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J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1976 Apr;35(2):267-301.

Leg regeneration in the cockroach, Blatella germanica. II. Regeneration from a non-congruent tibial graft/host junction.


The interactions occurring between host and graft leg epidermis at a non-congruent junction were studied in the cockroach, Blatella germanica. Graft and host tibia were cut perpendicular to the proximal-distal axis and two heteropleural combinations were used to reverse separately the two transverse axes of the graft relative to the host. Use of dark and light cuticle colour mutants gave a good indication of the graft or host origin of regenerated structures. Graft/host junctions regenerated segmented structures in various spatial arrangements, always comprising two copies of all structures distal to the level of the junction. It is concluded that the categories--two separate laterals, double lateral, completely and partially autonomous regeneration--reflect two processes. (i) If the graft tarsus is removed, graft and host may not heal together and interact, but form autonomous regenerates lying in mirror-image symmetry separating original graft and host levels. (ii) If interaction occurs between graft and host (or their developing autonomous regenerates) two laterals of dual origin are produced, one from each point of transverse axis incongruity. These laterals may secondarily fuse together to form a double structure originating from a point of congruity. The orientation and composition of the component tarsi of the double structure depend on the site of origin and the extent to which the two laterals fuse. It is argued that the four 'faces' and two 'transverse axes' of the leg are merely descriptive terms. A new model is developed whereby lateral regeneration arises directly from the circumferential organisation of the leg epidermis. Previous work has shown that position is specified continuously around the circumference, and that intercalary regeneration occurs by the shortest route between confronted positions. After reversal of one 'transverse axis' the shortest route between confronted graft and host positions is different on the two sides of each of the two points of 'axis' incongruity, and at these points the two halves of a complete circumference are formed. These lateral circumferences, like the terminal circumference exposed by amputation, cannot heal over by intercalary regeneration, and this leads to regeneration of distal structures. The model accounts for lateral regeneration after reversal of both 'transverse axes' by 180 degrees rotation of a homopleural graft. The possibility is discussed that there may be clonal restrictions on the circumferential positions which the progeny of a cell may occupy.

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