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Science. 1996 Nov 22;274(5291):1389-91.

Control of C. elegans larval development by neuronal expression of a TGF-beta homolog.

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Molecular Biology Program and Division of Biological Sciences, 311 Tucker Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.


The Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva is specialized for dispersal without growth and is formed under conditions of overcrowding and limited food. The daf-7 gene, required for transducing environmental cues that support continuous development with plentiful food, encodes a transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily member. A daf-7 reporter construct is expressed in the ASI chemosensory neurons. Dauer-inducing pheromone inhibits daf-7 expression and promotes dauer formation, whereas food reactivates daf-7 expression and promotes recovery from the dauer state. When the food/pheromone ratio is high, the level of daf-7 mRNA peaks during the L1 larval stage, when commitment to non-dauer development is made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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