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Science 326 (5955): 944-945

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Developmental Biology

Strategies to Get Arrested

Akira Ogawa, and Ralf J. Sommer

From bacteria to vertebrates, organisms can respond to changing environmental conditions by arresting their development. Animals in particular have invented a repertoire of diapause programs. As the environment can change at any step of an organism's life cycle, many independent strategies have evolved even within one species. Studies in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans are beginning to show not only the diversity of these strategies, but also the genetic and genomic mechanisms mediating the response. On pages 994 and 954 of this issue, Kim et al. (1) and Angelo and Van Gilst (2) reveal how members of two multigene families—nuclear hormone receptors and G protein–coupled receptors—perceive and translate environmental cues to regulate diapause stages in the larval and adult reproductive stages, respectively.

Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.

E-mail: akira.ogawa{at}; ralf.sommer{at}

Natural variation in Pristionchus pacificus dauer formation reveals cross-preference rather than self-preference of nematode dauer pheromones.
M. G. Mayer and R. J. Sommer (2011)
Proc R Soc B 278, 2784-2790
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Pristionchus pacificus daf-16 is essential for dauer formation but dispensable for mouth form dimorphism.
A. Ogawa, G. Bento, G. Bartelmes, C. Dieterich, and R. J. Sommer (2011)
Development 138, 1281-1284
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The Promise of Evolutionary Systems Biology: Lessons from Bacterial Chemotaxis.
O. S. Soyer (2010)
Science Signaling 3, pe23
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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