Bosch, Thomas C. G.; David, Charles N. (1987): Stem cells of Hydra magnipapillata can differentiate into somatic cells and germ line cells. In: Developmental Biology, Vol. 121, Nr. 1: S. 182-191




We investigated whether all stem cells of Hydra can differentiate both somatic cells and gametes or if a separate germ line exists in these phylogenetically old organisms. The differentiation potential of single stem cells was analyzed by applying a statistical cloning procedure. All stem cell clones were found to differentiate somatic cells. No clone was found to contain stem cells which do not differentiate. Most of the clones could be induced to form gametes. No clone was found that produced gametes only. The results indicate that stem cells are multipotent in the sense that individual stem cells can differentiate into somatic cells as well as germ line cells.