Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2009 Ian Yarett. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Elizabeth Ann Vallen


Anthozoans, along with many other cnidarians, are able to rapidly regenerate after undergoing tissue damage. In this study, I analyzed the spatial distribution of proliferating cells in intact and regenerating tentacles of the symbiotic anemone Aiptasia pallida. The percentage of cells in S phase at various regions along each tentacle was directly measured by incorporation and visualization of the thymidine analog 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU), allowing an indirect assessment of cell proliferation in vivo. A proximal-distal gradient of cell proliferation was observed in both intact and regenerating tentacles, with the most DNA synthesis at the base and the lowest at the tip. Furthermore, the process of regeneration did not lead to an increase in the levels of DNA synthesis compared to that of intact tentacles. The results suggest that Aiptasia grow in a manner similar to hydra, in which the site of cell division can be spatially decoupled from the region undergoing growth or tissue repatterning.