Mutations in the clk-1 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans affect developmental and behavioral timing.

Authors: Wong A; Boutis P; Hekimi S

Abstract: We have identified three allelic, maternal-effect mutations that affect developmental and behavioral timing in Caenorhabditis elegans. They result in a mean lengthening of embryonic and postembryonic development, the cell cycle period and life span, as well as the periods of the defecation, swimming and pumping cycles. These mutants also display a number of additional phenotypes related to timing. For example, the variability in the length of embryonic development is several times larger in the mutants than in the wild type, resulting in the occasional production of mutant embryos developing more rapidly than the most rapidly developing wild-type embryos. In addition, the duration of embryonic development of the mutants, but not of the wild type, depends on the temperature at which their parents were raised. Finally, individual variations in the severity of distinct mutant phenotypes are correlated in a counterintuitive way. For example, the animals with the shortest embryonic development have the longest defecation cycle and those with the longest embryonic development have the shortest defecation cycle. Most of the features affected by these mutations are believed to be controlled by biological clocks, and we therefore call the gene defined by these mutations clk-1, for "abnormal function of biological clocks."

Keywords: Alleles; Animals; Biological Clocks/*genetics/physiology; Caenorhabditis elegans/*genetics/*growth & development/physiology; Cell Cycle/genetics; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental/*genetics; *Genes, Helminth; Mutation/genetics; Phenotype; Temperature
Journal: Genetics
Volume: 139
Issue: 3
Pages: 1247-59
Date: March 1, 1995
PMID: 7768437
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Wong A, Boutis P, Hekimi S (1995) Mutations in the clk-1 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans affect developmental and behavioral timing. Genetics 139: 1247-59.

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