evolutionary inventions, it should be possible to gain key molecular insights about regenerative processes through the study of simpler animals. We have chosen to study and develop the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea as a model system because it is one of the simplest metazoans possessing tissue homeostasis and regeneration, and because it has become relatively easy to molecularly manipulate this organism. The developmental plasticity and longevity of S. mediterranea is in marked contrast to its better-characterized invertebrate cohorts: the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, both of which have short lifespans and are poor at regenerating tissues. Therefore, planarians present us with new, experimentally accessible contexts in which to study the molecular actions guiding cell fate restriction, differentiation and patterning, each of which is crucial not only for regeneration to occur, but also for the survival and perpetuation of all multicellular organisms. PMID:15293803

  10. 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

  11. Heterochromatin protein 1 promotes self-renewal and triggers regenerative proliferation in adult stem cells.

    PubMed

    Zeng, An; Li, Yong-Qin; Wang, Chen; Han, Xiao-Shuai; Li, Ge; Wang, Jian-Yong; Li, Dang-Sheng; Qin, Yong-Wen; Shi, Yufang; Brewer, Gary; Jing, Qing

    2013-04-29

    Adult stem cells (ASCs) capable of self-renewal and differentiation confer the potential of tissues to regenerate damaged parts. Epigenetic regulation is essential for driving cell fate decisions by rapidly and reversibly modulating gene expression programs. However, it remains unclear how epigenetic factors elicit ASC-driven regeneration. In this paper, we report that an RNA interference screen against 205 chromatin regulators identified 12 proteins essential for ASC function and regeneration in planarians. Surprisingly, the HP1-like protein SMED-HP1-1 (HP1-1) specifically marked self-renewing, pluripotent ASCs, and HP1-1 depletion abrogated self-renewal and promoted differentiation. Upon injury, HP1-1 expression increased and elicited increased ASC expression of Mcm5 through functional association with the FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription) complex, which consequently triggered proliferation of ASCs and initiated blastema formation. Our observations uncover an epigenetic network underlying ASC regulation in planarians and reveal that an HP1 protein is a key chromatin factor controlling stem cell function. These results provide important insights into how epigenetic mechanisms orchestrate stem cell responses during tissue regeneration. PMID:23629965

  12. The Zn finger protein Iguana impacts Hedgehog signaling by promoting ciliogenesis.

    PubMed

    Glazer, Andrew M; Wilkinson, Alex W; Backer, Chelsea B; Lapan, Sylvain W; Gutzman, Jennifer H; Cheeseman, Iain M; Reddien, Peter W

    2010-01-01

    Hedgehog signaling is critical for metazoan development and requires cilia for pathway activity. The gene iguana was discovered in zebrafish as required for Hedgehog signaling, and encodes a novel Zn finger protein. Planarians are flatworms with robust regenerative capacities and utilize epidermal cilia for locomotion. RNA interference of Smed-iguana in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea caused cilia loss and failure to regenerate new cilia, but did not cause defects similar to those observed in hedgehog(RNAi) animals. Smed-iguana gene expression was also similar in pattern to the expression of multiple other ciliogenesis genes, but was not required for expression of these ciliogenesis genes. iguana-defective zebrafish had too few motile cilia in pronephric ducts and in Kupffer's vesicle. Kupffer's vesicle promotes left-right asymmetry and iguana mutant embryos had left-right asymmetry defects. Finally, human Iguana proteins (dZIP1 and dZIP1L) localize to the basal bodies of primary cilia and, together, are required for primary cilia formation. Our results indicate that a critical and broadly conserved function for Iguana is in ciliogenesis and that this function has come to be required for Hedgehog signaling in vertebrates. PMID:19852954

  13. Tissue absence initiates regeneration through follistatin-mediated inhibition of activin signaling.

    PubMed

    Gaviño, Michael A; Wenemoser, Danielle; Wang, Irving E; Reddien, Peter W

    2013-01-01

    Regeneration is widespread, but mechanisms that activate regeneration remain mysterious. Planarians are capable of whole-body regeneration and mount distinct molecular responses to wounds that result in tissue absence and those that do not. A major question is how these distinct responses are activated. We describe a follistatin homolog (Smed-follistatin) required for planarian regeneration. Smed-follistatin inhibition blocks responses to tissue absence but does not prevent normal tissue turnover. Two activin homologs (Smed-activin-1 and Smed-activin-2) are required for the Smed-follistatin phenotype. Finally, Smed-follistatin is wound-induced and expressed at higher levels following injuries that cause tissue absence. These data suggest that Smed-follistatin inhibits Smed-Activin proteins to trigger regeneration specifically following injuries involving tissue absence and identify a mechanism critical for regeneration initiation, a process important across the animal kingdom. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00247.001. PMID:24040508

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Cholinergic, serotoninergic and peptidergic components of the nervous system of Discocotyle sagittata (Monogenea:Polyopisthocotylea).

    PubMed

    Cable, J; Marks, N J; Halton, D W; Shaw, C; Johnston, C F; Tinsley, R C; Gannicott, A M

    1996-12-01

    Cholinergic, serotoninergic (5-HT) and peptidergic neuronal pathways have been demonstrated in both central and peripheral nervous systems of adult Discocotyle sagittata, using enzyme histochemistry and indirect immunocytochemistry in conjunction with confocal scanning laser microscopy. Antisera to 2 native flatworm neuropeptides, neuropeptide F and the FMRFamide-related peptide (FaRP), GNFFRFamide, were employed to detect peptide immunoreactivity. The CNS is composed of paired cerebral ganglia and connecting dorsal commissure, together with several paired longitudinal nerve cords. The main longitudinal nerve cords (lateral, ventral and dorsal) are interconnected at intervals by a series of annular cross-connectives, producing a ladder-like arrangement typical of the platyhelminth nervous system. At the level of the haptor, the ventral cords provide nerve roots which innervate each of the 9 clamps. Cholinergic and peptidergic neuronal organisation was similar, but distinct from that of the serotoninergic components. The PNS and reproductive system are predominantly innervated by peptidergic neurones. PMID:9024885

  19. 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

  20. Mesocestoides lineatus (Goeze, 1782) (Mesocestoididae): new data on sperm ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Miquel, Jordi; Eira, Catarina; Swiderski, Zdzisław; Conn, David Bruce

    2007-06-01

    Spermiogenesis and the ultrastructural characters of the spermatozoon of Mesocestoides lineatus are described by means of transmission electron microscopy, including cytochemical analysis for glycogen. Materials were obtained from a golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) after experimental infection with tetrathyridia metacestodes obtained from naturally infected lizards (Anolis carolinensis) from Louisiana. Spermiogenesis in M. lineatus is characterized by the orthogonal growth of a free flagellum, a flagellar rotation, and a proximodistal fusion. The zone of differentiation contains 2 centrioles associated with striated rootlets and a reduced intercentriolar body. The mature spermatozoon of M. lineatus lacks a mitochondrion, and it is characterized by the presence of (1) a single, spiraled, crested body 150 nm thick; (2) a single axoneme of the 9+'1' pattern of trepaxonematan Platyhelminthes; (3) a parallel and reduced row of submembranous cortical microtubules; (4) a spiraled cordon of glycogen granules; and (5) a spiraled nucleus encircling the axoneme. PMID:17626346

  1. 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

  2. Investigation of molluscan phylogeny on the basis of 18S rRNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Winnepenninckx, B; Backeljau, T; De Wachter, R

    1996-12-01

    The 18S rRNA sequences of 12 molluscs, representing the extant classes Gastropoda, Bivalvia, Polyplacophora, Scaphopoda, and Caudofoveata, were determined and compared with selected known 18S rRNA sequences of Metazoa, including other Mollusca. These data do not provide support for a close relationship between Platyhelminthes (Turbellaria) and Mollusca, but rather suggest that the latter group belongs to a clade of eutrochozoan coelomates. The 18S rRNA data fail to recover molluscan, bivalve, or gastropod monophyly. However, the branching pattern of the eutrochozoan phyla and classes is unstable, probably due to the explosive Cambrian radiation during which these groups arose. Similarly, the 18S rRNA data do not provide a reliable signal for the molluscan interclass relationships. Nevertheless, we obtained strong preliminary support for phylogenetic inferences at more restricted taxonomic levels, such as the monophyly of Polyplacophora, Caenogastropoda, Euthyneura, Heterodonta, and Arcoida. PMID:8952075

  3. 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

  4. Malacological assessment and natural infestation of Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker, 1848) by Schistosoma mansoni (Sambon, 1907) And Chaetogaster limnaei (K. Von Baer, 1827) in an urban eutrophic watershed.

    PubMed

    Callisto, M; Moreno, P; Gonçalves, J F; Ferreira, W R; Gomes, C L Z

    2005-05-01

    The objective of this study was to perform a malacological assessment at the Ibirité reservoir watershed in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais) and to evaluate the natural infestation rate of Biomphalaria straminea (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) by Schistosoma mansoni (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda) and Chaetogaster limnaei (Oligochaeta: Naididae). The samples were collected from July to August 2002. The B. straminea individuals collected were kept in the laboratory; the natural infestation rate by S. mansoni and C. limnaei was assessed weekly. The malacological assessment identified five mollusk species present in the Ibirité reservoir watershed: B. straminea, Physa marmorata, Lymnea sp., Melanoides tuberculatus, and Pomacea austrum. Laboratory observations showed that the B. straminea individuals were infected by C. limnaei rather than S. mansoni. Although there was no infection of B. straminea by S. mansoni, presence of B. straminea in itself merits close attention due to possible risk of human schistosomiasis by the local population. PMID:16097724

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Repurposing pharma assets: an accelerated mechanism for strengthening the schistosomiasis drug development pipeline.

    PubMed

    Ramamoorthi, Roopa; Graef, Katy M; Dent, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Schistosomiasis, one of 17 diseases deemed to be neglected by the World Health Organization, has received little attention from the biopharmaceutical industry. Due to this, only a handful of drugs have been developed to treat schistosomiasis, with only one, praziquantel, used in most endemic regions. Growing concern over resistance coupled with praziquantel's incomplete efficacy across all stages of the Schistosoma platyhelminth life cycle highlights the urgent need for new drugs. The WIPO Re:Search consortium is a platform whereupon biopharmaceutical company compounds are being repurposed to efficiently and cost-effectively develop new drugs for neglected diseases such as schistosomiasis. This article summarizes recent clinical-stage efforts to identify new antischistosomals and highlights biopharmaceutical company compounds with potential for repurposing to treat schistosomiasis. PMID:25996066

  8. Intronic hammerhead ribozymes are ultraconserved in the human genome.

    PubMed

    de la Peña, Marcos; García-Robles, Inmaculada

    2010-09-01

    Small ribozymes have been regarded as living fossils of a prebiotic RNA world that would have remained in the genomes of modern organisms. In this study, we report the ultraconserved occurrence of hammerhead ribozymes in Amniota genomes (reptiles, birds and mammals, including humans), similar to those described previously in amphibians and platyhelminth parasites. The ribozymes mapped to intronic regions of different genes, such as the tumour suppressor RECK in birds and mammals, a mammalian tumour antigen and the dystrobrevin beta in lizards and birds. In vitro characterization confirmed a high self-cleavage activity, whereas analysis of RECK-expressed sequence tags revealed fusion events between the in vivo self-cleaved intron and U5 or U6 small nuclear RNA fragments. Together, these results suggest a conserved role for these ribozymes in messenger RNA biogenesis. PMID:20651741

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Pharmacology of FMRFamide-related peptides in helminths.

    PubMed

    Geary, T G; Marks, N J; Maule, A G; Bowman, J W; Alexander-Bowman, S J; Day, T A; Larsen, M J; Kubiak, T M; Davis, J P; Thompson, D P

    1999-01-01

    Nervous systems of helminths are highly peptidergic. Species in the phylum Nematoda (roundworms) possess at least 50 FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs), with more yet to be identified. To date, few non-FaRP neuropeptides have been identified in these organisms, though evidence suggests that other families are present. FaRPergic systems have important functions in nematode neuromuscular control. In contrast, species in the phylum Platyhelminthes (flatworms) apparently utilize fewer FaRPs than do nematodes; those species examined possess one or two FaRPs. Other neuropeptides, such as neuropeptide F (NPF), play key roles in flatworm physiology. Although progress has been made in the characterization of FaRP pharmacology in helminths, much remains to be learned. Most studies on nematodes have been done with Ascaris suum because of its large size. However, thanks to the Caenorhabditis elegans genome project, we know most about the FaRP complement of this free-living animal. That essentially all C. elegans FaRPs are active on at least one A. suum neuromuscular system argues for conservation of ligand-receptor recognition features among the Nematoda. Structure-activity studies on nematode FaRPs have revealed that structure-activity relationship (SAR) "rules" differ considerably among the FaRPs. Second messenger studies, along with experiments on ionic dependence and anatomical requirements for activity, reveal that FaRPs act through many different mechanisms. Platyhelminth FaRPs are myoexcitatory, and no evidence exists of multiple FaRP receptors in flatworms. Interestingly, there are examples of cross-phylum activity, with some nematode FaRPs being active on flatworm muscle. The extent to which other invertebrate FaRPs show cross-phylum activity remains to be determined. How FaRPergic nerves contribute to the control of behavior in helminths, and are integrated with non-neuropeptidergic systems, also remains to be elucidated. PMID:10676450

  15. 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

  16. Venus kinase receptors: prospects in signaling and biological functions of these invertebrate kinases.

    PubMed

    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

  17. Design of a flexible component gathering algorithm for converting cell-based models to graph representations for use in evolutionary search

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The ability of science to produce experimental data has outpaced the ability to effectively visualize and integrate the data into a conceptual framework that can further higher order understanding. Multidimensional and shape-based observational data of regenerative biology presents a particularly daunting challenge in this regard. Large amounts of data are available in regenerative biology, but little progress has been made in understanding how organisms such as planaria robustly achieve and maintain body form. An example of this kind of data can be found in a new repository (PlanformDB) that encodes descriptions of planaria experiments and morphological outcomes using a graph formalism. Results We are developing a model discovery framework that uses a cell-based modeling platform combined with evolutionary search to automatically search for and identify plausible mechanisms for the biological behavior described in PlanformDB. To automate the evolutionary search we developed a way to compare the output of the modeling platform to the morphological descriptions stored in PlanformDB. We used a flexible connected component algorithm to create a graph representation of the virtual worm from the robust, cell-based simulation data. These graphs can then be validated and compared with target data from PlanformDB using the well-known graph-edit distance calculation, which provides a quantitative metric of similarity between graphs. The graph edit distance calculation was integrated into a fitness function that was able to guide automated searches for unbiased models of planarian regeneration. We present a cell-based model of planarian that can regenerate anatomical regions following bisection of the organism, and show that the automated model discovery framework is capable of searching for and finding models of planarian regeneration that match experimental data stored in PlanformDB. Conclusion The work presented here, including our algorithm for converting cell-based models into graphs for comparison with data stored in an external data repository, has made feasible the automated development, training, and validation of computational models using morphology-based data. This work is part of an ongoing project to automate the search process, which will greatly expand our ability to identify, consider, and test biological mechanisms in the field of regenerative biology. PMID:24917489

  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. The genetic control of eye development and its implications for the evolution of the various eye-types.

    PubMed

    Gehring, Walter J

    2002-01-01

    Mutations in the Pax 6 homologs of mammals and insects prevent eye development and targeted expression of both mammal and insect Pax 6 homologs is capable of inducing functional ectopic eyes. Supported by RNA interference experiments in planarians and nemerteans, these findings indicate that Pax 6 is a universal master control gene for eye morphogenesis. Since all metazoan eyes use rhodopsin as a photoreceptor molecule and the same master control gene for eye development, we postulate a monophyletic origin of the various eye types. The finding of well developed eyes in jellyfish which essentially lack a brain, leads us to propose that the eye as a sensory organ evolved before the brain which is an information processing organ. The finding of highly developed eyes with a lens, vitreous body, stacked membranes like a retina and shielding pigment in unicellular dinoflagellates, raises the possibility that the prototypic eyes might have been acquired from symbionts. PMID:11902689

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Stereochemistry and neuropharmacology of a ‘bath salt’ cathinone: S-enantiomer of mephedrone reduces cocaine-induced reward and withdrawal in invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. β-lactamase inhibitors display anti-seizure properties in an invertebrate assay.

    PubMed

    Rawls, S M; Karaca, F; Madhani, I; Bhojani, V; Martinez, R L; Abou-Gharbia, M; Raffa, R B

    2010-09-15

    Antibiotics containing a beta-lactam ring (e.g. ceftriaxone) display anti-glutamate effects that underlie their efficacy in animal models of central nervous system (CNS) diseases [Rothstein JD, Patel S, Regan MR, Haenggeli C, Huang YH, Bergles DE, Jin L, Dykes Hoberg M, Vidensky S, Chung DS, Toan SV, Bruijn LI, Su ZZ, Gupta P, Fisher PB (2005) Nature 433:73-77]. We hypothesized that the structurally related beta-lactamase inhibitors (clavulanic acid, tazobactam)--which also contain a beta-lactam ring--will mimic ceftriaxone efficacy in an invertebrate (planarian) assay designed to screen for anti-seizure activity [Rawls SM, Thomas T, Adeola M, Patil T, Raymondi N, Poles A, Loo M, Raffa RB (2009) Pharmacol Biochem Behav 93:363-367]. 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-beta-lactam antibiotic vancomyocin. The present findings indicate beta-lactamase inhibitors display efficacy, and mimic ceftriaxone activity, in an invertebrate anti-seizure screen. These results suggest beta-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

  12. What Role Do Annelid Neoblasts Play? A Comparison of the Regeneration Patterns in a Neoblast-Bearing and a Neoblast-Lacking Enchytraeid Oligochaete

    PubMed Central

    Myohara, Maroko

    2012-01-01

    The term ‘neoblast’ was originally coined for a particular type of cell that had been observed during annelid regeneration, but is now used to describe the pluripotent/totipotent stem cells that are indispensable for planarian regeneration. Despite having the same name, however, planarian and annelid neoblasts are morphologically and functionally distinct, and many annelid species that lack neoblasts can nonetheless substantially regenerate. To further elucidate the functions of the annelid neoblasts, a comparison was made between the regeneration patterns of two enchytraeid oligochaetes, Enchytraeus japonensis and Enchytraeus buchholzi, which possess and lack neoblasts, respectively. In E. japonensis, which can reproduce asexually by fragmentation and subsequent regeneration, neoblasts are present in all segments except for the eight anterior-most segments including the seven head-specific segments, and all body fragments containing neoblasts can regenerate a complete head and a complete tail, irrespective of the region of the body from which they were originally derived. In E. japonensis, therefore, no antero-posterior gradient of regeneration ability exists in the trunk region. However, when amputation was carried out within the head region, where neoblasts are absent, the number of regenerated segments was found to be dependent on the level of amputation along the body axis. In E. buchholzi, which reproduces only sexually and lacks neoblasts in all segments, complete heads were never regenerated and incomplete (hypomeric) heads could be regenerated only from the anterior region of the body. Such an antero-posterior gradient of regeneration ability was observed for both the anterior and posterior regeneration in the whole body of E. buchholzi. These results indicate that the presence of neoblasts correlates with the absence of an antero-posterior gradient of regeneration ability along the body axis, and suggest that the annelid neoblasts are more essential for efficient asexual reproduction than for the regeneration of missing body parts. PMID:22615975

  13. Opposing roles of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in neuronal control of regenerative patterning

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Dan; Chan, John D.; Nogi, Taisaku; Marchant, Jonathan S.

    2011-01-01

    There is intense interest in developing methods to regulate proliferation and differentiation of stem cells into neuronal fates for the purposes of regenerative medicine. One way to do this is through in vivo pharmacological engineering using small molecules. However, a key challenge is identification of relevant signaling pathways and therein drugable targets to manipulate stem cell behaviour efficiently in vivo. Here, we use the planarian flatworm as a simple chemical-genetic screening model for nervous system regeneration to show that the isoquinoline drug praziquantel (PZQ) acts as a small molecule neurogenic to produce two-headed animals with integrated central nervous systems following regeneration. Characterization of the entire family of planarian voltage-operated Ca2+ channel alpha subunits (Cavα), followed by in vivo RNAi of specific Cav subunits revealed that PZQ subverted regeneration by activation of a specific voltage-gated Ca2+ channel isoform (Ca 1A). PZQ-evoked Ca2+ v entry via Cav1A served to inhibit neuronally-derived Hedgehog signals, as evidenced by data showing that RNAi of Cav1A prevented PZQ-evoked bipolarity, Ca2+ entry and decreases in wnt1 and wnt11-5 levels. Surprisingly the action of PZQ was opposed by Ca2+ influx through a closely related neuronal Cav isoform (Cav1B), establishing a novel interplay between specific Cav1 channel isoforms, Ca2+ entry and neuronal Hedgehog signaling. These data map PZQ efficacy to specific neuronal Cav complexes in vivo and underscore that both activators (Cav1A) and inhibitors of Ca2+ influx (Cav1B) can act as small molecule neurogenics in vivo on account of the unique coupling of Ca2+ channels to neuronally-derived polarity cues. PMID:22049441

  14. [Dopaminergic neuroprotection and reconstruction of neural network tiara].

    PubMed

    Kitamura, Yoshihisa

    2010-10-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder in whose brain massive loss of dopaminergic neurons and formation of Lewy bodies occur in the substantia nigra (SN). L-Dihydroxyphenylamine (L-DOPA) substitution is still considered the gold standard of antiparkinsonian drug therapy. However, there has been little information available on neuroprotective and regenerative therapies. Recently, we have found that pramipexole and talipexole (D(2)/D(3)-dopaminergic agonists) inhibit dopaminergic neurotoxin-induced production of reactive oxygen species and apoptotic cell death. In addition, treatment with these drugs induces enhancement of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression and inhibition of α-synuclein aggregation. Interestingly, recent study suggests that pramipexole treatment delays the progression of early PD symptom. On the other hand, we investigated the transplantation strategy for PD by assessing whether double-transplants of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived neurons in the striatum (ST) and SN, or subthalamic nucleus (STN), induce functional recovery in rat hemi-parkinsonian model. The study indicates that both the involvement of ST as a place of transplantation and the number of ES cell-derived neurons are essential factors for efficacy on PD animal model. Interestingly, an invertebrate planarian can regenerate complete organs, including a well-organized central nervous system (brain), within about 7 days. The regeneration process of the planarian dopaminergic neural network (tiara) may be divided into five steps: 1) anterior blastema formation, 2) brain rudiment formation, 3) brain pattern formation, 4) the formation of dopaminergic tiara, and 5) functional recovery of dopaminergic motor regulation, with several kinds of genes and molecular cascades acting at each step. PMID:20930477

  15. The TALE class homeobox gene Smed-prep defines the anterior compartment for head regeneration.

    PubMed

    Felix, Daniel A; Aboobaker, A Aziz

    2010-04-01

    Planaria continue to blossom as a model system for understanding all aspects of regeneration. They provide an opportunity to understand how the replacement of missing tissues from preexisting adult tissue is orchestrated at the molecular level. When amputated along any plane, planaria are capable of regenerating all missing tissue and rescaling all structures to the new size of the animal. Recently, rapid progress has been made in understanding the developmental pathways that control planarian regeneration. In particular Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is central in promoting posterior fates and inhibiting anterior identity. Currently the mechanisms that actively promote anterior identity remain unknown. Here, Smed-prep, encoding a TALE class homeodomain, is described as the first gene necessary for correct anterior fate and patterning during planarian regeneration. Smed-prep is expressed at high levels in the anterior portion of whole animals, and Smed-prep(RNAi) leads to loss of the whole brain during anterior regeneration, but not during lateral regeneration or homeostasis in intact worms. Expression of markers of different anterior fated cells are greatly reduced or lost in Smed-prep(RNAi) animals. We find that the ectopic anterior structures induced by abrogation of Wnt signaling also require Smed-prep to form. We use double knockdown experiments with the S. mediterranea ortholog of nou-darake (that when knocked down induces ectopic brain formation) to show that Smed-prep defines an anterior fated compartment within which stem cells are permitted to assume brain fate, but is not required directly for this differentiation process. Smed-prep is the first gene clearly implicated as being necessary for promoting anterior fate and the first homeobox gene implicated in establishing positional identity during regeneration. Together our results suggest that Smed-prep is required in stem cell progeny as they form the anterior regenerative blastema and is required for specifying anterior cell fates and correct patterning. PMID:20422023

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. tRNA Modification and Genetic Code Variations in Animal Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Kimitsuna; Yokobori, Shin-ichi

    2011-01-01

    In animal mitochondria, six codons have been known as nonuniversal genetic codes, which vary in the course of animal evolution. They are UGA (termination codon in the universal genetic code changes to Trp codon in all animal mitochondria), AUA (Ile to Met in most metazoan mitochondria), AAA (Lys to Asn in echinoderm and some platyhelminth mitochondria), AGA/AGG (Arg to Ser in most invertebrate, Arg to Gly in tunicate, and Arg to termination in vertebrate mitochondria), and UAA (termination to Tyr in a planaria and a nematode mitochondria, but conclusive evidence is lacking in this case). We have elucidated that the anticodons of tRNAs deciphering these nonuniversal codons (tRNATrp for UGA, tRNAMet for AUA, tRNAAsn for AAA, and tRNASer and tRNAGly for AGA/AGG) are all modified; tRNATrp has 5-carboxymethylaminomethyluridine or 5-taurinomethyluridine, tRNAMet has 5-formylcytidine or 5-taurinomethyluridine, tRNASer has 7-methylguanosine and tRNAGly has 5-taurinomethyluridine in their anticodon wobble position, and tRNAAsn has pseudouridine in the anticodon second position. This review aims to clarify the structural relationship between these nonuniversal codons and the corresponding tRNA anticodons including modified nucleosides and to speculate on the possible mechanisms for explaining the evolutional changes of these nonuniversal codons in the course of animal evolution. PMID:22007289

  2. Comparative analyses of the neuropeptide F (NPF)- and FMRFamide-related peptide (FaRP)-immunoreactivities in Fasciola hepatica and Schistosoma spp.

    PubMed

    Marks, N J; Halton, D W; Maule, A G; Brennan, G P; Shaw, C; Southgate, V R; Johnston, C F

    1995-05-01

    Immunochemical techniques were used to determine the distribution, chemical characteristics and relative abundance of immunoreactivity (IR) to two native platyhelminth neuropeptides, neuropeptide F (NPF) (Moniezia expansa) and the FMRFamide-related peptide (FaRP), GNFFRFamide, in the trematodes, Fasciola hepatica and Schistosoma mansoni; the larger S. margrebowiei was used in the chemical analysis. Extensive immunostaining for the two peptides was demonstrated throughout the nervous systems of both F. hepatica and S. mansoni, with strong IR also in the innervation of muscular structures, including those associated with the egg-forming apparatus. The patterns of immunostaining were similar to those previously described for the vertebrate neuropeptide Y superfamily of peptides and for FMRFamide. Ultrastructurally, gold labelling of NPF- and GNFFRFamide-IRs was localized exclusively to the contents of secretory vesicles in the axons and somatic cytoplasm of neurones. Double-labelling experiments showed an apparent homogeneity of antigenic sites, in all probability due to the demonstrated cross-reactivity of the FaRP antiserum with NPF. Radioimmunoassay of acid-ethanol extracts of the worms detected 8.3 pmol/g and 4.7 pmol/g equivalents of NPF- and FMRFamide-IRs, respectively, for F. hepatica, and corresponding values of 4.9 pmol/g and 4.3 pmol/g equivalents for S. margrebowiei. Gel-permeation chromatography resolved IR to both peptides in discrete peaks and these eluted in similar positions to synthetic NPF (M. expansa) and GNFFRFamide, respectively. PMID:7753578

  3. Quo vadis venomics? A roadmap to neglected venomous invertebrates.

    PubMed

    von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Campbell, Lahcen I; Jenner, Ronald A

    2014-01-01

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms. PMID:25533518

  4. Intracellular Immunohistochemical Detection of Tetrodotoxin in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda) and Stylochoplana sp. (Turbellaria)

    PubMed Central

    Salvitti, Lauren R.; Wood, Susanna A.; Winsor, Leigh; Cary, Stephen Craig

    2015-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX), is a potent neurotoxin targeting sodium channels that has been identified in multiple marine and terrestrial organisms. It was recently detected in the Opisthobranch Pleurobranchaea maculata and a Platyhelminthes Stylochoplana sp. from New Zealand. Knowledge on the distribution of TTX within these organisms is important to assist in elucidating the origin and ecological role of this toxin. Intracellular micro-distribution of TTX was investigated using a monoclonal antibody-based immunoenzymatic technique. Tetrodotoxin was strongly localized in neutral mucin cells and the basement membrane of the mantle, the oocytes and follicles of the gonad tissue, and in the digestive tissue of P. maculata. The ova and pharynx were the only two structures to contain TTX in Stylochoplana sp. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, TTX was identified in the larvae and eggs, but not the gelatinous egg cases of P. maculata. Tetrodotoxin was present in egg masses of Stylochoplana sp. These data suggest that TTX has a defensive function in adult P. maculata, who then invest this in their progeny for protection. Localization in the digestive tissue of P. maculata potentially indicates a dietary source of TTX. Stylochoplana sp. may use TTX in prey capture and for the protection of offspring. PMID:25636158

  5. Drivers of parasite sharing among Neotropical freshwater fishes.

    PubMed

    Braga, Mariana P; Razzolini, Emanuel; Boeger, Walter A

    2015-03-01

    Because host-parasite interactions are so ubiquitous, it is of primary interest for ecologists to understand the factors that generate, maintain and constrain these associations. Phylogenetic comparative studies have found abundant evidence for host-switching to relatively unrelated hosts, sometimes related to diversification events, in a variety of host-parasite systems. For Monogenoidea (Platyhelminthes) parasites, it has been suggested that the co-speciation model alone cannot explain host occurrences, hence host-switching and/or non-vicariant modes of speciation should be associated with the origins and diversification of several monogenoid taxa. The factors that shape broad patterns of parasite sharing were investigated using path analysis as a way to generate hypotheses about the origins of host-parasite interactions between monogenoid gill parasites and Neotropical freshwater fishes. Parasite sharing was assessed from an interaction matrix, and explanatory variables included phylogenetic relationships, environmental preferences, biological traits and geographic distribution for each host species. Although geographic distribution of hosts and host ecology are important factors to understand host-parasite interactions, especially within host lineages that share a relatively recent evolutionary history, phylogeny had the strongest overall direct effect on parasite sharing. Phylogenetic contiguity of host communities may allow a 'stepping-stone' mode of host-switching, which increases parasite sharing. Our results reinforce the importance of including evolutionary history in the study of ecological associations, including emerging infectious diseases risk assessment. PMID:25283218

  6. 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

  7. WormBase 2016: expanding to enable helminth genomic research.

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. The Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance (GIGA): Developing Community Resources to Study Diverse Invertebrate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Over 95% of all metazoan (animal) species comprise the “invertebrates,” but very few genomes from these organisms have been sequenced. We have, therefore, formed a “Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance” (GIGA). Our intent is to build a collaborative network of diverse scientists to tackle major challenges (e.g., species selection, sample collection and storage, sequence assembly, annotation, analytical tools) associated with genome/transcriptome sequencing across a large taxonomic spectrum. We aim to promote standards that will facilitate comparative approaches to invertebrate genomics and collaborations across the international scientific community. Candidate study taxa include species from Porifera, Ctenophora, Cnidaria, Placozoa, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, Annelida, Bryozoa, and Platyhelminthes, among others. GIGA will target 7000 noninsect/nonnematode species, with an emphasis on marine taxa because of the unrivaled phyletic diversity in the oceans. Priorities for selecting invertebrates for sequencing will include, but are not restricted to, their phylogenetic placement; relevance to organismal, ecological, and conservation research; and their importance to fisheries and human health. We highlight benefits of sequencing both whole genomes (DNA) and transcriptomes and also suggest policies for genomic-level data access and sharing based on transparency and inclusiveness. The GIGA Web site (http://giga.nova.edu) has been launched to facilitate this collaborative venture. PMID:24336862

  10. 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

  11. Structural analysis of poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase in higher and lower eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Scovassi, A I; Izzo, R; Franchi, E; Bertazzoni, U

    1986-08-15

    A phylogenetic survey for the poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase has been conducted by analyzing enzyme activity in various organisms and determining the structure of the catalytic peptides by renaturation of functional activities of the enzyme in situ after electrophoresis in denaturing conditions (activity gel). The enzyme is widely distributed in cells from all different classes of vertebrates, from arthropods, mollusks and plant cells but could not be detected in echinoderms, nematodes, platyhelminths, thallophytes (including yeast) and bacteria. The presence on activity gels of a catalytic peptide with Mr = 115,000-120,000 was demonstrated in vertebrates, arthropods and mollusks but no activity bands were recovered in many lower eukaryotes, in plant cells and bacteria. By using an immunological procedure that used an antiserum against homogeneous calf thymus poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, common immunoreactive peptides were visualized in mammals, avians, reptiles, amphibians and fishes, while lacking in non-vertebrate organisms. Our results indicate that the structure of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase is conserved down to the mollusks suggesting its important role for DNA metabolism of multicellular organisms. PMID:3091369

  12. Evolutionarily Ancient Association of the FoxJ1 Transcription Factor with the Motile Ciliogenic Program

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Hao Kee; Babu, Deepak; Eitel, Michael; Narasimhan, Vijayashankaranarayanan; Tiku, Varnesh; Westbrook, Jody; Schierwater, Bernd; Roy, Sudipto

    2012-01-01

    It is generally believed that the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) was a unicellular organism with motile cilia. In the vertebrates, the winged-helix transcription factor FoxJ1 functions as the master regulator of motile cilia biogenesis. Despite the antiquity of cilia, their highly conserved structure, and their mechanism of motility, the evolution of the transcriptional program controlling ciliogenesis has remained incompletely understood. In particular, it is presently not known how the generation of motile cilia is programmed outside of the vertebrates, and whether and to what extent the FoxJ1-dependent regulation is conserved. We have performed a survey of numerous eukaryotic genomes and discovered that genes homologous to foxJ1 are restricted only to organisms belonging to the unikont lineage. Using a mis-expression assay, we then obtained evidence of a conserved ability of FoxJ1 proteins from a number of diverse phyletic groups to activate the expression of a host of motile ciliary genes in zebrafish embryos. Conversely, we found that inactivation of a foxJ1 gene in Schmidtea mediterranea, a platyhelminth (flatworm) that utilizes motile cilia for locomotion, led to a profound disruption in the differentiation of motile cilia. Together, all of these findings provide the first evolutionary perspective into the transcriptional control of motile ciliogenesis and allow us to propose a conserved FoxJ1-regulated mechanism for motile cilia biogenesis back to the origin of the metazoans. PMID:23144623

  13. Quo Vadis Venomics? A Roadmap to Neglected Venomous Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    von Reumont, Bjoern Marcus; Campbell, Lahcen I.; Jenner, Ronald A.

    2014-01-01

    Venomics research is being revolutionized by the increased use of sensitive -omics techniques to identify venom toxins and their transcripts in both well studied and neglected venomous taxa. The study of neglected venomous taxa is necessary both for understanding the full diversity of venom systems that have evolved in the animal kingdom, and to robustly answer fundamental questions about the biology and evolution of venoms without the distorting effect that can result from the current bias introduced by some heavily studied taxa. In this review we draw the outlines of a roadmap into the diversity of poorly studied and understood venomous and putatively venomous invertebrates, which together represent tens of thousands of unique venoms. The main groups we discuss are crustaceans, flies, centipedes, non-spider and non-scorpion arachnids, annelids, molluscs, platyhelminths, nemerteans, and echinoderms. We review what is known about the morphology of the venom systems in these groups, the composition of their venoms, and the bioactivities of the venoms to provide researchers with an entry into a large and scattered literature. We conclude with a short discussion of some important methodological aspects that have come to light with the recent use of new -omics techniques in the study of venoms. PMID:25533518

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Improvement of molecular phylogenetic inference and the phylogeny of Bilateria.

    PubMed

    Lartillot, Nicolas; Philippe, Hervé

    2008-04-27

    Inferring the relationships among Bilateria has been an active and controversial research area since Haeckel. The lack of a sufficient number of phylogenetically reliable characters was the main limitation of traditional phylogenies based on morphology. With the advent of molecular data, this problem has been replaced by another one, statistical inconsistency, which stems from an erroneous interpretation of convergences induced by multiple changes. The analysis of alignments rich in both genes and species, combined with a probabilistic method (maximum likelihood or Bayesian) using sophisticated models of sequence evolution, should alleviate these two major limitations. We applied this approach to a dataset of 94 genes and 79 species using CAT, a previously developed model accounting for site-specific amino acid replacement patterns. The resulting tree is in good agreement with current knowledge: the monophyly of most major groups (e.g. Chordata, Arthropoda, Lophotrochozoa, Ecdysozoa, Protostomia) was recovered with high support. Two results are surprising and are discussed in an evo-devo framework: the sister-group relationship of Platyhelminthes and Annelida to the exclusion of Mollusca, contradicting the Neotrochozoa hypothesis, and, with a lower statistical support, the paraphyly of Deuterostomia. These results, in particular the status of deuterostomes, need further confirmation, both through increased taxonomic sampling, and future improvements of probabilistic models. PMID:18192187

  17. Kicking in the Guts: Schistosoma mansoni Digestive Tract Proteins are Potential Candidates for Vaccine Development

    PubMed Central

    Figueiredo, Barbara Castro-Pimentel; Ricci, Natasha Delaqua; de Assis, Natan Raimundo Gonçalves; de Morais, Suellen Batistoni; Fonseca, Cristina Toscano; Oliveira, Sergio Costa

    2015-01-01

    Schistosomiasis is a debilitating disease that represents a major health problem in at least 74 tropical and subtropical countries. Current disease control strategies consist mainly of chemotherapy, which cannot prevent recurrent re-infection of people living in endemic area. In the last decades, many researchers made a remarkable effort in the search for an effective vaccine to provide long-term protection. Parasitic platyhelminthes of Schistosoma genus, which cause the disease, live in the blood vessels of definitive hosts where they are bathed in host blood for many years. Among the most promising molecules as vaccine candidates are the proteins present in the host–parasite interface, so numerous tegument antigens have been assessed and the achieved protection never got even close to 100%. Besides the tegument, the digestive tract is the other major site of host–parasite interface. Since parasites feed on blood, they need to swallow a considerable amount of blood for nutrient acquisition. Host blood ingested by schistosomes passes through the esophagus and reaches the gut where many peptidases catalyze the proteolysis of blood cells. Recent studies show the emergence of antigens related to the parasite blood feeding, such as esophageal gland proteins, proteases, and other proteins related to nutrient uptake. Herein, we review what is known about Schistosoma mansoni digestive tract proteins, emphasizing the ones described as potential vaccine candidates. PMID:25674091

  18. New Perspectives on Host-Parasite Interplay by Comparative Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses of Schistosoma japonicum

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Sheng-Yue; Cui, Shu-Jian; Chi, Ming; Yan, Qing; Wang, Xin-Rong; Song, Huai-Dong; Xu, Xue-Nian; Wang, Ju-Jun; Zhang, Xiang-Lin; Zhang, Xin; Wang, Zhi-Qin; Xue, Chun-Liang; Brindley, Paul J; McManus, Donald P; Yang, Peng-Yuan; Feng, Zheng; Chen, Zhu; Han, Ze-Guang

    2006-01-01

    Schistosomiasis remains a serious public health problem with an estimated 200 million people infected in 76 countries. Here we isolated ~ 8,400 potential protein-encoding cDNA contigs from Schistosoma japonicum after sequencing circa 84,000 expressed sequence tags. In tandem, we undertook a high-throughput proteomics approach to characterize the protein expression profiles of a number of developmental stages (cercariae, hepatic schistosomula, female and male adults, eggs, and miracidia) and tissues at the host-parasite interface (eggshell and tegument) by interrogating the protein database deduced from the contigs. Comparative analysis of these transcriptomic and proteomic data, the latter including 3,260 proteins with putative identities, revealed differential expression of genes among the various developmental stages and sexes of S. japonicum and localization of putative secretory and membrane antigens, enzymes, and other gene products on the adult tegument and eggshell, many of which displayed genetic polymorphisms. Numerous S. japonicum genes exhibited high levels of identity with those of their mammalian hosts, whereas many others appeared to be conserved only across the genus Schistosoma or Phylum Platyhelminthes. These findings are expected to provide new insights into the pathophysiology of schistosomiasis and for the development of improved interventions for disease control and will facilitate a more fundamental understanding of schistosome biology, evolution, and the host-parasite interplay. PMID:16617374

  19. Seaweed extracts as a natural control against the monogenean ectoparasite, Neobenedenia sp., infecting farmed barramundi (Lates calcarifer).

    PubMed

    Hutson, Kate S; Mata, Leonardo; Paul, Nicholas A; de Nys, Rocky

    2012-12-01

    Aqueous extracts from common tropical seaweeds were evaluated for their effect on the life cycle of the commercially important ectoparasite, Neobenedenia sp. (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea), through the survival of attached adult parasites, period of embryonic development, hatching success and oncomiracidia (larvae) infection success. There was no significant effect of any extract on the survival of adult parasites attached to fish hosts or infection success by oncomiracidia. However, the extracts of two seaweeds, Ulva sp. and Asparagopsis taxiformis, delayed embryonic development and inhibited egg hatching. The extract of A. taxiformis was most effective, inhibiting embryonic development of Neobenedenia sp. and reducing hatching success to 3% compared with 99% for the seawater control. Furthermore, of the 3% of eggs that hatched, time to first and last hatch was delayed (days 14 and 18) compared with the seawater control (days 5 and 7). Asparagopsis taxiformis shows the most potential for development as a natural treatment to manage monogenean infections in intensive aquaculture with the greatest impact at the embryo stage. PMID:23068914

  20. 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

  1. The interrelationships of metazoan parasites: a review of phylum-and higher-level hypotheses from recent morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses.

    PubMed

    Zrzavý, J

    2001-01-01

    Phylogeny of seven groups of metazoan parasitic groups is reviewed, based on both morphological and molecular data. The Myxozoa (=Malacosporea + Myxosporea) are most probably related to the egg-parasitic cnidarian Polypodium (Hydrozoa?: Polypodiozoa); the other phylogenetic hypotheses are discussed and the possible non-monophyly of the Cnidaria (with the Polypodiozoa-Myxozoa clade closest to the Triploblastica) is suggested. The Mesozoa is a monophyletic group, possibly closely related to the (monophyletic) Acoelomorpha; whether the Acoelomorpha and Mesozoa represent the basalmost triploblast clade(s) or a derived platyhelminth subclade may depend on rooting the tree of the Triploblastica. Position of the monophyletic Neodermata (=Trematoda + Cercomeromorpha) within the rhabditophoran flatworms is discussed, with two major alternative hypotheses about the neodermatan sister-group relationships (viz., the "neoophoran" and "revertospermatan"). The Myzostomida are not annelids but belong among the Platyzoa, possibly to the clade of animals with anterior sperm flagella (=Prosomastigozoa). The Acanthocephala represent derived syndermates ("rotifers"), possibly related to Seison (the name Pararotatoria comb. n. is proposed for Seisonida + Acanthocephala). The crustacean origin of the Pentastomida based on spermatological and molecular evidence (Pentastomida + Branchiura = Ichthyostraca) is confronted with palaeontological views favouring the pre-arthropod derivation of the pentastomids. Phylogenetic position of the nematodes within the Ecdysozoa and evolution of nematode parasitism are discussed, and the lack of relevant information about the enigmatic ectoproctan parasite Buddenbrockia is emphasised. PMID:11437135

  2. Phylogeny and mitochondrial gene order variation in Lophotrochozoa in the light of new mitogenomic data from Nemertea

    PubMed Central

    Podsiadlowski, Lars; Braband, Anke; Struck, Torsten H; von Döhren, Jörn; Bartolomaeus, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Background The new animal phylogeny established several taxa which were not identified by morphological analyses, most prominently the Ecdysozoa (arthropods, roundworms, priapulids and others) and Lophotrochozoa (molluscs, annelids, brachiopods and others). Lophotrochozoan interrelationships are under discussion, e.g. regarding the position of Nemertea (ribbon worms), which were discussed to be sister group to e.g. Mollusca, Brachiozoa or Platyhelminthes. Mitochondrial genomes contributed well with sequence data and gene order characters to the deep metazoan phylogeny debate. Results In this study we present the first complete mitochondrial genome record for a member of the Nemertea, Lineus viridis. Except two trnP and trnT, all genes are located on the same strand. While gene order is most similar to that of the brachiopod Terebratulina retusa, sequence based analyses of mitochondrial genes place nemerteans close to molluscs, phoronids and entoprocts without clear preference for one of these taxa as sister group. Conclusion Almost all recent analyses with large datasets show good support for a taxon comprising Annelida, Mollusca, Brachiopoda, Phoronida and Nemertea. But the relationships among these taxa vary between different studies. The analysis of gene order differences gives evidence for a multiple independent occurrence of a large inversion in the mitochondrial genome of Lophotrochozoa and a re-inversion of the same part in gastropods. We hypothesize that some regions of the genome have a higher chance for intramolecular recombination than others and gene order data have to be analysed carefully to detect convergent rearrangement events. PMID:19660126

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. ClonorESTdb: a comprehensive database for Clonorchis sinensis EST sequences

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Clonorchiasis, which is primarily caused by liver fluke (Platyhelminthes), is a fatal infectious disease that is mainly associated with bile duct malignancy and the subsequent development of cholangiocarcinoma. Thus, a genomic approach now represents an important step to further our knowledge of biology and the pathology of these parasites. The results of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) sequencing need to be well organized into databases to provide an integrated set of tools and functional information. Findings Here, the ClonorESTdb database represents a collection of Clonorchis sinensis ESTs that is intended as a resource for parasite functional genomics. A total of 55,736 successful EST sequences, which are cleaned and clustered into non-redundant 13,305 C. sinensis assembled EST sequences (6,497 clusters and 6,808 singletons), were obtained from three in-house prepared cDNA libraries of C. sinensis at different developmental stages. The assembled consensus sequences were annotated using the BLAST algorithm or/and hmm against NCBI NR, UniProt, KEGG and InterProScan. The ClonorESTdb database provides functional annotation, their expression profiles, tandem repeats and putative single nucleotide polymorphisms with utility tools such as local BLAST search and text retrieval. Conclusions This resource enables the researcher to identify and compare expression signatures under different biological stages and promotes ongoing parasite drug and vaccine development and biological research. Database URL: http://pathod.cdc.go.kr/clonorestdb/ PMID:24957044

  7. Mixed Infections and Hybridisation in Monogenean Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Schelkle, Bettina; Faria, Patricia J.; Johnson, Mireille B.; van Oosterhout, Cock; Cable, Joanne

    2012-01-01

    Theory predicts that sexual reproduction promotes disease invasion by increasing the evolutionary potential of the parasite, whereas asexual reproduction tends to enhance establishment success and population growth rate. Gyrodactylid monogeneans are ubiquitous ectoparasites of teleost fish, and the evolutionary success of the specious Gyrodactylus genus is thought to be partly due to their use of various modes of reproduction. Gyrodactylus turnbulli is a natural parasite of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a small, tropical fish used as a model for behavioural, ecological and evolutionary studies. Using experimental infections and a recently developed microsatellite marker, we conclusively show that monogenean parasites reproduce sexually. Conservatively, we estimate that sexual recombination occurs and that between 3.7–10.9% of the parasites in our experimental crosses are hybrid genotypes with ancestors from different laboratory strains of G. turnbulli. We also provide evidence of hybrid vigour and/or inter-strain competition, which appeared to lead to a higher maximum parasite load in mixed infections. Finally, we demonstrate inbreeding avoidance for the first time in platyhelminths which may influence the distribution of parasites within a host and their subsequent exposure to the host's localized immune response. Combined reproductive modes and inbreeding avoidance may explain the extreme evolutionary diversification success of parasites such as Gyrodactylus, where host-parasite coevolution is punctuated by relatively frequent host switching. PMID:22808040

  8. Lessons from parasitic flatworms about evolution and historical biogeography of their vertebrate hosts.

    PubMed

    Verneau, Olivier; Du Preez, Louis; Badets, Mathieu

    2009-01-01

    Cophylogenetic studies investigate the evolutionary trends within host-parasite associations. Examination of the different levels of fidelity between host and parasite phylogenies provides a powerful tool to inspect patterns and processes of parasite diversification over host evolution and geological times. Within the phylum Platyhelminthes, the monogeneans are mainly fish parasites. The Polystomatidae, however, are known from the sarcopterygian Australian lungfish and tetrapods such as amphibians, freshwater turtles, and the African hippopotamus. Cophylogenetic and biogeographic vicariance analyses, supplemented by molecular calibrations, showed that the Polystomatidae may track the evolutionary history of the first aquatic tetrapods in the Palaeozoic age. Evolutionary lines of the major polystome lineages would also be intimately related to the evolution of their hosts over hundreds of millions years. Since the Mesozoic, evolution of polystomes would have been shaped mainly by plate tectonics during the break-up of Gondwanaland and subsequent dispersal of ancestral neobatrachian host lineages. Therefore the Polystomatidae could serve as a novel model to improve cophylogenetic tools and to inspect a suite of questions about the evolution of vertebrate hosts. PMID:19281948

  9. A checklist of helminth parasites of Elasmobranchii in Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Merlo-Serna, Aldo Iván; García-Prieto, Luis

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A comprehensive and updated summary of the literature and unpublished records contained in scientific collections on the helminth parasites of the elasmobranchs from Mexico is herein presented for the first time. At present, the helminth fauna associated with Elasmobranchii recorded in Mexico is composed of 132 (110 named species and 22 not assigned to species), which belong to 70 genera included in 27 families (plus 4 incertae sedis families of cestodes). These data represent 7.2% of the worldwide species richness. Platyhelminthes is the most widely represented, with 128 taxa: 94 of cestodes, 22 of monogeneans and 12 of trematodes; Nematoda and Annelida: Hirudinea are represented by only 2 taxa each. These records come from 54 localities, pertaining to 15 states; Baja California Sur (17 sampled localities) and Baja California (10), are the states with the highest species richness: 72 and 54 species, respectively. Up to now, 48 elasmobranch species have been recorded as hosts of helminths in Mexico; so, approximately 82% of sharks and 67% of rays distributed in Mexican waters lack helminthological studies. The present list provides the host, distribution (with geographical coordinates), site of infection, accession number in scientific collections, and references for the parasites. A host-parasite list is also provided. PMID:27047240

  10. Australian spiny mountain crayfish and their temnocephalan ectosymbionts: an ancient association on the edge of coextinction?

    PubMed

    Hoyal Cuthill, Jennifer F; Sewell, Kim B; Cannon, Lester R G; Charleston, Michael A; Lawler, Susan; Littlewood, D Timothy J; Olson, Peter D; Blair, David

    2016-05-25

    Australian spiny mountain crayfish (Euastacus, Parastacidae) and their ecotosymbiotic temnocephalan flatworms (Temnocephalida, Platyhelminthes) may have co-occurred and interacted through deep time, during a period of major environmental change. Therefore, reconstructing the history of their association is of evolutionary, ecological, and conservation significance. Here, time-calibrated Bayesian phylogenies of Euastacus species and their temnocephalans (Temnohaswellia and Temnosewellia) indicate near-synchronous diversifications from the Cretaceous. Statistically significant cophylogeny correlations between associated clades suggest linked evolutionary histories. However, there is a stronger signal of codivergence and greater host specificity in Temnosewellia, which co-occurs with Euastacus across its range. Phylogeography and analyses of evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) suggest that regional differences in the impact of climate warming and drying had major effects both on crayfish and associated temnocephalans. In particular, Euastacus and Temnosewellia show strong latitudinal gradients in ED and, conversely, in geographical range size, with the most distinctive, northern lineages facing the greatest risk of extinction. Therefore, environmental change has, in some cases, strengthened ecological and evolutionary associations, leaving host-specific temnocephalans vulnerable to coextinction with endangered hosts. Consequently, the extinction of all Euastacus species currently endangered (75%) predicts coextinction of approximately 60% of the studied temnocephalans, with greatest loss of the most evolutionarily distinctive lineages. PMID:27226467

  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 μm wide and 2.07 μm 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. Meiofauna in sandy back-reef platforms differently exposed to the monsoons in the Maldives (Indian Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semprucci, F.; Colantoni, P.; Sbrocca, C.; Baldelli, G.; Rocchi, M.; Balsamo, M.

    2011-09-01

    Maldives comprise some of the most characteristic and significant atoll systems, but the meiobenthic assemblages of these islands are still largely unknown. A study on meiofauna was conducted on three Maldivian sandy back-reef platforms differently exposed to stronger westerly monsoons. Clear high energy effects of the waves causing currents and erosions were observed at the completely exposed and isolated offshore reef of Thoddoo Island. Wave energy of medium intensity was confirmed at Rasdhoo by depositional structures ( finolhu), while a medium to low energy level was recorded at Gulhi on the basis of the presence of a low sandy bar. The meiofaunal assemblage counted 17 major taxa. Copepods and nematodes were dominant, followed by platyhelminthes and polychaetes. The nematode assemblage was rather rich and composed of 28 families and 84 genera. Desmodoridae were the most abundant family, followed by Draconematidae, Xyalidae, Epsilonematidae and Chromadoridae. The meiofauna resulted strongly affected by erosion effects, both in terms of abundance and richness, but we were not able to distinguish the two different sedimentation rates. Instead, the structure of the nematode community seemed to be more sensitive in distinguishing each type of hydrodynamic condition and energy level.

  13. Harnessing the Toxocara Genome to Underpin Toxocariasis Research and New Interventions.

    PubMed

    Gasser, Robin B; Korhonen, Pasi K; Zhu, Xing-Quan; Young, Neil D

    2016-01-01

    Parasitic worms, such as flatworms (platyhelminths) and roundworms (nematodes), cause substantial morbidity and mortality in animals and people globally. The ascaridoid nematode Toxocara canis is a zoonotic parasite of socioeconomic significance worldwide. In humans, this worm causes toxocariasis (disease) mainly in underprivileged communities in both the developed and developing worlds. While reasonably well studied from clinical and epidemiological perspectives, little is understood about the molecular biology of T. canis, its relationship with its hosts and the disease that it causes. However, a recent report of the draft genome and transcriptomes of T. canis should underpin many fundamental and applied research areas in the future. The present article gives a background on Toxocara and toxocariasis, a brief account of diagnostic approaches for specific identification and genetic analysis, and gives a perspective on the impact that the genome of T. canis and advanced molecular technologies could have on our understanding of the parasite and the diseases that it causes as well as the design of new and improved approaches for the diagnosis, treatment and control of toxocariasis. PMID:27015948

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Ectocommensal and ectoparasites in goldfish Carassius auratus (Linnaeus, 1758) in farmed in the State of São Paulo.

    PubMed

    Moyses, Carla Renata Serantoni; Spadacci-Morena, Diva Denelle; Xavier, José Guilherme; Antonucci, Antonio Mataresio; Lallo, Maria Anete

    2015-01-01

    Concomitant infections by several parasitic genera are rare, very debilitating and often lethal to fish reared under commercial breeding conditions. Were describe a multiple and concurrent parasite infestation in cultured goldfish Carassius auratus with skin damage (nodules and/or ulceration). Fish with skin lesions underwent necropsy, and the skin and gills were scraped and examined. Histopathological examination with Hematoxylin-Eosin and Giemsa stain, and an ultrastructure study using transmission and scanning electron microscopy were conducted. In the skin, we identified multiple-parasite infestations by Gyrodactylidae, Epistylis sp., Trichodina sp., Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, Tetrahymena sp. and Ichthyobodo necator,associated with epithelial cell hyperplasia and epidermal sloughing. Although no gross lesions were observed, were identified a large number of parasites in the gills (Epistylis sp., Piscinoodinium sp., Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, Trichodina sp., Apiosoma sp., Hexamitasp. and cysts of a trematode digenean). The observed trematodes were not identified. The associated microscopic lesions were epithelial hypertrophic and hyperplasic and exhibited fusion of secondary lamellae and epithelial cell detachment. This is the first description of a protozoan Vorticella sp. parasitizing goldfish in Brazil. Multiple ectoparasitism by protozoa and Platyhelminthes, with or without apparent tissue damage, can be fatal for goldfish raised on farms with poor management. PMID:26444060

  18. 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

  19. Marine adhesive proteins: natural composite thermosets.

    PubMed

    Waite, J H

    1990-04-01

    Marine environments are severely challenging for the performance and durability of synthetic adhesives. Factors commonly associated with adhesive failure are weak boundary layers (water, oxides), adhesive erosion and swelling. For many permanently attached marine organisms such as barnacles, mussels, oysters, etc., however, underwater adhesion is 'business-as-usual'. Knowledge about the chemistry and bioprocessing of these marine adhesives will provide profound insights for the evolution of a new generation of environmentally safe, water-resistant adhesives. Despite their apparent structural diversity, marine adhesives are essentially analogous to composite thermosets, that is, the adhesive consists of fibre, filler and catalyst molecules that are dispersed in a cross-linked resin rendering it resistant to heat and solvents. The fibres and fillers in these composites are variable. e.g. collagen, fibroin, chitin present as fibres, and sand, shell, air and water present as fillers. The precured resins of seven organisms including members of the Mollusca, Annelida, and Platyhelminthes have now been isolated and partially sequenced. These are proteins with basic isoelectric points, high levels of the amino acid 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-L-alanine (DOPA), and an extended, flexible conformation. The DOPA functional group in particular is thought to play a key role in (a) the chemisorption of these polymers to surface underwater, and (b) covalent cross-linking or setting of the adhesive, the latter reaction catalysed by the enzyme catecholoxidase. Much more needs to be done to explore the details of the adhesive processing and delivery strategies used by these organisms. PMID:2127695

  20. Invasive species threat: parasite phylogenetics reveals patterns and processes of host-switching between non-native and native captive freshwater turtles.

    PubMed

    Verneau, O; Palacios, C; Platt, T; Alday, M; Billard, E; Allienne, J-F; Basso, C; DU Preez, L H

    2011-11-01

    One of the major threats to biodiversity involves biological invasions with direct consequences on the stability of ecosystems. In this context, the role of parasites is not negligible as it may enhance the success of invaders. The red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans, has been globally considered among the worst invasive species. Since its introduction through the pet trade, T. s. elegans is now widespread and represents a threat for indigenous species. Because T. s. elegans coexists with Emys orbicularis and Mauremys leprosa in Europe, it has been suggested it may compete with the native turtle species and transmit pathogens. We examined parasite transfer from American captive to the two native species that co-exist in artificial pools of a Turtle Farm in France. As model parasite species we used platyhelminth worms of the family Polystomatidae (Monogenea) because polystomes have been described from American turtles in their native range. Phylogenetic relationships among polystomes parasitizing chelonian host species that are geographically widespread show patterns of diversification more complex than expected. Using DNA barcoding to identify species from adult and/or polystome eggs, several cases of host switching from exotic to indigenous individuals were illustrated, corroborating that parasite transmission is important when considering the pet trade and in reintroduction programmes to reinforce wild populations of indigenous species. PMID:21767431

  1. Isolation and characterization of species-specific DNA probes from Taenia solium and Taenia saginata and their use in an egg detection assay.

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, A; Vallejo, V; Mossie, K G; Ortiz, D; Agabian, N; Flisser, A

    1995-01-01

    Cysticercosis results from ingestion of the eggs of the tapeworm Taenia solium. Reduction of the incidence of human and swine cysticercosis requires identification and treatment of individuals who carry the adult tapeworm. T. solium and Taenia saginata eggs cannot be differentiated on the basis of morphology; thus, in order to improve existing methods for the diagnosis of taeniasis, we have developed highly sensitive, species-specific DNA probes which differentiate T. solium an