Platynereis dumerilii is a segmented worm with exceptional regenerative abilities. Scientists at the MBL are studying how Platynereis dumerilii regenerates so well and what kinds of genes and cell types are involved in its regeneration. Understanding the underlying reproductive cell functions behind this regeneration could mean unlocking the key to regenerating the “mother of all stem cells.”
- It can regenerate. Platynereis dumerilii can regrow its tail more than 20 times in a row.
- It has six eyes: four complex eyes and two simple eyes, which are similar to what ancient animals would have used to detect light before evolving complex vision.
- The moonlight and moon cycle trigger a “mating dance” in Platynereis dumerilii.
(ID Card Photo Credit: Emily Kuehn | Equipment: Zeiss Discovery V20 microscope)
Learn more about annelids and the MBL
Finding the Art in Science: A Profile of Duygu Özpolat, MBL Hibbitt Fellow | The Well
MBL Through The Lens of Time :: Duygu Özpolat | MBL Vimeo
Publications from the MBL
Kuehn E, Stockinger AW, Girard J, Raible F, Özpolat BD. A scalable culturing system for the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii. PLoS One. 2019 Dec 5;14(12):e0226156. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0226156
Özpolat BD, Handberg-Thorsager M, Vervoort M, Balavoine G. Cell lineage and cell cycling analyses of the 4d micromere using live imaging in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii. Elife. 2017 Dec 12;6:e30463. doi.org/10.7554/eLife.30463
Özpolat BD, Bely AE. Developmental and molecular biology of annelid regeneration: a comparative review of recent studies. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2016 Oct;40:144-153. doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2016.07.010
Planques A, Malem J, Parapar J, Vervoort M, Gazave E. Morphological, cellular and molecular characterization of posterior regeneration in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii. Dev Biol. 2019 Jan 15;445(2):189-210. doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2018.11.004
Lophotrochozoa is one of the major groups within the animal kingdom. It comprises: segmented worms, mollusks (the phylum that includes snails, squid, octopuses, and clams) as well as lophophores, a group of animals that include clam-like organisms known brachiopods and bryozoans, sedentary colony animals sometimes referred to as “moss animals.” Learn more
Meet the Other Lophotrochozoan Organisms
What is MBL March Madness?
Based on the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament, during MBL March Madness, popular MBL organisms face off for your votes. YOU have the opportunity to decide what organism is crowned victorious by voting for your favorite organisms in a series of head-to-head match-ups. Voting will take place on the MBL social media channels from March 29 – April 7.
Learn more and download a bracket at mbl.edu/march-madness