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CSH Protoc. 2008 Oct 1;2008:pdb.prot5053. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot5053.

Establishing and maintaining a colony of planarians.

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Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, Forsyth Institute and Developmental Biology Department, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


INTRODUCTIONTo provide sufficient material for experimentation, a laboratory needs to expand and maintain a colony of planarians. It is crucial to keep a stable, healthy population of animals in a consistent environment to avoid inter-animal variability and modifier effects that can mask true phenotypes from experimental perturbation. In this protocol, we describe basic procedures for establishing and maintaining healthy colonies of Dugesia japonica, Schmidtea mediterranea, and Girardia tigrina (commonly found in the wild and commercially available in the United States). Although the recommendations are based on our optimization of conditions for G. tigrina, many of the procedures (such as food preparation and feeding strategy) can be applied to other species. For best results, the culture water must be carefully monitored and adjusted for each species.


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