Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Wendy Beane

Second Advisor

lanna Van Huizen

Third Advisor

James Kiddle


The role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within biological systems has been a topic of increasing interest in recent years. There have been studies showing the role of ROS within cellular mechanisms and even more recently, tissue regeneration. There have also been studies suggesting that ROS forms a crucial part in planarian blastema formation and regenerative outgrowth. As such, we sought to further understand the role of ROS in planarian blastema formation. Here, we saw that exposure to diphenyleneiodonium (DPI) resulted in a decrease in ROS accumulation in regenerating planarian pharynx (trunk) fragments (as shown by an ROS indicator dye assay). Additionally, we found that the pharmacological inhibition of ROS resulted in a decrease in blastema size on the regenerating fragments. Finally, we found that the inhibition of ROS resulted in a decrease in stem cell proliferation at 4 hours post-amputation (4 hpa). These data suggest that inhibition of ROS in planarians leads to a decrease in blastema formation and regenerative outgrowth by reducing the number of proliferating stem cells; and as a result, reducing the amount of stem cells that are able to migrate towards the wound site and contribute to blastema formation.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted