Mar 30, 2020

The Regulation of Developmental Diapause is Coordinated with Molting and Olfaction

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Remco BouckaertRay L. Hong


Developmental and behavioral plasticity allow animals to prioritize alternative genetic programs during fluctuating environments. Behavioral remodeling may be acute in animals that interact with host organisms, since reproductive adults and the developmentally arrested larvae often have different ethological needs for chemical stimuli. To understand the genes that coordinate development and behavior, we used the nematode model Pristionchus pacificus to characterize mutants that inappropriately enter developmental diapause to become dauer larvae (Daf-c). We found several key olfactory differences between P. pacificus and C. elegans Daf-c dauers. In addition, the two P. pacificus Daf-c alleles disrupt steroid synthesis required for proper regulation of the conserved canonical steroid hormone receptor DAF-12, whose dauer-constitutive and cuticle exsheathment phenotypes can be rescued by the feeding of ?7-dafachronic acid. One allele, csu60, has a deletion in the sole HydroxySteroid Dehydrogenase (HSD) in P. pacificus. Both hsd-2(csu60) adults and dauers show enhanced attraction to a beetle pheromone, possibly due to the heterochronic activation of dauer-specific neuronal development in the adults. Surprisingly, this enhanced odor ...Continue Reading

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