In vivo imaging of dauer-specific neuronal remodeling in C. elegans

Nathan E. Schroeder, Kristen M. Flatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mechanisms controlling stress-induced phenotypic plasticity in animals are frequently complex and difficult to study in vivo. A classic example of stress-induced plasticity is the dauer stage of C. elegans. Dauers are an alternative developmental larval stage formed under conditions of low concentrations of bacterial food and high concentrations of a dauer pheromone. Dauers display extensive developmental and behavioral plasticity. For example, a set of four inner-labial quadrant (IL2Q) neurons undergo extensive reversible remodeling during dauer formation. Utilizing the well-known environmental pathways regulating dauer entry, a previously established method for the production of crude dauer pheromone from large-scale liquid nematode cultures is demonstrated. With this method, a concentration of 50,000 - 75,000 nematodes/ml of liquid culture is sufficient to produce a highly potent crude dauer pheromone. The crude pheromone potency is determined by a dose-response bioassay. Finally, the methods used for in vivo time-lapse imaging of the IL2Qs during dauer formation are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51834
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number91
StatePublished - Sep 4 2014


  • Arborization
  • C. elegans
  • Dauer
  • Dendrite
  • Imaging
  • Issue 91
  • Neuroscience
  • Phenotypic plasticity
  • Pheromone
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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