IMR Press / FBL / Volume 13 / Issue 15 / DOI: 10.2741/3129

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article

Sensory roles of neuronal cilia: cilia development, morphogenesis, and function in C. elegans

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1 Laboratory of Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53705, USA
2 Department of Genetics and The Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Xiaofeng Zhou

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2008, 13(15), 5959–5974;
Published: 1 May 2008

In the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, cilia are found on the dendritic endings of sensory neurons. C. elegans cilia are classified as 'primary' or 'sensory' according to the '9+0' axonemal ultrastructure (nine doublet outer microtubules with no central microtubule pair) and lack of motility, characteristics of '9+2' cilia. The C. elegans ciliated nervous system allows the animal to perceive environmental stimuli and make appropriate developmental, physiological, and behavioral decisions. In vertebrates, the biological significance of primary cilia had been largely neglected. Recent findings have placed primary/sensory cilia in the center of cellular signaling and developmental processes. Studies using genetic model organisms such as C. elegans identified the link between ciliary dysfunction and human ciliopathies. Future studies in the worm will address important basic questions regarding ciliary development, morphogenesis, specialization, and signaling functions.

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