Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2011
Publication Date: 2/25/2011
Citation: Kaplan, F., Srinivasan, J., Mahanti, P., Ajredini, R., Durak, O., Nimalendran, R., Sternberg, P.W., Teal, P.E., Schroeder, F.C., Edison, A.S., Alborn, H.T. 2011. Ascaroside expression in Caenorhabditis elegans is strongly dependent on diet and developmental stage. PLoS One. 6(3):1-7. Interpretive Summary: Ascarosides are small signaling molecules that are thought to be associated with dauer formation, male attraction and social behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans as well as other soil dwelling nematodes. Scientists at the Center for Medial Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA ARS in Gainesville, FL in collaboration with scientists at the California Institute of Technology, University of Florida and Cornell University found that in C. elegans ascarosides are tightly regulated by developmental stage and environmental factors. The release of dauer-inducing ascarosides increased under starvation which indicates a synchronized transition of this mostly hermaphroditic species into a mobile non-feeding stage to search for better resources. A male-attracting synergistic blend of ascarosides was produced predominantly prior to reaching sexual maturity, again indicating the important role of ascarosides for within species communication. By using a well known and genetically characterized nematode as a model species we hope to gain knowledge and understanding of nematode behavior and signaling that can be utilized in control of nematode pest species.
Technical Abstract: A group of small signaling molecules called ascarosides, associated with dauer formation, male attraction and social behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, are shown to be regulated by developmental stage and environmental factors. The concentration of dauer-inducing ascaroside, ascr#2, increased under starvation and the male-attracting ascarosides, ascr#3 and ascr#8, are produced predominantly prior to reaching sexual maturity. Our findings establish that biosynthesis of ascarosides directly correlates with their biological functions.