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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1973 Mar;70(3):817-21.

Chemotaxis by the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: identification of attractants and analysis of the response by use of mutants.


The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is attracted by at least four classes of attractants: by cyclic nucleotides, cAMP and cGMP; by anions, Cl(-), Br(-), I(-); by cations, Na(+), Li(+), K(+), Mg(+); and by alkaline pH values. The nematode's behavioral response to gradients of these attractants involves orientation and movement up the gradient, accumulation, and then habitutation. Comparison of the tracks of wild-type and mutant animals responding to gradients of attractants indicates that sensory receptors in the head alone mediate the orientation response and that the direction of orientation is determined by the lateral motion of the head. Therefore, the orientation response is a klinotaxis.

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