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Developmental Cell, Vol. 8, 623627, May, 2005, Copyright 2005 by Elsevier Inc. DOI 10.1016/j.devcel.2005.04.007 improvements in hand, Reddien et al. (2005) moved on

Summary: Developmental Cell, Vol. 8, 623­627, May, 2005, Copyright ©2005 by Elsevier Inc. DOI 10.1016/j.devcel.2005.04.007
improvements in hand, Reddien et al. (2005) moved on
Opening a New Can of Worms: to assess the consequences of RNAi knockdowns of
A Large-Scale RNAi Screen 1,065 planarian genes obtained from cDNA libraries
from planarian heads and neoblast-enriched cell pop-in Planarians
ulations. The animals were fed multiple times and taken
through two rounds of regeneration to minimize the ef-
fects of protein perdurance and/or incomplete RNAiIn this issue of Developmental Cell, Reddien et al. de-
knockdowns. After RNAi treatment, gross morphologi-scribe the first large-scale RNAi screen in freshwater
cal defects and behavioral phenotypes were charac-planarians, classic models for regeneration studies.
terized. In all, 54,300 amputations were performedTheir work paves the way for a detailed understand-
(handily defeating the previous world record for largesting of regeneration and tissue maintenance in these
number of planarians chopped in the course of a re-fascinating animals.
search project).
This tour de force resulted in the identification of 240Freshwater planarians have been favorite subjects of
genes (22.5% of those screened) in which RNAi knock-regeneration experiments for over a century (Newmark
downs yielded defects in regeneration, tissue mainte-and Sánchez Alvarado, 2002; Reddien and Sánchez Al-
nance, and/or behavior (see Figure 1). Given the largevarado, 2004). These free-living members of the phylum
number of cellular mechanisms encompassed by thePlatyhelminthes (the flatworms) are capable of regener-


Source: Alvarado, Alejandro Sánchez - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah
Newmark, Phillip A. - Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Collections: Biology and Medicine