Turbellarian Biology

Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on the Biology of the Turbellaria, held at Hirosaki, Japan, 7–12 August 1990

  • Seth Tyler

Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology 69 book series (DIHY, volume 69)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Regeneration and asexual reproduction

  3. Cancer

  4. Markers for planarian tissues

    1. Rafael Romero, Joan Fibla, David Bueno, Lauro Sumoy, Marc Aureli Soriano, Jaume Baguñà
      Pages 73-79
    2. Takashi Shirakawa, Akira Sakurai, Takeshi Inoue, Ken Sasaki, Yuji Nishimura, Sachiko Ishida et al.
      Pages 81-91
    3. Jun Fujita, Norika Sakurai, Takao Shinozawa
      Pages 93-94
  5. Development and reprodutive systems

About these proceedings


Turbellarian platyhelminths (or, as they are known now among cladistic systematists, free-living Platyhelminthes) comprise a widely distributed assemblage of lower worms found in marine, freshwater, and even occasionally in terrestrial habitats. The phylum Platyhelminthes may be more widely known for its parasitic members since the major parasitic groups of the tapeworms, flukes, and their relatives are more speciose and have greater impact on everyday human life; but the turbellarians are more diverse and, as inhabitants of virtually any aquatic habitat, are more widespread as well. Many of the lower turbellarians are rather simple in morphology and have served as models for ancestors of the Bilateria, i.e., the bulk of the animal phyla. Others are quite complex organisms, especially in the morphology of their reproductive systems which are highly specialized. The majority are free-living in aquatic habitats but a number of interesting parasitic and commensal species are found scattered among the higher turbellarian taxa.
But turbellarians are more than just taxonomic curiosities. They have served as illustrative models in research on a variety of basic life processes. For example, their high capacity for regeneration has made them the subject of a large literature in developmental biology, the occurrence of mixoploidy and other karyological oddities among turbellarians has been important in understanding evolution of the genome, and the fine structure and biochemistry of the nervous system in turbellarians is revealing important principles of the organization of so-called primitive neural systems.


Plathelminthes Platyhelminthes Xenoturbellida biochemistry development morphology nervous system phylogeny reproductive system tissue

Editors and affiliations

  • Seth Tyler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology Murray HallUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-2775-2
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1991
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-7923-1373-1
  • Online ISBN 978-94-011-2775-2
  • About this book