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Molecular Memories in Worms

Weekly Seminar | Not Open to the Public
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In C. elegans nematodes, dedicated machinery enables transmission of small RNAs which regulate gene expression across multiple generations, independently of changes to the DNA sequence. Different environmental challenges, including exposure to starvation, genomic parasites, bacterial pathogens, and heat stress generate heritable small RNA responses, that in certain cases can be adaptive. Recently we have also shown that even neuronal activity can produce small RNA-mediated heritable responses, and that the decisions that the progeny makes are affected by whether their ancestors experienced stress or not. I will discuss the underlying mechanisms, and the potential of small RNA inheritance to affect the worms’ fate. Lastly, I will examine how these new findings might affect our view of the process of evolution and the limits of inheritance and provide evidence that transgenerational inheritance of small RNAs is possible even in other, very different organisms.

Dr. Oded Rechavi's Figure


Itai Antoine Toker, Itamar Lev, Yael Mor, Yael Gurevich, Doron Fisher, Leah Houri-Zeevi, Olga Antonova, Hila Doron, Sarit Anava, Hila Gingold, Lilach Hadany, Shai Shaham, Oded Rechavi
Transgenerational inheritance of sexual attractiveness via small RNAs enhances evolvability in C. elegans
Dev Cell. 2022 Feb 7;57(3):298-309.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2022.01.005.
Leah Houri-Zeevi, Yael Korem Kohanim, Olga Antonova, Oded Rechavi
Three Rules Explain Transgenerational Small RNA Inheritance in C. elegans
Cell. 2020 Sep 3;182(5):1186-1197.e12. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.07.022. Epub 2020 Aug 24.
Rachel Posner, Itai Antoine Toker, Olga Antonova, Ekaterina Star, Sarit Anava, Eran Azmon, Michael Hendricks, Shahar Bracha, Hila Gingold, Oded Rechavi
Neuronal Small RNAs Control Behavior Transgenerationally
Cell. 2019 Jun 13;177(7):1814-1826.e15. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.04.029. Epub 2019 Jun 6.


Tuesday, November 8, 2022 - 12:30pm


Conference Room: 
Zoom Webinar - Virtual Only

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Darlene White

Research Methods: