Non-developmental dimensions of adult regeneration in Hydra.

An essential dimension of 3D regeneration in adult animals is developmental, with the formation of organizers from somatic tissues. These organizers produce signals that recruit surrounding cells and drive the restoration of the missing structures (organs, appendages, body parts). However, even in animals with a high regenerative potential, this developmental potential is not sufficient to achieve regeneration as homeostatic conditions at the time of injury need to be "pro-regenerative". In Hydra, we identified four distinct homeostatic properties that provide a pro-regenerative framework and we discuss here how these non-developmental properties impact regeneration. First, both the epithelial and the interstitial-derived cells are highly plastic along the animal body, a plasticity that offers several routes to achieve regeneration. Second, the abundant stocks of continuously self-renewing adult stem cells form a constitutive pro-blastema in the central body column, readily activated upon bisection. Third, the autophagy machinery in epithelial cells guarantees a high level of fitness and adaptation to detrimental environmental conditions, as evidenced by the loss of regeneration in animals where autophagy is dysfunctional. Fourth, the extracellular matrix, named mesoglea in Hydra, provides a dynamically-patterned environment where the molecular and mechanical signals induced by injury get translated into a regenerative process. We claim that these homeostatic pro-regenerative features contribute to define the high regenerative potential of adult Hydra.


The origin of the mammalian brain uncovered

The expression levels of three genes determines the predominant mode of neurogenesis and the development the cerebral neocortex in mammals


A requiem for crystal structures of large membrane complexes

26.07.2018 12:00, 3079 (Sciences III)

Nathan Nelson (Tel Aviv University).
hosted by: Michel Goldschmidt-Clermont.


Our department hosts 12 research laboratories gathering close to 200 scientists, engineers and technical staff. Research topics cover a large variety of topics, such as developmental genetics and neurogenetics, regeneration, evo-devo, physics of biology, phylogenetics or anthropology.



Teaching life sciences at the University of Geneva is an important duty for all staff scientists. In addition to the bachelor programme, we also propose specific masters and PhD specialisations through various programmes.



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