Diet-induced developmental acceleration independent of TOR and insulin in C. elegans

Cell. 2013 Mar 28;153(1):240-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.02.049.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Betaproteobacteria
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Diet
  • Escherichia coli
  • Gene Expression
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Longevity
  • Molting
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism
  • Starvation
  • Transcriptome


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)
  • let-363 protein, C elegans

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE43959