Planarian Muscle Fibers in Motion


M Lucila Scimone


In planarians, muscle not only works as a contractile tissue, but also contains positional information that allows the worms to regenerate the whole body.  We were investigating the role of different muscle fibers (longitudinal versus circular) during planarian regeneration.

We found that muscle fibers of different orientations (longitudinal fibers run along the anterior-posterior axis, whereas circular fibers run along the medial-lateral axis) have distinct roles in regeneration. Longitudinal fibers are required for regeneration initiation, and circular fibers are required for normal medial-lateral patterning.