Meeting Abstract

S3-7  Saturday, Jan. 4 11:30 - 12:00  Developmental basis of tooth regeneration TUCKER, A. S.; King's College London

During evolution of mammals there has been a move towards a reduction in the number of times teeth are replaced over an animal’s life-time. Most mammals have two sets of teeth (diphyodont), while most reptiles have continuous replacement (polyphyodont). This shift to reduced numbers of replacements is thought to have been driven by an increase in tooth shape complexity together with the advent of tooth occlusion. Therefore there appears to be an evolutionary trade off between tooth number and tooth complexity. Although two sets of teeth is the norm for mammals (deciduous teeth followed by permanent teeth), a number of mammals have reduced the number even further and have only one set of teeth (monophyodont), or a mixed dentition where some teeth in the jaw replace while others do not. This condition allows for investigation into the mechanisms that determine whether to replace or not within a single animal. This talk aims to understand how the number of replacement teeth is controlled using a comparative evodevo approach. What signals stop further tooth development in mammals? How do teeth influence the development of their replacements? Can extra generations be generated? The research takes advantage of a number of model and non-model species, encompassing a variety of replacement patterns (monophyodont, diphyodont, polyphyodont). The findings shed light on the potential to generate additional teeth, both from a zoological and biomedical perspective.