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Sample records for planarians platyhelminthes tricladida

  1. Biogeography and karyotypes of freshwater planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Paludicola) in southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Knakievicz, Tanise; Lau, Adriana Helena; Prá, Daniel; Erdtmann, Bernardo

    2007-02-01

    In the Tricladida (Platyhelminthes), the incidence of different biotypes identified by several ploidy levels is very common. Planarians collected in the State of Rio Grande do Sul were identified using cytogenetics. Different species distributions were observed with respect to Rio Grande do Sul's geomorphology, which could have been caused by their different microhabitats. Girardia tigrina and G. anderlani consisted of diploid and triploid individuals, whereas G. schubarti showed diploids, triploids, and mixoploids; for all these species, individuals of different ploidies were sympatric. Only for diploid G. anderlani were B chromosomes observed. These B chromosomes seem to have an irregular segregational behavior during mitosis, and possibly also during meiosis. However the processes (e.g., selection, mutation) of maintaining 2n, 3n, and 2n/3n individuals within natural populations of G. schubarti remain to be clarified.

  2. Molecular phylogeny of land and freshwater planarians (Tricladida, Platyhelminthes): from freshwater to land and back.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Presas, Marta; Baguñà, Jaume; Riutort, Marta

    2008-05-01

    The suborder Tricladida (phylum Platyhelminthes) comprises the well-known free-living flatworms, taxonomically grouped into three infraorders according to their ecology: Maricola (marine planarians), Paludicola (freshwater planarians), and Terricola (land planarians). Molecular analyses have demonstrated that the Paludicola are paraphyletic, the Terricola being the sister group of one of the three paludicolan families, the Dugesiidae. However, neither 18S rDNA nor COI based trees have been able to resolve the relationships among species of Terricola and Dugesiidae, particularly the monophyly of Terricola. Here, we present new molecular data including sequences of nuclear genes (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA) and a mitochondrial gene (COI) of a wider sample of dugesiid and terricolan species. The new sequences have been analyzed, together with those previously obtained, in independent and concatenated analyses using maximum likelihood and bayesian methods. The results show that, although some parts of the trees remain poorly resolved, they support a monophyletic origin for Terricola followed by a likely return of some species to freshwater habitats. Relationships within the monophyletic group of Dugesiidae are clearly resolved, and relationships among some terricolan subfamilies are also clearly established and point to the need for a thorough revision of Terricola taxonomy.

  3. First report of the land planarian Diversibipalium multilineatum (Makino & Shirasawa, 1983) (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Continenticola) in Europe.

    PubMed

    Mazza, Giuseppe; Menchetti, Mattia; Sluys, Ronald; Solà, Eduard; Riutort, Marta; Tricarico, Elena; Justine, Jean-Lou; Cavigioli, Luca; Mori, Emiliano

    2016-01-01

    Introduction of alien species may significantly affect soil ecosystems, through predation or disruption of components of native ecosystems (Winsor et al. 2004; Álvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Justine et al. 2014). Land planarians have been reported as alien species in soils throughout the world and, among those, some species are considered to be successful invaders, e.g. Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963, Arthurdendyus triangulatus (Dendy, 1894), Bipalium adventitium Hyman, 1943, Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 and Dolichoplana striata Moseley, 1877 (Winsor et al. 2004; Álvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Justine et al. 2014, 2015). Soil moisture status seems to be an important element for their successful invasion (Fraser & Boag 1998). In Europe at least 18 species of alien land planarians have been recorded since now and some of them are considered as invasive ones, e.g. P. manokwari (cf. Justine et al. 2014). Although the alien land planarian B. kewense has been reported to occur in many greenhouses in Italy (Bello et al. 1995), no data are available on its establishment and/or impact on natural environments. On 28th September 2014, 20 specimens (~1 individual/m2) of the land planarian Diversibipalium multilineatum (Makino & Shirasawa, 1983) (Fig. 1), native to Japan, were collected under pots, branches and plastic materials in a private garden located in the center of Bologna (Emilia Romagna, Central Italy), near the urban park Giardini Margherita (44°29' N, 11°21' E; WGS84). Thirty plant species (both indigenous and alien), mainly cultivated as bonsai (e.g. Lagerstroemia indica L., Juniperus procumbens (Siebold ex Endl.) Miquel), were present in this shady, wet garden (25 m2). Between March 2014 and June 2015, 70 more specimens of D. multilineatum were collected at the same site, mainly at dusk and dawn after rain. Reproduction by fission and regeneration processes were observed in several of those specimens, which were kept for

  4. First report of the land planarian Diversibipalium multilineatum (Makino & Shirasawa, 1983) (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Continenticola) in Europe.

    PubMed

    Mazza, Giuseppe; Menchetti, Mattia; Sluys, Ronald; Solà, Eduard; Riutort, Marta; Tricarico, Elena; Justine, Jean-Lou; Cavigioli, Luca; Mori, Emiliano

    2016-01-26

    Introduction of alien species may significantly affect soil ecosystems, through predation or disruption of components of native ecosystems (Winsor et al. 2004; Álvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Justine et al. 2014). Land planarians have been reported as alien species in soils throughout the world and, among those, some species are considered to be successful invaders, e.g. Platydemus manokwari de Beauchamp, 1963, Arthurdendyus triangulatus (Dendy, 1894), Bipalium adventitium Hyman, 1943, Bipalium kewense Moseley, 1878 and Dolichoplana striata Moseley, 1877 (Winsor et al. 2004; Álvarez-Presas et al. 2014; Justine et al. 2014, 2015). Soil moisture status seems to be an important element for their successful invasion (Fraser & Boag 1998). In Europe at least 18 species of alien land planarians have been recorded since now and some of them are considered as invasive ones, e.g. P. manokwari (cf. Justine et al. 2014). Although the alien land planarian B. kewense has been reported to occur in many greenhouses in Italy (Bello et al. 1995), no data are available on its establishment and/or impact on natural environments. On 28th September 2014, 20 specimens (~1 individual/m2) of the land planarian Diversibipalium multilineatum (Makino & Shirasawa, 1983) (Fig. 1), native to Japan, were collected under pots, branches and plastic materials in a private garden located in the center of Bologna (Emilia Romagna, Central Italy), near the urban park Giardini Margherita (44°29' N, 11°21' E; WGS84). Thirty plant species (both indigenous and alien), mainly cultivated as bonsai (e.g. Lagerstroemia indica L., Juniperus procumbens (Siebold ex Endl.) Miquel), were present in this shady, wet garden (25 m2). Between March 2014 and June 2015, 70 more specimens of D. multilineatum were collected at the same site, mainly at dusk and dawn after rain. Reproduction by fission and regeneration processes were observed in several of those specimens, which were kept for

  5. Evolutionary history of the Tricladida and the Platyhelminthes: an up-to-date phylogenetic and systematic account.

    PubMed

    Riutort, Marta; Álvarez-Presas, Marta; Lázaro, Eva; Solà, Eduard; Paps, Jordi

    2012-01-01

    Within the free-living platyhelminths, the triclads, or planarians, are the best-known group, largely as a result of long-standing and intensive research on regeneration, pattern formation and Hox gene expression. However, the group's evolutionary history has been long debated, with controversies ranging from their phyletic structure and position within the Metazoa to the relationships among species within the Tricladida. Over the the last decade, with the advent of molecular phylogenies, some of these issues have begun to be resolved. Here, we present an up-to-date summary of the main phylogenetic changes and novelties with some comments on their evolutionary implications. The phylum has been split into two groups, and the position of the main group (the Rhabdithophora and the Catenulida), close to the Annelida and the Mollusca within the Lophotrochozoa, is now clear. Their internal relationships, although not totally resolved, have been clarified. Tricladida systematics has also experienced a revolution since the implementation of molecular data. The terrestrial planarians have been demonstrated to have emerged from one of the freshwater families, giving a different view of their evolution and greatly altering their classification. The use of molecular data is also facilitating the identification of Tricladida species by DNA barcoding, allowing better knowledge of their distribution and genetic diversity. Finally, molecular phylogenetic and phylogeographical analyses, taking advantage of recent data, are beginning to give a clear picture of the recent history of the Dugesia and Schmidtea species in the Mediterranean. PMID:22450992

  6. Evolutionary history of the Tricladida and the Platyhelminthes: an up-to-date phylogenetic and systematic account.

    PubMed

    Riutort, Marta; Álvarez-Presas, Marta; Lázaro, Eva; Solà, Eduard; Paps, Jordi

    2012-01-01

    Within the free-living platyhelminths, the triclads, or planarians, are the best-known group, largely as a result of long-standing and intensive research on regeneration, pattern formation and Hox gene expression. However, the group's evolutionary history has been long debated, with controversies ranging from their phyletic structure and position within the Metazoa to the relationships among species within the Tricladida. Over the the last decade, with the advent of molecular phylogenies, some of these issues have begun to be resolved. Here, we present an up-to-date summary of the main phylogenetic changes and novelties with some comments on their evolutionary implications. The phylum has been split into two groups, and the position of the main group (the Rhabdithophora and the Catenulida), close to the Annelida and the Mollusca within the Lophotrochozoa, is now clear. Their internal relationships, although not totally resolved, have been clarified. Tricladida systematics has also experienced a revolution since the implementation of molecular data. The terrestrial planarians have been demonstrated to have emerged from one of the freshwater families, giving a different view of their evolution and greatly altering their classification. The use of molecular data is also facilitating the identification of Tricladida species by DNA barcoding, allowing better knowledge of their distribution and genetic diversity. Finally, molecular phylogenetic and phylogeographical analyses, taking advantage of recent data, are beginning to give a clear picture of the recent history of the Dugesia and Schmidtea species in the Mediterranean.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  8. Genetic network of the eye in Platyhelminthes: expression and functional analysis of some players during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Saló, Emili; Pineda, David; Marsal, Maria; Gonzalez, Javier; Gremigni, Vittorio; Batistoni, Renata

    2002-04-01

    Planarians are the free-living members (order Tricladida) of the phylum Platyhelminthes. They are triploblastic, acoelomate, unsegmented and located at the base of the Lophotrochozoa clade. Besides their huge regenerative capacity, planarians have simple eyes, considered similar to the prototypic eye suggested by Charles Darwin in his book 'On the Origin of Species'. The conserved genetic network that determines the initial steps of eye development across metazoans supports a monophyletic origin of the various eye types present in the animal kingdom. Here we summarise the pattern of expression of certain genes involved in the eye network that have been isolated in planarians, such as Otx, Pax-6, Six, Rax and opsin. We describe the effects of RNA interference-mediated loss of function on eye regeneration. Finally, we discuss the relevance of these findings for the evolution of the eye gene network. PMID:11992724

  9. Genetic network of the eye in Platyhelminthes: expression and functional analysis of some players during planarian regeneration.

    PubMed

    Saló, Emili; Pineda, David; Marsal, Maria; Gonzalez, Javier; Gremigni, Vittorio; Batistoni, Renata

    2002-04-01

    Planarians are the free-living members (order Tricladida) of the phylum Platyhelminthes. They are triploblastic, acoelomate, unsegmented and located at the base of the Lophotrochozoa clade. Besides their huge regenerative capacity, planarians have simple eyes, considered similar to the prototypic eye suggested by Charles Darwin in his book 'On the Origin of Species'. The conserved genetic network that determines the initial steps of eye development across metazoans supports a monophyletic origin of the various eye types present in the animal kingdom. Here we summarise the pattern of expression of certain genes involved in the eye network that have been isolated in planarians, such as Otx, Pax-6, Six, Rax and opsin. We describe the effects of RNA interference-mediated loss of function on eye regeneration. Finally, we discuss the relevance of these findings for the evolution of the eye gene network.

  10. The taxonomic status of Dugesiabiblica from Israel and Turkey (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Dugesiidae).

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. The complete mitochondrial genome of Dugesia japonica (Platyhelminthes; order Tricladida).

    PubMed

    Sakai, Masato; Sakaizumi, Mitsuru

    2012-10-01

    We used two sequencing methods, namely long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and primer walking, to determine the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence of Dugesia japonica and most of the mtDNA sequence of Dugesia ryukyuensis. The genome of D. japonica contained 36 genes including 12 of the 13 protein-coding genes characteristic of metazoan mitochondrial genomes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and 22 transfer RNA genes. The genome of D. ryukyuensis contained 33 genes, including 12 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and 19 transfer RNA genes. The gene order of the mitochondrial genome from the Dugesia species showed no clear homology with either the Neodermata or other free-living Rhabditophora. This indicates that the platyhelminths exhibit great variability in mitochondrial gene order. This is the first complete sequence analysis of the mitochondrial genome of a free-living member of Rhabditophora, which will facilitate further studies on the population genetics and genomic evolution of the Platyhelminthes.

  12. The complete mitochondrial genome of Dugesia japonica (Platyhelminthes; order Tricladida).

    PubMed

    Sakai, Masato; Sakaizumi, Mitsuru

    2012-10-01

    We used two sequencing methods, namely long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and primer walking, to determine the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence of Dugesia japonica and most of the mtDNA sequence of Dugesia ryukyuensis. The genome of D. japonica contained 36 genes including 12 of the 13 protein-coding genes characteristic of metazoan mitochondrial genomes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and 22 transfer RNA genes. The genome of D. ryukyuensis contained 33 genes, including 12 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and 19 transfer RNA genes. The gene order of the mitochondrial genome from the Dugesia species showed no clear homology with either the Neodermata or other free-living Rhabditophora. This indicates that the platyhelminths exhibit great variability in mitochondrial gene order. This is the first complete sequence analysis of the mitochondrial genome of a free-living member of Rhabditophora, which will facilitate further studies on the population genetics and genomic evolution of the Platyhelminthes. PMID:23030340

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. [Telomere length and phylogenetic relationship of Baikal and Siberian planarians (Turbellaria, Tricladida)].

    PubMed

    Koroleva, A G; Evtushenko, E V; Timoshkin, O A; Vershinin, A V; Kiril'chik, S V

    2013-01-01

    Dynamics of the telomeric DNA (tDNA) and the phylogeny of the Baikal and Siberian planarians have been studied based on the analysis of the 18S rDNA and beta-actin gene fragments. A relationship between tDNA and the planarians size has been demonstrated. Giant planarians with a minor exception have longer tDNA than little planarians. Phylogenetic affinity between the species that have the stretched tracks of tDNA, big size and similar habitats may indicate possible role of tDNA in the development of the indefinite regenerative capacity of planarians.

  16. Origin and evolution of paralogous rRNA gene clusters within the flatworm family Dugesiidae (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida).

    PubMed

    Carranza, S; Baguñà, J; Riutort, M

    1999-08-01

    Analysis of the 18S rDNA sequences of five species of the family Dugesiidae (phylum Platyhelminthes, suborder Tricladida, infraorder Paludicola) and eight species belonging to families Dendrocoelidae and Planaridae and to the infraorder Maricola showed that members of the family Dugesiidae have two types of 18S rDNA genes, while the rest of the species have only one. The duplication event also affected the ITS-1, 5.8S, ITS-2 region and probably the 28S gene. The mean divergence value between the type I and the type II sequences is 9% and type II 18S rDNA genes are evolving 2.3 times more rapidly than type I. The evolutionary rates of type I and type II genes were calibrated from biogeographical data, and an approximate date for the duplication event of 80-120 million years ago was calculated. The type II gene was shown, by RT-PCR, to be transcribed in adult individuals of Schmidtea polychroa, though at very low levels. This result, together with the fact that most of the functionally important positions for small-subunit rRNA in prokaryotes have been conserved, indicates that the type II gene is probably functional.

  17. Chromosome polymorphism and complements in populations of Girardia species (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Paludicola) from southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Benya, E; Leal-Zanchet, A M; Santos, W H; Hauser, J; Erdtmann, B

    2007-12-01

    The karyotypes of four species of freshwater triclads of the genus Girardia (Platyhelminthes), i.e. G. schubarti, G. tigrina, G. anderlani, and G. biapertura, from populations of different localities of the Rio Grande do Sul State, in southern Brazil, were analyzed. The karyotype of G. biapertura is presented for the first time. Three basic complements of 4, 8, and 9 chromosomes were found. Diploids, triploids, or mixoploids (2n/3n) specimens were frequently detected in these populations. The basic chromosomal complement of n=9 was verified in two different species (G. biapertura and G. anderlani), presenting a large acrocentric chromosome which is rare in the family Dugesiidae. An intra and interspecific chromosomal variability was also detected and its evolutionary implications are discussed.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Reproductive strategies, karyology, parasites, and taxonomic status of Dugesia populations from Yemen (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida: Dugesiidae).

    PubMed

    Harrath, Abdul Halim; Sluys, Ronald; Aldahmash, Waleed; Al-Razaki, Abdulkarim; Alwasel, Saleh

    2013-06-01

    We present new data on the distribution, reproductive strategies, karyology, and taxonomic status of populations of freshwater planarians from Yemen. Nine populations were sampled and significant differences in their reproductive strategies and karyology are reported. The present study presents the first fully documented record of a naturally sexual, diploid (2n = 18) population of a Dugesia species in the eastern part of the Afrotropical region. Morphological characters combined with karyological data suggest that these Dugesia populations from Yemen represent a new species, which is herein described as Dugesia arabica Harrath and Sluys, sp. nov. This new species is mainly distinguishable from other Dugesia species that are distributed exclusively in the Mediterranean basin and in the eastern part of the Afrotropical region by the presence of the following features: well-developed and cone-shaped penis papilla, housing an ejaculatory duct that runs ventrally and has a subterminal and ventral opening; a considerably expanded and folded section of the bursal canal at the level of the oviducal openings; absence of a layer of longitudinal muscles on the copulatory bursa and the bursal canal. Specimens from two populations from Yemen were infested with a gregarine Protozoon.

  3. 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.

  4. [Interspecific variability of telomeric DNA length in some Siberian and endemic Baĭkal planarians (Plathelminthes, Tricladida)].

    PubMed

    Koroleva, A G; Kiril'chik, S V; Timoshkin, O A

    2010-09-01

    The length of the telomeric DNA in nine species of planarians inhabiting Lake Baikal and one Siberian species from Baikal rivers was determined using Southern hybridization. According to preliminary estimations, it varied in the range of 25-30 kb (Rimacephalus arecepta, Rimacephalus pulvinar, Sorocelis hepatizon, Sorocelis nigrofasciata, Protocotylus sp., Baikalobia guttata, Bdellocephala baikalensis, Phagocata sibirica) and 50 kb (Baikaloplana valida, Baikalobia copulatrix). It is the first estimation of the values of telomeric region lengths for Baikal free-living flat worms.

  5. Identification of Reissner's fiber-like glycoproteins in two species of freshwater planarians (Tricladida), by use of specific polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies.

    PubMed

    Arrabal, P M; Estivill-Torrús, G; Miranda, E; Pérez, J; Fernández-Llebrez, P

    2000-06-01

    By using one polyclonal antiserum raised against bovine Reissner's fiber and seven monoclonal antibodies raised against bovine Reissner's fiber and against immunopurified bovine subcommissural organ glycoproteins, we have investigated two freshwater planarian species (Girardia tigrina, Schmidtea mediterranea) by light- and electron-microscopic immunocytochemistry. ELISA probes showed that the monoclonal antibodies recognized different, nonoverlapping, unrepeated, proteinaceous epitopes present in the same compounds of bovine Reissner's fiber. Cells immunoreactive to the polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies were found in the dorsal and ventral integument of both planarian species. Labeled cuboid epidermal cells bore cilia and displayed several types of secretory granules; they were covered by a film of immunoreactive material. Studies on adjacent thin and semithin sections revealed coexistence of label in the same regions and in the same cells when two different monoclonal antibodies were used. These results indicate that a secretory substance immunologically similar to the secretion of the vertebrate subcommissural organ is present in primitive tripoblasts such as planarians, suggesting that these secretions are ancient and well conserved in phylogeny.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Pumilio genes from the Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Koziol, Uriel; Marín, Monica; Castillo, Estela

    2008-01-01

    Pumilio proteins are proposed to have a conserved primordial function in the maintenance of proliferation in stem cells through post-transcriptional regulation. In this work, a search for pumilio homology domain (PUM-HD) sequences of pumilio genes from several Platyhelminthes species was performed, including representatives form Cestoda, Trematoda and Tricladida. Only one PUM-HD sequence was found in each triclad species; however, two PUM-HD homologues were found in all the parasitic species. These sequences formed two clearly separated clades: PlatyPum1, with sequences from all species, and PlatyPum2, composed exclusively of neodermatan sequences. Therefore, at least one duplication of the pumilio gene must have occurred before the divergence of cestodes and trematodes. Further duplications of PUM-HD were found in Fasciola hepatica, but these consist of retropseudogenes. This is the first comparative analysis of PUM-HD sequences in the Platyhelminthes and, more generally, in any lophotrochozoan phylum.

  9. Identification of a platyhelminth neuropeptide receptor.

    PubMed

    Omar, Hanan H; Humphries, Judith E; Larsen, Martha J; Kubiak, Teresa M; Geary, Timothy G; Maule, Aaron G; Kimber, Michael J; Day, Tim A

    2007-06-01

    We report the characterisation of the first neuropeptide receptor from the phylum Platyhelminthes, an early-diverging phylum which includes a number of important human and veterinary parasites. The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) was identified from the model flatworm Girardia tigrina (Tricladida: Dugesiidae) based on the presence of motifs widely conserved amongst GPCRs. In two different assays utilising heterologous expression in Chinese hamster ovary cells, the Girardia GPCR was most potently activated by neuropeptides from the FMRFamide-like peptide class. The most potent platyhelminth neuropeptide in both assays was GYIRFamide, a FMRFamide-like peptide known to be present in G. tigrina. There was no activation by neuropeptide Fs, another class of flatworm neuropeptides. Also active were FMRFamide-like peptides derived from other phyla but not known to be present in any platyhelminth. Most potent among these were nematode neuropeptides encoded by the Caenorhabditis elegans flp-1 gene which share a PNFLRFamide carboxy terminal motif. The ability of nematode peptides to stimulate a platyhelminth receptor demonstrates a degree of structural conservation between FMRFamide-like peptide receptors from these two distinct, distant phyla which contain parasitic worms.

  10. [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.

  11. Land planarians (Platyhelminthes) as a model organism for fine-scale phylogeographic studies: understanding patterns of biodiversity in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest hotspot.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Presas, M; Carbayo, F; Rozas, J; Riutort, M

    2011-04-01

    The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the richest biodiversity hotspots of the world. Paleoclimatic models have predicted two large stability regions in its northern and central parts, whereas southern regions might have suffered strong instability during Pleistocene glaciations. Molecular phylogeographic and endemism studies show, nevertheless, contradictory results: although some results validate these predictions, other data suggest that paleoclimatic models fail to predict stable rainforest areas in the south. Most studies, however, have surveyed species with relatively high dispersal rates whereas taxa with lower dispersion capabilities should be better predictors of habitat stability. Here, we have used two land planarian species as model organisms to analyse the patterns and levels of nucleotide diversity on a locality within the Southern Atlantic Forest. We find that both species harbour high levels of genetic variability without exhibiting the molecular footprint of recent colonization or population expansions, suggesting a long-term stability scenario. The results reflect, therefore, that paleoclimatic models may fail to detect refugia in the Southern Atlantic Forest, and that model organisms with low dispersal capability can improve the resolution of these models.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Embryonic development of Girardia tigrina (Girard, 1850) (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Paludicola).

    PubMed

    Vara, D C; Leal-Zanchet, A M; Lizardo-Daudt, H m

    2008-11-01

    The embryonic development of freshwater triclads is mainly known from studies of species of Dendrocoelum, Planaria, Polycelis, and, more recently, Schmidtea. The present study characterizes the development of Girardia tigrina (Girard, 1850) by means of optical microcopy using glycol methacrylate semi-thin sections. 94 cocoons were collected in the period from laying to hatching, with intervals of up to twenty-four hours. The sequence of morphological changes occurring in the embryo permitted the identification of nine embryonic stages. At the time of cocoon laying, numerous embryos were dispersed among many yolk cells, with a rigid capsule covering the entire cocoon. In the first stage (approx. up to 6 hours after cocoon laying), yolk cells and embryonic cells showed random distribution. Stage II (between 12 and 24 hours after cocoon laying) is characterized by aggregates of blastomeres, which later aggregate forming an enteroblastula. Approximately 2 days after cocoon laying (stage III), formation of the embryonic epidermis and embryonic digestive system took place, the latter degenerating during the subsequent stage. Stage V (until the fourth day) is characterized by the formation of the definitive epidermis. Between 4 and 6 days after laying, organogenesis of the definitive inner organs starts (stage VI). Approximately 14 days after laying (stage IX), formation of the nervous system is completed. At this stage, the embryo shows similar characteristics to those of newly hatched juveniles. The hatching of Girardia tigrina occurs in the period between twelve to twenty-two days after cocoon laying.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Two new species of freshwater flatworms (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida: Continenticola) from South American caves.

    PubMed

    Souza, Stella; Morais, Ana Laura; Bichuette, Maria Elina; Leal-Zanchet, Ana

    2016-01-01

    The diversity of freshwater triclads in the Neotropical region is considered to be low, but extensive areas of South America remain almost unexplored. Herein we describe two cave-dwelling, new species of Girardia, one from a transition zone of the Cerrado and Caatinga phytophysiognomies and the other from the Cerrado phytophysiognomy. The species from the Cerrado-Caatinga transition is a troglobite, eyeless and whitish; the species from the Cerrado area is possibly a troglophile, since it shows heavily pigmented body and eyes. Each species is easily recognized by a unique combination of features in its external morphology and copulatory apparatus. The two new species of Girardia show a restricted distribution, even the troglophile, and occur in caves without legal protection. Therefore, they must be considered as vulnerable organisms in a conservation context. PMID:27394369

  20. Two new species of freshwater flatworms (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida: Continenticola) from South American caves.

    PubMed

    Souza, Stella; Morais, Ana Laura; Bichuette, Maria Elina; Leal-Zanchet, Ana

    2016-03-14

    The diversity of freshwater triclads in the Neotropical region is considered to be low, but extensive areas of South America remain almost unexplored. Herein we describe two cave-dwelling, new species of Girardia, one from a transition zone of the Cerrado and Caatinga phytophysiognomies and the other from the Cerrado phytophysiognomy. The species from the Cerrado-Caatinga transition is a troglobite, eyeless and whitish; the species from the Cerrado area is possibly a troglophile, since it shows heavily pigmented body and eyes. Each species is easily recognized by a unique combination of features in its external morphology and copulatory apparatus. The two new species of Girardia show a restricted distribution, even the troglophile, and occur in caves without legal protection. Therefore, they must be considered as vulnerable organisms in a conservation context.

  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.

  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.

  3. Stem cells and neural signalling: the case of neoblast recruitment and plasticity in low dose X-ray treated planarians.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Leonardo; Iacopetti, Paola; Salvetti, Alessandra

    2012-01-01

    Planarians (Platyhelminthes) possess an abundant population of adult stem cells, the neoblasts, capable to give rise to both somatic and germ cells. Although neoblasts share similar morphological features, several pieces of evidence suggest that they constitute a heterogeneous population of cells with distinct ultrastructural and molecular features. We found that in planarians treated with low X-ray doses (5 Gy), only a few neoblasts survive. Among these cells, those located close to the nervous system activate an intense proliferation program and migrate to reconstitute the whole complex neoblast population. This phenomenon is inhibited by the substance P receptor antagonist spantide, and accompanied by the up-regulation of a number of genes implicated in neuronal signalling and plasticity, suggesting that signals of neural origin modulate neoblast proliferation and/or migration. Here, we review these findings and the literature available on the influence of the nervous system on stem cell activity, both in planarians and vertebrates, and we propose 5 Gy-treated planarians as a unique model system to study the influence of neural signalling on stem cell biology.

  4. Triploid planarian reproduces truly bisexually with euploid gametes produced through a different meiotic system between sex.

    PubMed

    Chinone, Ayako; Nodono, Hanae; Matsumoto, Midori

    2014-06-01

    Although polyploids are common among plants and some animals, polyploidization often causes reproductive failure. Triploids, in particular, are characterized by the problems of chromosomal pairing and segregation during meiosis, which may cause aneuploid gametes and results in sterility. Thus, they are generally considered to reproduce only asexually. In the case of the Platyhelminthes Dugesia ryukyuensis, populations with triploid karyotypes are normally found in nature as both fissiparous and oviparous triploids. Fissiparous triploids can also be experimentally sexualized if they are fed sexual planarians, developing both gonads and other reproductive organs. Fully sexualized worms begin reproducing by copulation rather than fission. In this study, we examined the genotypes of the offspring obtained by breeding sexualized triploids and found that the offspring inherited genes from both parents, i.e., they reproduced truly bisexually. Furthermore, meiotic chromosome behavior in triploid sexualized planarians differed significantly between male and female germ lines, in that female germ line cells remained triploid until prophase I, whereas male germ line cells appeared to become diploid before entry into meiosis. Oocytes at the late diplotene stage contained not only paired bivalents but also unpaired univalents that were suggested to produce diploid eggs if they remained in subsequent processes. Triploid planarians may therefore form euploid gametes by different meiotic systems in female and male germ lines and thus are be able to reproduce sexually in contrast to many other triploid organisms. PMID:24402417

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Fissioning in planarians: control by the brain.

    PubMed

    Best, J B; Goodman, A B; Pigon, A

    1969-05-01

    Reduced population densities lead to increased rates of fissioning in planarians whereas higher population densities suppress fissioning. This effect is not primarily due to mucus deposition or substances secreted into the water. Experiments are presented which show a system of population feedback control. In the presence of other planarians, the brain exerts an influence (probably neurohormonal) to suppress fissioning. This influence becomes attenuated with axial distance from the brain.

  10. Epigenetics: a key regulator of platyhelminth developmental biology?

    PubMed

    Geyer, Kathrin K; Hoffmann, Karl F

    2012-01-01

    The Platyhelminthes (flukes/flatworms) are a large group of derived metazoans beautifully adapted for existence in diversely challenging ecosystems. As tractable examples of development and self-regeneration or as causative agents of aquacultural, veterinary and biomedically-relevant parasitic diseases, the platyhelminths are subject to intensive inter-disciplinary research. Given the complex lifestyles exhibited by individuals within this phylum, we postulate that epigenetic processes feature in many aspects of platyhelminth lifecycle diversity, development and environmentally-driven adaptations.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Germ cell specification and regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Newmark, P A; Wang, Y; Chong, T

    2008-01-01

    In metazoans, two apparently distinct mechanisms specify germ cell fate: Determinate specification (observed in animals including Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, zebra fish, and Xenopus) uses cytoplasmic factors localized to specific regions of the egg, whereas epigenetic specification (observed in many basal metazoans, urodeles, and mammals) involves inductive interactions between cells. Much of our understanding of germ cell specification has emerged from studies of model organisms displaying determinate specification. In contrast, our understanding of epigenetic/inductive specification is less advanced and would benefit from studies of additional organisms. Freshwater planarians--widely known for their remarkable powers of regeneration--are well suited for studying the mechanisms by which germ cells can be induced. Classic experiments showed that planarians can regenerate germ cells from body fragments entirely lacking reproductive structures, suggesting that planarian germ cells could be specified by inductive signals. Furthermore, the availability of the genome sequence of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, coupled with the animal's susceptibility to systemic RNA interference (RNAi), facilitates functional genomic analyses of germ cell development and regeneration. Here, we describe recent progress in studies of planarian germ cells and frame some of the critical unresolved questions for future work.

  14. Lipid binding proteins from parasitic platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Alvite, Gabriela; Esteves, Adriana

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Centrosome loss in the evolution of planarians.

    PubMed

    Azimzadeh, Juliette; Wong, Mei Lie; Downhour, Diane Miller; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro; Marshall, Wallace F

    2012-01-27

    The centrosome, a cytoplasmic organelle formed by cylinder-shaped centrioles surrounded by a microtubule-organizing matrix, is a hallmark of animal cells. The centrosome is conserved and essential for the development of all animal species described so far. Here, we show that planarians, and possibly other flatworms, lack centrosomes. In planarians, centrioles are only assembled in terminally differentiating ciliated cells through the acentriolar pathway to trigger the assembly of cilia. We identified a large set of conserved proteins required for centriole assembly in animals and note centrosome protein families that are missing from the planarian genome. Our study uncovers the molecular architecture and evolution of the animal centrosome and emphasizes the plasticity of animal cell biology and development.

  16. Centrosome Loss in the Evolution of Planarians

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Mei Lie; Downhour, Diane Miller; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2012-01-01

    The centrosome, a cytoplasmic organelle formed by cylinder-shaped centrioles surrounded by a microtubule-organizing matrix, is a hallmark of animal cells. The centrosome is conserved and essential for the development of all animal species described so far. Here, we show that, unlike the rest of animals, planarians and possibly other flatworms as well completely lack centrosomes. We found that in planarians, centrioles are only assembled in terminally differentiating ciliated cells through a so-called acentriolar pathway to trigger the assembly of cilia. This unique characteristic allowed us to identify a large set of conserved proteins required for centriole assembly in animals, as well as the centrosome signature proteins missing from the planarian genome. Our study uncovers the molecular architecture and evolution of the animal centrosome and emphasizes the plasticity of animal cell biology and development. PMID:22223737

  17. [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

  18. Comparative analysis of cystatin superfamily in platyhelminths.

    PubMed

    Guo, Aijiang

    2015-01-01

    The cystatin superfamily is comprised of cysteine proteinase inhibitors and encompasses at least 3 subfamilies: stefins, cystatins and kininogens. In this study, the platyhelminth cystatin superfamily was identified and grouped into stefin and cystatin subfamilies. The conserved domain of stefins (G, QxVxG) was observed in all members of platyhelminth stefins. The three characteristics of cystatins, the cystatin-like domain (G, QxVxG, PW), a signal peptide, and one or two conserved disulfide bonds, were observed in platyhelminths, with the exception of cestodes, which lacked the conserved disulfide bond. However, it is noteworthy that cestode cystatins had two tandem repeated domains, although the second tandem repeated domain did not contain a cystatin-like domain, which has not been previously reported. Tertiary structure analysis of Taenia solium cystatin, one of the cestode cystatins, demonstrated that the N-terminus of T. solium cystatin formed a five turn 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.

  19. 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

  20. Planarian brain regeneration as a model system for developmental neurotoxicology

    PubMed Central

    Hagstrom, Danielle; Cochet‐Escartin, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Freshwater planarians, famous for their regenerative prowess, have long been recognized as a valuable in vivo animal model to study the effects of chemical exposure. In this review, we summarize the current techniques and tools used in the literature to assess toxicity in the planarian system. We focus on the planarian's particular amenability for neurotoxicology and neuroregeneration studies, owing to the planarian's unique ability to regenerate a centralized nervous system. Zooming in from the organismal to the molecular level, we show that planarians offer a repertoire of morphological and behavioral readouts while also being amenable to mechanistic studies of compound toxicity. Finally, we discuss the open challenges and opportunities for planarian brain regeneration to become an important model system for modern toxicology. PMID:27499880

  1. 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.

  2. Scrunching: a novel escape gait in planarians.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-10

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

  3. Scrunching: a novel escape gait in planarians.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Muscle Cells Provide Instructions for Planarian Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Witchley, Jessica N.; Mayer, Mirjam; Wagner, Daniel E.; Owen, Jared H.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2014-01-01

    Regeneration requires both potential and instructions for tissue replacement. In planarians, pluripotent stem cells have the potential to produce all new tissue. The identities of the cells that provide regeneration instructions are unknown. Here, we report that position control genes (PCGs) that control regeneration and tissue turnover are expressed in a subepidermal layer of nonneoblast cells. These subepidermal cells coexpress many PCGs. We propose that these subepidermal cells provide a system of body coordinates and positional information for regeneration, and identify them to be muscle cells of the planarian body wall. Almost all planarian muscle cells express PCGs, suggesting a dual function: contraction and control of patterning. PCG expression is dynamic in muscle cells after injury, even in the absence of neoblasts, suggesting that muscle is instructive for regeneration. We conclude that 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 any body region. PMID:23954785

  5. Hox genes from the Polystomatidae (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea).

    PubMed

    Badets, Mathieu; Verneau, Olivier

    2009-11-01

    Hox genes form a multigenic family that play a fundamental role during the early stages of development. They are organised in a single cluster and share a 60 amino acid conserved sequence that corresponds to the DNA binding domain, i.e. the homeodomain. Sequence conservation in this region has allowed investigators to explore Hox diversity in the metazoan lineages. Within parasitic flatworms only homeobox sequences of parasite species from the Cestoda and Digenea have been reported. In the present study we surveyed species of the Polyopisthocotylea (Monogenea) in order to clarify Hox identification and diversification processes in the neodermatan lineage. From cloning of degenerative PCR products of the central region of the homeobox, we report one ParaHox and 25 new Hox sequences from 10 species of the Polystomatidae and one species of the Diclidophoridae, which extend Hox gene diversity from 46 to 72 within Neodermata. Hox sequences from the Polyopisthocotylea were annotated and classified from sequence alignments and Bayesian inferences of 178 Hox, ParaHox and related gene families recovered from all available parasitic platyhelminths and other bilaterian taxa. Our results are discussed in the light of the recent Hox evolutionary schemes. They may provide new perspectives to study the transition from turbellarians to parasitic flatworms with complex life-cycles and outline the first steps for evolutionary developmental biological approaches within platyhelminth parasites.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-17

    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.

  12. Identification of planarian homeobox sequences indicates the antiquity of most Hox/homeotic gene subclasses.

    PubMed Central

    Balavoine, G; Telford, M J

    1995-01-01

    The homeotic gene complex (HOM-C) is a cluster of genes involved in the anteroposterior axial patterning of animal embryos. It is composed of homeobox genes belonging to the Hox/HOM superclass. Originally discovered in Drosophila, Hox/HOM genes have been identified in organisms as distantly related as arthropods, vertebrates, nematodes, and cnidarians. Data obtained in parallel from the organization of the complex, the domains of gene expression during embryogenesis, and phylogenetic relationships allow the subdivision of the Hox/HOM superclass into five classes (lab, pb/Hox3, Dfd, Antp, and Abd-B) that appeared early during metazoan evolution. We describe a search for homologues of these genes in platyhelminths, triploblast metazoans emerging as an outgroup to the great coelomate ensemble. A degenerate PCR screening for Hox/HOM homeoboxes in three species of triclad planarians has revealed 10 types of Antennapedia-like genes. The homeobox-containing sequences of these PCR fragments allowed the amplification of the homeobox-coding exons for five of these genes in the species Polycelis nigra. A phylogenetic analysis shows that two genes are clear orthologues of Drosophila labial, four others are members of a Dfd/Antp superclass, and a seventh gene, although more difficult to classify with certainty, may be related to the pb/Hox3 class. Together with previously identified Hox/HOM genes in other flatworms, our analyses demonstrate the existence of an elaborate family of Hox/HOM genes in the ancestor of all triploblast animals. Images Fig. 4 PMID:7638172

  13. [The molecular genetic typification of planarians in the genus Bdellocephala (Dendrocoelidae, Tricladida, Turbellaria) from Lake Baikal with an assessment of their species diversity].

    PubMed

    Kuznedelov, K D; Novikova, O A; Naumova, T V

    2000-01-01

    Baikal planaria from genus Bdellocephala were typified using rDNA locus coding 5'--end domain of 18S ribosome RNA. Five colour forms of 24 possible variants that differ in diapason 0-1.3% of genotype were determined by comparative analysis of nucleotide sequences. The authors use back colour--one of the most variable and typical character in the given group--to collect material for investigation. It allows to minimize the size of investigation sample and at the same time to cover maximum variability of Bdellocephala. One of the positive result of molecular typification of colour forms was a discovery of unique individuals that belong to new species. Karyological analysis of colour forms shows variations in chromosome numbers that divide planaria into 3 groups (2n = 20, 24, 26). Comparative analysis of morphological and ecological characters and karyotypes of some forms united by the same genotype allows to distinguish them as separate species. Criteria of modern phenetic system of Baikal planaria are discussed.

  14. Bioaccumulation and toxicodynamics of cadmium to freshwater planarian and the protective effect of N-acetylcysteine.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jui-Pin; Chen, Hon-Cheng; Li, Mei-Hui

    2012-08-01

    Although toxic responses of freshwater planarians after exposure to environmental toxicants can be observed through external toxicological end points, physiological responses inside the bodies of treated planarians have rarely been investigated. The present study was designed, using cadmium (Cd) as a reference toxicant, to determine its bioaccumulation and toxicodynamics in the freshwater planarian, Dugesia japonica, after acute toxicity was obtained. Accumulated Cd concentrations, metallothionein levels, and the oxidative status in planarians were determined after exposure to Cd. Furthermore, we hypothesized that the acute death of Cd-treated planarians was associated with increased oxidative stress. After Cd-treated planarians were coexposed to antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), we found that NAC protected planarians from Cd lethality by maintaining the oxidative status and decreasing the bioaccumulation of Cd. The results of the present study support planarians being used as a practical model for toxicological studies of environmental contaminants in the future.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Temporal regulation of planarian eye regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Deochand, Michelle E.; Birkholz, Taylor R.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract While tissue regeneration is typically studied using standard injury models, in nature injuries vary greatly in the amount and location of tissues lost. Planarians have the unique ability to regenerate from many different injuries (including from tiny fragments with no brain), allowing us to study the effects of different injuries on regeneration timelines. We followed the timing of regeneration for one organ, the eye, after multiple injury types that involved tissue loss (single‐ and double‐eye ablation, and decapitation) in Schmidtea mediterranea. Our data reveal that the timing of regeneration remained constant despite changing injury parameters. Optic tissue regrowth, nerve re‐innervation, and functional recovery were similar between injury types (even when the animal was simultaneously regrowing its brain). Changes in metabolic rate (i.e., starving vs. fed regenerates) also had no effect on regeneration timelines. In addition, our data suggest there may exist a role for optic nerve degeneration following eye ablation. Our results suggest that the temporal regulation of planarian eye regeneration is tightly controlled and resistant to variations in injury type. PMID:27800171

  18. Slo1 regulates ethanol-induced scrunching in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Carter, Jason A; Chakraverti-Wuerthwein, Milena; Sinha, Joydeb; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2016-09-09

    When freshwater planarians are exposed to a low-percentage (0.5%-1%) alcohol solution, they display a characteristic 'drunken' phenotype. Here we show that this drunken phenotype is a mixture of cilia-mediated gliding and scrunching, a muscular-based planarian gait which we recently demonstrated to be triggered by adverse environmental stimuli. At exogenous ethanol concentrations ≥2% (v/v), planarians become gradually immobilized and ultimately die. Using RNA interference (RNAi) for targeted gene knockdown, we elucidate the molecular basis for ethanol sensing and show that the big potassium ion channel SLO1 is necessary for ethanol sensitivity in planarians. Because slo1(RNAi) animals maintain their ability to scrunch in response to other adverse triggers, these results suggest that slo1 specifically regulates ethanol sensitivity and not the scrunching gait per se. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the ease of performing pharmacological studies in planarians. Combined with the worms' amenability to quantitative behavioral assays and targeted gene knockdown, planarians are a valuable model organism for studying the effect of neuroactive compounds on brain function and behavior.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Slo1 regulates ethanol-induced scrunching in freshwater planarians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Carter, Jason A.; Chakraverti-Wuerthwein, Milena; Sinha, Joydeb; Collins, Eva-Maria S.

    2016-10-01

    When freshwater planarians are exposed to a low-percentage (0.5%-1%) alcohol solution, they display a characteristic ‘drunken’ phenotype. Here we show that this drunken phenotype is a mixture of cilia-mediated gliding and scrunching, a muscular-based planarian gait which we recently demonstrated to be triggered by adverse environmental stimuli. At exogenous ethanol concentrations ≥2% (v/v), planarians become gradually immobilized and ultimately die. Using RNA interference (RNAi) for targeted gene knockdown, we elucidate the molecular basis for ethanol sensing and show that the big potassium ion channel SLO1 is necessary for ethanol sensitivity in planarians. Because slo1(RNAi) animals maintain their ability to scrunch in response to other adverse triggers, these results suggest that slo1 specifically regulates ethanol sensitivity and not the scrunching gait per se. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the ease of performing pharmacological studies in planarians. Combined with the worms’ amenability to quantitative behavioral assays and targeted gene knockdown, planarians are a valuable model organism for studying the effect of neuroactive compounds on brain function and behavior.

  3. 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.

  4. Slo1 regulates ethanol-induced scrunching in freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Cochet-Escartin, Olivier; Carter, Jason A; Chakraverti-Wuerthwein, Milena; Sinha, Joydeb; Collins, Eva-Maria S

    2016-01-01

    When freshwater planarians are exposed to a low-percentage (0.5%-1%) alcohol solution, they display a characteristic 'drunken' phenotype. Here we show that this drunken phenotype is a mixture of cilia-mediated gliding and scrunching, a muscular-based planarian gait which we recently demonstrated to be triggered by adverse environmental stimuli. At exogenous ethanol concentrations ≥2% (v/v), planarians become gradually immobilized and ultimately die. Using RNA interference (RNAi) for targeted gene knockdown, we elucidate the molecular basis for ethanol sensing and show that the big potassium ion channel SLO1 is necessary for ethanol sensitivity in planarians. Because slo1(RNAi) animals maintain their ability to scrunch in response to other adverse triggers, these results suggest that slo1 specifically regulates ethanol sensitivity and not the scrunching gait per se. Furthermore, this study demonstrates the ease of performing pharmacological studies in planarians. Combined with the worms' amenability to quantitative behavioral assays and targeted gene knockdown, planarians are a valuable model organism for studying the effect of neuroactive compounds on brain function and behavior. PMID:27609598

  5. Stem cells and the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2007-01-01

    In recent years, stem cells have been heralded as potential therapeutic agents to address a large number of degenerative diseases. Yet, in order to rationally utilize these cells as effective therapeutic agents, and/or improve treatment of stem-cell-associated malignancies such as leukemias and carcinomas, a better understanding of the basic biological properties of stem cells needs to be acquired. A major limitation in the study of stem cells lies in the difficulty of accessing and studying these cells in vivo. This barrier is further compounded by the limitations of in vitro culture systems, which are unable to emulate the microenvironments in which stem cells reside and which are known to provide critical regulatory signals for their proliferation and differentiation. Given the complexity of vertebrate embryonic and adult stem cell populations and their relative inaccessibility to in vivo molecular analyses, the study of stem cells should benefit from analyzing their counterparts in simpler model organisms. In the past, the use of Drosophila or C. elegans has provided invaluable contributions to our understanding of genes and pathways involved in a variety of human diseases. However, stem cells in these organisms are mostly restricted to the gonads, and more importantly neither Drosophila, nor C. elegans are capable of regenerating body parts lost to injury. Therefore, a simple animal with experimentally accessible stem cells playing a role in tissue maintenance and/or regeneration should be very useful in identifying and functionally testing the mechanisms regulating stem cell activities. The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea is poised to fill this experimental gap. S. mediterranea displays robust regenerative properties driven by a stem cell population capable of producing the approximately 40 different cell types found in this organism, including the germ cells. Given that all known metazoans depend on stem cells for their survival, it is extremely likely that

  6. Establishing and maintaining a colony of planarians.

    PubMed

    Oviedo, Néstor J; Nicolas, Cindy L; Adams, Dany S; Levin, Michael

    2008-10-01

    INTRODUCTIONTo provide sufficient material for experimentation, a laboratory needs to expand and maintain a colony of planarians. It is crucial to keep a stable, healthy population of animals in a consistent environment to avoid inter-animal variability and modifier effects that can mask true phenotypes from experimental perturbation. In this protocol, we describe basic procedures for establishing and maintaining healthy colonies of Dugesia japonica, Schmidtea mediterranea, and Girardia tigrina (commonly found in the wild and commercially available in the United States). Although the recommendations are based on our optimization of conditions for G. tigrina, many of the procedures (such as food preparation and feeding strategy) can be applied to other species. For best results, the culture water must be carefully monitored and adjusted for each species.

  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. 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

    2014-09-10

    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.

  9. Hedgehog signaling regulates gene expression in planarian glia

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Irving E; Lapan, Sylvain W; Scimone, M Lucila; Clandinin, Thomas R; Reddien, Peter W

    2016-01-01

    Hedgehog signaling is critical for vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) development, but its role in CNS biology in other organisms is poorly characterized. In the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, hedgehog (hh) is expressed in medial cephalic ganglia neurons, suggesting a possible role in CNS maintenance or regeneration. We performed RNA sequencing of planarian brain tissue following RNAi of hh and patched (ptc), which encodes the Hh receptor. Two misregulated genes, intermediate filament-1 (if-1) and calamari (cali), were expressed in a previously unidentified non-neural CNS cell type. These cells expressed orthologs of astrocyte-associated genes involved in neurotransmitter uptake and metabolism, and extended processes enveloping regions of high synapse concentration. We propose that these cells are planarian glia. Planarian glia were distributed broadly, but only expressed if-1 and cali in the neuropil near hh+ neurons. Planarian glia and their regulation by Hedgehog signaling present a novel tractable system for dissection of glia biology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16996.001 PMID:27612382

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

    PubMed

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

    1986-11-01

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

  11. Environmental genotoxicity assessment of an urban stream using freshwater planarians.

    PubMed

    Prá, Daniel; Lau, Adriana Helena; Knakievicz, Tanise; Carneiro, Flávia Rosa; Erdtmann, Bernardo

    2005-08-01

    Pollution is a major concern in urban areas. Due to its biological significance, genotoxicity should be a main focus for pollution biomonitoring, due mainly to the increasing complexity of the chemical environment in which organisms are exposed. Diluvio's Basin (Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil) is a heavily polluted urban ecosystem impacted by urban wastewater. Planarians are useful organism for evaluating environmental genotoxicity because of their high sensitivity, low cost, high proliferative rate and also because of their basal evolutionary position in relation to complex metazoans. Comet assay is a powerful and highly sensitive method of evaluating primary DNA lesions. Based on the unique features of planarians and the current environmental state of Diluvio's Basin, the aim of this work was to evaluate the genotoxic potential of this body of water using comet assay in planarians. Planarians were exposed to the water for 13 days in a laboratory and comet assay was performed in order to screen possible DNA damages. The results indicated an increasing gradient of damage towards basin's mouth. Such a gradient could be related to the gradual increase of pollutants among the different sample sites. Moreover, there seems to be a correlation between the urbanization gradient that exists within the watershed and the genotoxicity. Historical physical-chemical data was also gathered and examined for possible correlations with genotoxicity. Comet assay in planarians is a very promising test for environmental monitoring studies. Its application should be expanded.

  12. High-resolution profiling and discovery of planarian small RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Friedländer, Marc R.; Adamidi, Catherine; Han, Ting; Lebedeva, Svetlana; Isenbarger, Thomas A.; Hirst, Martin; Marra, Marco; Nusbaum, Chad; Lee, William L.; Jenkin, James C.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez; Kim, John K.; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2009-01-01

    Freshwater planarian flatworms possess uncanny regenerative capacities mediated by abundant and collectively totipotent adult stem cells. Key functions of these cells during regeneration and tissue homeostasis have been shown to depend on PIWI, a molecule required for Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) expression in planarians. Nevertheless, the full complement of piRNAs and microRNAs (miRNAs) in this organism has yet to be defined. Here we report on the large-scale cloning and sequencing of small RNAs from the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, yielding altogether millions of sequenced, unique small RNAs. We show that piRNAs are in part organized in genomic clusters and that they share characteristic features with mammalian and fly piRNAs. We further identify 61 novel miRNA genes and thus double the number of known planarian miRNAs. Sequencing, as well as quantitative PCR of small RNAs, uncovered 10 miRNAs enriched in planarian stem cells. These miRNAs are down-regulated in animals in which stem cells have been abrogated by irradiation, and thus constitute miRNAs likely associated with specific stem-cell functions. Altogether, we present the first comprehensive small RNA analysis in animals belonging to the third animal superphylum, the Lophotrochozoa, and single out a number of miRNAs that may function in regeneration. Several of these miRNAs are deeply conserved in animals. PMID:19564616

  13. Novel RNAi-mediated approach to G protein-coupled receptor deorphanization: proof of principle and characterization of a planarian 5-HT receptor.

    PubMed

    Zamanian, Mostafa; Agbedanu, Prince N; Wheeler, Nicolas J; McVeigh, Paul; Kimber, Michael J; Day, Tim A

    2012-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent the largest known superfamily of membrane proteins extending throughout the Metazoa. There exists ample motivation to elucidate the functional properties of GPCRs given their role in signal transduction and their prominence as drug targets. In many target organisms, these efforts are hampered by the unreliable nature of heterologous receptor expression platforms. We validate and describe an alternative loss-of-function approach for ascertaining the ligand and G protein coupling properties of GPCRs in their native cell membrane environment. Our efforts are focused on the phylum Platyhelminthes, given the heavy health burden exacted by pathogenic flatworms, as well as the role of free-living flatworms as model organisms for the study of developmental biology. RNA interference (RNAi) was used in conjunction with a biochemical endpoint assay to monitor cAMP modulation in response to the translational suppression of individual receptors. As proof of principle, this approach was used to confirm the neuropeptide GYIRFamide as the cognate ligand for the planarian neuropeptide receptor GtNPR-1, while revealing its endogenous coupling to Gα(i/o). The method was then extended to deorphanize a novel Gα(s)-coupled planarian serotonin receptor, DtSER-1. A bioinformatics protocol guided the selection of receptor candidates mediating 5-HT-evoked responses. These results provide functional data on a neurotransmitter central to flatworm biology, while establishing the great potential of an RNAi-based deorphanization protocol. Future work can help optimize and adapt this protocol for higher-throughput platforms as well as other phyla.

  14. 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

  15. [Regeneration in two freshwater planarian species exposed to methylmercury compounds].

    PubMed

    Medvedev, I V

    2008-01-01

    The regeneration rate was studied by the morphometric method in planarians Polycelis tenuis and Dugesia lugubris after different periods of exposure on food substrates with high (0.30-0.50 mg/kg wet weight) and low (0.02-0.07 mg/kg) concentration of methylmercury compounds. The planarian growth and the ratio of regenerating tissue area to the total fragment area after transverse cutting were evaluated. The rate of size increment was lower in animals with high level than with low level of methylmercury than with low level of methylmercury. The highest relative and absolute body area increment after amputation was observed in D. lugubris and P. tenius, respectively. Thus, natural methylmercury compounds were shown to inhibit tissue regeneration in planarians in a dose-dependent manner.

  16. Acoel flatworms are not platyhelminthes: evidence from phylogenomics.

    PubMed

    Philippe, Hervé; Brinkmann, Henner; Martinez, Pedro; Riutort, Marta; Baguñà, Jaume

    2007-08-08

    Acoel flatworms are small marine worms traditionally considered to belong to the phylum Platyhelminthes. However, molecular phylogenetic analyses suggest that acoels are not members of Platyhelminthes, but are rather extant members of the earliest diverging Bilateria. This result has been called into question, under suspicions of a long branch attraction (LBA) artefact. Here we re-examine this problem through a phylogenomic approach using 68 different protein-coding genes from the acoel Convoluta pulchra and 51 metazoan species belonging to 15 different phyla. We employ a mixture model, named CAT, previously found to overcome LBA artefacts where classical models fail. Our results unequivocally show that acoels are not part of the classically defined Platyhelminthes, making the latter polyphyletic. Moreover, they indicate a deuterostome affinity for acoels, potentially as a sister group to all deuterostomes, to Xenoturbellida, to Ambulacraria, or even to chordates. However, the weak support found for most deuterostome nodes, together with the very fast evolutionary rate of the acoel Convoluta pulchra, call for more data from slowly evolving acoels (or from its sister-group, the Nemertodermatida) to solve this challenging phylogenetic problem.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-27

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

  1. Benzodiazepine inhibits anxiogenic-like response in cocaine or ethanol withdrawn planarians.

    PubMed

    Nayak, Sunil; Roberts, Adam; Bires, Kristofer; Tallarida, Christopher S; Kim, Erin; Wu, Michael; Rawls, Scott M

    2016-09-01

    Planarians spend less time in light versus dark environments. We hypothesized that planarians withdrawn from cocaine or ethanol would spend even less time in the light than drug-naive planarians and that a benzodiazepine would inhibit this response. Planarians pretreated in cocaine or ethanol were placed at the midline of a Petri dish containing spring water that was split evenly into dark and light compartments. Planarians withdrawn from cocaine (1, 10, 100 μmol/l) or ethanol (0.01%) spent less time in the light compartment than water controls; however, this withdrawal response to cocaine (100 μmol/l) or ethanol (0.01%) was abolished by clorazepate (0-100 μmol/l). These data suggest that planarians, similar to rodents, show benzodiazepine-sensitive, anxiogenic-like responses during cocaine or alcohol withdrawal.

  2. Multiple Neuropeptide-Coding Genes Involved in Planarian Pharynx Extension.

    PubMed

    Shimoyama, Seira; Inoue, Takeshi; Kashima, Makoto; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2016-06-01

    Planarian feeding behavior involves three steps: moving toward food, extending the pharynx from their planarian's ventral side after arriving at the food, and ingesting the food through the pharynx. Although pharynx extension is a remarkable behavior, it remains unknown what neuronal cell types are involved in its regulation. To identify neurons involved in regulating pharynx extension, we quantitatively analyzed pharynx extension and sought to identify these neurons by RNA interference (RNAi) and in situ hybridization. This assay, when performed using planarians with amputation of various body parts, clearly showed that the head portion is indispensable for inducing pharynx extension. We thus tested the effects of knockdown of brain neurons such as serotonergic, GABAergic, and dopaminergic neurons by RNAi, but did not observe any effects on pharynx extension behavior. However, animals with RNAi of the Prohormone Convertase 2 (PC2, a neuropeptide processing enzyme) gene did not perform the pharynx extension behavior, suggesting the possible involvement of neuropeptide(s in the regulation of pharynx extension. We screened 24 neuropeptide-coding genes, analyzed their functions by RNAi using the pharynx extension assay system, and identified at least five neuropeptide genes involved in pharynx extension. These was expressed in different cells or neurons, and some of them were expressed in the brain, suggesting complex regulation of planarian feeding behavior by the nervous system.

  3. A regulatory program for excretory system regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  4. Multiple Neuropeptide-Coding Genes Involved in Planarian Pharynx Extension.

    PubMed

    Shimoyama, Seira; Inoue, Takeshi; Kashima, Makoto; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2016-06-01

    Planarian feeding behavior involves three steps: moving toward food, extending the pharynx from their planarian's ventral side after arriving at the food, and ingesting the food through the pharynx. Although pharynx extension is a remarkable behavior, it remains unknown what neuronal cell types are involved in its regulation. To identify neurons involved in regulating pharynx extension, we quantitatively analyzed pharynx extension and sought to identify these neurons by RNA interference (RNAi) and in situ hybridization. This assay, when performed using planarians with amputation of various body parts, clearly showed that the head portion is indispensable for inducing pharynx extension. We thus tested the effects of knockdown of brain neurons such as serotonergic, GABAergic, and dopaminergic neurons by RNAi, but did not observe any effects on pharynx extension behavior. However, animals with RNAi of the Prohormone Convertase 2 (PC2, a neuropeptide processing enzyme) gene did not perform the pharynx extension behavior, suggesting the possible involvement of neuropeptide(s in the regulation of pharynx extension. We screened 24 neuropeptide-coding genes, analyzed their functions by RNAi using the pharynx extension assay system, and identified at least five neuropeptide genes involved in pharynx extension. These was expressed in different cells or neurons, and some of them were expressed in the brain, suggesting complex regulation of planarian feeding behavior by the nervous system. PMID:27268986

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. [Regeneration of photoreceptor organs in freshwater planarians at different levels of accumulation of natural methylmercury compounds].

    PubMed

    Medvedev, I V; Gremiachikh, V A; Zheltov, S V; Bogdanenko, O V; Aksenova, I A

    2006-01-01

    The effects of natural methylmercury compounds on regeneration of photoreceptor organs were studied in three freshwater planarians: Polycelis tenuis, Dugesia lugubris, and D. tigrina. Accumulation of methyl mercury in the planarian body suppressed regeneration of P. tenuis with numerous photoreceptor organs to a greater extent than in two other planarians that have only two eyes. High methyl mercury concentrations inhibited the restoration of photoreceptor organs in asexual and sexual D. tigrina races.

  8. Agmatine: identification and inhibition of methamphetamine, kappa opioid, and cannabinoid withdrawal in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Gerber, Kristin; Ding, Zhe; Roth, Christopher; Raffa, Robert B

    2008-12-01

    Agmatine blocks morphine physical dependence in mammals, but its effects on withdrawal signs caused by other abused drugs have been less studied. One of the reasons is that withdrawal to some of these drugs is difficult to quantify in mammals. An alternative to mammals is planarians, a type of flatworm. Planarians possess mammalian-like neurotransmitters and display withdrawal from amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine, and opioids. The withdrawal is manifested as a reduction in locomotor behavior following discontinuation of drug exposure. In the present study, our goal was to identify agmatine in planarians and to determine if planarians exposed to agmatine display withdrawal to methamphetamine, a cannabinoid receptor agonist (WIN 55,212-2), or a kappa-opioid receptor agonist (U-50,488H). Neurochemical experiments revealed that the concentration of agmatine in planarians was 185 +/- 33.7 pmol per mg of planarian weight (dry weight). In behavioral experiments, withdrawal (i.e., reduced locomotor activity) was observed when planarians exposed to each drug (10 microM) for 60 min were placed into water. The withdrawal was attenuated when methamphetamine- or U-50,488H-exposed planarians were tested in agmatine (100 microM). Withdrawal was inhibited similarly when planarians coexposed to agmatine (100 microM) plus methamphetamine (10 microM), WIN 55,212-2 (10 microM), or U-50,488H (10 microM) were tested in water. Arginine, the metabolic precursor to agmatine, was ineffective. Our results identify endogenous agmatine in planarians and demonstrate that agmatine exposure blocks withdrawal to three different drugs in planarians. This suggests that a change in agmatine signaling is a common mechanism in the withdrawal caused by these drugs, at least in planarians.

  9. 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.

  10. Mitochondrial genome data support the basal position of Acoelomorpha and the polyphyly of the Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Trillo, Iñaki; Riutort, Marta; Fourcade, H Matthew; Baguñà, Jaume; Boore, Jeffrey L

    2004-11-01

    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.

  11. Nociceptin attenuates methamphetamine abstinence-induced withdrawal-like behavior in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Baron, Steven; Ding, Zhe; Roth, Christopher; Zaveri, Nurulain; Raffa, Robert B

    2008-06-01

    Planarians display a concentration-related reduction in locomotor activity when amphetamine, cocaine, cannabinoid, or benzodiazepine exposure is abruptly discontinued. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that abrupt discontinuation of methamphetamine would also cause withdrawal-like behavior in planarians and that the withdrawal-like behavior would be prevented by nociceptin, which has been shown to modulate the effects of methamphetamine in mammals. We observed a concentration-related reduction of locomotor behavior when planarians exposed to methamphetamine (0.1-100 microM) were tested in drug-free water. The withdrawal-like behavior was abolished when methamphetamine (10 microM)-exposed planarians were placed into water containing nociceptin (10 microM) or when planarians co-exposed to methamphetamine (10 microM) and nociceptin (10 microM) were placed into drug-free water. The effects of nociceptin were abolished in the presence of a nociceptin receptor antagonist, JTC-801 (1 microM). Planarians did not display a change in locomotor behavior during exposure to nociceptin (10 microM) or JTC-801 (1 microM) by themselves. These results (1) reveal a functional interaction between nociceptin and methamphetamine in planarians and (2) provide evidence that nociceptin blocks methamphetamine-induced withdrawal-like behavior in planarians through a JTC-801-sensitive mechanism.

  12. Freshwater Planarians as an Alternative Animal Model for Neurotoxicology

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  13. 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.

  14. Chemo-klino-kinesis in planarian food location.

    PubMed

    Mason, P R

    1975-05-01

    The effects of a homologous series of buffered fatty acid solutions on planarian behaviour were measured as the change in klino-kinetic activity. On the basis of the results obtained a model demonstrating the function of this behaviour pattern in the food-locating response was proposed. The model suggested that qualitative rather than quantitative gradients were effective in stimulating klino-kinetic orientation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-05

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Two FGFRL-Wnt circuits organize the planarian anteroposterior axis

    PubMed Central

    Scimone, M Lucila; Cote, Lauren E; Rogers, Travis; Reddien, Peter W

    2016-01-01

    How positional information instructs adult tissue maintenance is poorly understood. Planarians undergo whole-body regeneration and tissue turnover, providing a model for adult positional information studies. Genes encoding secreted and transmembrane components of multiple developmental pathways are predominantly expressed in planarian muscle cells. Several of these genes regulate regional identity, consistent with muscle harboring positional information. Here, single-cell RNA-sequencing of 115 muscle cells from distinct anterior-posterior regions identified 44 regionally expressed genes, including multiple Wnt and ndk/FGF receptor-like (ndl/FGFRL) genes. Two distinct FGFRL-Wnt circuits, involving juxtaposed anterior FGFRL and posterior Wnt expression domains, controlled planarian head and trunk patterning. ndl-3 and wntP-2 inhibition expanded the trunk, forming ectopic mouths and secondary pharynges, which independently extended and ingested food. fz5/8-4 inhibition, like that of ndk and wntA, caused posterior brain expansion and ectopic eye formation. Our results suggest that FGFRL-Wnt circuits operate within a body-wide coordinate system to control adult axial positioning. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12845.001 PMID:27063937

  20. Cell Death and Tissue Remodeling in Planarian Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Pellettieri, Jason; Fitzgerald, Patrick; Watanabe, Shigeki; Mancuso, Joel; Green, Douglas R.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2010-01-01

    Many long-lived organisms, including humans, can regenerate some adult tissues lost to physical injury or disease. Much of the previous research on mechanisms of regeneration has focused on adult stem cells, which give rise to new tissue necessary for the replacement of missing body parts. Here we report that apoptosis of differentiated cells complements stem cell division during regeneration in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Specifically, we developed a whole-mount TUNEL assay that allowed us to document two dramatic increases in the rate of apoptosis following amputation – an intial localized response near the wound site and a subsequent systemic response that varies in magnitude depending on the type of fragment examined. The latter cell death response can be induced in uninjured organs, occurs in the absence of planarian stem cells, and can also be triggered by prolonged starvation. Taken together, our results implicate apoptosis in the restoration of proper anatomical scale and proportion through remodeling of existing tissues. We also report results from initial mechanistic studies of apoptosis in planarians, which revealed that a S. mediterranea homolog of the antiapoptotic gene BCL2 is required for cell survival in adult animals. We propose that apoptosis is a central mechanism working in concert with stem cell division to restore anatomical form and function during metazoan regeneration. PMID:19766622

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Recording and spectrum analysis of the planarian electroencephalogram.

    PubMed

    Aoki, R; Wake, H; Sasaki, H; Agata, K

    2009-03-17

    Many animals produce continuous brainwaves, known as the electroencephalogram (EEG), but it is not known at what point in evolution the EEG developed. Planarians possess the most primitive form of brain, but still exhibit learning and memory behaviors. Here, we observed and characterized the EEG waveform of the planarian. We inserted a monopole electrode into the head of a planarian on a cold stage, and were able to observe the EEG at sub-microvolt amplitudes. The EEG had a continuous waveform, similar to that of evolutionarily advanced animals with more developed brains. Occasional myogenic potential spikes were observed in the EEG due to sticking of the electrode, but this was markedly diminished by cooling the sample, which enabled us to investigate the intrinsic character of the continuous EEG waveform. The frequency spectrum of the EEG was observed in the range of 0.1-5 Hz, showing a broad rise below 0.5 Hz and a monotonic decrease above 1 Hz, apparently following the 1/f law. The intensity of the total EEG diminished during anesthesia by cooling to 2-3 degrees C, and recovered when the sample was warmed to about 10 degrees C. The EEG signal was sustained for 30-40 min, and gradually weakened as the animal died. Stimulation of the planarian with water vibration at 0.5-2 Hz induced chaotic resonance with a broad peak spectrum of around the stimulation frequency. Strong illumination suppressed the EEG signals for several minutes, with the degree of suppression positively correlating with the intensity of the light. This provides evidence that the EEG responds to optical signals, although there were no synchronous reactions to light flashes. The continuous EEG waveform suggests the existence of feedback loop circuits in the neural network of the planarian, which was supposed in electric shock memory experiments [McConnell JV, Cornwell P, Clay M (1960) An apparatus for conditioning planaria. Am J Psychol 73:618-622]. However, because of the broad band character of

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Elliott, Sarah A; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2015-10-05

    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.

  11. Discovery of multiple neuropeptide families in the phylum Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

    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

  12. Discovery of multiple neuropeptide families in the phylum Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

    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.

  13. Simple blood-feeding method for live imaging of gut tube remodeling in regenerating planarians.

    PubMed

    Hosoda, Kazutaka; Morimoto, Mizuki; Motoishi, Minako; Nishimura, Osamu; Agata, Kiyokazu; Umesono, Yoshihiko

    2016-04-01

    Live cell imaging is a powerful technique to study cellular dynamics in vivo during animal development and regeneration. However, few live imaging methods have been reported for studying planarian regeneration. Here, we developed a simple method for steady visualization of gut tube remodeling during regeneration of a living freshwater planarian, Dugesia japonica. When planarians were fed blood several times, gut branches were well-visualized in living intact animals under normal bright-field illumination. Interestingly, tail fragments derived from these colored planarians enabled successive observation of the processes of the formation of a single anterior gut branch in the prepharyngeal region from the preexisting two posterior gut branches in the same living animals during head regeneration. Furthermore, we combined this method and RNA interference (RNAi) and thereby showed that a D. japonica raf-related gene (DjrafA) and mek-related gene (DjmekA) we identified both play a major role in the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling during planarian regeneration, as indicated by their RNAi-induced defects on gut tube remodeling in a time-saving initial screening using blood-feeding without immunohistochemical detection of the gut. Thus, this blood-feeding method is useful for live imaging of gut tube remodeling, and provides an advance for the field of regeneration study in planarians.

  14. Alternative flow cytometry strategies to analyze stem cells and cell death in planarians.

    PubMed

    Peiris, Tanuja Harshani; García-Ojeda, Marcos E; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2016-04-01

    Planarians possess remarkable stem cell populations that continuously support cellular turnover and are instrumental in the regeneration of tissues upon injury. Cellular turnover and tissue regeneration in planarians rely on the proper integration of local and systemic signals that regulate cell proliferation and cell death. Thus, understanding the signals controlling cellular proliferation and cell death in planarians could provide valuable insights for maintenance of adult body homeostasis and the biology of regeneration. Flow cytometry techniques have been utilized widely to identify, isolate, and characterize planarian stem cell populations. We developed alternative flow cytometry strategies that reduce the number of reagents and the time of sample preparation to analyze stem cells and cell death in planarians. The sensitivity of these methods is validated with functional studies using RNA interference and treatment with  γ irradiation or stressful conditions that are known to trigger cell death. Altogether, we provide a community resource intended to minimize adverse effects during ex vivo studies of stem cells and cell death in planarians.

  15. 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

  16. Alternative flow cytometry strategies to analyze stem cells and cell death in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Peiris, Tanuja Harshani; García‐Ojeda, Marcos E.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Planarians possess remarkable stem cell populations that continuously support cellular turnover and are instrumental in the regeneration of tissues upon injury. Cellular turnover and tissue regeneration in planarians rely on the proper integration of local and systemic signals that regulate cell proliferation and cell death. Thus, understanding the signals controlling cellular proliferation and cell death in planarians could provide valuable insights for maintenance of adult body homeostasis and the biology of regeneration. Flow cytometry techniques have been utilized widely to identify, isolate, and characterize planarian stem cell populations. We developed alternative flow cytometry strategies that reduce the number of reagents and the time of sample preparation to analyze stem cells and cell death in planarians. The sensitivity of these methods is validated with functional studies using RNA interference and treatment with  γ irradiation or stressful conditions that are known to trigger cell death. Altogether, we provide a community resource intended to minimize adverse effects during ex vivo studies of stem cells and cell death in planarians. PMID:27307993

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-01

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

  18. Comparative selenoproteome analysis reveals a reduced utilization of selenium in parasitic platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Liang; Zhu, Hua-Zhang; Xu, Yin-Zhen; Ni, Jia-Zuan; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Qiong

    2013-01-01

    Background. The selenocysteine(Sec)-containing proteins, selenoproteins, are an important group of proteins present in all three kingdoms of life. Although the selenoproteomes of many organisms have been analyzed, systematic studies on selenoproteins in platyhelminthes are still lacking. Moreover, comparison of selenoproteomes between free-living and parasitic animals is rarely studied. Results. In this study, three representative organisms (Schmidtea mediterranea, Schistosoma japonicum and Taenia solium) were selected for comparative analysis of selenoproteomes in Platyhelminthes. Using a SelGenAmic-based selenoprotein prediction algorithm, a total of 37 selenoprotein genes were identified in these organisms. The size of selenoproteomes and selenoprotein families were found to be associated with different lifestyles: free-living organisms have larger selenoproteome whereas parasitic lifestyle corresponds to reduced selenoproteomes. Five selenoproteins, SelT, Sel15, GPx, SPS2 and TR, were found to be present in all examined platyhelminthes as well as almost all sequenced animals, suggesting their essential role in metazoans. Finally, a new splicing form of SelW that lacked the first exon was found to be present in S. japonicum. Conclusions. Our data provide a first glance into the selenoproteomes of organisms in the phylum Platyhelminthes and may help understand function and evolutionary dynamics of selenium utilization in diversified metazoans.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Correlating early evolution of parasitic platyhelminths to Gondwana breakup.

    PubMed

    Badets, Mathieu; Whittington, Ian; Lalubin, Fabrice; Allienne, Jean-Francois; Maspimby, Jean-Luc; Bentz, Sophie; Du Preez, Louis H; Barton, Diane; Hasegawa, Hideo; Tandon, Veena; Imkongwapang, Rangpenyuba; Imkongwapang, Rangpenyubai; Ohler, Annemarie; Combes, Claude; Verneau, Olivier

    2011-12-01

    Investigating patterns and processes of parasite diversification over ancient geological periods should involve comparisons of host and parasite phylogenies in a biogeographic context. It has been shown previously that the geographical distribution of host-specific parasites of sarcopterygians was guided, from Palaeozoic to Cainozoic times, mostly by evolution and diversification of their freshwater hosts. Here, we propose phylogenies of neobatrachian frogs and their specific parasites (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea) to investigate coevolutionary processes and historical biogeography of polystomes and further discuss all the possible assumptions that may account for the early evolution of these parasites. Phylogenetic analyses of concatenated rRNA nuclear genes (18S and partial 28S) supplemented by cophylogenetic and biogeographic vicariance analyses reveal four main parasite lineages that can be ascribed to centers of diversity, namely Australia, India, Africa, and South America. In addition, the relationships among these biogeographical monophyletic groups, substantiated by molecular dating, reflect sequential origins during the breakup of Gondwana. The Australian polystome lineage may have been isolated during the first stages of the breakup, whereas the Indian lineage would have arisen after the complete separation of western and eastern Gondwanan components. Next, polystomes would have codiverged with hyloid sensu stricto and ranoid frog lineages before the completion of South American and African plate separation. Ultimately, they would have undergone an extensive diversification in South America when their ancestral host families diversified. Therefore, the presence of polystome parasites in specific anuran host clades and in discrete geographic areas reveals the importance of biogeographic vicariance in diversification processes and supports the occurrence and radiation of amphibians over ancient and recent geological periods.

  2. 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.

  3. 5-HT(1A)-like receptor activation inhibits abstinence-induced methamphetamine withdrawal in planarians.

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-29

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

  4. Identification of immunological reagents for use in the study of freshwater planarians by means of whole-mount immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy.

    PubMed

    Robb, Sofia M; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2002-04-01

    In recent years, interest in planarians as a model system for the study of metazoan regeneration, adult stem cell biology, and the evolution of metazoan body plans has been growing steadily. The availability of RNA interference (RNAi), BrdU-labeling of planarian stem cells, and thousands of planarian cDNA sequences soon to be released into public databases has opened planarians to molecular dissection. However, the successful application of large-scale RNAi-based screens, for example, will depend in part on the availability of markers to characterize the resulting phenotypes. Given the paucity of antibodies available for the study of planarian biology, we have screened various public and commercial antibody resources to identify immunoreagents capable of cross-reacting with planarian tissues. Here we report the identification and characterization of 33 such antibodies recognizing a wide variety of tissues in freshwater planarians.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    März, Martin; Seebeck, Florian; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2013-11-01

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

  8. A molecular wound response program associated with regeneration initiation in planarians.

    PubMed

    Wenemoser, Danielle; Lapan, Sylvain W; Wilkinson, Alex W; Bell, George W; Reddien, Peter W

    2012-05-01

    Planarians are capable of regenerating any missing body part and present an attractive system for molecular investigation of regeneration initiation. The gene activation program that occurs at planarian wounds to coordinate regenerative responses remains unknown. We identified a large set of wound-induced genes during regeneration initiation in planarians. Two waves of wound-induced gene expression occurred in differentiated tissues. The first wave includes conserved immediate early genes. Many second-wave genes encode conserved patterning factors required for proper regeneration. Genes of both classes were generally induced by wounding, indicating that a common initial gene expression program is triggered regardless of missing tissue identity. Planarian regeneration uses a population of regenerative cells (neoblasts), including pluripotent stem cells. A class of wound-induced genes was activated directly within neoblasts, including the Runx transcription factor-encoding runt-1 gene. runt-1 was required for specifying different cell types during regeneration, promoting heterogeneity in neoblasts near wounds. Wound-induced gene expression in neoblasts, including that of runt-1, required SRF (serum response factor) and sos-1. Taken together, these data connect wound sensation to the activation of specific cell type regeneration programs in neoblasts. Most planarian wound-induced genes are conserved across metazoans, and identified genes and mechanisms should be important broadly for understanding wound signaling and regeneration initiation.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Cell-, tissue-, and position-specific monoclonal antibodies against the planarian Dugesia (Girardia) tigrina.

    PubMed

    Bueno, D; Baguñà, J; Romero, R

    1997-02-01

    To obtain specific immunological probes for studying molecular mechanisms involved in cell renewal, cell differentiation, and pattern formation in intact and regenerating planarians, we have produced a hybridoma library specific for the asexual race of the fresh-water planarian Dugesia (Girardia) tigrina. Among the 276 monoclonal antibodies showing tissue-, cell-, cell subtype-, subcellular- and position-specific staining, we have found monoclonal antibodies against all tissues and cell types with the exception of neoblasts, the undifferentiated totipotent stem-cells in planarians. We have also detected position-specific antigens that label anterior, central, and posterior regions. Patterns of expression uncovered an unexpected heterogeneity among previously thought single cell types, as well as interesting cross-reactivities that deserve further study. Characterization of some of these monoclonal antibodies suggests they may be extremely useful as molecular markers for studying cell renewal and cell differentiation in the intact and regenerating organism, tracing the origin, lineage, and differentiation of blastema cells, and characterizing the stages and mechanisms of early pattern formation. Moreover, two position-specific monoclonals, the first ones isolated in planarians, will be instrumental in describing in molecular terms how the new pattern unfolds during regeneration and in devising the pattern formation model that best fits classical data on regeneration in planarians.

  12. Differential predation of the planarian Dugesia tigrina on two mosquito species under laboratory conditions.

    PubMed

    Melo, A S; Andrade, C F

    2001-03-01

    Two experiments were performed on the predation of the planarian Dugesia tigrina (Girard) upon 2 mosquito prey species, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus. Bioassays were carried out in sectioned tires with 2 liters of water. In the 1st experiment, predation was evaluated using 4, 8, and 12 mature planarians against 40 2nd-stage larvae of each mosquito species alone. In the 2nd experiment, the same 3 predator densities were used with a pool composed of 20 2nd-stage larvae of each mosquito species. In the 1st experiment, final corrected mortality of Ae. albopictus reached 89.1, 98.8, and 99.6% and final corrected mortality of Cx. quinquefasciatus reached 29.4, 48.0, and 53.0%, respectively, with 4, 8, and 12 planarians. In the 2nd experiment and when subjected to the density of 4 planarians, Ae. albopictus was more susceptible to predation, with a selectivity index of 0.87, whereas this index was 0.13 for Cx. quinquefasciatus. Predation was more intensive during the 1st 4 days of the experiments, when most larvae were in the 2nd and 3rd stages. We observed that Cx. quinquefasciatus larvae were faster than Ae. albopictus in reacting to planarian contacts, resulting in more success in escaping from the predator attacks.

  13. 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.

  14. SmedOB1 is Required for Planarian Homeostasis and Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Shanshan; Huang, Yan; Zhangfang, Yingnan; Zhong, Xiaoqin; Li, Pengqing; Huang, Junjiu; Liu, Dan; Songyang, Zhou

    2016-01-01

    The planarian flatworm is an emerging model that is useful for studying homeostasis and regeneration due to its unique adult stem cells (ASCs). Previously, planaria were found to share mammalian TTAGGG chromosome ends and telomerases; however, their telomere protection proteins have not yet been identified. In Schmidtea mediterranea, we identified a homologue of the human protection of telomeres 1 (POT1) with an OB-fold (SmedOB1). SmedOB1 is evolutionarily conserved among species and is ubiquitously expressed throughout the whole body. Feeding with SmedOB1 double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) led to homeostasis abnormalities in the head and pharynx. Furthermore, several ASC progeny markers were downregulated, and regeneration was impaired. Here we found that SmedOB1 is required for telomeric DNA-protein complex formation and it associates with the telomere TTAGGG sequence in vitro. Moreover, DNA damage and apoptosis signals in planarian were significantly affected by SmedOB1 RNAi. We also confirmed these phenotypes in Dugesia japonica, another flatworm species. Our work identified a novel telomere-associated protein SmedOB1 in planarian, which is required for planarian homeostasis and regeneration. The phylogenetic and functional conservations of SmedOB1 provide one mechanism by which planarians maintain telomere and genome stability to ensure their immortality and shed light on the regeneration medicine of humans. PMID:27654173

  15. Ingestion of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA inhibits gene expression in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Newmark, Phillip A.; Reddien, Peter W.; Cebrià, Francesc; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2003-01-01

    Freshwater planarian flatworms are capable of regenerating complete organisms from tiny fragments of their bodies; the basis for this regenerative prowess is an experimentally accessible stem cell population that is present in the adult planarian. The study of these organisms, classic experimental models for investigating metazoan regeneration, has been revitalized by the application of modern molecular biological approaches. The identification of thousands of unique planarian ESTs, coupled with large-scale whole-mount in situ hybridization screens, and the ability to inhibit planarian gene expression through double-stranded RNA-mediated genetic interference, provide a wealth of tools for studying the molecular mechanisms that regulate tissue regeneration and stem cell biology in these organisms. Here we show that, as in Caenorhabditis elegans, ingestion of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA can inhibit gene expression in planarians. This inhibition persists throughout the process of regeneration, allowing phenotypes with disrupted regenerative patterning to be identified. These results pave the way for large-scale screens for genes involved in regenerative processes. PMID:12917490

  16. A molecular wound response program associated with regeneration initiation in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Wenemoser, Danielle; Lapan, Sylvain W.; Wilkinson, Alex W.; Bell, George W.; Reddien, Peter W.

    2012-01-01

    Planarians are capable of regenerating any missing body part and present an attractive system for molecular investigation of regeneration initiation. The gene activation program that occurs at planarian wounds to coordinate regenerative responses remains unknown. We identified a large set of wound-induced genes during regeneration initiation in planarians. Two waves of wound-induced gene expression occurred in differentiated tissues. The first wave includes conserved immediate early genes. Many second-wave genes encode conserved patterning factors required for proper regeneration. Genes of both classes were generally induced by wounding, indicating that a common initial gene expression program is triggered regardless of missing tissue identity. Planarian regeneration uses a population of regenerative cells (neoblasts), including pluripotent stem cells. A class of wound-induced genes was activated directly within neoblasts, including the Runx transcription factor-encoding runt-1 gene. runt-1 was required for specifying different cell types during regeneration, promoting heterogeneity in neoblasts near wounds. Wound-induced gene expression in neoblasts, including that of runt-1, required SRF (serum response factor) and sos-1. Taken together, these data connect wound sensation to the activation of specific cell type regeneration programs in neoblasts. Most planarian wound-induced genes are conserved across metazoans, and identified genes and mechanisms should be important broadly for understanding wound signaling and regeneration initiation. PMID:22549959

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-16

    Planarians grow and regenerate organs by coordinating proliferation and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells with remodeling of postmitotic 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 postembryonic organogenesis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. [A new planarian extrachromosomal virus-like element revealed by subtraction hybridization].

    PubMed

    Rebrikov, D V; Bogdanova, E A; Bulina, M E; Luk'ianov, S A

    2002-01-01

    A combination of suppression subtraction hybridization (SSH) and a new technique of mirror orientation selection (MOS) was used to compare the total DNA for two, sexual (SR) and asexual (AR), races of freshwater planarian Giradia tigrina. Several race-specific DNA fragments were found. A new element termed planarian extrachromosomal virus-like element (PEVE) was revealed in AR. The PEVE genome contains two unique regions, Ul and Us, which are flanked by inverted repeats. Two variants observed for the PEVE genome differ in combination of single- and double-stranded regions corresponding to Ul and Us. The PEVE genome codes for two helicases, one homologous to the circovirus replication initiation protein (Rep) and one corresponding to the helicase domain of papillomavirus E1. PEVE is nonuniformly distributed though the planarian body and is possibly replicated only in certain parenchymal cells.

  2. A functional genomics screen in planarians reveals regulators of whole-brain regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Roberts-Galbraith, Rachel H; Brubacher, John L; Newmark, Phillip A

    2016-01-01

    Planarians regenerate all body parts after injury, including the central nervous system (CNS). We capitalized on this distinctive trait and completed a gene expression-guided functional screen to identify factors that regulate diverse aspects of neural regeneration in Schmidtea mediterranea. Our screen revealed molecules that influence neural cell fates, support the formation of a major connective hub, and promote reestablishment of chemosensory behavior. We also identified genes that encode signaling molecules with roles in head regeneration, including some that are produced in a previously uncharacterized parenchymal population of cells. Finally, we explored genes downregulated during planarian regeneration and characterized, for the first time, glial cells in the planarian CNS that respond to injury by repressing several transcripts. Collectively, our studies revealed diverse molecules and cell types that underlie an animal’s ability to regenerate its brain. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17002.001 PMID:27612384

  3. A Formaldehyde-based Whole-Mount In Situ Hybridization Method for Planarians

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Bret J.; Eisenhoffer, George T.; Gurley, Kyle A.; Rink, Jochen C.; Miller, Diane E.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2009-01-01

    Whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH) is a powerful tool for visualizing gene expression patterns in specific cell and tissue types. Each model organism presents its own unique set of challenges for achieving robust and reproducible staining with cellular resolution. Here we describe a formaldehyde-based WISH method for the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea developed by systematically comparing and optimizing techniques for fixation, permeabilization, hybridization and post-processing. The new method gives robust, high-resolution labeling in fine anatomical detail, allows co-labeling with fluorescent probes, and is sufficiently sensitive to resolve the expression pattern of a microRNA in planarians. Our WISH methodology not only provides significant advancements over current protocols that make it a valuable asset for the planarian community, but should also find wide applicability in WISH methods used in other systems. PMID:19161223

  4. 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

  5. A functional genomic screen in planarians identifies novel regulators of germ cell development

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yuying; Stary, Joel M.; Wilhelm, James E.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2010-01-01

    Germ cells serve as intriguing examples of differentiated cells that retain the capacity to generate all cell types of an organism. Here we used functional genomic approaches in planarians to identify genes required for proper germ cell development. We conducted microarray analyses and in situ hybridization to discover and validate germ cell-enriched transcripts, and then used RNAi to screen for genes required for discrete stages of germ cell development. The majority of genes we identified encode conserved RNA-binding proteins, several of which have not been implicated previously in germ cell development. We also show that a germ cell-specific subunit of the conserved transcription factor CCAAT-binding protein/nuclear factor-Y is required for maintaining spermatogonial stem cells. Our results demonstrate that conserved transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms regulate germ cell development in planarians. These findings suggest that studies of planarians will inform our understanding of germ cell biology in higher organisms. PMID:20844018

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-12

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. Regeneration in Macrostomum lignano (Platyhelminthes): cellular dynamics in the neoblast stem cell system.

    PubMed

    Nimeth, Katharina Theresia; Egger, Bernhard; Rieger, Reinhard; Salvenmoser, Willi; Peter, Roland; Gschwentner, Robert

    2007-03-01

    Neoblasts are potentially totipotent stem cells and the only proliferating cells in adult Platyhelminthes. We have examined the cellular dynamics of neoblasts during the posterior regeneration of Macrostomum lignano. Double-labeling of neoblasts with bromodeoxyuridine and the anti-phospho histone H3 mitosis marker has revealed a complex cellular response in the first 48 h after amputation; this response is different from that known to occur during regeneration in triclad platyhelminths and in starvation/feeding experiments in M. lignano. Mitotic activity is reduced during the first 8 h of regeneration but, at 48 h after amputation, reaches almost twice the value of control animals. The total number of S-phase cells significantly increases after 1 day of regeneration. A subpopulation of fast-cycling neoblasts surprisingly shows the same dynamics during regeneration as those in control animals. Wound healing and regeneration are accompanied by the formation of a distinct blastema. These results present new insights, at the cellular level, into the early regeneration of rhabditophoran Platyhelminthes.

  10. [Regeneration of freshwater planarians Dugesia tigrina and Polycelis tenuis under the influence of methyl mercury compounds of natural origin].

    PubMed

    Medvedev, I V; Komov, V T

    2005-01-01

    We studied the effects of methyl mercury compounds of natural origin on regeneration of the planarians Dugesia tigrina and Polycelis tenuis. Accumulation of methyl mercury in the planarian body leads to a delayed formation of photoreceptor organs in planarians of both species. After a significant traumatic load, the regeneration is suppressed and the death of some control and most experimental animals was observed. The intensity of joining additional cuts depends on the localization of body fragment with a cut and localization of a cut itself.

  11. 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

  12. Ammonia excretion in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Weihrauch, Dirk; Chan, Ainsely C; Meyer, Heiko; Döring, Carmen; Sourial, Mary; O'Donnell, Michael J

    2012-09-15

    In aquatic invertebrates, metabolic nitrogenous waste is excreted predominately as ammonia. Very little is known, however, of the underlying mechanisms of ammonia excretion, particularly in freshwater species. Our results indicate that in the non-parasitic freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, ammonia excretion depends on acidification of the apical unstirred layer of the body surface and consequent ammonia trapping. Buffering of the environment to a pH of 7 or higher decreased the excretion rate. Inhibitor experiments suggested further that the excretion mechanism involves the participation of the V-type H(+)-ATPase and carbonic anhydrase and possibly also the Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase and Na(+)/H(+) exchangers. Alkalinization (pH 8.5, 2 days) of the environment led to a 1.9-fold increase in body ammonia levels and to a downregulation of V-ATPase (subunit A) and Rh-protein mRNA. Further, a 2 day exposure to non-lethal ammonia concentrations (1 mmol l(-1)) caused a doubling of body ammonia levels and led to an increase in Rh-protein and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase (α-subunit) mRNA expression levels. In situ hybridization studies indicated a strong mRNA expression of the Rh-protein in the epidermal epithelium. The ammonia excretion mechanism proposed for S. mediterranea reveals striking similarities to the current model suggested to function in the gills of freshwater fish.

  13. Bioelectrical Regulation of Cell Cycle and the Planarian Model System

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25749155

  14. Forkhead containing transcription factor Albino controls tetrapyrrole-based body pigmentation in planarian

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chen; Han, Xiao-Shuai; Li, Fang-Fang; Huang, Shuang; Qin, Yong-Wen; Zhao, Xian-Xian; Jing, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Pigmentation processes occur from invertebrates to mammals. Owing to the complexity of the pigmentary system, in vivo animal models for pigmentation study are limited. Planarians are capable of regenerating any missing part including the dark-brown pigments, providing a promising model for pigmentation study. However, the molecular mechanism of planarian body pigmentation is poorly understood. We found in an RNA interference screen that a forkhead containing transcription factor, Albino, was required for pigmentation without affecting survival or other regeneration processes. In addition, the body color recovered after termination of Albino double stranded RNA feeding owing to the robust stem cell system. Further expression analysis revealed a spatial and temporal correlation between Albino and pigmentation process. Gene expression arrays revealed that the expression of three tetrapyrrole biosynthesis enzymes, ALAD, ALAS and PBGD, was impaired upon Albino RNA interference. RNA interference of PBGD led to a similar albinism phenotype caused by Albino RNA interference. Moreover, PBGD was specifically expressed in pigment cells and can serve as a pigment cell molecular marker. Our results revealed that Albino controls planarian body color pigmentation dominantly via regulating tetrapyrrole biogenesis. These results identified Albino as the key regulator of the tetrapyrrole-based planarian body pigmentation, suggesting a role of Albino during stem cell-pigment cell fate decision and provided new insights into porphyria pathogenesis. PMID:27551436

  15. Cotinine antagonizes the behavioral effects of nicotine exposure in the planarian Girardia tigrina.

    PubMed

    Bach, Daniel J; Tenaglia, Matthew; Baker, Debra L; Deats, Sean; Montgomery, Erica; Pagán, Oné R

    2016-10-01

    Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs abused by humans. Our laboratory and others have demonstrated that nicotine decreases motility and induces seizure-like behavior in planarians (pSLM, which are vigorous writhing and bending of the body) in a concentration-dependent manner. Nicotine also induces withdrawal-like behaviors in these worms. Cotinine is the major nicotine metabolite in humans, although it is not the final product of nicotine metabolism. Cotinine is mostly inactive in vertebrate nervous systems and is currently being explored as a molecule which possess most of nicotine's beneficial effects and few of its undesirable ones. It is not known whether cotinine is a product of nicotine metabolism in planarians. We found that cotinine by itself does not seem to elicit any behavioral effects in planarians up to a concentration of 1mM. We also show that cotinine antagonizes the aforementioned nicotine-induced motility decrease and also decreases the expression of nicotine-induced pSLMs in a concentration-dependent manner. Also cotinine prevents the manifestation of some of the withdrawal-like behaviors induced by nicotine in our experimental organism. Thus, we obtained evidence supporting that cotinine antagonizes nicotine in this planarian species. Possible explanations include competitive binding of both compounds at overlapping binding sites, at different nicotinic receptor subtypes, or maybe allosteric interactions. PMID:27616704

  16. 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

  17. Essential role for the planarian intestinal GATA transcription factor in stem cells and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Flores, Natasha M; Oviedo, Néstor J; Sage, Julien

    2016-10-01

    The cellular turnover of adult tissues and injury-induced repair proceed through an exquisite integration of proliferation, differentiation, and survival signals that involve stem/progenitor cell populations, their progeny, and differentiated tissues. GATA factors are DNA binding proteins that control stem cells and the development of tissues by activating or repressing transcription. Here we examined the role of GATA transcription factors in Schmidtea mediterranea, a freshwater planarian that provides an excellent model to investigate gene function in adult stem cells, regeneration, and differentiation. Smed-gata4/5/6, the homolog of the three mammalian GATA-4,-5,-6 factors is expressed at high levels in differentiated gut cells but also at lower levels in neoblast populations, the planarian stem cells. Smed-gata4/5/6 knock-down results in broad differentiation defects, especially in response to injury. These defects are not restricted to the intestinal lineage. In particular, at late time points during the response to injury, loss of Smed-gata4/5/6 leads to decreased neoblast proliferation and to gene expression changes in several neoblast subpopulations. Thus, Smed-gata4/5/6 plays a key evolutionary conserved role in intestinal differentiation in planarians. These data further support a model in which defects in the intestinal lineage can indirectly affect other differentiation pathways in planarians.

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

    PubMed

    Pagán, O R; Deats, S; Baker, D; Montgomery, E; Wilk, G; Tenaglia, M; Semon, J

    2013-08-29

    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 5 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.

  19. Stem cell protection mechanisms in planarians: the role of some heat shock genes.

    PubMed

    Isolani, Maria-Emilia; Conte, Maria; Deri, Paolo; Batistoni, Renata

    2012-01-01

    Planarians contain a large population of stem cells, named neoblasts, and use these for continuous turnover of all cell types. In addition, thanks to the amazing flexibility of these cells, planarians respond well to the effects of stressful situations, for example activating regeneration after trauma. How neoblasts respond to stress and support continuous proliferation, maintaining long-term stability, is still an open question. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a complex protein family with key roles in maintaining protein homeostasis, as well as in apoptosis and growth-related processes. We recently characterized some planarian homologs of hsp genes that are highly expressed in mammalian stem cells, and observed that some of them are critical for neoblast survival/maintenance. The results of these studies support the notion that some HSPs play crucial roles in the modulation of pathways regulating stem cell activity, regeneration and tissue repair. In this review we compare the evidence available for planarian hsp genes and focus on questions emerging from these results.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Pagán, O R; Deats, S; Baker, D; Montgomery, E; Wilk, G; Tenaglia, M; Semon, J

    2013-08-29

    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 5 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

  4. 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.

  5. Freshwater planarians as novel organisms for genotoxicity testing: Analysis of chromosome aberrations.

    PubMed

    Lau, Adriana Helena; Knakievicz, Tanise; Prá, Daniel; Erdtmann, Bernardo

    2007-07-01

    Two freshwater species of planarians, Girardia schubarti Marcus and G. tigrina Girard, were used for measuring chromosome aberration (CA) induction under laboratory conditions. Three genotoxicants were tested: methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), a direct-acting genotoxicant; cyclophosphamide, a metabolism-dependent genotoxicant; and gamma-radiation, a clastogenic agent. All three agents produced positive responses in both species. The strongest dose-responses were detected with MMS, and, in general, G. tigrina was somewhat more sensitive to the genotoxicity of the agents than G. schubarti. This difference in sensitivity may be due to: (a) the smaller body mass of G. tigrina; (b) differences in DNA repair, which may be reflected in the marginally higher background CA frequency of G. tigrina; and/or (c) the greater number of chromosomes in G. tigrina (2N = 16) as compared with G. schubarti (2N = 8). The responses induced by gamma-radiation in the planarians were similar to or higher than those induced in cultured human lymphocytes. The CA-planarian assay has advantages for monitoring environmental genotoxicity in natural water resources or urban and industrial wastewater since planarians are characterized by (a) a relatively low number of easily analyzable chromosomes; (b) high regenerating capacity, allowing exposure of replicating cells from different parts of the same organism to different doses; (c) easy maintenance under laboratory conditions; and (d) worldwide distribution, making them available for genotoxicity tests using either in situ or controlled laboratory exposure conditions.

  6. Stress protein response and catalase activity in freshwater planarian Dugesia (Girardia) schubarti exposed to copper.

    PubMed

    Guecheva, Temenouga N; Erdtmann, Bernardo; Benfato, Mara S; Henriques, João A P

    2003-11-01

    The hsp60 expression pattern and catalase activity in the freshwater planarian Dugesia schubarti exposed to copper under laboratory conditions were investigated. In the hsp60 induction experiments, planarians were exposed to a range of copper concentrations (0-960 microgCu/L) for 4 or 24h, to concentrations of 50 or 100 microgCu/L for 2, 4, 8, and 24h at 19 degrees C, and to heat shock at 27 degrees C for 24h. The concentrations of hsp60 in whole-body homogenates were determined immunochemically by Western blotting. Stress protein induction was detected only after 24h treatment at 27 degrees C. The tissue concentration of hsp60 remained unaltered in Cu-exposed planarians under the experimental conditions used. Catalase activity was significantly induced at concentrations of 40, 80, and 160 microgCu/L after 24h exposure. Our results suggest that catalase levels in planarians could represent biomarkers of interest for the estimation of copper effects in freshwater ecosystems.

  7. Cotinine antagonizes the behavioral effects of nicotine exposure in the planarian Girardia tigrina.

    PubMed

    Bach, Daniel J; Tenaglia, Matthew; Baker, Debra L; Deats, Sean; Montgomery, Erica; Pagán, Oné R

    2016-10-01

    Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs abused by humans. Our laboratory and others have demonstrated that nicotine decreases motility and induces seizure-like behavior in planarians (pSLM, which are vigorous writhing and bending of the body) in a concentration-dependent manner. Nicotine also induces withdrawal-like behaviors in these worms. Cotinine is the major nicotine metabolite in humans, although it is not the final product of nicotine metabolism. Cotinine is mostly inactive in vertebrate nervous systems and is currently being explored as a molecule which possess most of nicotine's beneficial effects and few of its undesirable ones. It is not known whether cotinine is a product of nicotine metabolism in planarians. We found that cotinine by itself does not seem to elicit any behavioral effects in planarians up to a concentration of 1mM. We also show that cotinine antagonizes the aforementioned nicotine-induced motility decrease and also decreases the expression of nicotine-induced pSLMs in a concentration-dependent manner. Also cotinine prevents the manifestation of some of the withdrawal-like behaviors induced by nicotine in our experimental organism. Thus, we obtained evidence supporting that cotinine antagonizes nicotine in this planarian species. Possible explanations include competitive binding of both compounds at overlapping binding sites, at different nicotinic receptor subtypes, or maybe allosteric interactions.

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

    PubMed

    CORNING, W C; JOHN, E R

    1961-10-27

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

  9. Forkhead containing transcription factor Albino controls tetrapyrrole-based body pigmentation in planarian.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen; Han, Xiao-Shuai; Li, Fang-Fang; Huang, Shuang; Qin, Yong-Wen; Zhao, Xian-Xian; Jing, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Pigmentation processes occur from invertebrates to mammals. Owing to the complexity of the pigmentary system, in vivo animal models for pigmentation study are limited. Planarians are capable of regenerating any missing part including the dark-brown pigments, providing a promising model for pigmentation study. However, the molecular mechanism of planarian body pigmentation is poorly understood. We found in an RNA interference screen that a forkhead containing transcription factor, Albino, was required for pigmentation without affecting survival or other regeneration processes. In addition, the body color recovered after termination of Albino double stranded RNA feeding owing to the robust stem cell system. Further expression analysis revealed a spatial and temporal correlation between Albino and pigmentation process. Gene expression arrays revealed that the expression of three tetrapyrrole biosynthesis enzymes, ALAD, ALAS and PBGD, was impaired upon Albino RNA interference. RNA interference of PBGD led to a similar albinism phenotype caused by Albino RNA interference. Moreover, PBGD was specifically expressed in pigment cells and can serve as a pigment cell molecular marker. Our results revealed that Albino controls planarian body color pigmentation dominantly via regulating tetrapyrrole biogenesis. These results identified Albino as the key regulator of the tetrapyrrole-based planarian body pigmentation, suggesting a role of Albino during stem cell-pigment cell fate decision and provided new insights into porphyria pathogenesis. PMID:27551436

  10. Essential role for the planarian intestinal GATA transcription factor in stem cells and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Flores, Natasha M.; Oviedo, Néstor J.; Sage, Julien

    2016-01-01

    The cellular turnover of adult tissues and injury-induced repair proceed through an exquisite integration of proliferation, differentiation, and survival signals that involve stem/progenitor cell populations, their progeny, and differentiated tissues. GATA factors are DNA binding proteins that control stem cells and the development of tissues by activating or repressing transcription. Here we examined the role of GATA transcription factors in Schmidtea mediterranea, a freshwater planarian that provides an excellent model to investigate gene function in adult stem cells, regeneration, and differentiation. Smed-gata4/5/6, the homolog of the three mammalian GATA-4,-5,-6 factors is expressed at high levels in differentiated gut cells but also at lower levels in neoblast populations, the planarian stem cells. Smed-gata4/5/6 knock-down results in broad differentiation defects, especially in response to injury. These defects are not restricted to the intestinal lineage. In particular, at late time points during the response to injury, loss of Smed-gata4/5/6 leads to decreased neoblast proliferation and to gene expression changes in several neoblast subpopulations. Thus, Smed-gata4/5/6 plays a key evolutionary conserved role in intestinal differentiation in planarians. These data further support a model in which defects in the intestinal lineage can indirectly affect other differentiation pathways in planarians. PMID:27542689

  11. Essential role for the planarian intestinal GATA transcription factor in stem cells and regeneration.

    PubMed

    Flores, Natasha M; Oviedo, Néstor J; Sage, Julien

    2016-10-01

    The cellular turnover of adult tissues and injury-induced repair proceed through an exquisite integration of proliferation, differentiation, and survival signals that involve stem/progenitor cell populations, their progeny, and differentiated tissues. GATA factors are DNA binding proteins that control stem cells and the development of tissues by activating or repressing transcription. Here we examined the role of GATA transcription factors in Schmidtea mediterranea, a freshwater planarian that provides an excellent model to investigate gene function in adult stem cells, regeneration, and differentiation. Smed-gata4/5/6, the homolog of the three mammalian GATA-4,-5,-6 factors is expressed at high levels in differentiated gut cells but also at lower levels in neoblast populations, the planarian stem cells. Smed-gata4/5/6 knock-down results in broad differentiation defects, especially in response to injury. These defects are not restricted to the intestinal lineage. In particular, at late time points during the response to injury, loss of Smed-gata4/5/6 leads to decreased neoblast proliferation and to gene expression changes in several neoblast subpopulations. Thus, Smed-gata4/5/6 plays a key evolutionary conserved role in intestinal differentiation in planarians. These data further support a model in which defects in the intestinal lineage can indirectly affect other differentiation pathways in planarians. PMID:27542689

  12. Forkhead containing transcription factor Albino controls tetrapyrrole-based body pigmentation in planarian.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chen; Han, Xiao-Shuai; Li, Fang-Fang; Huang, Shuang; Qin, Yong-Wen; Zhao, Xian-Xian; Jing, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Pigmentation processes occur from invertebrates to mammals. Owing to the complexity of the pigmentary system, in vivo animal models for pigmentation study are limited. Planarians are capable of regenerating any missing part including the dark-brown pigments, providing a promising model for pigmentation study. However, the molecular mechanism of planarian body pigmentation is poorly understood. We found in an RNA interference screen that a forkhead containing transcription factor, Albino, was required for pigmentation without affecting survival or other regeneration processes. In addition, the body color recovered after termination of Albino double stranded RNA feeding owing to the robust stem cell system. Further expression analysis revealed a spatial and temporal correlation between Albino and pigmentation process. Gene expression arrays revealed that the expression of three tetrapyrrole biosynthesis enzymes, ALAD, ALAS and PBGD, was impaired upon Albino RNA interference. RNA interference of PBGD led to a similar albinism phenotype caused by Albino RNA interference. Moreover, PBGD was specifically expressed in pigment cells and can serve as a pigment cell molecular marker. Our results revealed that Albino controls planarian body color pigmentation dominantly via regulating tetrapyrrole biogenesis. These results identified Albino as the key regulator of the tetrapyrrole-based planarian body pigmentation, suggesting a role of Albino during stem cell-pigment cell fate decision and provided new insights into porphyria pathogenesis.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Molecular markers to characterize the hermaphroditic reproductive system of the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea exhibits two distinct reproductive modes. Individuals of the sexual strain are cross-fertilizing hermaphrodites with reproductive organs that develop post-embryonically. By contrast, individuals of the asexual strain reproduce exclusively by transverse fission and fail to develop reproductive organs. These different reproductive strains are associated with distinct karyotypes, making S. mediterranea a useful model for studying germline development and sexual differentiation. Results To identify genes expressed differentially between these strains, we performed microarray analyses and identified >800 genes that were upregulated in the sexual planarian. From these, we characterized 24 genes by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), revealing their expression in male germ cells or accessory reproductive organs. To identify additional markers of the planarian reproductive system, we also used immuno- and fluorescent lectin staining, identifying several antibodies and lectins that labeled structures associated with reproductive organs. Conclusions Collectively, these cell-type specific markers will enable future efforts to characterize genes that are important for reproductive development in the planarian. PMID:22074376

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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 reorganization 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 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

  17. Withdrawal-like behavior in planarians is dependent on drug exposure duration.

    PubMed

    Sacavage, Steve; Patel, Hiren; Zielinski, Mike; Acker, Jeneane; Phillips, Austin G; Raffa, Robert B; Rawls, Scott M

    2008-07-01

    Planarians display a concentration-related reduction in locomotor activity following their spontaneous withdrawal from opioids, cannabinoids, stimulants and benzodiazepines. This suggests that planarians display a withdrawal-like behavior that can be quantified as a reduction in locomotor activity. Because withdrawal-like behavior in previous studies has been quantified only following the cessation of a 60-min drug exposure, it is unclear whether the withdrawal response varies with drug exposure duration. Therefore, the goal of this study is to determine if the duration of drug exposure (0, 5, 15, 30, 45, 60min and 24h) to three different drugs - methamphetamine, cocaine and caffeine - affects the magnitude of withdrawal-like behavior (i.e., reduced locomotor activity) in planarians. Experiments revealed that methamphetamine (10microM) produced significant withdrawal-like behavior regardless of the exposure time (P<0.05). An exposure time of only 5min resulted in a significant reduction in locomotor activity. The peak effect, although occurring following a 24-h exposure, was only slightly greater than that caused by a 30-min exposure. For cocaine (10microM), a longer exposure time (15min) was required for the manifestation of significant withdrawal-like behavior. The peak cocaine effect was observed following a 24-h exposure. Caffeine (10microM) did not produce significant changes in locomotor activity during withdrawal or alter locomotor activity during acute exposure. The present results suggest that the magnitude of withdrawal-like behavior in planarians is dependent on both the duration and type of drug exposure, and that planarians do not display withdrawal to caffeine.

  18. Expression analysis of Djsix-1 gene during regeneration of planarian eyespots.

    PubMed

    Dong, Zimei; Yuwen, Yanqing; Wang, Qinghua; Chen, Guangwen; Liu, Dezeng

    2011-08-01

    Djsix-1 gene is one of the important eyespots-regulating genes in planarians. In this experiment, the expression of Djsix-1 and morphogenesis of eyespots during planarians eyespots regeneration were investigated. The planarians were subjected to two rounds of transverse amputation. Nineteen time points in the first round and ten ones in the second one during the regeneration of the planarians post-auricle fragments were selected. At different time points, the quantitative expression of Djsix-1 and morphogenesis of eyespots during eyespots regeneration were examined by real-time RT-PCR and paraffin sections. Results showed that the optimal growth temperature for planarians regeneration was 22°C in dark. At this temperature, Djsix-1 gene was first up-regulated at the 30th min after the first round of transverse amputation and its expression level increased at the 24-h time point. The expression level reached peak on day 4 and then began to decrease thereafter. From day 6 to day 9, the expression level was maintained in a relatively stable level. In the second round, Djsix-1 expression reached the peak on the 2nd day after amputation, and then began to decrease and maintained in a relatively stable level from the 4th to the 9th day. Morphological and histological examinations showed that eyespots were observed on the 4th day after amputation in the first round and on the 3rd day in the second round. These results indicated that corresponding relationship existed between eyespots morphogenesis and Djsix-1 quantitative expression. It was also suggested that Djsix-1 promoted neoblasts proliferation at the early stage of eyespots regeneration and regulated morphogenesis of eyespots at the later stage. PMID:21136172

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Li, Mei-Hui

    2012-04-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Preference for different prey allows the coexistence of several land planarians in areas of the Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Boll, Piter Kehoma; Leal-Zanchet, Ana Maria

    2016-06-01

    Land planarians are recognized as important predators, yet studies on their feeding habits are usually restricted to invasive species. Thus, it is difficult to determine the real ecological role of this group in ecosystems and how their communities are structured. In the present study, we analyzed the diet of six co-occurring Neotropical land planarians and their success in capturing prey, based on experiments in the laboratory, in order to determine how they share resources in the same environment. We also calculated indices of food niche breadth and food niche overlap for land planarians for the first time. The diet of Luteostriata abundans comprises only woodlice and the diets of Obama ficki and Obama ladislavii are composed only of gastropods, while Paraba multicolor and Obama anthropophila feed on both gastropods and other land planarians. An invasive species recently found in Western Europe, Obama nungara, showed the highest food niche breadth, feeding on gastropods, earthworms and planarians. We found the highest niche overlap between O. anthropophila and P. multicolor. The results suggest that land planarians are frequent predators of woodlice and land gastropods in the Neotropical ecozone and thus are important for the maintenance of native ecosystems and for the control of invasive species. The coexistence of several species in the same habitat is possible due to the use of different species as main prey, which reduces interspecific competition.

  5. Preference for different prey allows the coexistence of several land planarians in areas of the Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Boll, Piter Kehoma; Leal-Zanchet, Ana Maria

    2016-06-01

    Land planarians are recognized as important predators, yet studies on their feeding habits are usually restricted to invasive species. Thus, it is difficult to determine the real ecological role of this group in ecosystems and how their communities are structured. In the present study, we analyzed the diet of six co-occurring Neotropical land planarians and their success in capturing prey, based on experiments in the laboratory, in order to determine how they share resources in the same environment. We also calculated indices of food niche breadth and food niche overlap for land planarians for the first time. The diet of Luteostriata abundans comprises only woodlice and the diets of Obama ficki and Obama ladislavii are composed only of gastropods, while Paraba multicolor and Obama anthropophila feed on both gastropods and other land planarians. An invasive species recently found in Western Europe, Obama nungara, showed the highest food niche breadth, feeding on gastropods, earthworms and planarians. We found the highest niche overlap between O. anthropophila and P. multicolor. The results suggest that land planarians are frequent predators of woodlice and land gastropods in the Neotropical ecozone and thus are important for the maintenance of native ecosystems and for the control of invasive species. The coexistence of several species in the same habitat is possible due to the use of different species as main prey, which reduces interspecific competition. PMID:27156235

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Chalmers, Iain W; Hoffmann, Karl F

    2012-09-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Go ahead, grow a head! A planarian's guide to anterior regeneration

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The unique ability of some planarian species to regenerate a head de novo, including a functional brain, provides an experimentally accessible system in which to study the mechanisms underlying regeneration. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the key steps of planarian head regeneration (head‐versus‐tail decision, anterior pole formation and head patterning) and their molecular and cellular basis. Moreover, instructive properties of the anterior pole as a putative organizer and in coordinating anterior midline formation are discussed. Finally, we highlight that regeneration initiation occurs in a two‐step manner and hypothesize that wound‐induced and existing positional cues interact to detect tissue loss and together determine the appropriate regenerative outcomes. PMID:27606065

  12. 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

  13. Light-induced depigmentation in planarians models the pathophysiology of acute porphyrias.

    PubMed

    Stubenhaus, Bradford M; Dustin, John P; Neverett, Emily R; Beaudry, Megan S; Nadeau, Leanna E; Burk-McCoy, Ethan; He, Xinwen; Pearson, Bret J; Pellettieri, Jason

    2016-05-31

    Porphyrias are disorders of heme metabolism frequently characterized by extreme photosensitivity. This symptom results from accumulation of porphyrins, tetrapyrrole intermediates in heme biosynthesis that generate reactive oxygen species when exposed to light, in the skin of affected individuals. Here we report that in addition to producing an ommochrome body pigment, the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea generates porphyrins in its subepithelial pigment cells under physiological conditions, and that this leads to pigment cell loss when animals are exposed to intense visible light. Remarkably, porphyrin biosynthesis and light-induced depigmentation are enhanced by starvation, recapitulating a common feature of some porphyrias - decreased nutrient intake precipitates an acute manifestation of the disease. Our results establish planarians as an experimentally tractable animal model for research into the pathophysiology of acute porphyrias, and potentially for the identification of novel pharmacological interventions capable of alleviating porphyrin-mediated photosensitivity or decoupling dieting and fasting from disease pathogenesis.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Gang, Noa; Persinger, Michael A

    2011-12-01

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

  16. [Optimization of reaction conditions for RAPD analysis of freshwater planarians in China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, He Cai; Chen, Guang Wen; Li, Yu Chang; Xu, Cun Shuan

    2004-08-01

    Using the Genomic DNA purification kit, the total DNA of the freshwater planarian was extracted and developed one single band through 0.8% agarose gel electrophoresis with OD260/OD280 between 1.5 and 2.2, which could satisfy the requirements of RAPD and PCR on DNA. With the extracted DNA template, we tested experimental conditions that might affect RAPD results including annealing temperature, concentrations of template DNA, primer, Mg2+ and dNTPs. Through comparision we found that it was necessary and important to optimize the experimental conditions for producing stable and repeatable RAPD results. The optimized reaction conditions of RAPD for freshwater planarian in 25 microl reaction volume were as follows: 20 ng template DNA, 37 degrees C annealing temperature, 0.2 micromol/L primer, 2.0 mmol/L Mg2+ and 200 micromol/L dNTPs.

  17. 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.

  18. Planarian Hh signaling regulates regeneration polarity and links Hh pathway evolution to cilia

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway plays multiple essential roles during metazoan development, homeostasis, and disease. Although core protein components are highly conserved, the variations in Hh signal transduction mechanisms exhibited by existing model systems (Drosophila, fish, and mammals) are difficult to understand. We characterize the Hh pathway in planarians. Hh signaling is essential for establishing the Anterior/Posterior axis during regeneration by modulating wnt expression. Moreover, RNAi methods to reduce signal transduction proteins Cos2/Kif27/Kif7, Fused, or Iguana do not result in detectable Hh signaling defects; however, these proteins are essential for planarian ciliogenesis. Our study expands the understanding of Hh signaling in the animal kingdom and suggests an ancestral mechanistic link between Hh signaling and the function of cilia. PMID:19933103

  19. β-Catenin Defines Head Versus Tail Identity During Planarian Regeneration and Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Go ahead, grow a head! A planarian's guide to anterior regeneration.

    PubMed

    Owlarn, Suthira; Bartscherer, Kerstin

    2016-06-01

    The unique ability of some planarian species to regenerate a head de novo, including a functional brain, provides an experimentally accessible system in which to study the mechanisms underlying regeneration. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the key steps of planarian head regeneration (head-versus-tail decision, anterior pole formation and head patterning) and their molecular and cellular basis. Moreover, instructive properties of the anterior pole as a putative organizer and in coordinating anterior midline formation are discussed. Finally, we highlight that regeneration initiation occurs in a two-step manner and hypothesize that wound-induced and existing positional cues interact to detect tissue loss and together determine the appropriate regenerative outcomes. PMID:27606065

  1. 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.

  2. Go ahead, grow a head! A planarian's guide to anterior regeneration

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The unique ability of some planarian species to regenerate a head de novo, including a functional brain, provides an experimentally accessible system in which to study the mechanisms underlying regeneration. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the key steps of planarian head regeneration (head‐versus‐tail decision, anterior pole formation and head patterning) and their molecular and cellular basis. Moreover, instructive properties of the anterior pole as a putative organizer and in coordinating anterior midline formation are discussed. Finally, we highlight that regeneration initiation occurs in a two‐step manner and hypothesize that wound‐induced and existing positional cues interact to detect tissue loss and together determine the appropriate regenerative outcomes.

  3. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  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

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The planarian P2X homolog in the regulation of asexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Toshihide; Lee, Hayoung; Kashima, Makoto; Saito, Yumi; Hayashi, Tetsutaro; Kudome-Takamatsu, Tomomi; Nishimura, Osamu; Agata, Kiyokazu; Shibata, Norito

    2012-01-01

    The growth in size of freshwater planarians in response to nutrient intake is limited by the eventual separation of tail and body fragments in a process called fission. The resulting tail fragment regenerates the entire body as an artificially amputated tail fragment would do, and the body fragment regenerates a tail, resulting in two whole planarians. This regenerative ability is supported by pluripotent somatic stem cells, called neoblasts, which are distributed throughout almost the entire body of the planarian. Neoblasts are the only planarian cells with the ability to continuously proliferate and give rise to all types of cells during regeneration, asexual reproduction, homeostasis, and growth. In order to investigate the molecular characteristics of neoblasts, we conducted an extensive search for neoblast-specific genes using the High Coverage Expression Profiling (HiCEP) method, and tested the function of the resulting candidates by RNAi. Disruption of the expression of one candidate gene, DjP2X-A (Dugesia japonica membrane protein P2X homologue), resulted in a unique phenotype. DjP2X-A RNAi leads to an increase of fission events upon feeding. We confirmed by immunohistochemistry that DjP2X-A is a membrane protein, and elucidated its role in regulating neoblast proliferation, thereby explaining its unique phenotype. We found that DjP2X-A decreases the burst of neoblast proliferation that normally occurs after feeding. We also found that DjP2X-A is required for normal proliferation in starved animals. We propose that DjP2X-A modulates stem cell proliferation in response to the nutritional condition.

  13. 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

  14. TORC1 is required to balance cell proliferation and cell death in planarians.

    PubMed

    Tu, Kimberly C; Pearson, Bret J; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2012-05-15

    Multicellular organisms are equipped with cellular mechanisms that enable them to replace differentiated cells lost to normal physiological turnover, injury, and for some such as planarians, even amputation. This process of tissue homeostasis is generally mediated by adult stem cells (ASCs), tissue-specific stem cells responsible for maintaining anatomical form and function. To do so, ASCs must modulate the balance between cell proliferation, i.e. in response to nutrients, and that of cell death, i.e. in response to starvation or injury. But how these two antagonistic processes are coordinated remains unclear. Here, we explore the role of the core components of the TOR pathway during planarian tissue homeostasis and regeneration and identified an essential function for TORC1 in these two processes. RNAi-mediated silencing of TOR in intact animals resulted in a significant increase in cell death, whereas stem cell proliferation and stem cell maintenance were unaffected. Amputated animals failed to increase stem cell proliferation after wounding and displayed defects in tissue remodeling. Together, our findings suggest two distinct roles for TORC1 in planarians. TORC1 is required to modulate the balance between cell proliferation and cell death during normal cell turnover and in response to nutrients. In addition, it is required to initiate appropriate stem cell proliferation during regeneration and for proper tissue remodeling to occur to maintain scale and proportion.

  15. A comparative transcriptomic analysis reveals conserved features of stem cell pluripotency in planarians and mammals.

    PubMed

    Labbé, Roselyne M; Irimia, Manuel; Currie, Ko W; Lin, Alexander; Zhu, Shu Jun; Brown, David D R; Ross, Eric J; Voisin, Veronique; Bader, Gary D; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Pearson, Bret J

    2012-08-01

    Many long-lived species of animals require the function of adult stem cells throughout their lives. However, the transcriptomes of stem cells in invertebrates and vertebrates have not been compared, and consequently, ancestral regulatory circuits that control stem cell populations remain poorly defined. In this study, we have used data from high-throughput RNA sequencing to compare the transcriptomes of pluripotent adult stem cells from planarians with the transcriptomes of human and mouse pluripotent embryonic stem cells. From a stringently defined set of 4,432 orthologs shared between planarians, mice and humans, we identified 123 conserved genes that are ≥5-fold differentially expressed in stem cells from all three species. Guided by this gene set, we used RNAi screening in adult planarians to discover novel stem cell regulators, which we found to affect the stem cell-associated functions of tissue homeostasis, regeneration, and stem cell maintenance. Examples of genes that disrupted these processes included the orthologs of TBL3, PSD12, TTC27, and RACK1. From these analyses, we concluded that by comparing stem cell transcriptomes from diverse species, it is possible to uncover conserved factors that function in stem cell biology. These results provide insights into which genes comprised the ancestral circuitry underlying the control of stem cell self-renewal and pluripotency.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. TORC1 is required to balance cell proliferation and cell death in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Tu, Kimberly C.; Pearson, Bret J.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2012-01-01

    Multicellular organisms are equipped with cellular mechanisms that enable them to replace differentiated cells lost to normal physiological turnover, injury, and for some such as planarians, even amputation. This process of tissue homeostasis is generally mediated by adult stem cells (ASCs), tissue-specific stem cells responsible for maintaining anatomical form and function. To do so, ASCs must modulate the balance between cell proliferation, i.e. in response to nutrients, and that of cell death, i.e. in response to starvation or injury. But how these two antagonistic processes are coordinated remains unclear. Here, we explore the role of the core components of the TOR pathway during planarian tissue homeostasis and regeneration and identified an essential function for TORC1 in these two processes. RNAi-mediated silencing of TOR in intact animals resulted in a significant increase in cell death, whereas stem cell proliferation and stem cell maintenance were unaffected. Amputated animals failed to increase stem cell proliferation after wounding and displayed defects in tissue remodeling. Together, our findings suggest two distinct roles for TORC1 in planarians. TORC1 is required to modulate the balance between cell proliferation and cell death during normal cell turnover and in response to nutrients. In addition, it is required to initiate appropriate stem cell proliferation during regeneration and for proper tissue remodeling to occur to maintain scale and proportion. PMID:22445864

  3. Identification of small non-coding RNAs in the planarian Dugesia japonica via deep sequencing.

    PubMed

    Qin, Yun-Fei; Zhao, Jin-Mei; Bao, Zhen-Xia; Zhu, Zhao-Yu; Mai, Jia; Huang, Yi-Bo; Li, Jian-Biao; Chen, Ge; Lu, Ping; Chen, San-Jun; Su, Lin-Lin; Fang, Hui-Min; Lu, Ji-Ke; Zhang, Yi-Zhe; Zhang, Shou-Tao

    2012-05-01

    Freshwater planarian flatworm possesses an extraordinary ability to regenerate lost body parts after amputation; it is perfect organism model in regeneration and stem cell biology. Recently, small RNAs have been an increasing concern and studied in many aspects, including regeneration and stem cell biology, among others. In the current study, the large-scale cloning and sequencing of sRNAs from the intact and regenerative planarian Dugesia japonica are reported. Sequence analysis shows that sRNAs between 18nt and 40nt are mainly microRNAs and piRNAs. In addition, 209 conserved miRNAs and 12 novel miRNAs are identified. Especially, a better screening target method, negative-correlation relationship of miRNAs and mRNA, is adopted to improve target prediction accuracy. Similar to miRNAs, a diverse population of piRNAs and changes in the two samples are also listed. The present study is the first to report on the important role of sRNAs during planarian Dugesia japonica regeneration. PMID:22425900

  4. Allometric scaling and proportion regulation in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea.

    PubMed

    Oviedo, Néstor J; Newmark, Phillip A; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2003-02-01

    The regulation of scale and proportion in living organisms is an intriguing and enduring problem of biology. Regulatory mechanisms for controlling body size and proportion are clearly illustrated by the regeneration of missing body parts after amputation, in which the newly regenerated tissues ultimately attain a size that is anatomically congruent with the size of the rest of the organism. Understanding the molecular processes underpinning scaling would have deep consequences for our comprehension of tissue regeneration, developmental ontogeny, growth, and evolution. Although many theories have been put forward to explain this process, it is interesting that no satisfactory mechanistic explanation is currently available to explain scalar relationships. We chose to investigate the freshwater planarian, a commonly used model system for the study of metazoan regeneration, to delineate a strategy for the molecular dissection of scale and proportion mechanisms in metazoans. Here, we report on the cloning and discrete expression pattern of a novel planarian gene, which shares homology with the DEG/ENaC super-family of sodium channels. We have named H.112.3c cintillo ("head ribbon" in Spanish) and present a strategy for using the expression of this gene to monitor scale and proportion regulation during regeneration, growth and degrowth in the freshwater planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. PMID:12557210

  5. Existence of two sexual races in the planarian species switching between asexual and sexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Maezawa, Takanobu; Nakagawa, Haruka; Hoshi, Motonori

    2012-04-01

    In certain planarian species that are able to switch between asexual and sexual reproduction, determining whether a sexual has the ability to switch to the asexual state is problematic, which renders the definition of sexuals controversial. We experimentally show the existence of two sexual races, acquired and innate, in the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis. Acquired sexuals used in this study were experimentally switched from asexuals. Inbreeding of acquired sexuals produced both innate sexuals and asexuals, but inbreeding of innate sexuals produced innate sexuals only and no asexuals. Acquired sexuals, but not innate sexuals, were forced to become asexuals by ablation and regeneration (asexual induction). This suggests that acquired sexuals somehow retain asexual potential, while innate sexuals do not. We also found that acquired sexuals have the potential to develop hyperplastic and supernumerary ovaries, while innate sexuals do not. In this regard, acquired sexuals were more prolific than innate sexuals. The differences between acquired and innate sexuals will provide a structure for examining the mechanism underlying asexual and sexual reproduction in planarians.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    Shomrat, Tal; Levin, Michael

    2013-10-15

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

  8. ImagePlane: An Automated Image Analysis Pipeline for High-Throughput Screens Using the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Flygare, Steven; Campbell, Michael; Ross, Robert Mars; Moore, Barry

    2013-01-01

    Abstract ImagePlane is a modular pipeline for automated, high-throughput image analysis and information extraction. Designed to support planarian research, ImagePlane offers a self-parameterizing adaptive thresholding algorithm; an algorithm that can automatically segment animals into anterior–posterior/left–right quadrants for automated identification of region-specific differences in gene and protein expression; and a novel algorithm for quantification of morphology of animals, independent of their orientations and sizes. ImagePlane also provides methods for automatic report generation, and its outputs can be easily imported into third-party tools such as R and Excel. Here we demonstrate the pipeline's utility for identification of genes involved in stem cell proliferation in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. Although designed to support planarian studies, ImagePlane will prove useful for cell-based studies as well. PMID:23822514

  9. Conserved functional antagonism of CELF and MBNL proteins controls stem cell-specific alternative splicing in planarians.

    PubMed

    Solana, Jordi; Irimia, Manuel; Ayoub, Salah; Orejuela, Marta Rodriguez; Zywitza, Vera; Jens, Marvin; Tapial, Javier; Ray, Debashish; Morris, Quaid; Hughes, Timothy R; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2016-08-09

    In contrast to transcriptional regulation, the function of alternative splicing (AS) in stem cells is poorly understood. In mammals, MBNL proteins negatively regulate an exon program specific of embryonic stem cells; however, little is known about the in vivo significance of this regulation. We studied AS in a powerful in vivo model for stem cell biology, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We discover a conserved AS program comprising hundreds of alternative exons, microexons and introns that is differentially regulated in planarian stem cells, and comprehensively identify its regulators. We show that functional antagonism between CELF and MBNL factors directly controls stem cell-specific AS in planarians, placing the origin of this regulatory mechanism at the base of Bilaterians. Knockdown of CELF or MBNL factors lead to abnormal regenerative capacities by affecting self-renewal and differentiation sets of genes, respectively. These results highlight the importance of AS interactions in stem cell regulation across metazoans.

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

    PubMed Central

    Solana, Jordi; Lasko, Paul; Romero, Rafael

    2009-01-01

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

  11. [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.

  12. [The influence of Janicki cercomer theory on the development of platyhelminthes systematics and evolution investigations].

    PubMed

    Pojmańska, Teresa

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this article was to present the development of ideas about the provenience of parasitic helminths and the phylogenetical relationships within this taxon, since the publication of the "cercomer theory" just to nowadays. The following essentials of the Janicki theory are outlined: main differences between free-living Turbellaria and parasitic platyhelminths (ciliated epithelium in Turbellaria versus unciliated surface in the others); universality of the cercomer presence in Monogenea, Digenea and Cestoda; evolutionary changes in the morphology and function of the cercomer; homology of the caudal appendices of all parasitic helminths; the subsequent evolution of parasitic platyhelminthes from the ancestor to Monogena, Digenea and Cestoda; proposition to establish a new common taxon--Cercomerophora--for these three groups. In this background the evolution of evolutionary ideas is reviewed, divided into two periods: up to the eighties of the XX century, and up to date. The first period can be characterised by the criticism of some points of the "cercomer theory" and formulation of some new hypotheses; these are those of Fuhrmann, Bychovsky, Llewellyn, Price and Malmberg, which: questioned the homology of the cercarial tail with the caudal appendices of Monogenea and Cestoda; rejected Digenea from the common group; established the common taxon--Cercomeromorpha--comprising only Monogenea and Cestoda; opposed the idea of radial evolution of three main groups of Platyhelmithes (Turbellaria, Digenea and Cercomeromorpha) to the idea of subsequent evolution presented by Janicki. The differences between these last hypotheses are also underlined, arising mainly from the different ideas on the importance of particular features as the evolutionary indicators of affinities between and within the taxons. As to the hypotheses dealing with the evolution of particular groups of parasitic platyhelminths formulated at the same period, the publications of Freeman and Jarecka

  13. A new Paravortex (Platyhelminthes, Dalyellioida) endoparasite of Mesodesma mactroides (Bivalvia, Mesodesmatidae) from Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Brusa, Francisco; Ponce de León, Rodrigo; Damborenea, Cristina

    2006-10-01

    Many species of turbellarians (Platyhelminthes) are known to live associated with other organisms, especially invertebrates, as commensals or parasites. The family Graffillidae (Rhabdocoela) includes two genera that parasitize mollusks, Graffílla and Paravortex. Within the latter genus, six species were described as associated with mollusks. In other instances, unnamed Paravortex species were mentioned as parasites of other bivalves and of the body surface of fishes. In the present work, a new Paravortex species that was found in the intestine of Mesodesma mactroides from the Atlantic coast of Uruguay is described. In addition, a bibliographical revision of the known Paravortex species with their respective hosts, location, and distribution is made. Paravortex nicolli, described by Szidat for the Argentinean coast, is mentioned for the first time after the original description, and the authorship and date of description of Paravortex tapetis Noury-Sraïri 1989 are elucidated.

  14. [The influence of Janicki cercomer theory on the development of platyhelminthes systematics and evolution investigations].

    PubMed

    Pojmańska, Teresa

    2005-01-01

    The aim of this article was to present the development of ideas about the provenience of parasitic helminths and the phylogenetical relationships within this taxon, since the publication of the "cercomer theory" just to nowadays. The following essentials of the Janicki theory are outlined: main differences between free-living Turbellaria and parasitic platyhelminths (ciliated epithelium in Turbellaria versus unciliated surface in the others); universality of the cercomer presence in Monogenea, Digenea and Cestoda; evolutionary changes in the morphology and function of the cercomer; homology of the caudal appendices of all parasitic helminths; the subsequent evolution of parasitic platyhelminthes from the ancestor to Monogena, Digenea and Cestoda; proposition to establish a new common taxon--Cercomerophora--for these three groups. In this background the evolution of evolutionary ideas is reviewed, divided into two periods: up to the eighties of the XX century, and up to date. The first period can be characterised by the criticism of some points of the "cercomer theory" and formulation of some new hypotheses; these are those of Fuhrmann, Bychovsky, Llewellyn, Price and Malmberg, which: questioned the homology of the cercarial tail with the caudal appendices of Monogenea and Cestoda; rejected Digenea from the common group; established the common taxon--Cercomeromorpha--comprising only Monogenea and Cestoda; opposed the idea of radial evolution of three main groups of Platyhelmithes (Turbellaria, Digenea and Cercomeromorpha) to the idea of subsequent evolution presented by Janicki. The differences between these last hypotheses are also underlined, arising mainly from the different ideas on the importance of particular features as the evolutionary indicators of affinities between and within the taxons. As to the hypotheses dealing with the evolution of particular groups of parasitic platyhelminths formulated at the same period, the publications of Freeman and Jarecka

  15. Telomere analysis of platyhelminths and acanthocephalans by FISH and Southern hybridization.

    PubMed

    Bombarová, Marta; Vítková, Magda; Spakulová, Marta; Koubková, Bozena

    2009-11-01

    We examined the composition of telomeres in chromosomes of parasitic worms, representatives of the flatworm groups Monogenea and Cestoda (Platyhelminthes), and thorny-headed worms (Syndermata: Acanthocephala) by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with different telomeric repeat probes. Our results show that the (TTAGGG)n sequence, supposed to be the ancestral telomeric repeat motif of Metazoa, is conserved in Monogenea (Paradiplozoon homoion) and Cestoda (Caryophyllaeus laticeps, Caryophyllaeides fennica, and Nippotaenia mogurndae) but not in Acanthocephala (Pomphorhynchus laevis and Pomphorhynchus tereticollis). In the Pomphorhynchus species, no hybridization signals were obtained with the "nematode" (TTAGGC)n, "arthropod" (TTAGG)n, and bdelloid (TGTGGG)n telomeric probes using FISH with their chromosomes and Southern hybridization with P. laevis DNA. Therefore, we suggest that parasitic Acanthocephala have evolved yet unknown telomeric repeat motifs or different mechanisms of telomere maintenance.

  16. 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.

  17. An NMDA antagonist (LY 235959) attenuates abstinence-induced withdrawal of planarians following acute exposure to a cannabinoid agonist (WIN 55212-2).

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Gomez, Teresa; Raffa, Robert B

    2007-03-01

    The mechanisms that facilitate the development and expression of cannabinoid physical dependence in humans and other mammals are poorly understood. The present experiments used a planarian model to provide evidence that pharmacological antagonism of NMDA receptors significantly attenuates the development of cannabinoid physical dependence. Abstinence-induced withdrawal from the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55212-2 (10 microM) was manifested as a significant (P<0.05) decrease in the rate of planarian spontaneous locomotor velocity (pLMV) when WIN 55212-2 (10 microM)-exposed planarians were placed into drug-free water. No change in pLMV occurred when WIN 55212-2 (10 microM)-exposed planarians were placed into water containing WIN 55212-2 (10 microM). WIN 55212-2 (10 microM)-exposed planarians placed into water containing LY 235959 (1 or 10 microM) did not display withdrawal (no significant difference, P>0.05, in pLMV). In addition, withdrawal was not observed (no significant difference, P>0.05, in pLMV) in planarians that were co-exposed to a solution containing WIN 55212-2 (10 microM) and LY 235959 (10 microM). The present results reveal that NMDA receptor activation mediates the development of cannabinoid physical dependence and the expression of cannabinoid withdrawal in planarians.

  18. Phylogenetic distribution of microRNAs supports the basal position of acoel flatworms and the polyphyly of Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Sempere, Lorenzo F; Martinez, Pedro; Cole, Charles; Baguñà, Jaume; Peterson, Kevin J

    2007-01-01

    Phylogenetic analyses based on gene sequences suggest that acoel flatworms are not members of the phylum Platyhelminthes, but instead are the most basal branch of triploblastic bilaterians. Nonetheless, this result has been called into question. An alternative test is to use qualitative molecular markers that should, in principle, exclude the possibility of convergent (homoplastic) evolution in unrelated groups. microRNAs (miRNAs), noncoding regulatory RNA molecules that are under intense stabilizing selection, are a newly discovered set of phylogenetic markers that can resolve such taxonomic disputes. The acoel Childia sp. has recently been shown to possess a subset of the conserved core of miRNAs found across deuterostomes and protostomes, whereas a polyclad flatworm-in addition to this core subset-possesses miRNAs restricted to just protostomes. Here, we examine another acoel, Symsagittifera roscoffensis, and three other platyhelminths. Our results show that the distribution of miRNAs in S. roscoffensis parallels that of Childia. In addition, two of 13 new miRNAs cloned from a triclad flatworm are also found in other lophotrochozoan protostomes, but not in ecdysozoans, deuterostomes, or in basal metazoans including acoels. The limited set of miRNAs found in acoels, intermediate between the even more reduced set in cnidarians and the larger and expanding set in the rest of bilaterians, is compelling evidence for the basal position of acoel flatworms and the polyphyly of Platyhelminthes.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. NF-YB Regulates Spermatogonial Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Proliferation in the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Harini; Collins, James J.; Newmark, Phillip A.

    2016-01-01

    Gametes are the source and carrier of genetic information, essential for the propagation of all sexually reproducing organisms. Male gametes are derived from a progenitor stem cell population called spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). SSCs give rise to male gametes through the coordination of two essential processes: self-renewal to produce more SSCs, and differentiation to produce mature sperm. Disruption of this equilibrium can lead to excessive proliferation of SSCs, causing tumorigenesis, or can result in aberrant differentiation, leading to infertility. Little is known about how SSCs achieve the fine balance between self-renewal and differentiation, which is necessary for their remarkable output and developmental potential. To understand the mechanisms of SSC maintenance, we examine the planarian homolog of Nuclear Factor Y-B (NF-YB), which is required for the maintenance of early planarian male germ cells. Here, we demonstrate that NF-YB plays a role in the self-renewal and proliferation of planarian SSCs, but not in their specification or differentiation. Furthermore, we characterize members of the NF-Y complex in Schistosoma mansoni, a parasitic flatworm related to the free-living planarian. We find that the function of NF-YB in regulating male germ cell proliferation is conserved in schistosomes. This finding is especially significant because fecundity is the cause of pathogenesis of S. mansoni. Our findings can help elucidate the complex relationship between self-renewal and differentiation of SSCs, and may also have implications for understanding and controlling schistosomiasis. PMID:27304889

  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.

  3. Genetic regulators of a pluripotent adult stem cell system in planarians identified by RNAi and clonal analysis.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Daniel E; Ho, Jaclyn J; Reddien, Peter W

    2012-03-01

    Pluripotency is a central, well-studied feature of embryonic development, but the role of pluripotent cell regulation in somatic tissue regeneration remains poorly understood. In planarians, regeneration of entire animals from tissue fragments is promoted by the activity of adult pluripotent stem cells (cNeoblasts). We utilized transcriptional profiling to identify planarian genes expressed in adult proliferating, regenerative cells (neoblasts). We also developed quantitative clonal analysis methods for expansion and differentiation of cNeoblast descendants that, together with RNAi, revealed gene roles in stem cell biology. Genes encoding two zinc finger proteins, Vasa, a LIM domain protein, Sox and Jun-like transcription factors, two candidate RNA-binding proteins, a Setd8-like protein, and PRC2 (Polycomb) were required for proliferative expansion and/or differentiation of cNeoblast-derived clones. These findings suggest that planarian stem cells utilize molecular mechanisms found in germ cells and other pluripotent cell types and identify genetic regulators of the planarian stem cell system.

  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. Genetic regulators of a pluripotent adult stem cell system in planarians identified by RNAi and clonal analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Daniel E.; Ho, Jaclyn J.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Pluripotency is a central, well-studied feature of embryonic development, but the role of pluripotent cell regulation in somatic tissue regeneration remains poorly understood. In planarians, regeneration of entire animals from tissue fragments is promoted by the activity of adult pluripotent stem cells (cNeoblasts). We utilized transcriptional profiling to identify planarian genes expressed in adult proliferating, regenerative cells (neoblasts). We also developed quantitative clonal analysis methods for expansion and differentiation of cNeoblast descendants that, together with RNAi, revealed gene roles in stem cell biology. Genes encoding two zinc finger proteins, Vasa, a LIM domain protein, Sox and Jun-like transcription factors, two candidate RNA-binding proteins, a Setd8-like protein, and PRC2 (Polycomb) were required for proliferative expansion and/or differentiation of cNeoblast-derived clones. These findings suggest that planarian stem cells utilize molecular mechanisms found in germ cells and other pluripotent cell types, and identify novel genetic regulators of the planarian stem cell system. PMID:22385657

  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.

  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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  9. The freshwater planarian Polycelis felina as a sensitive species to assess the long-term toxicity of ammonia.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Alvaro; Camargo, Julio A

    2011-07-01

    Behavioural endpoints are a good link between physiological and ecological effects. However long-term behavioural endpoints are not uniformly studied over all different organism groups. For example behaviour has been scarcely studied in planarians. Unionized ammonia (NH(3)) is one of the most widespread pollutants in developed countries, and is known to alter animal behaviour. In this study a long-term (30 d) bioassay was conducted to assess the effect of this pollutant on survival and behavioural activity (e.g. locomotion activity) of the freshwater planarian Polycelis felina. One control and three environmentally-realistic concentrations of unionized ammonia (treatments of 0.02, 0.05, and 0.09 mg N-NH(3) L(-1)) were used in quintuplicate. The behaviour of planarians was measured after 0, 10, 20 and 30 d of ammonia exposure. Mortality was recorded every 2 d. Unionized ammonia increased mortality in the two highest NH(3) concentrations and the locomotory activity was depressed in all treatments after 20 d of exposure. Behavioural effect was observed at concentrations 20 times lower than the short-term LC50 for this species. Previous studies proposed safe concentrations of unionized ammonia of 0.01-0.10 mg N-NH(3) L(-1) to aquatic ecosystems, but our study has shown that these concentrations will affect planarians. Because planarians play a key role in streams (as predator/scavenger), safe concentrations should be below 0.02 mg N-NH(3) L(-1) to protect this species in the freshwater community. Our results can contribute to improve the knowledge about ammonia toxicity to freshwater ecosystems, we recommend that safe concentrations of unionized ammonia should be based on very sensitive species.

  10. Proteomic Profiling of the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea and Its Mucous Reveals Similarities with Human Secretions and Those Predicted for Parasitic Flatworms*

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Vásquez-Doorman, Constanza; Petersen, Christian P

    2016-06-01

    Regeneration involves precise control of cell fate to produce an appropriate complement of tissues formed within a blastema. Several chromatin-modifying complexes have been identified as required for regeneration in planarians, but it is unclear whether this class of molecules uniformly promotes the production of differentiated cells. We identify a function for p66, encoding a DNA-binding protein component of the NuRD (nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase) complex, as well as the chromodomain helicase chd4, in suppressing production of photoreceptor neurons (PRNs) in planarians. This suppressive effect appeared restricted to PRNs because p66 inhibition did not influence numbers of eye pigment cup cells (PCCs) and decreased numbers of brain neurons and epidermal progenitors. PRNs from p66(RNAi) animals differentiated with some abnormalities but nonetheless produced arrestin+ projections to the brain. p66 inhibition produced excess ovo+otxA+ PRN progenitors without affecting numbers of ovo+otxA- PCC progenitors, and ovo and otxA were each required for the p66(RNAi) excess PRN phenotype. Together these results suggest that p66 acts through the NuRD complex to suppress PRN production by limiting expression of lineage-specific transcription factors.

  15. Egf Signaling Directs Neoblast Repopulation by Regulating Asymmetric Cell Division in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Lei, Kai; Thi-Kim Vu, Hanh; Mohan, Ryan D; McKinney, Sean A; Seidel, Chris W; Alexander, Richard; Gotting, Kirsten; Workman, Jerry L; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2016-08-22

    A large population of proliferative stem cells (neoblasts) is required for physiological tissue homeostasis and post-injury regeneration in planarians. Recent studies indicate that survival of a few neoblasts after sublethal irradiation results in the clonal expansion of the surviving stem cells and the eventual restoration of tissue homeostasis and regenerative capacity. However, the precise mechanisms regulating the population dynamics of neoblasts remain largely unknown. Here, we uncovered a central role for epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling during in vivo neoblast expansion mediated by Smed-egfr-3 (egfr-3) and its putative ligand Smed-neuregulin-7 (nrg-7). Furthermore, the EGF receptor-3 protein localizes asymmetrically on the cytoplasmic membrane of neoblasts, and the ratio of asymmetric to symmetric cell divisions decreases significantly in egfr-3(RNAi) worms. Our results not only provide the first molecular evidence of asymmetric stem cell divisions in planarians, but also demonstrate that EGF signaling likely functions as an essential regulator of neoblast clonal expansion.

  16. The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Vásquez‐Doorman, Constanza

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Regeneration involves precise control of cell fate to produce an appropriate complement of tissues formed within a blastema. Several chromatin‐modifying complexes have been identified as required for regeneration in planarians, but it is unclear whether this class of molecules uniformly promotes the production of differentiated cells. We identify a function for p66, encoding a DNA‐binding protein component of the NuRD (nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase) complex, as well as the chromodomain helicase chd4, in suppressing production of photoreceptor neurons (PRNs) in planarians. This suppressive effect appeared restricted to PRNs because p66 inhibition did not influence numbers of eye pigment cup cells (PCCs) and decreased numbers of brain neurons and epidermal progenitors. PRNs from p66(RNAi) animals differentiated with some abnormalities but nonetheless produced arrestin+ projections to the brain. p66 inhibition produced excess ovo+otxA+ PRN progenitors without affecting numbers of ovo+otxA− PCC progenitors, and ovo and otxA were each required for the p66(RNAi) excess PRN phenotype. Together these results suggest that p66 acts through the NuRD complex to suppress PRN production by limiting expression of lineage‐specific transcription factors. PMID:27606067

  17. Light-induced depigmentation in planarians models the pathophysiology of acute porphyrias

    PubMed Central

    Stubenhaus, Bradford M; Dustin, John P; Neverett, Emily R; Beaudry, Megan S; Nadeau, Leanna E; Burk-McCoy, Ethan; He, Xinwen; Pearson, Bret J; Pellettieri, Jason

    2016-01-01

    Porphyrias are disorders of heme metabolism frequently characterized by extreme photosensitivity. This symptom results from accumulation of porphyrins, tetrapyrrole intermediates in heme biosynthesis that generate reactive oxygen species when exposed to light, in the skin of affected individuals. Here we report that in addition to producing an ommochrome body pigment, the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea generates porphyrins in its subepithelial pigment cells under physiological conditions, and that this leads to pigment cell loss when animals are exposed to intense visible light. Remarkably, porphyrin biosynthesis and light-induced depigmentation are enhanced by starvation, recapitulating a common feature of some porphyrias – decreased nutrient intake precipitates an acute manifestation of the disease. Our results establish planarians as an experimentally tractable animal model for research into the pathophysiology of acute porphyrias, and potentially for the identification of novel pharmacological interventions capable of alleviating porphyrin-mediated photosensitivity or decoupling dieting and fasting from disease pathogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14175.001 PMID:27240733

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Evolution of the EGFR pathway in Metazoa and its diversification in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Barberán, Sara; Martín-Durán, José M.; Cebrià, Francesc

    2016-01-01

    The EGFR pathway is an essential signaling system in animals, whose core components are the epidermal growth factors (EGF ligands) and their trans-membrane tyrosine kinase receptors (EGFRs). Despite extensive knowledge in classical model organisms, little is known of the composition and function of the EGFR pathway in most animal lineages. Here, we have performed an extensive search for the presence of EGFRs and EGF ligands in representative species of most major animal clades, with special focus on the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. With the exception of placozoans and cnidarians, we found that the EGFR pathway is potentially present in all other analyzed animal groups, and has experienced frequent independent expansions. We further characterized the expression domains of the EGFR/EGF identified in S. mediterranea, revealing a wide variety of patterns and localization in almost all planarian tissues. Finally, functional experiments suggest an interaction between one of the previously described receptors, Smed-egfr-5, and the newly found ligand Smed-egf-6. Our findings provide the most comprehensive overview to date of the EGFR pathway, and indicate that the last common metazoan ancestor had an initial complement of one EGFR and one putative EGF ligand, which was often expanded or lost during animal evolution. PMID:27325311

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Orii, Hidefumi; Mochii, Makoto; Watanabe, Kenji

    2003-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Alonso, Álvaro; Camargo, Julio A

    2015-05-01

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

  4. Egf Signaling Directs Neoblast Repopulation by Regulating Asymmetric Cell Division in Planarians.

    PubMed

    Lei, Kai; Thi-Kim Vu, Hanh; Mohan, Ryan D; McKinney, Sean A; Seidel, Chris W; Alexander, Richard; Gotting, Kirsten; Workman, Jerry L; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2016-08-22

    A large population of proliferative stem cells (neoblasts) is required for physiological tissue homeostasis and post-injury regeneration in planarians. Recent studies indicate that survival of a few neoblasts after sublethal irradiation results in the clonal expansion of the surviving stem cells and the eventual restoration of tissue homeostasis and regenerative capacity. However, the precise mechanisms regulating the population dynamics of neoblasts remain largely unknown. Here, we uncovered a central role for epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling during in vivo neoblast expansion mediated by Smed-egfr-3 (egfr-3) and its putative ligand Smed-neuregulin-7 (nrg-7). Furthermore, the EGF receptor-3 protein localizes asymmetrically on the cytoplasmic membrane of neoblasts, and the ratio of asymmetric to symmetric cell divisions decreases significantly in egfr-3(RNAi) worms. Our results not only provide the first molecular evidence of asymmetric stem cell divisions in planarians, but also demonstrate that EGF signaling likely functions as an essential regulator of neoblast clonal expansion. PMID:27523733

  5. The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Vásquez‐Doorman, Constanza

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Regeneration involves precise control of cell fate to produce an appropriate complement of tissues formed within a blastema. Several chromatin‐modifying complexes have been identified as required for regeneration in planarians, but it is unclear whether this class of molecules uniformly promotes the production of differentiated cells. We identify a function for p66, encoding a DNA‐binding protein component of the NuRD (nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase) complex, as well as the chromodomain helicase chd4, in suppressing production of photoreceptor neurons (PRNs) in planarians. This suppressive effect appeared restricted to PRNs because p66 inhibition did not influence numbers of eye pigment cup cells (PCCs) and decreased numbers of brain neurons and epidermal progenitors. PRNs from p66(RNAi) animals differentiated with some abnormalities but nonetheless produced arrestin+ projections to the brain. p66 inhibition produced excess ovo+otxA+ PRN progenitors without affecting numbers of ovo+otxA− PCC progenitors, and ovo and otxA were each required for the p66(RNAi) excess PRN phenotype. Together these results suggest that p66 acts through the NuRD complex to suppress PRN production by limiting expression of lineage‐specific transcription factors.

  6. The NuRD complex component p66 suppresses photoreceptor neuron regeneration in planarians.

    PubMed

    Vásquez-Doorman, Constanza; Petersen, Christian P

    2016-06-01

    Regeneration involves precise control of cell fate to produce an appropriate complement of tissues formed within a blastema. Several chromatin-modifying complexes have been identified as required for regeneration in planarians, but it is unclear whether this class of molecules uniformly promotes the production of differentiated cells. We identify a function for p66, encoding a DNA-binding protein component of the NuRD (nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase) complex, as well as the chromodomain helicase chd4, in suppressing production of photoreceptor neurons (PRNs) in planarians. This suppressive effect appeared restricted to PRNs because p66 inhibition did not influence numbers of eye pigment cup cells (PCCs) and decreased numbers of brain neurons and epidermal progenitors. PRNs from p66(RNAi) animals differentiated with some abnormalities but nonetheless produced arrestin+ projections to the brain. p66 inhibition produced excess ovo+otxA+ PRN progenitors without affecting numbers of ovo+otxA- PCC progenitors, and ovo and otxA were each required for the p66(RNAi) excess PRN phenotype. Together these results suggest that p66 acts through the NuRD complex to suppress PRN production by limiting expression of lineage-specific transcription factors. PMID:27606067

  7. [Peculiarities of ultrastructure of excretory system in Bothrioplana semperi (Platyhelminthes, Turbellaria)].

    PubMed

    Kornakova, E E

    2010-01-01

    Ultrastructural study of morphology of cirtocytes and excretory channels was performed in the free living turbellaria Bothrioplana semperi (Turbellaria, Seriata). It has been shown that cirtocytes of this species are formed by two cells--the terminal and the proximal cells of the channel. The fan is composed of two rod rows. The external row goes out from the terminal cell, the internal one is a derivate of the channel proximal cell. Inside each rod of the external row there runs a bundle of microfilaments; it originates in the cytoplasm of the channel proximal cell distal to bases of the external rods. On the internal rod membranes there are noted small electrondense granules disposed separately or fused in the solid layer continuing into a dense "membrane" connecting rods of the external and internal rows. Rare internal leptotrichiae go out from the cirtocyte cavity bottom. External leptotrichiae are absent. The septate desmosome at the level of the terminal cell is absent, but is present in the channel proximal cell at the level of terminal of cilia. The apical surface of the channel cell carries rare short microvilli. The basement membrane of cells of excretory channels forms deep invaginations almost reaching the apical membrane. Epithelium of excretory channels is deprived of cilia. Ultrastructure of cirtocytes and excretory channels of B. semperi is similar to those in representatives of the suborder Proseriata (Seriata). The significance of ultrastructure of the Proseriata cirtocytes, especially of the order of formation of versh, for construction of phylogeny of Platyhelminthes is discussed.

  8. 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.

  9. Myogenesis in two polyclad platyhelminths with indirect development, Pseudoceros canadensis and Stylostomum sanjuania.

    PubMed

    Semmler, Henrike; Wanninger, Andreas

    2010-01-01

    Myogenesis of two representatives of Platyhelminthes, Stylostomum sanjuania and Pseudoceros canadensis, was followed from egg deposition until well-differentiated free-swimming larval stages, using F-actin staining and confocal laserscanning microscopy. Zonulae adhaerentes are the only structures to stain before 50% of development between egg deposition and hatching in S. sanjuania, and before 67% of development in P. canadenis. Subsequently, irregular fibers appear in the embryo, followed by a helicoid muscle close to the apical pole. Three longitudinal muscle pairs form, of which the dorsal pair remains more pronounced than the others. Gradually, new muscles form by branching or from double-stranded muscle zones adjacent to existing muscles. This results in an elaborate muscular bodywall that consists of a single helicoid muscle as well as multiple circular and longitudinal muscles. Diverse retractor muscles insert at the sphincter muscles around the stomodeum. The overall arrangement and formation mode of the larval musculature appears very similar in both species, although only P. canadensis has a primary circular muscle posterior to the helicoid muscle. Muscle formation in the apical region of the embryo precedes that at the abapical pole and the primary longitudinal muscles form slightly later than the primary circular muscles. Myogenesis and larval myoanatomy appears highly conserved among polyclad flatworms, but differs significantly from that of other trochozoan clades. Our data suggest that the larval muscular ground pattern of polyclad larvae comprises a bodywall consisting of a helicoid muscle, circular and longitudinal muscles, several retractor muscles, and sphincter muscles around the stomodeum.

  10. 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.

  11. Diseases of cultured marine fishes caused by Platyhelminthes (Monogenea, Digenea, Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Ogawa, K

    2015-01-01

    Mariculture is a rapidly developing industrial sector. Generally, fish are maintained in net cages with high density. Cage culture systems allow uncontrolled flow of sea water containing potentially infectious stages of fish parasites. In such culture conditions, prevention of such parasitic infections is difficult for parasites with life cycles that complete within culture sites, among which monogeneans and blood flukes are the most important platyhelminthes. Intense monogenean infections induce respiratory and osmo-regulatory dysfunctions. A variety of control measures have been developed, including freshwater bath treatment and chemotherapy. The potential to control monogenean infections through selective breeding, modified culture techniques to avoid infection, and general fish health management are discussed. It should be noted that mariculture conditions have provided some host-specific monogeneans with a chance to expand their host ranges. Blood flukes sometimes induce mass mortality among farmed fish. In-feed administration of praziquantel is the best solution to treat infected fish. Some cases are described that show how international trade in marine fish has resulted in the spread of hitherto unknown parasites into indigenous farmed and wild fish.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hori, I

    1997-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. [Effect of weak and superweak magnetic fields on intensity and asexual reproduction of the planarian Dugesia tigrina].

    PubMed

    Novikov, V V; Sheĭman, I M; Fesenko, E E

    2002-01-01

    It was shown that the exposure to combined weak and extraweak magnetic fields (permanent component 42 microT; variable component of an amplitude of 100 nT, frequency 1-60 Hz) increases the intensity of asexual propagation of planarians Dugesia tigrina. The effect of combined magnetic fields is most pronounced at frequencies of 1, 3.7, and 32 Hz. The presence of concomitant technogeneous fields (50 Hz, 30 nT) does not markedly influence the effects of weak magnetic fields with a small variable component. Upon realization of effects of weak magnetic fields, their both components are of great importance; the absence of one (permanent) component changes the sing of the effect to the opposite. The transfer of the effect to planarians through water pretreated with magnetic fields probably indicates that aqueous medium is involved in the realization of biological effects of weak magnetic fields.

  16. Molecular analysis of stem cells and their descendents during cell turnover and regeneration in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

    PubMed Central

    Eisenhoffer, George T.; Kang, Hara; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2008-01-01

    In adult planarians the replacement of cells lost to physiological turnover or injury is sustained by the proliferation and differentiation of stem cells known as neoblasts. Neoblast lineage relationships and the molecular changes that take place during differentiation into the appropriate cell types are poorly understood. Here we report the identification and characterization of a cohort of genes specifically expressed in neoblasts and their descendents. We find that genes with severely downregulated expression after irradiation molecularly define at least three discrete subpopulations of cells. Simultaneous BrdU labeling and in situ hybridization experiments in intact and regenerating animals indicate that these cell subpopulations are related by lineage. Our data demonstrate not only the ability to measure and study the in vivo population dynamics of adult stem cells during tissue homeostasis and regeneration, but also the utility of studies in planarians to broadly inform stem cell biology in adult organisms. PMID:18786419

  17. Evaluation of copper effects upon Girardia tigrina freshwater planarians based on a set of biomarkers.

    PubMed

    Knakievicz, Tanise; Ferreira, Henrique Bunselmeyer

    2008-03-01

    Copper is a common environmental contaminant, which is particularly toxic to living organisms when in high concentrations. To monitor environmental contamination by Cu2+ and other heavy metals, well characterized bioindicator organisms and standardized assays are needed. As a first step toward this end, we have analysed Cu2+ effects upon Girardia tigrina freshwater planarians, based on the assessment of mobility, regeneration performance, micronucleus (MN) frequency in regenerating animals, and reproductive performance. These four biomarkers provided complementary information on Cu2+ toxicity, teratogenicity, mutagenicity and chronic (>96 h of exposure) effects, respectively. The LC50 was calculated for newborn, adult and regenerating planarians, and values of 12+/-0.02 mg l(-1), 42+/-0.08 mg l(-1), 48+/-0.13 mg l(-1), respectively, were obtained after 96 h of exposure. Mobility, for intact adults, and time of regeneration and MN frequency, for regenerating animals, were significantly affected by Cu2+ concentrations as low as 0.10 mg l(-1). MN assay for regenerating G. tigrina neoblasts showed higher sensitivities than MN assays performed with other bioindicator freshwater organisms, such as moluscs or fish. Chronic exposure effects were clearly evidenced by assessment of reproductive performance, with significant reduction in fecundity and fertility rates upon exposure to Cu2+ concentrations as low as 0.05 mg l(-1). Therefore, G. tigrina can be regarded as a useful bioindicator species for the detection and evaluation of Cu2+ effects upon freshwater invertebrates, allowing insights on the effects of Cu2+ (and possibly other heavy metals) in a freshwater environment.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-10

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

  1. Conserved functional antagonism of CELF and MBNL proteins controls stem cell-specific alternative splicing in planarians

    PubMed Central

    Solana, Jordi; Irimia, Manuel; Ayoub, Salah; Orejuela, Marta Rodriguez; Zywitza, Vera; Jens, Marvin; Tapial, Javier; Ray, Debashish; Morris, Quaid; Hughes, Timothy R; Blencowe, Benjamin J; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2016-01-01

    In contrast to transcriptional regulation, the function of alternative splicing (AS) in stem cells is poorly understood. In mammals, MBNL proteins negatively regulate an exon program specific of embryonic stem cells; however, little is known about the in vivo significance of this regulation. We studied AS in a powerful in vivo model for stem cell biology, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea. We discover a conserved AS program comprising hundreds of alternative exons, microexons and introns that is differentially regulated in planarian stem cells, and comprehensively identify its regulators. We show that functional antagonism between CELF and MBNL factors directly controls stem cell-specific AS in planarians, placing the origin of this regulatory mechanism at the base of Bilaterians. Knockdown of CELF or MBNL factors lead to abnormal regenerative capacities by affecting self-renewal and differentiation sets of genes, respectively. These results highlight the importance of AS interactions in stem cell regulation across metazoans. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16797.001 PMID:27502555

  2. Genotoxic effects of copper sulphate in freshwater planarian in vivo, studied with the single-cell gel test (comet assay).

    PubMed

    Guecheva, T; Henriques, J A; Erdtmann, B

    2001-10-18

    The alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis, or comet assay, was used to evaluate the genotoxic potential of copper sulphate in planarians. Concentration-related increase in DNA damage was induced after 2h and 7 days exposure to CuSO4 dissolved in culture water. To study the influence of copper ions on the persistence of mutagen-induced DNA lesions, planarians were treated with methyl methanesulphonate (MMS), and further incubated in the absence (post-incubation) or presence (post-treatment) of CuSO4. After 2h of post-treatment enhanced persistence of DNA effects in relation to the corresponding post-incubation value was detected, which indicate inhibition of DNA repair by CuSO4. At 4h an increase of DNA migration in relation to the 2h value was observed, which is significant for the post-incubation group. After 24h, DNA damage decreased but was still significantly elevated in relation to the control. From our results, we conclude that planarians are suitable organisms for in vivo detection of copper genotoxicity in the comet assay, and can be used to assess both acute and chronic exposure to this chemical in aquatic ecosystems. The inhibition effect of copper ions on repair of MMS-induced DNA damage suggests that copper could modulate the genotoxic effects associated with complex mixture exposure in the environment.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    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

  4. Closing the mitochondrial circle on paraphyly of the Monogenea (Platyhelminthes) infers evolution in the diet of parasitic flatworms.

    PubMed

    Perkins, Elizabeth M; Donnellan, Steve C; Bertozzi, Terry; Whittington, Ian D

    2010-09-01

    Relationships between the three classes of Neodermata (parasitic Platyhelminthes) are much debated and restrict our understanding of the evolution of parasitism and contingent adaptations. The historic view of a sister relationship between Cestoda and Monogenea (Cercomeromorphae; larvae bearing posterior hooks) has been dismissed and the weight of evidence against monogenean monophyly has mounted. We present the nucleotide sequence of the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of Benedenia seriolae (Monogenea: Monopisthocotylea: Capsalidae), the first complete non-gyrodactylid monopisthocotylean mt genome to be reported. We also include nucleotide sequence data for some mt protein coding genes for a second capsalid, Neobenedenia sp. Analyses of the new mt genomes with all available platyhelminth mt genomes provide new phylogenetic hypotheses, which strongly influence perspectives on the evolution of diet in the Neodermata. Our analyses do not support monogenean monophyly but confirm that the Digenea and Cestoda are each monophyletic and sister groups. Epithelial feeding monopisthocotyleans on fish hosts are basal in the Neodermata and represent the first shift to parasitism from free-living ancestors. The next evolutionary step in parasitism was a dietary change from epithelium to blood. The common ancestor of Digenea+Cestoda was monogenean-like and most likely sanguinivorous. From this ancestral condition, adult digeneans and cestodes independently evolved dietary specialisations to suit their diverse microhabitats in their final vertebrate hosts. These improved perspectives on relationships fundamentally enhance our understanding of the evolution of parasitism in the Neodermata and in particular, the evolution of diet.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The Macrostomum lignano EST database as a molecular resource for studying platyhelminth development and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Morris, Joshua; Ladurner, Peter; Rieger, Reinhard; Pfister, Daniela; Del Mar De Miguel-Bonet, Maria; Jacobs, David; Hartenstein, Volker

    2006-11-01

    We report the development of an Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) resource for the flatworm Macrostomum lignano. This taxon is of interest due to its basal placement within the flatworms. As such, it provides a useful comparative model for understanding the development of neural and sensory organization. It was anticipated on the basis of previous studies [e.g., Sánchez-Alvarado et al., Development, 129:5659-5665, (2002)] that a wide range of developmental markers would be expressed in later-stage macrostomids, and this proved to be the case, permitting recovery of a range of gene sequences important in development. To this end, an adult Macrostomum cDNA library was generated and 7,680 Macrostomum ESTs were sequenced from the 5' end. In addition, 1,536 of these aforementioned sequences were sequenced from the 3' end. Of the roughly 5,416 non-redundant sequences identified, 68% are similar to previously reported genes of known function. In addition, nearly 100 specific clones were obtained with potential neural and sensory function. From these data, an annotated searchable database of the Macrostomum EST collection has been made available on the web. A major objective was to obtain genes that would allow reconstruction of embryogenesis, and in particular neurogenesis, in a basal platyhelminth. The sequences recovered will serve as probes with which the origin and morphogenesis of lineages and tissues can be followed. To this end, we demonstrate a protocol for combined immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization labeling in juvenile Macrostomum, employing homologs of lin11/lim1 and six3/optix. Expression of these genes is shown in the context of the neuropile/muscle system.

  10. SpolvlgA is a DDX3/PL10-related DEAD-box RNA helicase expressed in blastomeres and embryonic cells in planarian embryonic development

    PubMed Central

    Solana, Jordi; Romero, Rafael

    2009-01-01

    Planarian flatworms have an impressive regenerative power. Although their embryonic development is still poorly studied and is highly derived it still displays some simple characteristics. We have identified SpolvlgA, a Schmidtea polychroa homolog of the DDX3/PL10 DEAD-box RNA helicase DjvlgA from the planarian species Dugesia japonica. This gene has been previously described as being expressed in planarian adult stem cells (neoblasts), as well as the germ line. Here we present the expression pattern of SpolvlgA in developing embryos of S. polychroa and show that it is expressed from the first cleavage rounds in blastomere cells and blastomere-derived embryonic cells. These cells are undifferentiated cells that engage in a massive wave of differentiation during stage 5 of development. SpolvlgA expression highlights this wave of differentiation, where nearly all previous structures are substituted by blastomere-derived embryonic cells. In late stages of development SpolvlgA is expressed in most proliferating and differentiating cells. Thus, SpolvlgA is a gene expressed in planarian embryos from the first stages of development and a good marker for the zygote-derived cell lineage in these embryos. Expression in adult worms is also monitored and is found in the planarian germ line, where it is showed to be expressed in spermatogonia, spermatocytes and differentiating spermatids. PMID:19159016

  11. The physiological response of the marine platyhelminth Macrostomum lignano to different environmental oxygen concentrations.

    PubMed

    Rivera-Ingraham, G A; Bickmeyer, U; Abele, D

    2013-07-15

    The respiration rate of meiofauna is difficult to measure, and the response to variations in the environmental oxygen concentration has so far been mainly addressed through behavioral investigation. We investigated the effect of different oxygen concentrations on the physiology of the marine platyhelminth Macrostomum lignano. Respiration was measured using batches of 20 animals in a glass microtiter plate equipped with optical oxygen sensor spots. At higher oxygen saturations (>12 kPa), the animals showed a clear oxyconforming behavior. However, below this value, the flatworms kept respiration rates constant at 0.064±0.001 nmol O2 l(-1) h(-1) individual(-1) down to 3 kPa PO2, and this rate was increased by 30% in animals that were reoxygenated after enduring a period of 1.5 h in anoxia. Physiological changes related to tissue oxygenation were assessed using live imaging techniques with different fluorophores in animals maintained in normoxic (21 kPa), hyperoxic (40 kPa) or near-anoxic (~0 kPa) conditions and subjected to anoxia-reoxygenation. The pH-sensitive dyes Ageladine-A and BCECF both indicated that pHi under near-anoxia increases by about 0.07-0.10 units. Mitochondrial membrane potential, Δψm, was higher in anoxic and hyperoxic than in normoxic conditions (JC1 dye data). Staining with ROS-sensitive dyes - DHE for detection of superoxide anion (O2•(-)) formation and C-H DFFDA for other ROS species aside from O2•(-) (H2O2, HOO• and ONOO) - showed increased ROS formation following anoxia-reoxygenation treatment. Animals exposed to hyperoxic, normoxic and anoxic treatments displayed no significant differences in O2•(-) formation, whereas mitochondrial ROS formation as detected by C-H2DFFDA was higher after hyperoxic exposure and lowest under near-anoxia conditions compared with the normoxic control group. Macrostomum lignano seems to be a species that is tolerant of a wide range of oxygen concentrations (being able to maintain aerobic metabolism from

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

  17. 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

    2015-11-03

    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.

  18. Hox genes in the parasitic platyhelminthes Mesocestoides corti, Echinococcus multilocularis, and Schistosoma mansoni: evidence for a reduced Hox complement.

    PubMed

    Koziol, Uriel; Lalanne, Ana I; Castillo, Estela

    2009-02-01

    Little is known about the Hox gene complement in parasitic platyhelminthes (Neodermata). With the aim of identifying Hox genes in this group we performed two independent strategies: we performed a PCR survey with degenerate primers directed to the Hox homeobox in the cestode Mesocestoides corti, and we searched genomic assemblies of Echinococcus multilocularis and Schistosoma mansoni. We identified two Hox genes in M. corti, seven in E. multilocularis, and nine in S. mansoni (including five previously reported). The affinities of these sequences, and other previously reported Hox sequences from flatworms, were determined according to phylogenetic analysis, presence of characteristic parapeptide sequences, and unusual intron positions. Our results suggest that the last common ancestor of triclads and neodermatans had a Hox gene complement of at least seven genes, and that this was probably derived by gene loss from a larger ancestral Hox complement in lophotrochozoans.

  19. Reproductive mode and ovarian morphology regulation in chimeric planarians composed of asexual and sexual neoblasts.

    PubMed

    Nodono, Hanae; Matsumoto, Midori

    2012-07-01

    Planarians are comprised of populations with different reproductive strategies: exclusively innately asexual (AS), exclusively innately sexual (InS), and seasonally switching. AS worms can be sexualized experimentally by feeding them with minced InS worms, and the resultant worms are characterized as acquired sexual (AqS). Differences between InS and AqS worms are expected to provide important clues to the poorly understood mechanism underlying the regulation of their reproductive mode. Morphological differences were found between InS and AqS worm ovaries, and we showed that the pluripotent stem cells (neoblasts) from InS worms, but not those of AqS worms, have the capacity to initiate the sexual state autonomously via neoblast fraction transplantation. To compare their reproductive mode and ovarian morphology regulation, InS donor neoblast fractions were transplanted into non-lethally X-ray-irradiated AS recipients. All transplants showed stable chimerism and reproduced sexually, suggesting that InS worm neoblasts can initiate sexual state autonomously, even when coexisting with AS worm neoblasts. The chimeras formed extraordinarily large and supernumerary ovaries equivalent to AqS worms, which were not seen in InS worms, suggesting that regulation of ovarian morphology in AS worm-derived cells in response to endogenous sexualizing stimulation distinctly differs from that of InS worms.

  20. 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.

  1. Gene expression of pluripotency determinants is conserved between mammalian and planarian stem cells.

    PubMed

    Onal, Pinar; Grün, Dominic; Adamidi, Catherine; Rybak, Agnieszka; Solana, Jordi; Mastrobuoni, Guido; Wang, Yongbo; Rahn, Hans-Peter; Chen, Wei; Kempa, Stefan; Ziebold, Ulrike; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2012-06-13

    Freshwater planaria possess extreme regeneration capabilities mediated by abundant, pluripotent stem cells (neoblasts) in adult animals. Although planaria emerged as an attractive in vivo model system for stem cell biology, gene expression in neoblasts has not been profiled comprehensively and it is unknown how molecular mechanisms for pluripotency in neoblasts relate to those in mammalian embryonic stem cells (ESCs). We purified neoblasts and quantified mRNA and protein expression by sequencing and shotgun proteomics. We identified ∼4000 genes specifically expressed in neoblasts, including all ∼30 known neoblast markers. Genes important for pluripotency in ESCs, including regulators as well as targets of OCT4, were well conserved and upregulated in neoblasts. We found conserved expression of epigenetic regulators and demonstrated their requirement for planarian regeneration by knockdown experiments. Post-transcriptional regulatory genes characteristic for germ cells were also enriched in neoblasts, suggesting the existence of a common ancestral state of germ cells and ESCs. We conclude that molecular determinants of pluripotency are conserved throughout evolution and that planaria are an informative model system for human stem cell biology.

  2. Gene expression of pluripotency determinants is conserved between mammalian and planarian stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Önal, Pinar; Grün, Dominic; Adamidi, Catherine; Rybak, Agnieszka; Solana, Jordi; Mastrobuoni, Guido; Wang, Yongbo; Rahn, Hans-Peter; Chen, Wei; Kempa, Stefan; Ziebold, Ulrike; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2012-01-01

    Freshwater planaria possess extreme regeneration capabilities mediated by abundant, pluripotent stem cells (neoblasts) in adult animals. Although planaria emerged as an attractive in vivo model system for stem cell biology, gene expression in neoblasts has not been profiled comprehensively and it is unknown how molecular mechanisms for pluripotency in neoblasts relate to those in mammalian embryonic stem cells (ESCs). We purified neoblasts and quantified mRNA and protein expression by sequencing and shotgun proteomics. We identified ∼4000 genes specifically expressed in neoblasts, including all ∼30 known neoblast markers. Genes important for pluripotency in ESCs, including regulators as well as targets of OCT4, were well conserved and upregulated in neoblasts. We found conserved expression of epigenetic regulators and demonstrated their requirement for planarian regeneration by knockdown experiments. Post-transcriptional regulatory genes characteristic for germ cells were also enriched in neoblasts, suggesting the existence of a common ancestral state of germ cells and ESCs. We conclude that molecular determinants of pluripotency are conserved throughout evolution and that planaria are an informative model system for human stem cell biology. PMID:22543868

  3. Wnt, Ptk7, and FGFRL expression gradients control trunk positional identity in planarian regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Lander, Rachel; Petersen, Christian P

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms enabling positional identity re-establishment are likely critical for tissue regeneration. Planarians use Wnt/beta-catenin signaling to polarize the termini of their anteroposterior axis, but little is known about how regeneration signaling restores regionalization along body or organ axes. We identify three genes expressed constitutively in overlapping body-wide transcriptional gradients that control trunk-tail positional identity in regeneration. ptk7 encodes a trunk-expressed kinase-dead Wnt co-receptor, wntP-2 encodes a posterior-expressed Wnt ligand, and ndl-3 encodes an anterior-expressed homolog of conserved FGFRL/nou-darake decoy receptors. ptk7 and wntP-2 maintain and allow appropriate regeneration of trunk tissue position independently of canonical Wnt signaling and with suppression of ndl-3 expression in the posterior. These results suggest that restoration of regional identity in regeneration involves the interpretation and re-establishment of axis-wide transcriptional gradients of signaling molecules. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12850.001 PMID:27074666

  4. 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

  5. An insulin-like peptide regulates size and adult stem cells in planarians.

    PubMed

    Miller, Claire M; Newmark, Phillip A

    2012-01-01

    Animal growth depends on nutritional intake during development. In many animals, nutritional status is uncoupled from moderation of adult stature after adult size is achieved. However, some long-lived animals continue to regulate adult size and fertility in a nutrition-dependent manner. For example, the regenerating flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea becomes smaller, or degrows, during periods of starvation. These animals provide an opportunity to readily observe adult stem cell population dynamics in response to nutritional cues. We explored the role of insulin signaling in S. mediterranea. We disrupted insulin signaling via RNA interference and showed that animals, despite eating, degrew similarly to starved animals. Utilizing in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence, we assessed cellular changes in proliferative populations including the planarian adult stem cell population (neoblasts) and the germline. Both impaired insulin signaling and nutritional deprivation correlated with decreased neoblast proliferation. Additionally, insulin signaling played a role in supporting spermatogenesis that was distinct from the effects of starvation. In sum, we have demonstrated that insulin signaling is responsible for regulation of adult animal size and tissue homeostasis in an organism with plastic adult size. Importantly, insulin signaling continued to affect stem cell and germline populations in a mature organism. Furthermore, we have shown that adult organisms can differentially regulate specific cell populations as a result of environmental challenges.

  6. Regional signals in the planarian body guide stem cell fate in the presence of genomic instability.

    PubMed

    Peiris, T Harshani; Ramirez, Daniel; Barghouth, Paul G; Ofoha, Udokanma; Davidian, Devon; Weckerle, Frank; Oviedo, Néstor J

    2016-05-15

    Cellular fate decisions are influenced by their topographical location in the adult body. For instance, tissue repair and neoplastic growth are greater in anterior than in posterior regions of adult animals. However, the molecular underpinnings of these regional differences are unknown. We identified a regional switch in the adult planarian body upon systemic disruption of homologous recombination with RNA-interference of Rad51 Rad51 knockdown increases DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) throughout the body, but stem cells react differently depending on their location along the anteroposterior axis. In the presence of extensive DSBs, cells in the anterior part of the body resist death, whereas cells in the posterior region undergo apoptosis. Furthermore, we found that proliferation of cells with DNA damage is induced in the presence of brain tissue and that the retinoblastoma pathway enables overproliferation of cells with DSBs while attending to the demands of tissue growth and repair. Our results implicate both autonomous and non-autonomous mechanisms as key mediators of regional cell behavior and cellular transformation in the adult body. PMID:27013241

  7. Production of asexual and sexual offspring in the triploid sexual planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Arioka, Sachiko; Hoshi, Motonori; Matsumoto, Midori

    2009-09-01

    Certain freshwater planarians reproduce asexually as well as sexually, and their chromosomal ploidies include polyploidy, aneuploidy and mixoploidy. Previously, we successfully performed an experiment in which a clonal population produced by asexual reproduction of the Dugesia ryukyuensis (OH strain) switched to the sexual mode of reproduction. Worms of this strain are triploid with a pericentric inversion on Chromosome 4. The worms were switched to sexual reproduction after being fed with sexually mature Bdellocephala brunnea, which is a sexually reproducing species. The resulting sexualized OH strain produced cocoons filled with several eggs. Two putative factors, Mendelian factor(s) and chromosomal control(s), have been proposed as determining the reproductive mode. The present study demonstrated that inbreeding of the resultant sexualized worms produced the following four types of offspring through sexual reproduction: diploid asexual worms, triploid asexual worms, diploid sexual worms and triploid sexual worms. The chromosomal mutation on Chromosome 4 was inherited by these offspring independent of their reproductive mode. These results provide two important pieces of information: (i) the putative genetic factor was not necessarily inherited in a Mendelian fashion; and (ii) the reproductive mode is not regulated by chromosomal changes such as polyploidy or chromosomal mutations. This suggests that asexuality in D. ryukyuensis is regulated by an unknown factor(s) other than a Mendelian factor or a chromosomal control.

  8. 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.

  9. Amputation induces stem cell mobilization to sites of injury during planarian regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Guedelhoefer, Otto C.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2012-01-01

    How adult stem cell populations are recruited for tissue renewal and repair is a fundamental question of biology. Mobilization of stem cells out of their niches followed by correct migration and differentiation at a site of tissue turnover or injury are important requirements for proper tissue maintenance and regeneration. However, we understand little about the mechanisms that control this process, possibly because the best studied vertebrate adult stem cell systems are not readily amenable to in vivo observation. Furthermore, few clear examples of the recruitment of fully potent stem cells, compared with limited progenitors, are known. Here, we show that planarian stem cells directionally migrate to amputation sites during regeneration. We also show that during tissue homeostasis they are stationary. Our study not only uncovers the existence of specific recruitment mechanisms elicited by amputation, but also sets the stage for the systematic characterization of evolutionarily conserved stem cell regulatory processes likely to inform stem cell function and dysfunction in higher organisms, including humans. PMID:22899852

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

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Bret J.; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez

    2010-01-01

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

  11. In vivo and in vitro metabolism of tobacco-specific nitrosamine, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), by the freshwater planarian, Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

    Cigarette smoke is a risk factor for human health, and many studies were conducted to investigate its adverse effects on humans and other mammals. However, since large amounts of cigarette products are produced and consumed, it is possible that tobacco chemicals can end up in aquatic environments through several routes, thus influencing aquatic organisms. In this study, the presence of tobacco-specific nitrosamine (TSNA), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), in aquatic environment was demonstrated. Since toxic effects on and distribution patterns of tobacco chemicals in aquatic organisms were rarely studied, after results of an acute toxicity pretest were obtained, experiment was conducted to investigate the bioaccumulation pattern of NNK and distribution patterns of its metabolites, mainly 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), in NNK-treated freshwater planarians, Dugesia japonica. Results from in vivo and in vitro studies showed that NNK was readily converted to NNAL through the carbonyl reduction in bodies of NNK-treated planarians. Tissue concentrations of both chemicals increased in time- and dose-dependent manners. Furthermore, we examined the end products of NNK/NNAL α-hydroxylation in NNK-treated planarians, but only 1-(3-pyridyl)-1,4-butanediol was detected, suggesting that NNK metabolism in planarians partially differs from that in mammalian systems. This is the first report on NNK metabolism in an aquatic organism and can be used as a foundation for developing freshwater planarians as a new in vivo model for the study of NNK toxicology in the future.

  12. 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.

  13. Stem cells from innate sexual but not acquired sexual planarians have the capability to form a sexual individual.

    PubMed

    Nodono, Hanae; Ishino, Yugo; Hoshi, Motonori; Matsumoto, Midori

    2012-11-01

    Planarian species may harbor as many as three populations with different reproductive strategies. Animals from innate asexual (AS) and innate sexual (InS) populations reproduce only by fission and cross-fertilization, respectively, whereas the third population switches seasonally between the two reproductive modes. AS worms can be experimentally sexualized by feeding them with minced InS worms; we termed the resulting animals "acquired sexual" (AqS) worms. Both AqS and InS worms exhibit sexualizing activity when used as feed, suggesting that they maintain their sexual state via endogenous sexualizing substances, although the mechanisms underlying determination of reproductive strategy and sexual switching in these metazoans remain enigmatic. Therefore, we compared the endogenous sexualizing activity of InS worms and AqS worms. First, we amputated mature worms and assessed if they could re-enter a sexual state. Regenerants of InS worms, but not AqS worms, were only sexual, indicating that sexual state regulation comprises two steps: (1) autonomous initiation of sexualizing substance production and (2) maintenance of the sexual state by continuous production of sexualizing substances. Next, InS neoblasts were characterized by transplantation, finding that they successfully engrafted, proliferated, and replaced all recipient cells. Under such conditions, the AS recipients of InS worm neoblasts, but not those of AqS worms, became sexual. These results clearly show that there is a neoblast-autonomous determination of reproductive strategy in planarians.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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. 

  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. 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.

  3. No evidence for a culturable bacterial tetrodotoxin producer in Pleurobranchaea maculata (Gastropoda: Pleurobranchidae) and Stylochoplana sp. (Platyhelminthes: Polycladida).

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-28

    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.

  4. Suppression of the tapeworm order Pseudophyllidea (Platyhelminthes: Eucestoda) and the proposal of two new orders, Bothriocephalidea and Diphyllobothriidea.

    PubMed

    Kuchta, R; Scholz, T; Brabec, J; Bray, R A

    2008-01-01

    Pseudophyllidea van Beneden in Carus, 1863, a well recognised order of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes: Eucestoda), is suppressed because it is composed of two phylogenetically unrelated groups, for which the new names Bothriocephalidea and Diphyllobothriidea are proposed. The new orders differ from each other in the following characters: (i) position of the genital pore: on the dorsal, dorso-lateral or lateral aspects and posterior to the ventral uterine pore in the Bothriocephalidea versus on the ventral aspect of segments and anterior to the uterine pore in the Diphyllobothriidea; (ii) the presence of a muscular external seminal vesicle in the Diphyllobothriidea, which is absent in the Bothriocephalidea; (iii) the presence of a uterine sac in the Bothriocephalidea, which is absent in the Diphyllobothriidea; and (iv) the spectrum of definitive hosts: mainly teleost fishes, never homoiothermic vertebrates in the Bothriocephalidea, versus tetrapods, most frequently mammals, in the Diphyllobothriidea, with species of Diphyllobothrium, Spirometra and Diplogonoporus parasitic in humans. The Diphyllobothriidea, which includes 17 genera in four families (Digramma is synonymised with Ligula), is associated with cestode groups that have a range of plesiomorphic characters (Haplobothriidea and Caryophyllidea), whereas the Bothriocephalidea, consisting of 41 genera grouped in four families, is the sister-group to the 'acetabulate' or 'tetrafossate' cestodes, which are generally regarded as having derived characters.

  5. State of knowledge of the Acotylea (Polycladida, Platyhelminthes) from the Mediterranean coasts of Spain: new records and new species.

    PubMed

    Marquina, Daniel; Osca, David; Rodríguez, Jorge; Fernández-Despiau, Estrella; Noreña, Carolina

    2014-03-20

    Along the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula, great species diversity is thought to exist, but our knowledge of Iberian polyclads is, in fact, very limited. This study contributes to the Polycladida (Platyhelminthes) of the Iberian Peninsula, in particular those of the Mediterranean coast. Nine species, mainly new species or new records, are described. Imogine stellae sp. nov. from Mar Menor (Murcia, Spain) is described, while I. mediterranea Galleni, 1976 is recorded for the first time in Spain. The genus Planocera Blainville, 1828 within the Mediterranean basin is reviewed: Planocera graffi Lang, 1879 is redescribed, and its synonymisation with Planocera pellucida (Mertens, 1833) considered. Also, the genus Notoplanella Bock, 1931 is represented by two species in Spain, N. inarmata Bock, 1931 type species, from Formentera Island and N. estelae sp. nov., from Mar Menor. Trigonoporus cephalophtalmus Lang, 1884 is rediscovered after the description of Lang (1884). Stylochus neapolitanus (Delle Chiaje, 1841-1844) Lang, 1884 is recorded and S. pilidium (Goette, 1881) is also redescribed, and Leptoplana mediterranea (Bock, 1913) is newly recorded for the Iberian Peninsula.

  6. Bryoplana xerophila n. g. n. sp., a new limnoterrestrial microturbellarian (Platyhelminthes, Typhloplanidae, Protoplanellinae) from epilithic mosses, with notes on its ecology.

    PubMed

    Van Steenkiste, Niels; Davison, Paul; Artois, Tom

    2010-03-01

    Bryoplana xerophila, a new genus and species of limnoterrestrial protoplanelline platyhelminth, was found in moss and soil covering a concrete wall in northern Alabama, USA. Bryoplana xerophila is the first taxon of limnoterrestrial Protoplanellinae recorded from North America and is one of the few rhabdocoels known from dry habitats. It is unique within Protoplanellinae in lacking rhabdites, having a pharynx rosulatus in the frontal half of the body, and lacking sclerotized parts in the male system. Notes on encystment, reproduction and feeding behavior are given. An updated identification key to all known genera of Protoplanellinae is presented.

  7. [New occurrences of metacercariae of Austrodiplostomum compactum (Lutz, 1928) (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) eye flukes of fish from the Paraná Basin].

    PubMed

    Yamada, Fábio Hideki; Moreira, Luis Henrique De A; Ceschini, Tiago L; Takemoto, Ricardo Massato; Pavanelli, Gilberto Cezar

    2008-01-01

    Austrodiplostomum compactum (Platyhelminthes, Digenea) eye flukes of several species of fishes. The presence of this parasite, in extreme cases, can cause swelling of the eyelids, displacement of the retina, opacity of the crystalline lens and blindness or even death. The present study it registers new occurrences of this metacercariae infecting the eyes of four new hosts of fish, Serrasalmus maculatus collected in the Rosana reservoir in the Paranapanema river and Hypostomus regani, Schizodon borellii and Auchenipterus osteomystax collected in the the Upper Paraná River floodplain.

  8. Ameliorating effect of chloride on nitrite toxicity to freshwater invertebrates with different physiology: a comparative study between amphipods and planarians.

    PubMed

    Alonso, A; Camargo, J A

    2008-02-01

    High nitrite concentrations in freshwater ecosystems may cause toxicity to aquatic animals. These living organisms can take nitrite up from water through their chloride cells, subsequently suffering oxidation of their respiratory pigments (hemoglobin, hemocyanin). Because NO(2)(-) and Cl(-) ions compete for the same active transport site, elevated chloride concentrations in the aquatic environment have the potential of reducing nitrite toxicity. Although this ameliorating effect is well documented in fish, it has been largely ignored in wild freshwater invertebrates. The aim of this study was to compare the ameliorating effect of chloride on nitrite toxicity to two species of freshwater invertebrates differing in physiology: Eulimnogammarus toletanus (amphipods) and Polycelis felina (planarians). The former species presents gills (with chloride cells) and respiratory pigments, whereas in the latter species these are absent. Test animals were exposed in triplicate for 168 h to a single nitrite concentration (5 ppm NO(2)-N for E. toletanus and 100 ppm NO(2)-N for P. felina) at four different environmental chloride concentrations (27.8, 58.3, 85.3, and 108.0 ppm Cl(-)). The number of dead animals and the number of affected individuals (i.e., number of dead plus inactive invertebrates) were monitored every day. LT(50) (lethal time) and ET(50) (effective time) were estimated for each species and each chloride concentration. LT(50) and ET(50) values increased with increases in the environmental chloride concentration, mainly in amphipods. Results clearly show that the ameliorating effect of chloride on nitrite toxicity was more significant in amphipods than in planarians, likely because of the absence of gills (with chloride cells) and respiratory pigments in P. felina. Additionally, this comparative study indicates that the ecological risk assessment of nitrite in freshwater ecosystems should take into account not only the most sensitive and key species in the

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  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.

  11. The CCR4-NOT Complex Mediates Deadenylation and Degradation of Stem Cell mRNAs and Promotes Planarian Stem Cell Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    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

  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.

  13. Molecular markers for X-ray-insensitive differentiated cells in the Inner and outer regions of the mesenchymal space in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Teramoto, Machiko; Kudome-Takamatsu, Tomomi; Nishimura, Osamu; An, Yang; Kashima, Makoto; Shibata, Norito; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2016-09-01

    Planarian's strong regenerative ability is dependent on stem cells (called neoblasts) that are X-ray-sensitive and proliferative stem cells. In addition to neoblasts, another type of X-ray-sensitive cells was newly identified by recent research. Thus, planarian's X-ray-sensitive cells can be divided into at least two populations, Type 1 and Type 2, the latter corresponding to planarian's classically defined "neoblasts". Here, we show that Type 1 cells were distributed in the outer region (OR) immediately underneath the muscle layer at all axial levels from head to tail, while the Type 2 cells were distributed in a more internal region (IR) of the mesenchymal space at the axial levels from neck to tail. To elucidate the biological significance of these two regions, we searched for genes expressed in differentiated cells that were locate close to these X-ray-sensitive cell populations in the mesenchymal space, and identified six genes mainly expressed in the OR or IR, named OR1, OR2, OR3, IR1, IR2 and IR3. The predicted amino acid sequences of these genes suggested that differentiated cells expressing OR1, OR3, IR1, or IR2 provide Type 1 and Type 2 cells with specific extracellular matrix (ECM) environments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-06-14

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

  15. Molecular markers for X-ray-insensitive differentiated cells in the Inner and outer regions of the mesenchymal space in planarian Dugesia japonica.

    PubMed

    Teramoto, Machiko; Kudome-Takamatsu, Tomomi; Nishimura, Osamu; An, Yang; Kashima, Makoto; Shibata, Norito; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2016-09-01

    Planarian's strong regenerative ability is dependent on stem cells (called neoblasts) that are X-ray-sensitive and proliferative stem cells. In addition to neoblasts, another type of X-ray-sensitive cells was newly identified by recent research. Thus, planarian's X-ray-sensitive cells can be divided into at least two populations, Type 1 and Type 2, the latter corresponding to planarian's classically defined "neoblasts". Here, we show that Type 1 cells were distributed in the outer region (OR) immediately underneath the muscle layer at all axial levels from head to tail, while the Type 2 cells were distributed in a more internal region (IR) of the mesenchymal space at the axial levels from neck to tail. To elucidate the biological significance of these two regions, we searched for genes expressed in differentiated cells that were locate close to these X-ray-sensitive cell populations in the mesenchymal space, and identified six genes mainly expressed in the OR or IR, named OR1, OR2, OR3, IR1, IR2 and IR3. The predicted amino acid sequences of these genes suggested that differentiated cells expressing OR1, OR3, IR1, or IR2 provide Type 1 and Type 2 cells with specific extracellular matrix (ECM) environments. PMID:27530596

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Physiological controls of large‐scale patterning in planarian regeneration: a molecular and computational perspective on growth and form

    PubMed Central

    Durant, Fallon; Lobo, Daniel; Hammelman, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Planaria are complex metazoans that repair damage to their bodies and cease remodeling when a correct anatomy has been achieved. This model system offers a unique opportunity to understand how large‐scale anatomical homeostasis emerges from the activities of individual cells. Much progress has been made on the molecular genetics of stem cell activity in planaria. However, recent data also indicate that the global pattern is regulated by physiological circuits composed of ionic and neurotransmitter signaling. Here, we overview the multi‐scale problem of understanding pattern regulation in planaria, with specific focus on bioelectric signaling via ion channels and gap junctions (electrical synapses), and computational efforts to extract explanatory models from functional and molecular data on regeneration. We present a perspective that interprets results in this fascinating field using concepts from dynamical systems theory and computational neuroscience. Serving as a tractable nexus between genetic, physiological, and computational approaches to pattern regulation, planarian pattern homeostasis harbors many deep insights for regenerative medicine, evolutionary biology, and engineering. PMID:27499881

  20. Toxicity of selenium (Na2SeO3) and mercury (HgCl2) on the planarian Dugesia gonocephala.

    PubMed

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

    1989-10-01

    The toxicity of selenium (Na2SeO3) and mercury (HgCl2) 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.

  1. 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

  2. Molecular characterization of Gastrothylax crumenifer (Platyhelminthes: Gastrothylacidae) from goats in the western part of India by LSU of nuclear ribosomal DNA.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Nanoporous Structures Similar to Those Reported from Squid Sucker Teeth are also Present in Egg Shells of a Terrestrial Flatworm (Platyhelminthes; Rhabditophora; Geoplanidae) from Hachijojima (Izu Islands, Japan).

    PubMed

    Meyer-Rochow, Victor Benno; Miinalainen, Ilkka

    2016-07-01

    Shells of the egg cocoon of a terrestrial planarian (Diversibipalium sp.) from Hachijojima were found to be composed of a lattice of parallel nanotubes of ca. 120 nm diameter oriented perpendicular to the shell's surface. The arrangement of the porous proteinaceous tubes closely resembles that has recently been reported from the sucker teeth of squid and to date is the only other example of this kind of structure. Although the array of nanotubes undoubtedly contributes to the stiffness of the shell and helps protecting the embryo, questions such as to how the planary worm produces the array of nanotubes and what exactly their chemical and physical properties are versus those of the squid sucker tooth still remain to be answered.

  5. First report of the genus Cratera (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) in Argentina, with description of a new species and comments on the species of the genus.

    PubMed

    Negrete, Lisandro; Brusa, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    A new species of land planarians of the genus Cratera is described. Cratera viridimaculata sp. n. was recorded in the Atlantic Forest Ecoregion, in north-eastern Argentina, and represents the first report of the genus Cratera outside Brazil. The new species is about 50 mm in length and externally characterized by a color pattern consisting of a light green olive pigmentation on the dorsum, stippled with dark gray fine spots, and dorsal eyes. Other features regarding the internal anatomy are the presence of a glandular margin, Cutaneous Muscular Index (CMI) of 10-13%, pharynx cylindrical, prostatic vesicle extrabulbar, tubular and C-shaped, with a proximal bifurcated portion, penis papilla protrusible with ejaculatory duct widened in its distal portion, and female atrium funnel-shaped. The new species is compared and discussed with its congeners. PMID:27587974

  6. Nanoporous Structures Similar to Those Reported from Squid Sucker Teeth are also Present in Egg Shells of a Terrestrial Flatworm (Platyhelminthes; Rhabditophora; Geoplanidae) from Hachijojima (Izu Islands, Japan).

    PubMed

    Meyer-Rochow, Victor Benno; Miinalainen, Ilkka

    2016-07-01

    Shells of the egg cocoon of a terrestrial planarian (Diversibipalium sp.) from Hachijojima were found to be composed of a lattice of parallel nanotubes of ca. 120 nm diameter oriented perpendicular to the shell's surface. The arrangement of the porous proteinaceous tubes closely resembles that has recently been reported from the sucker teeth of squid and to date is the only other example of this kind of structure. Although the array of nanotubes undoubtedly contributes to the stiffness of the shell and helps protecting the embryo, questions such as to how the planary worm produces the array of nanotubes and what exactly their chemical and physical properties are versus those of the squid sucker tooth still remain to be answered. PMID:27278842

  7. First report of the genus Cratera (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) in Argentina, with description of a new species and comments on the species of the genus

    PubMed Central

    Negrete, Lisandro; Brusa, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A new species of land planarians of the genus Cratera is described. Cratera viridimaculata sp. n. was recorded in the Atlantic Forest Ecoregion, in north-eastern Argentina, and represents the first report of the genus Cratera outside Brazil. The new species is about 50 mm in length and externally characterized by a color pattern consisting of a light green olive pigmentation on the dorsum, stippled with dark gray fine spots, and dorsal eyes. Other features regarding the internal anatomy are the presence of a glandular margin, Cutaneous Muscular Index (CMI) of 10–13%, pharynx cylindrical, prostatic vesicle extrabulbar, tubular and C-shaped, with a proximal bifurcated portion, penis papilla protrusible with ejaculatory duct widened in its distal portion, and female atrium funnel-shaped. The new species is compared and discussed with its congeners. PMID:27587974

  8. First report of the genus Cratera (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) in Argentina, with description of a new species and comments on the species of the genus.

    PubMed

    Negrete, Lisandro; Brusa, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    A new species of land planarians of the genus Cratera is described. Cratera viridimaculata sp. n. was recorded in the Atlantic Forest Ecoregion, in north-eastern Argentina, and represents the first report of the genus Cratera outside Brazil. The new species is about 50 mm in length and externally characterized by a color pattern consisting of a light green olive pigmentation on the dorsum, stippled with dark gray fine spots, and dorsal eyes. Other features regarding the internal anatomy are the presence of a glandular margin, Cutaneous Muscular Index (CMI) of 10-13%, pharynx cylindrical, prostatic vesicle extrabulbar, tubular and C-shaped, with a proximal bifurcated portion, penis papilla protrusible with ejaculatory duct widened in its distal portion, and female atrium funnel-shaped. The new species is compared and discussed with its congeners.

  9. The beta-lactam antibiotic ceftriaxone inhibits physical dependence and abstinence-induced withdrawal from cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and clorazepate in planarians.

    PubMed

    Rawls, Scott M; Cavallo, Federica; Capasso, Anna; Ding, Zhe; Raffa, Robert B

    2008-04-28

    Ceftriaxone (a beta-lactam antibiotic) has recently been identified as having the rare ability to increase the expression and functional activity of the glutamate transporter subtype 1 (GLT-1) in rat spinal cord cultures. GLT-1 has been implicated in diverse neurological disorders and in opioid dependence and withdrawal. It has been speculated that it might also be involved in the physical dependence and withdrawal of other abused drugs, but demonstration of this property can be difficult in mammalian models. Here, we demonstrate for the first time using a planarian model that ceftriaxone attenuates both the development of physical dependence and abstinence-induced withdrawal from cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and a benzodiazepine (clorazepate) in a concentration-related manner. These results suggest that physical dependence and withdrawal from several drugs involve a common - beta-lactam-sensitive - mechanism in planarians. If these findings can be shown to extend to mammals, beta-lactam antibiotics might represent a novel pharmacotherapy or adjunct approach for treating drug abuse or serve as a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at treating drug abuse, recovery from drug abuse, or ameliorating the withdrawal from chronic use of therapeutic medications.

  10. High multiple paternity and low last-male sperm precedence in a hermaphroditic planarian flatworm: consequences for reciprocity patterns.

    PubMed

    Pongratz, N; Michiels, N K

    2003-06-01

    It is difficult to predict a priori how mating success translates into fertilization success in simultaneous hermaphrodites with internal fertilization. Whereas insemination decisions will be determined by male interests, fertilization will depend on female interests, possibly leading to discrepancies between insemination and fertilization patterns. The planarian flatworm Schmidtea polychroa, a simultaneous hermaphrodite in which mating partners trade sperm was studied. Sperm can be stored for months yet individuals mate frequently. Using microsatellites, maternity and paternity data were obtained from 748 offspring produced in six groups of 10 individuals during four weeks. Adults produced young from four mates on average. Reciprocal fertilization between two mates was found in only 41 out of 110 registered mate combinations, which is clearly less than what is predicted from insemination patterns. Multiple paternity was high: > 80% of all cocoons had two to five fathers for only three to five offspring per cocoon. Because animals were collected from a natural population, 28% of all hatchlings were sired by unknown sperm donors in the field, despite a 10-day period of acclimatization and within-group mating. This percentage decreased only moderately throughout the experiment, showing that sperm can be stored and used for at least a month, despite frequent mating and sperm digestion. The immediate paternity a sperm donor could expect to obtain was only about 25%. Male reproductive success increased linearly with the number of female partners, providing support for Bateman's principle in hermaphrodites. Our results suggest that hermaphrodites do not trade fertilizations when trading sperm during insemination, lending support to the view that such conditional sperm exchange is driven by exchange of resources.

  11. 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

  12. Transfection of Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Switching from asexual to sexual reproduction in the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis: change of the fissiparous capacity along with the sexualizing process.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Kazuya; Hoshi, Motonori

    2002-06-01

    Asexual worms of fissiparous strain of the planarian Dugesia ryukyuensis switch from asexual to sexual reproduction, if they are fed with sexually mature worms of Bdellocephala brunnea. This suggests that the sexually mature worms have a sexualizing substance(s) that induces the sexuality in the asexual worms. Here, we found by analysis of the sexualization that the cessation of the fission, namely their asexual reproduction, occurs immediately after the acquisition of sexuality. This result suggests that the downstream mechanisms induced by the putative sexualizing substance in B. brunnea become responsible for the cessation of fission. We also found that the decapitation triggers fission in the worms even after the acquisition of sexuality if they are not sexually mature, while the fully sexualized worms never fission even though they are decapitated. This result suggests that the cessation of fission takes place via at least two steps: (1) the mechanisms associated with the cephalic system; (2) other mechanisms independent of cephalic control.

  16. 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

  17. Immunogold-labeled S-phase neoblasts, total neoblast number, their distribution, and evidence for arrested neoblasts in Macrostomum lignano (Platyhelminthes, Rhabditophora).

    PubMed

    Bode, A; Salvenmoser, W; Nimeth, K; Mahlknecht, M; Adamski, Z; Rieger, R M; Peter, R; Ladurner, P

    2006-09-01

    Neoblasts in Platyhelminthes are the only cells to proliferate and differentiate into all cell types. In Macrostomum lignano, the incorporation of 5'-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) in neoblasts confirmed the distribution of S-phase cells in two lateral bands. BrdU labeling for light and for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) identified three populations of proliferating cells: somatic neoblasts located between the epidermis and gastrodermis (mesodermal neoblasts), neoblasts located within the gastrodermis (gastrodermal neoblasts), and gonadal S-phase cells. In adults, three stages of mesodermal neoblasts (2, 2-3, and 3) defined by their ultrastructure were found. Stage 1 neoblasts where only seen in hatchlings. These stages either were phases within the S-phase of one neoblast pool or were subsequent stages of differentiating neoblasts, each with its own cell cycle. Regular TEM and immunogold labeling provided the basis for calculating the total number of neoblasts and the ratio of labeled to non-labeled neoblasts. Somatic neoblasts represented 6.5% of the total number of cells. Of these, 27% were labeled in S-phase. Of this fraction, 33% were in stage 2, 46% in stage 2-3, and 21% in stage 3. Immunogold labeling substantiated results concerning the differentiation of neoblasts into somatic cells. Non-labeled stage 2 neoblasts were present, even after a 2-week BrdU exposure. Double labeling of mitoses and FMRF-amide revealed a close spatial relationship of mesodermal neoblasts with the nervous system. Immunogold-labeled sections showed that nearly 70% of S-phase cells were in direct contact or within 5 microm from nerve cords.

  18. 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.

  19. Differentiated epidermal outgrowths in the planarian Dugesia gonocephala: a model for studying cell renewal and patterning in single-layered epithelial tissue.

    PubMed

    Chandebois, R

    1985-01-01

    Large deep wounds on the ventral side of a flatworm (Planaria) will not heal. Instead, the damage to the parenchyma in the wound's roof will result in a differentiated swelling in the dorsal epidermis, above the wound which will eventually disappear with the disintegration of the underlying damaged tissue and a ventrodorsal hole appears in place of the wound. The dorsal epidermal outgrowth is formed by a number of excrescences, the development of which involves four successive stages. Their analysis suggests that epidermal cells are continuously produced by their own stem cells which remain unnoticed because their nuclei are hardly stainable. The daughter cells differentiate without information from either the underlying tissues or the basal epithelial membrane. During the first stage of this differentiation the cells become ciliated and motile, with some embryonic features. They then produce rhabdites and take up a columnar shape as they may become attached to the basal membrane. After wound setting the production of epidermal cells increases and the overcrowding of the basal membrane results in (1) detachment of stem cells and motile ciliated cells from the basal tissues, i.e. outgrowths; (2) stretching of columnar cells at the base of the outgrowths. When in the process of tissue disintegration the basal membrane of the epithelium also disappears, the cells remain in a single-layered epithelial configuration and retain their original polarity. These results are at variance with the generally accepted hypothesis that, in planarians, epidermal cells originate from the parenchyma and the epidermis is not an autonomous tissue.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  3. [Dependence of effects of weak combined low-frequency variable and constant magnetic fields on the intensity of asexual reproduction of planarians Dugesia tigrina on the magnitude of the variable field].

    PubMed

    Novikov, V V; Sheĭman, I M; Lisitsyn, A S; Kliubin, A V; Fesenko, E E

    2002-01-01

    It was shown that the stimulating effect of weak combined magnetic fields (constant component 42 microT, frequency of the variable component 3.7 Hz) on the division of planarians depends on the amplitude of the variable component of the field. The effect is particularly pronounced at 40 (the main maximum), 120, 160, and 640 nT. Narrow ranges of effective amplitudes alternate in some cases with equally narrow ranges in which the system does not respond to he treatment. In the range of super weak amplitudes of the variable field (0.1 and 1 nT), the stimulating effect is poorly pronounced. The data obtained indicate the presence of narrow amplitude windows in the response of the biological systems to weak and super weak magnetic fields. In a special series of experiments, it was shown that the effect of fields on planarians is partially mediated via aqueous medium preliminarily treated with weak magnetic fields. It is noteworthy that in experiments with water treated with weak magnetic fields, there were no pronounced maxima and minima in the magnitude of the effect in the range of amplitude of the variable magnetic field from 40 to 320 nT.

  4. Vitellogenesis of diphyllobothriidean cestodes (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Yoneva, Aneta; Scholz, Tomáš; Bruňanská, Magdaléna; Kuchta, Roman

    2015-03-01

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

  5. Comparative spermatology of selected polyclad flatworms (platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Liana, Marcin K; Litvaitis, Marian K

    2007-10-01

    Sperm ultrastructure of four acotylean (Idioplana atlantica, Armatoplana leptalea, Styloplanocera fasciata, Melloplana ferruginea) and three cotylean polyclads (Pseudoceros bicolor, Phrikoceros mopsus, Enchiridium evelinae) was investigated. All spermatozoa are biflagellate, exhibiting a 9+"1" axoneme pattern. All acotylean axonemes originate and extend within the sperm shaft, and once exiting the shaft, remain attached to it. The flagella of all cotylean spermatozoa exit the shaft immediately and remain free. Structures shared by all species include: an elongated nucleus, in acotyleans located only in the posterior part of the shaft, whereas in cotyleans it extends along the entire sperm body; mitochondria along with small and large dense bodies arranged in a specific pattern; and a ring of microtubules that extends along the entire sperm shaft just beneath the cell membrane. A unique spermatozoon has been found in E. evelinae, where round vesicle-like structures fill the anterior part of the nucleus, and a different type of large dense bodies is present. The spermatozoa of all studied species exhibit numerous characters (axoneme/flagella position, distribution and position of large and small dense bodies, of mitochondria, presence of nuclear vesicles) that may be of phylogenetic value at the family and higher taxonomic levels.

  6. 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

  7. A transcriptomic-phylogenomic analysis of the evolutionary relationships of flatworms.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-05-18

    The interrelationships of the flatworms (phylum Platyhelminthes) are poorly resolved despite decades of morphological and molecular phylogenetic studies. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms.

    PubMed

    Martín-Durán, José María; Egger, Bernhard

    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

  11. 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

  12. [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

  13. 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

  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.

  15. Marine macrostomorpha (platyhelminthes, rhabditophora) from the algarve (southern portugal).

    PubMed

    Schockaert, Ernest R

    2014-10-13

    Ten species of Macrostomorpha were found in marine environments of the Algarve (Portugal). Six of them were found in the Ria Formosa, a vast intertidal euryhaline lagoon system that dominates the most Eastern coast of the Algarve: two unidentified species of Microstomum Schmidt, 1848, Macrostomum cf. rubrocinctum Ax, 1951 and two unidentified species of Macrostomum Schmidt, 1848, Paromalostomum dubium (de Beauchamps, 1927), Paromalostomum minutum Rieger, 1971 and Cylindromacrostomum faroensis n.sp.. Comparison of this species with C. mediterraneum (Ax, 1955) and the species from Venice, considered to be C. mediterraneum by Rieger (1977), leads to the conclusion that the individuals studied by Rieger are in fact representatives of a separate species, C. riegeri n.sp.. Acanthomacrostomum spiculiferum Papi & Swedmark, 1959 was found in the Atlantic, 10-15 m deep, near the western coast of the Algarve. Haplopharynx papii n. sp. occurs on the beach exposed to the Atlantic as well as in the Ria Formosa. All identified and previously known (marine) species found in the Algarve had been found before, either in the Atlantic or in the Mediterranean basin. 

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. Schistosome sex matters: a deep view into gonad-specific and pairing-dependent transcriptomes reveals a complex gender interplay.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhigang; Sessler, Florian; Holroyd, Nancy; Hahnel, Steffen; Quack, Thomas; Berriman, Matthew; Grevelding, Christoph G

    2016-01-01

    As a key event for maintaining life cycles, reproduction is a central part of platyhelminth biology. In case of parasitic platyhelminths, reproductive processes can also contribute to pathology. One representative example is the trematode Schistosoma, which causes schistosomiasis, an infectious disease, whose pathology is associated with egg production. Among the outstanding features of schistosomes is their dioecious lifestyle and the pairing-dependent differentiation of the female gonads which finally leads to egg synthesis. To analyze the reproductive biology of Schistosoma mansoni in-depth we isolated complete ovaries and testes from paired and unpaired schistosomes for comparative RNA-seq analyses. Of >7,000 transcripts found in the gonads, 243 (testes) and 3,600 (ovaries) occurred pairing-dependently. Besides the detection of genes transcribed preferentially or specifically in the gonads of both genders, we uncovered pairing-induced processes within the gonads including stem cell-associated and neural functions. Comparisons to work on neuropeptidergic signaling in planarian showed interesting parallels but also remarkable differences and highlights the importance of the nervous system for flatworm gonad differentiation. Finally, we postulated first functional hints for 235 hypothetical genes. Together, these results elucidate key aspects of flatworm reproductive biology and will be relevant for basic as well as applied, exploitable research aspects. PMID:27499125

  20. Schistosome sex matters: a deep view into gonad-specific and pairing-dependent transcriptomes reveals a complex gender interplay

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhigang; Sessler, Florian; Holroyd, Nancy; Hahnel, Steffen; Quack, Thomas; Berriman, Matthew; Grevelding, Christoph G.

    2016-01-01

    As a key event for maintaining life cycles, reproduction is a central part of platyhelminth biology. In case of parasitic platyhelminths, reproductive processes can also contribute to pathology. One representative example is the trematode Schistosoma, which causes schistosomiasis, an infectious disease, whose pathology is associated with egg production. Among the outstanding features of schistosomes is their dioecious lifestyle and the pairing-dependent differentiation of the female gonads which finally leads to egg synthesis. To analyze the reproductive biology of Schistosoma mansoni in-depth we isolated complete ovaries and testes from paired and unpaired schistosomes for comparative RNA-seq analyses. Of >7,000 transcripts found in the gonads, 243 (testes) and 3,600 (ovaries) occurred pairing-dependently. Besides the detection of genes transcribed preferentially or specifically in the gonads of both genders, we uncovered pairing-induced processes within the gonads including stem cell-associated and neural functions. Comparisons to work on neuropeptidergic signaling in planarian showed interesting parallels but also remarkable differences and highlights the importance of the nervous system for flatworm gonad differentiation. Finally, we postulated first functional hints for 235 hypothetical genes. Together, these results elucidate key aspects of flatworm reproductive biology and will be relevant for basic as well as applied, exploitable research aspects. PMID:27499125

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  3. Redescription and designation of a neotype of Temnocephala talicei Dioni, 1967 (Platyhelminthes: Temnocephalida).

    PubMed

    Volonterio, Odile

    2009-04-01

    Temnocephala talicei was described from Uruguayan material found mainly on Aegla prado. Its original description was based principally on its distinctive penial stylet, and, therefore, many aspects of the species anatomy that are now important in the taxonomy of the genus were not contemplated; type specimens were never designated; and the material used to describe the species has been lost. The present work provides a redescription of the species based upon material collected from the type host and in the type locality. Given the possibility of confusion in its identification, and in order to preserve its taxonomic stability, a neotype of T. talicei is designated. The closest species to T. talicei is Temnocephala mertoni, from which it can be separated by the presence of conspicuous intestinal septa, a markedly asymmetrical sphincter in the vagina, markedly lobed testes, a straight penial stylet with a non-sinuous distal portion of the shaft, a characteristic large, 'mouthpiece'-shaped introvert without discrete thickenings, and approximately 10 crowns of well-developed spines of decreasing length placed throughout the whole extension of the introvert. A comparison of material from Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay shows that there is little variation in the morphometry of the species. Finally, a comparison of the post-tentacular syncytia of T. talicei and T. mertoni shows that this is not always a species-specific character. PMID:18844436

  4. Historical analysis of the type species of the genus Trichobilharzia Skrjabin et Zakharov, 1920 (Platyhelminthes: Schistosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Aldhoun, Jitka; Kment, Petr; Horák, Petr

    2016-01-01

    Trichobilharzia Skrjabin & Zakharov, 1920 is known as the most species-rich genus of the blood fluke family Schistosomatidae. To date, more than 40 species have been described, even though validity of some of them is questionable (Horák et al. 2002). Members of the genus use various birds as final hosts, but they attract attention mostly as causative agents of hypersensitive skin reaction (cercarial dermatitis or swimmer's itch) in mammals including humans. As this is one of the. PMID:27394285

  5. Gill monogenean communities (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea, Dactylogyridae) of butterflyfishes from tropical Indo-West Pacific Islands.

    PubMed

    Reverter, Miriam; Cutmore, Scott C; Bray, Rodney; Cribb, Thomas H; Sasal, Pierre

    2016-10-01

    We studied the monogenean communities of 34 species of butterflyfish from the tropical Indo-West Pacific, identifying 13 dactylogyrid species (including two species that are presently undescribed). Monogenean assemblages differed significantly between host species in terms of taxonomic structure, intensity and prevalence. Parasite richness ranged from 0 (Chaetodon lunulatus) to 11 (C. auriga, C. citrinellus and C. lunula). Host specificity varied between the dactylogyrids species, being found on 2-29 of the 34 chaetodontid species examined. Sympatric butterflyfish species were typically parasitized by different combinations of dactylogyrid species, suggesting the existence of complex host-parasite interactions. We identified six clusters of butterflyfish species based on the similarities of their dactylogyrid communities. Dactylogyrid richness and diversity were not related to host size, diet specialization, depth range or phylogeny of butterflyfish species. However, there was a weak positive correlation between monogenean richness and diversity and host geographical range. Most communities of dactylogyrids were dominated by Haliotrema aurigae and H. angelopterum, indicating the importance of the genus Haliotrema in shaping monogenean communities of butterflyfishes. This study casts light on the structure of the monogenean communities of butterflyfishes, suggesting that the diversity and complexity of community structures arises from a combination of host species-specific parameters. PMID:27573880

  6. Land flatworms of the genus Pasipha (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) in Argentina, with description of three new species.

    PubMed

    Negrete, Lisandro; Brusa, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    The genus Pasipha Ogren & Kawakatsu, 1990 currently includes 22 species, most of them recorded in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Recently, Pasipha hauseri was documented in north-eastern Argentina, thus extending its distribution range. This paper reports new records of the genus Pasipha in the Interior Atlantic Forest ecoregion in Argentina, with the description of three new species: Pasipha atla sp. nov., Pasipha johnsoni sp. nov., and Pasipha mbya sp. nov. These new species exhibit similarities in internal anatomy, such as pharynx cylindrical, extrabulbar prostatic vesicle with folded walls and proximally forked, male atrium highly folded, being at least two times longer than the female atrium and with small folds in their proximal portion. However, they can be distinguished from each other mainly by the secretion types discharged into the prostatic vesicle as well as into the male and female atria. In addition, they have different colour patterns on the dorsal surface. PMID:27470715

  7. Monorchiids (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) of chaetodontid fishes (Perciformes): biogeographical patterns in the tropical Indo-West Pacific.

    PubMed

    McNamara, M K A; Adlard, R D; Bray, R A; Sasal, P; Cribb, T H

    2012-06-01

    Species richness and biogeography of the monorchiid genus Hurleytrematoides was studied by the examination of 2834 individuals of 45 species of Chaetodontidae at six major sites in the tropical Indo-West Pacific: Heron Island, Lizard Island, Ningaloo (Western Australia), Palau, New Caledonia and Moorea (French Polynesia). In total, 18 species were distributed among six sites; descriptions are provided for eight new species: H. boucheti n. sp., H. combesi n. sp., H. deblocki n. sp., H. dollfusi n. sp., H. euzeti n. sp., H. kulbickii n. sp., H. pasteuri n. sp., and H. planesi n. sp. Overall richness ranged from zero to five Hurleytrematoides species per chaetodontid species. Seven Hurleytrematoides species were found at only one locality and eleven were found at multiple localities. Only one species, H. morandi, was found at all localities. Individual localities had between six (Moorea) and 10 (Heron Island) species; we attribute Moorea's depauperate parasite fauna to its isolation and distance from the Indo-Philippine centre of biological diversity. Using cluster analysis of 18 species of Hurleytrematoides and 45 species of chaetodontids sampled in the Indo-West Pacific, we show that the localities on the Great Barrier Reef (Heron Island and Lizard Island) and New Caledonia have the most similar chaetodontid and parasite fauna of any locality pairs. Cluster analysis results also show that the similarity of the chaetodontid assemblages at five of the six localities is relatively high and that Ningaloo has the most distinct fauna. Similarity values based on sharing of species of Hurleytrematoides are generally lower than those for their hosts; Moorea, Ningaloo and Palau all have low similarity to New Caledonia and Great Barrier Reef sites. We attribute these distinctions to the differential dispersal capability of the fish and their parasites. Chaetodontids have long-lived mobile pelagic larvae, the dispersal of which would be most affected by prominent biogeographical barriers, such as that between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In contrast, monorchiids have no obvious dispersal stage, and vast distances have the capacity to act as effective barriers to dispersal. We conclude that the present distributions of species of Hurleytrematoides in the Indo-Pacific are driven by historical opportunity and capacity to disperse, and that some disjunct distributions are sculpted by stochasticity. PMID:22154425

  8. Land flatworms of the genus Pasipha (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) in Argentina, with description of three new species.

    PubMed

    Negrete, Lisandro; Brusa, Francisco

    2016-07-11

    The genus Pasipha Ogren & Kawakatsu, 1990 currently includes 22 species, most of them recorded in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Recently, Pasipha hauseri was documented in north-eastern Argentina, thus extending its distribution range. This paper reports new records of the genus Pasipha in the Interior Atlantic Forest ecoregion in Argentina, with the description of three new species: Pasipha atla sp. nov., Pasipha johnsoni sp. nov., and Pasipha mbya sp. nov. These new species exhibit similarities in internal anatomy, such as pharynx cylindrical, extrabulbar prostatic vesicle with folded walls and proximally forked, male atrium highly folded, being at least two times longer than the female atrium and with small folds in their proximal portion. However, they can be distinguished from each other mainly by the secretion types discharged into the prostatic vesicle as well as into the male and female atria. In addition, they have different colour patterns on the dorsal surface.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. A standardised terminology of the embryonic envelopes and associated developmental stages of tapeworms (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Conn, David Bruce; Swiderski, Zdzisław

    2008-03-01

    Over the past 40 years, much has been published on the ultrastructure and cellular development of embryonic structures in a wide range of cestodes. However, the literature contains many discrepancies in both terminology and interpretations because of the facts that these organisms are phylogenetically diverse within their respective orders and families, the habitats that affect embryonic envelope structure are diverse, and the work has been done in various laboratories around the world. This review and synthesis was initiated by a working group of biologists from around the world convened at the Fifth International Workshop on Cestode Systematics and Phylogeny in Ceské Budejovice, at the Institute of Parasitology of the Biology Centre, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. It brings together the data from published work and establishes a uniform terminology and interpretation based on the data as they are presented. A consensus was reached for standardised definitions of the oncosphere, hexacanth, coracidium, embryonic envelopes, outer envelope, inner envelope, embryophore, vitelline capsule, shell, and outer coat. All of these are defined as components of the embryo or its vitellocyte-derived or uterine-derived coatings.

  14. Two new species of Gieysztoria (Platyhelminthes, Rhabdocoela, Dalyelliidae) from a freshwater artificial lake in Shenzhen, China.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yan-Hong; Wu, Cheng-Chen; Xia, Xiao-Jie; Wang, An-Tai

    2013-12-09

    Two new species of the "Aequales" of genus Gieysztoria were collected and described from an artificial lake on the Shenzhen University campus. Gieysztoria bimaculata n. sp., is distinguished based on two groups clavate pigmentations dorsally between the pharynx and intestine, and has a sclerotic stylet comprising a proximal girdle with 40-46 distal dagger-shape spines, thus has the maximum number of spines within "Aequales" group. Gieysztoria guangdongensis n. sp. has a sclerotic stylet with a proximal girdle and 18 distal blade-shaped spines. Comparison with similar species based mainly on stylet morphology suggests that Gieysztoria bimaculata n. sp. and Gieysztoria guangdongensis n. sp. are apparently different from the known species of Gieysztoria in this moment. In addition, the stability of the amount of distal spines of "Aequales" species is briefly discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2013-01-22

    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).

  17. A new genus with six new species of Typhlopolycystidinae Evdonin, 1977 (Platyhelminthes, Kalyptorhynchia, Polycystididae).

    PubMed

    Schockaert, Ernest R; Martens, Paul M; Revis, Nathalie; Janssen, Toon; Willems, Wim; Artois, Tom J

    2014-01-22

    Five new species of the new taxon Brunetorhynchus n. gen. are described: B. deconincki n. sp., B. microstylis n. sp. and B. complicatus n. sp. are from the Mediterranean, B. canariensis n. sp. is from the Canary Island Lanzarote, B. cannoni n. sp. is from the Australian East coast and one species from the Galapagos, formerly described as Limipolycystis spec., is transferred to the new genus as B. dubius n. sp.. As in Limipolycystis, these species have a single stylet, (accessory stylet type II), an accessory secretion vesicle (type II) and a prostate vesicle (type III) in the male atrium, although the latter vesicle is absent in some species. Unlike the species of Limipolycystis, where the seminal receptacle is a sclerotized tubule, the species of the new taxon have a pear-shaped seminal receptacle on the oviduct. 

  18. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the Trypanorhyncha Diesing, 1863 (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Palm, Harry W; Waeschenbach, Andrea; Olson, Peter D; Littlewood, D Timothy J

    2009-08-01

    Complete ssrDNA and partial lsrDNA (D1-D3) of 31 species, mainly from the Indo-Pacific region, were sequenced and added to 66 species of the marine cestode order Trypanorhyncha; thus 35% of the 277 known species were sampled. The resulting phylogenetic tree resolved two major clades that represent trypanorhynchs originally parasitizing rajiform (skate and ray) or galeoform hosts. The tree topology supports an earlier classification based on morphology that splits the order into the superfamily Eutetrarhynchoidea together with the Tentacularioidea, and the Gymnorhynchoidea together with the Lacistorhynchoidea and Otobothrioidea. Three of the five recognized superfamilies are monophyletic (Tentacularioidea, Gymnorhynchoidea, Otobothrioidea). Nodal support for the Eutetrarhynchidae and Lacistorhynchidae was poor and resulted in paraphyletic clades. Mapping of morphological characters showed the tentacular armature of the scolex to be highly variable within clades, demonstrating that armature patterns used traditionally in classification, are homoplasious. Similarly, the tetrabothriate scolex, currently utilized as a family-distinguishing character in traditional classifications, has developed independently in multiple groups. Synapomorphies for the higher taxa are detailed. Sequence data from duplicate taxa confirmed interoceanic distribution patterns and low intraspecific genetic divergence and host specificity for nine trypanorhynch species belonging to five families and four superfamilies. Four distinct lineages of trypanorhynchs can be recognized with one mainly infecting rajiform hosts whereas the others infecting both, sharks and rays. Eutetrarhynchoids and tentacularioids have secondarily invaded shark hosts whilst utilising the marine food web involving teleost fishes as intermediate hosts. Three cases of host switching from sharks to rays can be inferred within the lacistorhynchoids, in one case caused by a switch from perciform to gadiform intermediate hosts. This likely enabled a radiation into the deep sea environment. Implications of the molecular phylogeny for the classification and evolutionary developments within the order are discussed.

  19. [Fauna of monogeneans (Monogenea, Platyhelminthes) of gudgeons (Gobioninae, Cyprininae). 2. Coevolution].

    PubMed

    Gerasev, P I

    2009-01-01

    Coevolution of parasites and in particular monogeneans and fishes, was characterized from two related angles--parallel coevolution and host switches, lead to the acquisition of new hosts from taxonomically distant but ecologically similar groups. Modern views on the evolution and taxonomy of gudgeons are discussed. This group is very heterogeneous by morphology and biology, tales unclear taxonomic position in the family Cyprynidae, and can be divided into two tribes or four groups of genera. Analysis of coevolution of dactylogirids, ancyrocephalids, gyrodactylids, and diplozoids with their hosts was carried out. Dactylogyrus spp. and gudgeons show coevolutional connections; in Ancyrocephalus s. l. spp. coevolution and host switches take place; most of Gyrodactylus spp. parasitize fishes of the genus Gobio and are the colonists of gudgeons; and none of the diplozoids parasitize exceptionally gudgeons. From 130 species of 30 genera of the World fauna of gudgeons 31 species 13 genera proved to be infected with monogeneans. We divided the dactylogyrids from gudgeons (49 species) into 13 evolution levels and 30 morphological groups, which were found equal in number with taxonomic groups of hosts. Ancyrocephalids were divided into two evolution levels, which can not be reduced to one initial type, and eight monophyletic groups. Fourteen of 18 species of these monogeneans occurred on the host from the genera Hemibarbus and Squalidus. Different directions of evolution connected with forming of different types of copulatory organ, ventral additional bar, and type of attachment on gills were revealed for Dactylogyrus spp. from different groups of genera of gudgeons (Yang et al., 2006). Monogeneans have lower evolutionary rates, as compared with their hosts, that are expressed in the taxonomic ranks (groups of species in monogeneans and genera or groups of genera in their hosts). Number of species in Dactylogyrus and Ancyrocephalus s. l. usually the same as the number of their host species. However this proportion increases in favor of the parasites owing to the explosion-like speciation of monogeneans parasitizing Hemibarbus and Saurogobio. Distribution of morphological groups of monogeneans on gudgeons in general confirms their grouping into four groups of genera on the base of molecular data. At the same time, in some cases parasitological data agree with the gudgeons' classification based on morphological characters to a greater extent (Banarescu, 1992; Naseca, 1998). The genera Sarcocheilichthys and Gnathopogon take the crucial position in the Sarcocheilichthys group of genera according to the analysis of occurrence of monophyletic groups of Dactylogyrus spp. In the Pseudogobio group of genera, the largest number of the Dactylogyrus spp. groups was found on the genera Saurogobio and Abbottina. The genus Hemibarbus, being the host of some original groups of Dactylogyrus spp. and Ancyrocephalus spp., takes the most isolated position among gudgeons by morphological, molecular, and parasitological data. Relationships of Hemibarbus and Squalidus (both from the Hemibarbus group of genera) are need in further investigations. The Sarcocheilichthys group of genera, which contains the genera Coreius and Paracanthobrama with unclear and ambiguous positions, is situated apart from the Hemibarbus group of genera. High-specialized groups of Dactylogyrus spp. are predominating on the former. The Pseudogobio group of genera is parasitized by numerous primitive groups of Dactylogyrus spp. Groups of Dactylogyrus spp. from the Gobio group of genera are derived undoubtedly from the monogeneans parasitizing the Pseudogobio group of genera, and the Gobio group of genera either derived from the Pseudogobio group of genera or must be included into the latter. Thus, we have one phylum of gudgeons with separate groups of monogeneans (Hemibarbus group of genera) and, contrariwise, other phylum of fish hosts with ancient and specialized monogeneans (Sarcocheilichthys group of genera), which ends in the gudgeons with primitive monogeneans (Pseudogobio group of genera) and evolutionary young monogeneans (Gobio group of genera). The pattern of distribution of the morphological groups of monogeneans by gudgeons is a mirror reflection of modern contradictory views on the taxonomy and evolution of these fishes and may contribute to a more profound understanding of the place of gudgeons in Cyprinidae, their taxonomy and evolution.

  20. Phylogenetic relationships and systematic position of the families Cortrematidae and Phaneropsolidae (Platyhelminthes: Digenea).

    PubMed

    Kanarek, Gerard; Zaleśny, Grzegorz; Sitko, Jiljí; Tkach, Vasyl V

    2014-12-01

    The systematic position and phylogenetic relationships of the family Cortrematidae Yamaguti, 1958 have always been controversial. In the present study, the phylogenetic relationships of this family and its constituent genera and families within the superfamily Microphalloidea were evaluated using previously published and newly obtained sequences of 28S rDNA of Cortrema magnicaudata (Bykhovskaya-Pavlovskaya, 1950) (Cortrematidae), Phaneropsolus praomydis Baer, 1971 and Microtrema barusi Sitko, 2013 (Phaneropsolidae). Results clearly demonstrate that the genus Cortrema Tang, 1951 is closest to Gyrabascus Macy 1935, both genera forming one of the clades within the family Pleurogenidae in the superfamily Microphalloidea and sharing several important morphological features. Thus, the family Cortrematidae should be considered among synonyms of the Pleurogenidae. Based on the analysis of morphology, C. corti Tang, 1951, C. testilobata (Bykhovskaya-Pavlovskaya, 1953) and C. niloticus Ashour, Ahmed et Lewis, 1994 are considered junior synonyms of C. magnicaudata. The phylogenetic position of P. praomydis as a family-level branch not showing close relationships with other families of the Microphalloidea, supports the status of the Phaneropsolidae as an independent family. The genus Parabascus Looss, 1907 previously considered within the Phaneropsolidae clearly belongs to the Pleurogenidae. In addition, the molecular phylogeny has demonstrated that the recently described phaneropsolid Microtrema barusi belongs to the microphallid genus Microphallus Ward, 1901. Therefore, Microtrema Sitko, 2013 is considered a junior synonym of Microphallus. Our analysis has also confirmed the status of Collyriclidae as a family within the Microphalloidea. Not yet sequenced representatives of other families within the Microphalloidea (e.g. Anenterotrematidae, Eumegacetidae, Renschtrematidae, Stomylotrematidae, etc.) need to be included in future molecular phylogenetic studies to better unravel the taxonomic structure and content of this diverse digenean superfamily.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-02

    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.

  2. First report of Gyrodactylus spp. (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) in the western Mediterranean Sea: molecular and morphological descriptions.

    PubMed

    Huyse, T; Pampoulie, C; Audenaert, V; Volckaert, F A M

    2006-08-01

    The Gyrodactylus spp. fauna on species of gobies, Pomatoschistus, Gobiusculus, and Knipowitschia (Gobiidae: Teleostei), from the western Mediterranean and Adriatic seas is strikingly similar to that found in the Baltic Sea and eastern Atlantic Ocean, both in morphology and in internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rRNA. The fauna consisted of Gyrodactylus branchialis, G. ostendicus, G. gondae, G. rugiensis, G. rugiensoides, and G. arcuatus. No new species have been found. A morphometric comparison between G. branchialis from the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas and its type locality in Ostend (Belgium) showed significant differences in ventral bar and marginal hook features. The morphometric variation was lower in G. rugiensis, whereas no significant differences were found in G. ostendicus. Gyrodactylus branchialis and G. ostendicus collected on P. microps were slightly different in the ITS rDNA (-0.6%) compared with specimens on the closely related P. marmoratus, probably reflecting ongoing speciation. A hybrid zone was identified in the Vaccarès lagoon complex (France) where both host species are sympatric. There was no clear geographic or host-related pattern in the variation found in the ITS2 rDNA in G. arcuatus sampled from P. microps, G. flavescens, Pungitius pungitius, K. panizzae, and its original host Gasterosteus aculeatus (2 polymorphic sites). Of all studied species, only G. arcuatus, G. rugiensis, and G. rugiensoides showed minor intraspecific variation in the ITS rDNA. Hence, the physical separation by a shoreline of more than 10,000 km is hardly reflected in the parasite ITS rDNA.

  3. New Dalyelliidae (Platyhelminthes, Rhabditophora) from Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, and their stylet ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Damborenea, Cristina; Brusa, Francisco; Noreña, Carolina

    2007-08-01

    Two new species of Dalyellidae, Dalyellia callvucurai n. sp. and Gieysztoria namuncurai n. sp., are described from temporary freshwater environments in central Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. The ultrastructure of the stylets of both species is also described. The new species of the genus Dalyellia is the second species of the genus found in the neotropics and the first whose stylet has been studied with scanning electron microscopy. Gieysztoria namuncurai n. sp. joins the seven species of the genus known in Argentina. The ultrastructural characteristics of the stylet place it in the Inaequales group, with complex stylets.

  4. [Fauna of monogeneans (Monogenea, Platyhelminthes) of gudgeons (Gobioninae, Cyprinidae). 1. Composition, structure, and characteristics of distribution].

    PubMed

    Gerasev, P I

    2008-01-01

    Monogeneans parasitize 31 gudgeon species of 130, and 13 gudgeon genera of 30 known. Monogenea from gudgeon comprise 48 species of the genus Dactylogyrus, 1 Bivaginogyrus (Dactylogyridae), 18 Ancyrocephalus s. l. (Ancyrocephalidae), 6 Gyrodactylus (Gyrodactylidae), 3 Paradiplozoon, and 1 species of the genus Sindiplozoon (Diplozoidae). The following characters were used in the morphological analysis: (1) structure of the copulatory organ, (2) morphology of the anchors, marginal hooks and bars, (3) characteristic of attachment on gills. Among the Dactylogyrus species parasitizing gudgeon, 30 monophyletic species groups and 13 levels of morphological organization were established. The first level comprises dactylogyrids without the additional ventral bar of haptor. It includes species with the copulatory organ of pro-cryptomeres type. This type is ancestral for dactylogyrids of the Amur/China fauna. Levels II-IV; VI, etc. are derivates of level I. Levels VII-VIII can be characterized by the jamming type of attachment characteristic for Dactylogyrus sphyrna or D. anchoratus, when marginal hooks penetrate gill filaments towards the anchors. Levels IX-XII include species with the attachment by clasping, when the anchors directed towards each other. Some species groups of Dactylogyrus (V, XIII) switched onto gudgeons from other fishes (Cultrinae, Xenocyprininae, Hypophthalmichthinae). Species of the genus Ancyrocephalus s. l. form two levels of morphological organization and 8 monophyletic groups. Repeated switches of ancyrocephalids from freshwater gobies to gudgeons and their switches from gudgeons to other fishes were shown. Species of the genus Hemibarbus serve as hosts for morphologically peculiar species groups of Dactylogyrus and Ancyrocephalus s. l. We can conclude that gyrodactylids from gudgeons do not form a natural monophyletic group. This parasite fauna originated as a result of multiple switches from phylogenetically distant but ecologically similar hosts, for example sticklebacks, bitterlings, chars, spined loaches, etc. Species of the family Diplozoidae parasitizing gudgeons may invade also many species from other fish taxa.

  5. The mitochondrial genome of Gyrodactylus salaris (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea), a pathogen of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

    PubMed

    Huyse, T; Plaisance, L; Webster, B L; Mo, T A; Bakke, T A; Bachmann, L; Littlewood, D T J

    2007-05-01

    In the present study, we describe the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of the Atlantic salmon parasite Gyrodactylus salaris, the first for any monogenean species. The circular genome is 14,790 bp in size. All of the 35 genes recognized from other flatworm mitochondrial genomes were identified, and they are transcribed from the same strand. The protein-coding and ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes share the same gene arrangement as those published previously for neodermatan mt genomes (representing cestodes and digeneans only), and the genome has an overall A+T content of 65%. Three transfer RNA (tRNA) genes overlap with other genes, whereas the secondary structure of 3 tRNA genes lack the DHU arm and 1 tRNA gene lacks the TphiC arm. Eighteen regions of non-coding DNA ranging from 4 to 112 bp in length, totalling 278 bp, were identified as well as 2 large non-coding regions (799 bp and 768 bp) that were almost identical to each other. The completion of the mt genome offers the opportunity of defining new molecular markers for studying evolutionary relationships within and among gyrodactylid species.

  6. Cicerina debrae n. sp. (Platyhelminthes: Kalyptorhynchia, Cicerinidae) from the Southern Atlantic Coast, USA.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Kea; Stevens, Craig; Smith, Julian P S

    2014-06-24

    Cicerina debrae is described as a new species of kalyptorhynch flatworm belonging to the Cicerinidae. This species was found in surface sediment from the lower half of the beach at two sites in North Carolina and is identical to museum material previously collected from North Carolina and from the Atlantic coast of Florida. C. debrae differs from its congeners in the shape of the ductus spermatici and the copulatory cirrus.

  7. Embryonic muscle development in direct and indirect developing marine flatworms (Platyhelminthes, Polycladida).

    PubMed

    Bolaños, D Marcela; Litvaitis, Marian K

    2009-01-01

    We compared embryonic myogenesis of the direct-developing acotylean polyclad Melloplana ferruginea with that of Maritigrella crozieri, a cotylean that develops via a larval stage. Fluorescently labeled F-actin was visualized with laser confocal microscopy. Developmental times are reported as percentages of the time from oviposition to hatching: 7 days for M. crozieri and 22 days for M. ferruginea. The epithelium began to form at 30% development in M. crozieri and at 15% development in M. ferruginea. Random myoblasts appeared in peripheral areas of the embryo at 36% and 22-30% development in M. crozeri and M. ferruginea, respectively. Circular and longitudinal muscle bands formed synchronously at 37-44% development in M. crozieri; yolk obscured observations of early myogenesis in M. ferruginea. An orthogonal muscle grid was established by 45-50% development in both species. Diagonal muscles developed in M. ferruginea at 60-71% development. Hence, juveniles of this species hatch with the same basic body-wall musculature as adults. Larvae of M. crozieri did not hatch with diagonal muscles; these muscles are acquired postmetamorphosis. Additionally, a specialized musculature developed in the larval lobes of M. crozieri. Oral musculature was complex and established by 72% development in both species. Our results are comparable to the muscle differentiation reported for other indirect-developing polyclads and for direct-developing species of macrostomid flatworms. Furthermore, they provide additional support that the orthogonal muscle pattern of circular and longitudinal muscles is a symplesiomorphy of Spiralia.

  8. Ultrastructural and cytochemical aspects of the germarium and the vitellarium in Syndesmis patagonica (Platyhelminthes, Rhabdocoela, Umagillidae).

    PubMed

    Falleni, Alessandra; Lucchesi, Paolo; Ghezzani, Claudio; Brogger, Martín I

    2014-06-01

    The cytoarchitecture of the female gonad of the endosymbiont umagillid Syndesmis patagonica has been investigated using electron microscopy and cytochemical techniques. The female gonad consists of paired germaria and vitellaria located behind the pharynx in the mid-posterior region of the body. Both the germaria and the vitellaria are enveloped by an outer extracellular lamina and an inner sheath of accessory cells which contribute to the extracellular lamina. Oocyte maturation occurs completely during the prophase of the first meiotic division. Oocyte differentiation is characterized by the appearance of chromatoid bodies and the development of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complexes. These organelles appear to be involved in the production of round granules, about 2-2.5 μm in diameter, with a homogeneous electron-dense core surrounded by a granular component and a translucent halo delimited by a membrane. These egg granules migrate to the periphery of mature oocytes, are positive to the cytochemical test for polyphenol detection, are unaffected by protease and have been interpreted as eggshell granules. The mature oocytes also contain a small number of yolk granules, lipid droplets, and glycogen particles scattered throughout the ooplasm. The vitellaria are branched organs composed of vitelline follicles with vitellocytes at different stages of maturation. Developing vitellocytes contain well-developed rough endoplasmic reticulum and small Golgi complexes involved in the production of eggshell and yolk globules. Eggshell globules are round, measure 4-5 μm in diameter, and have a mosaic-like patterned content which contains polyphenols. The yolk globules, 2-3 μm in diameter, show a homogeneous protein content of medium electron density, devoid of polyphenols, and completely digested by protease. The mature vitellocytes also contain glycogen as further reserve material. The presence of polyphenolic eggshell granules in the oocytes and of polyphenolic eggshell globules with a mosaic-like pattern in the vitellocytes have been considered apomorphic features of the Rhabdocoela + Prolecithophora.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Comparative genomic analysis of aspartic proteases in eight parasitic platyhelminths: insights into functions and evolution.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuai; Wei, Wei; Luo, Xuenong; Wang, Sen; Hu, Songnian; Cai, Xuepeng

    2015-03-15

    We performed genome-wide identifications and comparative genomic analyses of the predicted aspartic proteases (APs) from eight parasitic flatworms, focusing on their evolution, potentials as drug targets and expression patterns. The results revealed that: i) More members of family A01 were identified from the schistosomes than from the cestodes; some evidence implied gene loss events along the class Cestoda, which may be related to the different ways to ingest host nutrition; ii) members in family A22 were evolutionarily highly conserved among all the parasites; iii) one retroviral-like AP in family A28 shared a highly similar predicted 3D structure with the HIV protease, implying its potential to be inhibited by HIV inhibitor-like molecules; and iiii) retrotransposon-associated APs were extensively expanded among these parasites. These results implied that the evolutionary histories of some APs in these parasites might relate to adaptations to their parasitism and some APs might have potential serving as intervention targets.

  13. Comparative genomics of flatworms (platyhelminthes) reveals shared genomic features of ecto- and endoparastic neodermata.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Christoph; Fromm, Bastian; Bachmann, Lutz

    2014-05-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Identification of thyroid hormone receptor homologs in the fluke Opisthorchis felineus (Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Pakharukova, Maria Y; Ershov, Nikita I; Vorontsova, Elena V; Shilov, Alexander G; Merkulova, Tatyana I; Mordvinov, Viatcheslav A

    2014-01-01

    The liver fluke, Opisthorchis felineus of the Opisthorchiidae family, is a well-known causative agent of opisthorchiasis in Russia and Europe. The aim of this work was to identify genes encoding thyroid hormone receptors in O. felineus, and to analyze the expression of possible target genes in response to treatment with exogenous thyroid hormones. We identified two genes encoding thyroid hormone receptors in the O. felineus genome, THRA and THRB. The genes were differentially expressed through the life cycle. The maximal level of mRNA expression of THRA1 and THRB was observed in adult worms. Treatment of the worms with triiodothyronine and thyroxine resulted in an increase in glucose 6-phosphatase mRNA expression and a decrease in malate dehydrogenase mRNA expression, potential gene targets of thyroid hormones. These data indicate that thyroid hormone receptors may perform essential roles in physiological processes in adult O. felineus.

  17. Historical analysis of the type species of the genus Trichobilharzia Skrjabin et Zakharov, 1920 (Platyhelminthes: Schistosomatidae).

    PubMed

    Aldhoun, Jitka; Kment, Petr; Horák, Petr

    2016-02-29

    Trichobilharzia Skrjabin & Zakharov, 1920 is known as the most species-rich genus of the blood fluke family Schistosomatidae. To date, more than 40 species have been described, even though validity of some of them is questionable (Horák et al. 2002). Members of the genus use various birds as final hosts, but they attract attention mostly as causative agents of hypersensitive skin reaction (cercarial dermatitis or swimmer's itch) in mammals including humans. As this is one of the.

  18. Gill monogenean communities (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea, Dactylogyridae) of butterflyfishes from tropical Indo-West Pacific Islands.

    PubMed

    Reverter, Miriam; Cutmore, Scott C; Bray, Rodney; Cribb, Thomas H; Sasal, Pierre

    2016-10-01

    We studied the monogenean communities of 34 species of butterflyfish from the tropical Indo-West Pacific, identifying 13 dactylogyrid species (including two species that are presently undescribed). Monogenean assemblages differed significantly between host species in terms of taxonomic structure, intensity and prevalence. Parasite richness ranged from 0 (Chaetodon lunulatus) to 11 (C. auriga, C. citrinellus and C. lunula). Host specificity varied between the dactylogyrids species, being found on 2-29 of the 34 chaetodontid species examined. Sympatric butterflyfish species were typically parasitized by different combinations of dactylogyrid species, suggesting the existence of complex host-parasite interactions. We identified six clusters of butterflyfish species based on the similarities of their dactylogyrid communities. Dactylogyrid richness and diversity were not related to host size, diet specialization, depth range or phylogeny of butterflyfish species. However, there was a weak positive correlation between monogenean richness and diversity and host geographical range. Most communities of dactylogyrids were dominated by Haliotrema aurigae and H. angelopterum, indicating the importance of the genus Haliotrema in shaping monogenean communities of butterflyfishes. This study casts light on the structure of the monogenean communities of butterflyfishes, suggesting that the diversity and complexity of community structures arises from a combination of host species-specific parameters.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  20. Comparison of the hemoglobins of the platyhelminths Gastrothylax crumenifer and Paramphistomum epiclitum (Trematoda: Paramphistomatidae).

    PubMed

    Haque, M; Rashid, K A; Stern, M S; Sharma, P K; Siddiqi, A H; Vinogradov, S N; Walz, D A

    1992-04-01

    1. Gastrothylax crumenifer and Paramphistomum epiclitum parasitize the water buffalo Bubalus bubalis. 2. Gastrothylas hemoglobin consisted of two fractions of ca 30,000 and ca 18,000 by gel filtration. SDS-electrophoresis showed both to be single, ca 15,000 chains. 3. Paramphistomum hemoglobin was ca 16,000 by both gel filtration and SDS-electrophoresis. 4. Reversed-phase chromatography of carboxymethylated trematode and buffalo globins gave single peaks and two peaks, respectively. Although Paramphistomum hemoglobin provided and N-terminal sequence, Gastrothylax hemoglobin did not, suggesting blocked N-terminals. The buffalo sequences were found to be identical to the sequences of the alpha and beta chains of bovine hemoglobin. 5. Although Paramphistomum hemoglobin consists of only one chain, Gastrothylax hemoglobin consists either of one chain which aggregates to a dimer or of two different chains, only one of which aggregates to a dimer.

  1. 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

  2. Wnt gene loss in flatworms.

    PubMed

    Riddiford, Nick; Olson, Peter D

    2011-10-01

    Wnt genes encode secreted glycoproteins that act in cell-cell signalling to regulate a wide array of developmental processes, ranging from cellular differentiation to axial patterning. Discovery that canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling is responsible for regulating head/tail specification in planarian regeneration has recently highlighted their importance in flatworm (phylum Platyhelminthes) development, but examination of their roles in the complex development of the diverse parasitic groups has yet to be conducted. Here, we characterise Wnt genes in the model tapeworm Hymenolepis microstoma and mine genomic resources of free-living and parasitic species for the presence of Wnts and downstream signalling components. We identify orthologs through a combination of BLAST and phylogenetic analyses, showing that flatworms have a highly reduced and dispersed complement that includes orthologs of only five subfamilies (Wnt1, Wnt2, Wnt4, Wnt5 and Wnt11) and fewer paralogs in parasitic flatworms (5-6) than in planarians (9). All major signalling components are identified, including antagonists and receptors, and key binding domains are intact, indicating that the canonical (Wnt/β-catenin) and non-canonical (planar cell polarity and Wnt/Ca(2+)) pathways are functional. RNA-Seq data show expression of all Hymenolepis Wnts and most downstream components in adults and larvae with the notable exceptions of wnt1, expressed only in adults, and wnt2 expressed only in larvae. The distribution of Wnt subfamilies in animals corroborates the idea that the last common ancestor of the Cnidaria and Bilateria possessed all contemporary Wnts and highlights the extent of gene loss in flatworms.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. Gene organization and expression of a neuropeptide Y homolog from the land planarian Arthurdendyus triangulatus.

    PubMed

    Dougan, Paula M; Mair, Gunnar R; Halton, David W; Curry, W James; Day, Tim A; Maule, Aaron G

    2002-12-01

    Neuropeptide Y is one of the most widespread regulatory peptides within the vertebrate nervous system and shares the C-terminal motif [FY]-x(3)-[LIVM]-x(2)-Y-x(3)-[LIVMFY]-x-R-x-R-[YF] with pancreatic polypeptide, peptide YY, and fish pancreatic peptide Y. All four peptides are believed to have arisen from a single ancestral gene through successive gene duplication events in vertebrates. The origin of this peptide family may date back further still; similarly sized peptide transmitters with an identical C-terminal motif have been identified in molluscs and flatworms and designated neuropeptide F (NPF). Cloning of the npf gene from the parasitic flatworm Moniezia expansa identified some unusual features within the peptide precursor organization but, at the same time, provided support for an evolutionary relationship of npf and npy genes through the presence of a single intron at a conserved position. To extend the analysis of the evolutionary relationships between invertebrate NPF and vertebrate NPY family peptides, the NPF precursor from the turbellarian Arthurdendyus triangulatus was characterized. Sequence analysis revealed the npf transcript to be 362 base pairs in length encoding a single open reading frame of 81 amino acids. The precursor comprises a signal peptide followed by the mature peptide of 36 amino acids in length, terminating in the typical invertebrate GRPRF motif, followed by a carboxyterminal glycyl extension. The NPF precursor of A. triangulatus shows significant similarities to the vertebrate NPY peptides. Indeed, the N-terminus of A. triangulatus prepro-NPF corresponds more closely to that of the vertebrate peptide homologs than to that of other invertebrate NPFs isolated to date. Immunocytochemical localization studies have demonstrated NPF immunoreactivity throughout the nervous system of A. triangulatus, particularly in association with muscular structures. The data support an early evolutionary origin for this peptide transmitter family within the nervous system of basal bilaterians.

  6. 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…

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lemieux, Hélène; Warren, Blair E

    2012-08-01

    Mitochondria are producing most of the energy needed for many cellular functions by a process named oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). It is now well recognized that mitochondrial dysfunctions are involved in several pathologies or degenerative processes, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and aging. Animal models are currently used to try to understand the role of mitochondria in human diseases but a major problem is that mitochondria from different species and tissues are variable in terms of regulation. Analysis of mitochondrial function in three species of planarian flatworms (Tricladia, Platyhelminthes) shows that they share a very rare characteristic with human mitochondria: a strong control of oxidative phosphorylation by the phosphorylation system. The ratio of coupled OXPHOS over maximal electron transport capacity after uncoupling (electron transport system; ETS) well below 1.0 indicates that the phosphorylation system is limiting the rate of OXPHOS. The OXPHOS/ETS ratios are 0.62 ± 0.06 in Dugesia tigrina, 0.63 ± 0.05 in D. dorotocephala and 0.62 ± 0.05 in Procotyla fluviatilis, comparable to the value measured in human muscles. To our knowledge, no other animal model displays this peculiarity. This new model offers a venue in which to test the phosphorylation system as a potential therapeutic control point within humans.

  9. 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.

  10. Mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis is ancestral in metazoans

    PubMed Central

    Bender, Cheryl E.; Fitzgerald, Patrick; Tait, Stephen W. G.; Llambi, Fabien; McStay, Gavin P.; Tupper, Douglas O.; Pellettieri, Jason; Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez; Salvesen, Guy S.; Green, Douglas R.

    2012-01-01

    The mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis is the major mechanism of physiological cell death in vertebrates. In this pathway, proapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family cause mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP), allowing the release of cytochrome c, which interacts with Apaf-1 to trigger caspase activation and apoptosis. Despite conservation of Bcl-2, Apaf-1, and caspases in invertebrate phyla, the existence of the mitochondrial pathway in any invertebrate is, at best, controversial. Here we show that apoptosis in a lophotrochozoan, planaria (phylum Platyhelminthes), is associated with MOMP and that cytochrome c triggers caspase activation in cytosolic extracts from these animals. Further, planarian Bcl-2 family proteins can induce and/or regulate cell death in yeast and can replace Bcl-2 proteins in mammalian cells to regulate MOMP. These results suggest that the mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis in animals predates the emergence of the vertebrates but was lost in some lineages (e.g., nematodes). In further support of this hypothesis, we surveyed the ability of cytochrome c to trigger caspase activation in cytosolic extracts from a variety of organisms and found this effect in cytosolic extracts from invertebrate deuterostomes (phylum Echinodermata). PMID:22416118

  11. 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)

  12. Two new species of Temnocephala (Platyhelminthes, Temnocephalida) from the South American snake-necked turtle Hydromedusa tectifera (Testudines, Chelidae).

    PubMed

    Volonterio, Odile

    2010-12-01

    Temnocephala brevicornis Monticelli, 1889 is the only species of the genus Temnocephala Blanchard, 1849 reported from chelonians to date. During a survey of the species of Temnocephala extant in southern Uruguay, two new species were found on the chelonian Hydromedusa tectifera Cope, 1869. They are described here as Temnocephala pereirai n. sp. and Temnocephala cuocoloi n. sp. Both resemble T. brevicornis, but differ in the morphometry of the penial stylet, and in qualitative details of the reproductive complex. Temnocephala pereirai n. sp. differs from T. brevicornis by having a massive, cylindrical sphincter in the distal portion of the vagina, and a seminal vesicle that opens into the subpolar to equatorial portion of the contractile vesicle. In addition, the penial stylet in Temnocephala pereirai n. sp. is large in relation to body size, straight and more slender, having the distal portion of its shaft slightly sinuous, and a smaller introvert equipped with about 16 distal crowns of smaller spines. Temnocephala cuocoloi n. sp. is most similar to T. brevicornis, but differs by having a smaller, curved penial stylet that has a smaller introvert in relation to stylet size, with about 10 distal crowns of smaller spines. A key to the species of the Temnocephala from chelonians is provided. This study supports the validity of the following characters previously proposed for the taxonomy of the genus Temnocephala: the shape of the sphincters in the female reproductive system, the shape of the penial stylet, and the number, size, and position of spines in the introvert. PMID:21110724

  13. Development of Mitochondrial Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification for Detection of the Small Liver Fluke Opisthorchis viverrini (Opisthorchiidae; Trematoda; Platyhelminthes)

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Nga Thi Bich; Truong, Nam Hai; De, Nguyen Van

    2012-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. Spot the difference: Two cryptic species of Gyrodactylus von Nordmann, 1832 (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) infecting Astyanax aeneus (Actinopterygii, Characidae) in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Razo-Mendivil, Ulises; García-Vásquez, Adriana; Rubio-Godoy, Miguel

    2016-10-01

    Over the course of one year, undescribed specimens of Gyrodactylus were recovered from banded tetra, Astyanax aeneus collected in the La Antigua and Nautla river basins in central Veracruz, Mexico. Parasites were processed for morphometric and molecular analyses. Morphometrically, Gyrodactylus samples collected in the La Antigua river had slightly smaller haptoral structures than those collected from the Nautla river. During the 12month-collection of samples, however, water temperature varied considerably (ca. 20°C to 30°C), and this abiotic factor is known to affect the size of gyrodactylid attachment structures. Moreover, no clear discrimination was possible between individual parasites collected from the two rivers based on the morphology of the marginal hook, which is recognised as a very informative character to discriminate between species. The morphology of the ventral bar, however, differed between specimens from both rivers: worms from Nautla all had long, rounded processes on the ventral bar, which formed a relatively closed angle with the dorsal edge of the bar proper, while most - but not all - specimens from La Antigua had comparatively slender processes forming a more open angle with respect to the ventral bar. Phylogenetic analyses based on the sequences of the ITS1, 5.8S rRNA gene, and ITS2 of gyrodactylids indicated the existence of two distinct, well-supported lineages whose sequences differ by >4%, one of which was only found in the Nautla basin, while the other was collected in both river systems. A posteriori, principal component analysis (PCA) of the morphometric data of sequenced specimens indicated that features of the dorsal bar, the hamuli and the ventral bar enable discrimination between the two phylogenetic lineages. Based on these independent sources of information (morphometric and molecular data), two new species of Gyrodactylus are described: Gyrodactyluspakan n. sp. and Gyrodactylusteken n. sp. The phylogenetic relationships of both new species to other gyrodactylids infecting characiformes (for which molecular data are available) are presented, which suggests that their closest relative is Gyrodactylus carolinae, a parasite of Characidium lanei in Brazil. PMID:27208885

  16. Massive parasitism by Gussevia tucunarense (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea: Dactylogyridae) in fingerlings of bujurqui-tucunare cultured in the Peruvian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Mathews, Patrick D; Mertins, Omar; Mathews, John P D; Orbe, Rosa I

    2013-06-01

    A high infestation of the monogenean Gussevia tucunarense in a cultivation of bujurqui-tucunare was reported. The prevalence was 100%. The mean intensity and abundance of the parasite was 164.4 of parasites per individual. This is the first report of a high infestation by G. tucunarense in C. semifasciatus cultured from the Peruvian Amazon. PMID:23666660

  17. Light and electron microscopy observations of embryogenesis and egg development in the human liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini (Platyhelminthes, Digenea).

    PubMed

    Khampoosa, Panita; Jones, Malcolm K; Lovas, Erica M; Srisawangwong, Tuanchai; Laha, Thewarach; Piratae, Supawadee; Thammasiri, Chalida; Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Sripanidkulchai, Bungorn; Eursitthichai, Veerachai; Tesana, Smarn

    2012-02-01

    Eggs of most species digenean flukes hatch in the external environment to liberate larvae that seek and penetrate a snail intermediate host. Those of the human liver flukes, Opisthorchis viverrini, hatch within the gastrointestinal canal of their snail hosts. While adult parasites are primarily responsible for the pathology in cases of human opisthorchiasis, their eggs also contribute by inducing granulomata and in serving as nidi for gallstone formation. In view of the peculiar biology of O. viverrini eggs and their contribution to pathology, we investigated embryogenesis in this species by light and transmission electron microscopy. Egg development was traced from earliest stages of coalescence in the ootype until full embryonation in the distal region of the uterus. Fully mature eggs were generally impermeable to resin and could not be examined by conventional electron microscopy methods. However, the use of high-pressure freezing and freeze-substitution fixation of previously fixed eggs enabled the internal structure of mature eggs, particularly the subshell envelopes, to be elucidated. Fertilization occurs in the ootype, and the large zygote is seen therein with a single spermatozoon wrapped around its plasma membrane. As the zygote begins to divide, the spent vitellocytes are pushed to the periphery of the eggs, where they progressively degrade. The early eggshell is formed in the ootype by coalescing eggshell precursor material released by approximately six vitelline cells. The early eggs have a thinner eggshell and are larger than, but lack the characteristic shape of, mature eggs. Characteristic shell ornamentation, the "muskmelon" appearance of eggs, appears after eggshell polymerization in the ootype. Pores are not present in the shell of O. viverrini eggs. The inner and outer envelopes are poorly formed in this species, with the outer envelope evident beneath the eggshell at the opercular pole of the mature egg. The miracidium has a conical anterior end that lacks the distinctive lamellar appearance of the terebratorium of other digeneans, such as the schistosomes. The miracidium is richly glandular, containing an apical gland in the anterior end, large cephalic gland, and posterior secretory glands. Each gland contains a secretory product with different structure. The paucity of vitelline cells associating with eggs, the reduced size of eggs, and reduced complexity of the extraembryonic envelopes are interpreted as adaptations to the peculiar hatching biology of the miracidia. PMID:21786067

  18. On the systematic position of Collyricloides massanae Vaucher, 1969 (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) with notes on distribution of this trematode species.

    PubMed

    Kanarek, Gerard; Zaleśny, Grzegorz; Czujkowska, Agnieszka; Sitko, Jiljí; Harris, Philip D

    2015-04-01

    The systematic position of the Collyricloides massanae, a rare cyst-dwelling parasite, located on intestinal wall of European birds and rodents, have always been controversial. Based on newly obtained sequences of the 28 sDNA of C. massanae from avian and rodent host from Central Europe, and on the previously published sequences of several genera and families among Microphalloidea, we evaluate its taxonomic position and the phylogenetic relationships within the genera Collyriclum Kossack, 1911 and Collyricloides Vaucher, 1969 which form the family Collyriclidae Ward, 1917. In the cladogram, C. massanae appears among the Pleurogenidae, forming a clade with Gyrabascus amphoraeformis (Modlinger, 1930) and Cortrema magnicaudata (Bykhovskaya-Pavlovskaya, 1950). We reject the commonly accepted placement of Collyricloides as the sister genus to Collyriclum within the Collyriclidae. Besides, we present and discuss the unusual records of C. massanae in the bank vole Myodes glareolus from northeastern Poland. PMID:25638231

  19. 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.

  20. Spermatozoon and spermiogenesis in Mesocoelium monas (Platyhelminthes:Digenea): ultrastructure and epifluorescence microscopy of labelling of tubulin and nucleus.

    PubMed

    Iomini, C; Mollaret, I; Albaret, J L; Justine, J L

    1997-01-01

    Spermiogenesis and the spermatozoon were studied in the digenean Mesocoelium monas Rudolphi, 1819 (from the toad Bufo sp. in Gabon). An ultrastructural study revealed that spermiogenesis follows the usual pattern found in digeneans, i.e. proximo-distal fusion of axonemes with a median cytoplasmic process followed by elongation. The spermatozoon has two fully incorporated axonemes with the 9 +"1" trepaxonematan pattern. Indirect immunofluorescence localization of tubulin and fluorescent labelling of the nucleus were used to obtain additional information on the structure of the spermatozoon. It was thus shown that one of the axonemes is slightly shorter than the other (190 versus 220 microns) and that the filiform nucleus (65 microns in length) is located at the distal extremity of the spermatozoon (220 microns in length). Various monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, specific to alpha, beta, acetylated-alpha, or general tubulin, were used and produced similar labelling.

  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. 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.

  3. Phylogenetic analysis of dicyemid mesozoans (phylum Dicyemida) from innexin amino acid sequences: dicyemids are not related to Platyhelminthes.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takahito G; Ogino, Kazutoyo; Tsuneki, Kazuhiko; Furuya, Hidetaka

    2010-06-01

    Dicyemid mesozoans are endoparasites, or endosymbionts, found only in the renal sac of benthic cephalopod molluscs. The body organization of dicyemids is very simple, consisting of usually 10 to 40 cells, with neither body cavities nor differentiated organs. Dicyemids were considered as primitive animals, and the out-group of all metazoans, or as occupying a basal position of lophotrochozoans close to flatworms. We cloned cDNAs encoding for the gap junction component proteins, innexin, from the dicyemids. Its expression pattern was observed by whole-mount in situ hybridization. In adult individuals, the innexin was expressed in calottes, infusorigens, and infusoriform embryos. The unique temporal pattern was observed in the developing infusoriform embryos. Innexin amino acid sequences had taxon-specific indels which enabled identification of the 3 major protostome lineages, i.e., 2 ecdysozoans (arthropods and nematodes) and the lophotrochozoans. The dicyemids show typical, lophotrochozoan-type indels. In addition, the Bayesian and maximum likelihood trees based on the innexin amino acid sequences suggested dicyemids to be more closely related to the higher lophotrochozoans than to the flatworms. Flatworms were the sister group, or consistently basal, to the other lophotrochozoan clade that included dicyemids, annelids, molluscs, and brachiopods.

  4. On the systematic position of Collyricloides massanae Vaucher, 1969 (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) with notes on distribution of this trematode species.

    PubMed

    Kanarek, Gerard; Zaleśny, Grzegorz; Czujkowska, Agnieszka; Sitko, Jiljí; Harris, Philip D

    2015-04-01

    The systematic position of the Collyricloides massanae, a rare cyst-dwelling parasite, located on intestinal wall of European birds and rodents, have always been controversial. Based on newly obtained sequences of the 28 sDNA of C. massanae from avian and rodent host from Central Europe, and on the previously published sequences of several genera and families among Microphalloidea, we evaluate its taxonomic position and the phylogenetic relationships within the genera Collyriclum Kossack, 1911 and Collyricloides Vaucher, 1969 which form the family Collyriclidae Ward, 1917. In the cladogram, C. massanae appears among the Pleurogenidae, forming a clade with Gyrabascus amphoraeformis (Modlinger, 1930) and Cortrema magnicaudata (Bykhovskaya-Pavlovskaya, 1950). We reject the commonly accepted placement of Collyricloides as the sister genus to Collyriclum within the Collyriclidae. Besides, we present and discuss the unusual records of C. massanae in the bank vole Myodes glareolus from northeastern Poland.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Two new species of Temnocephala (Platyhelminthes, Temnocephalida) from the South American snake-necked turtle Hydromedusa tectifera (Testudines, Chelidae).

    PubMed

    Volonterio, Odile

    2010-12-01

    Temnocephala brevicornis Monticelli, 1889 is the only species of the genus Temnocephala Blanchard, 1849 reported from chelonians to date. During a survey of the species of Temnocephala extant in southern Uruguay, two new species were found on the chelonian Hydromedusa tectifera Cope, 1869. They are described here as Temnocephala pereirai n. sp. and Temnocephala cuocoloi n. sp. Both resemble T. brevicornis, but differ in the morphometry of the penial stylet, and in qualitative details of the reproductive complex. Temnocephala pereirai n. sp. differs from T. brevicornis by having a massive, cylindrical sphincter in the distal portion of the vagina, and a seminal vesicle that opens into the subpolar to equatorial portion of the contractile vesicle. In addition, the penial stylet in Temnocephala pereirai n. sp. is large in relation to body size, straight and more slender, having the distal portion of its shaft slightly sinuous, and a smaller introvert equipped with about 16 distal crowns of smaller spines. Temnocephala cuocoloi n. sp. is most similar to T. brevicornis, but differs by having a smaller, curved penial stylet that has a smaller introvert in relation to stylet size, with about 10 distal crowns of smaller spines. A key to the species of the Temnocephala from chelonians is provided. This study supports the validity of the following characters previously proposed for the taxonomy of the genus Temnocephala: the shape of the sphincters in the female reproductive system, the shape of the penial stylet, and the number, size, and position of spines in the introvert.

  8. Ultrastructural study of the male gamete of Pleurogonius truncatus Prudhoe, 1944 (Platyhelminthes, Digenea, Pronocephalidae) parasite of Eretmochelys imbricata (Linnaeus, 1766).

    PubMed

    Ndiaye, Papa Ibnou; Quilichini, Yann; Sène, Aminata; Tkach, Vasyl V; Bâ, Cheikh Tidiane; Marchand, Bernard

    2012-04-01

    In Pronocephaloidea, the spermatozoa of only two species have been studied today. Because of this, we present in this work data concerning to a third specie, Pleurogonius truncatus Prudhoe, 1944. The mature spermatozoon of P. truncatus possesses two axonemes with the 9+"1" pattern typical of Trepaxonemata, mitochondrion, nucleus, parallel cortical microtubules, spinelike bodies, cytoplasmic expansion and an external ornamentation of the plasma membrane. A particularity of the spermatozoon of P. truncatus is in the ultrastructure of the anterior spermatozoon extremity with only cortical microtubules and ornamentation of the plasma membrane. This type of anterior extremity has never been described until today in Pronocephaloidea. On the other hand, the ultrastructure of the posterior extremity of the spermatozoon confirms that already described in Pronocephalidae.

  9. Macrostomida (Platyhelminthes: Rhabditophora) from Argentina, with descriptions of two new species of Macrostomum and of stylet ultrastructure.

    PubMed

    Brusa, Franscisco

    2006-10-01

    In this work, two new species of the genus Macrostomum (M. velastylum n. sp. and M. puntapiedrensis n. sp.) are described from the littoral benthos of the Río de la Plata estuary, Argentina. This is the first description of members of the Macrostomidae from Argentina, and of a species documented from both limnic and brackish-water environments. Macrostomum velastylum differs from its congeners in the fine details of its stylet, which are described using a new technique for stylet isolation and observation (scanning electron microscope). This method provides new information on stylet structure relative to traditional whole-mount techniques. Macrostomum puntapiedrensis differs from others species of the M. orthostylum group in the length and morphology of the distal tip of the stylet. Further details are provided on additional macrostomids from Argentina, including potential conspecifics of M. vejdovskyi, M. viride, and M. lineare.

  10. Sperm ultrastructure of the digenean Aphallus tubarium (Rudolphi, 1819) Poche, 1926 (Platyhelminthes, Cryptogonimidae) intestinal parasite of Dentex dentex (Pisces, Teleostei).

    PubMed

    Foata, J; Quilichini, Y; Greani, S; Marchand, B

    2012-02-01

    The ultrastructural organization of the spermatozoon of a cryptogonimid digenean, Aphallus tubarium, a parasite of Dentex dentex, is described. The spermatozoon possesses the elements found in other digeneans: two axonemes with 9+"1" pattern, a mitochondrion, a nucleus, cortical microtubules, external ornamentation and spine-like bodies. However, the mitochondrion appears as a cord with a bulge; this characteristic has never been described in other studied cryptogonimid and in other digeneans except in one lepocreadiid, Holorchis micracanthum. Likewise, the presence of a thin cytoplasm termination in the anterior part of the spermatozoon has never been pointed out in the cryptogonimids.

  11. Massive parasitism by Gussevia tucunarense (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea: Dactylogyridae) in fingerlings of bujurqui-tucunare cultured in the Peruvian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Mathews, Patrick D; Mertins, Omar; Mathews, John P D; Orbe, Rosa I

    2013-06-01

    A high infestation of the monogenean Gussevia tucunarense in a cultivation of bujurqui-tucunare was reported. The prevalence was 100%. The mean intensity and abundance of the parasite was 164.4 of parasites per individual. This is the first report of a high infestation by G. tucunarense in C. semifasciatus cultured from the Peruvian Amazon.

  12. The complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of the monogenean Gyrodactylus thymalli (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea), a parasite of grayling (Thymallus thymallus).

    PubMed

    Plaisance, Laetitia; Huyse, Tine; Littlewood, D T J; Bakke, Tor A; Bachmann, Lutz

    2007-08-01

    We present the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of Gyrodactylus thymalli, a monogenean ectoparasite on grayling (Thymallus thymallus). The circular genome is 14788 bp in size and includes all 35 genes recognized from other flatworm mt genomes. The overall A+T content of the mt genome is 62.8%. Twenty regions of non-coding DNA ranging from 1 to 111 bp in length were identified in addition to 2 highly conserved large non-coding regions 799 bp and 767 bp in size. Compared to the recently described mt DNA of the closely related G. salaris from Atlantic salmon from Signaldalselva, Norway, the mitochondrial genome of G. thymalli from Hnilec, Slovakia, differs on average by 2.2%.

  13. Mitochondrial haplotype diversity of Gyrodactylus thymalli (Platyhelminthes; Monogenea): extended geographic sampling in United Kingdom, Poland, and Norway reveals further lineages.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Haakon; Bakke, Tor A; Bachmann, Lutz

    2007-05-01

    In recent years, the mitochondrial haplotype diversity of the monogenean ectoparasites Gyrodactylus salaris Malmberg, 1957 on Atlantic salmon and G. thymalli Zitnan, 1960 on grayling has been studied intensively to understand the taxonomy and phylogeography of the two species. According to these studies, neither species can be considered monophyletic, but unfortunately, the geographic sampling has mostly been restricted to Fennoscandia. Only few samples from continental Europe have been analysed, and samples from the United Kingdom have not been included at all. Gyrodactylosis is a notifiable disease in Europe and is in the UK considered the most important exotic disease threat to wild Atlantic salmon populations. In this study, we report six new mitochondrial haplotypes of G. thymalli from England, Poland, and Norway detected by sequencing 745 bp of the cytochrome oxidase I gene. The six new haplotypes add five new clades to a neighbor-joining dendrogram deduced on the basis of the currently known 44 mitochondrial haplotypes for G. thymalli and G. salaris. We conclude that G. thymalli established in the UK along with the immigration of grayling. There is currently no reason to suspect that this parasite is a threat to Atlantic salmon in the UK, although its infectivity to salmon stocks in the UK has not been tested.

  14. 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.

  15. Reproduction and survival under different water temperatures of Gyrodactylus mexicanus (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea), a parasite of Girardinichthys multiradiatus in Central Mexico.

    PubMed

    Sereno-Uribe, Ana L; Zambrano, Luis; García-Varela, Martín

    2012-12-01

    Gyrodactylid population growth may depend on abiotic variables such as temperature. We tested the survival and reproductive rate of Gyrodactylus mexicanus, a parasite infecting fins of Girardinichthys multiradiatus, at 3 different water temperatures, 10-13, 19-22, and 24 C. The temporal sequence of birth and age at death of each parasite isolated from the hosts was recorded through at least 8 generations. Our results showed that the average number of offspring per parasite was 2.0 when averaged across all temperatures. However, the generation time was negatively correlated with temperature. The innate capacity for increase (r(m)) was positively correlated with water temperature: from 0.29 parasite/day at 13 C to 0.48 parasite/day at 24 C. These data confirm that water temperature has a direct influence on parasite population dynamics. The current study represents the first contribution to understanding the population ecology of the monogenean G. mexicanus in central Mexico.

  16. A comprehensive molecular phylogeny of dalytyphloplanida (platyhelminthes: rhabdocoela) reveals multiple escapes from the marine environment and origins of symbiotic relationships.

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Host-based identification is not supported by morphometrics in natural populations of Gyrodactylus salaris and G. thymalli (Platyhelminthes, Monogenea).

    PubMed

    Olstad, K; Shinn, A P; Bachmann, L; Bakke, T A

    2007-12-01

    Gyrodactylus salaris is a serious pest of wild pre-smolt Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in Norway. The closely related G. thymalli, originally described from grayling (Thymallus thymallus), is assumed harmless to both grayling and salmon. The 2 species are difficult to distinguish using traditional, morphometric methods or molecular approaches. The aim of this study was to explore whether there is a consistent pattern of morphometrical variation between G. salaris and G. thymalli and to analyse the morphometric variation in the context of 'diagnostic realism' (in natural populations). Specimens from the type-material for the 2 species are also included. In total, 27 point-to-point measurements from the opisthaptoral hard parts were used and analysed by digital image processing and uni- and multivariate morphometry. All populations most closely resembled its respective type material, as expected from host species, with the exception of G. thymalli from the Norwegian river Trysilelva. We, therefore, did not find clear support in the morphometrical variation among G. salaris and G. thymalli for an a priori species delineation based on host. The present study also indicates an urgent need for more detailed knowledge on the influence of environmental factors on the phenotype of gyrodactylid populations.

  18. Molecular cloning, functional characterization and localization of an annexin from a fish gill fluke Microcotyle sebastis (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea).

    PubMed

    Choi, Seung Hyuk; Kwon, Se Ryun; Lee, Eun Hye; Kim, Ki Hong

    2009-01-01

    The full cDNA of an annexin gene from Microcotyle sebastis (MsANX) was cloned for the first time in monogeneans. The cDNA of MsANX comprises 1199bp with a 29bp 5' untranslated region, an open reading frame of 1062bp, and a 108bp 3' untranslated region. The recombinantly produced MsANX bound phosphatidylserine vesicles in the presence of Ca2+, whereas no MsANX was precipitated in the absence of free Ca2+. Phylogenetically, MsANX formed a cluster with human annexin A13, known as the earliest annexin in vertebrates and expressed mainly in the intestine. The localization of MsANX in M. sebastis was analyzed by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry using the antiserum raised against the recombinant MsANX. In Western blot analysis, rat antiserum bound to a protein corresponding to the MsANX in size when worm crude extracts were used as antigens, but no bands were detected by the antiserum when the excretory/secretory proteins of worms were used as antigens. In immunohistochemistry analysis, significant antibody binding annexin was found in the ovarian region, the pharynx and the intestinal caecum of the worm. Interestingly, the alimentary canal location of MsANX was similar to the location of human annexin A13, and further research is needed to trace evolutionary relationship among helminthic annexins and human annexin A13. Also it remains to be investigated whether immunization of naïve fish with the recombinant MsANX can induce protective immune responses against M. sebastis infection.

  19. The mitochondrial genome of Gyrodactylus derjavinoides (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea)--a mitogenomic approach for Gyrodactylus species and strain identification.

    PubMed

    Huyse, Tine; Buchmann, Kurt; Littlewood, D T J

    2008-07-01

    Systematists and evolutionary biologists are constantly on the lookout for new sources of characters to discriminate amongst taxa and estimate interrelationships within and between taxa. Entire mitochondrial genomes provide a wealth of data, both at the nucleotide and amino acid level. Molecular markers are of particular utility when applied to small, morphologically conserved taxa, as is the case for many monogenean ectoparasites of fish. Gyrodactylus species display a considerable degree of anatomical conservatism, complicating diagnostics based solely on morphology, and some are significant pests of wild and cultured fish. Here we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of Gyrodactylus derjavinoides Malmberg, Collins, Cunningham & Behiar 2007, one of the most frequently found gyrodactylid species on salmonids in Scandinavia, and compared it with the recently published genomes of Gyrodactylus salaris Malmberg, 1957 and Gyrodactylus thymalli Zitnan 1960. Through comparative sliding window analysis we identified regions of high sequence variability and designed new primer sequences. In total, 6 new primer pairs have been developed, amplifying fragments of cox1, cox3, nad1, nad2, nad4, nad5 and atp6. Together, they amplify regions capturing almost half the nucleotide variability present in the complete mitochondrial genome. These degenerate primers should also work for other Gyrodactylus species parasitizing salmonids. In addition, we developed a multiplex assay that simultaneously amplifies four fragments in a single PCR reaction. Besides the diagnostic value, these fragments can be used for studying the transmission dynamics of Gyrodactylus, providing crucial information for an improved understanding of the spread and epidemiology of these important fish pathogens.

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome of Neobenedenia melleni (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea): mitochondrial gene content, arrangement and composition compared with two Benedenia species.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Juan; Wu, Xiangyun; Li, Yanwei; Zhao, Mengwei; Xie, Mingquan; Li, Anxing

    2014-10-01

    The complete mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences of Neobenedenia melleni were determined and compared with those of Benedenia seriolae and B. hoshinai. This circular genome comprises 13,270 bp and includes all 36 typical mt genes found in flatworms. Total AT content of N. melleni is 75.9 %. ATG is the most common start codon, while nad4L is initiated by GTG. All protein-coding genes are predicted to terminate with TAG and TAA. N. melleni has the trnR with a TCG anticodon, which is the same to B. seriolae but different from B. hoshinai (ACG). The mt gene arrangement of N. melleni is similar to that of B. seriolae and B. hoshinai with the exception of three translocations (trnF, trnT and trnG). The overlapped region between nad4L and nad4 was found in the N. melleni mt genome, which was also reported for the published Gyrodactylus species, but it was not found in those of B. seriolae and B. hoshinai, which are non-coding regions instead. The present study provides useful molecular characters for species or strain identification and systematic studies of this parasite.

  1. 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.

  2. Spathebothriidea: survey of species, scolex and egg morphology, and interrelationships of a non-segmented, relictual tapeworm group (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda).

    PubMed

    Kuchta, Roman; Pearson, Rebecca; Scholz, Tomás; Ditrich, Oleg; Olson, Peter D

    2014-08-01

    Tapeworms of the order Spathebothriidea Wardle et McLeod, 1952 (Cestoda) are reviewed. Molecular data made it possible to assess, for the first time, the phylogenetic relationships of all genera and to confirm the validity of Bothrimonus Duvernoy, 1842, Diplocotyle Krabbe, 1874 and Didymobothrium Nybelin, 1922. A survey of all species considered to be valid is provided together with new data on egg and scolex morphology and surface ultrastructure (i.e. microtriches). The peculiar morphology of the members of this group, which is today represented by five effectively monotypic genera whose host associations and geographical distribution show little commonality, indicate that it is a relictual group that was once diverse and widespread. The order potentially represents the earliest branch of true tapeworms (i.e. Eucestoda) among extant forms.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.