Title1-Undecene from Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an olfactory signal for flight-or-fight response in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsPrakash D, Ms A, Radhika B, Venkatesan R, Chalasani SH, Singh V
JournalEMBO J
Date Published2021 Jun 04

Animals possess conserved mechanisms to detect pathogens and to improve survival in their presence by altering their own behavior and physiology. Here, we utilize Caenorhabditis elegans as a model host to ask whether bacterial volatiles constitute microbe-associated molecular patterns. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we identify six prominent volatiles released by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show that a specific volatile, 1-undecene, activates nematode odor sensory neurons inducing both flight and fight responses in worms. Using behavioral assays, we show that worms are repelled by 1-undecene and that this aversion response is driven by the detection of this volatile through AWB odor sensory neurons. Furthermore, we find that 1-undecene odor can induce immune effectors specific to P. aeruginosa via AWB neurons and that brief pre-exposure of worms to the odor enhances their survival upon subsequent bacterial infection. These results show that 1-undecene derived from P. aeruginosa serves as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern for the induction of protective responses in C. elegans.

Alternate JournalEMBO J
PubMed ID34086368
Grant ListIA/I/13/1/500919 / / The Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance (India Alliance) /
BT/PR27952/INF/22/212/2018 / / DBT-IISC Partnership Program /