Solitary Ascidians as Model Organisms in Regenerative Biology Studies

Tal Gordon*, Noa Shenkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Regeneration, the process of replacing lost or damaged body parts, has long captured human imagination and is a key feature among all animal phyla. Due to their close phylogenetic relationship to vertebrates and their high regenerative abilities, ascidians (Chordata, Ascidiacea) are often used as models to shed light on the cellular and genetic process involved in tissue regeneration. Surprisingly, ascidian regeneration studies are based on only a few model species. In this chapter, we point out the important potential of solitary ascidians in regenerative and stem cell studies. We review recent studies of regeneration among solitary ascidians and discuss the cellular mechanism of tissue regeneration and the possible involvement of circulating cells in these processes. New data regarding the relationship between age and regeneration abilities of the solitary ascidian Polycarpa mytiligera (Stolidobranchia, Styelidae) are presented. The unique regeneration abilities found in P. mytiligera following evisceration of its digestive system and following amputation of its neural complex and siphon-associated structures and nerves imply on its potential to serve as a novel model system for understanding tissue regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
ISSN (Print)0080-1844
ISSN (Electronic)1861-0412


  • Ascidians
  • Evisceration
  • Neural complex
  • Polycarpa mytiligera
  • Regeneration


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