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RegEvolve SIGNED

Comparative analysis of planarian regeneration - why some worms regenerate while others don’t

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "RegEvolve" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: Munich
postcode: 80539

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙000˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙000˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-10-01   to  2020-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

The ability to regenerate lost body parts is widespread amongst animals, yet humans, for example, can only regenerate specific organs. Why some animals regenerate while others hardly do remains a fascinating conundrum, especially so in face of “survival of the fittest”. Even amongst planarian flatworms, famous for their ability to regenerate from random tissue fragments, species exist that have completely lost the ability to regenerate. This proposal will exploit the unique diversity of planarian regenerative abilities amongst to ask why some worms regenerate while others do not. We and others have established that planarian Wnt signalling acts as critical node in the evolution of regeneration defects. Using this finding as strategic focus for comparisons between regenerating and non-regenerating species, we will investigate i) the cell biological mechanisms that shape Wnt pathway activity; ii) the genomic mechanisms that differentially deploy critical pathway regulators; and iii) evolutionary mechanisms in form of life history trait trade-offs as possible driving force behind the drift of regenerative abilities. Key to the project is a diverse collection of regenerating and regeneration-deficient species that my lab has established. Focused comparisons between our two primary model species D. lacteum and S. mediterranea, employing pan-planarian antibodies and functional genomics, will allow us to understand the detailed causes of altered pathway activity. Comparisons amongst the entire collection of 50 species will provide the necessary breadth for identifying and studying the evolutionary principles that “naturally select” regeneration-deficient planarians. The comparative approach of RegEvolve will thus uniquely bridge the proximate (molecular)- with the ultimate (evolutionary) causes of regeneration defects and such interdisciplinary endeavour between molecular and evolutionary regeneration research will lead to new and profound insights into both fields.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Ronald Sluys, Miquel Vila-Farré, Jochen Rink, John E. J. Rasko
An intriguing, new planarian species from Tasmania, with a discussion on protandry in triclad flatworms (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida)
published pages: , ISSN: 0001-7272, DOI: 10.1111/azo.12243
Acta Zoologica 2018-06-22
2018 Markus Alexander Grohme, Siegfried Schloissnig, Andrei Rozanski, Martin Pippel, George Robert Young, Sylke Winkler, Holger Brandl, Ian Henry, Andreas Dahl, Sean Powell, Michael Hiller, Eugene Myers, Jochen Christian Rink
The genome of Schmidtea mediterranea and the evolution of core cellular mechanisms
published pages: 56-61, ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/nature25473
Nature 554/7690 2019-06-07
2016 Catarina Pietschmann
Ein Wurm sucht seine Mitte
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
Max Wissen 2019-06-07
2016 Holger Brandl, HongKee Moon, Miquel Vila-Farré, Shang-Yun Liu, Ian Henry, Jochen C. Rink
PlanMine – a mineable resource of planarian biology and biodiversity
published pages: D764-D773, ISSN: 0305-1048, DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkv1148
Nucleic Acids Research 44/D1 2019-06-07
2017 Tom Stückemann, James Patrick Cleland, Steffen Werner, Hanh Thi-Kim Vu, Robert Bayersdorf, Shang-Yun Liu, Benjamin Friedrich, Frank Jülicher, Jochen Christian Rink
Antagonistic Self-Organizing Patterning Systems Control Maintenance and Regeneration of the Anteroposterior Axis in Planarians
published pages: 248-263.e4, ISSN: 1534-5807, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.12.024
Developmental Cell 40/3 2019-06-07

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