Nurrish Stephen

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
  • Article
    Stereotyped behavioral maturation and rhythmic quiescence in C. elegans embryos
    (eLife Sciences Publications, 2022-08-05) Ardiel, Evan L. ; Lauziere, Andrew ; Xu, Stephen ; Harvey, Brandon J. ; Christensen, Ryan Patrick ; Nurrish, Stephen ; Kaplan, Joshua M. ; Shroff, Hari
    Systematic analysis of rich behavioral recordings is being used to uncover how circuits encode complex behaviors. Here, we apply this approach to embryos. What are the first embryonic behaviors and how do they evolve as early neurodevelopment ensues? To address these questions, we present a systematic description of behavioral maturation for Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. Posture libraries were built using a genetically encoded motion capture suit imaged with light-sheet microscopy and annotated using custom tracking software. Analysis of cell trajectories, postures, and behavioral motifs revealed a stereotyped developmental progression. Early movement is dominated by flipping between dorsal and ventral coiling, which gradually slows into a period of reduced motility. Late-stage embryos exhibit sinusoidal waves of dorsoventral bends, prolonged bouts of directed motion, and a rhythmic pattern of pausing, which we designate slow wave twitch (SWT). Synaptic transmission is required for late-stage motion but not for early flipping nor the intervening inactive phase. A high-throughput behavioral assay and calcium imaging revealed that SWT is elicited by the rhythmic activity of a quiescence-promoting neuron (RIS). Similar periodic quiescent states are seen prenatally in diverse animals and may play an important role in promoting normal developmental outcomes.