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Anat Rec. 1983 Jul;206(3):289-94.

Environmental conditions prerequisite for complete limb regeneration in the postmetamorphic adult land-phase salamander, Ambystoma.


Historically, postmetamorphic adult land-phase salamanders have been shown to exhibit minimal to nonexistent limb regeneration. Hence, it has been generally accepted that these forms have lost the intrinsic capacity to regenerate a limb. Due to the experimental protocols used, an alternate explanation is also possible: that this intrinsic capacity cannot be expressed when the salamanders are maintained under adverse laboratory environmental conditions. Therefore, this study addresses two questions: 1) What are the optimal environmental conditions for long-term survival of adult land-phase salamanders; and 2) will complete limb regeneration occur in these salamanders if they are maintained under survival conditions. A mixed population of adult Ambystoma were tested under varying conditions of habitat, temperature, humidity, photoperiod, and food source. Complete limb regeneration was possible in 100% of four species of adult postmetamorphic land-phase Ambystoma salamanders given the proper environmental laboratory conditions of a peat moss and potting soil habitat with a controlled temperature of 25 degrees C +/- 5 degrees C, 70% or greater humidity, a 12/12 light/dark photoperiod, a diet including nightcrawlers released into their respective terraria, and an extended observation time of up to 370 days postamputation (dpa). Regeneration was completed during the following range periods for the adult salamanders: A. annulatum, 324 to 370 dpa; A. maculatum, 255 to 300 dpa; A. texanum, 215 to 250 dpa; and A. tigranum, 155 to 180 dpa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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