Demystifying Regeneration Through an Annelid Model, Capitella Teleta

Cavaco, Nanea
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Regeneration, the ability to re-grow a missing body part after removal, is seen in many phyla across the animal kingdom. However, the degree to which regeneration occurs varies. For example, some amphibians can regenerate limbs while some fish can regenerate fins. In addition, the mechanisms differ. In some planarians, stem cells divide and their progeny readily differentiate into needed cell types while Hydra can regenerate without cell division. Essential questions of regeneration studies are what is the origin of the regenerative tissue, and what is the mechanism of regeneration? Though many annelids can regenerate following transverse body amputation, the cellular mechanisms of regeneration in this phylum are poorly studied. The purpose of my project was to describe what happens in regenerating juveniles of the annelid Capitella teleta. Juveniles are more transparent and regenerate faster than adults. This study aims to characterize the cellular events during posterior regeneration in regenerating juveniles. A detailed understanding of cellular patterns seen in regenerating juveniles sets the foundation for future studies on determining the origin of the regenerative tissue in this system.
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