Document Detail

Mate searching in Caenorhabditis elegans: a genetic model for sex drive in a simple invertebrate.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15329389     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Much of animal behavior is regulated to accomplish goals necessary for survival and reproduction. Little is known about the underlying motivational or drive states that are postulated to mediate such goal-directed behaviors. Here, we describe a mate-searching behavior of the Caenorhabditis elegans male that resembles the motivated behaviors of vertebrates. Adult C. elegans males, if isolated from mating partners, will leave the area of a food source and wander about their environment in an apparent search for a mate. When mating partners are present on the food source, males do not wander but remain with them. This behavior is sexually dimorphic for C. elegans and two additional male/hermaphrodite species studied; for these species, hermaphrodites leave food significantly slower than males. In contrast, for three male-female species examined, both males and females left food, in two cases with similar frequency, suggesting coordinate evolution of behavioral dimorphism with hermaphroditism. We use a quantitative behavioral assay to show that C. elegans male mate searching is regulated by signals from hermaphrodites and by physiological signals indicating nutritional and reproductive status. We identify genes in the serotonin, insulin, and sex determination pathways that affect the rate of mate searching. These genes may contribute to physiological and reproductive regulatory mechanisms. Our results establish C. elegans as a model genetic animal with a simple nervous system in which neural pathways leading to a motivated behavior may be genetically dissected.
Jonathan Lipton; Gunnar Kleemann; Rajarshi Ghosh; Robyn Lints; Scott W Emmons
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  24     ISSN:  1529-2401     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2004 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-08-26     Completed Date:  2005-01-26     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  7427-34     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Molecular Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York 10461, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics,  physiology*
Feeding Behavior
Germ Cells / cytology,  physiology
Insulin / genetics,  physiology
Models, Genetic
Reproduction / physiology
Serotonin / genetics,  physiology
Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Signal Transduction / genetics
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
11061-68-0/Insulin; 50-67-9/Serotonin

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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