"β-Catenin Defines Head Versus Tail Identity During Planarian Regeneration and Homeostasis" (2007), by Kyle A. Gurley, Jochen C. Rink, and Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado
AuthorSunderland, Mary E.
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Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado's laboratory group has employed molecular tools to investigate old questions about regeneration and as a result have identified some of the molecular mechanisms determining polarity. Recent work by his group has shown Wnt-β-catenin signaling determines whether a tail or a head will form during regeneration in planarians. This study was motivated by work Thomas Hunt Morgan conducted in the late nineteenth century. Morgan observed that during regeneration a planarian cut into rather small pieces would sometimes regenerate a head at both its anterior and posterior end rather than a head and a tail. This led Morgan to think the size of the piece must affect the regenerative process.