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MeSH Review


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High impact information on Platyhelminths

  • Serotonin receptors are present in several species of parasitic flatworms and appear to participate in the regulation of motility and carbohydrate metabolism [1].
  • Pax-6 homologs have been isolated from a wide variety of organisms ranging from flatworms to humans [2].
  • Using the polymerase chain reaction with degenerate primers corresponding to conserved sequences within the ETS DNA-binding domain, we have detected ets genes in a range of lower metazoans, including sponges, ctenophores, anemones, flatworms and nematodes, and in several higher invertebrate metazoans [3].
  • In general, most flatworms contain very little histamine (HA) and their nervous systems often lack, or contain very few, histaminergic elements [4].
  • The finding of Pax-6 from flatworms to humans suggests that eyeless is a universal master control gene and that the various types of eyes in the various animal phyla may have evolved from a single prototype [5].

Biological context of Platyhelminths


Anatomical context of Platyhelminths


Associations of Platyhelminths with chemical compounds

  • Despite this, no reports of GABA in flatworms have to date been published [11].
  • The tRNAs that transferred serine lacked a DHU arm, as is also observed in a number of parasitic platyhelminths and metazoans [12].
  • Neuropeptides, biogenic amines and acetylcholine are expressed abundantly within the nervous systems of parasitic flatworms, and are particularly evident in the innervation of the musculature [13].
  • Neutral lipids of these flatworms contained sterols, sterol esters, triacylglycerols and free fatty acids [14].
  • Parasitic and free-living flatworms differed in phospholipid composition: the turbellarian did not contain phosphatidylserine, and the trematodes had practically no sphingomyelin or lysophosphatidyl choline [14].

Gene context of Platyhelminths

  • However, already in the earliest protostomian invertebrates, such as flatworms and annelids, somatostatin and PP immunoreactive nerve fibres were found [15].
  • Of particular interest to parasitologists is the fact that selected neuropeptide families are common to metazoan pest species (nematodes, platyhelminths and arthropods) and fulfil specific roles in the modulation of muscle function in each of the three phyla [16].
  • There is no evidence for cytochrome P450 in adult helminths (nematodes and platyhelminths) based on P450 content and mono-oxygenase activity with classical substrates, although low activities may be present in free-living larval stages [17].
  • Many of these classes, including Antennapedia, engrailed and paired, are strongly conserved in higher multicellular animals, but have not previously been found in platyhelminths, the flatworms which represent the most primitive bilateral metazoans [18].
  • Neuropeptide F is the most abundant neuropeptide in parasitic flatworms and is analogous to vertebrate neuropeptide Y [19].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Platyhelminths


  1. Chemotherapy of parasitic worms: new biochemical strategies. Mansour, T.E. Science (1979) [Pubmed]
  2. Direct regulatory interaction of the eyeless protein with an eye-specific enhancer in the sine oculis gene during eye induction in Drosophila. Niimi, T., Seimiya, M., Kloter, U., Flister, S., Gehring, W.J. Development (1999) [Pubmed]
  3. The ets multigene family is conserved throughout the Metazoa. Degnan, B.M., Degnan, S.M., Naganuma, T., Morse, D.E. Nucleic Acids Res. (1993) [Pubmed]
  4. Widespread distribution of histamine in the nervous system of a trematode flatworm. Eriksson, K.S., Johnston, R.N., Shaw, C., Halton, D.W., Panula, P.A. J. Comp. Neurol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  5. The master control gene for morphogenesis and evolution of the eye. Gehring, W.J. Genes Cells (1996) [Pubmed]
  6. Heterogeneity of ouabain binding sites in Schistosoma mansoni. First evidence for the presence of two (Na+ + K+)-ATPase isoforms in platyhelminths. Pardon, R.S., Noël, F. Biochem. Pharmacol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  7. The embryonic development of the temnocephalid flatworms Craspedella pedum and Diceratocephala boschmai. Younossi-Hartenstein, A., Hartenstein, V. Cell Tissue Res. (2001) [Pubmed]
  8. Novel conserved hydrolase domain in the CLCA family of alleged calcium-activated chloride channels. Pawłowski, K., Lepistö, M., Meinander, N., Sivars, U., Varga, M., Wieslander, E. Proteins (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. Sensory receptors in the head of Stenostomum leucops. I. Presumptive photoreceptors. Palmberg, I., Reuter, M. Acta. Biol. Hung. (1992) [Pubmed]
  10. Recent evidence for evolution of the genetic code. Osawa, S., Jukes, T.H., Watanabe, K., Muto, A. Microbiol. Rev. (1992) [Pubmed]
  11. gamma-Aminobutyric acid in the nervous system of a planarian. Eriksson, K.S., Panula, P. J. Comp. Neurol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  12. Complete sequence and structure of the mitochondrial genome of the human tapeworm, Taenia asiatica (Platyhelminthes; Cestoda). Jeon, H.K., Lee, K.H., Kim, K.H., Hwang, U.W., Eom, K.S. Parasitology (2005) [Pubmed]
  13. Gross anatomy of the muscle systems of Fasciola hepatica as visualized by phalloidin-fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Mair, G.R., Maule, A.G., Shaw, C., Johnston, C.F., Halton, D.W. Parasitology (1998) [Pubmed]
  14. Preliminary studies of lipids of the trematodes Eurytrema pancreaticum, Calicophoron erschowi and the turbellarian Penecurva sibirica. Vykhrestyuk, N.P., Yarygina, G.V. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. (1982) [Pubmed]
  15. Phylogenetical aspects on islet hormone families: a minireview with particular reference to insulin as a growth factor and to the phylogeny of PYY and NPY immunoreactive cells and nerves in the endocrine and exocrine pancreas. Falkmer, S., Dafgård, E., el-Salhy, M., Engström, W., Grimelius, L., Zetterberg, A. Peptides (1985) [Pubmed]
  16. Inter-phyla studies on neuropeptides: the potential for broad-spectrum anthelmintic and/or endectocide discovery. Mousley, A., Maule, A.G., Halton, D.W., Marks, N.J. Parasitology (2005) [Pubmed]
  17. Cytochrome P450 in parasitic protozoa and helminths. Barrett, J. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. C, Pharmacol. Toxicol. Endocrinol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  18. Conserved classes of homeodomains in Schistosoma mansoni, an early bilateral metazoan. Webster, P.J., Mansour, T.E. Mech. Dev. (1992) [Pubmed]
  19. Pharmacological characterisation of neuropeptide F (NPF)-induced effects on the motility of Mesocestoides corti (syn. Mesocestoides vogae) larvae. Hrckova, G., Velebný, S., Halton, D.W., Day, T.A., Maule, A.G. Int. J. Parasitol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  20. Multiple Hox/HOM-class homeoboxes in Platyhelminthes. Bartels, J.L., Murtha, M.T., Ruddle, F.H. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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