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Social and solitary feeding in natural Caenorhabditis elegans isolates are associated with two alleles of the orphan G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) NPR-1: social feeders contain NPR-1 215F, whereas solitary feeders contain NPR-1 215V. Here we identify FMRFamide-related neuropeptides (FaRPs) encoded by the flp-18 and flp-21 genes as NPR-1 ligands and show(More)
FMRFamide (Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2) and related peptides (FaRPs) have been found throughout the animal kingdom, where they are involved in many behaviors. We previously identified 22 genes comprising the flp gene family that encodes FaRPs in Caenorhabditis elegans; in this paper we report the identification of another flp gene, flp-23. As a first step toward(More)
Neuropeptides are used as signaling molecules in the nervous system of most organisms, including mammals. The family of FMRFamide (Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2)-like neuropeptides (FaRPs) all share an RFamide sequence at their C-termini and have been shown to have diverse functions in the central and peripheral nervous systems. In the nematode Caenorhabditis(More)
Many organisms, including mammals, use short peptides as neurotransmitters. The family of FMRFamide (Phe-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2)-like neuropeptides, which all share an -RFamide sequence at their C-termini, has been shown to have diverse functions, including neuromodulation and stimulation or inhibition of muscle contraction. In the nematode, Caenorhabditis(More)
Neuronal identities are specified by the combinatorial functions of activators and repressors of gene expression. Members of the well-conserved Olf/EBF (O/E) transcription factor family have been shown to play important roles in neuronal and non-neuronal development and differentiation. O/E proteins are highly expressed in the olfactory epithelium, and O/E(More)
Intraspecific chemical communication is mediated by signals called pheromones. Caenorhabditis elegans secretes a mixture of small molecules (collectively termed dauer pheromone) that regulates entry into the alternate dauer larval stage and also modulates adult behavior via as yet unknown receptors. Here, we identify two heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein(More)
Pheromone responses are highly context dependent. For example, the C. elegans pheromone ascaroside C9 (ascr#3) is repulsive to wild-type hermaphrodites, attractive to wild-type males, and usually neutral to "social" hermaphrodites with reduced activity of the npr-1 neuropeptide receptor gene. We show here that these distinct behavioral responses arise from(More)
Caenorhabditis elegans male mating provides a powerful model to study the relationship between the nervous system, genes, and innate sexual behaviors. Male mating is the most complex behavior exhibited by the nematode C. elegans and involves the steps of response, backing, turning, vulva location, spicule insertion, and sperm transfer. Because neuropeptides(More)
Neuropeptides regulate all aspects of behavior in multicellular organisms. Because of their ability to act at long distances, neuropeptides can exert their effects beyond the conventional synaptic connections, thereby adding an intricate layer of complexity to the activity of neural networks. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a large number of(More)
The expression of specific transcription factors determines the differentiated features of postmitotic neurons. However, the mechanism by which specific molecules determine neuronal cell fate and the extent to which the functions of transcription factors are conserved in evolution are not fully understood. In C. elegans, the cholinergic and peptidergic SMB(More)