Format

Send to

Choose Destination

See 1 citation:

RNA. 2013 Mar;19(3):306-19. doi: 10.1261/rna.036418.112. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

RNAi pathways contribute to developmental history-dependent phenotypic plasticity in C. elegans.

Author information

1
Department of Biology and National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02454, USA. shall@syr.edu

Abstract

Early environmental experiences profoundly influence adult phenotypes through complex mechanisms that are poorly understood. We previously showed that adult Caenorhabditis elegans that transiently passed through the stress-induced dauer larval stage (post-dauer adults) exhibit significant changes in gene expression profiles, chromatin states, and life history traits when compared with adults that bypassed the dauer stage (control adults). These wild-type, isogenic animals of equivalent developmental stages exhibit different signatures of molecular marks that reflect their distinct developmental trajectories. To gain insight into the mechanisms that contribute to these developmental history-dependent phenotypes, we profiled small RNAs from post-dauer and control adults by deep sequencing. RNA interference (RNAi) pathways are known to regulate genome-wide gene expression both at the chromatin and post-transcriptional level. By quantifying changes in endogenous small interfering RNA (endo-siRNA) levels in post-dauer as compared with control animals, our analyses identified a subset of genes that are likely targets of developmental history-dependent reprogramming through a complex RNAi-mediated mechanism. Mutations in specific endo-siRNA pathways affect expected gene expression and chromatin state changes for a subset of genes in post-dauer animals, as well as disrupt their increased brood size phenotype. We also find that both chromatin state and endo-siRNA distribution in dauers are unique, and suggest that remodeling in dauers provides a template for the subsequent establishment of adult post-dauer profiles. Our results indicate a role for endo-siRNA pathways as a contributing mechanism to early experience-dependent phenotypic plasticity in adults, and describe how developmental history can program adult physiology and behavior via epigenetic mechanisms.

PMID:
23329696
PMCID:
PMC3677242
DOI:
10.1261/rna.036418.112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center