Constitutive gene expression and the specification of tissue identity in adult planarian biology
MetadataShow full item record
Planarians are flatworms that constitutively maintain adult tissues through cell turnover and can regenerate entire organisms from tiny body fragments. In addition to requiring new cells (from neoblasts), these feats require mechanisms that specify tissue identity in the adult. Crucial roles for Wnt and BMP signaling in the regeneration and maintenance of the body axes have been uncovered, among other regulatory factors. Available data indicate that genes involved in positional identity regulation at key embryonic stages in other animals display persisting regionalized expression in adult planarians. These expression patterns suggest that a constitutively active gene expression map exists for the maintenance of the planarian body. Planarians thus present a fertile ground for the identification of factors regulating the regionalization of the metazoan body plan and for the study of the attributes of these factors that can lead to the maintenance and regeneration of adult tissues.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology; Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Trends in Genetics
Reddien, Peter W. “Constitutive Gene Expression and the Specification of Tissue Identity in Adult Planarian Biology.” Trends in Genetics 27, no. 7 (July 2011): 277–285.
Author's final manuscript