Hydra single-cell sequencing gene expression
Hydra single-cell sequencing gene expression

Image of the Day: Expressive Hydra

Researchers track which genes are active in the polyp during successive cell states.

Nicoletta Lanese
Jul 26, 2019

ABOVE: Using single-cell sequencing, scientists tracked changing cell states in the Hydra polyp. Gene expression visualized in green and magenta.

Scientists gathered nearly 25,000 single-cell transcriptomes from the polyp Hydra to better understand how the creature replenishes its cell supply. Hydra can regenerate its entire body structure from a mere scrap of tissue, but before now, the transcriptional programs behind this ability were unclear. By tracking gene expression in different cell types through time, the researchers crafted a molecular map of progressive Hydra cell states and reported their results yesterday (July 25) in Science. They aim to use the map to uncover the developmental mechanisms that sustain this curious creature.   

S. Siebert et al.,“Stem cell differentiation trajectories in Hydra resolved at single-cell resolution,” doi:10.1126/science.aav9314, Science, 2019.

Nicoletta Lanese is an intern at The Scientist. Email her at nlanese@the-scientist.com.