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RegGeneMems SIGNED

Understanding the evolution of regeneration-permissive gene expression and positional memory in Axolotl limb regeneration

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "RegGeneMems" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: WIEN
postcode: 1030

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 Austria [AT]
 Total cost 2˙325˙659 €
 EC max contribution 2˙325˙659 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-01-01   to  2022-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Molecular studies of development in diverse animal models have revealed the remarkably conserved set of morphogens governing growth and patterning of body axes and organ fields. Equally astounding is the diversity of form and function arising from the implementation of these morphogens. The systematic analysis of well-defined traits in closely related species has revealed how changes in gene regulatory sequences and their trans-acting factors have yielded diversity. An important future challenge is to understand, at the genome level, the evolution of animal form in situations where such a rich set of closely related species may not be available.

Vertebrate limb regeneration is a particularly fascinating yet challenging context to pursue the evolution of traits related to controlling the body plan. Amputation of the Axolotl limb results in the formation of a limb blastema that morphologically and molecularly resembles the embryonic limb bud. In this system, the limb morphogen network must be reactivated only upon tissue removal and not wounding, but also corresponding to a positional memory existing in the adult tissue. These signalling cassettes must also be deployed in a way that can scale to the size of a blastema that is vast when compared to an embryonic limb bud. An important question is whether and how the limb development network has diverged to accomodate these unique traits.

During Axolotl limb development and regeneration, some key limb morphogens display divergent expression patterns compared to other vertebrates. I hypothesize that this divergent expression has functional importance for allowing limb regeneration. My goal is to 1) understand how this divergent expression arose 2) functionally test its role in regeneration specificity and scaling, and 3) use the system to dissect the molecular nature of positional memory that is critical for regeneration. I refer to this work as “evo-reg”.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Tobias Gerber, Prayag Murawala, Dunja Knapp, Wouter Masselink, Maritta Schuez, Sarah Hermann, Malgorzata Gac-Santel, Sergej Nowoshilow, Jorge Kageyama, Shahryar Khattak, Joshua D. Currie, J. Gray Camp, Elly M. Tanaka, Barbara Treutlein
Single-cell analysis uncovers convergence of cell identities during axolotl limb regeneration
published pages: eaaq0681, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq0681
Science 362/6413 2019-08-06
2019 Wouter Masselink, Daniel Reumann, Prayag Murawala, Pawel Pasierbek, Yuka Taniguchi, François Bonnay, Katharina Meixner, Jürgen A. Knoblich, Elly M. Tanaka
Broad applicability of a streamlined ethyl cinnamate-based clearing procedure
published pages: dev166884, ISSN: 0950-1991, DOI: 10.1242/dev.166884
Development 146/3 2019-08-29

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