Natural probiotics improve heritable sterility

Chee Kiang Ewe, Oded Rechavi

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


Disrupting the small RNA pathway and chromatin-modifying enzymes in C. elegans often leads to a mortal germline (Mrt) phenotype, characterized by progressive sterility observed over multiple generations at elevated temperature. This phenotype arises from the inheritance of aberrant epigenetic memory across generations. In this issue of EMBO Reports, Frézal and colleagues reported that, while in standard laboratory environment C. elegans wild isolates exhibit the Mrt phenotype, sterility does not occur when the worms are exposed to naturally associated bacteria and microsporidia. Excitingly, diet-induced epigenetic memory may persist for multiple generations. This suggests intriguing diet–gene interactions in modulating nongenetic inheritance, potentially shaping the evolutionary trajectory of the animals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere58318
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - 6 Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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