How positional information instructs adult tissue maintenance is poorly understood. Planarians undergo whole-body regeneration and tissue turnover, providing a model for adult positional information studies. Genes encoding secreted and transmembrane components of multiple developmental pathways are predominantly expressed in planarian muscle cells. Several of these genes regulate regional identity, consistent with muscle harboring positional information. Here, single-cell RNA-sequencing of 115 muscle cells from distinct anterior-posterior regions identified 44 regionally expressed genes, including multiple Wnt and ndk/FGF receptor-like (ndl/FGFRL) genes. Two distinct FGFRL-Wnt circuits, involving juxtaposed anterior FGFRL and posterior Wnt expression domains, controlled planarian head and trunk patterning. ndl-3 and wntP-2 inhibition expanded the trunk, forming ectopic mouths and secondary pharynges, which independently extended and ingested food. fz5/8-4 inhibition, like that of ndk and wntA, caused posterior brain expansion and ectopic eye formation. Our results suggest that FGFRL-Wnt circuits operate within a body-wide coordinate system to control adult axial positioning.
- Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, United States
© 2016, Scimone et al.
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