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What is Epimorphosis?

Last updated date: 20th Mar 2023
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Most organisms have the capacity to regenerate individual parts, but others have a significant capacity to regenerate entire body parts. Epimorphosis or epimorphosis regeneration is the process of dedifferentiation of existing tissues or organs to regenerate missing, vanished, or disoriented tissues and organs. Adult cells could differentiate into a collection of cells and then undergo re-differentiation to form the new structure. Animals and plants both exhibit this kind of regeneration.

In some species, epimorphosis involves dedifferentiation, resulting in a mass of cells that are comparatively undifferentiated before undergoing re-differentiation to produce a new structure. For instance, the epimorphosis regeneration of amphibian limbs and planarian flatworms. Both vertebrates and invertebrates undergo epimorphosis. Epimorphosis examples of invertebrates include limb regeneration, renewal of the lenses and organ regeneration inside the body. Epimorphosis examples of invertebrates include tail regrowth in reptiles and amphibians.

Vertebrate Epimorphosis

The process of vertebrate epimorphosis, which is shown by salamanders' limb regeneration, is based on blastema development, which allows cells to multiply into new tissues. The epidermal cells that are present close to the wounded area first migrate to the wound and cover it. The mesenchymal tissues in the limb stump release MMP, aiding in the thickening of wound tissues (Apical Ectodermal Cap), which causes the creation of the stump tip.

The progress zone re-establishes as a result of the nerves close to the wound degenerating. Cells such as those in bones, cartilage, and other tissues dedifferentiate as a result of this. The release of the fibroblast growth factor by the apical ectodermal cap aids in resetting the development of the limbs to the embryonic stage. Only cartilage cells can regenerate new cartilage tissue, only bone cells can create new bone tissue, and the same rule applies to all other types of tissues close to the incision.

An incarnation occurs when the distal portion of a limb develops and starts to interact with the originating portion to create the intermediate portion of the limb. The new limb is created in the area of the amputated limb once all of these procedures are finished.

Invertebrate Epimorphosis

Some invertebrate animals, like species of cockroaches, have the ability to repair lost organs or body parts. Examples include the regeneration of body parts in planarians, the regeneration of posterior segments in capitellar, and the regeneration of limbs in American cockroaches.

Epimorphosis in Planaria

Planaria reproduces asexually by regeneration. A planaria's body is divided into pieces and used in this process of reproduction to regenerate into new planaria. In just a few weeks, a very small portion of planaria can regenerate into the entire organism.

Due to pluripotent stem cells, a cell in the cut zone multiplies to produce a blastema and develops into new tissue. Since the stem cells in the tissues include more than 20% of the cells of an original organism, they can produce all the types of cells that new planaria organisms require. The older cells are replaced by these adult stem cells, which are the only proliferating cells in the shattered body.

What Kinds of Creatures Can Regenerate?

The majority of organisms have the capacity to regenerate individual components, while some have a great capacity to regenerate entire body parts. It frequently occurs in reptiles, amphibians, and several plants, including hydras. Mammals and other complexly built species have some capacity for regeneration. Examples include the healing of wounds, the development of thick scars on the sites of injuries, the growth of new hair and nails, and the repair of broken bones.

Interesting Facts

  • Epimorphosis regeneration of a portion or organism by epimorphosis involves substantial cell proliferation and differentiation. Epimorphosis is a strategy used by organisms to regenerate.

  • Epimorphosis regeneration allows for the creation of new organs that resemble healthy organs. Both vertebrates (reptiles and amphibians) and invertebrate animals can undergo epimorphosis (worms).

  • Due to gene memory, only bone cells can produce bone tissues throughout the regeneration process of vertebrates, while cartilage cells can only form cartilage tissues.

Important Questions

1. What two types of regeneration are there?

Ans: There are two basic types of regeneration: reparative and restorative.

2. Who made regeneration first known?

Ans: Abraham Trembley

Key Features

  • The vital organ liver can regenerate in mammals, including humans; this process is known as compensatory hypertrophy.

A damaged or excised portion of the liver can regenerate to its previous size and carry out its usual functions. Although it is very limited, this ability is also present in other organs such as the kidney, pancreas, lungs, and glands such as the adrenal and thyroid.

  • Some animals, such as lobsters and fish, can develop new limbs, fins, and tails by forming a blastema. The recovery of missing bodily parts is a result of the blastema cells' fast division, which produces new cells and tissues.

  • By modifying the surrounding tissues, jellyfish can replace or heal the damaged portion.

  • Since stem cells are the only proliferating cells in invertebrates, a small portion of an existing organism can regenerate into a new one.

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FAQs on Epimorphosis Regeneration

1. What is Morphallaxis?

Morphallaxis is the process of changing existing tissues to produce new portions.

2. What is dedifferentiation?

A differentiated cell goes through a process in which it loses its current or unique role and reverts to an earlier stage of development. As a result, mature cells take on a new shape and carry out additional universal tasks. This process is more prevalent in organisms' regeneration processes.

3. What is blastema?

A group of undifferentiated cells known as blastema has the ability to develop into a new body tissue or organ. This blastema is necessary for the regeneration process and is crucial for the growth of the embryo.


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