When cultured under crowded and nutrient-limited conditions O. dioica enters a state of growth arrest; halting its reproductive program and extending its lifespan. When returned to favourable conditions animals resume normal development. We tested the transcriptional response to recovery from growth arrest in O. dioica and found that genes encoding monocistronic mRNAs that are not trans-spliced, and encode muscle-related proteins, dominate the up-regulated set of genes. This is in contrast to what was found in the nematode C. elegans where it is predominantly polycistronic mRNAs, transcribed from operons and encoding growth-related proteins, that are up-regulated. We are exploring these differences further using a combination of methods, in particular ribosome profiling to assess changes at the translational level.
G.B. Danks, M. Raasholm, C. Campsteijn, A.M. Long, J.R. Manak, B. Lenhard, and E.M. Thompson. Trans-splicing and operons in metazoans: Translational control in maternally regulated development and recovery from growth arrest. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32(3), 2015.