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Neuronal perception of the social environment intergenerationally controls germline development and generation time in C. elegans

By Marcos Francisco Perez, Mehrnaz Shamalnasab, Alejandro Mata-Cabana, Simona Della Valle, María Olmedo, Mirko Francesconi, Ben Lehner

Posted 04 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.03.279158

An old and controversial question in biology is whether information perceived by the nervous system of an animal can ‘cross the Weismann barrier’ to alter the phenotypes and fitness of their progeny. Here we show that such intergenerational transmission of sensory information occurs in the model organism, C. elegans , with a major effect on fitness. Specifically, that perception of social pheromones by chemosensory neurons controls the post-embryonic timing of development of one tissue – the germline – relative to others in an animal’s progeny. Neuronal perception of the social environment thus intergenerationally controls the generation time of this animal. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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