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Pristionchus pacificus daf-16 is essential for dauer formation but dispensable for mouth form dimorphism

Item Type:Article
Title:Pristionchus pacificus daf-16 is essential for dauer formation but dispensable for mouth form dimorphism
Creators Name:Ogawa, A. and Bento, G. and Bartelmes, G. and Dieterich, C. and Sommer, R.J.
Abstract:The nematode Pristionchus pacificus shows two forms of phenotypic plasticity: dauer formation and dimorphism of mouth form morphologies. It can therefore serve as a model for studying the evolutionary mechanisms that underlie phenotypic plasticity. Formation of dauer larvae is observed in many other species and constitutes one of the most crucial survival strategies in nematodes, whereas the mouth form dimorphism is an evolutionary novelty observed only in P. pacificus and related nematodes. We have previously shown that the same environmental cues and steroid signaling control both dauer formation and mouth form dimorphism. Here, we examine by mutational analysis and whole-genome sequencing the function of P. pacificus (Ppa) daf-16, which encodes a forkhead transcription factor; in C. elegans, daf-16 is the target of insulin signaling and plays important roles in dauer formation. We found that mutations in Ppa-daf-16 cause strong dauer formation-defective phenotypes, suggesting that Ppa-daf-16 represents one of the evolutionarily conserved regulators of dauer formation. Upon strong dauer induction with lophenol, Ppa-daf-16 individuals formed arrested larvae that partially resemble wild-type dauer larvae, indicating that Ppa-daf-16 is also required for dauer morphogenesis. By contrast, regulation of mouth form dimorphism was unaffected by Ppa-daf-16 mutations and mutant animals responded normally to environmental cues. Our results suggest that mechanisms for dauer formation and mouth form regulation overlap partially, but not completely, and one of two key transcriptional regulators of the dauer regulatory network was either independently co-opted for, or subsequently lost by, the mouth form regulatory network.
Keywords:C. Elegans, P. Pacificus, Dauer Formation, DAF-16/FOXO, Phenotypic Plasticity, Animals, Helminth, Nematoda
Publisher:Company of Biologists
Page Range:1281-1284
Date:April 2011
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.058909
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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