The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 64: 65 - 70 (2020)

Vol 64, Issue 1-2-3

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in India - First Part

Studies on tail regeneration and homeotic transformation in anuran tadpoles

Published: 23 June 2020

Priyambada Mohanty-Hejmadi and Pravati Kumari Mahapatra*

Post Graduate Department of Zoology, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India


Anuran tadpoles are excellent models for regeneration studies. The tail, an organ essential for swimming for the aquatic tadpole, regenerates completely following injury or amputation. However, treatment with the morphogen, vitamin A or retinoic acid inhibits normal tail regeneration and induces homeotic transformation of tail to limbs. This phenomenon was discovered for the first time in the Indian marbled balloon frog Uperodon systoma in the Developmental Biology laboratory of Utkal University (Odisha, India) in the year 1992. In this paper, we present the results of morphological, histological, biochemical and molecular (immonohistochemistry) investigations of vitamin A induced homeotic transformation in different anuran species. In addition, we discuss the putative role of fibroblast growth factor 1 during spinal cord regeneration in the tadpoles of the Indian tree frog, Polypedates maculatus, an ideal model for regeneration studies in an Indian context.


anuran tadpole, tail regeneration, homeotic transformation, vitamin A/retinoic acid

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