EV-Based Communications

Sex in your genes

Sexual behaviors are evoked by a wide variety of sensory cues and generated by specialized sensory neurons that sense mate-derived signals. In C. elegans, male sexual behaviors are driven by long- and short-range chemical and contact-based signals from a potential mate. We are interested in identifying the genes, molecules, and neural circuits that control sexually-dimorphic sensory behaviors.


Nikonorova, I. A., Wang, J., Cope, A., Tilton, P.E., Power, K.M., Walsh, J. D., Akella, J. S., Shah, P., and Barr, M.M. 2022. Isolation, profiling and tracking of extracellular vesicle cargo in Caenorhabditis elegans. Current Biology 32(9):1924-1936.

Wang, J., Nikonorova, I. Guo, A., Sternberg, P.W., and Barr, M.M. (2020) Polycystin-2 ciliary extracellular vesicle release and targeting. Current Biology 30(13):R755-R756.

Walsh, J.D., Boivin, O. and Barr, M.M. (2020) What about the males? The C. elegans sexually dimorphic nervous system and a CRISPR-based tool to study males in a hermaphroditic species. J Neurogenet.

Barr, M.M., Garcia, L.R., and Portman, D.S (2018). Sexual dimorphism and sex differences in C. elegans neuronal development and behavior. Genetics.

Wang, J., Silva,M., Haas, L.A., Morsci, N.S., Nguyen, K.C., Hall, D.H., and Barr, M.M. (2014). C. elegans Ciliated Sensory Neurons Release Extracellular Vesicles that Function in Animal Communication. Current Biology 24(5): 519-25.

Barrios, A., Ghosh, R., Fang, C. Emmons, S.W. and Barr, M.M. (2012) PDF-1 neuropeptide signaling modulates a neural circuit for mate searching behavior in C. elegans. Nature Neuroscience 15(12): 1675-82.

Morsci NS, Haas LA, Barr MM. (2011) Sperm status regulates sexual attraction in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics.

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