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Regulation of hyperoxia-induced social behaviour in Pristionchus pacificus nematodes requires a novel cilia-mediated environmental input

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Moreno,  E
Department Integrative Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Sieriebriennikov,  B
Department Integrative Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Witte,  H
Department Integrative Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Rödelsperger,  C
Department Integrative Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Lightfoot,  JW
Department Integrative Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Sommer,  RJ
Department Integrative Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Moreno, E., Sieriebriennikov, B., Witte, H., Rödelsperger, C., Lightfoot, J., & Sommer, R. (2017). Regulation of hyperoxia-induced social behaviour in Pristionchus pacificus nematodes requires a novel cilia-mediated environmental input. Scientific Reports, 7: 17550. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18019-0.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-03B4-F
Abstract
Social behaviours are frequently utilised for defence and stress avoidance in nature. Both Caenorhabditis elegans and Pristionchus pacificus nematodes display social behaviours including clumping and bordering, to avoid hyperoxic stress conditions. Additionally, both species show natural variation in social behaviours with "social" and "solitary" strains. While the single solitary C. elegans N2 strain has evolved under laboratory domestication due to a gain-of-function mutation in the neuropeptide receptor gene npr-1, P. pacificus solitary strains are commonplace and likely ancestral. P. pacificus therefore provides an opportunity to further our understanding of the mechanisms regulating these complex behaviours and how they evolved within an ecologically relevant system. Using CRISPR/Cas9 engineering, we show that Ppa-npr-1 has minimal influence on social behaviours, indicating independent evolutionary pathways compared to C. elegans. Furthermore, solitary P. pacificus strains show an unexpected locomotive response to hyperoxic conditions, suggesting a novel regulatory mechanism counteracting social behaviours. By utilising both forward and reverse genetic approaches we identified 10 genes of the intraflagellar transport machinery in ciliated neurons that are essential for this inhibition. Therefore, a novel cilia-mediated environmental input adds an additional level of complexity to the regulation of hyperoxia-induced social behaviours in P. pacificus, a mechanism unknown in C. elegans.