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Allometric Scaling and Proportion Regulation in the Freshwater Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea

Summary: ARTICLE
Allometric Scaling and Proportion Regulation in the
Freshwater Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea
Ne´stor J. Oviedo,1,2
Phillip A. Newmark,3
and Alejandro Sa´nchez Alvarado1*
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. Developmental Dynamics 226:326­333, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Key words: planarian; regeneration; allometry; scale and proportion; DEG/ENaC


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
Oviedo, Néstor J. - School of Natural Sciences, University of California, Merced


Collections: Biology and Medicine