Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits positive gravitaxis

Wei Long Chen, Hungtang Ko, Han Sheng Chuang, David M. Raizen, Haim H. Bau

研究成果: Article同行評審

9 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)


Background: Gravity plays an important role in most life forms on Earth. Yet, a complete molecular understanding of sensing and responding to gravity is lacking. While there are anatomical differences among animals, there is a remarkable conservation across phylogeny at the molecular level. Caenorhabditis elegans is suitable for gene discovery approaches that may help identify molecular mechanisms of gravity sensing. It is unknown whether C. elegans can sense the direction of gravity. Results: In aqueous solutions, motile C. elegans nematodes align their swimming direction with the gravity vector direction while immobile worms do not. The worms orient downward regardless of whether they are suspended in a solution less dense (downward sedimentation) or denser (upward sedimentation) than themselves. Gravitaxis is minimally affected by the animals’ gait but requires sensory cilia and dopamine neurotransmission, as well as motility; it does not require genes that function in the body touch response. Conclusions: Gravitaxis is not mediated by passive forces such as non-uniform mass distribution or hydrodynamic effects. Rather, it is mediated by active neural processes that involve sensory cilia and dopamine. C. elegans provides a genetically tractable system to study molecular and neural mechanisms of gravity sensing.

期刊BMC Biology
出版狀態Published - 2021 12月

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • 生物技術
  • 結構生物學
  • 生態學、進化論、行為學與系統學
  • 生理學
  • 一般生物化學,遺傳學和分子生物學
  • 一般農業與生物科學
  • 植物科學
  • 發展生物學
  • 細胞生物學


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