Comparative transcriptomics in Syllidae (Annelida) indicates that posterior regeneration and regular growth are comparable, while anterior regeneration is a distinct process
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/16678
Abstract Background Annelids exhibit remarkable postembryonic developmental abilities. Most annelids grow during their whole life by adding segments through the action of a segment addition zone (SAZ) located in front of the pygidium. In addition, they show an outstanding ability to regenerate their bodies. Experimental evidence and field observations show that many annelids are able to regenerate their posterior bodies, while anterior regeneration is often limited or absent. Syllidae, for instance, usually show high abilities of posterior regeneration, although anterior regeneration varies across species. Some syllids are able to partially restore the anterior end, while others regenerate all lost anterior body after bisection. Here, we used comparative transcriptomics to detect changes in the gene expression profiles during anterior regeneration, posterior regeneration and regular growth of two syllid species: Sphaerosyllis hystrix and Syllis gracilis; which exhibit limited and complete anterior regeneration, respectively. Results We detected a high number of genes with differential expression: 4771 genes in S. hystrix (limited anterior regeneration) and 1997 genes in S. gracilis (complete anterior regeneration). For both species, the comparative transcriptomic analysis showed that gene expression during posterior regeneration and regular growth was very similar, whereas anterior regeneration was characterized by up-regulation of several genes. Among the up-regulated genes, we identified putative homologs of regeneration-related genes associated to cellular proliferation, nervous system development, establishment of body axis, and stem-cellness; such as rup and JNK (in S. hystrix); and glutamine synthetase, elav, slit, Hox genes, β-catenin and PL10 (in S. gracilis). Conclusions Posterior regeneration and regular growth show no significant differences in gene expression in the herein investigated syllids. However, anterior regeneration is associated with a clear change in terms of gene expression in both species. Our comparative transcriptomic analysis was able to detect differential expression of some regeneration-related genes, suggesting that syllids share some features of the regenerative mechanisms already known for other annelids and invertebrates.