Diet-Induced Developmental Acceleration Independent of TOR and Insulin in C. elegans

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Systems Biology; Program in Molecular Medicine; Program in Gene Function and Expression

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Caenorhabditis elegans; Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins; Insulin; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; Diet


Biochemical Phenomena, Metabolism, and Nutrition | Cell and Developmental Biology | Genetics and Genomics | Systems Biology


Dietary composition has major effects on physiology. Here, we show that developmental rate, reproduction, and lifespan are altered in C. elegans fed Comamonas DA1877 relative to those fed a standard E. coli OP50 diet. We identify a set of genes that change in expression in response to this diet and use the promoter of one of these (acdh-1) as a dietary sensor. Remarkably, the effects on transcription and development occur even when Comamonas DA1877 is diluted with another diet, suggesting that Comamonas DA1877 generates a signal that is sensed by the nematode. Surprisingly, the developmental effect is independent from TOR and insulin signaling. Rather, Comamonas DA1877 affects cyclic gene expression during molting, likely through the nuclear hormone receptor NHR-23. Altogether, our findings indicate that different bacteria elicit various responses via distinct mechanisms, which has implications for diseases such as obesity and the interactions between the human microbiome and intestinal cells.

DOI of Published Version



Cell. 2013 Mar 28;153(1):240-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.02.049. Link to article on publisher's website

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