University of Cambridge > > Evolution and Development Seminar Series > To regenerate or not to regenerate? Recovering shape and function in damaged jellyfish

To regenerate or not to regenerate? Recovering shape and function in damaged jellyfish

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How randomly injured animals can appropriately re-establish positional information and control the deployment of repair programs are key questions of regenerative biology. The small hydrozoan medusae Clytia hemisphaerica, which are frequently damaged in the plankton, display powerful regenerative capacities, being able to regain a circular shape in less than 12 hours and a new functional mouth in 4 days. This efficient recovery depends on an interplay between mechanical forces, cell migration and proliferation, which we are just starting to unravel. In particular, we showed that the umbrella remodeling causes the radial muscle fibers in the subumbrellar layer to converge into ‘hubs’, associated to activation of Wnt signaling, and which function as positional landmarks. The different observed configurations of these muscle fibers correlate with a specific pattern of Wnt signaling activation, and – most remarkably – with the fate of the wound, notably whether a mouth regenerative program will be activated. In a second phase, mouth morphogenesis is fueled by both local cell proliferation and long-range cell recruitment and is further modulated by its connections with the gastrovascular canal system. Clytia medusae offer a novel experimental paradigm for addressing patterning formation and morphogenesis in tractable adult bodies, dissecting the interplay between chemical and mechanical cues in pattern formation. Finally, the diversity of repair strategies observed across cnidarians species provides a key opportunity to start unraveling the evolution of regenerative capacities.

This talk is part of the Evolution and Development Seminar Series series.

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