Generation and modulation of chemosensory behaviors in C. elegans

Pflugers Arch. 2007 Aug;454(5):721-34. doi: 10.1007/s00424-006-0196-9. Epub 2007 Jan 6.


C. elegans recognizes and discriminates among hundreds of chemical cues using a relatively compact chemosensory nervous system. Chemosensory behaviors are also modulated by prior experience and contextual cues. Because of the facile genetics and genomics possible in this organism, C. elegans provides an excellent system in which to explore the generation of chemosensory behaviors from the level of a single gene to the motor output. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the molecular and neuronal substrates of chemosensory behaviors and chemosensory behavioral plasticity in C. elegans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological / physiology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / agonists
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / metabolism*
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Genetics, Behavioral
  • Ligands
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / cytology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Smell / physiology
  • Taste / physiology


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Ligands