TMC-1 attenuates C. elegans development and sexual behaviour in a chemically defined food environment. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although diet affects growth and behaviour, the adaptive mechanisms that coordinate these processes in non-optimal food sources are unclear. Here we show that the C. elegans tmc-1 channel, which is homologous to the mammalian tmc deafness genes, attenuates development and inhibits sexual behaviour in non-optimal food, the synthetic CeMM medium. In CeMM medium, signalling from the pharyngeal MC neurons and body wall muscles slows larval development. However, in the non-standard diet, mutation in tmc-1 accelerates development, by impairing the excitability of these cells. The tmc-1 larva can immediately generate ATP when fed CeMM, and their fast development requires insulin signalling. Our findings suggest that the tmc-1 channel indirectly affects metabolism in wild-type animals. In addition to regulating the development, we show that mutating tmc-1 can relax diet-induced inhibition of male sexual behaviour, thus indicating that a single regulator can be genetically modified to promote growth rate and reproductive success in new environments.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, L., Gualberto, D. G., Guo, X., Correa, P., Jee, C., & Garcia, L. R.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Liusuo||Gualberto, Daisy G||Guo, Xiaoyan||Correa, Paola||Jee, Changhoon||Garcia, L Rene

publication date

  • January 2015