Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Mouth Function Determines the Shape Oscillation Pattern in Regenerating Hydra Tissue Spheres.


Hydra is a small freshwater polyp capable of regeneration from small tissue pieces and from aggregates of cells. During regeneration, a hollow bilayered sphere is formed that undergoes osmotically driven shape oscillations of inflation and rupture. These oscillations are necessary for successful regeneration. Eventually, the oscillating sphere breaks rotational symmetry along the future head-foot axis of the animal. Notably, the shape oscillations show an abrupt shift from large-amplitude, long-period oscillations to small-amplitude, short-period oscillations. It has been widely accepted that this shift in oscillation pattern is linked to symmetry breaking and axis formation, and current theoretical models of Hydra symmetry breaking use this assumption as a model constraint. However, a mechanistic explanation for the shift in oscillation pattern is lacking. Using in vivo manipulation and imaging, we quantified the shape oscillation dynamics and dissected the timing and triggers of the pattern shift. Our experiments demonstrate that the shift in the shape oscillation pattern in regenerating Hydra tissue pieces is caused by the formation of a functional mouth and not by shape symmetry breaking as previously assumed. Thus, model assumptions must be revised in light of these new experimental data, which can be used to constrain and validate improved theoretical models of pattern formation in Hydra.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View