Meeting Abstract

P1-24  Monday, Jan. 4 15:30  Cellular and molecular regeneration dynamics in an acoel flatworm JONES, B.M.*; SIKES, J.M.; Univ. of San Francisco; Univ. of San Franciso

Regeneration abilities are present in a variety of Metazoan taxa, but the mechanisms underlying regeneration have only been characterized in select model organisms. Acoels are highly regenerative, small marine worms with a contentious phylogenetic position as basal bilaterians. While regeneration is common among acoels, the developmental patterns of regeneration have only been thoroughly investigated in a single species. In this study, we have characterized the cellular and molecular dynamics of regeneration in Convolutriloba longifissura, a derived large-bodied acoel with an extensive population of neoblasts and robust regeneration abilities. Transverse and longitudinal amputations resulted in both epimorphic and morphallactic regenerative mechanisms. During both anterior and lateral regeneration, C. longifissura undergoes high levels of cell proliferation resulting in blastemas that later differentiate while posterior regeneration occurs largely through tissue remodeling with limited cell proliferation. We are currently investigating the neoblast dynamics that allow for C. longissura’s extensive regenerative abilities by elucidating the spatiotemporal expression of piwi and other stem cell-related genes during all stages of the regeneration process.