Nutritional Control of the Germline Development in Caenorhabditis elegans

Part of the Diversity and Commonality in Animals book series (DCA)


Food is an ultimate regulator of animal reproduction. Because of its invariant cell lineage, ease of synchronized culture, and powerful genetics, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has served as an excellent model system for delineating the genetic pathways that mediate the nutritional regulation of germline development. C. elegans possesses multiple nutritional checkpoints during post-embryonic development that temporally arrest developmental programs in the germline and somatic stem/progenitor cells. The insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling (IIS) pathway and other factors such as adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated kinase (AMPK) and mechanistic (or mammalian) Target of Rapamycin Complex 1 (mTORC1) constitute the signaling network dedicated to regulating developmental quiescence of the germline. Furthermore, additional nutrient-responsive pathways adjust the size of the germline stem/progenitor cell pool by altering the balance between self-renewal and differentiation, as well as the balance between cellular survival and death. These findings illustrate the molecular mechanisms that coordinate germline development with the dietary environment by altering the behavior of its stem/progenitor cells.


Caenorhabditis elegans Germline Nutrition Insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway Quiescence Diapause 



I would like to thank the reviewers for their careful review of the manuscript and for their insightful, constructive suggestions for improving the manuscript.


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© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Physiological Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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