PerspectiveDevelopmental Biology

Strategies to Get Arrested

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Science  13 Nov 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5955, pp. 944-945
DOI: 10.1126/science.1183272

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Summary

From bacteria to vertebrates, organisms can respond to changing environmental conditions by arresting their development. Animals in particular have invented a repertoire of diapause programs. As the environment can change at any step of an organism's life cycle, many independent strategies have evolved even within one species. Studies in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans are beginning to show not only the diversity of these strategies, but also the genetic and genomic mechanisms mediating the response. On pages 994 and 954 of this issue, Kim et al. (1) and Angelo and Van Gilst (2) reveal how members of two multigene families—nuclear hormone receptors and G protein–coupled receptors—perceive and translate environmental cues to regulate diapause stages in the larval and adult reproductive stages, respectively.