Neuronal control of maternal provisioning in response to social cues

Jadiel A. Wasson, Gareth Harris, Sabine Keppler-Ross, Trisha J. Brock, Abdul R. Dar, Rebecca A. Butcher, Sylvia E.J. Fischer, Konstantinos Kagias, Jon Clardy, Yun Zhang, Susan E. Mango

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mothers contribute cytoplasmic components to their progeny in a process called maternal provisioning. Provisioning is influenced by the parental environment, but the molecular pathways that transmit environmental cues between generations are not well understood. Here, we show that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, social cues modulate maternal provisioning to regulate gene silencing in offspring. Intergenerational signal transmission depends on a pheromone-sensing neuron and neuronal FMRFamide (Phe-Met-Arg-Phe)-like peptides. Parental FMRFamide-like peptide signaling dampens oxidative stress resistance and promotes the deposition of mRNAs for translational components in progeny, which, in turn, reduces gene silencing. This study identifies a previously unknown pathway for intergenerational communication that links neuronal responses to maternal provisioning. We suggest that loss of social cues in the parental environment represents an adverse environment that stimulates stress responses across generations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereabf8782
JournalScience Advances
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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