Wild C. elegans and other nematodes live in dirt and eat bacteria, relying on mechanoreceptor neurons (MRNs) to detect collisions with soil particles and other animals as well as forces generated by their own movement. MRNs may also help animals detect bacterial food sources. Hermaphrodites and males have 22 putative MRNs; males have an additional 46 MRNs, most, if not all of which are needed for mating. This chapter reviews key aspects of C. elegans mechanosensation, including MRN anatomy, what is known about their contributions to behavior as well as the neural circuits linking MRNs to movement. Emerging models of the mechanisms used to convert mechanical energy into electrical signals are also discussed. Prospects for future research include expanding our understanding of the molecular basis of mechanotransduction and how activation of MRNs guides and modulates behavior.
Electron microscopical reconstruction of the anterior sensory anatomy of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.?2UU
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Multimodal Stimulation in a Microfluidic Device Facilitates Studies of Interneurons in Sensory Integration in C. elegans
Reverse-Correlation Analysis of the Mechanosensation Circuit and Behavior in C. elegans Reveals Temporal and Spatial Encoding
Touch-induced mechanical strain in somatosensory neurons is independent of extracellular matrix mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans
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Real-time multimodal optical control of neurons and muscles in freely behaving Caenorhabditis elegans
OSM-9 and an amiloride-sensitive channel, but not PKD-2, are involved in mechanosensation in C. elegans male ray neurons
A novel vibration-induced exercise paradigm improves fitness and lipid metabolism of Caenorhabditis elegans
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