Regeneration, the process of growing missing tissues, is used by diverse
animals for recovering from injuries. In the past, progress in the study of
regeneration was constrained by lack of appropriate model organisms, but
in recent years this has significantly changed. Planarians, immortal
triploblastic flatworms, have emerged as a major model in regeneration
research because of their capacity to regrow any missing part of their
bodies using a vast population of adult stem cells. My talk will focus on
two projects that I pursued using the planarian system:
(1) How injuries promote regeneration of missing tissues; and
(2) how stem cells determine the cell types they will differentiate to.
These studies reveal interactions between planarian stem cells and the differentiated tissues. Interactions that facilitate the remarkable regenerative power of planarians.