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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans locomotory

  1. Behavioral deficits during early stages of aging in Caenorhabditis elegans result from locomotory deficits possibly linked to muscle frailty.

    PubMed Central

    Glenn, Charles F.; Chow, David K.; Gami, Minaxi S.; Iser, Wendy B.; Hanselman, Keaton B.; Wolkow, Catherine A.; David, Lawrence; Goldberg, Ilya G.; Cooke, Carol A.

    2005-01-01

    Many behavioral responses require the coordination of sensory inputs with motor outputs. Aging is associated with progressive declines in both motor function and muscle structure. However, the consequences of age-related motor deficits upon behavior have not been clearly defined. Here, we examined the effects of aging on behavior in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. As animals aged, mild locomotory deficits appeared that were sufficient to impair behavioral responses to sensory cues. In contrast, sensory ability appeared well-maintained during aging. Age-related behavioral declines were delayed in animals with mutations in the daf-2/insulin-like pathway governing longevity. A decline in muscle tissue integrity was correlated with the onset of age-related behavioral deficits, although significant muscle deterioration did not. Treatment with a muscarinic agonist significantly improved locomotory behavior in aged animals, indicating that improved neuromuscular signaling may be one strategy for reducing the severity of age-related behavioral impairments. PMID:15699524

  2. Behavioral deficits during early stages of aging in Caenorhabditis elegans result from locomotory deficits possibly linked to muscle frailty.

    PubMed

    Glenn, Charles F; Chow, David K; David, Lawrence; Cooke, Carol A; Gami, Minaxi S; Iser, Wendy B; Hanselman, Keaton B; Goldberg, Ilya G; Wolkow, Catherine A

    2004-12-01

    Many behavioral responses require the coordination of sensory inputs with motor outputs. Aging is associated with progressive declines in both motor function and muscle structure. However, the consequences of age-related motor deficits on behavior have not been clearly defined. Here, we examined the effects of aging on behavior in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. As animals aged, mild locomotory deficits appeared that were sufficient to impair behavioral responses to sensory cues. In contrast, sensory ability appeared well maintained during aging. Age-related behavioral declines were delayed in animals with mutations in the daf-2/insulin-like pathway governing longevity. A decline in muscle tissue integrity was correlated with the onset of age-related behavioral deficits, although significant muscle deterioration was not. Treatment with a muscarinic agonist significantly improved locomotory behavior in aged animals, indicating that improved neuromuscular signaling may be one strategy for reducing the severity of age-related behavioral impairments. PMID:15699524

  3. Reproductive and Locomotory Capacities of Caenorhabditis elegans Were Not Affected by Simulated Variable Gravities and Spaceflight During the Shenzhou-8 Mission

    PubMed Central

    Qiao, Liang; Luo, Sang; Liu, Yongding; Li, Xiaoyan

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Reproduction and locomotion are essential features of animals that help to facilitate their interaction with the surrounding environment. Previous studies have produced inconsistent results on behavioral response to spaceflight by the model animal Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) in liquid culture. Using standard agar-based nematode growth medium (NGM), we show here that both reproductive and locomotory capacities of C. elegans were not significantly changed by centrifuge-produced hypergravity or clinostat-simulated microgravity. To investigate the effect of actual spaceflight on C. elegans, a nematode test unit was specifically designed to maintain its normal growth on solid NGM slides and to allow automatic RNA fixation on board the Shenzhou-8 spaceflight. We did not detect alteration in either brood size of immediate progenies from postflight nematodes or locomotory behavior, including speed of locomotion, frequency of reversals, and rate of body bends of space-flown nematodes collected directly from nematode test units. Our results provide clear evidence that the nematode test unit is an appropriate apparatus for nematode growth on standard NGM and can be used for on-orbit analysis of C. elegans, including onboard RNA fixation for molecular analysis and real-time video acquisition for behavioral analysis, which are critical for further studies in unmanned spaceflight and outer space exploration. Key Words: Spaceflight—Hypergravity—Microgravity—Caenorhabditis elegans—Behavior—Reproduction. Astrobiology 13, 617–625. PMID:23837604

  4. Optogenetic dissection of neural circuit underlying locomotory decision-making in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocabas, Askin; Guo, Zengcai; Ramanathan, Sharad

    2011-03-01

    Despite the knowledge of the physical connectivity of the entire nervous system of C.elegans, we know little about how neuronal dynamics results in decision-making. Detailed understanding of functional and dynamic relations of the neural circuitry requires spatiotemporal control of the neuronal activity. Recent discoveries of light gated ion channels have allowed temporal optical control of neural activity. However, excitation of a specific neuron from among many expressing the channel has been a challenge. By combining optogenetic tools, micro mirror array technology and fast real time image processing, we have developed a technique to activate specific single or multiple neurons in an intact crawling animal while tracking its behavior. Using this setup we traced the neural pathway controlling the gradual turning of the animal during the locomotion. We found that the activity of a specific neuronal circuit that receives inputs from sensory neurons is coordinated with head movement. This coordination allows the animal to turn left or right based on the variation of sensory stimulus during head movement. By directly modulating the activity of the neural circuit, we can force the animal to turn in a specific direction independent of sensory stimuli. Human Frontier Science Program.

  5. Study about locomotory ability of dystrophin-defected C.elegans after spaceflight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Ying; Sun, Yeqing; Lei, Huang; Xu, Dan

    2012-07-01

    Space microgravity could induce a variety of biological changes such as muscular atrophy. Recent studies show that gravisensing is a key point in muscular atrophy process, but the molecular mechanism is still unknown. Dystrophin, a muscle-related protein, plays an important role in muscle development. It is reported that mutation of human dystrophin gene could cause muscular atrophy. In this study, we focus on whether dystrophin gene acts as a gravisensing factor and observe locomotory ability of dystrophin-defected Caenorhabditis elegans (C.elegans) after spaceflight. We used wild-type (WT) and dystrophin-defected (dys-1) mutant of C.elegans, which were cultured to dauer stage and sent to space by Shenzhou 8 spacecraft (from Nov 1st to 17th, 2011). These worms were divided into three groups: space group (space radiation and microgravity conditions), space control group (space radiation and chmetcnvTCSC0NumberType1NegativeFalseHasSpaceFalseSourceValue1UnitNameg1g centrifuge force conditions) and ground control group.We already observed the progeny (generation F1 and F2) of worms which were sent to space, the movement of C. elegans is restricted to a two-dimensional sinusoidal pattern, and evaluated locomotory ability by the ratio (length/width) in crawl trace wave of C. elegans. The increased value of ratio indicates the decrease in locomotory ability of C. elegans. Our results from generation F1 showed that WT worms in space group(7.7±1.8) demonstrated the significant decrease in locomotory ability about 15%, compared with those in space control group(6.7±1.2). This finding indicates that locomotory ability of C. elegans progeny could be affected by microgravity in space environment. In comparison to the obvious difference in ratio between space group and space control group for WT worms, there is no significant difference between two space groups of generation F2 .For dys-1 mutant of C.elegans (generation F1 and F2), the results show that dystrophin deficiency

  6. Computational Methods for Tracking, Quantitative Assessment, and Visualization of C. elegans Locomotory Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Moy, Kyle; Li, Weiyu; Tran, Huu Phuoc; Simonis, Valerie; Story, Evan; Brandon, Christopher; Furst, Jacob; Raicu, Daniela; Kim, Hongkyun

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides a unique opportunity to interrogate the neural basis of behavior at single neuron resolution. In C. elegans, neural circuits that control behaviors can be formulated based on its complete neural connection map, and easily assessed by applying advanced genetic tools that allow for modulation in the activity of specific neurons. Importantly, C. elegans exhibits several elaborate behaviors that can be empirically quantified and analyzed, thus providing a means to assess the contribution of specific neural circuits to behavioral output. Particularly, locomotory behavior can be recorded and analyzed with computational and mathematical tools. Here, we describe a robust single worm-tracking system, which is based on the open-source Python programming language, and an analysis system, which implements path-related algorithms. Our tracking system was designed to accommodate worms that explore a large area with frequent turns and reversals at high speeds. As a proof of principle, we used our tracker to record the movements of wild-type animals that were freshly removed from abundant bacterial food, and determined how wild-type animals change locomotory behavior over a long period of time. Consistent with previous findings, we observed that wild-type animals show a transition from area-restricted local search to global search over time. Intriguingly, we found that wild-type animals initially exhibit short, random movements interrupted by infrequent long trajectories. This movement pattern often coincides with local/global search behavior, and visually resembles Lévy flight search, a search behavior conserved across species. Our mathematical analysis showed that while most of the animals exhibited Brownian walks, approximately 20% of the animals exhibited Lévy flights, indicating that C. elegans can use Lévy flights for efficient food search. In summary, our tracker and analysis software will help analyze the neural basis of the

  7. Computational Methods for Tracking, Quantitative Assessment, and Visualization of C. elegans Locomotory Behavior.

    PubMed

    Moy, Kyle; Li, Weiyu; Tran, Huu Phuoc; Simonis, Valerie; Story, Evan; Brandon, Christopher; Furst, Jacob; Raicu, Daniela; Kim, Hongkyun

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides a unique opportunity to interrogate the neural basis of behavior at single neuron resolution. In C. elegans, neural circuits that control behaviors can be formulated based on its complete neural connection map, and easily assessed by applying advanced genetic tools that allow for modulation in the activity of specific neurons. Importantly, C. elegans exhibits several elaborate behaviors that can be empirically quantified and analyzed, thus providing a means to assess the contribution of specific neural circuits to behavioral output. Particularly, locomotory behavior can be recorded and analyzed with computational and mathematical tools. Here, we describe a robust single worm-tracking system, which is based on the open-source Python programming language, and an analysis system, which implements path-related algorithms. Our tracking system was designed to accommodate worms that explore a large area with frequent turns and reversals at high speeds. As a proof of principle, we used our tracker to record the movements of wild-type animals that were freshly removed from abundant bacterial food, and determined how wild-type animals change locomotory behavior over a long period of time. Consistent with previous findings, we observed that wild-type animals show a transition from area-restricted local search to global search over time. Intriguingly, we found that wild-type animals initially exhibit short, random movements interrupted by infrequent long trajectories. This movement pattern often coincides with local/global search behavior, and visually resembles Lévy flight search, a search behavior conserved across species. Our mathematical analysis showed that while most of the animals exhibited Brownian walks, approximately 20% of the animals exhibited Lévy flights, indicating that C. elegans can use Lévy flights for efficient food search. In summary, our tracker and analysis software will help analyze the neural basis of the

  8. Mitochondrial division in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Gandre, Shilpa; van der Bliek, Alexander M

    2007-01-01

    The study of mitochondrial division proteins has largely focused on yeast and mammalian cells. We describe methods to use Caenorhabditis elegans as an alternative model for studying mitochondrial division, taking advantage of the many wonderful resources provided by the C. elegans community. Our methods are largely based on manipulation of gene expression using classic and molecular genetic techniques combined with fluorescence microscopy. Some biochemical methods are also included. As antibodies become available, these biochemical methods are likely to become more sophisticated. PMID:18314747

  9. Proteomic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proteomic studies of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have recently received great attention because this animal is a useful model platform for the in vivo study of various biological problems relevant to human disease. In general, proteomic analysis is performed in order to address a...

  10. Toxicity testing using Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Middendorf, P.J.; Dusenbery, D.B.; Williams, P.L.

    1995-12-31

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a small free-living nematode that is representative of what may be the most abundant animal group. It has been promoted as a possible model organism for toxicity testing in the laboratory and in field evaluations in part because more is known about its biology than any other animal, Toxicity tests using C. elegans have been developed with lethality, reproduction, and behavior as end points. The tests have also been developed to varying degrees using standard laboratory media, water, and soil. The results of the tests when exposing C. elegans to a variety of metals, inorganic, and organic compounds indicate it is typically at least as sensitive as other species currently used, such as Daphnia and earthworms, and is generally much easier to maintain in the laboratory. The advantages and disadvantages of C. elegans and the state of development of the tests will be discussed.

  11. Intermediate Filaments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zuela, Noam; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2016-01-01

    More than 70 different genes in humans and 12 different genes in Caenorhabditis elegans encode the superfamily of intermediate filament (IF) proteins. In C. elegans, similar to humans, these proteins are expressed in a cell- and tissue-specific manner, can assemble into heteropolymers and into 5-10nm wide filaments that account for the principal structural elements at the nuclear periphery, nucleoplasm, and cytoplasm. At least 5 of the 11 cytoplasmic IFs, as well as the nuclear IF, lamin, are essential. In this chapter, we will include a short review of our current knowledge of both cytoplasmic and nuclear IFs in C. elegans and will describe techniques used for their analyses. PMID:26795488

  12. Durotaxis in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Parida, Lipika; Padmanabhan, Venkat

    2016-08-01

    Durotaxis is a process where cells are able to sense the stiffness of substrates and preferentially migrate toward stiffer regions. Here, we show that the 1-mm-long nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans are also able to detect the rigidity of underlying substrates and always migrate to regions of higher stiffness. Our results indicate that C. elegans are able to judiciously make a decision to stay on stiffer regions. We found that the, undulation frequency, and wavelength of worms, crawling on surfaces show nonmonotonic behavior with increasing stiffness. A number of control experiments were also conducted to verify whether C. elegans are really able to detect the rigidity of substrates or whether the migration to stiffer regions is due to other factors already reported in the literature. As it is known that bacteria and other single-celled organisms exhibit durotaxis toward stiffer surfaces, we conjecture that durotaxis in C. elegans may be one of the strategies developed to improve their chances of locating food. PMID:27508449

  13. Sensory Transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Austin L.; Ramot, Daniel; Goodman, Miriam B.

    The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has a well-defined and comparatively simple repertoire of sensory-guided behaviors, all of which rely on its ability to detect chemical, mechanical or thermal stimuli. In this chapter, we review what is known about the ion channels that mediate sensation in this remarkable model organism. Genetic screens for mutants defective in sensory-guided behaviors have identified genes encoding channel proteins, which are likely transducers of chemical, thermal, and mechanical stimuli. Such classical genetic approaches are now being coupled with molecular genetics and in vivo cellular physiology to elucidate how these channels are activated in specific sensory neurons. The ion channel superfamilies implicated in sensory transduction in C. elegans - CNG, TRP, and DEG/ENaC - are conserved across phyla and also appear to contribute to sensory transduction in other organisms, including vertebrates. What we learn about the role of these ion channels in C. elegans sensation is likely to illuminate analogous processes in other animals, including humans.

  14. Controlling interneuron activity in Caenorhabditis elegans to evoke chemotactic behaviour.

    PubMed

    Kocabas, Askin; Shen, Ching-Han; Guo, Zengcai V; Ramanathan, Sharad

    2012-10-11

    Animals locate and track chemoattractive gradients in the environment to find food. With its small nervous system, Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model system in which to understand how the dynamics of neural activity control this search behaviour. Extensive work on the nematode has identified the neurons that are necessary for the different locomotory behaviours underlying chemotaxis through the use of laser ablation, activity recording in immobilized animals and the study of mutants. However, we do not know the neural activity patterns in C. elegans that are sufficient to control its complex chemotactic behaviour. To understand how the activity in its interneurons coordinate different motor programs to lead the animal to food, here we used optogenetics and new optical tools to manipulate neural activity directly in freely moving animals to evoke chemotactic behaviour. By deducing the classes of activity patterns triggered during chemotaxis and exciting individual neurons with these patterns, we identified interneurons that control the essential locomotory programs for this behaviour. Notably, we discovered that controlling the dynamics of activity in just one interneuron pair (AIY) was sufficient to force the animal to locate, turn towards and track virtual light gradients. Two distinct activity patterns triggered in AIY as the animal moved through the gradient controlled reversals and gradual turns to drive chemotactic behaviour. Because AIY neurons are post-synaptic to most chemosensory and thermosensory neurons, it is probable that these activity patterns in AIY have an important role in controlling and coordinating different taxis behaviours of the animal. PMID:23000898

  15. Germline Transformation of Caenorhabditis elegans by Injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadandale, Pavan; Chatterjee, Indrani; Singson, Andrew

    Microinjection is a commonly used technique for DNA transformation in Caenorhabditis elegans. It is a powerful tool that links genetic and molecular analysis to phenotypic analysis. In this chapter we shall provide an overview of microinjection for germline transformation in worms. Our discussion will emphasize C. elegans reproductive biology, applications and protocols for carrying out microinjection in order to successfully obtain transgenic worms.

  16. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Ryan Patrick; Bokinsky, Alexandra; Santella, Anthony; Wu, Yicong; Marquina-Solis, Javier; Guo, Min; Kovacevic, Ismar; Kumar, Abhishek; Winter, Peter W; Tashakkori, Nicole; McCreedy, Evan; Liu, Huafeng; McAuliffe, Matthew; Mohler, William; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A; Bao, Zhirong; Shroff, Hari

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a simple embryonic nervous system with few enough neurons that the growth of each cell could be followed to provide a systems-level view of development. However, studies of single cell development have largely been conducted in fixed or pre-twitching live embryos, because of technical difficulties associated with embryo movement in late embryogenesis. We present open-source untwisting and annotation software (http://mipav.cit.nih.gov/plugin_jws/mipav_worm_plugin.php) that allows the investigation of neurodevelopmental events in late embryogenesis and apply it to track the 3D positions of seam cell nuclei, neurons, and neurites in multiple elongating embryos. We also provide a tutorial describing how to use the software (Supplementary file 1) and a detailed description of the untwisting algorithm (Appendix). The detailed positional information we obtained enabled us to develop a composite model showing movement of these cells and neurites in an 'average' worm embryo. The untwisting and cell tracking capabilities of our method provide a foundation on which to catalog C. elegans neurodevelopment, allowing interrogation of developmental events in previously inaccessible periods of embryogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10070.001 PMID:26633880

  17. Gait synchronization in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Jinzhou; Raizen, David M.; Bau, Haim H.

    2014-01-01

    Collective motion is observed in swarms of swimmers of various sizes, ranging from self-propelled nanoparticles to fish. The mechanisms that govern interactions among individuals are debated, and vary from one species to another. Although the interactions among relatively large animals, such as fish, are controlled by their nervous systems, the interactions among microorganisms, which lack nervous systems, are controlled through physical and chemical pathways. Little is known, however, regarding the mechanism of collective movements in microscopic organisms with nervous systems. To attempt to remedy this, we studied collective swimming behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a microorganism with a compact nervous system. We evaluated the contributions of hydrodynamic forces, contact forces, and mechanosensory input to the interactions among individuals. We devised an experiment to examine pair interactions as a function of the distance between the animals and observed that gait synchronization occurred only when the animals were in close proximity, independent of genes required for mechanosensation. Our measurements and simulations indicate that steric hindrance is the dominant factor responsible for motion synchronization in C. elegans, and that hydrodynamic interactions and genotype do not play a significant role. We infer that a similar mechanism may apply to other microscopic swimming organisms and self-propelled particles. PMID:24778261

  18. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Ryan Patrick; Bokinsky, Alexandra; Santella, Anthony; Wu, Yicong; Marquina-Solis, Javier; Guo, Min; Kovacevic, Ismar; Kumar, Abhishek; Winter, Peter W; Tashakkori, Nicole; McCreedy, Evan; Liu, Huafeng; McAuliffe, Matthew; Mohler, William; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A; Bao, Zhirong; Shroff, Hari

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a simple embryonic nervous system with few enough neurons that the growth of each cell could be followed to provide a systems-level view of development. However, studies of single cell development have largely been conducted in fixed or pre-twitching live embryos, because of technical difficulties associated with embryo movement in late embryogenesis. We present open-source untwisting and annotation software (http://mipav.cit.nih.gov/plugin_jws/mipav_worm_plugin.php) that allows the investigation of neurodevelopmental events in late embryogenesis and apply it to track the 3D positions of seam cell nuclei, neurons, and neurites in multiple elongating embryos. We also provide a tutorial describing how to use the software (Supplementary file 1) and a detailed description of the untwisting algorithm (Appendix). The detailed positional information we obtained enabled us to develop a composite model showing movement of these cells and neurites in an 'average' worm embryo. The untwisting and cell tracking capabilities of our method provide a foundation on which to catalog C. elegans neurodevelopment, allowing interrogation of developmental events in previously inaccessible periods of embryogenesis. PMID:26633880

  19. Controlling neural activity in Caenorhabditis elegans to evoke chemotactic behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocabas, Askin; Shen, Ching-Han; Guo, Zengcai V.; Ramanathan, Sharad

    2013-03-01

    Animals locate and track chemoattractive gradients in the environment to find food. With its simple nervous system, Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model system in which to understand how the dynamics of neural activity control this search behavior. To understand how the activity in its interneurons coordinate different motor programs to lead the animal to food, here we used optogenetics and new optical tools to manipulate neural activity directly in freely moving animals to evoke chemotactic behavior. By deducing the classes of activity patterns triggered during chemotaxis and exciting individual neurons with these patterns, we identified interneurons that control the essential locomotory programs for this behavior. Notably, we discovered that controlling the dynamics of activity in just one interneuron pair was sufficient to force the animal to locate, turn towards and track virtual light gradients.

  20. Optogenetic mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Noma, Kentaro; Jin, Yishi

    2015-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can modify and damage DNA. Here we report an optogenetic mutagenesis approach that is free of toxic chemicals and easy to perform by taking advantage of a genetically encoded ROS generator. This method relies on the potency of ROS generation by His-mSOG, the mini singlet oxygen generator, miniSOG, fused to a histone. Caenorhabditis elegans expressing His-mSOG in the germline behave and reproduce normally, without photoinduction. Following exposure to blue light, the His-mSOG animals produce progeny with a wide range of heritable phenotypes. We show that optogenetic mutagenesis by His-mSOG induces a broad spectrum of mutations including single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), chromosomal deletions, as well as integration of extrachromosomal transgenes, which complements those derived from traditional chemical or radiation mutagenesis. The optogenetic mutagenesis expands the toolbox for forward genetic screening and also provides direct evidence that nuclear ROS can induce heritable and specific genetic mutations. PMID:26632265

  1. Regulation of metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans longevity.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Marco; Riddle, Donald L

    2010-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a favorite model for the study of aging. A wealth of genetic and genomic studies show that metabolic regulation is a hallmark of life-span modulation. A recent study in BMC Biology identifying metabolic signatures for longevity suggests that amino-acid pools may be important in longevity. PMID:20156326

  2. Cytological Analysis of Meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, Carolyn M.; McDonald, Kent L.; Dernburg, Abby F.

    2011-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as an informative experimental system for analysis of meiosis, in large part because of the advantageous physical organization of meiotic nuclei as a gradient of stages within the germline. Here we provide tools for detailed observational studies of cells within the worm gonad, including techniques for light and electron microscopy. PMID:19685325

  3. Regulation of body fat in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Supriya

    2015-01-01

    Over the past decade, studies conducted in Caenorhabditis elegans have helped to uncover the ancient and complex origins of body fat regulation. This review highlights the powerful combination of genetics, pharmacology, and biochemistry used to study energy balance and the regulation of cellular fat metabolism in C. elegans. The complete wiring diagram of the C. elegans nervous system has been exploited to understand how the sensory nervous system regulates body fat and how food perception is coupled with the production of energy via fat metabolism. As a model organism, C. elegans also offers a unique opportunity to discover neuroendocrine factors that mediate direct communication between the nervous system and the metabolic tissues. The coming years are expected to reveal a wealth of information on the neuroendocrine control of body fat in C. elegans. PMID:25340962

  4. Emergence of long timescales and stereotyped behaviors in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Greg J; Bueno de Mesquita, Matthew; Ryu, William S; Bialek, William

    2011-05-01

    Animal behaviors often are decomposable into discrete, stereotyped elements, well separated in time. In one model, such behaviors are triggered by specific commands; in the extreme case, the discreteness of behavior is traced to the discreteness of action potentials in the individual command neurons. Here, we use the crawling behavior of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to demonstrate the opposite view, in which discreteness, stereotypy, and long timescales emerge from the collective dynamics of the behavior itself. In previous work, we found that as C. elegans crawls, its body moves through a "shape space" in which four dimensions capture approximately 95% of the variance in body shape. Here we show that stochastic dynamics within this shape space predicts transitions between attractors corresponding to abrupt reversals in crawling direction. With no free parameters, our inferred stochastic dynamical system generates reversal timescales and stereotyped trajectories in close agreement with experimental observations. We use the stochastic dynamics to show that the noise amplitude decreases systematically with increasing time away from food, resulting in longer bouts of forward crawling and suggesting that worms can use noise to modify their locomotory behavior. PMID:21502536

  5. Genistein from Vigna angularis Extends Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Eun Byeol; Ahn, Dalrae; Kim, Ban Ji; Lee, So Yeon; Seo, Hyun Won; Cha, Youn-Soo; Jeon, Hoon; Eun, Jae Soon; Cha, Dong Seok; Kim, Dae Keun

    2015-01-01

    The seed of Vigna angularis has long been cultivated as a food or a folk medicine in East Asia. Genistein (4′,5,7-trihydroxyisoflavone), a dietary phytoestrogen present in this plant, has been known to possess various biological properties. In this study, we investigated the possible lifespan-extending effects of genistein using Caenorhabditis elegans model system. We found that the lifespan of nematode was significantly prolonged in the presence of genistein under normal culture condition. In addition, genistein elevated the survival rate of nematode against stressful environment including heat and oxidative conditions. Further studies demonstrated that genistein-mediated increased stress tolerance of nematode could be attributed to enhanced expressions of stress resistance proteins such as superoxide dismutase (SOD-3) and heat shock protein (HSP-16.2). Moreover, we failed to find genistein-induced significant change in aging-related factors including reproduction, food intake, and growth, indicating genistein exerts longevity activity independent of affecting these factors. Genistein treatment also led to an up-regulation of locomotory ability of aged nematode, suggesting genistein affects healthspan as well as lifespan of nematode. Our results represent that genistein has beneficial effects on the lifespan of C. elegans under both of normal and stress condition via elevating expressions of stress resistance proteins. PMID:25593647

  6. Laser Microsurgery in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Fang-Yen, Christopher; Gabel, Christopher V.; Samuel, Aravinthan D. T.; Bargmann, Cornelia I.; Avery, Leon

    2013-01-01

    Laser killing of cell nuclei has long been a powerful means of examining the roles of individual cells in C. elegans. Advances in genetics, laser technology, and imaging have further expanded the capabilities and usefulness of laser surgery. Here, we review the implementation and application of currently used methods for target edoptical disruption in C. elegans. PMID:22226524

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans as an alternative animal species.

    PubMed

    Williams, P L; Anderson, G L; Johnstone, J L; Nunn, A D; Tweedle, M F; Wedeking, P

    2000-12-29

    Caenorhabditis elegans has proven useful in toxicity testing of known toxicants, but its potential for assessing the toxicity of new pharmaceuticals is relatively unexplored. In this study the procedures used in aquatic testing of toxicants were modified to permit testing of small amounts (<40 mg) of gadolinium-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compounds. Five blinded compounds were tested. The toxicity of these compounds determined using C. elegans was compared to existing mammalian test system data (minimum lethal dose [MLD] values for mice). Four of five compounds tested had the same relative sensitivity with C. elegans as with the mouse test system. Testing with C. elegans is efficient and could markedly reduce the cost of screening potentially useful compounds. PMID:11132694

  8. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Jeremy C.; Cutter, Asher D.

    2014-01-01

    Experimental evolution provides a powerful manipulative tool for probing evolutionary process and mechanism. As this approach to hypothesis testing has taken purchase in biology, so too has the number of experimental systems that use it, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses. The depth of biological knowledge about Caenorhabditis nematodes, combined with their laboratory tractability, positions them well for exploiting experimental evolution in animal systems to understand deep questions in evolution and ecology, as well as in molecular genetics and systems biology. To date, Caenorhabditis elegans and related species have proved themselves in experimental evolution studies of the process of mutation, host–pathogen coevolution, mating system evolution and life-history theory. Yet these organisms are not broadly recognized for their utility for evolution experiments and remain underexploited. Here, we outline this experimental evolution work undertaken so far in Caenorhabditis, detail simple methodological tricks that can be exploited and identify research areas that are ripe for future discovery. PMID:24430852

  9. Dopamine regulates body size in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Nagashima, Takashi; Oami, Eitaro; Kutsuna, Natsumaro; Ishiura, Shoichi; Suo, Satoshi

    2016-04-01

    The nervous system plays a critical role in the regulation of animal body sizes. In Caenorhabditis elegans, an amine neurotransmitter, dopamine, is required for the tactile perception of food and food-dependent behavioral changes, while its role in development is unknown. In this study, we show that dopamine negatively regulates body size through a D2-like dopamine receptor, DOP-3, in C. elegans. Dopamine alters body size without affecting food intake or developmental rate. We also found that dopamine promotes egg-laying, although the regulation of body size by dopamine was not solely caused by this effect. Furthermore, dopamine negatively regulates body size through the suppression of signaling by octopamine and Gq-coupled octopamine receptors, SER-3 and SER-6. Our results demonstrate that dopamine and octopamine regulate the body size of C. elegans and suggest a potential role for perception in addition to ingestion of food for growth. PMID:26921458

  10. Analysis of apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lant, Benjamin; Derry, W Brent

    2014-05-01

    The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has provided researchers with a wealth of information on the molecular mechanisms controlling programmed cell death (apoptosis). Its genetic tractability, optical clarity, and relatively short lifespan are key advantages for rapid assessment of apoptosis in vivo. The use of forward and reverse genetics methodology, coupled with in vivo imaging, has provided deep insights into how a multicellular organism orchestrates the self-destruction of specific cells during development and in response to exogenous stresses. Strains of C. elegans carrying mutations in the core elements of the apoptotic pathway, or in tissue-specific regulators of apoptosis, can be used for genetic analyses to reveal conserved mechanisms by which apoptosis is regulated in the somatic and reproductive (germline) tissue. Here we present an introduction to the study of apoptosis in C. elegans, including current techniques for visualization, analysis, and screening. PMID:24786497

  11. Phospholipase Cepsilon regulates ovulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kariya, Ken-Ichi; Bui, Yen Kim; Gao, Xianlong; Sternberg, Paul W; Kataoka, Tohru

    2004-10-01

    Phospholipase Cepsilon (PLCepsilon) is a novel class of phosphoinositide-specific PLC with unknown physiological functions. Here, we present the first genetic analysis of PLCepsilon in an intact organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Ovulation in C. elegans is dependent on an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) signaling pathway activated by the receptor tyrosine kinase LET-23. We generated deletion mutants of the gene, plc-1, encoding C. elegans PLCepsilon. We observed a novel ovulation phenotype whereby oocytes are trapped in the spermatheca due to delayed dilation of the spermatheca-uterine valve. The expression of plc-1 in the adult spermatheca is consistent with its involvement in regulation of ovulation. On the other hand, we failed to observe genetic interaction of plc-1 with let-23-mediated IP(3) signaling pathway genes, suggesting a complex mechanism for control of ovulation. PMID:15355798

  12. Caenorhabditis elegans proteomics comes of age.

    PubMed

    Shim, Yhong-Hee; Paik, Young-Ki

    2010-02-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living soil nematode, is an ideal model system for studying various physiological problems relevant to human diseases. Despite its short history, C. elegans proteomics is receiving great attention in multiple research areas, including the genome annotation, major signaling pathways (e.g. TGF-beta and insulin/IGF-1 signaling), verification of RNA interference-mediated gene targeting, aging, disease models, as well as peptidomic analysis of neuropeptides involved in behavior and locomotion. For example, a proteome-wide profiling of developmental and aging processes not only provides basic information necessary for constructing a molecular network, but also identifies important target proteins for chemical modulation. Although C. elegans has a simple body system and neural circuitry, it exhibits very complicated functions ranging from feeding to locomotion. Investigation of these functions through proteomic analysis of various C. elegans neuropeptides, some of which are not found in the predicted genome sequence, would open a new field of peptidomics. Given the importance of nematode infection in plants and mammalian pathogenesis pathways, proteomics could be applied to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying plant- or animal-nematode pathogenesis and to identify novel antinematodal drugs. Thus, C. elegans proteomics, in combination of other molecular, biological and genetic techniques, would provide a versatile new tool box for the systematic analysis of gene functions throughout the entire life cycle of this nematode. PMID:20029841

  13. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research.

    PubMed

    Muthaiyan Shanmugam, Muniesh; Subhra Santra, Tuhin

    2016-01-01

    The study of model organisms is very important in view of their potential for application to human therapeutic uses. One such model organism is the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. As a nematode, C. elegans have ~65% similarity with human disease genes and, therefore, studies on C. elegans can be translated to human, as well as, C. elegans can be used in the study of different types of parasitic worms that infect other living organisms. In the past decade, many efforts have been undertaken to establish interdisciplinary research collaborations between biologists, physicists and engineers in order to develop microfluidic devices to study the biology of C. elegans. Microfluidic devices with the power to manipulate and detect bio-samples, regents or biomolecules in micro-scale environments can well fulfill the requirement to handle worms under proper laboratory conditions, thereby significantly increasing research productivity and knowledge. The recent development of different kinds of microfluidic devices with ultra-high throughput platforms has enabled researchers to carry out worm population studies. Microfluidic devices primarily comprises of chambers, channels and valves, wherein worms can be cultured, immobilized, imaged, etc. Microfluidic devices have been adapted to study various worm behaviors, including that deepen our understanding of neuromuscular connectivity and functions. This review will provide a clear account of the vital involvement of microfluidic devices in worm biology. PMID:27490525

  14. The laboratory domestication of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sterken, Mark G.; Snoek, L. Basten; Kammenga, Jan E.; Andersen, Erik C.

    2015-01-01

    Model organisms are of great importance to understanding basic biology and to making advances in biomedical research. However, the influence of laboratory cultivation on these organisms is underappreciated, especially how that environment can affect research outcomes. Recent experiments led to insights into how the widely used laboratory reference strain of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans compares to natural strains. Here, we describe potential selective pressures that led to fixation of laboratory-derived alleles for the genes npr-1, glb-5, and nath-10. These alleles influence a large number of traits, resulting in behaviors that affect experimental interpretations. Furthermore, strong phenotypic effects caused by these laboratory-derived alleles hinder the discovery of natural alleles. We highlight strategies to reduce the influences of laboratory-derived alleles and to harness the full power of C. elegans. PMID:25804345

  15. Dietary choice behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Shtonda, Boris Borisovich; Avery, Leon

    2006-01-01

    Animals have evolved diverse behaviors that serve the purpose of finding food in the environment. We investigated the food seeking strategy of the soil bacteria-eating nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans bacterial food varies in quality: some species are easy to eat and support worm growth well, while others do not. We show that worms exhibit dietary choice: they hunt for high quality food and leave hard-to-eat bacteria. This food seeking behavior is enhanced in animals that have already experienced good food. When hunting for good food, worms alternate between two modes of locomotion, known as dwelling: movement with frequent stops and reversals; and roaming: straight rapid movement. On good food, roaming is very rare, while on bad food it is common. Using laser ablations and mutant analysis, we show that the AIY neurons serve to extend roaming periods, and are essential for efficient food seeking. PMID:16354781

  16. Lamin-Binding Proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Dobrzynska, Agnieszka; Askjaer, Peter; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2016-01-01

    The nuclear lamina, composed of lamins and numerous lamin-associated proteins, is required for mechanical stability, mechanosensing, chromatin organization, developmental gene regulation, mRNA transcription, DNA replication, nuclear assembly, and nuclear positioning. Mutations in lamins or lamin-binding proteins cause at least 18 distinct human diseases that affect specific tissues such as muscle, adipose, bone, nerve, or skin, and range from muscular dystrophies to lipodystrophy, peripheral neuropathy, or accelerated aging. Caenorhabditis elegans has unique advantages in studying lamin-binding proteins. These advantages include the low complexity of genes encoding lamin and lamin-binding proteins, advanced transgenic techniques, simple application of RNA interference, sophisticated genetic strategies, and a large collection of mutant lines. This chapter provides detailed and comprehensive protocols for the genetic and phenotypic analysis of lamin-binding proteins in C. elegans. PMID:26778571

  17. Measurements of behavioral quiescence in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Nagy, Stanislav; Raizen, David M; Biron, David

    2014-08-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans, a long time work horse for behavioral genetic studies of locomotion, has recently been studied for quiescent behavior. Methods previously established for the study of C. elegans locomotion are not well-suited for the study of quiescent behavior. We describe in detail two computer vision approaches to distinguish quiescent from movement bouts focusing on the behavioral quiescence that occurs during fourth larval stage lethargus, a transition stage between the larva and the adult. The first is the frame subtraction method, which consists of subtraction of temporally adjacent images as a sensitive way to detect motion. The second, which is more computationally intensive, is the posture analysis method, which consists of analysis of the rate of local angle change of the animal's body. Quiescence measurements should be done continuously while minimizing sensory perturbation of the animal. PMID:24642199

  18. Mechanisms of iron metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Cole P.; Leibold, Elizabeth A.

    2014-01-01

    Iron is involved in many biological processes essential for sustaining life. In excess, iron is toxic due to its ability to catalyze the formation of free radicals that damage macromolecules. Organisms have developed specialized mechanisms to tightly regulate iron uptake, storage and efflux. Over the past decades, vertebrate model organisms have led to the identification of key genes and pathways that regulate systemic and cellular iron metabolism. This review provides an overview of iron metabolism in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans and highlights recent studies on the role of hypoxia and insulin signaling in the regulation of iron metabolism. Given that iron, hypoxia and insulin signaling pathways are evolutionarily conserved, C. elegans provides a genetic model organism that promises to provide new insights into mechanisms regulating mammalian iron metabolism. PMID:24904417

  19. Proteomics applications in Caenorhabditis elegans research.

    PubMed

    Husson, Steven J; Moyson, Sofie; Valkenborg, Dirk; Baggerman, Geert; Mertens, Inge

    2015-12-25

    The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most studied models in a wide variety of research fields with applications in agro- or pharmaceutical industries. It has been used for the development of new anthelminthic drugs and was proven to yield key insights in neurodegenerative diseases and metabolic syndromes. Due to its suitability for high-throughput genetic screens, efficiency for RNA interference approaches and the availability of thousands of mutants, most studies were carried out at the genetic level. However, determining the cellular function of each gene product remains an unfinished goal in this post-genomic era. A systems biology approach focusing on the actual gene products (i.e. proteins) can help unraveling this puzzle. A fundamental pillar in this research is mass spectrometry-based proteomics. We here provide an in-depth overview of proteomics-related studies in C. elegans research, with special emphasis on the methodologies and biological applications. PMID:26585491

  20. Biogenic magnetite in the nematode caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Cranfield, Charles G; Dawe, Adam; Karloukovski, Vassil; Dunin-Borkowski, Rafal E; de Pomerai, David; Dobson, Jon

    2004-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model system in biological research. Recently, examination of the production of heat-shock proteins in this organism in response to mobile phone-type electromagnetic field exposure produced the most robust demonstration to date of a non-thermal, deleterious biological effect. Though these results appear to be a sound demonstration of non-thermal bioeffects, to our knowledge, no mechanism has been proposed to explain them. We show, apparently for the first time, that biogenic magnetite, a ferrimagnetic iron oxide, is present in C. elegans. Its presence may have confounding effects on experiments involving electromagnetic fields as well as implications for the use of this nematode as a model system for iron biomineralization in multi-cellular organisms. PMID:15801597

  1. The invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans biosynthesizes ascorbate

    PubMed Central

    Patananan, Alexander N.; Budenholzer, Lauren M.; Pedraza, Maria E.; Torres, Eric R.; Adler, Lital N.; Clarke, Steven G.

    2015-01-01

    L-ascorbate, commonly known as vitamin C, serves as an antioxidant and cofactor essential for many biological processes. Distinct ascorbate biosynthetic pathways have been established for animals and plants, but little is known about the presence or synthesis of this molecule in invertebrate species. We have investigated ascorbate metabolism in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, where this molecule would be expected to play roles in oxidative stress resistance and as cofactor in collagen and neurotransmitter synthesis. Using high-performance liquid chromatography and gas-chromatography mass spectrometry, we determined that ascorbate is present at low amounts in the egg stage, L1 larvae, and mixed animal populations, with the egg stage containing the highest concentrations. Incubating C. elegans with precursor molecules necessary for ascorbate synthesis in plants and animals did not significantly alter ascorbate levels. Furthermore, bioinformatic analyses did not support the presence in C. elegans of either the plant or the animal biosynthetic pathway. However, we observed the complete 13C-labeling of ascorbate when C. elegans was grown with 13C-labeled Escherichia coli as a food source. These results support the hypothesis that ascorbate biosynthesis in invertebrates may proceed by a novel pathway and lay the foundation for a broader understanding of its biological role. PMID:25668719

  2. Hormetic effect of methylmercury on Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Helmcke, Kirsten J. Aschner, Michael

    2010-10-15

    Research has demonstrated the toxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg), yet molecular mechanisms underlying its toxicity are not completely understood. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers a unique biological model to explore mechanisms of MeHg toxicity given many advantages associated with its ease of use and genetic power. Since our previous work indicated neurotoxic resistance of C. elegans to MeHg, the present study was designed to examine molecular mechanisms associated with this resistance. We hypothesized MeHg would induce expression of gst, hsp or mtl in vivo since glutathione (GSH), heat shock proteins (HSPs), and metallothioneins (MTs) have shown involvement in MeHg toxicity. Our studies demonstrated a modest, but significant increase in fluorescence in gst-4::GFP and mtl-1::GFP strains at an acute, low L1 MeHg exposure, whereas chronic L4 MeHg exposure induced expression of gst-4::GFP and hsp-4::GFP. Knockout gst-4 animals showed no alterations in lethality sensitivity compared to wildtype animals whereas mtl knockouts displayed increased sensitivity to MeHg exposure. GSH levels were increased by acute MeHg treatment and depleted with chronic exposure. We also demonstrate that MeHg induces hormesis, a phenotype whereby a sublethal exposure to MeHg rendered C. elegans resistant to subsequent exposure to the organometal. The involvement of gst-4, hsp-4, mtl-1, and mtl-2 in hormesis was examined. An increase in gst-4::GFP expression after a low-dose acute exposure to MeHg indicated that gst-4 may be involved in this response. Our results implicate GSH, HSPs, and MTs in protecting C. elegans from MeHg toxicity and show a potential role of gst-4 in MeHg-induced hormesis.

  3. Hormetic effect of methylmercury on Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Helmcke, Kirsten J; Aschner, Michael

    2010-10-15

    Research has demonstrated the toxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg), yet molecular mechanisms underlying its toxicity are not completely understood. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers a unique biological model to explore mechanisms of MeHg toxicity given many advantages associated with its ease of use and genetic power. Since our previous work indicated neurotoxic resistance of C. elegans to MeHg, the present study was designed to examine molecular mechanisms associated with this resistance. We hypothesized MeHg would induce expression of gst, hsp or mtl in vivo since glutathione (GSH), heat shock proteins (HSPs), and metallothioneins (MTs) have shown involvement in MeHg toxicity. Our studies demonstrated a modest, but significant increase in fluorescence in gst-4::GFP and mtl-1::GFP strains at an acute, low L1 MeHg exposure, whereas chronic L4 MeHg exposure induced expression of gst-4::GFP and hsp-4::GFP. Knockout gst-4 animals showed no alterations in lethality sensitivity compared to wildtype animals whereas mtl knockouts displayed increased sensitivity to MeHg exposure. GSH levels were increased by acute MeHg treatment and depleted with chronic exposure. We also demonstrate that MeHg induces hormesis, a phenotype whereby a sublethal exposure to MeHg rendered C. elegans resistant to subsequent exposure to the organometal. The involvement of gst-4, hsp-4, mtl-1, and mtl-2 in hormesis was examined. An increase in gst-4::GFP expression after a low-dose acute exposure to MeHg indicated that gst-4 may be involved in this response. Our results implicate GSH, HSPs, and MTs in protecting C. elegans from MeHg toxicity and show a potential role of gst-4 in MeHg-induced hormesis. PMID:20691719

  4. Caenorhabditis elegans vulval cell fate patterning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Félix, Marie-Anne

    2012-08-01

    The spatial patterning of three cell fates in a row of competent cells is exemplified by vulva development in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The intercellular signaling network that underlies fate specification is well understood, yet quantitative aspects remain to be elucidated. Quantitative models of the network allow us to test the effect of parameter variation on the cell fate pattern output. Among the parameter sets that allow us to reach the wild-type pattern, two general developmental patterning mechanisms of the three fates can be found: sequential inductions and morphogen-based induction, the former being more robust to parameter variation. Experimentally, the vulval cell fate pattern is robust to stochastic and environmental challenges, and minor variants can be detected. The exception is the fate of the anterior cell, P3.p, which is sensitive to stochastic variation and spontaneous mutation, and is also evolving the fastest. Other vulval precursor cell fates can be affected by mutation, yet little natural variation can be found, suggesting stabilizing selection. Despite this fate pattern conservation, different Caenorhabditis species respond differently to perturbations of the system. In the quantitative models, different parameter sets can reconstitute their response to perturbation, suggesting that network variation among Caenorhabditis species may be quantitative. Network rewiring likely occurred at longer evolutionary scales.

  5. CLC chloride channels in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Schriever, A M; Friedrich, T; Pusch, M; Jentsch, T J

    1999-11-26

    The genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans encodes six putative chloride channels (CeCLC-1 through CeCLC-6) that represent all three known branches of the mammalian CLC gene family. Using promoter fragments to drive the expression of the green fluorescent protein, CeCLC-2, -3, and -4 expression was studied in transgenic C. elegans. CeCLC-4 was specifically expressed in the large H-shaped excretory cell, where it was co-expressed with CeCLC-3, which is also expressed in other cells, including neurons, muscles, and epithelial cells. Also, CeCLC-2 was expressed in several cells of the nervous system, intestinal cells, and vulval muscle cells. Similar to mammalian CLC proteins, only two nematode CLC channels elicited detectable plasma membrane currents in Xenopus oocytes. CeCLC-3 currents were inwardly rectifying and were activated by positive prepulses. Its complex gating behavior can be explained by two gates, at least one of which depends on extracellular anions. In this respect it resembles some mammalian chloride channels with which it also shares a preference of chloride over iodide. C. elegans thus provides new opportunities to understand common mechanisms underlying structure and function in CLC channels and will allow for a genetic dissection of chloride channels in this simple model organism. PMID:10567397

  6. Programmed Cell Death During Caenorhabditis elegans Development.

    PubMed

    Conradt, Barbara; Wu, Yi-Chun; Xue, Ding

    2016-08-01

    Programmed cell death is an integral component of Caenorhabditis elegans development. Genetic and reverse genetic studies in C. elegans have led to the identification of many genes and conserved cell death pathways that are important for the specification of which cells should live or die, the activation of the suicide program, and the dismantling and removal of dying cells. Molecular, cell biological, and biochemical studies have revealed the underlying mechanisms that control these three phases of programmed cell death. In particular, the interplay of transcriptional regulatory cascades and networks involving multiple transcriptional regulators is crucial in activating the expression of the key death-inducing gene egl-1 and, in some cases, the ced-3 gene in cells destined to die. A protein interaction cascade involving EGL-1, CED-9, CED-4, and CED-3 results in the activation of the key cell death protease CED-3, which is tightly controlled by multiple positive and negative regulators. The activation of the CED-3 caspase then initiates the cell disassembly process by cleaving and activating or inactivating crucial CED-3 substrates; leading to activation of multiple cell death execution events, including nuclear DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial elimination, phosphatidylserine externalization, inactivation of survival signals, and clearance of apoptotic cells. Further studies of programmed cell death in C. elegans will continue to advance our understanding of how programmed cell death is regulated, activated, and executed in general. PMID:27516615

  7. Toxicological Effects of Fullerenes on Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schomaker, Justin; Snook, Renee; Howell, Carina

    2014-03-01

    The nematode species Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful genetic model organism due to its simplicity and the substantial molecular, genetic, and developmental knowledge about the species. In this study, this species was used to test the toxicological effects of C60 fullerene nanoparticles. In previous studies using rats, a solution of C60 fullerenes in olive oil proved to extend the life of the subjects. The purpose of this experiment was to subject C. elegans to varying concentrations of C60 fullerenes and observe their toxicological effects. Initial findings indicate a link between fullerene exposure and enlargement of the vulva as well as the formation of a small nodule at the base of the tail in some individuals. While the fullerenes are not lethally toxic in C. elegans, results will be presented that pertain to changes in life span and progeny of the nematodes exposed to varying concentrations of fullerenes as well as the mechanisms of toxicity. High magnification imaging via SEM and/or AFM will be used to characterize the fullerene nanoparticles. Testing the toxicity of fullerenes in a wide variety of organisms will lead to a more complete understanding of the effects of fullerenes on living organisms to ultimately understand their effects in humans. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grants DUE-1058829, DMR-0923047, DUE-0806660 and Lock Haven FPDC grants.

  8. Control of Neuronal Network in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Badhwar, Rahul; Bagler, Ganesh

    2015-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a soil dwelling nematode, is evolutionarily rudimentary and contains only ∼ 300 neurons which are connected to each other via chemical synapses and gap junctions. This structural connectivity can be perceived as nodes and edges of a graph. Controlling complex networked systems (such as nervous system) has been an area of excitement for mankind. Various methods have been developed to identify specific brain regions, which when controlled by external input can lead to achievement of control over the state of the system. But in case of neuronal connectivity network the properties of neurons identified as driver nodes is of much importance because nervous system can produce a variety of states (behaviour of the animal). Hence to gain insight on the type of control achieved in nervous system we implemented the notion of structural control from graph theory to C. elegans neuronal network. We identified ‘driver neurons’ which can provide full control over the network. We studied phenotypic properties of these neurons which are referred to as ‘phenoframe’ as well as the ‘genoframe’ which represents their genetic correlates. We find that the driver neurons are primarily motor neurons located in the ventral nerve cord and contribute to biological reproduction of the animal. Identification of driver neurons and its characterization adds a new dimension in controllability of C. elegans neuronal network. This study suggests the importance of driver neurons and their utility to control the behaviour of the organism. PMID:26413834

  9. Bacterial attraction and quorum sensing inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans exudates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a bacterivorous soil nematode, lives in a complex environment that requires chemical communication for mating, monitoring population density, recognition of food, avoidance of pathogenic microbes, and other essential ecological functions. Despite being one of the best-studied...

  10. Quantification of Glutathione in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Caito, Samuel W.; Aschner, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Glutathione (GSH) is the most abundant intracellular thiol with diverse functions from redox signaling, xenobiotic detoxification, and apoptosis. The quantification of GSH is an important measure for redox capacity and oxidative stress. This protocol quantifies total GSH from Caenorhabditis elegans, an emerging model organism for toxicology studies. GSH is measured using the 5,5′-dithiobis-(2-nitrobenzoic acid) (DTNB) cycling method originally created for cell and tissue samples but optimized for whole worm extracts. DTNB reacts with GSH to from a 5′-thio-2-nitrobenzoic acid (TNB) chromophore with maximum absorbance of 412 nm. This method is both rapid and sensitive, making it ideal for studies involving a large number of transgenic nematode strains. PMID:26309452

  11. Chemotaxis of crawling and swimming Caenorhabditis Elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patel, Amar; Bilbao, Alejandro; Padmanabhan, Venkat; Khan, Zeina; Armstrong, Andrew; Rumbaugh, Kendra; Vanapalli, Siva; Blawzdziewicz, Jerzy

    2012-11-01

    A soil-dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis Elegans efficiently navigates through complex environments, responding to chemical signals to find food or avoid danger. According to previous studies, the nematode uses both gradual-turn and run-and-tumble strategies to move in the direction of the increasing concentration of chemical attractants. We show that both these chemotaxis strategies can be described using our kinematic model [PLoS ONE, 7: e40121 (2012)] in which harmonic-curvature modes represent elementary nematode movements. In our chemotaxis model, the statistics of mode changes is governed by the time history of the chemoattractant concentration at the position of the nematode head. We present results for both nematodes crawling without transverse slip and for swimming nematodes. This work was supported by NSF grant No. CBET 1059745.

  12. Ultrafast endocytosis at Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular junctions

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Shigeki; Liu, Qiang; Davis, M Wayne; Hollopeter, Gunther; Thomas, Nikita; Jorgensen, Nels B; Jorgensen, Erik M

    2013-01-01

    Synaptic vesicles can be released at extremely high rates, which places an extraordinary demand on the recycling machinery. Previous ultrastructural studies of vesicle recycling were conducted in dissected preparations using an intense stimulation to maximize the probability of release. Here, a single light stimulus was applied to motor neurons in intact Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes expressing channelrhodopsin, and the animals rapidly frozen. We found that docked vesicles fuse along a broad active zone in response to a single stimulus, and are replenished with a time constant of about 2 s. Endocytosis occurs within 50 ms adjacent to the dense projection and after 1 s adjacent to adherens junctions. These studies suggest that synaptic vesicle endocytosis may occur on a millisecond time scale following a single physiological stimulus in the intact nervous system and is unlikely to conform to current models of endocytosis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00723.001 PMID:24015355

  13. [Caenorhabditis elegans and neuronal death in mammals].

    PubMed

    Selimi, F; Mariani, J; Martinou, J C

    1997-09-01

    The development of the nervous system implies not only the generation of neurons, but also their death. This neuronal death can occur through several mechanisms, one of them being apoptosis. This type of cell death seems to be also implicated in some neurodegenerative diseases. This study of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has led to the discovery of several genes controlling apoptosis in neurons. Two of them, the pro-apoptotic ced3 and the anti-apoptotic ced9, have mammalian homologs. The mammalian homologs to Ced9 form the Bcl-2 family and can be either pro-apoptotic or anti-apoptotic. Some of them, Bcl-x, and Bax have been shown to be involved in neuronal death during development in some pathological situations. The first mammalian homolog of Ced3 to be described was the Interleukin-1b Converting Enzymes (ICE). Since then, many other homologs of the proteases Ced3 and ICE have been discovered constituting the Caspases family. These Cysteinyl Aspartate Specific Proteases are pro-apoptotic in many different systems. Several studies using viral or peptidic inhibitors of the Caspases have demonstrated their role in neuronal death in vitro. In vivo, CPP32, a member of the Caspases family, has been shown to be clearly involved in the development of the nervous system. Finally, the analysis of apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans has led to the discovery of two families of genes involved in the cascade of events inducing neuronal death in mammals. Indeed, the Caspases seem to be controlled by the Bcl-2 family, as Ced3 is by Ced9. PMID:9683996

  14. The microRNAs of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Lee P.; Lau, Nelson C.; Weinstein, Earl G.; Abdelhakim, Aliaa; Yekta, Soraya; Rhoades, Matthew W.; Burge, Christopher B.; Bartel, David P.

    2003-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an abundant class of tiny RNAs thought to regulate the expression of protein-coding genes in plants and animals. In the present study, we describe a computational procedure to identify miRNA genes conserved in more than one genome. Applying this program, known as MiRscan, together with molecular identification and validation methods, we have identified most of the miRNA genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The total number of validated miRNA genes stands at 88, with no more than 35 genes remaining to be detected or validated. These 88 miRNA genes represent 48 gene families; 46 of these families (comprising 86 of the 88 genes) are conserved in Caenorhabditis briggsae, and 22 families are conserved in humans. More than a third of the worm miRNAs, including newly identified members of the lin-4 and let-7 gene families, are differentially expressed during larval development, suggesting a role for these miRNAs in mediating larval developmental transitions. Most are present at very high steady-state levels—more than 1000 molecules per cell, with some exceeding 50,000 molecules per cell. Our census of the worm miRNAs and their expression patterns helps define this class of noncoding RNAs, lays the groundwork for functional studies, and provides the tools for more comprehensive analyses of miRNA genes in other species. PMID:12672692

  15. CRISPR/Cas9-targeted mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Waaijers, Selma; Portegijs, Vincent; Kerver, Jana; Lemmens, Bennie B L G; Tijsterman, Marcel; van den Heuvel, Sander; Boxem, Mike

    2013-11-01

    The generation of genetic mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans has long relied on the selection of mutations in large-scale screens. Directed mutagenesis of specific loci in the genome would greatly speed up analysis of gene function. Here, we adapt the CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate mutations at specific sites in the C. elegans genome. PMID:23979586

  16. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    How can we complement Caenorhabditis elegans genomics and proteomics with a comprehensive structural and functional annotation of its metabolome? Several lines of evidence indicate that small molecules of largely undetermined structure play important roles in C. elegans biology, including key pathw...

  17. Macrorestriction Analysis of Caenorhabditis Elegans Genomic DNA

    PubMed Central

    Browning, H.; Berkowitz, L.; Madej, C.; Paulsen, J. E.; Zolan, M. E.; Strome, S.

    1996-01-01

    The usefulness of genomic physical maps is greatly enhanced by linkage of the physical map with the genetic map. We describe a ``macrorestriction mapping'' procedure for Caenorhabditis elegans that we have applied to this endeavor. High molecular weight, genomic DNA is digested with infrequently cutting restriction enzymes and size-fractionated by pulsed field gel electrophoresis. Southern blots of the gels are probed with clones from the C. elegans physical map. This procedure allows the construction of restriction maps covering several hundred kilobases and the detection of polymorphic restriction fragments using probes that map several hundred kilobases away. We describe several applications of this technique. (1) We determined that the amount of DNA in a previously uncloned region is <220 kb. (2) We mapped the mes-1 gene to a cosmid, by detecting polymorphic restriction fragments associated with a deletion allele of the gene. The 25-kb deletion was initially detected using as a probe sequences located ~400 kb away from the gene. (3) We mapped the molecular endpoint of the deficiency hDf6, and determined that three spontaneously derived duplications in the unc-38-dpy-5 region have very complex molecular structures, containing internal rearrangements and deletions. PMID:8889524

  18. Cellular Symmetry Breaking during Caenorhabditis elegans Development

    PubMed Central

    Munro, Edwin; Bowerman, Bruce

    2009-01-01

    The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has produced a wellspring of insights into mechanisms that govern cellular symmetry breaking during animal development. Here we focus on two highly conserved systems that underlie many of the key symmetry-breaking events that occur during embryonic and larval development in the worm. One involves the interplay between Par proteins, Rho GTPases, and the actomyosin cytoskeleton and mediates asymmetric cell divisions that establish the germline. The other uses elements of the Wnt signaling pathway and a highly reiterative mechanism that distinguishes anterior from posterior daughter cell fates. Much of what we know about these systems comes from intensive study of a few key events—Par/Rho/actomyosin-mediated polarization of the zygote in response to a sperm-derived cue and the Wnt-mediated induction of endoderm at the four-cell stage. However, a growing body of work is revealing how C. elegans exploits elements/variants of these systems to accomplish a diversity of symmetry-breaking tasks throughout embryonic and larval development. PMID:20066102

  19. Widespread Genomic Incompatibilities in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Snoek, L. Basten; Orbidans, Helen E.; Stastna, Jana J.; Aartse, Aafke; Rodriguez, Miriam; Riksen, Joost A.G.; Kammenga, Jan E.; Harvey, Simon C.

    2014-01-01

    In the Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller (BDM) model of speciation, incompatibilities emerge from the deleterious interactions between alleles that are neutral or advantageous in the original genetic backgrounds, i.e., negative epistatic effects. Within species such interactions are responsible for outbreeding depression and F2 (hybrid) breakdown. We sought to identify BDM incompatibilities in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by looking for genomic regions that disrupt egg laying; a complex, highly regulated, and coordinated phenotype. Investigation of introgression lines and recombinant inbred lines derived from the isolates CB4856 and N2 uncovered multiple incompatibility quantitative trait loci (QTL). These QTL produce a synthetic egg-laying defective phenotype not seen in CB4856 and N2 nor in other wild isolates. For two of the QTL regions, results are inconsistent with a model of pairwise interaction between two loci, suggesting that the incompatibilities are a consequence of complex interactions between multiple loci. Analysis of additional life history traits indicates that the QTL regions identified in these screens are associated with effects on other traits such as lifespan and reproduction, suggesting that the incompatibilities are likely to be deleterious. Taken together, these results indicate that numerous BDM incompatibilities that could contribute to reproductive isolation can be detected and mapped within C. elegans. PMID:25128438

  20. Sonogenetics is a non-invasive approach to activating neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Ibsen, Stuart; Tong, Ada; Schutt, Carolyn; Esener, Sadik; Chalasani, Sreekanth H.

    2015-01-01

    A major challenge in neuroscience is to reliably activate individual neurons, particularly those in deeper brain regions. Current optogenetic approaches require invasive surgical procedures to deliver light of specific wavelengths to target cells to activate or silence them. Here, we demonstrate the use of low-pressure ultrasound as a non-invasive trigger to activate specific ultrasonically sensitized neurons in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. We first show that wild-type animals are insensitive to low-pressure ultrasound and require gas-filled microbubbles to transduce the ultrasound wave. We find that neuron-specific misexpression of TRP-4, the pore-forming subunit of a mechanotransduction channel, sensitizes neurons to ultrasound stimulus, resulting in behavioural outputs. Furthermore, we use this approach to manipulate the function of sensory neurons and interneurons and identify a role for PVD sensory neurons in modifying locomotory behaviours. We suggest that this method can be broadly applied to manipulate cellular functions in vivo. PMID:26372413

  1. Immunoglobulin superfamily proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Teichmann, S A; Chothia, C

    2000-03-10

    The predicted proteins of the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans were analysed by various sequence comparison methods to identify the repertoire of proteins that are members of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF). The IgSF is one of the largest families of protein domain in this genome and likely to be one of the major families in other multicellular eukaryotes too. This is because members of the superfamily are involved in a variety of functions including cell-cell recognition, cell-surface receptors, muscle structure and, in higher organisms, the immune system. Sixty-four proteins with 488 I set IgSF domains were identified largely by using Hidden Markov models. The domain architectures of the protein products of these 64 genes are described. Twenty-one of these had been characterised previously. We show that another 25 are related to proteins of known function. The C. elegans IgSF proteins can be classified into five broad categories: muscle proteins, protein kinases and phosphatases, three categories of proteins involved in the development of the nervous system, leucine-rich repeat containing proteins and proteins without homologues of known function, of which there are 18. The 19 proteins involved in nervous system development that are not kinases or phosphatases are homologues of neuroglian, axonin, NCAM, wrapper, klingon, ICCR and nephrin or belong to the recently identified zig gene family. Out of the set of 64 genes, 22 are on the X chromosome. This study should be seen as an initial description of the IgSF repertoire in C. elegans, because the current gene definitions may contain a number of errors, especially in the case of long sequences, and there may be IgSF genes that have not yet been detected. However, the proteins described here do provide an overview of the bulk of the repertoire of immunoglobulin superfamily members in C. elegans, a framework for refinement and extension of the repertoire as gene and protein definitions improve, and the basis

  2. The Caenorhabditis elegans lipidome: A primer for lipid analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Witting, Michael; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Lipids play important roles in biology, ranging from building blocks of membranes to signaling lipids. The nematode and model organism Caenorhabditis elegans has been used to explore lipid metabolism and several techniques for their analysis have been employed. These techniques include different possibilities ranging from visualization of lipid droplets, analysis of total fatty acids to analysis of complex lipids using lipidomics approaches. Lipidomics evolved from metabolomics, the latest off-spring of the "omics"-technologies and aims to characterize the lipid content of a given organism or system. Although being an extensively studied model organism, only a few applications of lipidomics to C. elegans have been reported to far, but the number is steadily increasing with more applications expected in the near future. This review gives an overview on the C. elegans lipidome, lipid classes it contains and ways to analyze them. It serves as primer for scientists interested in studying lipids in this model organism and list methods used so far and what information can be derived from them. Lastly, challenges and future (methodological) research directions, together with new methods potentially useful for C. elegans lipid research are discussed. PMID:26072113

  3. Big Data in Caenorhabditis elegans: quo vadis?

    PubMed Central

    Hutter, Harald; Moerman, Donald

    2015-01-01

    A clear definition of what constitutes “Big Data” is difficult to identify, but we find it most useful to define Big Data as a data collection that is complete. By this criterion, researchers on Caenorhabditis elegans have a long history of collecting Big Data, since the organism was selected with the idea of obtaining a complete biological description and understanding of development. The complete wiring diagram of the nervous system, the complete cell lineage, and the complete genome sequence provide a framework to phrase and test hypotheses. Given this history, it might be surprising that the number of “complete” data sets for this organism is actually rather small—not because of lack of effort, but because most types of biological experiments are not currently amenable to complete large-scale data collection. Many are also not inherently limited, so that it becomes difficult to even define completeness. At present, we only have partial data on mutated genes and their phenotypes, gene expression, and protein–protein interaction—important data for many biological questions. Big Data can point toward unexpected correlations, and these unexpected correlations can lead to novel investigations; however, Big Data cannot establish causation. As a result, there is much excitement about Big Data, but there is also a discussion on just what Big Data contributes to solving a biological problem. Because of its relative simplicity, C. elegans is an ideal test bed to explore this issue and at the same time determine what is necessary to build a multicellular organism from a single cell. PMID:26543198

  4. The Caenorhabditis elegans septin complex is nonpolar

    PubMed Central

    John, Corinne M; Hite, Richard K; Weirich, Christine S; Fitzgerald, Daniel J; Jawhari, Hatim; Faty, Mahamadou; Schläpfer, Dominik; Kroschewski, Ruth; Winkler, Fritz K; Walz, Tom; Barral, Yves; Steinmetz, Michel O

    2007-01-01

    Septins are conserved GTPases that form heteromultimeric complexes and assemble into filaments that play a critical role in cell division and polarity. Results from budding and fission yeast indicate that septin complexes form around a tetrameric core. However, the molecular structure of the core and its influence on the polarity of septin complexes and filaments is poorly defined. The septin complex of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is formed entirely by the core septins UNC-59 and UNC-61. We show that UNC-59 and UNC-61 form a dimer of coiled-coil-mediated heterodimers. By electron microscopy, this heterotetramer appears as a linear arrangement of four densities representing the four septin subunits. Fusion of GFP to the N termini of UNC-59 and UNC-61 and subsequent electron microscopic visualization suggests that the sequence of septin subunits is UNC-59/UNC-61/UNC-61/UNC-59. Visualization of GFP extensions fused to the extremity of the C-terminal coiled coils indicates that these extend laterally from the heterotetrameric core. Together, our study establishes that the septin core complex is symmetric, and suggests that septins form nonpolar filaments. PMID:17599066

  5. Developmental genetics of the Caenorhabditis elegans pharynx

    PubMed Central

    Pilon, Marc

    2014-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans pharynx is a rhythmically pumping organ composed initially of 80 cells that, through fusions, amount to 62 cells in the adult worm. During the first 100 min of development, most future pharyngeal cells are born and gather into a double-plate primordium surrounded by a basal lamina. All pharyngeal cells express the transcription factor PHA-4, of which the concentration increases throughout development, triggering a sequential activation of genes with promoters responding differentially to PHA-4 protein levels. The oblong-shaped pharyngeal primordium becomes polarized, many cells taking on wedge shapes with their narrow ends toward the center, hence forming an epithelial cyst. The primordium then elongates, and reorientations of the cells at the anterior and posterior ends form the mouth and pharyngeal-intestinal openings, respectively. The 20 pharyngeal neurons establish complex but reproducible trajectories using ‘fishing line’ and growth cone-driven mechanisms, and the gland cells also similarly develop their processes. The genetics behind many fate decisions and morphogenetic processes are being elucidated, and reveal the pharynx to be a fruitful model for developmental biologists. PMID:25262818

  6. Chromosome I duplications in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    McKim, K.S.; Rose, A.M. )

    1990-01-01

    We have isolated and characterized 76 duplications of chromosome I in the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans. The region studied is the 20 map unit left half of the chromosome. Sixty-two duplications were induced with gamma radiation and 14 arose spontaneously. The latter class was apparently the result of spontaneous breaks within the parental duplication. The majority of duplications behave as if they are free. Three duplications are attached to identifiable sequences from other chromosomes. The duplication breakpoints have been mapped by complementation analysis relative to genes on chromosome I. Nineteen duplication breakpoints and seven deficiency breakpoints divide the left half of the chromosome into 24 regions. We have studied the relationship between duplication size and segregational stability. While size is an important determinant of mitotic stability, it is not the only one. We observed clear exceptions to a size-stability correlation. In addition to size, duplication stability may be influenced by specific sequences or chromosome structure. The majority of the duplications were stable enough to be powerful tools for gene mapping. Therefore the duplications described here will be useful in the genetic characterization of chromosome I and the techniques we have developed can be adapted to other regions of the genome.

  7. The Genetics of Feeding in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Avery, L.

    1993-01-01

    The pharynx of Caenorhabditis elegans is a nearly self-contained neuromuscular organ responsible for feeding. To identify genes involved in the development or function of the excitable cells of the pharynx, I screened for worms with visible defects in pharyngeal feeding behavior. Fifty-two mutations identified 35 genes, at least 22 previously unknown. The genes broke down into three broad classes: 2 pha genes, mutations in which caused defects in the shape of the pharynx, 7 phm genes, mutations in which caused defects in the contractile structures of the pharyngeal muscle, and 26 eat genes, mutants in which had abnormal pharyngeal muscle motions, but had normally shaped and normally birefringent pharynxes capable of vigorous contraction. Although the Eat phenotypes were diverse, most resembled those caused by defects in the pharyngeal nervous system. For some of the eat genes there is direct evidence from previous genetic mosaic and pharmacological studies that they do in fact affect nervous system. In eat-5 mutants the motions of the different parts of the pharynx were poorly synchronized. eat-6 and eat-12 mutants failed to relax their pharyngeal muscles properly. These pharyngeal motion defects are most easily explained as resulting from abnormal electrical excitability of the pharyngeal muscle membrane. PMID:8462849

  8. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroustrup, Nicholas; Anthony, Winston E.; Nash, Zachary M.; Gowda, Vivek; Gomez, Adam; López-Moyado, Isaac F.; Apfeld, Javier; Fontana, Walter

    2016-02-01

    The process of ageing makes death increasingly likely, involving a random aspect that produces a wide distribution of lifespan even in homogeneous populations. The study of this stochastic behaviour may link molecular mechanisms to the ageing process that determines lifespan. Here, by collecting high-precision mortality statistics from large populations, we observe that interventions as diverse as changes in diet, temperature, exposure to oxidative stress, and disruption of genes including the heat shock factor hsf-1, the hypoxia-inducible factor hif-1, and the insulin/IGF-1 pathway components daf-2, age-1, and daf-16 all alter lifespan distributions by an apparent stretching or shrinking of time. To produce such temporal scaling, each intervention must alter to the same extent throughout adult life all physiological determinants of the risk of death. Organismic ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans therefore appears to involve aspects of physiology that respond in concert to a diverse set of interventions. In this way, temporal scaling identifies a novel state variable, r(t), that governs the risk of death and whose average decay dynamics involves a single effective rate constant of ageing, kr. Interventions that produce temporal scaling influence lifespan exclusively by altering kr. Such interventions, when applied transiently even in early adulthood, temporarily alter kr with an attendant transient increase or decrease in the rate of change in r and a permanent effect on remaining lifespan. The existence of an organismal ageing dynamics that is invariant across genetic and environmental contexts provides the basis for a new, quantitative framework for evaluating the manner and extent to which specific molecular processes contribute to the aspect of ageing that determines lifespan.

  9. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing

    PubMed Central

    Stroustrup, Nicholas; Anthony, Winston E.; Nash, Zachary M.; Gowda, Vivek; Gomez, Adam; López-Moyado, Isaac F.; Apfeld, Javier; Fontana, Walter

    2016-01-01

    The process of ageing makes death increasingly likely, but involves a random aspect that produces a wide distribution of lifespan even in homogeneous populations1,2. The study of this stochastic behaviour may link molecular mechanisms to the ageing process that determines lifespan. Here, by collecting high-precision mortality statistics from large populations, we observe that interventions as diverse as changes in diet, temperature, exposure to oxidative stress, and disruption of genes including the heat shock factor hsf-1, the hypoxia-inducible factor hif-1, and the insulin/IGF-1 pathway components daf-2, age-1, and daf-16 all alter lifespan distributions by an apparent stretching or shrinking of time. To produce such temporal scaling, each intervention must alter to the same extent throughout adult life all physiological determinants of the risk of death. Organismic ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans therefore appears to involve aspects of physiology that respond in concert to a diverse set of interventions. In this way, temporal scaling identifies a novel state variable, r(t), that governs the risk of death and whose average decay dynamics involves a single effective rate constant of ageing, kr. Interventions that produce temporal scaling influence lifespan exclusively by altering kr. Such interventions, when applied transiently even in early adulthood, temporarily alter kr with an attendant transient increase or decrease in the rate of change in r and a permanent effect on remaining lifespan. The existence of an organismal ageing dynamics that is invariant across genetic and environmental contexts provides the basis for a new, quantitative framework for evaluating how and how much specific molecular processes contribute to the aspect of ageing that determines lifespan. PMID:26814965

  10. The genetics of synapse formation and function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Mark; Schmidt, Enrico; Baumeister, Ralf

    2006-11-01

    The aim of this review is to introduce the reader to Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system, especially with respect to studies of synapse formation and function. We begin by giving a short description of the structure of the nervous system of C. elegans. As most of the findings that are reviewed here have emerged from studies of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), two prominent NMJs of C. elegans will be outlined briefly. In addition, we summarize new findings that have added to our understanding of NMJs during the last few years. PMID:16896949

  11. Concentration dependent differential activity of signalling molecules in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Caenorhabditis elegans employs specific glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose (the ‘ascarosides’) for monitoring population density/ dauer formation and finding mates. A synergistic blend of three ascarosides, called ascr#2, ascr#3 and ascr#4 acts as a dauer pheromone at a high concentration na...

  12. An Elegant Mind: Learning and Memory in "Caenorhabditis elegans"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ardiel, Evan L.; Rankin, Catharine H.

    2010-01-01

    This article reviews the literature on learning and memory in the soil-dwelling nematode "Caenorhabditis elegans." Paradigms include nonassociative learning, associative learning, and imprinting, as worms have been shown to habituate to mechanical and chemical stimuli, as well as learn the smells, tastes, temperatures, and oxygen levels that…

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for obesity research.

    PubMed

    Zheng, J; Greenway, F L

    2012-02-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a small nematode that conserves 65% of the genes associated with human disease, has a 21-day lifespan, reproductive cycles of 3 days, large brood sizes, lives in an agar dish and does not require committee approvals for experimentation. Research using C. elegans is encouraged and a Caenorhabditis Genetics Center (CGC, Minnesota) is funded by the National Institutes of Health-National Center for Research Resources. Many genetically manipulated strains of C. elegans are available at nominal cost from the CGC. Studies using the C. elegans model have explored insulin signaling, response to dietary glucose, the influence of serotonin on obesity, satiety, feeding and hypoxia-associated illnesses. C. elegans has also been used as a model to evaluate potential obesity therapeutics, explore the mechanisms behind single gene mutations related to obesity and to define the mechanistic details of fat metabolism. Obesity now affects a third of the US population and is becoming a progressively more expensive public health problem. Faster and less expensive methods to reach more effective treatments are clearly needed. We present this review hoping to stimulate interest in using the C. elegans model as a vehicle to advance the understanding and future treatment of obesity. PMID:21556043

  14. Why are there males in the hermaphroditic species Caenorhabditis elegans?

    PubMed Central

    Chasnov, J R; Chow, King L

    2002-01-01

    The free-living nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans reproduces primarily as a self-fertilizing hermaphrodite, yet males are maintained in wild-type populations at low frequency. To determine the role of males in C. elegans, we develop a mathematical model for the genetic system of hermaphrodites that can either self-fertilize or be fertilized by males and we perform laboratory observations and experiments on both C. elegans and a related dioecious species C. remanei. We show that the mating efficiency of C. elegans is poor compared to a dioecious species and that C. elegans males are more attracted to C. remanei females than they are to their conspecific hermaphrodites. We postulate that a genetic mutation occurred during the evolution of C. elegans hermaphrodites, resulting in the loss of an attracting sex pheromone present in the ancestor of both C. elegans and C. remanei. Our findings suggest that males are maintained in C. elegans because of the particular genetic system inherited from its dioecious ancestor and because of nonadaptive spontaneous nondisjunction of sex chromosomes, which occurs during meiosis in the hermaphrodite. A theoretical argument shows that the low frequency of male mating observed in C. elegans can support male-specific genes against mutational degeneration. This results in the continuing presence of functional males in a 99.9% hermaphroditic species in which outcrossing is disadvantageous to hermaphrodites. PMID:11901116

  15. Microsporidia Are Natural Intracellular Parasites of the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Troemel, Emily R; Félix, Marie-Anne; Whiteman, Noah K; Barrière, Antoine; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-01-01

    For decades the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been an important model system for biology, but little is known about its natural ecology. Recently, C. elegans has become the focus of studies of innate immunity and several pathogens have been shown to cause lethal intestinal infections in C. elegans. However none of these pathogens has been shown to invade nematode intestinal cells, and no pathogen has been isolated from wild-caught C. elegans. Here we describe an intracellular pathogen isolated from wild-caught C. elegans that we show is a new species of microsporidia. Microsporidia comprise a large class of eukaryotic intracellular parasites that are medically and agriculturally important, but poorly understood. We show that microsporidian infection of the C. elegans intestine proceeds through distinct stages and is transmitted horizontally. Disruption of a conserved cytoskeletal structure in the intestine called the terminal web correlates with the release of microsporidian spores from infected cells, and appears to be part of a novel mechanism by which intracellular pathogens exit from infected cells. Unlike in bacterial intestinal infections, the p38 MAPK and insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathways do not appear to play substantial roles in resistance to microsporidian infection in C. elegans. We found microsporidia in multiple wild-caught isolates of Caenorhabditis nematodes from diverse geographic locations. These results indicate that microsporidia are common parasites of C. elegans in the wild. In addition, the interaction between C. elegans and its natural microsporidian parasites provides a system in which to dissect intracellular intestinal infection in vivo and insight into the diversity of pathogenic mechanisms used by intracellular microbes. PMID:19071962

  16. High-resolution imaging of cellular processes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Maddox, Amy S; Maddox, Paul S

    2012-01-01

    Differential interference contrast (DIC) imaging of Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis led to a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (Sulston et al., 1983) as did the first use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) in a transgenic C. elegans (Chalfie et al., 1994). Given that C. elegans is free living, does not require exceptional environmental control, and is optically clear, live imaging is a powerful tool in for this model system. Combining genetics with high-resolution imaging has continued to make important contributions to many fields. In this chapter, we discuss how certain aspects of high-resolution microscopy are implemented. This is not an exhaustive review of microscopy; it is meant to be a helpful guide and point of reference for some basic concepts in imaging. While these concepts are largely true for all biological imaging, they are chosen as particularly important for C. elegans. PMID:22226519

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans, a Model Organism for Investigating Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Elizabeth K.

    2012-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been a powerful experimental organism for almost half a century. Over the past 10 years, researchers have begun to exploit the power of C. elegans to investigate the biology of a number of human pathogens. This work has uncovered mechanisms of host immunity and pathogen virulence that are analogous to those involved during pathogenesis in humans or other animal hosts, as well as novel immunity mechanisms which appear to be unique to the worm. More recently, these investigations have uncovered details of the natural pathogens of C. elegans, including the description of a novel intracellular microsporidian parasite as well as new nodaviruses, the first identification of viral infections of this nematode. In this review, we consider the application of C. elegans to human infectious disease research, as well as consider the nematode response to these natural pathogens. PMID:22286994

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans: An Emerging Model in Biomedical and Environmental Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Maxwell C. K.; Williams, Phillip L.; Benedetto, Alexandre; Au, Catherine; Helmcke, Kirsten J.; Aschner, Michael; Meyer, Joel N.

    2008-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as an important animal model in various fields including neurobiology, developmental biology, and genetics. Characteristics of this animal model that have contributed to its success include its genetic manipulability, invariant and fully described developmental program, well-characterized genome, ease of maintenance, short and prolific life cycle, and small body size. These same features have led to an increasing use of C. elegans in toxicology, both for mechanistic studies and high-throughput screening approaches. We describe some of the research that has been carried out in the areas of neurotoxicology, genetic toxicology, and environmental toxicology, as well as high-throughput experiments with C. elegans including genome-wide screening for molecular targets of toxicity and rapid toxicity assessment for new chemicals. We argue for an increased role for C. elegans in complementing other model systems in toxicological research. PMID:18566021

  19. Genomic response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to spaceflight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selch, Florian; Higashibata, Akira; Imamizo-Sato, Mari; Higashitani, Atsushi; Ishioka, Noriaki; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Conley, Catharine A.

    On Earth, it is common to employ laboratory animals such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to help understand human health concerns. Similar studies in Earth orbit should help understand and address the concerns associated with spaceflight. The “International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment FIRST” (ICE FIRST), was carried out onboard the Dutch Taxiflight in April of 2004 by an international collaboration of laboratories in France, Canada, Japan and the United States. With the exception of a slight movement defect upon return to Earth, the result of altered muscle development, no significant abnormalities were detected in spaceflown C. elegans. Work from Japan revealed apoptosis proceeds normally and work from Canada revealed no significant increase in the rate of mutation. These results suggest that C. elegans can be used to study non-lethal responses to spaceflight and can possibly be developed as a biological sensor. To further our understanding of C. elegans response to spaceflight, we examined the gene transcription response to the 10 days in space using a near full genome microarray analysis. The transcriptional response is consistent with the observed normal developmental timing, apoptosis, DNA repair, and altered muscle development. The genes identified as altered in response to spaceflight are enriched for genes known to be regulated, in C. elegans, in response to altered environmental conditions (Insulin and TGF-β regulated). These results demonstrate C. elegans can be used to study the effects of altered gravity and suggest that C. elegans responds to spaceflight by altering the expression of at least some of the same metabolic genes that are altered in response to differing terrestrial environments.

  20. Effects of sterols on the development and aging of caenorhabditis elegans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Because Caenorhabditis elegans lacks several components of the de novo sterol biosynthesis pathway, it requires sterols as essential nutrients. Supplemented cholesterol undergoes extensive enzymatic modification in C. elegans to form other sterols of unknown function. Because sterol metabolism in ...

  1. Regulation of the X Chromosomes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, William G.; Ercan, Sevinc; Lieb, Jason D.

    2014-01-01

    Dosage compensation, which regulates the expression of genes residing on the sex chromosomes, has provided valuable insights into chromatin-based mechanisms of gene regulation. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has adopted various strategies to down-regulate and even nearly silence the X chromosomes. This article discusses the different chromatin-based strategies used in somatic tissues and in the germline to modulate gene expression from the C. elegans X chromosomes and compares these strategies to those used by other organisms to cope with similar X-chromosome dosage differences. PMID:24591522

  2. CRISPR-Based Methods for Caenorhabditis elegans Genome Engineering.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Daniel J; Goldstein, Bob

    2016-03-01

    The advent of genome editing techniques based on the clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 system has revolutionized research in the biological sciences. CRISPR is quickly becoming an indispensible experimental tool for researchers using genetic model organisms, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we provide an overview of CRISPR-based strategies for genome editing in C. elegans. We focus on practical considerations for successful genome editing, including a discussion of which strategies are best suited to producing different kinds of targeted genome modifications. PMID:26953268

  3. An integrated theory of ageing in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    GEMS, DAVID

    2000-01-01

    Numerous theories of ageing have been proposed, and many have been tested experimentally, particularly using nematode models such as Caenorhabditis elegans. By combining those theories of ageing that remain plausible with recent findings from studies of C. elegans life span mutants, an integrated theory of ageing has been devised. This is formed from 3 interconnected elements: the evolutionary theory of ageing, the oxidative damage theory of ageing, and a nonadaptive programmed ageing theory. This tripartite theory of ageing gives rise to a number of predictions that may be tested experimentally. PMID:11197524

  4. CRISPR-Based Methods for Caenorhabditis elegans Genome Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Daniel J.; Goldstein, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The advent of genome editing techniques based on the clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)–Cas9 system has revolutionized research in the biological sciences. CRISPR is quickly becoming an indispensible experimental tool for researchers using genetic model organisms, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we provide an overview of CRISPR-based strategies for genome editing in C. elegans. We focus on practical considerations for successful genome editing, including a discussion of which strategies are best suited to producing different kinds of targeted genome modifications. PMID:26953268

  5. Caenorhabditis elegans opens up new insights into circadian clock mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Kenji; Saigusa, Tetsu; Tamai, Yoichi

    2005-01-01

    The roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, is known to carry homologues of clock genes such as per (=period) and tim (=timeless), which constitute the core of the circadian clock in Drosophila and mammals: lin-42 and tim-1. Analyses using WormBase (C. elegans gene database) have identified with relatively high identity analogous of the clock genes recognized in Drosophila and mammals, with the notable exception of cry (=cryptochrome), which is lacking in C. elegans. All of these C. elegans cognates of the clock genes appear to belong to members of the PAS-superfamily and to participate in development or responsiveness to the environment but apparently are not involved in the C. elegans circadian clock. Nevertheless, C. elegans exhibits convincing circadian rhythms in locomotor behavior in the adult stage and in resistance to hyperosmotic stress in starved larvae (L1) after hatching, indicating that it has a circadian clock with a core design entirely different from that of Drosophila and mammals. Here two possibilities are considered. First, the core of the C. elegans circadian clock includes transcriptional/translational feedback loops between genes and their protein products that are entirely different from those of Drosophila and mammals. Second, a more basic principle such as homeostasis governs the circadian cellular physiology, and was established primarily to minimize the accumulation of DNA damage in response to an environment cycling at 24 h intervals. PMID:15865318

  6. Characterization of the effects of methylmercury on Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Helmcke, Kirsten J.; Syversen, Tore; Miller, David M.; Aschner, Michael

    2009-10-15

    The rising prevalence of methylmercury (MeHg) in seafood and in the global environment provides an impetus for delineating the mechanism of the toxicity of MeHg. Deleterious effects of MeHg have been widely observed in humans and in other mammals, the most striking of which occur in the nervous system. Here we test the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), for MeHg toxicity. The simple, well-defined anatomy of the C. elegans nervous system and its ready visualization with green fluorescent protein (GFP) markers facilitated our study of the effects of methylmercuric chloride (MeHgCl) on neural development. Although MeHgCl was lethal to C. elegans, induced a developmental delay, and decreased pharyngeal pumping, other traits including lifespan, brood size, swimming rate, and nervous system morphology were not obviously perturbed in animals that survived MeHgCl exposure. Despite the limited effects of MeHgCl on C. elegans development and behavior, intracellular mercury (Hg) concentrations ({<=} 3 ng Hg/mg protein) in MeHgCl-treated nematodes approached levels that are highly toxic to mammals. If MeHgCl reaches these concentrations throughout the animal, this finding indicates that C. elegans cells, particularly neurons, may be less sensitive to MeHgCl toxicity than mammalian cells. We propose, therefore, that C. elegans should be a useful model for discovering intrinsic mechanisms that confer resistance to MeHgCl exposure.

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for intracellular pathogen infection

    PubMed Central

    Balla, Keir M.; Troemel, Emily R.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The genetically tractable nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a convenient host for studies of pathogen infection. With the recent identification of two types of natural intracellular pathogens of C. elegans, this host now provides the opportunity to examine interactions and defence against intracellular pathogens in a whole-animal model for infection. C. elegans is the natural host for a genus of microsporidia, which comprise a phylum of fungal-related pathogens of widespread importance for agriculture and medicine. More recently, C. elegans has been shown to be a natural host for viruses related to the Nodaviridae family. Both microsporidian and viral pathogens infect the C. elegans intestine, which is composed of cells that share striking similarities to human intestinal epithelial cells. Because C. elegans nematodes are transparent, these infections provide a unique opportunity to visualize differentiated intestinal cells in vivo during the course of intracellular infection. Together, these two natural pathogens of C. elegans provide powerful systems in which to study microbial pathogenesis and host responses to intracellular infection. PMID:23617769

  8. Characterization of the effects of methylmercury on Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Helmcke, Kirsten J.; Syversen, Tore; Miller, David M.; Aschner, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The rising prevalence of methylmercury (MeHg) in seafood and in the global environment provides an impetus for delineating the mechanism of the toxicity of MeHg. Deleterious effects of MeHg have been widely observed in humans and in other mammals, the most striking of which occur in the nervous system. Here we test the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), for MeHg toxicity. The simple, well-defined anatomy of the C. elegans nervous system and its ready visualization with green fluorescent protein (GFP) markers facilitated our study of the effects of methylmercuric chloride (MeHgCl) on neural development. Although MeHgCl was lethal to C. elegans, induced a developmental delay, and decreased pharyngeal pumping, other traits including lifespan, brood size, swimming rate, and nervous system morphology were not obviously perturbed in animals that survived MeHgCl exposure. Despite the limited effects of MeHgCl on C. elegans development and behavior, intracellular mercury (Hg) concentrations (≤ 3 ng Hg/mg protein) in MeHgCl-treated nematodes approached levels that are highly toxic to mammals. If MeHgCl reaches these concentrations throughout the animal, this finding indicates that C. elegans cells, particularly neurons, may be less sensitive to MeHgCl toxicity than mammalian cells. We propose, therefore, that C. elegans should be a useful model for discovering intrinsic mechanisms that confer resistance to MeHgCl exposure. PMID:19341752

  9. A recombineering pipeline for functional genomics applied to Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sarov, Mihail; Schneider, Susan; Pozniakovski, Andrei; Roguev, Assen; Ernst, Susanne; Zhang, Youming; Hyman, A Anthony; Stewart, A Francis

    2006-10-01

    We present a new concept in DNA engineering based on a pipeline of serial recombineering steps in liquid culture. This approach is fast, straightforward and facilitates simultaneous processing of multiple samples in parallel. We validated the approach by generating green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged transgenes from Caenorhabditis briggsae genomic clones in a multistep pipeline that takes only 4 d. The transgenes were engineered with minimal disturbance to the natural genomic context so that the correct level and pattern of expression will be secured after transgenesis. An example transgene for the C. briggsae ortholog of lin-59 was used for ballistic transformation in Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that the cross-species transgene is correctly expressed and rescues RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of the endogenous C. elegans gene. The strategy that we describe adapts the power of recombineering in Escherichia coli for fluent DNA engineering to a format that can be directly scaled up for genomic projects. PMID:16990816

  10. Chemically defined medium and Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Kozak, Elena; Conley, Catharine A.

    2003-01-01

    BACKGROUND: C. elegans has been established as a powerful genetic system. Use of a chemically defined medium (C. elegans Maintenance Medium (CeMM)) now allows standardization and systematic manipulation of the nutrients that animals receive. Liquid cultivation allows automated culturing and experimentation and should be of use in large-scale growth and screening of animals. RESULTS: We find that CeMM is versatile and culturing is simple. CeMM can be used in a solid or liquid state, it can be stored unused for at least a year, unattended actively growing cultures may be maintained longer than with standard techniques, and standard C. elegans protocols work well with animals grown in defined medium. We also find that there are caveats to using defined medium. Animals in defined medium grow more slowly than on standard medium, appear to display adaptation to the defined medium, and display altered growth rates as they change the composition of the defined medium. CONCLUSIONS: As was suggested with the introduction of C. elegans as a potential genetic system, use of defined medium with C. elegans should prove a powerful tool.

  11. Host-Microbe Interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Aixin

    2013-01-01

    A good understanding of how microbes interact with hosts has a direct bearing on our capability of fighting infectious microbial pathogens and making good use of beneficial ones. Among the model organisms used to study reciprocal actions among microbes and hosts, C. elegans may be the most advantageous in the context of its unique attributes such as the short life cycle, easiness of laboratory maintenance, and the availability of different genetic mutants. This review summarizes the recent advances in understanding host-microbe interactions in C. elegans. Although these investigations have greatly enhanced our understanding of C. elegans-microbe relationships, all but one of them involve only one or few microbial species. We argue here that more research is needed for exploring the evolution and establishment of a complex microbial community in the worm's intestine and its interaction with the host. PMID:23984180

  12. Japanese studies on neural circuits and behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sasakura, Hiroyuki; Tsukada, Yuki; Takagi, Shin; Mori, Ikue

    2013-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal organism for studying neural plasticity and animal behaviors. A total of 302 neurons of a C. elegans hermaphrodite have been classified into 118 neuronal groups. This simple neural circuit provides a solid basis for understanding the mechanisms of the brains of higher animals, including humans. Recent studies that employ modern imaging and manipulation techniques enable researchers to study the dynamic properties of nervous systems with great precision. Behavioral and molecular genetic analyses of this tiny animal have contributed greatly to the advancement of neural circuit research. Here, we will review the recent studies on the neural circuits of C. elegans that have been conducted in Japan. Several laboratories have established unique and clever methods to study the underlying neuronal substrates of behavioral regulation in C. elegans. The technological advances applied to studies of C. elegans have allowed new approaches for the studies of complex neural systems. Through reviewing the studies on the neuronal circuits of C. elegans in Japan, we will analyze and discuss the directions of neural circuit studies. PMID:24348340

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans responses to bacteria from its natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Samuel, Buck S; Rowedder, Holli; Braendle, Christian; Félix, Marie-Anne; Ruvkun, Gary

    2016-07-01

    Most Caenorhabditis elegans studies have used laboratory Escherichia coli as diet and microbial environment. Here we characterize bacteria of C. elegans' natural habitats of rotting fruits and vegetation to provide greater context for its physiological responses. By the use of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA)-based sequencing, we identified a large variety of bacteria in C. elegans habitats, with phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria being most abundant. From laboratory assays using isolated natural bacteria, C. elegans is able to forage on most bacteria (robust growth on ∼80% of >550 isolates), although ∼20% also impaired growth and arrested and/or stressed animals. Bacterial community composition can predict wild C. elegans population states in both rotting apples and reconstructed microbiomes: alpha-Proteobacteria-rich communities promote proliferation, whereas Bacteroidetes or pathogens correlate with nonproliferating dauers. Combinatorial mixtures of detrimental and beneficial bacteria indicate that bacterial influence is not simply nutritional. Together, these studies provide a foundation for interrogating how bacteria naturally influence C. elegans physiology. PMID:27317746

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans responses to bacteria from its natural habitats

    PubMed Central

    Rowedder, Holli; Braendle, Christian; Félix, Marie-Anne; Ruvkun, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Most Caenorhabditis elegans studies have used laboratory Escherichia coli as diet and microbial environment. Here we characterize bacteria of C. elegans' natural habitats of rotting fruits and vegetation to provide greater context for its physiological responses. By the use of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA)-based sequencing, we identified a large variety of bacteria in C. elegans habitats, with phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria being most abundant. From laboratory assays using isolated natural bacteria, C. elegans is able to forage on most bacteria (robust growth on ∼80% of >550 isolates), although ∼20% also impaired growth and arrested and/or stressed animals. Bacterial community composition can predict wild C. elegans population states in both rotting apples and reconstructed microbiomes: alpha-Proteobacteria-rich communities promote proliferation, whereas Bacteroidetes or pathogens correlate with nonproliferating dauers. Combinatorial mixtures of detrimental and beneficial bacteria indicate that bacterial influence is not simply nutritional. Together, these studies provide a foundation for interrogating how bacteria naturally influence C. elegans physiology. PMID:27317746

  15. A Transparent Window into Biology: A Primer on Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Corsi, Ann K.; Wightman, Bruce; Chalfie, Martin

    2015-01-01

    A little over 50 years ago, Sydney Brenner had the foresight to develop the nematode (round worm) Caenorhabditis elegans as a genetic model for understanding questions of developmental biology and neurobiology. Over time, research on C. elegans has expanded to explore a wealth of diverse areas in modern biology including studies of the basic functions and interactions of eukaryotic cells, host–parasite interactions, and evolution. C. elegans has also become an important organism in which to study processes that go awry in human diseases. This primer introduces the organism and the many features that make it an outstanding experimental system, including its small size, rapid life cycle, transparency, and well-annotated genome. We survey the basic anatomical features, common technical approaches, and important discoveries in C. elegans research. Key to studying C. elegans has been the ability to address biological problems genetically, using both forward and reverse genetics, both at the level of the entire organism and at the level of the single, identified cell. These possibilities make C. elegans useful not only in research laboratories, but also in the classroom where it can be used to excite students who actually can see what is happening inside live cells and tissues. PMID:26088431

  16. Homologous gene targeting in Caenorhabditis elegans by biolistic transformation

    PubMed Central

    Berezikov, Eugene; Bargmann, Cornelia I.; Plasterk, Ronald H. A.

    2004-01-01

    Targeted homologous recombination is a powerful approach for genome manipulation that is widely used for gene alteration and knockouts in mouse and yeast. In Caenorhabditis elegans, several methods of target-selected mutagenesis have been implemented but none of them provides the opportunity of introducing exact predefined changes into the genome. Although anecdotal cases of homologous gene targeting in C.elegans have been reported, no practical technique of gene targeting has been developed so far. In this work we demonstrate that transformation of C.elegans by microparticle bombardment (biolistic transformation) can result in homologous recombination between introduced DNA and the chromosomal locus. We describe a scaled up version of biolistic transformation that can be used as a method for homologous gene targeting in the worm. PMID:14982959

  17. The effects of short-term hypergravity on Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saldanha, Jenifer N.; Pandey, Santosh; Powell-Coffman, Jo Anne

    2016-08-01

    As we seek to recognize the opportunities of advanced aerospace technologies and spaceflight, it is increasingly important to understand the impacts of hypergravity, defined as gravitational forces greater than those present on the earth's surface. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been established as a powerful model to study the effects of altered gravity regimens and has displayed remarkable resilience to space travel. In this study, we investigate the effects of short-term and defined hypergravity exposure on C. elegans motility, brood size, pharyngeal pumping rates, and lifespan. The results from this study advance our understanding of the effects of shorter durations of exposure to increased gravitational forces on C. elegans, and also contribute to the growing body of literature on the impacts of altered gravity regimens on earth's life forms.

  18. Coordination of behavioral hierarchies during environmental transitions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Vidal-Gadea, Andrés G.; Davis, Scott; Becker, Lindsay; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T.

    2012-01-01

    For animals inhabiting multiple environments, the ability to select appropriate behaviors is crucial as their adaptability is often context dependent. Caenorhabditis elegans uses distinct gaits to move on land and in water. Gait transitions can potentially coordinate behaviors associated with distinct environments. We investigated whether land and water differentially affect the behavioral repertoire of C. elegans. Swimming worms interrupted foraging, feeding, egg-laying and defecation. Exogenous dopamine induced bouts of these land-associated behaviors in water. Our finding that worms do not drink fluid while immersed may explain why higher drug doses are required in water than on land to elicit the same effects. C. elegans is a valid model to study behavioral hierarchies and how environmental pressures alter their balance. PMID:23525841

  19. Guidelines for monitoring autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hong; Chang, Jessica T; Guo, Bin; Hansen, Malene; Jia, Kailiang; Kovács, Attila L; Kumsta, Caroline; Lapierre, Louis R; Legouis, Renaud; Lin, Long; Lu, Qun; Meléndez, Alicia; O'Rourke, Eyleen J; Sato, Ken; Sato, Miyuki; Wang, Xiaochen; Wu, Fan

    2015-01-01

    The cellular recycling process of autophagy has been extensively characterized with standard assays in yeast and mammalian cell lines. In multicellular organisms, numerous external and internal factors differentially affect autophagy activity in specific cell types throughout the stages of organismal ontogeny, adding complexity to the analysis of autophagy in these metazoans. Here we summarize currently available assays for monitoring the autophagic process in the nematode C. elegans. A combination of measuring levels of the lipidated Atg8 ortholog LGG-1, degradation of well-characterized autophagic substrates such as germline P granule components and the SQSTM1/p62 ortholog SQST-1, expression of autophagic genes and electron microscopy analysis of autophagic structures are presently the most informative, yet steady-state, approaches available to assess autophagy levels in C. elegans. We also review how altered autophagy activity affects a variety of biological processes in C. elegans such as L1 survival under starvation conditions, dauer formation, aging, and cell death, as well as neuronal cell specification. Taken together, C. elegans is emerging as a powerful model organism to monitor autophagy while evaluating important physiological roles for autophagy in key developmental events as well as during adulthood. PMID:25569839

  20. Cranberry Product Decreases Fat Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sun, Quancai; Yue, Yiren; Shen, Peiyi; Yang, Jeremy J; Park, Yeonhwa

    2016-04-01

    Cranberry phenolic compounds have been linked to many health benefits. A recent report suggested that cranberry bioactives inhibit adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Thus, we investigated the effects and mechanisms of the cranberry product (CP) on lipid metabolism using the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) model. CP (0.016% and 0.08%) dose-dependently reduced overall fat accumulation in C. elegans (N2, wild type) by 43% and 74%, respectively, without affecting its pumping rates or locomotive activities. CP decreased fat accumulation in aak-2 (an ortholog of AMP-activated kinase α) and tub-1 (an ortholog of TUBBY) mutants significantly, but only minimal effects were observed in sbp-1 (an ortholog of sterol response element-binding protein-1) and nhr-49 (an ortholog of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α) mutant strains. We further confirmed that CP downregulated sbp-1, cebp, and hosl-1 (an ortholog of hormone-sensitive lipase homolog) expression, while increasing the expression of nhr-49 in wild-type C. elegans. These results suggest that CP could effectively reduce fat accumulation in C. elegans dependent on sbp-1, cebp, and nhr-49, but not aak-2 and tub-1. PMID:26991055

  1. Anthelmintic drugs and nematicides: studies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Holden-Dye, Lindy; Walker, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes infect many species of animals throughout the phyla, including humans. Moreover, nematodes that parasitise plants are a global problem for agriculture. As such, these nematodes place a major burden on human health, on livestock production, on the welfare of companion animals and on crop production. In the 21st century there are two major challenges posed by the wide-spread prevalence of parasitic nematodes. First, many anthelmintic drugs are losing their effectiveness because nematode strains with resistance are emerging. Second, serious concerns regarding the environmental impact of the nematicides used for crop protection have prompted legislation to remove them from use, leaving agriculture at increased risk from nematode pests. There is clearly a need for a concerted effort to address these challenges. Over the last few decades the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has provided the opportunity to use molecular genetic techniques for mode of action studies for anthelmintics and nematicides. These approaches continue to be of considerable value. Less fruitful so far, but nonetheless potentially very useful, has been the direct use of C. elegans for anthelmintic and nematicide discovery programmes. Here we provide an introduction to the use of C. elegans as a 'model' parasitic nematode, briefly review the study of nematode control using C. elegans and highlight approaches that have been of particular value with a view to facilitating wider-use of C. elegans as a platform for anthelmintic and nematicide discovery and development. PMID:25517625

  2. Neural circuits mediate electrosensory behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Gabel, Christopher V; Gabel, Harrison; Pavlichin, Dmitri; Kao, Albert; Clark, Damon A; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2007-07-11

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans deliberately crawls toward the negative pole in an electric field. By quantifying the movements of individual worms navigating electric fields, we show that C. elegans prefers to crawl at specific angles to the direction of the electric field in persistent periods of forward movement and that the preferred angle is proportional to field strength. C. elegans reorients itself in response to time-varying electric fields by using sudden turns and reversals, standard reorientation maneuvers that C. elegans uses during other modes of motile behavior. Mutation or laser ablation that disrupts the structure and function of amphid sensory neurons also disrupts electrosensory behavior. By imaging intracellular calcium dynamics among the amphid sensory neurons of immobilized worms, we show that specific amphid sensory neurons are sensitive to the direction and strength of electric fields. We extend our analysis to the motor level by showing that specific interneurons affect the utilization of sudden turns and reversals during electrosensory steering. Thus, electrosensory behavior may be used as a model system for understanding how sensory inputs are transformed into motor outputs by the C. elegans nervous system. PMID:17626220

  3. Manipulation of Behavioral Decline in Caenorhabditis elegans with the Rag GTPase raga-1

    PubMed Central

    Schreiber, Matthew A.; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T.; Chan, Stefan; Parry, Dianne; McIntire, Steven L.

    2010-01-01

    Normal aging leads to an inexorable decline in motor performance, contributing to medical morbidity and decreased quality of life. While much has been discovered about genetic determinants of lifespan, less is known about modifiers of age-related behavioral decline and whether new gene targets may be found which extend vigorous activity, with or without extending lifespan. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, we have developed a model of declining neuromuscular function and conducted a screen for increased behavioral activity in aged animals. In this model, behavioral function suffers from profound reductions in locomotory frequency, but coordination is strikingly preserved until very old age. By screening for enhancers of locomotion at advanced ages we identified the ras-related Rag GTPase raga-1 as a novel modifier of behavioral aging. raga-1 loss of function mutants showed vigorous swimming late in life. Genetic manipulations revealed that a gain of function raga-1 curtailed behavioral vitality and shortened lifespan, while a dominant negative raga-1 lengthened lifespan. Dietary restriction results indicated that a raga-1 mutant is relatively protected from the life-shortening effects of highly concentrated food, while RNAi experiments suggested that raga-1 acts in the highly conserved target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway in C. elegans. Rag GTPases were recently shown to mediate nutrient-dependent activation of TOR. This is the first demonstration of their dramatic effects on behavior and aging. This work indicates that novel modulators of behavioral function can be identified in screens, with implications for future study of the clinical amelioration of age-related decline. PMID:20523893

  4. Soft X-ray contact microscopy of nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poletti, G.; Orsini, F.; Batani, D.; Bernardinello, A.; Desai, T.; Ullschmied, J.; Skala, J.; Kralikova, B.; Krousky, E.; Juha, L.; Pfeifer, M.; Kadlec, Ch.; Mocek, T.; Präg, A.; Renner, O.; Cotelli, F.; Lora Lamia, C.; Zullini, A.

    2004-08-01

    Soft X-ray Contact Microscopy (SXCM) of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes with typical length ~800 μ m and diameter ~30 μ m has been performed using the PALS laser source of wavelength λ = 1.314~μ m and pulse duration τ (FWHM) = 400 ps. Pulsed soft X-rays were generated using molybdenum and gold targets with laser intensities I ≥ 1014 W/cm2. Images have been recorded on PMMA photo resists and analyzed using an atomic force microscope operating in contact mode. Cuticle features and several internal organs have been identified in the SXCM images including lateral field, cuticle annuli, pharynx, and hypodermal and neuronal cell nuclei.

  5. Caenorhabditis elegans - A model system for space biology studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Thomas E.; Nelson, Gregory A.

    1991-01-01

    The utility of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in studies spanning aspects of development, aging, and radiobiology is reviewed. These topics are interrelated via cellular and DNA repair processes especially in the context of oxidative stress and free-radical metabolism. The relevance of these research topics to problems in space biology is discussed and properties of the space environment are outlined. Exposure to the space-flight environment can induce rapid changes in living systems that are similar to changes occurring during aging; manipulation of these environmental parameters may represent an experimental strategy for studies of development and senescence. The current and future opportunities for such space-flight experimentation are presented.

  6. Mortality Rates in a Genetically Heterogeneous Population of Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, Anne; Lithgow, Gordon J.; Johnson, Thomas E.

    1994-02-01

    Age-specific mortality rates in isogenic populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans increase exponentially throughout life. In genetically heterogeneous populations, age-specific mortality increases exponentially until about 17 days and then remains constant until the last death occurs at about 60 days. This period of constant age-specific mortality results from genetic heterogeneity. Subpopulations differ in mean life-span, but they all exhibit near exponential, albeit different, rates of increase in age-specific mortality. Thus, much of the observed heterogeneity in mortality rates later in life could result from genetic heterogeneity and not from an inherent effect of aging.

  7. Immune defense mechanisms in the Caenorhabditis elegans intestinal epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Pukkila-Worley, Read; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2013-01-01

    Intestinal epithelial cells provide an essential line of defense for Caenorhabditis elegans against ingested pathogens. Because nematodes consume microorganisms as their food source, there has presumably been selection pressure to evolve and maintain immune defense mechanisms within the intestinal epithelium. Here we review recent advances that further define the immune signaling network within these cells and suggest mechanisms used by the nematode to monitor for infection. In reviewing studies of pathogenesis that use this simple model system, we hope to illustrate some of the basic principles of epithelial immunity that may also be of relevance in higher order hosts. PMID:22236697

  8. Measuring the effects of high CO₂ levels in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zuela, Noam; Friedman, Nurit; Zaslaver, Alon; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2014-08-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important molecule in cell metabolism. It is also a byproduct of many physiological processes. In humans, impaired lung function and lung diseases disrupt the body's ability to dispose of CO2 and elevate its levels in the body (hypercapnia). Animal models allow further understanding of how CO2 is sensed in the body and what are the physiological responses to high CO2 levels. This information can provide new strategies in the battle against the detrimental effects of CO2 accumulation in lung diseases. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides us with such a model animal due to its natural ability to sense and navigate through varying concentrations of CO2, as well as the fact that it can be genetically manipulated with ease. Here we describe the different methods used to measure the effects elevated levels of CO2 have on the molecular sensing mechanism and physiology of C. elegans. PMID:24650565

  9. Alteration of Caenorhabditis elegans gene expression by targeted transformation.

    PubMed Central

    Broverman, S; MacMorris, M; Blumenthal, T

    1993-01-01

    We have produced strains carrying a synthetic fusion of parts of two vitellogenin genes, vit-2 and vit-6, integrated into the Caenorhabditis elegans genome. In most of the 63 transformant strains, the plasmid sequences are integrated at random locations in the genome. However, in two strains the transgene integrated by homologous recombination into the endogenous vit-2 gene. In both cases the reciprocal exchange between the chromosome and the injected circular plasmid containing a promoter deletion led to switching of the plasmid-borne promoter and the endogenous promoter, with a reduction in vit-2 expression. Thus in nematodes, transforming DNA can integrate by homologous recombination to result in partial inactivation of the chromosomal locus. The simplicity of the event and its reasonably high frequency suggest that gene targeting by homologous recombination should be considered as a method for directed inactivation of C. elegans genes. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8506273

  10. Alteration of Caenorhabditis elegans gene expression by targeted transformation.

    PubMed

    Broverman, S; MacMorris, M; Blumenthal, T

    1993-05-15

    We have produced strains carrying a synthetic fusion of parts of two vitellogenin genes, vit-2 and vit-6, integrated into the Caenorhabditis elegans genome. In most of the 63 transformant strains, the plasmid sequences are integrated at random locations in the genome. However, in two strains the transgene integrated by homologous recombination into the endogenous vit-2 gene. In both cases the reciprocal exchange between the chromosome and the injected circular plasmid containing a promoter deletion led to switching of the plasmid-borne promoter and the endogenous promoter, with a reduction in vit-2 expression. Thus in nematodes, transforming DNA can integrate by homologous recombination to result in partial inactivation of the chromosomal locus. The simplicity of the event and its reasonably high frequency suggest that gene targeting by homologous recombination should be considered as a method for directed inactivation of C. elegans genes. PMID:8506273

  11. High-throughput imaging of neuronal activity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Larsch, Johannes; Ventimiglia, Donovan; Bargmann, Cornelia I.; Albrecht, Dirk R.

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal responses to sensory inputs can vary based on genotype, development, experience, or stochastic factors. Existing neuronal recording techniques examine a single animal at a time, limiting understanding of the variability and range of potential responses. To scale up neuronal recordings, we here describe a system for simultaneous wide-field imaging of neuronal calcium activity from at least 20 Caenorhabditis elegans animals under precise microfluidic chemical stimulation. This increased experimental throughput was used to perform a systematic characterization of chemosensory neuron responses to multiple odors, odor concentrations, and temporal patterns, as well as responses to pharmacological manipulation. The system allowed recordings from sensory neurons and interneurons in freely moving animals, whose neuronal responses could be correlated with behavior. Wide-field imaging provides a tool for comprehensive circuit analysis with elevated throughput in C. elegans. PMID:24145415

  12. The genetics of ivermectin resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Dent, J A; Smith, M M; Vassilatis, D K; Avery, L

    2000-03-14

    The ability of organisms to evolve resistance threatens the effectiveness of every antibiotic drug. We show that in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, simultaneous mutation of three genes, avr-14, avr-15, and glc-1, encoding glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) alpha-type subunits confers high-level resistance to the antiparasitic drug ivermectin. In contrast, mutating any two channel genes confers modest or no resistance. We propose a model in which ivermectin sensitivity in C. elegans is mediated by genes affecting parallel genetic pathways defined by the family of GluCl genes. The sensitivity of these pathways is further modulated by unc-7, unc-9, and the Dyf (dye filling defective) genes, which alter the structure of the nervous system. Our results suggest that the evolution of drug resistance can be slowed by targeting antibiotic drugs to several members of a multigene family. PMID:10716995

  13. Meiotic recombination and the crossover assurance checkpoint in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhouliang; Kim, Yumi; Dernburg, Abby F

    2016-06-01

    During meiotic prophase, chromosomes pair and synapse with their homologs and undergo programmed DNA double-strand break (DSB) formation to initiate meiotic recombination. These DSBs are processed to generate a limited number of crossover recombination products on each chromosome, which are essential to ensure faithful segregation of homologous chromosomes. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has served as an excellent model organism to investigate the mechanisms that drive and coordinate these chromosome dynamics during meiosis. Here we focus on our current understanding of the regulation of DSB induction in C. elegans. We also review evidence that feedback regulation of crossover formation prolongs the early stages of meiotic prophase, and discuss evidence that this can alter the recombination pattern, most likely by shifting the genome-wide distribution of DSBs. PMID:27013114

  14. Dietary and microbiome factors determine longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Blanco, Adolfo; Rodríguez-Matellán, Alberto; González-Paramás, Ana; González-Manzano, Susana; Kim, Stuart K; Mollinedo, Faustino

    2016-07-01

    Diet composition affects organismal health. Nutrient uptake depends on the microbiome. Caenorhabditis elegans fed a Bacillus subtilis diet live longer than those fed the standard Escherichia coli diet. Here we report that this longevity difference is primarily caused by dietary coQ, an antioxidant synthesized by E. coli but not by B. subtilis. CoQ-supplemented E. coli fed worms have a lower oxidation state yet live shorter than coQ-less B. subtilis fed worms. We showed that mutations affecting longevity for E. coli fed worms do not always lead to similar effects when worms are fed B. subtilis. We propose that coQ supplementation by the E. coli diet alters the worm cellular REDOX homeostasis, thus decreasing longevity. Our results highlight the importance of microbiome factors in longevity, argue that antioxidant supplementation can be detrimental, and suggest that the C. elegans standard E. coli diet can alter the effect of signaling pathways on longevity. PMID:27510225

  15. Dietary and microbiome factors determine longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Blanco, Adolfo; Rodríguez-Matellán, Alberto; González-Paramás, Ana; González-Manzano, Susana; Kim, Stuart K.; Mollinedo, Faustino

    2016-01-01

    Diet composition affects organismal health. Nutrient uptake depends on the microbiome. Caenorhabditis elegans fed a Bacillus subtilis diet live longer than those fed the standard Escherichia coli diet. Here we report that this longevity difference is primarily caused by dietary coQ, an antioxidant synthesized by E. coli but not by B. subtilis. CoQ-supplemented E. coli fed worms have a lower oxidation state yet live shorter than coQ-less B. subtilis fed worms. We showed that mutations affecting longevity for E. coli fed worms do not always lead to similar effects when worms are fed B. subtilis. We propose that coQ supplementation by the E. coli diet alters the worm cellular REDOX homeostasis, thus decreasing longevity. Our results highlight the importance of microbiome factors in longevity, argue that antioxidant supplementation can be detrimental, and suggest that the C. elegans standard E. coli diet can alter the effect of signaling pathways on longevity. PMID:27510225

  16. A microfluidic device for efficient chemical testing using Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Song, Pengfei; Zhang, Weize; Sobolevski, Alexandre; Bernard, Kristine; Hekimi, Siegfried; Liu, Xinyu

    2015-04-01

    The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has been employed as a popular model organism in many fields of biological research. In this paper, we present a microfluidic device for facilitating chemical testing using C. elegans. For testing chemicals on chip, the device houses single nematodes in microfluidic chambers and precisely adjusts the chamber's chemical environment during experiments. Eight nematodes can be readily loaded into the chambers through separate loading channels in a quick and gentle manner. In addition, a custom-made software with a graphic user interface is also created for quantitative analysis of locomotion parameters (swimming frequency and bend amplitude) of the nematodes in response to chemical stimuli, thus greatly enhancing the efficiency of data collection. We perform proof-of-concept experiments using two chemicals, zinc ion (Zn(2+)) and glucose, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the microfluidic device. PMID:25744157

  17. Magnetosensitive neurons mediate geomagnetic orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Vidal-Gadea, Andrés; Ward, Kristi; Beron, Celia; Ghorashian, Navid; Gokce, Sertan; Russell, Joshua; Truong, Nicholas; Parikh, Adhishri; Gadea, Otilia; Ben-Yakar, Adela; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Many organisms spanning from bacteria to mammals orient to the earth's magnetic field. For a few animals, central neurons responsive to earth-strength magnetic fields have been identified; however, magnetosensory neurons have yet to be identified in any animal. We show that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans orients to the earth's magnetic field during vertical burrowing migrations. Well-fed worms migrated up, while starved worms migrated down. Populations isolated from around the world, migrated at angles to the magnetic vector that would optimize vertical translation in their native soil, with northern- and southern-hemisphere worms displaying opposite migratory preferences. Magnetic orientation and vertical migrations required the TAX-4 cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel in the AFD sensory neuron pair. Calcium imaging showed that these neurons respond to magnetic fields even without synaptic input. C. elegans may have adapted magnetic orientation to simplify their vertical burrowing migration by reducing the orientation task from three dimensions to one. PMID:26083711

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for cancer research

    PubMed Central

    Kyriakakis, Emmanouil; Markaki, Maria; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2015-01-01

    The term cancer describes a group of multifaceted diseases characterized by an intricate pathophysiology. Despite significant advances in the fight against cancer, it remains a key public health concern and burden on societies worldwide. Elucidation of key molecular and cellular mechanisms of oncogenic diseases will facilitate the development of better intervention strategies to counter or prevent tumor development. In vivo and in vitro models have long been used to delineate distinct biological processes involved in cancer such as apoptosis, proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, metastasis, genome instability, and metabolism. In this review, we introduce Caenorhabditis elegans as an emerging animal model for systematic dissection of the molecular basis of tumorigenesis, focusing on the well-established processes of apoptosis and autophagy. Additionally, we propose that C. elegans can be used to advance our understanding of cancer progression, such as deregulation of energy metabolism, stem cell reprogramming, and host–microflora interactions. PMID:27308424

  19. Aging. Lysosomal signaling molecules regulate longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Folick, Andrew; Oakley, Holly D; Yu, Yong; Armstrong, Eric H; Kumari, Manju; Sanor, Lucas; Moore, David D; Ortlund, Eric A; Zechner, Rudolf; Wang, Meng C

    2015-01-01

    Lysosomes are crucial cellular organelles for human health that function in digestion and recycling of extracellular and intracellular macromolecules. We describe a signaling role for lysosomes that affects aging. In the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the lysosomal acid lipase LIPL-4 triggered nuclear translocalization of a lysosomal lipid chaperone LBP-8, which promoted longevity by activating the nuclear hormone receptors NHR-49 and NHR-80. We used high-throughput metabolomic analysis to identify several lipids in which abundance was increased in worms constitutively overexpressing LIPL-4. Among them, oleoylethanolamide directly bound to LBP-8 and NHR-80 proteins, activated transcription of target genes of NHR-49 and NHR-80, and promoted longevity in C. elegans. These findings reveal a lysosome-to-nucleus signaling pathway that promotes longevity and suggest a function of lysosomes as signaling organelles in metazoans. PMID:25554789

  20. Measuring Food Intake and Nutrient Absorption in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Gomez-Amaro, Rafael L.; Valentine, Elizabeth R.; Carretero, Maria; LeBoeuf, Sarah E.; Rangaraju, Sunitha; Broaddus, Caroline D.; Solis, Gregory M.; Williamson, James R.; Petrascheck, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a powerful model to study the genetics of feeding, food-related behaviors, and metabolism. Despite the many advantages of C. elegans as a model organism, direct measurement of its bacterial food intake remains challenging. Here, we describe two complementary methods that measure the food intake of C. elegans. The first method is a microtiter plate-based bacterial clearing assay that measures food intake by quantifying the change in the optical density of bacteria over time. The second method, termed pulse feeding, measures the absorption of food by tracking de novo protein synthesis using a novel metabolic pulse-labeling strategy. Using the bacterial clearance assay, we compare the bacterial food intake of various C. elegans strains and show that long-lived eat mutants eat substantially more than previous estimates. To demonstrate the applicability of the pulse-feeding assay, we compare the assimilation of food for two C. elegans strains in response to serotonin. We show that serotonin-increased feeding leads to increased protein synthesis in a SER-7-dependent manner, including proteins known to promote aging. Protein content in the food has recently emerged as critical factor in determining how food composition affects aging and health. The pulse-feeding assay, by measuring de novo protein synthesis, represents an ideal method to unequivocally establish how the composition of food dictates protein synthesis. In combination, these two assays provide new and powerful tools for C. elegans research to investigate feeding and how food intake affects the proteome and thus the physiology and health of an organism. PMID:25903497

  1. Staphylococcal biofilm exopolysaccharide protects against Caenorhabditis elegans immune defenses.

    PubMed

    Begun, Jakob; Gaiani, Jessica M; Rohde, Holger; Mack, Dietrich; Calderwood, Stephen B; Ausubel, Frederick M; Sifri, Costi D

    2007-04-01

    Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus are leading causes of hospital-acquired infections that have become increasingly difficult to treat due to the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in these organisms. The ability of staphylococci to produce biofilm is an important virulence mechanism that allows bacteria both to adhere to living and artificial surfaces and to resist host immune factors and antibiotics. Here, we show that the icaADBC locus, which synthesizes the biofilm-associated polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA) in staphylococci, is required for the formation of a lethal S. epidermidis infection in the intestine of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Susceptibility to S. epidermidis infection is influenced by mutation of the C. elegans PMK-1 p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase or DAF-2 insulin-signaling pathways. Loss of PIA production abrogates nematocidal activity and leads to reduced bacterial accumulation in the C. elegans intestine, while overexpression of the icaADBC locus in S. aureus augments virulence towards nematodes. PIA-producing S. epidermidis has a significant survival advantage over ica-deficient S. epidermidis within the intestinal tract of wild-type C. elegans, but not in immunocompromised nematodes harboring a loss-of-function mutation in the p38 MAP kinase pathway gene sek-1. Moreover, sek-1 and pmk-1 mutants are equally sensitive to wild-type and icaADBC-deficient S. epidermidis. These results suggest that biofilm exopolysaccharide enhances virulence by playing an immunoprotective role during colonization of the C. elegans intestine. These studies demonstrate that C. elegans can serve as a simple animal model for studying host-pathogen interactions involving staphylococcal biofilm exopolysaccharide and suggest that the protective activity of biofilm matrix represents an ancient conserved function for resisting predation. PMID:17447841

  2. Staphylococcal Biofilm Exopolysaccharide Protects against Caenorhabditis elegans Immune Defenses

    PubMed Central

    Begun, Jakob; Gaiani, Jessica M; Rohde, Holger; Mack, Dietrich; Calderwood, Stephen B; Ausubel, Frederick M; Sifri, Costi D

    2007-01-01

    Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus are leading causes of hospital-acquired infections that have become increasingly difficult to treat due to the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in these organisms. The ability of staphylococci to produce biofilm is an important virulence mechanism that allows bacteria both to adhere to living and artificial surfaces and to resist host immune factors and antibiotics. Here, we show that the icaADBC locus, which synthesizes the biofilm-associated polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA) in staphylococci, is required for the formation of a lethal S. epidermidis infection in the intestine of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Susceptibility to S. epidermidis infection is influenced by mutation of the C. elegans PMK-1 p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase or DAF-2 insulin-signaling pathways. Loss of PIA production abrogates nematocidal activity and leads to reduced bacterial accumulation in the C. elegans intestine, while overexpression of the icaADBC locus in S. aureus augments virulence towards nematodes. PIA-producing S. epidermidis has a significant survival advantage over ica-deficient S. epidermidis within the intestinal tract of wild-type C. elegans, but not in immunocompromised nematodes harboring a loss-of-function mutation in the p38 MAP kinase pathway gene sek-1. Moreover, sek-1 and pmk-1 mutants are equally sensitive to wild-type and icaADBC-deficient S. epidermidis. These results suggest that biofilm exopolysaccharide enhances virulence by playing an immunoprotective role during colonization of the C. elegans intestine. These studies demonstrate that C. elegans can serve as a simple animal model for studying host–pathogen interactions involving staphylococcal biofilm exopolysaccharide and suggest that the protective activity of biofilm matrix represents an ancient conserved function for resisting predation. PMID:17447841

  3. Caenorhabditis elegans glia modulate neuronal activity and behavior.

    PubMed

    Stout, Randy F; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Parpura, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Glial cells of Caenorhabditis elegans can modulate neuronal activity and behavior, which is the focus of this review. Initially, we provide an overview of neuroglial evolution, making a comparison between C. elegans glia and their genealogical counterparts. What follows is a brief discussion on C. elegans glia characteristics in terms of their exact numbers, germ layers origin, their necessity for proper development of sensory organs, and lack of their need for neuronal survival. The more specific roles that various glial cells have on neuron-based activity/behavior are succinctly presented. The cephalic sheath glia are important for development, maintenance and activity of central synapses, whereas the amphid glia seem to set the tone of sensory synapses; these glial cell types are ectoderm-derived. Mesoderm-derived Glial-Like cells in the nerve Ring (GLRs) appear to be a part of the circuit for production of motor movement of the worm anterior. Finally, we discuss tools and approaches utilized in studying C. elegans glia, which are assets available for this animal, making it an appealing model, not only in neurosciences, but in biology in general. PMID:24672428

  4. Blueberry polyphenols increase lifespan and thermotolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Mark A; Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Kalt, Wilhelmina; Ingram, Donald K; Joseph, James A; Wolkow, Catherine A

    2006-01-01

    Summary The beneficial effects of polyphenol compounds in fruits and vegetables are mainly extrapolated from in vitro studies or short-term dietary supplementation studies. Due to cost and duration, relatively little is known about whether dietary polyphenols are beneficial in whole animals, particularly with respect to aging. To address this question, we examined the effects of blueberry polyphenols on lifespan and aging of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, a useful organism for such a study. We report that a complex mixture of blue-berry polyphenols increased lifespan and slowed aging-related declines in C. elegans. We also found that these benefits did not just reflect antioxidant activity in these compounds. For instance, blueberry treatment increased survival during acute heat stress, but was not protective against acute oxidative stress. The blueberry extract consists of three major fractions that all contain antioxidant activity. However, only one fraction, enriched in proanthocyanidin compounds, increased C. elegans lifespan and thermotolerance. To further determine how polyphenols prolonged C. elegans lifespan, we analyzed the genetic requirements for these effects. Prolonged lifespan from this treatment required the presence of a CaMKII pathway that mediates osmotic stress resistance, though not other pathways that affect stress resistance and longevity. In conclusion, polyphenolic compounds in blueberries had robust and reproducible benefits during aging that were separable from antioxidant effects. PMID:16441844

  5. Functional analysis of the aquaporin gene family in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chunyi George; Lamitina, Todd; Agre, Peter; Strange, Kevin

    2007-05-01

    Aquaporin channels facilitate the transport of water, glycerol, and other small solutes across cell membranes. The physiological roles of many aquaporins remain unclear. To better understand aquaporin function, we characterized the aquaporin gene family in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Eight canonical aquaporin-encoding genes (aqp) are present in the worm genome. Expression of aqp-2, aqp-3, aqp-4, aqp-6, or aqp-7 in Xenopus oocytes increased water permeability five- to sevenfold. Glycerol permeability was increased three to sevenfold by expression of aqp-1, aqp-3, or aqp-7. Green fluorescent protein transcriptional and translational reporters demonstrated that aqp genes are expressed in numerous C. elegans cell types, including the intestine, excretory cell, and hypodermis, which play important roles in whole animal osmoregulation. To define the role of C. elegans aquaporins in osmotic homeostasis, we isolated deletion alleles for four aqp genes, aqp-2, aqp-3, aqp-4, and aqp-8, which are expressed in osmoregulatory tissues and mediate water transport. Single, double, triple, and quadruple aqp mutant animals exhibited normal survival, development, growth, fertility, and movement under normal and hypertonic culture conditions. aqp-2;aqp-3;aqp-4;aqp-8 quadruple mutants exhibited a slight defect in recovery from hypotonic stress but survived hypotonic stress as well as wild-type animals. These results suggest that C. elegans aquaporins are not essential for whole animal osmoregulation and/or that deletion of aquaporin genes activates mechanisms that compensate for loss of water channel function. PMID:17229810

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans pathways that surveil and defend mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ying; Samuel, Buck S.; Breen, Peter C.; Ruvkun, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Mitochondrial function is challenged by toxic byproducts of metabolism as well as by pathogen attack1,2. Caenorhabditis elegans normally responds to mitochondrial dysfunction with activation of mitochondrial repair, drug detoxification, and pathogen-response pathways1–7. From a genome-wide RNAi screen, we identified 45 C. elegans genes that are required to upregulate detoxification, pathogen-response, and mitochondrial repair pathways after inhibition of mitochondrial function by drugs or genetic disruption. Animals defective in ceramide biosynthesis are deficient in mitochondrial surveillance, and addition of particular ceramides can rescue the surveillance defects. Ceramide can also rescue the mitochondrial surveillance defects of other gene inactivations, mapping these gene activities upstream of ceramide. Inhibition of the mevalonate pathway, either by RNAi or statin drugs also disrupts mitochondrial surveillance. Growth of C. elegans with a significant fraction of bacterial species from their natural habitat causes mitochondrial dysfunction. Other bacterial species inhibit C. elegans defense responses to a mitochondrial toxin, revealing bacterial countermeasures to animal defense. PMID:24695221

  7. In vivo analysis of recycling endosomes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Shi, Anbing; Grant, Barth D

    2015-01-01

    The microscopic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) serves as an excellent animal model for studying membrane traffic. This is due in part to its highly advanced genetics and genomics, and a transparent body that allows the visualization of fluorescently tagged molecules in the physiologically relevant context of the intact organism. Notably, C. elegans oocytes, coelomocytes, and intestinal epithelia have been established as facile cellular models to explore nonpolarized and polarized cell membrane trafficking mechanisms. In this chapter, we describe in vivo C. elegans assays, utilizing fluorescent dyes or proteins, to examine the molecular mechanisms that control endocytosis and endocytic recycling. Tissue-specific, steady-state imaging and associated quantitative analysis allow the identification and interpretation of subcellular events in the intact animal. To better understand the kinetic characteristics of recycling tubules that mediate membrane protein recycling, we describe recently developed dynamic-imaging assays in intestinal epithelial cells. Such methods bring new clarity to the system, helping to elucidate the functional roles of recycling mediators. PMID:26360035

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans glia modulate neuronal activity and behavior

    PubMed Central

    Stout Jr., Randy F.; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Parpura, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Glial cells of Caenorhabditis elegans can modulate neuronal activity and behavior, which is the focus of this review. Initially, we provide an overview of neuroglial evolution, making a comparison between C. elegans glia and their genealogical counterparts. What follows is a brief discussion on C. elegans glia characteristics in terms of their exact numbers, germ layers origin, their necessity for proper development of sensory organs, and lack of their need for neuronal survival. The more specific roles that various glial cells have on neuron-based activity/behavior are succinctly presented. The cephalic sheath glia are important for development, maintenance and activity of central synapses, whereas the amphid glia seem to set the tone of sensory synapses; these glial cell types are ectoderm-derived. Mesoderm-derived Glial-Like cells in the nerve Ring (GLRs) appear to be a part of the circuit for production of motor movement of the worm anterior. Finally, we discuss tools and approaches utilized in studying C. elegans glia, which are assets available for this animal, making it an appealing model, not only in neurosciences, but in biology in general. PMID:24672428

  9. Identification of an estrogenic hormone receptor in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Mimoto, Ai; Fujii, Madoka; Usami, Makoto; Shimamura, Maki; Hirabayashi, Naoko; Kaneko, Takako; Sasagawa, Noboru; Ishiura, Shoichi

    2007-12-28

    Changes in both behavior and gene expression occur in Caenorhabditis elegans following exposure to sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, and to bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compound. However, only one steroid hormone receptor has been identified. Of the 284 known nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) in C. elegans, we selected nhr-14, nhr-69, and nhr-121 for analysis as potential estrogenic hormone receptors, because they share sequence similarity with the human estrogen receptor. First, the genes were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, and then the affinity of each protein for estrogen was determined using a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor. All three NHRs bound estrogen in a dose-dependent fashion. To evaluate the specificity of the binding, we performed a solution competition assay using an SPR biosensor. According to our results, only NHR-14 was able to interact with estrogen. Therefore, we next examined whether nhr-14 regulates estrogen signaling in vivo. To investigate whether these interactions actually control the response of C. elegans to hormones, we investigated the expression of vitellogenin, an estrogen responsive gene, in an nhr-14 mutant. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed that vitellogenin expression was significantly reduced in the mutant. This suggests that NHR-14 is a C. elegans estrogenic hormone receptor and that it controls gene expression in response to estrogen.

  10. Blueberry polyphenols increase lifespan and thermotolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Mark A; Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Kalt, Wilhelmina; Ingram, Donald K; Joseph, James A; Wolkow, Catherine A

    2006-02-01

    The beneficial effects of polyphenol compounds in fruits and vegetables are mainly extrapolated from in vitro studies or short-term dietary supplementation studies. Due to cost and duration, relatively little is known about whether dietary polyphenols are beneficial in whole animals, particularly with respect to aging. To address this question, we examined the effects of blueberry polyphenols on lifespan and aging of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, a useful organism for such a study. We report that a complex mixture of blueberry polyphenols increased lifespan and slowed aging-related declines in C. elegans. We also found that these benefits did not just reflect antioxidant activity in these compounds. For instance, blueberry treatment increased survival during acute heat stress, but was not protective against acute oxidative stress. The blueberry extract consists of three major fractions that all contain antioxidant activity. However, only one fraction, enriched in proanthocyanidin compounds, increased C. elegans lifespan and thermotolerance. To further determine how polyphenols prolonged C. elegans lifespan, we analyzed the genetic requirements for these effects. Prolonged lifespan from this treatment required the presence of a CaMKII pathway that mediates osmotic stress resistance, though not other pathways that affect stress resistance and longevity. In conclusion, polyphenolic compounds in blueberries had robust and reproducible benefits during aging that were separable from antioxidant effects. PMID:16441844

  11. Identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Phenazines that Kill Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Cezairliyan, Brent; Vinayavekhin, Nawaporn; Grenfell-Lee, Daniel; Yuen, Grace J.; Saghatelian, Alan; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic microbes employ a variety of methods to overcome host defenses, including the production and dispersal of molecules that are toxic to their hosts. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative bacterium, is a pathogen of a diverse variety of hosts including mammals and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we identify three small molecules in the phenazine class that are produced by P. aeruginosa strain PA14 that are toxic to C. elegans. We demonstrate that 1-hydroxyphenazine, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, and pyocyanin are capable of killing nematodes in a matter of hours. 1-hydroxyphenazine is toxic over a wide pH range, whereas the toxicities of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and pyocyanin are pH-dependent at non-overlapping pH ranges. We found that acidification of the growth medium by PA14 activates the toxicity of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, which is the primary toxic agent towards C. elegans in our assay. Pyocyanin is not toxic under acidic conditions and 1-hydroxyphenazine is produced at concentrations too low to kill C. elegans. These results suggest a role for phenazine-1-carboxylic acid in mammalian pathogenesis because PA14 mutants deficient in phenazine production have been shown to be defective in pathogenesis in mice. More generally, these data demonstrate how diversity within a class of metabolites could affect bacterial toxicity in different environmental niches. PMID:23300454

  12. The neuronal genome of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hobert, Oliver

    2013-01-01

    The ~100 MB genome of C. elegans codes for ~20,000 protein-coding genes many of which are required for the function of the nervous system, composed of 302 neurons in the adult hermaphrodite and of 383 neurons in the adult male. In addition to housekeeping genes, a differentiated neuron is thought to express many hundreds if not thousands of genes that define its functional properties. These genes code for ion channels, G-protein-coupled receptors, neurotransmitter-synthesizing enzymes, transporters and receptors, neuropeptides and their receptors, cell adhesion molecules, motor proteins, signaling molecules and many others. Collectively such genes have been referred to as "terminal differentiation genes" or "effector genes". The differential expression of distinct combinations of terminal differentiation genes define different neuron types. This paper provides a compendium of more than 2,800 putative terminal differentiation genes. One pervasive theme revealed by the analysis of many gene families is the nematode-specific expansions of many neuron function-related gene families, including, for example, many types of ion channel families, sensory receptors and neurotransmitter receptors. The gene lists provided here can serve multiple purposes. They can serve as quick reference guides for individual gene families or they can be used to mine large datasets (e.g., expression datasets) for genes with likely functions in the nervous system. They also serve as a starting point for future projects. For example, a comprehensive understanding of the regulation of the often complex expression patterns of these genes in the nervous system will eventually explain how nervous systems are built. PMID:24081909

  13. Recombinational Landscape and Population Genomics of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Rockman, Matthew V.; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2009-01-01

    Recombination rate and linkage disequilibrium, the latter a function of population genomic processes, are the critical parameters for mapping by linkage and association, and their patterns in Caenorhabditis elegans are poorly understood. We performed high-density SNP genotyping on a large panel of recombinant inbred advanced intercross lines (RIAILs) of C. elegans to characterize the landscape of recombination and, on a panel of wild strains, to characterize population genomic patterns. We confirmed that C. elegans autosomes exhibit discrete domains of nearly constant recombination rate, and we show, for the first time, that the pattern holds for the X chromosome as well. The terminal domains of each chromosome, spanning about 7% of the genome, exhibit effectively no recombination. The RIAILs exhibit a 5.3-fold expansion of the genetic map. With median marker spacing of 61 kb, they are a powerful resource for mapping quantitative trait loci in C. elegans. Among 125 wild isolates, we identified only 41 distinct haplotypes. The patterns of genotypic similarity suggest that some presumed wild strains are laboratory contaminants. The Hawaiian strain, CB4856, exhibits genetic isolation from the remainder of the global population, whose members exhibit ample evidence of intercrossing and recombining. The population effective recombination rate, estimated from the pattern of linkage disequilibrium, is correlated with the estimated meiotic recombination rate, but its magnitude implies that the effective rate of outcrossing is extremely low, corroborating reports of selection against recombinant genotypes. Despite the low population, effective recombination rate and extensive linkage disequilibrium among chromosomes, which are techniques that account for background levels of genomic similarity, permit association mapping in wild C. elegans strains. PMID:19283065

  14. SKN-1/Nrf, stress responses, and aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Blackwell, T Keith; Steinbaugh, Michael J; Hourihan, John M; Ewald, Collin Y; Isik, Meltem

    2015-11-01

    The mammalian Nrf/CNC proteins (Nrf1, Nrf2, Nrf3, p45 NF-E2) perform a wide range of cellular protective and maintenance functions. The most thoroughly described of these proteins, Nrf2, is best known as a regulator of antioxidant and xenobiotic defense, but more recently has been implicated in additional functions that include proteostasis and metabolic regulation. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which offers many advantages for genetic analyses, the Nrf/CNC proteins are represented by their ortholog SKN-1. Although SKN-1 has diverged in aspects of how it binds DNA, it exhibits remarkable functional conservation with Nrf/CNC proteins in other species and regulates many of the same target gene families. C. elegans may therefore have considerable predictive value as a discovery model for understanding how mammalian Nrf/CNC proteins function and are regulated in vivo. Work in C. elegans indicates that SKN-1 regulation is surprisingly complex and is influenced by numerous growth, nutrient, and metabolic signals. SKN-1 is also involved in a wide range of homeostatic functions that extend well beyond the canonical Nrf2 function in responses to acute stress. Importantly, SKN-1 plays a central role in diverse genetic and pharmacologic interventions that promote C. elegans longevity, suggesting that mechanisms regulated by SKN-1 may be of conserved importance in aging. These C. elegans studies predict that mammalian Nrf/CNC protein functions and regulation may be similarly complex and that the proteins and processes that they regulate are likely to have a major influence on mammalian life- and healthspan. PMID:26232625

  15. Track-a-worm, an open-source system for quantitative assessment of C. elegans locomotory and bending behavior.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sijie Jason; Wang, Zhao-Wen

    2013-01-01

    A major challenge of neuroscience is to understand the circuit and gene bases of behavior. C. elegans is commonly used as a model system to investigate how various gene products function at specific tissue, cellular, and synaptic foci to produce complicated locomotory and bending behavior. The investigation generally requires quantitative behavioral analyses using an automated single-worm tracker, which constantly records and analyzes the position and body shape of a freely moving worm at a high magnification. Many single-worm trackers have been developed to meet lab-specific needs, but none has been widely implemented for various reasons, such as hardware difficult to assemble, and software lacking sufficient functionality, having closed source code, or using a programming language that is not broadly accessible. The lack of a versatile system convenient for wide implementation makes data comparisons difficult and compels other labs to develop new worm trackers. Here we describe Track-A-Worm, a system rich in functionality, open in source code, and easy to use. The system includes plug-and-play hardware (a stereomicroscope, a digital camera and a motorized stage), custom software written to run with Matlab in Windows 7, and a detailed user manual. Grayscale images are automatically converted to binary images followed by head identification and placement of 13 markers along a deduced spline. The software can extract and quantify a variety of parameters, including distance traveled, average speed, distance/time/speed of forward and backward locomotion, frequency and amplitude of dominant bends, overall bending activities measured as root mean square, and sum of all bends. It also plots worm travel path, bend trace, and bend frequency spectrum. All functionality is performed through graphical user interfaces and data is exported to clearly-annotated and documented Excel files. These features make Track-A-Worm a good candidate for implementation in other labs. PMID

  16. Genotype-dependent lifespan effects in peptone deprived Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Stastna, Jana J.; Snoek, L. Basten; Kammenga, Jan E.; Harvey, Simon C.

    2015-01-01

    Dietary restriction appears to act as a general non-genetic mechanism that can robustly prolong lifespan. There have however been reports in many systems of cases where restricted food intake either shortens, or does not affect, lifespan. Here we analyze lifespan and the effect of food restriction via deprived peptone levels on lifespan in wild isolates and introgression lines (ILs) of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. These analyses identify genetic variation in lifespan, in the effect of this variation in diet on lifespan and also in the likelihood of maternal, matricidal, hatching. Importantly, in the wild isolates and the ILs, we identify genotypes in which peptone deprivation mediated dietary restriction reduces lifespan. We also identify, in recombinant inbred lines, a locus that affects maternal hatching, a phenotype closely linked to dietary restriction in C. elegans. These results indicate that peptone deprivation mediated dietary restriction affects lifespan in C. elegans in a genotype-dependent manner, reducing lifespan in some genotypes. This may operate by a mechanism similar to dietary restriction. PMID:26539794

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model for anthelmintic discovery

    PubMed Central

    Burns, Andrew R.; Luciani, Genna M.; Musso, Gabriel; Bagg, Rachel; Yeo, May; Zhang, Yuqian; Rajendran, Luckshika; Glavin, John; Hunter, Robert; Redman, Elizabeth; Stasiuk, Susan; Schertzberg, Michael; Angus McQuibban, G.; Caffrey, Conor R.; Cutler, Sean R.; Tyers, Mike; Giaever, Guri; Nislow, Corey; Fraser, Andy G.; MacRae, Calum A.; Gilleard, John; Roy, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes infect one quarter of the world's population and impact all humans through widespread infection of crops and livestock. Resistance to current anthelmintics has prompted the search for new drugs. Traditional screens that rely on parasitic worms are costly and labour intensive and target-based approaches have failed to yield novel anthelmintics. Here, we present our screen of 67,012 compounds to identify those that kill the non-parasitic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We then rescreen our hits in two parasitic nematode species and two vertebrate models (HEK293 cells and zebrafish), and identify 30 structurally distinct anthelmintic lead molecules. Genetic screens of 19 million C. elegans mutants reveal those nematicides for which the generation of resistance is and is not likely. We identify the target of one lead with nematode specificity and nanomolar potency as complex II of the electron transport chain. This work establishes C. elegans as an effective and cost-efficient model system for anthelmintic discovery. PMID:26108372

  18. Isotopic Ratio Outlier Analysis Global Metabolomics of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Szewc, Mark A.; Garrett, Timothy; Menger, Robert F.; Yost, Richard A.; Beecher, Chris; Edison, Arthur S.

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate the global metabolic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans stress responses using a mass spectrometry-based technique called Isotopic Ratio Outlier Analysis (IROA). In an IROA protocol, control and experimental samples are isotopically labeled with 95% and 5% 13C, and the two sample populations are mixed together for uniform extraction, sample preparation, and LC-MS analysis. This labeling strategy provides several advantages over conventional approaches: 1) compounds arising from biosynthesis are easily distinguished from artifacts, 2) errors from sample extraction and preparation are minimized because the control and experiment are combined into a single sample, 3) measurement of both the molecular weight and the exact number of carbon atoms in each molecule provides extremely accurate molecular formulae, and 4) relative concentrations of all metabolites are easily determined. A heat shock perturbation was conducted on C. elegans to demonstrate this approach. We identified many compounds that significantly changed upon heat shock, including several from the purine metabolism pathway, which we use to demonstrate the approach. The metabolomic response information by IROA may be interpreted in the context of a wealth of genetic and proteomic information available for C. elegans. Furthermore, the IROA protocol can be applied to any organism that can be isotopically labeled, making it a powerful new tool in a global metabolomics pipeline. PMID:24274725

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans Mutants Resistant to Attachment of Yersinia Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Darby, Creg; Chakraborti, Amrita; Politz, Samuel M.; Daniels, Calvin C.; Tan, Li; Drace, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    The detailed composition and structure of the Caenorhabditis elegans surface are unknown. Previous genetic studies used antibody or lectin binding to identify srf genes that play roles in surface determination. Infection by Microbacterium nematophilum identified bus (bacterially unswollen) genes that also affect surface characteristics. We report that biofilms produced by Yersinia pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis, which bind the C. elegans surface predominantly on the head, can be used to identify additional surface-determining genes. A screen for C. elegans mutants with a biofilm absent on the head (Bah) phenotype identified three novel genes: bah-1, bah-2, and bah-3. The bah-1 and bah-2 mutants have slightly fragile cuticles but are neither Srf nor Bus, suggesting that they are specific for surface components involved in biofilm attachment. A bah-3 mutant has normal cuticle integrity, but shows a stage-specific Srf phenotype. The screen produced alleles of five known surface genes: srf-2, srf-3, bus-4, bus-12, and bus-17. For the X-linked bus-17, a paternal effect was observed in biofilm assays. PMID:17339204

  20. Homologue pairing, recombination and segregation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zetka, M

    2009-01-01

    Meiosis in the free-living, hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is marked by the same highly conserved features observed in other sexually reproducing systems. Accurate chromosome segregation at the meiotic divisions depends on earlier landmark events of meiotic prophase, including the pairing of homologous chromosomes, synapsis between them, and the formation of crossovers. Dissection of these processes has revealed a unique simplification of meiotic mechanisms that impact the interpretation of meiotic chromosome behaviour in more complex systems. Chromosome sites required for chromosome pairing are consolidated to one end of each chromosome, the many sites of recombination initiation are resolved into a single crossover for each chromosome pair, and the diffuse (holocentric) kinetic activity that extends along the length of the mitotic chromosomes is reduced to a single end of each meiotic chromosome. Consequently, studies from the nematode have illuminated and challenged long-standing concepts of homologue pairing mechanisms, crossover interference, and kinetochore structure. Because chromosome pairing, synapsis, and recombination can proceed independently of one another, C. elegans has provided a simplified system for studying these processes and the mechanisms mediating their coordination during meiosis. This review covers the major features of C. elegans meiosis with emphasis on its contributions to understanding essential meiotic processes. PMID:18948706

  1. A Caenorhabditis elegans Genome-Scale Metabolic Network Model.

    PubMed

    Yilmaz, L Safak; Walhout, Albertha J M

    2016-05-25

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model to study metabolism and how it relates to nutrition, gene expression, and life history traits. However, while numerous experimental techniques that enable perturbation of its diet and gene function are available, a high-quality metabolic network model has been lacking. Here, we reconstruct an initial version of the C. elegans metabolic network. This network model contains 1,273 genes, 623 enzymes, and 1,985 metabolic reactions and is referred to as iCEL1273. Using flux balance analysis, we show that iCEL1273 is capable of representing the conversion of bacterial biomass into C. elegans biomass during growth and enables the predictions of gene essentiality and other phenotypes. In addition, we demonstrate that gene expression data can be integrated with the model by comparing metabolic rewiring in dauer animals versus growing larvae. iCEL1273 is available at a dedicated website (wormflux.umassmed.edu) and will enable the unraveling of the mechanisms by which different macro- and micronutrients contribute to the animal's physiology. PMID:27211857

  2. HES-Mediated Repression of Pten in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chou, Han Ting; Vazquez, Raymarie Gomez; Wang, Kun; Campbell, Richard; Milledge, Gaolin Zheng; Walthall, Walter W.; Johnson, Casonya M.

    2015-01-01

    The hairy/enhancer-of-split (HES) group of transcription factors controls embryonic development, often by acting downstream of the Notch signaling pathway; however, little is known about postembryonic roles of these proteins. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the six proteins that make up the REF-1 family are considered to be HES orthologs that act in both Notch-dependent and Notch-independent pathways to regulate embryonic events. To further our understanding of how the REF-1 family works to coordinate postembryonic cellular events, we performed a functional characterization of the REF-1 family member, HLH-25. We show that, after embryogenesis, hlh-25 expression persists throughout every developmental stage, including dauer, into adulthood. Like animals that carry loss-of-function alleles in genes required for normal cell-cycle progression, the phenotypes of hlh-25 animals include reduced brood size, unfertilized oocytes, and abnormal gonad morphology. Using gene expression microarray, we show that the HLH-25 transcriptional network correlates with the phenotypes of hlh-25 animals and that the C. elegans Pten ortholog, daf-18, is one major hub in the network. Finally, we show that HLH-25 regulates C. elegans lifespan and dauer recovery, which correlates with a role in the transcriptional repression of daf-18 activity. Collectively, these data provide the first genetic evidence that HLH-25 may be a functional ortholog of mammalian HES1, which represses PTEN activity in mice and human cells. PMID:26438299

  3. Mechanistic analysis of the search behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Salvador, Liliana C. M.; Bartumeus, Frederic; Levin, Simon A.; Ryu, William S.

    2014-01-01

    A central question in movement research is how animals use information and movement to promote encounter success. Current random search theory identifies reorientation patterns as key to the compromise between optimizing encounters for both nearby and faraway targets, but how the balance between intrinsic motor programmes and previous environmental experience determines the occurrence of these reorientation behaviours remains unknown. We used high-resolution tracking and imaging data to describe the complete motor behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans when placed in a novel environment (one in which food is absent). Movement in C. elegans is structured around different reorientation behaviours, and we measured how these contributed to changing search strategies as worms became familiar with their new environment. This behavioural transition shows that different reorientation behaviours are governed by two processes: (i) an environmentally informed ‘extrinsic’ strategy that is influenced by recent experience and that controls for area-restricted search behaviour, and (ii) a time-independent, ‘intrinsic’ strategy that reduces spatial oversampling and improves random encounter success. Our results show how movement strategies arise from a balance between intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms, that search behaviour in C. elegans is initially determined by expectations developed from previous environmental experiences, and which reorientation behaviours are modified as information is acquired from new environments. PMID:24430127

  4. Tat-mediated protein delivery in living Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Delom, Frederic; Fessart, Delphine; Caruso, Marie-Elaine; Chevet, Eric . E-mail: eric.chevet@mcgill.ca

    2007-01-19

    The Tat protein from HIV-1 fused with heterologous proteins traverses biological membranes in a transcellular process called: protein transduction. This has already been successfully exploited in various biological models, but never in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. TAT-eGFP or GST-eGFP proteins were fed to C. elegans worms, which resulted in the specific localization of Tat-eGFP to epithelial intestinal cells. This system represents an efficient tool for transcellular transduction in C. elegans intestinal cells. Indeed, this approach avoids the use of tedious purification steps to purify the TAT fusion proteins and allows for rapid analyses of the transduced proteins. In addition, it may represent an efficient tool to functionally analyze the mechanisms of protein transduction as well as to complement RNAi/KO in the epithelial intestinal system. To sum up, the advantage of this technology is to combine the potential of bacterial expression system and the Tat-mediated transduction technique in living worm.

  5. Differential expression pattern of UBX family genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Yamauchi, Seiji; Sasagawa, Yohei; Ogura, Teru . E-mail: ogura@gpo.kumamoto-u.ac.jp; Yamanaka, Kunitoshi . E-mail: yamanaka@gpo.kumamoto-u.ac.jp

    2007-06-29

    UBX (ubiquitin regulatory X)-containing proteins belong to an evolutionary conserved protein family and determine the specificity of p97/VCP/Cdc48p function by binding as its adaptors. Caenorhabditis elegans was found to possess six UBX-containing proteins, named UBXN-1 to -6. However, no general or specific function of them has been revealed. During the course of understanding not only their function but also specified function of p97, we investigated spatial and temporal expression patterns of six ubxn genes in this study. Transcript analyses showed that the expression pattern of each ubxn gene was different throughout worm's development and may show potential developmental dynamics in their function, especially ubxn-5 was expressed specifically in the spermatogenic germline, suggesting a crucial role in spermatogenesis. In addition, as ubxn-4 expression was induced by ER stress, it would function as an ERAD factor in C. elegans. In vivo expression analysis by using GFP translational fusion constructs revealed that six ubxn genes show distinct expression patterns. These results altogether demonstrate that the expression of all six ubxn genes of C. elegans is differently regulated.

  6. RNAi-Mediated Inactivation of Autophagy Genes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Palmisano, Nicholas J; Meléndez, Alicia

    2016-02-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a process that results in the sequence-specific silencing of endogenous mRNA through the introduction of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, RNA inactivation can be used at any specific developmental stage or during adulthood to inhibit a given target gene. Investigators can take advantage of the fact that, in C. elegans, RNAi is unusual in that it is systemic, meaning that dsRNA can spread throughout the animal and can affect virtually all tissues except neurons. Here, we describe a protocol for the most common method to achieve RNAi in C. elegans, which is to feed them bacteria that express dsRNA complementary to a specific target gene. This method has various advantages, including the availability of libraries that essentially cover the whole genome, the ability to treat animals at any developmental stage, and that it is relatively cost effective. We also discuss how RNAi specific to autophagy genes has proven to be an excellent method to study the role of these genes in autophagy, as well as other cellular and developmental processes, while also highlighting the caveats that must be applied. PMID:26832686

  7. Pan-neuronal imaging in roaming Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Venkatachalam, Vivek; Ji, Ni; Wang, Xian; Clark, Christopher; Mitchell, James Kameron; Klein, Mason; Tabone, Christopher J; Florman, Jeremy; Ji, Hongfei; Greenwood, Joel; Chisholm, Andrew D; Srinivasan, Jagan; Alkema, Mark; Zhen, Mei; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2016-02-23

    We present an imaging system for pan-neuronal recording in crawling Caenorhabditis elegans. A spinning disk confocal microscope, modified for automated tracking of the C. elegans head ganglia, simultaneously records the activity and position of ∼80 neurons that coexpress cytoplasmic calcium indicator GCaMP6s and nuclear localized red fluorescent protein at 10 volumes per second. We developed a behavioral analysis algorithm that maps the movements of the head ganglia to the animal's posture and locomotion. Image registration and analysis software automatically assigns an index to each nucleus and calculates the corresponding calcium signal. Neurons with highly stereotyped positions can be associated with unique indexes and subsequently identified using an atlas of the worm nervous system. To test our system, we analyzed the brainwide activity patterns of moving worms subjected to thermosensory inputs. We demonstrate that our setup is able to uncover representations of sensory input and motor output of individual neurons from brainwide dynamics. Our imaging setup and analysis pipeline should facilitate mapping circuits for sensory to motor transformation in transparent behaving animals such as C. elegans and Drosophila larva. PMID:26711989

  8. Exposure to Mitochondrial Genotoxins and Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Bodhicharla, Rakesh K.; McKeever, Madeline G.; Arrant, Andrew E.; Margillo, Kathleen M.; Ryde, Ian T.; Cyr, Derek D.; Kosmaczewski, Sara G.; Hammarlund, Marc; Meyer, Joel N.

    2014-01-01

    Neurodegeneration has been correlated with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and exposure to environmental toxins, but causation is unclear. We investigated the ability of several known environmental genotoxins and neurotoxins to cause mtDNA damage, mtDNA depletion, and neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that paraquat, cadmium chloride and aflatoxin B1 caused more mitochondrial than nuclear DNA damage, and paraquat and aflatoxin B1 also caused dopaminergic neurodegeneration. 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) caused similar levels of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA damage. To further test whether the neurodegeneration could be attributed to the observed mtDNA damage, C. elegans were exposed to repeated low-dose ultraviolet C radiation (UVC) that resulted in persistent mtDNA damage; this exposure also resulted in dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Damage to GABAergic neurons and pharyngeal muscle cells was not detected. We also found that fasting at the first larval stage was protective in dopaminergic neurons against 6-OHDA-induced neurodegeneration. Finally, we found that dopaminergic neurons in C. elegans are capable of regeneration after laser surgery. Our findings are consistent with a causal role for mitochondrial DNA damage in neurodegeneration, but also support non mtDNA-mediated mechanisms. PMID:25486066

  9. Genetic dissection of polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Jennifer L.; Browse, John

    2002-01-01

    Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are important membrane components and precursors of signaling molecules. To investigate the roles of these fatty acids in growth, development, and neurological function in an animal system, we isolated Caenorhabditis elegans mutants deficient in PUFA synthesis by direct analysis of fatty acid composition. C. elegans possesses all the desaturase and elongase activities to synthesize arachidonic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid from saturated fatty acid precursors. In our screen we identified mutants with defects in each fatty acid desaturation and elongation step of the PUFA biosynthetic pathway. The fatty acid compositions of the mutants reveal the substrate preferences of the desaturase and elongase enzymes and clearly demarcate the steps of this pathway. The mutants show that C. elegans does not require n3 or Δ5-unsaturated PUFAs for normal development under laboratory conditions. However, mutants with more severe PUFA deficiencies display growth and neurological defects. The mutants provide tools for investigating the roles of PUFAs in membrane biology and cell function in this animal model. PMID:11972048

  10. Specioside ameliorates oxidative stress and promotes longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Asthana, Jyotsna; Yadav, A K; Pant, Aakanksha; Pandey, Swapnil; Gupta, M M; Pandey, Rakesh

    2015-03-01

    Specioside (6-O-coumaroylcatalpol) is an iridoid glucoside which possesses multifunctional activities viz. analgesic, antidyspeptic, astringent, liver stimulating and wound healing properties. The present study for the first time delineates stress alleviating and lifespan prolonging action of specioside (SPC), isolated from Stereospermum suaveolens in the free living, multicellular nematode model Caenorhabditis elegans. A strong correlation between lifespan extension and stress modulation in adult worms was established in a dose dependent manner. The dietary intake of this phytomolecule elevated juglone induced oxidative and heat induced thermal stress tolerance in C. elegans. On evaluation, it was found that 25 μM dose of SPC significantly extended lifespan by 15.47% (P≤0.0001) with reduction in stress level. Furthermore, SPC enhanced mean survival in mev-1 mutant suggesting its oxidative stress reducing potential. Furthermore, SPC augmented stress modulatory enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) level in C. elegans. Altogether, these findings broaden current perspectives concerning stress alleviating potentials of SPC and have implications in development of therapeutics for curing age related disorders. PMID:25619942

  11. Mapping and analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans transcription factor sequence specificities

    PubMed Central

    Narasimhan, Kamesh; Lambert, Samuel A; Yang, Ally WH; Riddell, Jeremy; Mnaimneh, Sanie; Zheng, Hong; Albu, Mihai; Najafabadi, Hamed S; Reece-Hoyes, John S; Fuxman Bass, Juan I; Walhout, Albertha JM; Weirauch, Matthew T; Hughes, Timothy R

    2015-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model for studying gene regulation, as it has a compact genome and a wealth of genomic tools. However, identification of regulatory elements has been limited, as DNA-binding motifs are known for only 71 of the estimated 763 sequence-specific transcription factors (TFs). To address this problem, we performed protein binding microarray experiments on representatives of canonical TF families in C. elegans, obtaining motifs for 129 TFs. Additionally, we predict motifs for many TFs that have DNA-binding domains similar to those already characterized, increasing coverage of binding specificities to 292 C. elegans TFs (∼40%). These data highlight the diversification of binding motifs for the nuclear hormone receptor and C2H2 zinc finger families and reveal unexpected diversity of motifs for T-box and DM families. Motif enrichment in promoters of functionally related genes is consistent with known biology and also identifies putative regulatory roles for unstudied TFs. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06967.001 PMID:25905672

  12. Electrotaxis of Caenorhabditis elegans in a microfluidic environment.

    PubMed

    Rezai, Pouya; Siddiqui, Asad; Selvaganapathy, Ponnambalam Ravi; Gupta, Bhagwati P

    2010-01-21

    The nematode (worm) Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most widely studied organisms for biomedical research. Currently, C. elegans assays are performed either on petri dishes, 96-well plates or using pneumatically controlled microfluidic devices. In this work, we demonstrate that the electric field can be used as a powerful stimulus to control movement of worms in a microfluidic environment. We found that this response (termed electrotaxis) is directional, fully penetrant and highly sensitive. The characterization of electrotaxis revealed that it is mediated by neuronal activity that varies with the age and size of animals. Although the speed of swimming is unaffected by changes in the electric field strength and direction, our results show that each developmental stage responds to a specific range of electric field with a specific speed. Finally, we provide evidence that the exposure to the electric field has no discernible effect on the ability of animals to survive and reproduce. Our method has potential in precisely controlling, directing, and transporting worms in an efficient and automated manner. This opens up significant possibilities for high-throughput screening of C. elegans for drug discovery and other applications. PMID:20066250

  13. An analysis of behavioral plasticity in male Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Mah, K B; Rankin, C H

    1992-11-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a simple soil-dwelling nematode which has two sexes, hermaphrodite and male. The male C. elegans is differentiated from the hermaphrodite by the presence of 14 sensory structures in the tail. In this study, we compared the behavioral responses of males and hermaphrodites to head-touch and to tap. We hypothesized that the anatomical difference in sensory structures might result in behavioral differences in the reversal response to vibratory stimulation (a tap to the side of the holding dish). In the response to increasing intensities of tap, both sexes showed an increase in response magnitude, with the males showing larger responses than hermaphrodites. In addition, the male was shown to be capable of simple nonassociative learning: it demonstrated habituation and recovery from habituation in a similar manner as the hermaphrodite. Tail-touch-induced inhibition of the reversal response appeared to be similar in males and hermaphrodites. The evidence suggests that the touch withdrawal circuit in hermaphrodites is also present in the male C. elegans, and that the subtle differences in response to tap seen in males may result from the additional sensory receptors of the copulatory bursa of the tail. It seems clear from these studies that these structures do not play a key role in the male worm's response to tap. PMID:1456943

  14. Genomic analysis of stress response against arsenic in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Surasri N; Lewis, Jada; Patel, Isha; Bozdag, Serdar; Lee, Jeong H; Sprando, Robert; Cinar, Hediye Nese

    2013-01-01

    Arsenic, a known human carcinogen, is widely distributed around the world and found in particularly high concentrations in certain regions including Southwestern US, Eastern Europe, India, China, Taiwan and Mexico. Chronic arsenic poisoning affects millions of people worldwide and is associated with increased risk of many diseases including arthrosclerosis, diabetes and cancer. In this study, we explored genome level global responses to high and low levels of arsenic exposure in Caenorhabditis elegans using Affymetrix expression microarrays. This experimental design allows us to do microarray analysis of dose-response relationships of global gene expression patterns. High dose (0.03%) exposure caused stronger global gene expression changes in comparison with low dose (0.003%) exposure, suggesting a positive dose-response correlation. Biological processes such as oxidative stress, and iron metabolism, which were previously reported to be involved in arsenic toxicity studies using cultured cells, experimental animals, and humans, were found to be affected in C. elegans. We performed genome-wide gene expression comparisons between our microarray data and publicly available C. elegans microarray datasets of cadmium, and sediment exposure samples of German rivers Rhine and Elbe. Bioinformatics analysis of arsenic-responsive regulatory networks were done using FastMEDUSA program. FastMEDUSA analysis identified cancer-related genes, particularly genes associated with leukemia, such as dnj-11, which encodes a protein orthologous to the mammalian ZRF1/MIDA1/MPP11/DNAJC2 family of ribosome-associated molecular chaperones. We analyzed the protective functions of several of the identified genes using RNAi. Our study indicates that C. elegans could be a substitute model to study the mechanism of metal toxicity using high-throughput expression data and bioinformatics tools such as FastMEDUSA. PMID:23894281

  15. Spaceflight and ageing: reflecting on Caenorhabditis elegans in space.

    PubMed

    Honda, Yoko; Honda, Shuji; Narici, Marco; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J

    2014-01-01

    The prospect of space travel continues to capture the imagination. Several competing companies are now promising flights for the general population. Previously, it was recognized that many of the physiological changes that occur with spaceflight are similar to those seen with normal ageing. This led to the notion that spaceflight can be used as a model of accelerated ageing and raised concerns about the safety of individuals engaging in space travel. Paradoxically, however, space travel has been recently shown to be beneficial to some aspects of muscle health in the tiny worm Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans is a commonly used laboratory animal for studying ageing. C. elegans displays age-related decline of some biological processes observed in ageing humans, and about 35% of C. elegans' genes have human homologs. Space flown worms were found to have decreased expression of a number of genes that increase lifespan when expressed at lower levels. These changes were accompanied by decreased accumulation of toxic protein aggregates in ageing worms' muscles. Thus, in addition to spaceflight producing physiological changes that are similar to accelerated ageing, it also appears to produce some changes similar to delayed ageing. Here, we put forward the hypothesis that in addition to the previously well-appreciated mechanotransduction changes, neural and endocrine signals are altered in response to spaceflight and that these may have both negative (e.g. less muscle protein) and some positive consequences (e.g. healthier muscles), at least for invertebrates, with respect to health in space. Given that changes in circulating hormones are well documented with age and in astronauts, our view is that further research into the relationship between metabolic control, ageing, and adaptation to the environment should be productive in advancing our understanding of the physiology of both spaceflight and ageing. PMID:24217152

  16. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Obesity Pharmacology Development.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jolene; Vasselli, Joseph R; King, Jason F; King, Michael L; We, Wenqian; Fitzpatrick, Zachary; Johnson, William D; Finley, John W; Martin, Roy J; Keenan, Michael J; Enright, Frederic M; Greenway, Frank L

    2014-05-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans model is a rapid and inexpensive method to address pharmacologic questions. We describe the use of C. elegans to explore 2 pharmacologic questions concerning candidate antiobesity drugs and illustrate its potential usefulness in pharmacologic research: (1) to determine a ratio of betahistine-olanzapine that blocks the olanzapine-induced intestinal fat deposition (IFD) as detected by Nile red staining and (2) to identify the mechanism of action of a pharmaceutical candidate AB-101 that reduces IFD. Olanzapine (53 μg/mL) increased the IFD (12.1 ± 0.1%, P < 0.02), which was blocked by betahistine (763 μg/mL, 39.3 ± 0.01%, P < 0.05) in wild-type C. elegans (N2). AB-101 (1.0%) reduced the IFD in N2 (P < 0.05), increased the pharyngeal pumping rate (P < 0.05), and reversed the elevated IFD induced by protease inhibitors atazanavir and ritonavir (P < 0.05). AB-101 did not affect IFD in a ACS null mutant strain acs-4(ok2872) III/hT2[bli-4(e937) let-?(q782) qIs48](I;III) suggesting an involvement of the lipid oxidation pathway and an upregulation of CPT-1. Our studies suggest that C. elegans may be used as a resource in pharmacologic research. This article is intended to stimulate a greater appreciation of its value in the development of new pharmaceutical interventions. PMID:24786852

  17. Genomic Analysis of Stress Response against Arsenic in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sahu, Surasri N.; Lewis, Jada; Patel, Isha; Bozdag, Serdar; Lee, Jeong H.; Sprando, Robert; Cinar, Hediye Nese

    2013-01-01

    Arsenic, a known human carcinogen, is widely distributed around the world and found in particularly high concentrations in certain regions including Southwestern US, Eastern Europe, India, China, Taiwan and Mexico. Chronic arsenic poisoning affects millions of people worldwide and is associated with increased risk of many diseases including arthrosclerosis, diabetes and cancer. In this study, we explored genome level global responses to high and low levels of arsenic exposure in Caenorhabditis elegans using Affymetrix expression microarrays. This experimental design allows us to do microarray analysis of dose-response relationships of global gene expression patterns. High dose (0.03%) exposure caused stronger global gene expression changes in comparison with low dose (0.003%) exposure, suggesting a positive dose-response correlation. Biological processes such as oxidative stress, and iron metabolism, which were previously reported to be involved in arsenic toxicity studies using cultured cells, experimental animals, and humans, were found to be affected in C. elegans. We performed genome-wide gene expression comparisons between our microarray data and publicly available C. elegans microarray datasets of cadmium, and sediment exposure samples of German rivers Rhine and Elbe. Bioinformatics analysis of arsenic-responsive regulatory networks were done using FastMEDUSA program. FastMEDUSA analysis identified cancer-related genes, particularly genes associated with leukemia, such as dnj-11, which encodes a protein orthologous to the mammalian ZRF1/MIDA1/MPP11/DNAJC2 family of ribosome-associated molecular chaperones. We analyzed the protective functions of several of the identified genes using RNAi. Our study indicates that C. elegans could be a substitute model to study the mechanism of metal toxicity using high-throughput expression data and bioinformatics tools such as FastMEDUSA. PMID:23894281

  18. A soil bioassay using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Freeman, M.N.; Peredney, C.L.; Williams, P.L.

    1999-07-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a free-livings soil nematode that is commonly used as a biological model. Recently, much work has been done using the nematode as a toxicological model as well. Much of the work involving C. elegans has been performed in aquatic media, since it lives in the interstitial water of soil. However, testing in soil would be expected to more accurately reproduce the organism's normal environment and may take into consideration other factors not available in an aquatic test, i.e., toxicant availability effects due to sorption, various chemical interactions, etc. This study used a modification of a previous experimental protocol to determine 24h LC{sub 50} values for Cu in a Cecil series soil mixture, and examined the use of CuCl{sub 2} as a reference toxicant for soil toxicity testing with C. elegans. Three different methods of determining percent lethality were used, each dependent on how the number of worms missing after the recovery process was used in the lethality calculations. Only tests having {ge}80% worm recovery and {ge}90% control survival were used in determining the LC{sub 50}s, by Probit analysis. The replicate LC{sub 50} values generated a control chart for each method of calculating percent lethality. The coefficient of variation (CV) for each of the three methods was {le}14%. The control charts and the protocol outlined in this study are intended to be used to assess test organism health and monitor precision of future soil toxicity tests with C. elegans.

  19. Selection and maintenance of androdioecy in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Andrew D; Phillips, Patrick C

    2002-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is an androdioecious nematode composed of selfing hermaphrodites and rare males. A model of male maintenance demonstrates that selfing rates in hermaphrodites cannot be too high or else the frequency of males will be driven down to the rate of spontaneous nondisjunction of the X chromosome. After their outcrossing ability is assessed, males are found to skirt the frequency range in which they would be maintained. When male maintenance is directly assessed by elevating male frequency and observing the frequency change through time, males are gradually eliminated from the population. Males, therefore, appear to reproduce at a rate just below that necessary for them to be maintained. Populations polymorphic for a mutation (fog-2) that effectively changes hermaphrodites into females demonstrate that there is strong selection against dioecy. Factors such as variation in male mating ability and inbreeding depression could potentially lead to the long-term maintenance of males. PMID:11901115

  20. A Caenorhabditis elegans model for epithelial–neuronal transdifferentiation

    PubMed Central

    Jarriault, Sophie; Schwab, Yannick; Greenwald, Iva

    2008-01-01

    Understanding transdifferentiation—the conversion of one differentiated cell type into another—is important from both basic science and clinical perspectives. In Caenorhabditis elegans, an epithelial cell named Y is initially part of the rectum but later appears to withdraw, migrate, and then become a motor neuron named PDA. Here, we show that this represents a bona fide transdifferentiation event: Y has epithelial hallmarks without detectable neural characteristics, and PDA has no residual epithelial characteristics. Using available mutants and laser microsurgery, we found that transdifferentiation does not depend on fusion with a neighboring cell or require migration of Y away from the rectum, that other rectal epithelial cells are not competent to transdifferentiate, and that transdifferentiation requires the EGL-5 and SEM-4 transcription factors and LIN-12/Notch signaling. Our results establish Y-to-PDA transdifferentiation as a genetically tractable model for deciphering the mechanisms underlying cellular plasticity in vivo. PMID:18308937

  1. A size threshold governs Caenorhabditis elegans developmental progression.

    PubMed

    Uppaluri, Sravanti; Brangwynne, Clifford P

    2015-08-22

    The growth of organisms from humans to bacteria is affected by environmental conditions. However, mechanisms governing growth and size control are not well understood, particularly in the context of changes in food availability in developing multicellular organisms. Here, we use a novel microfluidic platform to study the impact of diet on the growth and development of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This device allows us to observe individual worms throughout larval development, quantify their growth as well as pinpoint the moulting transitions marking successive developmental stages. Under conditions of low food availability, worms grow very slowly, but do not moult until they have achieved a threshold size. The time spent in larval stages can be extended by over an order of magnitude, in agreement with a simple threshold size model. Thus, a critical worm size appears to trigger developmental progression, and may contribute to prolonged lifespan under dietary restriction. PMID:26290076

  2. Kinetics and specificity of paternal mitochondrial elimination in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yang; Zhang, Yi; Chen, Lianwan; Liang, Qian; Yin, Xiao-Ming; Miao, Long; Kang, Byung-Ho; Xue, Ding

    2016-01-01

    In most eukaryotes, mitochondria are inherited maternally. The autophagy process is critical for paternal mitochondrial elimination (PME) in Caenorhabditis elegans, but how paternal mitochondria, but not maternal mitochondria, are selectively targeted for degradation is poorly understood. Here we report that mitochondrial dynamics have a profound effect on PME. A defect in fission of paternal mitochondria delays PME, whereas a defect in fusion of paternal mitochondria accelerates PME. Surprisingly, a defect in maternal mitochondrial fusion delays PME, which is reversed by a fission defect in maternal mitochondria or by increasing maternal mitochondrial membrane potential using oligomycin. Electron microscopy and tomography analyses reveal that a proportion of maternal mitochondria are compromised when they fail to fuse normally, leading to their competition for the autophagy machinery with damaged paternal mitochondria and delayed PME. Our study indicates that mitochondrial dynamics play a critical role in regulating both the kinetics and the specificity of PME. PMID:27581092

  3. Radiosensitivity Parameters For Lethal Mutagenesis In Caenorhabditis Elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Cucinotta, F.A.; Wilson, J.W.; Katz, R.

    1994-01-01

    For the first time track structure theory has been applied to radiobiological effects in a living organism. Data for lethal mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans, obtained after irradiation with nine different types of ions of atomic number 1-57 and gamma rays have yielded radiosensitivity parameters (E{sub 0}, sigma{sub 0}, Kappa, m = 68 Gy, 2.5 x 10(exp {minus}9) cm (exp 2), 750, 2) comparable with those found for the transformation of C3HT10 1/2 cells (180 Gy, 1.15 x 10(exp {minus}10) cm(exp 2), 750, 2) but remote from those (E{sub 0} and sigma{sub 0} = approx. 2 Gy, approx. 5 x 10(exp {minus}7) cm(exp 2)) for mammalian cell survival.

  4. Sex Change by Gene Conversion in a Caenorhabditis elegans fog-2 Mutant

    PubMed Central

    Katju, Vaishali; LaBeau, Elisa M.; Lipinski, Kendra J.; Bergthorsson, Ulfar

    2008-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans primarily reproduces as a hermaphrodite. Independent gene conversion events in mutant obligately outcrossing populations of C. elegans [fog-2(lf)] spontaneously repaired the loss-of-function mutation in the fog-2 locus, thereby reestablishing hermaphroditism as the primary means of reproduction for the populations. PMID:18757925

  5. Heritable custom genomic modifications in Caenorhabditis elegans via a CRISPR-Cas9 system.

    PubMed

    Tzur, Yonatan B; Friedland, Ari E; Nadarajan, Saravanapriah; Church, George M; Calarco, John A; Colaiácovo, Monica P

    2013-11-01

    We adapted the CRISPR-Cas9 system for template-mediated repair of targeted double-strand breaks via homologous recombination in Caenorhabditis elegans, enabling customized and efficient genome editing. This system can be used to create specific insertions, deletions, and base pair changes in the germline of C. elegans. PMID:23979579

  6. Mapping a Mutation in "Caenorhabditis elegans" Using a Polymerase Chain Reaction-Based Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, Edith M.

    2014-01-01

    Many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified within the "Caenorhabditis elegans" genome. SNPs present in the genomes of two isogenic "C. elegans" strains have been routinely used as a tool in forward genetics to map a mutation to a particular chromosome. This article describes a laboratory exercise in which…

  7. Neuronal regulation of ascaroside response during mate response behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Small-molecule signaling plays an important role in the biology of Caenorhabditis elegans. We have previously shown that ascarosides, glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose regulate both development and behavior in C. elegans The mating signal consists of a synergistic blend of three dauer-induc...

  8. Aversive Olfactory Learning and Associative Long-Term Memory in "Caenorhabditis elegans"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amano, Hisayuki; Maruyama, Ichiro N.

    2011-01-01

    The nematode "Caenorhabditis elegans" ("C. elegans") adult hermaphrodite has 302 invariant neurons and is suited for cellular and molecular studies on complex behaviors including learning and memory. Here, we have developed protocols for classical conditioning of worms with 1-propanol, as a conditioned stimulus (CS), and hydrochloride (HCl) (pH…

  9. A potential biochemical mechanism underlying the influence of sterol deprivation stress on Caenorhabditis elegans longevity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To investigate the biochemical mechanism for sterol-mediated alteration in aging in Caenorhabditis elegans, we established sterol depletion conditions by treating worms with azacoprostane, which reduced mean lifespan of adult C. elegans by 35%. Proteomic analyses of egg proteins from treated and un...

  10. FMRFamide related peptide ligands activate the Caenorhabditis elegans orphan GPCR Y59H11AL.1

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are ancient molecules that sense environmental and physiological signals. Currently, the majority of the predicted Caenorhabditis elegans GPCRs are orphan. Here, we describe the characterization of such an orphan C. elegans GPCR, which is categorized in the tachyk...

  11. Differential Toxicities of Nickel Salts to the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Dean; Birdsey, Jennifer M; Wendolowski, Mark A; Dobbin, Kevin K; Williams, Phillip L

    2016-08-01

    This study focused on assessing whether nickel (Ni) toxicity to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was affected by the molecular structure of the Ni salt used. Nematodes were exposed to seven Ni salts [Ni sulfate hexahydrate (NiSO4·6H2O), Ni chloride hexahydrate (NiCl2·6H2O), Ni acetate tetrahydrate (Ni(OCOCH3)2·4H2O), Ni nitrate hexahydrate (N2NiO6·6H2O), anhydrous Ni iodide (NiI2), Ni sulfamate hydrate (Ni(SO3NH2)2·H2O), and Ni fluoride tetrahydrate (NiF2·4H2O)] in an aquatic medium for 24 h, and lethality curves were generated and analyzed. Ni fluoride, Ni iodide, and Ni chloride were most toxic to C. elegans, followed by Ni nitrate, Ni sulfamate, Ni acetate, and Ni sulfate. The LC50 values of the halogen-containing salts were statistically different from the corresponding value of the least toxic salt, Ni sulfate. This finding is consistent with the expected high bioavailability of free Ni ions in halide solutions. We recommend that the halide salts be used in future Ni testing involving aquatic invertebrates. PMID:27278637

  12. Multiple sites of action of volatile anesthetics in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, P G; Sedensky, M; Meneely, P M

    1990-01-01

    The mechanism and site(s) of action of volatile anesthetics are unknown. In all organisms studied, volatile anesthetics adhere to the Meyer-Overton relationship--that is, a ln-ln plot of the oil-gas partition coefficients versus the potencies yields a straight line with a slope of -1. This relationship has led to two conclusions about the site of action of volatile anesthetics. (i) It has properties similar to the lipid used to determine the oil-gas partition coefficients. (ii) All volatile anesthetics cause anesthesia by affecting a single site. In Caenorhabditis elegans, we have identified two mutants with altered sensitivities to only some volatile anesthetics. These two mutants, unc-79 and unc-80, confer large increases in sensitivity to very lipid soluble agents but have little or no increases to other agents. In addition, a class of extragenic suppressor mutations exists that suppresses some altered sensitivities but specifically does not suppress the altered sensitivity to diethyl ether. There is much debate concerning the molecular nature of the site(s) of anesthetic action. One point of discussion is whether the site(s) consists of a purely lipid binding site or if protein is involved. The simplest explanation of our observations is that volatile anesthetics cause immobility in C. elegans by specifically interacting with multiple sites. This model is in turn more consistent with involvement of protein at the site(s) of action. PMID:2326259

  13. Proteomic identification of germline proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Turner, B Elizabeth; Basecke, Sophia M; Bazan, Grace C; Dodge, Eric S; Haire, Cassy M; Heussman, Dylan J; Johnson, Chelsey L; Mukai, Chelsea K; Naccarati, Adrianna M; Norton, Sunny-June; Sato, Jennifer R; Talavera, Chihara O; Wade, Michael V; Hillers, Kenneth J

    2015-01-01

    Sexual reproduction involves fusion of 2 haploid gametes to form diploid offspring with genetic contributions from both parents. Gamete formation represents a unique developmental program involving the action of numerous germline-specific proteins. In an attempt to identify novel proteins involved in reproduction and embryonic development, we have carried out a proteomic characterization of the process in Caenorhabditis elegans. To identify candidate proteins, we used 2D gel electrophoresis (2DGE) to compare protein abundance in nucleus-enriched extracts from wild-type C. elegans, and in extracts from mutant worms with greatly reduced gonads (glp-4(bn2) worms reared at 25°C); 84 proteins whose abundance correlated with germline presence were identified. To validate candidates, we used feeding RNAi to deplete candidate proteins, and looked for reduction in fertility and/or germline cytological defects. Of 20 candidates so screened for involvement in fertility, depletion of 13 (65%) caused a significant reduction in fertility, and 6 (30%) resulted in sterility (<5 % of wild-type fertility). Five of the 13 proteins with demonstrated roles in fertility have not previously been implicated in germline function. The high frequency of defects observed after RNAi depletion of candidate proteins suggests that this approach is effective at identifying germline proteins, thus contributing to our understanding of this complex organ. PMID:26435885

  14. Computer-Assisted Transgenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans for Deep Phenotyping.

    PubMed

    Gilleland, Cody L; Falls, Adam T; Noraky, James; Heiman, Maxwell G; Yanik, Mehmet F

    2015-09-01

    A major goal in the study of human diseases is to assign functions to genes or genetic variants. The model organism Caenorhabditis elegans provides a powerful tool because homologs of many human genes are identifiable, and large collections of genetic vectors and mutant strains are available. However, the delivery of such vector libraries into mutant strains remains a long-standing experimental bottleneck for phenotypic analysis. Here, we present a computer-assisted microinjection platform to streamline the production of transgenic C. elegans with multiple vectors for deep phenotyping. Briefly, animals are immobilized in a temperature-sensitive hydrogel using a standard multiwell platform. Microinjections are then performed under control of an automated microscope using precision robotics driven by customized computer vision algorithms. We demonstrate utility by phenotyping the morphology of 12 neuronal classes in six mutant backgrounds using combinations of neuron-type-specific fluorescent reporters. This technology can industrialize the assignment of in vivo gene function by enabling large-scale transgenic engineering. PMID:26163188

  15. Genetics of Lipid-Storage Management in Caenorhabditis elegans Embryos.

    PubMed

    Schmökel, Verena; Memar, Nadin; Wiekenberg, Anne; Trotzmüller, Martin; Schnabel, Ralf; Döring, Frank

    2016-03-01

    Lipids play a pivotal role in embryogenesis as structural components of cellular membranes, as a source of energy, and as signaling molecules. On the basis of a collection of temperature-sensitive embryonic lethal mutants, a systematic database search, and a subsequent microscopic analysis of >300 interference RNA (RNAi)-treated/mutant worms, we identified a couple of evolutionary conserved genes associated with lipid storage in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. The genes include cpl-1 (cathepsin L-like cysteine protease), ccz-1 (guanine nucleotide exchange factor subunit), and asm-3 (acid sphingomyelinase), which is closely related to the human Niemann-Pick disease-causing gene SMPD1. The respective mutant embryos accumulate enlarged droplets of neutral lipids (cpl-1) and yolk-containing lipid droplets (ccz-1) or have larger genuine lipid droplets (asm-3). The asm-3 mutant embryos additionally showed an enhanced resistance against C band ultraviolet (UV-C) light. Herein we propose that cpl-1, ccz-1, and asm-3 are genes required for the processing of lipid-containing droplets in C. elegans embryos. Owing to the high levels of conservation, the identified genes are also useful in studies of embryonic lipid storage in other organisms. PMID:26773047

  16. Anabolic function of phenylalanine hydroxylase in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Calvo, Ana C; Pey, Angel L; Ying, Ming; Loer, Curtis M; Martinez, Aurora

    2008-08-01

    In humans, liver phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) has an established catabolic function, and mutations in PAH cause phenylketonuria, a genetic disease characterized by neurological damage, if not treated. To obtain novel evolutionary insights and information on molecular mechanisms operating in phenylketonuria, we investigated PAH in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (cePAH), where the enzyme is coded by the pah-1 gene, expressed in the hypodermis. CePAH presents similar molecular and kinetic properties to human PAH [S(0.5)(L-Phe) approximately 150 microM; K(m) for tetrahydrobiopterin (BH(4)) approximately 35 microM and comparable V(max)], but cePAH is devoid of positive cooperativity for L-Phe, an important regulatory mechanism of mammalian PAH that protects the nervous system from excess L-Phe. Pah-1 knockout worms show no obvious neurological defects, but in combination with a second cuticle synthesis mutation, they display serious cuticle abnormalities. We found that pah-1 knockouts lack a yellow-orange pigment in the cuticle, identified as melanin by spectroscopic techniques, and which is detected in C. elegans for the first time. Pah-1 mutants show stimulation of superoxide dismutase activity, suggesting that cuticle melanin functions as oxygen radical scavenger. Our results uncover both an important anabolic function of PAH and the change in regulation of the enzyme along evolution. PMID:18460651

  17. Computer-Assisted Transgenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans for Deep Phenotyping

    PubMed Central

    Gilleland, Cody L.; Falls, Adam T.; Noraky, James; Heiman, Maxwell G.; Yanik, Mehmet F.

    2015-01-01

    A major goal in the study of human diseases is to assign functions to genes or genetic variants. The model organism Caenorhabditis elegans provides a powerful tool because homologs of many human genes are identifiable, and large collections of genetic vectors and mutant strains are available. However, the delivery of such vector libraries into mutant strains remains a long-standing experimental bottleneck for phenotypic analysis. Here, we present a computer-assisted microinjection platform to streamline the production of transgenic C. elegans with multiple vectors for deep phenotyping. Briefly, animals are immobilized in a temperature-sensitive hydrogel using a standard multiwell platform. Microinjections are then performed under control of an automated microscope using precision robotics driven by customized computer vision algorithms. We demonstrate utility by phenotyping the morphology of 12 neuronal classes in six mutant backgrounds using combinations of neuron-type-specific fluorescent reporters. This technology can industrialize the assignment of in vivo gene function by enabling large-scale transgenic engineering. PMID:26163188

  18. No reduction of metabolic rate in food restricted Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Houthoofd, Koen; Braeckman, Bart P; Lenaerts, Isabelle; Brys, Kristel; De Vreese, Annemie; Van Eygen, Sylvie; Vanfleteren, Jacques R

    2002-12-01

    Dietary restriction (DR) is the most consistent means of extending life span throughout the animal kingdom. Multiple mechanisms by which DR may act have been proposed but none are clearly predominant. We asked whether metabolic rate and stress resistance is altered in Caenorhabditis elegans in response to DR. DR was imposed in two complementary ways: by growing wild-type worms in liquid medium supplemented with reduced concentrations of bacteria and by using eat-2 mutants, which have a feeding defect. Metabolic rate was not reduced when we fed wild-type worms reduced food and was up-regulated in the eat-2 mutants in liquid culture, as assessed by oxygen consumption rate and heat production. The specific activity levels of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase showed small increases when we reduced food in wild-type worms, but restricted worms acquired no elevated protection against paraquat and hydrogen peroxide. eat-2 mutants showed elevated specific activities of SOD and catalase relative to wild type in liquid culture. These results indicate that the effects imparted by DR and the eat-2 mutation are not identical, and they contradict, at least in C. elegans, the widespread belief that CR acts by lowering the rate of metabolism. PMID:12559405

  19. Mitoflash frequency in early adulthood predicts lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, En-Zhi; Song, Chun-Qing; Lin, Yuan; Zhang, Wen-Hong; Su, Pei-Fang; Liu, Wen-Yuan; Zhang, Pan; Xu, Jiejia; Lin, Na; Zhan, Cheng; Wang, Xianhua; Shyr, Yu; Cheng, Heping; Dong, Meng-Qiu

    2014-04-01

    It has been theorized for decades that mitochondria act as the biological clock of ageing, but the evidence is incomplete. Here we show a strong coupling between mitochondrial function and ageing by in vivo visualization of the mitochondrial flash (mitoflash), a frequency-coded optical readout reflecting free-radical production and energy metabolism at the single-mitochondrion level. Mitoflash activity in Caenorhabditis elegans pharyngeal muscles peaked on adult day 3 during active reproduction and on day 9 when animals started to die off. A plethora of genetic mutations and environmental factors inversely modified the lifespan and the day-3 mitoflash frequency. Even within an isogenic population, the day-3 mitoflash frequency was negatively correlated with the lifespan of individual animals. Furthermore, enhanced activity of the glyoxylate cycle contributed to the decreased day-3 mitoflash frequency and the longevity of daf-2 mutant animals. These results demonstrate that the day-3 mitoflash frequency is a powerful predictor of C. elegans lifespan across genetic, environmental and stochastic factors. They also support the notion that the rate of ageing, although adjustable in later life, has been set to a considerable degree before reproduction ceases.

  20. The ubiquitin proteasome system in Caenorhabditis elegans and its regulation☆

    PubMed Central

    Papaevgeniou, Nikoletta; Chondrogianni, Niki

    2014-01-01

    Protein degradation constitutes a major cellular function that is responsible for maintenance of the normal cellular physiology either through the degradation of normal proteins or through the elimination of damaged proteins. The Ubiquitin–Proteasome System (UPS)1 is one of the main proteolytic systems that orchestrate protein degradation. Given that up- and down- regulation of the UPS system has been shown to occur in various normal (such as ageing) and pathological (such as neurodegenerative diseases) processes, the exogenous modulation of the UPS function and activity holds promise of (a) developing new therapeutic interventions against various diseases and (b) establishing strategies to maintain cellular homeostasis. Since the proteasome genes are evolutionarily conserved, their role can be dissected in simple model organisms, such as the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. In this review, we survey findings on the redox regulation of the UPS in C. elegans showing that the nematode is an instrumental tool in the identification of major players in the UPS pathway. Moreover, we specifically discuss UPS-related genes that have been modulated in the nematode and in human cells and have resulted in similar effects thus further exhibiting the value of this model in the study of the UPS. PMID:24563851

  1. Magnetosensitive neurons mediate geomagnetic orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Vidal-Gadea, Andrés; Ward, Kristi; Beron, Celia; Ghorashian, Navid; Gokce, Sertan; Russell, Joshua; Truong, Nicholas; Parikh, Adhishri; Gadea, Otilia; Ben-Yakar, Adela; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Many organisms spanning from bacteria to mammals orient to the earth's magnetic field. For a few animals, central neurons responsive to earth-strength magnetic fields have been identified; however, magnetosensory neurons have yet to be identified in any animal. We show that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans orients to the earth's magnetic field during vertical burrowing migrations. Well-fed worms migrated up, while starved worms migrated down. Populations isolated from around the world, migrated at angles to the magnetic vector that would optimize vertical translation in their native soil, with northern- and southern-hemisphere worms displaying opposite migratory preferences. Magnetic orientation and vertical migrations required the TAX-4 cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel in the AFD sensory neuron pair. Calcium imaging showed that these neurons respond to magnetic fields even without synaptic input. C. elegans may have adapted magnetic orientation to simplify their vertical burrowing migration by reducing the orientation task from three dimensions to one. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07493.001 PMID:26083711

  2. Ecotoxicological assessment of lanthanum with Caenorhabditis elegans in liquid medium.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haifeng; He, Xiao; Bai, Wei; Guo, Xiaomei; Zhang, Zhiyong; Chai, Zhifang; Zhao, Yuliang

    2010-12-01

    With their widespread applications in industry, agriculture and many other fields, more and more rare earth elements (REEs) are getting into the environment, especially the aquatic systems. Therefore, understanding the aquatic ecotoxicity of REEs has become more and more important. In the present work, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) was used as a test organism and life-cycle endpoints were chosen along with elemental assay to evaluate the aquatic toxicity of lanthanum (La), a representative of REEs. The results show La³+ had significant adverse effects on the growth and reproduction of worms above a concentration of 10 μmol L⁻¹. The elemental mapping by microbeam synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence (μ-SRXRF) illustrated how La treatment disturbed the metals distribution in the whole body of a single tiny nematode at lower levels. Our results suggested that the high-level REEs in some polluted water bodies would lead to an aquatic ecological crisis. The assessment we performed in the present work could be developed as a standardized test design for aquatic toxicological research. PMID:21510015

  3. Bacopa monnieri promotes longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans under stress conditions

    PubMed Central

    Phulara, Suresh C.; Shukla, Virendra; Tiwari, Sudeep; Pandey, Rakesh

    2015-01-01

    Background: Bacopa monnieri (L.) Pennell, commonly known as Brahmi is an important medicinal plant traditionally used as memory enhancer and antiepileptic agent. Objective: The present study investigated antioxidant and stress resistance potentials of B. monnieri aqueous extract (BMW) using Caenorhabditis elegans animal model system. Materials and Methods: The antioxidant activity of the BMW was measured using in vitro (DPPH, reducing power and total polyphenol content) and in vivo (DCF-DA assay) assays. The antistress potential of BMW (0.1, 0.01, and 0.001 mg/ml) was evaluated through thermal stress (37°C) and oxidative stress (10 mM paraquat) using C. elegans. Quantification of the HSP-16.2 level was done using CL2070 transgenic worms. Results: Present study reveals that BMW possess in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activities. BMW significantly enhanced stress tolerance and increased the mean lifespan of worms during thermal and oxidative stress, although it did not extend lifespan at 20°C and attenuated age dependent decline in physiological behaviors. Moreover, it was shown that BMW was able to up-regulate expression of stress associated gene hsp-16.2, which significantly (P < 0.001) extends the mean lifespan of worms under stress conditions. Conclusion: The study strongly suggests that BMW acts as an antistressor and potent reactive oxygen species scavenger which enhances the survival of the worms in different stress conditions. PMID:25829783

  4. Caenorhabditis elegans, a Biological Model for Research in Toxicology.

    PubMed

    Tejeda-Benitez, Lesly; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2016-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a nematode of microscopic size which, due to its biological characteristics, has been used since the 1970s as a model for research in molecular biology, medicine, pharmacology, and toxicology. It was the first animal whose genome was completely sequenced and has played a key role in the understanding of apoptosis and RNA interference. The transparency of its body, short lifespan, ability to self-fertilize and ease of culture are advantages that make it ideal as a model in toxicology. Due to the fact that some of its biochemical pathways are similar to those of humans, it has been employed in research in several fields. C. elegans' use as a biological model in environmental toxicological assessments allows the determination of multiple endpoints. Some of these utilize the effects on the biological functions of the nematode and others use molecular markers. Endpoints such as lethality, growth, reproduction, and locomotion are the most studied, and usually employ the wild type Bristol N2 strain. Other endpoints use reporter genes, such as green fluorescence protein, driven by regulatory sequences from other genes related to different mechanisms of toxicity, such as heat shock, oxidative stress, CYP system, and metallothioneins among others, allowing the study of gene expression in a manner both rapid and easy. These transgenic strains of C. elegans represent a powerful tool to assess toxicity pathways for mixtures and environmental samples, and their numbers are growing in diversity and selectivity. However, other molecular biology techniques, including DNA microarrays and MicroRNAs have been explored to assess the effects of different toxicants and samples. C. elegans has allowed the assessment of neurotoxic effects for heavy metals and pesticides, among those more frequently studied, as the nematode has a very well defined nervous system. More recently, nanoparticles are emergent pollutants whose toxicity can be explored using this nematode

  5. Cas9 Variants Expand the Target Repertoire in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Bell, Ryan T; Fu, Becky X H; Fire, Andrew Z

    2016-02-01

    The proliferation of CRISPR/Cas9-based methods in Caenorhabditis elegans has enabled efficient genome editing and precise genomic tethering of Cas9 fusion proteins. Experimental designs using CRISPR/Cas9 are currently limited by the need for a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) in the target with the sequence NGG. Here we report the characterization of two modified Cas9 proteins in C. elegans that recognize NGA and NGCG PAMs. We found that each variant could stimulate homologous recombination with a donor template at multiple loci and that PAM specificity was comparable to that of wild-type Cas9. To directly compare effectiveness, we used CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to generate a set of assay strains with a common single-guide RNA (sgRNA) target sequence, but that differ in the juxtaposed PAM (NGG, NGA, or NGCG). In this controlled setting, we determined that the NGA PAM Cas9 variant can be as effective as wild-type Cas9. We similarly edited a genomic target to study the influence of the base following the NGA PAM. Using four strains with four NGAN PAMs differing only at the fourth position and adjacent to the same sgRNA target, we observed that efficient homologous replacement was attainable with any base in the fourth position, with an NGAG PAM being the most effective. In addition to demonstrating the utility of two Cas9 mutants in C. elegans and providing reagents that permit CRISPR/Cas9 experiments with fewer restrictions on potential targets, we established a means to benchmark the efficiency of different Cas9::PAM combinations that avoids variations owing to differences in the sgRNA sequence. PMID:26680661

  6. Undulatory locomotion of finite filaments: lessons from Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman, R. S.; Kenneth, O.; Sznitman, J.; Leshansky, A. M.

    2013-07-01

    Undulatory swimming is a widespread propulsion strategy adopted by many small-scale organisms including various single-cell eukaryotes and nematodes. In this work, we report a comprehensive study of undulatory locomotion of a finite filament using (i) approximate resistive force theory (RFT) assuming a local nature of hydrodynamic interaction between the filament and the surrounding viscous liquid and (ii) particle-based numerical computations taking into account the intra-filament hydrodynamic interaction. Using the ubiquitous model of a propagating sinusoidal waveform, we identify the limit of applicability of the RFT and determine the optimal propulsion gait in terms of (i) swimming distance per period of undulation and (ii) hydrodynamic propulsion efficiency. The occurrence of the optimal swimming gait maximizing hydrodynamic efficiency at finite wavelength in particle-based computations diverges from the prediction of the RFT. To compare the model swimmer powered by sine wave undulations to biological undulatory swimmers, we apply the particle-based approach to study locomotion of the model organism nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using the swimming gait extracted from experiments. The analysis reveals that even though the amplitude and the wavenumber of undulations are similar to those determined for the best performing sinusoidal swimmer, C. elegans overperforms the latter in terms of both displacement and hydrodynamic efficiency. Further comparison with other undulatory microorganisms reveals that many adopt waveforms with characteristics similar to the optimal model swimmer, yet real swimmers still manage to beat the best performing sine-wave swimmer in terms of distance covered per period. Overall our results underline the importance of further waveform optimization, as periodic undulations adopted by C. elegans and other organisms deviate considerably from a simple sine wave.

  7. Anti-aging properties of Ribes fasciculatum in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hoon; Cha, Dong Seok

    2016-05-01

    The present study investigated the effects and underlying mechanism of ethylacetate fraction of Ribes fasciculatum (ERF) on the lifespan and stress tolerance using a Caenorhabditis elegans model. The longevity activity of ERF was determined by lifespan assay under normal culture condition. The survival rate of nematodes under various stress conditions was assessed to validate the effects of ERF on the stress tolerance. To determine the antioxidant potential of ERF, the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were investigated. The ERF-mediated change in SOD-3 expression was examined using GFP-expressing transgenic strain. The effects of ERF on the aging-related factors were investigated by reproduction assay and pharyngeal pumping assay. The intestinal lipofuscin levels of aged nematodes were also measured. The mechanistic studies were performed using selected mutant strains. Our results indicated that ERF showed potent lifespan extension effects on the wild-type nematode under both normal and various stress conditions. The ERF treatment also enhanced the activity and expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and attenuated the intracellular ROS levels. Moreover, ERF-fed nematodes showed decreased lipofuscin accumulation, indicating ERF might affect age-associated changes in C. elegans. The results of mechanistic studies indicated that there was no significant lifespan extension in ERF-treated daf-2, age-1, sir-2.1, and daf-16 null mutants, suggesting that they were involved in ERF-mediated lifespan regulation. In conclusion, R. fasciculatum confers increased longevity and stress resistance in C. elegans via SIR-2.1-mediated DAF-16 activation, dependent on the insulin/IGF signaling pathway. PMID:27478096

  8. Acrylamide-responsive genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Koichi; Miwa, Satsuki; Isomura, Kazunori; Tsutsumiuchi, Kaname; Taniguchi, Hajime; Miwa, Johji

    2008-02-01

    As acrylamide is a known neurotoxin for many animals and potential carcinogen for humans, it came as a surprise when the Swedish National Food Agency and Stockholm University reported in 2002 that it is formed during the frying or baking of foods. We report here genomic and proteomic analyses on genes and proteins of Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to 500 mg/l acrylamide. Of the 21,120 genes profiled, 409 genes were more than twofold upregulated and 111 genes were downregulated. Upregulated genes included many that encode detoxification enzymes such as glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyl/glucosyl transferases, and short-chain type dehydrogenases but only one cytochrome P450. Subsequent proteomic analysis confirmed the heavy involvement of GSTs. Because of their high expression levels and central roles in acrylamide metabolism, we analyzed the in vivo expression patterns of eight gst genes. Although all encoded GST and were more than twofold upregulated by acrylamide treatment, their expression patterns were varied, and their regulation involved the transcription factor SKN-1 (a C. elegans homolog of Nuclear factor E2-related factors 1 and 2). We then selected the gst-4::gfp-transformed C. elegans to study the detoxification rate of acrylamide and its metabolite glycidimide in living animals. This animal detects acrylamide as a green fluorescence protein (GFP) expression signal in a dose- and time-dependent manner and may prove to be a useful tool not only for rapidly and inexpensively detecting acrylamide, a harmful substance in food, but also for analyzing mechanisms of GST induction by acrylamide and other inducers like oxidative stresses. PMID:17989133

  9. Structural Properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans Neuronal Network

    PubMed Central

    Varshney, Lav R.; Chen, Beth L.; Paniagua, Eric; Hall, David H.; Chklovskii, Dmitri B.

    2011-01-01

    Despite recent interest in reconstructing neuronal networks, complete wiring diagrams on the level of individual synapses remain scarce and the insights into function they can provide remain unclear. Even for Caenorhabditis elegans, whose neuronal network is relatively small and stereotypical from animal to animal, published wiring diagrams are neither accurate nor complete and self-consistent. Using materials from White et al. and new electron micrographs we assemble whole, self-consistent gap junction and chemical synapse networks of hermaphrodite C. elegans. We propose a method to visualize the wiring diagram, which reflects network signal flow. We calculate statistical and topological properties of the network, such as degree distributions, synaptic multiplicities, and small-world properties, that help in understanding network signal propagation. We identify neurons that may play central roles in information processing, and network motifs that could serve as functional modules of the network. We explore propagation of neuronal activity in response to sensory or artificial stimulation using linear systems theory and find several activity patterns that could serve as substrates of previously described behaviors. Finally, we analyze the interaction between the gap junction and the chemical synapse networks. Since several statistical properties of the C. elegans network, such as multiplicity and motif distributions are similar to those found in mammalian neocortex, they likely point to general principles of neuronal networks. The wiring diagram reported here can help in understanding the mechanistic basis of behavior by generating predictions about future experiments involving genetic perturbations, laser ablations, or monitoring propagation of neuronal activity in response to stimulation. PMID:21304930

  10. Mechanisms of plasticity in a Caenorhabditis elegans mechanosensory circuit

    PubMed Central

    Bozorgmehr, Tahereh; Ardiel, Evan L.; McEwan, Andrea H.; Rankin, Catharine H.

    2012-01-01

    Despite having a small nervous system (302 neurons) and relatively short lifespan (14–21 days), the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has a substantial ability to change its behavior in response to experience. The behavior discussed here is the tap withdrawal response, whereby the worm crawls backwards a brief distance in response to a non-localized mechanosensory stimulus from a tap to the side of the Petri plate within which it lives. The neural circuit that underlies this behavior is primarily made up of five sensory neurons and four pairs of interneurons. In this review we describe two classes of mechanosensory plasticity: adult learning and memory and experience dependent changes during development. As worms develop through young adult and adult stages there is a shift toward deeper habituation of response probability that is likely the result of changes in sensitivity to stimulus intensity. Adult worms show short- intermediate- and long-term habituation as well as context dependent habituation. Short-term habituation requires glutamate signaling and auto-phosphorylation of voltage-dependent potassium channels and is modulated by dopamine signaling in the mechanosensory neurons. Long-term memory (LTM) for habituation is mediated by down-regulation of expression of an AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit. Intermediate memory involves an increase in release of an inhibitory neuropeptide. Depriving larval worms of mechanosensory stimulation early in development leads to fewer synaptic vesicles in the mechanosensory neurons and lower levels of an AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit in the interneurons. Overall, the mechanosensory system of C. elegans shows a great deal of experience dependent plasticity both during development and as an adult. The simplest form of learning, habituation, is not so simple and is mediated and/or modulated by a number of different processes, some of which we are beginning to understand. PMID:23986713

  11. Isoflurane Selectively Inhibits Distal Mitochondrial Complex I in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kayser, Ernst-Bernhard; Suthammarak, Wichit; Morgan, Phil G.; Sedensky, Margaret M.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND Complex I of the electron transport chain (ETC) is a possible target of volatile anesthetics (VAs). Complex I enzymatic activities are inhibited by VAs, and dysfunction of complex I can lead to hypersensitivity to VAs in worms and in people. Mutant analysis in Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans suggests that VAs may specifically interfere with complex I function at the binding site for its substrate ubiquinone. We hypothesized that isoflurane inhibits electron transport by competing with ubiquinone for binding to complex I. METHODS Wildtype and mutant C. elegans were used to study the effects of isoflurane on isolated mitochondria. Enzymatic activities of the ETC were assayed and dose-response curves determined using established techniques. Two-dimensional native gels of mitochondrial proteins were performed after exposure of mitochondria to isoflurane. RESULTS Complex I is the most sensitive component of the ETC to isoflurane inhibition; however the proximal portion of complex I (the flavoprotein) is relatively insensitive to isoflurane. Isoflurane and quinone do not compete for a common binding site on complex I. The absolute rate of complex I enzymatic activity in vitro does not predict immobilization of the animal by isoflurane. Isoflurane had no measurable effect on stability of mitochondrial supercomplexes. Reduction of ubiquinone by complex I displayed positive cooperative kinetics not disrupted by isoflurane. CONCLUSIONS Isoflurane directly inhibits complex I at a site distal to the flavoprotein subcomplex. However, we have excluded our original hypothesis that isoflurane and ubiquinone compete for a common hydrophobic binding site on complex I. In addition, immobilization of the nematode by isoflurane is not due to limiting absolute amounts of complex I electron transport as measured in isolated mitochondria. PMID:21467554

  12. Organization of the synaptonemal complex during meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Schild-Prüfert, Kristina; Saito, Takamune T; Smolikov, Sarit; Gu, Yanjie; Hincapie, Marina; Hill, David E; Vidal, Marc; McDonald, Kent; Colaiácovo, Monica P

    2011-10-01

    Four different SYP proteins (SYP-1, SYP-2, SYP-3, and SYP-4) have been proposed to form the central region of the synaptonemal complex (SC) thereby bridging the axes of paired meiotic chromosomes in Caenorhabditis elegans. Their interdependent localization suggests that they may interact within the SC. Our studies reveal for the first time how these SYP proteins are organized in the central region of the SC. Yeast two-hybrid and co-immunoprecipitation studies show that SYP-1 is the only SYP protein that is capable of homotypic interactions, and is able to interact with both SYP-2 and SYP-3 directly, whereas SYP-2 and SYP-3 do not seem to interact with each other. Specifically, the coiled-coil domain of SYP-1 is required both for its homotypic interactions and its interaction with the C-terminal domain of SYP-2. Meanwhile, SYP-3 interacts with the C-terminal end of SYP-1 via its N-terminal domain. Immunoelectron microscopy analysis provides insight into the orientation of these proteins within the SC. While the C-terminal domain of SYP-3 localizes in close proximity to the chromosome axes, the N-terminal domains of both SYP-1 and SYP-4, as well as the C-terminal domain of SYP-2, are located in the middle of the SC. Taking into account the different sizes of these proteins, their interaction abilities, and their orientation within the SC, we propose a model of how the SYP proteins link the homologous axes to provide the conserved structure and width of the SC in C. elegans. PMID:21840865

  13. Organization of the Synaptonemal Complex During Meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Schild-Prüfert, Kristina; Saito, Takamune T.; Smolikov, Sarit; Gu, Yanjie; Hincapie, Marina; Hill, David E.; Vidal, Marc; McDonald, Kent; Colaiácovo, Monica P.

    2011-01-01

    Four different SYP proteins (SYP-1, SYP-2, SYP-3, and SYP-4) have been proposed to form the central region of the synaptonemal complex (SC) thereby bridging the axes of paired meiotic chromosomes in Caenorhabditis elegans. Their interdependent localization suggests that they may interact within the SC. Our studies reveal for the first time how these SYP proteins are organized in the central region of the SC. Yeast two-hybrid and co-immunoprecipitation studies show that SYP-1 is the only SYP protein that is capable of homotypic interactions, and is able to interact with both SYP-2 and SYP-3 directly, whereas SYP-2 and SYP-3 do not seem to interact with each other. Specifically, the coiled-coil domain of SYP-1 is required both for its homotypic interactions and its interaction with the C-terminal domain of SYP-2. Meanwhile, SYP-3 interacts with the C-terminal end of SYP-1 via its N-terminal domain. Immunoelectron microscopy analysis provides insight into the orientation of these proteins within the SC. While the C-terminal domain of SYP-3 localizes in close proximity to the chromosome axes, the N-terminal domains of both SYP-1 and SYP-4, as well as the C-terminal domain of SYP-2, are located in the middle of the SC. Taking into account the different sizes of these proteins, their interaction abilities, and their orientation within the SC, we propose a model of how the SYP proteins link the homologous axes to provide the conserved structure and width of the SC in C. elegans. PMID:21840865

  14. IgCAMs redundantly control axon navigation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Schwarz, Valentin; Pan, Jie; Voltmer-Irsch, Susanne; Hutter, Harald

    2009-01-01

    Background Cell adhesion molecules of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgCAMs) form one of the largest and most diverse families of adhesion molecules and receptors in the nervous system. Many members of this family mediate contact and communication among neurons during development. The Caenorhabditis elegans genome contains a comparatively small number of IgCAMs, most of which are evolutionarily conserved and found across all animal phyla. Only some of these have been functionally characterized so far. Results We systematically analyzed previously uncharacterized IgCAMs in C. elegans. Green fluorescent protein reporter constructs of 12 IgCAMs revealed that expression generally is not confined to a single tissue and that all tissues express at least one of the IgCAMs. Most IgCAMs were expressed in neurons. Within the nervous system significant overlap in expression was found in central components of the motor circuit, in particular the command interneurons, ventral cord motoneurons as well as motoneurons innervating head muscles. Sensory neurons are underrepresented among the cells expressing these IgCAMs. We isolated mutations for eight of the genes showing neuronal expression. Phenotypic analysis of single mutants revealed limited neuronal defects, in particular axon navigation defects in some of the mutants. Systematic genetic interaction studies uncovered two cases of functional overlap among three and four genes, respectively. A strain combining mutations in all eight genes is viable and shows no additional defects in the neurons that were analyzed, suggesting that genetic interactions among those genes are limited. Conclusion Genetic interactions involving multiple IgCAMs affecting axon outgrowth demonstrate functional overlap among IgCAMs during nervous system development. PMID:19341471

  15. Unidirectional, electrotactic-response valve for Caenorhabditis elegans in microfluidic devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, John A.; Lycke, Roy; Parashar, Archana; Pandey, Santosh

    2011-04-01

    We report a nematode electrotactic-response valve (NERV) to control the locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) in microfluidic devices. This nonmechanical, unidirectional valve is based on creating a confined region of lateral electric field that is switchable and reversible. We observed that C. elegans do not prefer to pass through this region if the field lines are incident to its forward movement. Upon reaching the boundary of the NERV, the incident worms partially penetrate the field region, pull back, and turn around. The NERV is tested on three C. elegans mutants: wild-type (N2), lev-8, and acr-16.

  16. Reciprocal Changes in Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase and Pyruvate Kinase with Age Are a Determinant of Aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yiyuan; Hakimi, Parvin; Kao, Clara; Kao, Allison; Liu, Ruifu; Janocha, Allison; Boyd-Tressler, Andrea; Hang, Xi; Alhoraibi, Hanna; Slater, Erin; Xia, Kevin; Cao, Pengxiu; Shue, Quinn; Ching, Tsui-Ting; Hsu, Ao-Lin; Erzurum, Serpil C; Dubyak, George R; Berger, Nathan A; Hanson, Richard W; Feng, Zhaoyang

    2016-01-15

    Aging involves progressive loss of cellular function and integrity, presumably caused by accumulated stochastic damage to cells. Alterations in energy metabolism contribute to aging, but how energy metabolism changes with age, how these changes affect aging, and whether they can be modified to modulate aging remain unclear. In locomotory muscle of post-fertile Caenorhabditis elegans, we identified a progressive decrease in cytosolic phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK-C), a longevity-associated metabolic enzyme, and a reciprocal increase in glycolytic pyruvate kinase (PK) that were necessary and sufficient to limit lifespan. Decline in PEPCK-C with age also led to loss of cellular function and integrity including muscle activity, and cellular senescence. Genetic and pharmacologic interventions of PEPCK-C, muscle activity, and AMPK signaling demonstrate that declines in PEPCK-C and muscle function with age interacted to limit reproductive life and lifespan via disrupted energy homeostasis. Quantifications of metabolic flux show that reciprocal changes in PEPCK-C and PK with age shunted energy metabolism toward glycolysis, reducing mitochondrial bioenergetics. Last, calorie restriction countered changes in PEPCK-C and PK with age to elicit anti-aging effects via TOR inhibition. Thus, a programmed metabolic event involving PEPCK-C and PK is a determinant of aging that can be modified to modulate aging. PMID:26631730

  17. Gene Pathways That Delay Caenorhabditis elegans Reproductive Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Meng C.; Oakley, Holly D.; Carr, Christopher E.; Sowa, Jessica N.; Ruvkun, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Reproductive senescence is a hallmark of aging. The molecular mechanisms regulating reproductive senescence and its association with the aging of somatic cells remain poorly understood. From a full genome RNA interference (RNAi) screen, we identified 32 Caenorhabditis elegans gene inactivations that delay reproductive senescence and extend reproductive lifespan. We found that many of these gene inactivations interact with insulin/IGF-1 and/or TGF-β endocrine signaling pathways to regulate reproductive senescence, except nhx-2 and sgk-1 that modulate sodium reabsorption. Of these 32 gene inactivations, we also found that 19 increase reproductive lifespan through their effects on oocyte activities, 8 of them coordinate oocyte and sperm functions to extend reproductive lifespan, and 5 of them can induce sperm humoral response to promote reproductive longevity. Furthermore, we examined the effects of these reproductive aging regulators on somatic aging. We found that 5 of these gene inactivations prolong organismal lifespan, and 20 of them increase healthy life expectancy of an organism without altering total life span. These studies provide a systemic view on the genetic regulation of reproductive senescence and its intersection with organism longevity. The majority of these newly identified genes are conserved, and may provide new insights into age-associated reproductive senescence during human aging. PMID:25474471

  18. Analysis of Dominant Mutations Affecting Muscle Excitation in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Reiner, D. J.; Weinshenker, D.; Thomas, J. H.

    1995-01-01

    We examined mutations that disrupt muscle activation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Fifteen of 17 of these genes were identified previously and we describe new mutations in three of them. We also describe mutations in two new genes, exp-3 and exp-4. We assessed the degree of defect in pharyngeal, body-wall, egg-laying, and enteric muscle activation in animals mutant for each gene. Mutations in all 17 genes are semidominant and, in cases that could be tested, appear to be gain-of-function. Based on their phenotypes, the genes fall into three broad categories: mutations in 11 genes cause defective muscle activation, mutations in four genes cause hyperactivated muscle, and mutations in two genes cause defective activation in some muscle types and hyperactivation in others. In all testable cases, the mutations blocked response to pharmacological activators of egg laying, but did not block muscle activation by irradiation with a laser microbeam. The data suggest that these mutations affect muscle excitation, but not the capacity of the muscle fibers to contract. For most of the genes, apparent loss-of-function mutants have a grossly wild-type phenotype. These observations suggest that there is a large group of genes that function in muscle excitation that can be identified primarily by dominant mutations. PMID:8582640

  19. Staufen Negatively Modulates MicroRNA Activity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Zhiji; Veksler-Lublinsky, Isana; Morrissey, David; Ambros, Victor

    2016-01-01

    The double-stranded RNA-binding protein Staufen has been implicated in various posttranscriptional gene regulatory processes. Here, we demonstrate that the Caenorhabditis elegans homolog of Staufen, STAU-1, functionally interacts with microRNAs. Loss-of-function mutations of stau-1 significantly suppress phenotypes of let-7 family microRNA mutants, a hypomorphic allele of dicer, and a lsy-6 microRNA partial loss-of-function mutant. Furthermore, STAU-1 modulates the activity of lin-14, a target of lin-4 and let-7 family microRNAs, and this modulation is abolished when the 3′ untranslated region of lin-14 is removed. Deep sequencing of small RNA cDNA libraries reveals no dramatic change in the levels of microRNAs or other small RNA populations between wild-type and stau-1 mutants, with the exception of certain endogenous siRNAs in the WAGO pathway. The modulation of microRNA activity by STAU-1 does not seem to be associated with the previously reported enhanced exogenous RNAi (Eri) phenotype of stau-1 mutants, since eri-1 exhibits the opposite effect on microRNA activity. Altogether, our results suggest that STAU-1 negatively modulates microRNA activity downstream of microRNA biogenesis, possibly by competing with microRNAs for binding on the 3′ untranslated region of target mRNAs. PMID:26921297

  20. Staufen Negatively Modulates MicroRNA Activity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ren, Zhiji; Veksler-Lublinsky, Isana; Morrissey, David; Ambros, Victor

    2016-01-01

    The double-stranded RNA-binding protein Staufen has been implicated in various posttranscriptional gene regulatory processes. Here, we demonstrate that the Caenorhabditis elegans homolog of Staufen, STAU-1, functionally interacts with microRNAs. Loss-of-function mutations of stau-1 significantly suppress phenotypes of let-7 family microRNA mutants, a hypomorphic allele of dicer, and a lsy-6 microRNA partial loss-of-function mutant. Furthermore, STAU-1 modulates the activity of lin-14, a target of lin-4 and let-7 family microRNAs, and this modulation is abolished when the 3' untranslated region of lin-14 is removed. Deep sequencing of small RNA cDNA libraries reveals no dramatic change in the levels of microRNAs or other small RNA populations between wild-type and stau-1 mutants, with the exception of certain endogenous siRNAs in the WAGO pathway. The modulation of microRNA activity by STAU-1 does not seem to be associated with the previously reported enhanced exogenous RNAi (Eri) phenotype of stau-1 mutants, since eri-1 exhibits the opposite effect on microRNA activity. Altogether, our results suggest that STAU-1 negatively modulates microRNA activity downstream of microRNA biogenesis, possibly by competing with microRNAs for binding on the 3' untranslated region of target mRNAs. PMID:26921297

  1. Uncoupling lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans longevity mutants

    PubMed Central

    Bansal, Ankita; Zhu, Lihua J.; Yen, Kelvin; Tissenbaum, Heidi A.

    2015-01-01

    Aging research has been very successful at identifying signaling pathways and evolutionarily conserved genes that extend lifespan with the assumption that an increase in lifespan will also increase healthspan. However, it is largely unknown whether we are extending the healthy time of life or simply prolonging a period of frailty with increased incidence of age-associated diseases. Here we use Caenorhabditis elegans, one of the premiere systems for lifespan studies, to determine whether lifespan and healthspan are intrinsically correlated. We conducted multiple cellular and organismal assays on wild type as well as four long-lived mutants (insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1, dietary restriction, protein translation, mitochondrial signaling) in a longitudinal manner to determine the health of the animals as they age. We find that some long-lived mutants performed better than wild type when measured chronologically (number of days). However, all long-lived mutants increased the proportion of time spent in a frail state. Together, these data suggest that lifespan can no longer be the sole parameter of interest and reveal the importance of evaluating multiple healthspan parameters for future studies on antiaging interventions. PMID:25561524

  2. An Acetylcholinesterase-Deficient Mutant of the Nematode CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Carl D.; Duckett, John G.; Culotti, Joseph G.; Herman, Robert K.; Meneely, Philip M.; Russell, Richard L.

    1981-01-01

    Within a set of five separable molecular forms of acetylcholinesterase found in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, previously reported differences in kinetic properties identify two classes, A and B, likely to be under separate genetic control. Using differences between these classes in sensitivity to inactivation by sodium deoxycholate, a screening procedure was devised to search for mutants affected only in class A forms. Among 171 previously isolated behavioral and morphological mutant strains examined by this procedure, one (PR946) proved to be of the expected type, exhibiting a selective deficiency of class A acetylcholinesterase forms. Although originally isolated because of its uncoordinated behavior, this strain was subsequently shown to harbor mutations in two genes; one in the previously identified gene unc-3, accounting for its behavior, and one in a newly identified gene, ace-1, accounting for its selective acetylcholinesterase deficiency. Derivatives homozygous only for the ace-1 mutation also lacked class A acetylcholinesterase forms, but were behaviorally and developmentally indistinguishable from wild type. The gene ace-1 has been mapped near the right end of the X chromosome. Gene dosage experiments suggest that it may be a structural gene for a component of class A acetylcholinesterase forms. PMID:7274654

  3. Thiamine pyrophosphate biosynthesis and transport in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Liesbeth; Meng, Yan; Dent, Joseph; Hekimi, Siegfried

    2004-10-01

    Thiamine (vitamin B1) is required in the diet of animals, and thiamine deficiency leads to diseases such as beri-beri and the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Dietary thiamine (vitamin B1) consists mainly of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), which is transformed into thiamine by gastrointestinal phosphatases before absorption. It is believed that TPP itself cannot be transported across plasma membranes in significant amounts. We have identified a partial loss-of-function mutation in the Caenorhabditis elegans gene (tpk-1) that encodes thiamine pyrophosphokinase, which forms TPP from thiamine at the expense of ATP inside cells. The mutation slows physiological rhythms and the phenotype it produces can be rescued by TPP but not thiamine supplementation. tpk-1 functions cell nonautonomously, as the expression of wild-type tpk-1 in one tissue can rescue the function of other tissues that express only mutant tpk-1. These observations indicate that, in contrast to expectation from previous evidence, TPP can be transported across cell membranes. We also find that thiamine supplementation partially rescues the phenotype of partial loss-of-function mutants of the Na/K ATPase, providing genetic evidence that thiamine absorption, and/or redistribution from the absorbing cells, requires the full activity of this enzyme. PMID:15514058

  4. Dauer formation induced by high temperatures in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ailion, M; Thomas, J H

    2000-11-01

    Dauer formation in Caenorhabditis elegans is regulated by several environmental stimuli, including a pheromone and temperature. Dauer formation is moderately induced as the growth temperature increases from 15 degrees to 25 degrees. Here we show that dauer formation is very strongly induced at a temperature of 27 degrees in both wild-type animals and mutants such as unc-64, unc-31, and unc-3, which do not form dauers at 25 degrees. A 27 degrees temperature stimulus is sufficient to induce dauer formation in wild-type animals independent of pheromone. Analysis of previously described dauer mutants at 27 degrees reveals a number of surprising results. Several classes of mutants (dyf, daf-3, tax-4, and tax-2) that are defective in dauer formation at lower temperatures reverse their phenotypes at 27 degrees and form dauers constitutively. Epistasis experiments place unc-64 and unc-31 at a different position in the dauer pathway from unc-3. We also uncover new branches of the dauer pathway at 27 degrees that are not detected at 25 degrees. We show that epistatic gene interactions can show both quantitative and qualitative differences depending on environmental conditions. Finally, we discuss some of the possible ecological implications of dauer induction by high temperatures. PMID:11063684

  5. Genes that regulate both development and longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Larsen, P.L.; Albert, P.S.; Riddle, D.L.

    1995-04-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans responds to conditions of overcrowding and limited food by arresting development as a dauer larva. Genetic analysis of mutations that alter dauer larva formation (daf mutations) is presented along with an updated genetic pathway for dauer vs. nondauer development. Mutations in the daf-2 and daf-23 genes double adult life span, whereas mutations in four other dauer-constitutive genes positioned in a separate branch of this pathway (daf-1, daf-4, daf-7 and daf-8) do not. The increased life spans are suppressed completely by a daf-16 mutation and partially in a daf-2; daf-18 double mutant. A genetic pathway for determination of adult life span is presented based on the same strains and growth conditions used to characterize Daf phenotypes. Both dauer larva formation and adult life span are affected in daf-2; daf-12 double mutants in an allele-specific manner. Mutations in daf-12 do not extend adult life span, but certain combinations of daf-2 and daf-12 mutant alleles nearly quadruple it. This synergistic effect, which does not equivalently extend the fertile period, is the largest genetic extension of life span yet observed in a metazoan. 47 refs., 7 figs., 5 tabs.

  6. Natural Variation and Copulatory Plug Formation in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hodgkin, J.; Doniach, T.

    1997-01-01

    Most of the available natural isolates of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have been examined and compared with the standard laboratory wild type (Bristol N2). Molecular markers, in particular transposon restriction fragment length polymorphisms, were used to assign these isolates to 22 different races, for which brood size and spontaneous male frequency were determined. Several distinctive traits were observed in some of these races. One example is mab-23, in a race from Vancouver, which leads to severe distortion of male genitalia and prevents male mating. Another is gro-1, segregating in a Californian race, which is associated with slow growth, heat resistance and longevity. Many races differ from N2 in carrying a dominant allele at the plg-1 locus, causing copulatory plug formation by males. Properties and possible advantages of the plugging trait have been investigated. The dominant plg-1 allele does not lead to increased male mating efficiency, but males from a Stanford race (CB4855), in which the plugging trait was first observed, are much more virile than N2 males. Crosses between N2 and CB4855 indicate that the higher virility is due to multiple factors. Size differences between N2 and CB4855 are associated with factors mapping to LGV and LGX. PMID:9136008

  7. Antagonistic sensory cues generate gustatory plasticity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hukema, Renate K; Rademakers, Suzanne; Dekkers, Martijn P J; Burghoorn, Jan; Jansen, Gert

    2006-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans shows chemoattraction to 0.1–200 mM NaCl, avoidance of higher NaCl concentrations, and avoidance of otherwise attractive NaCl concentrations after prolonged exposure to NaCl (gustatory plasticity). Previous studies have shown that the ASE and ASH sensory neurons primarily mediate attraction and avoidance of NaCl, respectively. Here we show that balances between at least four sensory cell types, ASE, ASI, ASH, ADF and perhaps ADL, modulate the response to NaCl. Our results suggest that two NaCl-attraction signalling pathways exist, one of which uses Ca2+/cGMP signalling. In addition, we provide evidence that attraction to NaCl is antagonised by G-protein signalling in the ASH neurons, which is desensitised by the G-protein-coupled receptor kinase GRK-2. Finally, the response to NaCl is modulated by G-protein signalling in the ASI and ADF neurons, a second G-protein pathway in ASH and cGMP signalling in neurons exposed to the body fluid. PMID:16407969

  8. Radiation effects on life span in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, T.E.; Hartman, P.S.

    1988-09-01

    Wild-type and radiation-sensitive (Rad) mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans were irradiated using a /sup 137/Cs source (2.7 krads/min.) at several developmental stages and subsequently monitored for life span. Acute doses of radiation ranged from 1 krad to 300 krads. All stages required doses above 100 krads to reduce mean life span. Dauers and third stage larvae were more sensitive, and 8-day-old adults were the most resistant. Occasional statistically significant but nonrepeatable increases in survival were observed after intermediate levels of irradiation (10-30 krads). Unirradiated rad-4 and rad-7 had life spans similar to wild-type; all others had a significant reduction in survival. The mutants were about as sensitive as wild-type to the effects of ionizing radiation including occasional moderate life span extensions at intermediate doses. We conclude that the moderate life span extensions sometimes observed after irradiation are likely to be mediated by a means other than the induction of DNA repair enzymes.

  9. The structure of the ventral nerve cord of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    White, J G; Southgate, E; Thomson, J N; Brenner, S

    1976-08-10

    The nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans is arranged as a series of fibre bundles which run along internal hypodermal ridges. Most of the sensory integration takes place in a ring of nerve fibres which is wrapped round the pharynx in the head. The body muscles in the head are innervated by motor neurones in this nerve ring while those in the lower part of the body are innervated by a set of motor neurones in a longitudinal fibre bundle which joins the nerve ring, the ventral cord. These motor neurones can be put into five classes on the basis of their morphology and synaptic input. At any one point along the cord only one member from each class has neuromuscular junctions. Members of a given class are arranged in a regular linear sequence in the cord and have non-overlapping fields of motor synaptic activity, the transition between fields of adjacent neurones being sharp and well defined. Members of a given class form gap junctions with neighbouring members of the same class but never to motor neurones of another class. Three of the motor neurone classes receive their synaptic input from a set of interneurones coming from the nerve ring. These interneurones can in turn be grouped into four classes and each of three motor neurone classes receives its synaptic input from a unique combination of interneurone classes. The possible developmental and functional significance of these observations is discussed. PMID:8806

  10. UNC-18 modulates ethanol sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Graham, Margaret E; Edwards, Mark R; Holden-Dye, Lindy; Morgan, Alan; Burgoyne, Robert D; Barclay, Jeff W

    2009-01-01

    Acute ethanol exposure affects the nervous system as a stimulant at low concentrations and as a depressant at higher concentrations, eventually resulting in motor dysfunction and uncoordination. A recent genetic study of two mouse strains with varying ethanol preference indicated a correlation with a polymorphism (D216N) in the synaptic protein Munc18-1. Munc18-1 functions in exocytosis via a number of discrete interactions with the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) protein syntaxin-1. We report that the mutation affects binding to syntaxin but not through either a closed conformation mode of interaction or through binding to the syntaxin N terminus. The D216N mutant instead has a specific impairment in binding the assembled SNARE complex. Furthermore, the mutation broadens the duration of single exocytotic events. Expression of the orthologous mutation (D214N) in the Caenorhabditis elegans UNC-18 null background generated transgenic rescues with phenotypically similar locomotion to worms rescued with the wild-type protein. Strikingly, D214N worms were strongly resistant to both stimulatory and sedative effects of acute ethanol. Analysis of an alternative Munc18-1 mutation (I133V) supported the link between reduced SNARE complex binding and ethanol resistance. We conclude that ethanol acts, at least partially, at the level of vesicle fusion and that its acute effects are ameliorated by point mutations in UNC-18. PMID:18923141

  11. Sphingolipid metabolism regulates development and lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Cutler, Roy G; Thompson, Kenneth W; Camandola, Simonetta; Mack, Kendra T; Mattson, Mark P

    2014-12-15

    Sphingolipids are a highly conserved lipid component of cell membranes involved in the formation of lipid raft domains that house many of the receptors and cell-to-cell signaling factors involved in regulating cell division, maturation, and terminal differentiation. By measuring and manipulating sphingolipid metabolism using pharmacological and genetic tools in Caenorhabditis elegans, we provide evidence that the synthesis and remodeling of specific ceramides (e.g., dC18:1-C24:1), gangliosides (e.g., GM1-C24:1), and sphingomyelins (e.g., dC18:1-C18:1) influence development rate and lifespan. We found that the levels of fatty acid chain desaturation and elongation in many sphingolipid species increased during development and aging, with no such changes in developmentally-arrested dauer larvae or normal adults after food withdrawal (an anti-aging intervention). Pharmacological inhibitors and small interfering RNAs directed against serine palmitoyl transferase and glucosylceramide synthase acted to slow development rate, extend the reproductive period, and increase lifespan. In contrast, worms fed an egg yolk diet rich in sphingolipids exhibited accelerated development and reduced lifespan. Our findings demonstrate that sphingolipid accumulation and remodeling are critical events that determine development rate and lifespan in the nematode model, with both development rate and aging being accelerated by the synthesis of sphingomyelin, and its metabolism to ceramides and gangliosides. PMID:25437839

  12. Sphingolipid metabolism regulates development and lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Cutler, Roy G.; Thompson, Kenneth W.; Camandola, Simonetta; Mack, Kendra T.; Mattson, Mark P.

    2015-01-01

    Sphingolipids are a highly conserved lipid component of cell membranes involved in the formation of lipid raft domains that house many of the receptors and cell-to-cell signaling factors involved in regulating cell division, maturation, and terminal differentiation. By measuring and manipulating sphingolipid metabolism using pharmacological and genetic tools in Caenorhabditis elegans, we provide evidence that the synthesis and remodeling of specific ceramides (e.g., dC18:1–C24:1), gangliosides (e.g., GM1–C24:1), and sphingomyelins (e.g., dC18:1–C18:1) influence development rate and lifespan. We found that the levels of fatty acid chain desaturation and elongation in many sphingolipid species increased during development and aging, with no such changes in developmentally-arrested dauer larvae or normal adults after food withdrawal (an anti-aging intervention). Pharmacological inhibitors and small interfering RNAs directed against serine palmitoyl transferase and glucosylceramide synthase acted to slow development rate, extend the reproductive period, and increase lifespan. In contrast, worms fed an egg yolk diet rich in sphingolipids exhibited accelerated development and reduced lifespan. Our findings demonstrate that sphingolipid accumulation and remodeling are critical events that determine development rate and lifespan in the nematode model, with both development rate and aging being accelerated by the synthesis of sphingomyelin, and its metabolism to ceramides and gangliosides. PMID:25437839

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Emiliano; Chatzigeorgiou, Marios; Husson, Steven J.; Steuer-Costa, Wagner; Gottschalk, Alexander; Schafer, William R.; Treinin, Millet

    2014-01-01

    Polymodal nociceptors sense and integrate information on injurious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli. Chemical signals either activate nociceptors or modulate their responses to other stimuli. One chemical known to activate or modulate responses of nociceptors is acetylcholine (ACh). Across evolution nociceptors express subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) family, a family of ACh-gated ion channels. The roles of ACh and nAChRs in nociceptor function are, however, poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans polymodal nociceptors, PVD, express nAChR subunits on their sensory arbor. Here we show that mutations reducing ACh synthesis and mutations in nAChR subunits lead to defects in PVD function and morphology. A likely cause for these defects is a reduction in cytosolic calcium measured in ACh and nAChR mutants. Indeed, overexpression of a calcium pump in PVD mimics defects in PVD function and morphology found in nAChR mutants. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, a central role for nAChRs and ACh in nociceptor function and suggest that calcium permeating via nAChRs facilitates activity of several signaling pathways within this neuron. PMID:24518198

  14. Light-controlled intracellular transport in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Harterink, Martin; van Bergeijk, Petra; Allier, Calixte; de Haan, Bart; van den Heuvel, Sander; Hoogenraad, Casper C; Kapitein, Lukas C

    2016-02-22

    To establish and maintain their complex morphology and function, neurons and other polarized cells exploit cytoskeletal motor proteins to distribute cargoes to specific compartments [1]. Recent studies in cultured cells have used inducible motor protein recruitment to explore how different motors contribute to polarized transport and to control the subcellular positioning of organelles [2,3]. Such approaches also seem promising avenues for studying motor activity and organelle positioning within more complex cellular assemblies, but their applicability to multicellular in vivo systems has so far remained unexplored. Here, we report the development of an optogenetic organelle transport strategy in the in vivo model system Caenorhabditis elegans. We demonstrate that movement and pausing of various organelles can be achieved by recruiting the proper cytoskeletal motor protein with light. In neurons, we find that kinesin and dynein exclusively target the axon and dendrite, respectively, revealing the basic principles for polarized transport. In vivo control of motor attachment and organelle distributions will be widely useful in exploring the mechanisms that govern the dynamic morphogenesis of cells and tissues, within the context of a developing animal. PMID:26906482

  15. Sex-specific pruning of neuronal synapses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Oren-Suissa, Meital; Bayer, Emily A; Hobert, Oliver

    2016-05-12

    Whether and how neurons that are present in both sexes of the same species can differentiate in a sexually dimorphic manner is not well understood. A comparison of the connectomes of the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite and male nervous systems reveals the existence of sexually dimorphic synaptic connections between neurons present in both sexes. Here we demonstrate sex-specific functions of these sex-shared neurons and show that many neurons initially form synapses in a hybrid manner in both the male and hermaphrodite pattern before sexual maturation. Sex-specific synapse pruning then results in the sex-specific maintenance of subsets of these connections. Reversal of the sexual identity of either the pre- or postsynaptic neuron alone transforms the patterns of synaptic connectivity to that of the opposite sex. A dimorphically expressed and phylogenetically conserved transcription factor is both necessary and sufficient to determine sex-specific connectivity patterns. Our studies reveal new insights into sex-specific circuit development. PMID:27144354

  16. Epidermal Wound Healing in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chisholm, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

    Significance: Healing of epidermal wounds is a fundamentally conserved process found in essentially all multicellular organisms. Studies of anatomically simple and genetically tractable model invertebrates can illuminate the roles of key genes and mechanisms in wound healing. Recent Advances: The nematode skin is composed of a simple epithelium, the epidermis (also known as hypodermis), and an associated extracellular cuticle. Nematodes likely have a robust capacity for epidermal repair; yet until recently, relatively few studies have directly analyzed wound healing. Here we review epidermal wound responses and repair in the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Critical Issues: Wounding the epidermis triggers a cutaneous innate immune response and wound closure. The innate immune response involves upregulation of a suite of antimicrobial peptides. Wound closure involves a Ca2+-triggered rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton. These processes appear to be initiated independently, yet, their coordinated activity allows the animal to survive otherwise fatal skin wounds. Future Directions: Unanswered questions include the nature of the damage-associated molecular patterns sensed by the epidermis, the signaling pathways relaying Ca2+ to the cytoskeleton, and the mechanisms of permeability barrier repair. PMID:25945288

  17. Life Span and Motility Effects of Ethanolic Extracts from Sophora moorcroftiana Seeds on Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xin; Han, Junxian; Zhu, Rongyan; Cui, Rongrong; Ma, Xingming; Dong, Kaizhong

    2016-01-01

    Background: Sophora moorcroftiana is an endemic shrub species with a great value in folk medicine in Tibet, China. In this study, relatively little is known about whether S. moorcroftiana is beneficial in animals' nervous system and life span or not. Materials and Methods: To address this question, under survival normal temperature (25°C), S. moorcroftiana seeds were extracted with 95% ethanol, and Caenorhabditis elegans were exposed to three different extract concentrations (100 mg/L, 200 mg/L, and 400 mg/mL) from S. moorcroftiana seeds. Results: The 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds could increase life span and slow aging-related increase in C. elegans and could not obviously influence the motility of C. elegans. Conclusion: Given these results by our experiment for life span and motility with 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds in C. elegans, the question whether S. moorcroftiana acts as an anti-aging substance in vivo arises. SUMMARY The 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds have no effect on the life span in C. elegans when extract concentrations from S. moorcroftiana seeds <400 mg/LThe 400 mg/L 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds could increase life span in C. elegansThe 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds could not obviously influence the motility in C. elegans. Abbreviation used: S. moorcroftiana: Sophora moorcroftiana; C. elegan: Caenorhabditis elegan; E. coli OP50: Escherichia coli OP50; DMSO: Dimethyl sulfoxide. PMID:27279712

  18. Phase transition in Caenorhabditis elegans: A classical oil-water phase separation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Christoph; Tony Hyman Collaboration; Andrés Delgadillo Collaboration; Frank Jülicher Team

    2014-03-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans droplets form before the cell divides. These droplets, also referred to as P-granules, consist of a variety of unstructured proteins and mRNA. Brangwynne et al. [Science, 2009] showed that the P-granules exhibit fluid-like behavior and that the phase separation is controlled spatially by a gradient of a component called Mex-5. It is believed that this system exhibits the same characteristics as a classical oil-water phase separation. Here we report the recent experimental investigations on the phase separation in Caenorhabditis elegans and compare our findings with a classical oil-water phase separation. Specifically, we consider the underlying coarsening mechanisms as well as the impact of temperature and species composition. Finally, we present a preliminary model incorporating the characteristics of the phase separation kinetics for Caenorhabditis elegans.

  19. A conserved checkpoint monitors meiotic chromosome synapsis inCaenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Bhalla, Needhi; Dernburg, Abby F.

    2005-07-14

    We report the discovery of a checkpoint that monitorssynapsis between homologous chromosomes to ensure accurate meioticsegregation. Oocytes containing unsynapsed chromosomes selectivelyundergo apoptosis even if agermline DNA damage checkpoint is inactivated.This culling mechanism isspecifically activated by unsynapsed pairingcenters, cis-acting chromosomesites that are also required to promotesynapsis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Apoptosis due to synaptic failurealso requires the C. elegans homolog of PCH2,a budding yeast pachytenecheckpoint gene, which suggests that this surveillance mechanism iswidely conserved.

  20. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitor Extends Caenorhabditis elegans Life Span.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sandeep; Dietrich, Nicholas; Kornfeld, Kerry

    2016-02-01

    Animal aging is characterized by progressive, degenerative changes in many organ systems. Because age-related degeneration is a major contributor to disability and death in humans, treatments that delay age-related degeneration are desirable. However, no drugs that delay normal human aging are currently available. To identify drugs that delay age-related degeneration, we used the powerful Caenorhabditis elegans model system to screen for FDA-approved drugs that can extend the adult lifespan of worms. Here we show that captopril extended mean lifespan. Captopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure in humans. To explore the mechanism of captopril, we analyzed the acn-1 gene that encodes the C. elegans homolog of ACE. Reducing the activity of acn-1 extended the mean life span. Furthermore, reducing the activity of acn-1 delayed age-related degenerative changes and increased stress resistance, indicating that acn-1 influences aging. Captopril could not further extend the lifespan of animals with reduced acn-1, suggesting they function in the same pathway; we propose that captopril inhibits acn-1 to extend lifespan. To define the relationship with previously characterized longevity pathways, we analyzed mutant animals. The lifespan extension caused by reducing the activity of acn-1 was additive with caloric restriction and mitochondrial insufficiency, and did not require sir-2.1, hsf-1 or rict-1, suggesting that acn-1 functions by a distinct mechanism. The interactions with the insulin/IGF-1 pathway were complex, since the lifespan extensions caused by captopril and reducing acn-1 activity were additive with daf-2 and age-1 but required daf-16. Captopril treatment and reducing acn-1 activity caused similar effects in a wide range of genetic backgrounds, consistent with the model that they act by the same mechanism. These results identify a new drug and a new gene that can extend the lifespan of worms and suggest new

  1. A New Player in the Spermiogenesis Pathway of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    LaMunyon, Craig W; Nasri, Ubaydah; Sullivan, Nicholas G; Shaw, Misa A; Prajapati, Gaurav; Christensen, Matthew; Elmatari, Daniel; Clark, Jessica N

    2015-11-01

    Precise timing of sperm activation ensures the greatest likelihood of fertilization. Precision in Caenorhabditis elegans sperm activation is ensured by external signaling, which induces the spherical spermatid to reorganize and extend a pseudopod for motility. Spermatid activation, also called spermiogenesis, is prevented from occurring prematurely by the activity of SPE-6 and perhaps other proteins, termed "the brake model." Here, we identify the spe-47 gene from the hc198 mutation that causes premature spermiogenesis. The mutation was isolated in a suppressor screen of spe-27(it132ts), which normally renders worms sterile, due to defective transduction of the activation signal. In a spe-27(+) background, spe-47(hc198) causes a temperature-sensitive reduction of fertility, and in addition to premature spermiogenesis, many mutant sperm fail to activate altogether. The hc198 mutation is semidominant, inducing a more severe loss of fertility than do null alleles generated by CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) technology. The hc198 mutation affects an major sperm protein (MSP) domain, altering a conserved amino acid residue in a β-strand that mediates MSP-MSP dimerization. Both N- and C-terminal SPE-47 reporters associate with the forming fibrous body (FB)-membranous organelle, a specialized sperm organelle that packages MSP and other components during spermatogenesis. Once the FB is fully formed, the SPE-47 reporters dissociate and disappear. SPE-47 reporter localization is not altered by either the hc198 mutation or a C-terminal truncation deleting the MSP domain. The disappearance of SPE-47 reporters prior to the formation of spermatids requires a reevaluation of the brake model for prevention of premature spermatid activation. PMID:26333688

  2. Biochemistry and molecular biology of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva

    SciTech Connect

    Wadsworth, W.G.

    1989-01-01

    Biochemical and molecular techniques have been used to study the formation and recovery of the developmentally arrested, non-feeding dauer stage of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. While investigating developmental transitions in energy metabolism, a major metabolite isolated from perchloric acid extracts has been identified as a modified uridine nucleotide. The compound was isolated by gel filtration and ion-exchange chromatography and its structure was determined by {sup 1}H NMR and {sup 13}C NMR spectroscopy. This compound is the most abundant metabolite detected in {sup 31}PMR spectra of perchloric acid extracts from growing larvae. In the absence of phosphoarginine or phosphocreatine, this modified nucleotide may have an important function in the nematode's energy metabolism, and it may also be found in several other invertebrates. During recovery from the dauer stage, metabolic activation is accompanied by a decrease in intracellular pH (pH{sub i}). Although metabolic activation has been associated with an alkaline pH{sub i} shift in other organisms, in vivo {sup 31}P NMR analysis of recovering dauer larvae shows a pH{sub i} decrease from {approximately}7.3 to {approximately}6.3 within 3 hr after the animals encounter food. This shift occurs before feeding begins, and coincides with, or soon follows, the development commitment to recover from the dauer stage, suggesting that control of pH{sub i} may be important in the regulation of larval development in nematodes. A library enriched for sequences expressed specifically during the L2d (predauer) stage was made by selecting plaques from a genomic lambda library that hybridized to subtracted L2d cDNA probes. Ultimately, three clones that were shown to hybridize only to L2d RNA were selected.

  3. Curcumin rescues Caenorhabditis elegans from a Burkholderia pseudomallei infection

    PubMed Central

    Eng, Su-Anne; Nathan, Sheila

    2015-01-01

    The tropical pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei requires long-term parenteral antimicrobial treatment to eradicate the pathogen from an infected patient. However, the development of antibiotic resistance is emerging as a threat to this form of treatment. To meet the need for alternative therapeutics, we proposed a screen of natural products for compounds that do not kill the pathogen, but in turn, abrogate bacterial virulence. We suggest that the use of molecules or compounds that are non-bactericidal (bacteriostatic) will reduce or abolish the development of resistance by the pathogen. In this study, we adopted the established Caenorhabditis elegans-B. pseudomallei infection model to screen a collection of natural products for any that are able to extend the survival of B. pseudomallei infected worms. Of the 42 natural products screened, only curcumin significantly improved worm survival following infection whilst not affecting bacterial growth. This suggested that curcumin promoted B. pseudomallei-infected worm survival independent of pathogen killing. To validate that the protective effect of curcumin was directed toward the pathogen, bacteria were treated with curcumin prior to infection. Worms fed with curcumin-treated bacteria survived with a significantly extended mean-time-to-death (p < 0.0001) compared to the untreated control. In in vitro assays, curcumin reduced the activity of known virulence factors (lipase and protease) and biofilm formation. To determine if other bacterial genes were also regulated in the presence of curcumin, a genome-wide transcriptome analysis was performed on curcumin-treated pathogen. A number of genes involved in iron acquisition and transport as well as genes encoding hypothetical proteins were induced in the presence of curcumin. Thus, we propose that curcumin may attenuate B. pseudomallei by modulating the expression of a number of bacterial proteins including lipase and protease as well as biofilm formation whilst

  4. Mesoscopic organization reveals the constraints governing Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system.

    PubMed

    Pan, Raj Kumar; Chatterjee, Nivedita; Sinha, Sitabhra

    2010-01-01

    One of the biggest challenges in biology is to understand how activity at the cellular level of neurons, as a result of their mutual interactions, leads to the observed behavior of an organism responding to a variety of environmental stimuli. Investigating the intermediate or mesoscopic level of organization in the nervous system is a vital step towards understanding how the integration of micro-level dynamics results in macro-level functioning. The coordination of many different co-occurring processes at this level underlies the command and control of overall network activity. In this paper, we have considered the somatic nervous system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, for which the entire neuronal connectivity diagram is known. We focus on the organization of the system into modules, i.e., neuronal groups having relatively higher connection density compared to that of the overall network. We show that this mesoscopic feature cannot be explained exclusively in terms of considerations such as, optimizing for resource constraints (viz., total wiring cost) and communication efficiency (i.e., network path length). Even including information about the genetic relatedness of the cells cannot account for the observed modular structure. Comparison with other complex networks designed for efficient transport (of signals or resources) implies that neuronal networks form a distinct class. This suggests that the principal function of the network, viz., processing of sensory information resulting in appropriate motor response, may be playing a vital role in determining the connection topology. Using modular spectral analysis we make explicit the intimate relation between function and structure in the nervous system. This is further brought out by identifying functionally critical neurons purely on the basis of patterns of intra- and inter-modular connections. Our study reveals how the design of the nervous system reflects several constraints, including its key

  5. MicroRNA Predictors of Longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Pincus, Zachary; Smith-Vikos, Thalyana; Slack, Frank J.

    2011-01-01

    Neither genetic nor environmental factors fully account for variability in individual longevity: genetically identical invertebrates in homogenous environments often experience no less variability in lifespan than outbred human populations. Such variability is often assumed to result from stochasticity in damage accumulation over time; however, the identification of early-life gene expression states that predict future longevity would suggest that lifespan is least in part epigenetically determined. Such “biomarkers of aging,” genetic or otherwise, nevertheless remain rare. In this work, we sought early-life differences in organismal robustness in unperturbed individuals and examined the utility of microRNAs, known regulators of lifespan, development, and robustness, as aging biomarkers. We quantitatively examined Caenorhabditis elegans reared individually in a novel apparatus and observed throughout their lives. Early-to-mid–adulthood measures of homeostatic ability jointly predict 62% of longevity variability. Though correlated, markers of growth/muscle maintenance and of metabolic by-products (“age pigments”) report independently on lifespan, suggesting that graceful aging is not a single process. We further identified three microRNAs in which early-adulthood expression patterns individually predict up to 47% of lifespan differences. Though expression of each increases throughout this time, mir-71 and mir-246 correlate with lifespan, while mir-239 anti-correlates. Two of these three microRNA “biomarkers of aging” act upstream in insulin/IGF-1–like signaling (IIS) and other known longevity pathways, thus we infer that these microRNAs not only report on but also likely determine longevity. Thus, fluctuations in early-life IIS, due to variation in these microRNAs and from other causes, may determine individual lifespan. PMID:21980307

  6. Oxidative Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans: Protective Effects of Spartin

    PubMed Central

    Truong, Timothy; Karlinski, Zachary A.; O’Hara, Christopher; Cabe, Maleen; Kim, Hongkyun; Bakowska, Joanna C.

    2015-01-01

    Troyer syndrome is caused by a mutation in the SPG20 gene, which results in complete loss of expression of the protein spartin. We generated a genetic model of Troyer syndrome in worms to explore the locomotor consequences of a null mutation of the Caenorhabditis elegans SPG20 orthologue, F57B10.9, also known as spg-20. Spg-20 mutants showed decreased length, crawling speed, and thrashing frequency, and had a shorter lifespan than wild-type animals. These results suggest an age-dependent decline in motor function in mutant animals. The drug paraquat was used to induce oxidative stress for 4 days in the animals. We measured survival rate and examined locomotion by measuring crawling speed and thrashing frequency. After 4 days of paraquat exposure, 77% of wild-type animals survived, but only 38% of spg-20 mutant animals survived. Conversely, animals overexpressing spg-20 had a survival rate of 95%. We also tested lifespan after a 1 hour exposure to sodium azide. After a 24 hour recovery period, 87% of wild type animals survived, 57% of spg-20 mutant animals survived, and 82% of animals overexpressing spg-20 survived. In the behavioral assays, spg-20 mutant animals showed a significant decrease in both crawling speed and thrashing frequency compared with wild-type animals. Importantly, the locomotor phenotype for both crawling and thrashing was rescued in animals overexpressing spg-20. The animals overexpressing spg-20 had crawling speeds and thrashing frequencies similar to those of wild-type animals. These data suggest that the protein F57B10.9/SPG-20 might have a protective role against oxidative stress. PMID:26114733

  7. Identification of DVA Interneuron Regulatory Sequences in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Puckett Robinson, Carmie; Schwarz, Erich M.; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2013-01-01

    Background The identity of each neuron is determined by the expression of a distinct group of genes comprising its terminal gene battery. The regulatory sequences that control the expression of such terminal gene batteries in individual neurons is largely unknown. The existence of a complete genome sequence for C. elegans and draft genomes of other nematodes let us use comparative genomics to identify regulatory sequences directing expression in the DVA interneuron. Methodology/Principal Findings Using phylogenetic comparisons of multiple Caenorhabditis species, we identified conserved non-coding sequences in 3 of 10 genes (fax-1, nmr-1, and twk-16) that direct expression of reporter transgenes in DVA and other neurons. The conserved region and flanking sequences in an 85-bp intronic region of the twk-16 gene directs highly restricted expression in DVA. Mutagenesis of this 85 bp region shows that it has at least four regions. The central 53 bp region contains a 29 bp region that represses expression and a 24 bp region that drives broad neuronal expression. Two short flanking regions restrict expression of the twk-16 gene to DVA. A shared GA-rich motif was identified in three of these genes but had opposite effects on expression when mutated in the nmr-1 and twk-16 DVA regulatory elements. Conclusions/Significance We identified by multi-species conservation regulatory regions within three genes that direct expression in the DVA neuron. We identified four contiguous regions of sequence of the twk-16 gene enhancer with positive and negative effects on expression, which combined to restrict expression to the DVA neuron. For this neuron a single binding site may thus not achieve sufficient specificity for cell specific expression. One of the positive elements, an 8-bp sequence required for expression was identified in silico by sequence comparisons of seven nematode species, demonstrating the potential resolution of expanded multi-species phylogenetic comparisons. PMID

  8. Draft Genome Sequence of Acinetobacter johnsonii MB44, Exhibiting Nematicidal Activity against Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Shijing; Ali, Muhammad; Xie, Li

    2016-01-01

    Acinetobacter johnsonii MB44 was isolated from a frost-plant-tissue sample, which showed noteworthy nematicidal activity against the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we report the 3.4 Mb draft genome of A. johnsonii MB44, which will help in understanding the molecular mechanism of its ability to infect nematodes. PMID:26893438

  9. Heritable gene knockout in Caenorhabditis elegans by direct injection of Cas9-sgRNA ribonucleoproteins.

    PubMed

    Cho, Seung Woo; Lee, Jihyun; Carroll, Dana; Kim, Jin-Soo; Lee, Junho

    2013-11-01

    We present a novel method of targeted gene disruption that involves direct injection of recombinant Cas9 protein complexed with guide RNA into the gonad of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Biallelic mutants were recovered among the F1 progeny, demonstrating the high efficiency of this method. PMID:23979576

  10. Targeted heritable mutation and gene conversion by Cas9-CRISPR in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Katic, Iskra; Großhans, Helge

    2013-11-01

    We have achieved targeted heritable genome modification in Caenorhabditis elegans by injecting mRNA of the nuclease Cas9 and Cas9 guide RNAs. This system rapidly creates precise genomic changes, including knockouts and transgene-instructed gene conversion. PMID:23979578

  11. Analyzing Defects in the "Caenorhabditis Elegans" Nervous System Using Organismal and Cell Biological Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guziewicz, Megan; Vitullo, Toni; Simmons, Bethany; Kohn, Rebecca Eustance

    2002-01-01

    The goal of this laboratory exercise is to increase student understanding of the impact of nervous system function at both the organismal and cellular levels. This inquiry-based exercise is designed for an undergraduate course examining principles of cell biology. After observing the movement of "Caenorhabditis elegans" with defects in their…

  12. A blend of small molecules regulates both mating and development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many organisms, population density sensing and sexual attraction rely on small molecule-based signaling systems. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, population density is monitored via specific glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose that promote entry into an alternate larval stage, the no...

  13. Ascaroside expression in Caenorhabditis elegans is strongly dependent on diet and developmental stage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A group of small signaling molecules called ascarosides, associated with dauer formation, male attraction and social behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, are shown to be regulated by developmental stage and environmental factors. The concentration of dauer-inducing ascaroside, ascr#2, i...

  14. Studying Human Disease Genes in "Caenorhabditis Elegans": A Molecular Genetics Laboratory Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox-Paulson, Elisabeth A.; Grana, Theresa M.; Harris, Michelle A.; Batzli, Janet M.

    2012-01-01

    Scientists routinely integrate information from various channels to explore topics under study. We designed a 4-wk undergraduate laboratory module that used a multifaceted approach to study a question in molecular genetics. Specifically, students investigated whether "Caenorhabditis elegans" can be a useful model system for studying genes…

  15. Caenorhabditis elegans utilizes dauer pheromone biosynthesis to dispose of toxic peroxisomal fatty acids for cellular homoeostasis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Caenorhabditis elegans secretes a dauer pheromone or daumone composed of ascarylose and a fatty acid side chain, perception of which enables worms to gauge depletion of food or a high worm population density. As a result, worms enter the dauer state, a specific developmental stage capable of surviv...

  16. Cerium oxide nanoparticle aggregates affect stress response and function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Steven; Rice, Kevin M; Manne, Nandini DPK; Shokuhfar, Tolou; He, Kun; Selvaraj, Vellaisamy

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The continual increase in production and disposal of nanomaterials raises concerns regarding the safety of nanoparticles on the environmental and human health. Recent studies suggest that cerium oxide (CeO2) nanoparticles may possess both harmful and beneficial effects on biological processes. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate how exposure to different concentrations (0.17–17.21 µg/mL) of aggregated CeO2 nanoparticles affects indices of whole animal stress and survivability in Caenorhabditis elegans. Methods: Caenorhabditis elegans were exposed to different concentrations of CeO2 nanoparticles and evaluated. Results: Our findings demonstrate that chronic exposure of CeO2 nanoparticle aggregates is associated with increased levels of reactive oxygen species and heat shock stress response (HSP-4) in Caenorhabditis elegans, but not mortality. Conversely, CeO2 aggregates promoted strain-dependent decreases in animal fertility, a decline in stress resistance as measured by thermotolerance, and shortened worm length. Conclusion: The data obtained from this study reveal the sublethal toxic effects of CeO2 nanoparticle aggregates in Caenorhabditis elegans and contribute to our understanding of how exposure to CeO2 may affect the environment. PMID:26770770

  17. COMPARISON OF ALANINE AMINOPEPTIDASE ACTIVITIES IN HETERODERA GLYCINES AND CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aminopeptidase activities in the cytosolic fraction of whole body homogenates of Caenorhabditis elegans and Heterodera glycines were examined. Activities were detected using a colorimetric assay based upon hydrolysis of aminoacyl p-nitroanilides (Xxx-pNA). Properties including substrate preference...

  18. A Protocol to Infect Caenorhabditis elegans with Salmonella typhimurium

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiuli; Jia, Kailiang

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade, C. elegans has emerged as an invertebrate organism to study interactions between hosts and pathogens, including the host defense against gram-negative bacterium Salmonella typhimurium. Salmonella establishes persistent infection in the intestine of C. elegans and results in early death of infected animals. A number of immunity mechanisms have been identified in C. elegans to defend against Salmonella infections. Autophagy, an evolutionarily conserved lysosomal degradation pathway, has been shown to limit the Salmonella replication in C. elegans and in mammals. Here, a protocol is described to infect C. elegans with Salmonella typhimurium, in which the worms are exposed to Salmonella for a limited time, similar to Salmonella infection in humans. Salmonella infection significantly shortens the lifespan of C. elegans. Using the essential autophagy gene bec-1 as an example, we combined this infection method with C. elegans RNAi feeding approach and showed this protocol can be used to examine the function of C. elegans host genes in defense against Salmonella infection. Since C. elegans whole genome RNAi libraries are available, this protocol makes it possible to comprehensively screen for C. elegans genes that protect against Salmonella and other intestinal pathogens using genome-wide RNAi libraries. PMID:24998902

  19. Solution structure of CEH-37 homeodomain of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Moon, Sunjin; Lee, Yong Woo; Kim, Woo Taek; Lee, Weontae

    2014-01-10

    Highlights: •We have determined solution structures of CEH-37 homedomain. •CEH-37 HD has a compact α-helical structure with HTH DNA binding motif. •Solution structure of CEH-37 HD shares its molecular topology with that of the homeodomain proteins. •Residues in the N-terminal region and HTH motif are important in binding to Caenorhabditis elegans telomeric DNA. •CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding. -- Abstract: The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans protein CEH-37 belongs to the paired OTD/OTX family of homeobox-containing homeodomain proteins. CEH-37 shares sequence similarity with homeodomain proteins, although it specifically binds to double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA, which is unusual to homeodomain proteins. Here, we report the solution structure of CEH-37 homeodomain and molecular interaction with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. NMR structure shows that CEH-37 homeodomain is composed of a flexible N-terminal region and three α-helices with a helix-turn-helix (HTH) DNA binding motif. Data from size-exclusion chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy reveal that CEH-37 homeodomain interacts strongly with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA. NMR titration experiments identified residues responsible for specific binding to nematode double-stranded telomeric DNA. These results suggest that C. elegans homeodomain protein, CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding.

  20. Selenite Enhances Immune Response against Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 via SKN-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Chi-Wei; Wei, Chia-Cheng; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan

    2014-01-01

    Background Selenium (Se) is an important nutrient that carries out many biological processes including maintaining optimal immune function. Here, inorganic selenite (Se(IV)) was evaluated for its pathogen resistance and potential-associated factors in Caenorhabditis elegans. The immune effects of Se(IV) were investigated by examining the responses of C. elegans to Pseudomonas aerugonisa PA14 strain. Principal Findings Se(IV)-treated C. elegans showed increased survival under PA14 infection compared with untreated controls. The significant pathogen resistance of Se(IV) on C. elegans might not be attributed to the effects of Se(IV) on PA14 as Se(IV) showed no effect on bacterial quorum-sensing and virulence factors of PA14. This study showed that Se(IV) enhanced the expression of a gene pivotal for the innate immunity in C. elegans. The study found that the pathogen-resistant phenotypes contributed by Se(IV) was absent from the skn-1 mutant worms. Moreover, Se(IV) influenced the subcellular distribution of SKN-1/Nrf in C. elegans upon PA14 infection. Furthermore, Se(IV) increased mRNA levels of SKN-1 target genes (gst-4 and gcs-1). Conclusions This study found evidence of Se(IV) protecting C. elegans against P. aeruginosa PA14 infection by exerting effects on the innate immunity of C. elegans that is likely mediated via regulation of a SKN-1-dependent signaling pathway. PMID:25147937

  1. Fish oil changes the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via lipid peroxidation

    PubMed Central

    Sugawara, Soko; Honma, Taro; Ito, Junya; Kijima, Ryo; Tsuduki, Tsuyoshi

    2013-01-01

    Recently, we administered fish oil containing eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to senescence-accelerated mice P8 (SAMP8), in order to investigate the effects on lifespan. Surprisingly, the lifespan of SAMP8 that were fed fish oil was shortened significantly, through a mechanism that likely involved lipid peroxidation. In this study, we investigated this phenomenon in further detail. To examine whether this phenomenon occurs only in SAMP8, we investigated the effect of fish oil on the lifespan of another organism species, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). C. elegans fed fish oil were cultured and the lifespan monitored. As a consequence of the provision of large amounts of fish oil the lifespan of C. elegans was shortened significantly, whereas an appropriate amount of fish oil extended their lifespan significantly. Lipid peroxide levels in C. elegans that were fed fish oil increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner. However, lipid peroxide levels in C. elegans were inhibited by the addition of fish oil and an antioxidant, α-tocopherol, and completely abrogated the changes in the lifespan. To further confirm whether the oxidation of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in fish oil would change the lifespan of C. elegans, the effect of oxidized DHA was examined. Large amounts of oxidized DHA were found to shorten their lifespan significantly. Thus, fish oil changes the lifespan of C. elegans through lipid peroxidation. PMID:23526170

  2. Katz model prediction of Caenorhabditis elegans mutagenesis on STS-42

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.; Wilson, John W.; Katz, Robert; Badhwar, Gautam D.

    1992-01-01

    Response parameters that describe the production of recessive lethal mutations in C. elegans from ionizing radiation are obtained with the Katz track structure model. The authors used models of the space radiation environment and radiation transport to predict and discuss mutation rates for C. elegans on the IML-1 experiment aboard STS-42.

  3. Efficient genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans by CRISPR-targeted homologous recombination.

    PubMed

    Chen, Changchun; Fenk, Lorenz A; de Bono, Mario

    2013-11-01

    Cas9 is an RNA-guided double-stranded DNA nuclease that participates in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-mediated adaptive immunity in prokaryotes. CRISPR-Cas9 has recently been used to generate insertion and deletion mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans, but not to create tailored changes (knock-ins). We show that the CRISPR-CRISPR-associated (Cas) system can be adapted for efficient and precise editing of the C. elegans genome. The targeted double-strand breaks generated by CRISPR are substrates for transgene-instructed gene conversion. This allows customized changes in the C. elegans genome by homologous recombination: sequences contained in the repair template (the transgene) are copied by gene conversion into the genome. The possibility to edit the C. elegans genome at selected locations will facilitate the systematic study of gene function in this widely used model organism. PMID:24013562

  4. A co-CRISPR strategy for efficient genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kim, Heesun; Ishidate, Takao; Ghanta, Krishna S; Seth, Meetu; Conte, Darryl; Shirayama, Masaki; Mello, Craig C

    2014-08-01

    Genome editing based on CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-associated nuclease (Cas9) has been successfully applied in dozens of diverse plant and animal species, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The rapid life cycle and easy access to the ovary by micro-injection make C. elegans an ideal organism both for applying CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology and for optimizing genome-editing protocols. Here we report efficient and straightforward CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing methods for C. elegans, including a Co-CRISPR strategy that facilitates detection of genome-editing events. We describe methods for detecting homologous recombination (HR) events, including direct screening methods as well as new selection/counterselection strategies. Our findings reveal a surprisingly high frequency of HR-mediated gene conversion, making it possible to rapidly and precisely edit the C. elegans genome both with and without the use of co-inserted marker genes. PMID:24879462

  5. A Co-CRISPR Strategy for Efficient Genome Editing in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Heesun; Ishidate, Takao; Ghanta, Krishna S.; Seth, Meetu; Conte, Darryl; Shirayama, Masaki; Mello, Craig C.

    2014-01-01

    Genome editing based on CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-associated nuclease (Cas9) has been successfully applied in dozens of diverse plant and animal species, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The rapid life cycle and easy access to the ovary by micro-injection make C. elegans an ideal organism both for applying CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology and for optimizing genome-editing protocols. Here we report efficient and straightforward CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing methods for C. elegans, including a Co-CRISPR strategy that facilitates detection of genome-editing events. We describe methods for detecting homologous recombination (HR) events, including direct screening methods as well as new selection/counterselection strategies. Our findings reveal a surprisingly high frequency of HR-mediated gene conversion, making it possible to rapidly and precisely edit the C. elegans genome both with and without the use of co-inserted marker genes. PMID:24879462

  6. Efficient genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans by CRISPR-targeted homologous recombination

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Changchun; Fenk, Lorenz A.; de Bono, Mario

    2013-01-01

    Cas9 is an RNA-guided double-stranded DNA nuclease that participates in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-mediated adaptive immunity in prokaryotes. CRISPR–Cas9 has recently been used to generate insertion and deletion mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans, but not to create tailored changes (knock-ins). We show that the CRISPR–CRISPR-associated (Cas) system can be adapted for efficient and precise editing of the C. elegans genome. The targeted double-strand breaks generated by CRISPR are substrates for transgene-instructed gene conversion. This allows customized changes in the C. elegans genome by homologous recombination: sequences contained in the repair template (the transgene) are copied by gene conversion into the genome. The possibility to edit the C. elegans genome at selected locations will facilitate the systematic study of gene function in this widely used model organism. PMID:24013562

  7. Insulin signaling genes modulate nicotine-induced behavioral responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wescott, Seth A; Ronan, Elizabeth A; Xu, X Z Shawn

    2016-02-01

    Insulin signaling has been suggested to modulate nicotine dependence, but the underlying genetic evidence has been lacking. Here, we used the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, to investigate whether genetic alterations in the insulin signaling pathway affect behavioral responses to nicotine. For this, we challenged drug-naive C. elegans with an acute dose of nicotine (100 μmol/l) while recording changes in their locomotion speed. Although nicotine treatment stimulated locomotion speed in wild-type C. elegans, the same treatment reduced locomotion speed in mutants defective in insulin signaling. This phenotype could be suppressed by mutations in daf-16, a gene encoding a FOXO transcription factor that acts downstream of insulin signaling. Our data suggest that insulin signaling genes, daf-2, age-1, pdk-1, akt-1, and akt-2, modulate behavioral responses to nicotine in C. elegans, indicating a genetic link between nicotine behavior and insulin signaling. PMID:26317299

  8. Communication between oocytes and somatic cells regulates volatile pheromone production in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Leighton, Daniel H W; Choe, Andrea; Wu, Shannon Y; Sternberg, Paul W

    2014-12-16

    Males of the androdioecious species Caenorhabditis elegans are more likely to attempt to mate with and successfully inseminate C. elegans hermaphrodites that do not concurrently harbor sperm. Although a small number of genes have been implicated in this effect, the mechanism by which it arises remains unknown. In the context of the battle of the sexes, it is also unknown whether this effect is to the benefit of the male, the hermaphrodite, or both. We report that successful contact between mature sperm and oocyte in the C. elegans gonad at the start of fertilization causes the oocyte to release a signal that is transmitted to somatic cells in its mother, with the ultimate effect of reducing her attractiveness to males. Changes in hermaphrodite attractiveness are tied to the production of a volatile pheromone, the first such pheromone described in C. elegans. PMID:25453110

  9. RNA editing by ADARs is important for normal behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Leath A; Saccomanno, Lisa; Morse, Daniel P; Brodigan, Thomas; Krause, Michael; Bass, Brenda L

    2002-11-15

    Here we take advantage of the well-characterized and simple nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans to further our understanding of the functions of RNA editing. We describe the two C.elegans ADAR genes, adr-1 and adr-2, and characterize strains containing homozygous deletions in each, or both, of these genes. We find that adr-1 is expressed in most, if not all, cells of the C.elegans nervous system and also in the developing vulva. Using chemotaxis assays, we show that both ADARs are important for normal behavior. Biochemical, molecular and phenotypic analyses indicate that ADR-1 and ADR-2 have distinct roles in C.elegans, but sometimes act together. PMID:12426375

  10. Thermal stress resistance and aging effects of Panax notoginseng polysaccharides on Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Feng, Shiling; Cheng, Haoran; Xu, Zhou; Shen, Shian; Yuan, Ming; Liu, Jing; Ding, Chunbang

    2015-11-01

    Panax notoginseng attract public attention due to their potential biomedical properties and corresponding health benefits. The present study investigated the anti-aging and thermal stress resistance effects of polysaccharides from P. notoginseng on Caenorhabditis elegans. Results showed polysaccharides had little scavenging ability of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in vitro, but significantly extended lifespan of C. elegans, especially the main root polysaccharide (MRP) which prolongs the mean lifespan of wild type worms by 21%. Further study demonstrated that the heat stress resistance effect of polysaccharides on C. elegans might be attributed to the elevation of antioxidant enzyme activities (both superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)) and the reduction lipid peroxidation of malondialdehyde (MDA) level. Taken together, the results provided a scientific basis for the further exploitation of the mechanism of longer lifespan controlled by P. notoginseng polysaccharides on C. elegans. The P. notoginseng polysaccharides might be considered as a potential source to delay aging. PMID:26234580