Developing the Flatworm Macrostomum Lignano as a Model Organism for Research on Stem Cells, Regeneration and Ageing

Macrostomum lignano is a free-living flatworm with high regeneration capacity. Due to its small size, short generation time, amenability to genetic manipulation and easy maintenance in laboratory conditions, M. lignano is a potent invertebrate experimental model for stem cell research. For the last several years my laboratory has been developing molecular biology resources and tools for this model organism. M. lignano genome and transcriptome assembly and annotation will be presented, discovery of stem cell markers and development of methods for transgenesis described, and gene expression changes during ageing and regeneration in M. lignano discussed.