In addition to its ability to regenerate any amputated body part, the Hydra freshwater polyp shows the amazing ability to regenerate as a full polyp after a complete dissociation of its tissues. The developmental processes at work in reaggregates undergoing whole-body regeneration can be investigated at the molecular level by RNA interference (RNAi). Here we provide a protocol that combines β-catenin RNAi with reaggregation. This protocol serves as a basis to generate "RNAi-reaggregates," followed by the extraction of high-quality RNA for the precise quantification of gene expression by real-time PCR. This protocol is efficient, providing both a molecular signature, with the significant downregulation of β-catenin and Wnt3, as well as a robust phenotype, the lack of axis formation, which is observed in all reaggregates.
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