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Sample records for fungus cunninghamella elegans

  1. Biotransformation of fluorene by the fungus Cunninghamella elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Pothuluri, J.V.; Freeman, J.P.; Evans, F.E.; Cerniglia, C.E. )

    1993-06-01

    Fluorene, a tricyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, is formed during the combustion of fossil fuels and is an important pollutant of aquatic ecosystems where it is highly toxic to fish and algae. Few studies on microbial biodegradation of fluorene have been reported. This investigation describes the metabolism of fluorene by the fungus Cunninghamella elegans ATCC 36112 and the identification of major metabolites. 26 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

  2. Biotransformation of Malachite Green by the Fungus Cunninghamella elegans

    PubMed Central

    Cha, Chang-Jun; Doerge, Daniel R.; Cerniglia, Carl E.

    2001-01-01

    The filamentous fungus Cunninghamella elegans ATCC 36112 metabolized the triphenylmethane dye malachite green with a first-order rate constant of 0.029 μmol h−1 (mg of cells)−1. Malachite green was enzymatically reduced to leucomalachite green and also converted to N-demethylated and N-oxidized metabolites, including primary and secondary arylamines. Inhibition studies suggested that the cytochrome P450 system mediated both the reduction and the N-demethylation reactions. PMID:11526047

  3. Quinoline biodegradation by filamentous fungus Cunninghamella elegans and adaptive modifications of the fungal membrane composition.

    PubMed

    Felczak, Aleksandra; Bernat, Przemysław; Różalska, Sylwia; Lisowska, Katarzyna

    2016-05-01

    Quinoline, which belongs to N-heterocyclic compounds, occurs naturally in the environment and is used in numerous industrial processes. The structures of various chemicals, such as dyes and medicines, are based on this compound. Due to that fact, quinoline and its derivatives are widely distributed in environment and can exert toxic effects on organisms from different trophic levels. The ability of the filamentous fungus Cunninghamella elegans IM 1785/21Gp to degrade quinoline and modulate the membrane composition in response to the pollutant was studied. C. elegans IM 1785/21Gp removes quinoline with high efficiency and transforms the pollutant into two novel hydroxylated derivatives, 2-hydroxyquinoline and 3-hydroxyquinoline. Moreover, due to the disruption in the membrane stability by quinoline, C. elegans IM 1785/21Gp modulates the fatty acid composition and phospholipid profile. PMID:26810790

  4. Stereoselective metabolism of anthracene and phenanthrene by the fungus Cunninghamella elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Cerniglia, C E; Yang, S K

    1984-01-01

    The fungus Cunninghamella elegans oxidized anthracene and phenanthrene to form predominately trans-dihydrodiols. The metabolites were isolated by reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography for structural and conformational analyses. Comparison of the circular dichroism spectrum of the fungal trans-1,2-dihydroxy-1,2-dihydroanthracene to that formed by rat liver microsomes indicated that the major enantiomer of the trans-1,2-dihydroxy-1,2-dihydroanthracene formed by C. elegans had an S,S absolute stereochemistry, which is opposite to the predominately 1R,2R dihydrodiol formed by rat liver microsomes. C. elegans oxidized phenanthrene primarily in the 1,2-positions to form trans-1,2-dihydroxy-1,2-dihydrophenanthrene. In addition, a minor amount of trans-3,4-dihydroxy-3,4-dihydrophenanthrene was detected. Metabolism at the K-region (9,10-positions) of phenanthrene was not detected. Comparison of the circular dichroism spectra of the phenanthrene trans-1,2- and trans-3,4-dihydrodiols formed by C. elegans to those formed by mammalian enzymes indicated that each of the dihydrodiols formed by C. elegans had an S,S absolute configuration. The results indicate that there are differences in both the regio- and stereoselective metabolism of anthracene and phenanthrene between the fungus C. elegans and rat liver microsomes. PMID:6696409

  5. Stereoselective metabolism of anthracene and phenanthrene by the fungus Cunninghamella elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Cerniglia, C.E.; Yang, S.K.

    1984-01-01

    The fungus Cunninghamella elegans oxidized anthracene and phenanthrene to form predominately transdihydrodiols. The metabolites were isolated by reversed-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography for structural and conformational analyses. Comparison of the circular dichroism spectrum of the fungal trans-1,2-dihydroxy-1,2-dihydroanthracene to that formed by rat liver microsomes indicated that the major enantiomer of the trans-1,2-dihydroxy-1,2-dihydroanthracene formed by C. elegans had an S,S absolute stereochemistry, which is opposite to the predominately 1R,2R dihydrodiol formed by rat liver microsomes. C. elegans oxidized phenanthrene primarily in the 1,2-positions to form trans-1,2-dihydroxy-1,2-dihydrophenanthrene. In addition, a minor amount of trans-3,4-dihydroxy-3,4-dihydrophenanthrene was detected. Metabolism at the K-region (9,10-positions) of phenanthrene was not detected. Comparison of the circular dichroism spectra of the phenanthrene trans-1,2- and trans-3,4-dihydrodiols formed by C. elegans to those formed by mammalian enzymes indicated that each of the dihydrodiols formed by C. elegans had an S,S absolute configuration. The results indicate that there are differences in both the regio- and stereoselective metabolism of anthracene and phenanthrene between the fungus C. elegans and rat liver microsomes. 26 references.

  6. The fungus Cunninghamella elegans can produce human and equine metabolites of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs).

    PubMed

    Rydevik, Axel; Thevis, Mario; Krug, Oliver; Bondesson, Ulf; Hedeland, Mikael

    2013-05-01

    1. Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) are a group of substances that have potential to be used as doping agents in sports. Being a relatively new group not available on the open market means that no reference materials are commercially available for the main metabolites. In the presented study, the in vitro metabolism of SARMs by the fungus Cunninghamella elegans has been investigated with the purpose of finding out if it can produce relevant human and equine metabolites. 2. Three different SARMs, S1, S4 and S24, were incubated for 5 days with C. elegans. The samples were analysed both with and without sample pretreatment using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry. 3. All the important phase I and some phase II metabolites from human and horse were formed by the fungus. They were formed through reactions such as hydroxylation, deacetylation, O-dephenylation, nitro-reduction, acetylation and sulfonation. 4. The study showed that the fungus produced relevant metabolites of the SARMs and thus can be used to mimic mammalian metabolism. Furthermore, it has the potential to be used for future production of reference material. PMID:23153056

  7. Biotransformation of fluorobiphenyl by Cunninghamella elegans.

    PubMed

    Amadio, Jessica; Murphy, Cormac D

    2010-03-01

    The fungus Cunninghamella elegans is a useful model of human catabolism of xenobiotics. In this paper, the biotransformation of fluorinated biphenyls by C. elegans was investigated by analysis of the culture supernatants with a variety of analytical techniques. 4-Fluorobiphenyl was principally transformed to 4-fluoro-4'-hydroxybiphenyl, but other mono- and dihydroxylated compounds were detected in organic extracts by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Additionally, fluorinated water-soluble products were detected by (19)F NMR and were identified as sulphate and beta-glucuronide conjugates. Other fluorobiphenyls (2-fluoro-, 4,4'-difluoro- and 2,3,4,5,6-pentafluoro-biphenyl) were catabolised by C. elegans, yielding mono- and dihydroxylated products, but phase II metabolites were detected from 4,4'-difluorobiphenyl only. PMID:19956946

  8. Fungal transformation of fluoranthene. [Cunninghamella elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Pothuluri, J.V.; Freeman, J.P.; Evans, F.E.; Cerniglia, C.E. )

    1990-10-01

    The fungus Cunninghamella elegans ATCC 36112 metabolized approximately 80% of the 3-{sup 14}C-labeled fluoranthene (FA) added within 72 h of incubation. C. elegans metabolized FA to trans-2,3-dihydroxy-2,3-dihydrofluoranthene (trans-2,3-dihydrodiol), 8- and 9-hydroxyfluoranthene trans-2,3-dihydrodiol, 3-fluoranthene-{beta}-glucopyranoside, and 3-(8-hydroxyflouranthene)-{beta}-glucopyranoside. These metabolites were separated by thin-layer and reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography and identified by {sup 1}H nuclear magnetic resonance, UV, and mass spectral techniques. The major pathway involved hydroxylation to form a glucoside conjugate of 3-hydroxyfluoranthene and a glucoside conjugate of 3,8-dihydroxyfluoranthene which together accounted for 52% of the total ethyl acetate-soluble metabolites. C. elegans initially metabolized FA in the 2,3 position to form fluoranthene trans-2,3-dihydrodiol, which has previously been shown to be a biologically active compound in mammalian and bacterial genotoxicity tests. However, C. elegans formed predominantly glucoside conjugates of the phenolic derivatives of FA, which suggests that this fungus has the potential to detoxify FA.

  9. Biotransformation of patchoulol by Cunninghamella echinulata var. elegans.

    PubMed

    Xu, Fangfang; Liao, Kangsheng; Liu, Yuhong; Zhang, Zhenbiao; Guo, Dean; Su, Ziren; Liu, Bo

    2016-03-01

    Biocatalysis of patchoulol (PA) was performed by the fungus Cunninghamella echinulata var. elegans. Eight metabolites (1-8) including four new compounds were obtained, and their structures were elucidated as (5R,8S)-5,8 dihydroxypatchoulol (1), (5R*,9R*)-5,9 dihydroxypatchoulol (2), (6S*, 9S*)-6,9 dihydroxypatchoulol (3), and (4R*)-4 hydroxypatchoulol (4) by spectroscopic analysis. The absolute configuration of 1 was determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction. PMID:26778089

  10. Data on individual metabolites of synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018, JWH-073 and AM2201 by Cunninghamella elegans.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Shimpei; Kuzhiumparambil, Unnikrishnan; Winiarski, Zophia; Fu, Shanlin

    2016-06-01

    Synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018, JWH-073 and AM2201 were metabolised by the fungus Cunninghamella elegans. In this article, data on individual metabolites of their retention times, mass accuracies, major product ions and structures indicated by product ions are presented. The data in this article is related to "Biotransformation of synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018, JWH-073 and AM2201 by Cunninghamella elegans" [1]. PMID:26977432

  11. Microbial transformation of 6-nitrobenzo(a)pyrene. [Cunninghamella elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Millner, G.C.; Fu, P.P.; Cerniglia, C.E.

    1986-01-01

    The fungal metabolism of the potent mutagenic and carcinogenic nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (nitro-PAH) 6-nitrobenzo(a)pyrene (6-NO/sub 2/-BaP) was investigated. Cunninghamella elegans was incubated with 6-NO/sub 2/-BaP for periods ranging between 1 and 7 d, and the metabolites formed were separated by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified by their UV-visible absorption, mass, and /sup 1/H nuclear magnetic resonance spectra. The results of the study indicate that C. elegans metabolized 6-NO/sub 2/-BaP to glucoside and sulfate conjugates of 1- and 3-hydroxy 6-NO/sub 2/-BaP and suggests that glycosylation and sulfation reactions may represent detoxification pathways in the fungal metabolism of nitro-PAHs. Experiments using (G-/sup 3/H)-6-NO/sub 2/-BaP indicated that C. elegans metabolized 62% of 6-NO/sub 2/-BaP with 168 h. The data also indicated that the nitro group at the C-6 position of benzo(a)pyrene blocked metabolism at the regions peri to the nitro substituent (C-7, C-8 positions) and enhanced metabolism at the C-1 and C-3 positions. The ability of the fungus C. elegans to metabolize 6-NO/sub 2/-BaP to biologically inactive compounds may have practical applications in the detoxification of nitro-PAH-contaminated wastes.

  12. Data on individual metabolites of synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018, JWH-073 and AM2201 by Cunninghamella elegans

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Shimpei; Kuzhiumparambil, Unnikrishnan; Winiarski, Zophia; Fu, Shanlin

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018, JWH-073 and AM2201 were metabolised by the fungus Cunninghamella elegans. In this article, data on individual metabolites of their retention times, mass accuracies, major product ions and structures indicated by product ions are presented. The data in this article is related to “Biotransformation of synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018, JWH-073 and AM2201 by Cunninghamella elegans” [1]. PMID:26977432

  13. Biotransformation of chlorpromazine and methdilazine by Cunninghamella elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, D; Freeman, J P; Sutherland, J B; Walker, A E; Yang, Y; Cerniglia, C E

    1996-01-01

    When tested as a microbial model for mammalian drug metabolism, the filamentous fungus Cunninghamella elegans metabolized chlorpromazine and methdilazine within 72 h. The metabolites were extracted by chloroform, separated by high-performance liquid chromatography, and characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance, mass, and UV spectroscopic analyses. The major metabolites of chlorpromazine were chlorpromazine sulfoxide (36%), N-desmethylchlorpromazine (11%), N-desmethyl-7-hydroxychlorpromazine (6%), 7-hydroxychlorpromazine sulfoxide (36%), N-hydroxychlorpromazine (11%), 7-hydroxychlorpromazine sulfoxide (5%), and chlorpromazine N-oxide (2%), all of which have been found in animal studies. The major metabolites of methdilazine were 3-hydroxymethdilazine (3%). (18)O(2) labeling experiments indicated that the oxygen atoms in methdilazine sulfoxide, methdilazine N-oxide, and 3-hydroxymethdilazine were all derived from molecular oxygen. The production of methdilazine sulfoxide and 3-hydroxymethdilazine was inhibited by the cytochrome P-450 inhibitors metyrapone and proadifen. An enzyme activity for the sulfoxidation of methdilazine was found in microsomal preparations of C. elegans. These experiments suggest that the sulfoxidation and hydroxylation of methdilazine and chlorpromazine by C. elegans are catalyzed by cytochrome P-450. PMID:8975609

  14. Fungal metabolism and detoxification of fluoranthene. [Cunninghamella elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Pothuluri, J.V.; Heflich, R.H.; Fu, P.P.; Cerniglia, C.E. )

    1992-03-01

    Five metabolites produced by Cunninghamella elegans from fluoranthene (FA) in biotransformation studies were investigated for mutagenic activity towards Salmonella typhimurium TA100 and TA104. Whereas FA displayed positive, dose-related mutagenic responses in both tester strains in the presence of a rat liver homogenate fraction, 3-FA-{beta}-glucopyranoside, 3-(8-hydroxy-FA)-{beta}-glucopyranoside, FA trans-2,3-dihydrodiol, and 8-hydroxy-FA trans-2,3-dihydrodiol were negative. 9-Hydroxy-FA trans-2,3-dihydrodiol showed a weak positive response in S. typhimurium TA100. Mutagenicity assays performed with samples extracted at 24-h intervals during incubation of C. elegans with FA for 120 h showed that mutagenic activity decreased with time. Comparative studies with rat liver microsomes indicated that FA trans-2,3-dihydrodiol, the previously identified proximal mutagenic metabolite of FA, was the major metabolite. The circular dichroism spectrum of the rat liver microsomal FA trans-2,3-dihydrodiol indicated that is was optically active. In contrast, the circular dichroism spectrum of the fungal FA trans-2,3-dihydrodiol showed no optical activity. These results indicate that C. elegans has the potential to detoxify FA and that the stereochemistry of its trans-2,3-dihydrodiol metabolite reduces its mutagenic potential.

  15. Transformation of 1- and 2-methylnaphthalene by Cunninghamella elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Cerniglia, C.E.; Lambert, K.J.; Miller, D.W.; Freeman, J.P.

    1984-01-01

    Cunninghamella elegans metabolized 1- and 2-methylnaphthalene primarily at the methyl group to form 1- and 2-hydroxymethylnaphthalene, respectively. Other compounds isolated and identified were 1- and 2-naphthoic acids, 5-hydroxy-1-naphthoic acid, 5-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid, 6-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid, and phenolic derivatives of 1- and 2-methylnaphthalene. The metabolites were isolated by thin-layer and reverse-phase high-presure liquid chromatography and characterized by the application of UV-visible absorption, /sup 1/H nuclear magnetic resonance, and mass spectral techniques. Experiments with (8-/sup 14/C)2-methylnaphthalene indicated that over a 72-h period, 9.8% of 2-methylnaphthalene was oxidized to metabolic products. The ratio of organic-soluble to water-soluble metabolites at 2 h was 92:8, and at 72 h it was 41:59. Enzymatic treatment of the 48-h aqueous phase with either ..beta..-glucuronidase or arylsufatase released 60% of the metabolites of 2-methylnaphthalene that were extractable with ethyl acetate. In both cases, the major conjugates released were 5-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid and 6-hydroxy-2-naphthoic acid. The ratio of the water-soluble glucuronide conjugates to sulfate conjugates was 1:1. Incubation of C. elegans with 2-methylnaphthalene under an /sup 18/O/sub 2/ atmosphere and subsequent mass spectral analysis of 2-hydroxymethylnaphthalene indicated that hydroxylation of the methyl group is catalyzed by a monooxygenase. 23 references.

  16. Biotransformation of synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018, JWH-073 and AM2201 by Cunninghamella elegans.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Shimpei; Kuzhiumparambil, Unnikrishnan; Winiarski, Zofia; Fu, Shanlin

    2016-04-01

    Being marketed as "legal" smoking blends or mixtures, synthetic cannabinoids are abused widely owing to its cannabis-like effect. Due to the rapid introduction of new generation analogues of synthetic cannabinoids to escape from legislative/judicial control, the investigation of the metabolic pathways of these substances is of particular importance for drug control, abstinence and forensic toxicology purposes. In this study, the in vitro metabolism of JWH-018, JWH-073 and AM2201 by the fungus Cunninghamella elagans has been investigated with the purpose of validating its potential as a complementary model for investigating synthetic cannabinoid metabolism. JWH-018, JWH-073 and AM2201 were incubated for 72h with C. elegans. Detection of metabolites was based on liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and high resolution mass spectrometry analysis. C. elegans was found capable of producing the majority of the phase I metabolites observed in earlier in vitro and in vivo mammalian studies as a result of monohydroxylation, dihydroxylation, carboxylation, dehydrogenation, ketone formation, dihydrodiol formation, dihydrodiol formation with N-dealkylation and combinations thereof. C. elegans can thus be a useful and economic model for studying synthetic cannabinoid metabolism. PMID:26907475

  17. Mass spectrometric characterization of glucuronides formed by a new concept, combining Cunninghamella elegans with TEMPO.

    PubMed

    Rydevik, Axel; Bondesson, Ulf; Thevis, Mario; Hedeland, Mikael

    2013-10-01

    A new concept for the production of drug glucuronides is presented and the products formed were characterized using ultra high performance liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC-HRMS). Glucuronic acid conjugates are important phase II metabolites of a wide range of drugs. There is a lack of commercially available glucuronides and classic synthetic methods are tedious and expensive. Thus, new methods of glucuronide synthesis are needed. Selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) of the aryl propionamide class were used as model compounds and were incubated with the fungus Cunninghamella elegans which was previously known to conjugate drugs with glucose. The resulting glucoside metabolites were then oxidized with tetramethylpiperidinyl-1-oxy (TEMPO). UPLC-HRMS analysis showed that the peaks corresponding to the glucosides had disappeared after the reaction and were replaced by peaks with m/z consistent with the corresponding glucuronic acid conjugates. The MS/MS spectra of the reaction products were investigated and the observed fragment ion pattern corroborated the suggested structural change. A comparison in terms of retention times and product ion spectra between the glucuronides formed by the new method and those produced by liver microsomes indicated that the conjugates from the two different sources were identical, thus demonstrating the human relevance of the presented technique. Furthermore, the glucuronides formed by the presented method were readily hydrolyzed by β-glucuronidase which further gave evidence as to the fact that they were of β configuration. The investigated method was easy to perform, required a low input of work and had a low cost. PMID:23867089

  18. Biodegradation of bisphenol A and its halogenated analogues by Cunninghamella elegans ATCC36112.

    PubMed

    Keum, Young Soo; Lee, Hye Ri; Park, Hee Won; Kim, Jeong-Han

    2010-11-01

    Bisphenol A and its halogenated analogues are commonly used industrial chemicals with strong toxicological effects over many organisms. In this study, metabolic fate of bisphenol A and its halogenated analogues were evaluated with Cunninghamella elegans ATCC36112. Bisphenol A and related analogues were rapidly transformed into several metabolites by C. elegans within 2-4 days. Detailed analysis of metabolites reveals that both phase I and II metabolism occurred in C. elegans. Cytochrome P450-dependent hydroxylation was observed in BPA. However, major reaction with bisphenol A and analogues with 1-2 halogen atoms were the formation of glucose-conjugate, not being inhibited by cytochrome P450 inhibitor. Overall metabolic rates decreased with increasing number of substitution at 2- and 6-position of BPA structures, which may be consequences of limited bioavailability or steric hindrance to conjugate-forming reaction. Information from the current study will provide detailed insights over the fungal metabolism of BPA and analogues. PMID:20455075

  19. Cadmium Tolerance and Removal from Cunninghamella elegans Related to the Polyphosphate Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    de Lima, Marcos A. B.; Franco, Luciana de O.; de Souza, Patrícia M.; do Nascimento, Aline E.; da Silva, Carlos A. A.; Maia, Rita de C. C.; Rolim, Hercília M. L.; Takaki, Galba M. C.

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present work was to study the cadmium effects on growth, ultrastructure and polyphosphate metabolism, as well as to evaluate the metal removal and accumulation by Cunninghamella elegans (IFM 46109) growing in culture medium. The presence of cadmium reduced growth, and a longer lag phase was observed. However, the phosphate uptake from the culture medium increased 15% when compared to the control. Moreover, C. elegans removed 70%–81% of the cadmium added to the culture medium during its growth. The C. elegans mycelia showed a removal efficiency of 280 mg/g at a cadmium concentration of 22.10 mg/L, and the removal velocity of cadmium was 0.107 mg/h. Additionally, it was observed that cadmium induced vacuolization, the presence of electron dense deposits in vacuoles, cytoplasm and cell membranes, as well as the distinct behavior of polyphosphate fractions. The results obtained with C. elegans suggest that precipitation, vacuolization and polyphosphate fractions were associated to cadmium tolerance, and this species demonstrated a higher potential for bioremediation of heavy metals. PMID:23538844

  20. Microbial models of mammalian metabolism. Biotransformations of N-methylcarbazole using the fungus Cunninghamella echinulata.

    PubMed

    Yang, W; Davis, P J

    1992-01-01

    The fungal metabolism of N-methylcarbazole (NMC) was investigated during the development of microbial models of mammalian metabolism. NMC was metabolized by the fungus Cunninghamella echinulata (ATCC 9244) to generate four metabolites: carbazole, N-hydroxymethylcarbazole (NHMC), 3-hydroxycarbazole, and 3-hydroxy-NHMC. Carbazole and NHMC are two major metabolites previously identified in mammalian systems, while 3-hydroxycarbazole and 3-hydroxy-NHMC have not been previously reported as metabolites of NMC. Structural identification of the four metabolites was based upon spectral (UV, MS, and NMR) and chromatographic (TLC and HPLC) comparisons with synthetic standards. These studies demonstrate that C. echinulata catalyzes the two principal biotransformations observed in mammalian systems with NMC: aliphatic hydroxylation to yield the (relatively) stable carbinolamine NHMC (with slow decomposition to the N-dealkylated product, carbazole) and aromatic hydroxylation in the 3-position. PMID:1346994

  1. Enhanced Biotransformation of Fluoranthene by Intertidally Derived Cunninghamella elegans under Biofilm-Based and Niche-Mimicking Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Sayani; Pramanik, Arnab; Banerjee, Srijoni; Haldar, Saubhik; Gachhui, Ratan

    2013-01-01

    The aims of the investigation were to ascertain if surface attachment of Cunninghamella elegans and niche intertidal conditions provided in a bioreactor influenced biotransformation of fluoranthene by C. elegans. A newly designed polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) conico-cylindrical flask (CCF) holding eight equidistantly spaced rectangular strips mounted radially on a circular disc allowed comparison of fluoranthene biotransformation between CCFs with a hydrophobic surface (PMMA-CCF) and a hydrophilic glass surface (GS-CCF) and a 500-ml Erlenmeyer flask (EF). Fluoranthene biotransformation was higher by 22-fold, biofilm growth was higher by 3-fold, and cytochrome P450 gene expression was higher by 2.1-fold when C. elegans was cultivated with 2% inoculum as biofilm culture in PMMA-CCF compared to planktonic culture in EF. Biotransformation was enhanced by 7-fold with 10% inoculum. The temporal pattern of biofilm progression based on three-channel fluorescence detection by confocal laser scanning microscopy demonstrated well-developed, stable biofilm with greater colocalization of fluoranthene within extracellular polymeric substances and filaments of the biofilm grown on PMMA in contrast to a glass surface. A bioreactor with discs rotating at 2 revolutions per day affording 6-hourly emersion and immersion mimicked the niche intertidal habitat of C. elegans and supported biofilm formation and transformation of fluoranthene. The amount of transformed metabolite was 3.5-fold, biofilm growth was 3-fold, and cytochrome P450 gene expression was 1.9-fold higher in the process mimicking the intertidal conditions than in a submerged process without disc rotation. In the CCF and reactor, where biofilm formation was comparatively greater, higher concentration of exopolysaccharides allowed increased mobilization of fluoranthene within the biofilm with consequential higher gene expression leading to enhanced volumetric productivity. PMID:24038685

  2. Biotransformation of flurbiprofen by Cunninghamella species.

    PubMed

    Amadio, Jessica; Gordon, Katherine; Murphy, Cormac D

    2010-09-01

    The biotransformation of the fluorinated anti-inflammatory drug flurbiprofen was investigated in Cunninghamella spp. Mono- and dihydroxylated metabolites were detected using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and fluorine-19 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and the major metabolite 4'-hydroxyflurbiprofen was isolated by preparative high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Cunninghamella elegans DSM 1908 and C. blakesleeana DSM 1906 also produced a phase II (conjugated) metabolite, which was identified as the sulfated drug via deconjugation experiments. PMID:20656862

  3. Effect of corn steep liquor (CSL) and cassava wastewater (CW) on chitin and chitosan production by Cunninghamella elegans and their physicochemical characteristics and cytotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Berger, Lúcia Raquel Ramos; Stamford, Thayza Christina Montenegro; Stamford-Arnaud, Thatiana Montenegro; de Oliveira Franco, Luciana; do Nascimento, Aline Elesbão; Cavalcante, Horacinna M de M; Macedo, Rui Oliveira; de Campos-Takaki, Galba Maria

    2014-01-01

    Microbiological processes were used for chitin and chitosan production with Cunninghamella elegans UCP/WFCC 0542 grown in different concentrations of two agro-industrial wastes, corn steep liquor (CSL) and cassava wastewater (CW) established using a 2² full factorial design. The polysaccharides were extracted by alkali-acid treatment and characterized by infrared spectroscopy, viscosity, thermal analysis, elemental analysis, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. The cytotoxicity of chitosan was evaluated for signs of vascular change on the chorioallantoic membrane of chicken eggs. The highest biomass (9.93 g/L) was obtained in trial 3 (5% CW, 8% CSL), the greatest chitin and chitosan yields were 89.39 mg/g and 57.82 mg/g, respectively, and both were obtained in trial 2 (10% CW, 4% CSL). Chitin and chitosan showed a degree of deacetylation of 40.98% and 88.24%, and a crystalline index of 35.80% and 23.82%, respectively, and chitosan showed low molecular weight (LMW 5.2 × 10³ Da). Chitin and chitosan can be considered non-irritating, due to the fact they do not promote vascular change. It was demonstrated that CSL and CW are effective renewable agroindustrial alternative substrates for the production of chitin and chitosan. PMID:24590203

  4. Harnessing indigenous plant seed oil for the production of bio-fuel by an oleaginous fungus, Cunninghamella blakesleeana- JSK2, isolated from tropical soil.

    PubMed

    Sukrutha, S K; Janakiraman, Savitha

    2014-01-01

    Cunninghamella blakesleeana- JSK2, a gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) producing tropical fungal isolate, was utilized as a tool to evaluate the influence of various plant seed oils on biomass, oleagenicity and bio-fuel production. The fungus accumulated 26 % total lipid of their dry biomass (2 g/l) and 13 % of GLA in its total fatty acid. Among the various plant seed oils tested as carbon sources for biotransformation studies, watermelon oil had an effect on biomass and total lipid increasing up to 9.24 g/l and 34 % respectively. Sunflower, pumpkin, and onion oil increased GLA content between 15-18 %. Interestingly, an indigenous biodiesel commodity, Pongamia pinnata oil showed tremendous effect on fatty acid profile in C. blakesleeana- JSK2, when used as a sole source of carbon. There was complete inhibition of GLA from 13 to 0 % and increase in oleic acid content, one of the key components of biodiesel to 70 % (from 20 % in control). Our results suggest the potential application of indigenous plant seed oils, particularly P. pinnata oil, for the production of economically valuable bio-fuel in oleaginous fungi in general, and C. blakesleeana- JSK2, in particular. PMID:24142351

  5. Eleganketal A, a highly oxygenated dibenzospiroketal from the marine-derived fungus Spicaria elegans KLA03.

    PubMed

    Luan, Yepeng; Wei, Hongjuan; Zhang, Zhenpei; Che, Qian; Liu, Yankai; Zhu, Tianjiao; Mándi, Attila; Kurtán, Tibor; Gu, Qianqun; Li, Dehai

    2014-07-25

    Eleganketal A (1), a naturally occurring aromatic polyketide possessing a rare highly oxygenated spiro[isobenzofuran-1,3'-isochroman] ring system, was isolated from the fungus Spicaria elegans KLA03 by culturing it in a modified mannitol-based medium. The structure of 1 including the absolute configuration was determined by combining spectroscopic analysis, synthesis of the racemic permethylated analogue, chiral-phase HPLC separation, and TDDFT-ECD analysis. PMID:24967847

  6. Bioactive Phenylalanine Derivatives and Cytochalasins from the Soft Coral-Derived Fungus, Aspergillus elegans

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Cai-Juan; Shao, Chang-Lun; Wu, Lu-Yong; Chen, Min; Wang, Kai-Ling; Zhao, Dong-Lin; Sun, Xue-Ping; Chen, Guang-Ying; Wang, Chang-Yun

    2013-01-01

    One new phenylalanine derivative 4′-OMe-asperphenamate (1), along with one known phenylalanine derivative (2) and two new cytochalasins, aspochalasin A1 (3) and cytochalasin Z24 (4), as well as eight known cytochalasin analogues (5–12) were isolated from the fermentation broth of Aspergillus elegans ZJ-2008010, a fungus obtained from a soft coral Sarcophyton sp. collected from the South China Sea. Their structures and the relative configurations were elucidated using comprehensive spectroscopic methods. The absolute configuration of 1 was determined by chemical synthesis and Marfey’s method. All isolated metabolites (1–12) were evaluated for their antifouling and antibacterial activities. Cytochalasins 5, 6, 8 and 9 showed strong antifouling activity against the larval settlement of the barnacle Balanus amphitrite, with the EC50 values ranging from 6.2 to 37 μM. This is the first report of antifouling activity for this class of metabolites. Additionally, 8 exhibited a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity, especially against four pathogenic bacteria Staphylococcus albus, S. aureus, Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus. PMID:23752358

  7. Production of 3-nitropropionic acid by endophytic fungus Phomopsis longicolla isolated from Trichilia elegans A. JUSS ssp. elegans and evaluation of biological activity.

    PubMed

    Flores, Andressa Caroline; Pamphile, João Alencar; Sarragiotto, Maria Helena; Clemente, Edmar

    2013-05-01

    The compound 3-nitropropionic acid is a potent neurotoxic agent in animals and well-known as a potent inhibitor of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In this research, we were able to extract this compound from the endophytic fungus, Phomopsis longicolla (FJ62759), isolated from Trichilia elegans A. JUSS ssp. elegans. The aim of this study was the isolation of secondary metabolites produced by P. longicolla, the chemical identification of these compounds and evaluation of their antimicrobial and insecticidal activity. To accomplish these goals, the fungus was cultured in BD broth for 25 days without agitation at 28 °C, and then the broth was separated from the mycelium. The supernatant was partitioned with dichloromethane (CH2Cl2), ethyl acetate (EtOAc), and butanol (BuOH) solvents resulting in 3 extracts. However, only the EtOAc extract was used for fractionation and chemical identification because it had the greatest mass. After common chromatographic procedures, the fractions were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance to elucidate the chemical components. This procedure resulted in the identification of 3-nitropropionic acid in the D fraction. Evaluation of the insecticidal and antimicrobial activity of this compound has been accomplished, and the results indicate good inhibition of the citrus pathogen Guignardia citricarpa and cocoa pathogen Moniliophthora perniciosa and slight inhibition of the human bacterial pathogens Micrococcus luteus, Salmonella typhi and slight inhibition of phytopathogenic bacteria Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. phaseoli. The evaluation of insecticide activity did not show mortality of the Diatraea saccharalis larvae by the metabolite 3-nitropropionic acid in the D fraction. The results suggest that P. longicolla is a bioactive metabolic producing endophytic fungus with biotechnological properties. PMID:23296917

  8. Onychomycosis due to Cunninghamella bertholletiae in an Immunocompetent Male from Central India

    PubMed Central

    Tadepalli, Karuna; Gupta, Pradeep Kumar; Asati, Dinesh P.; Biswas, Debasis

    2015-01-01

    Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of nails seen frequently in immune competent and immune compromised patients due to dermatophytes, Candida spp., Fusarium spp., Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, Penicillium spp., and Aspergillus spp. We report a case of onychomycosis in a young immunocompetent male who presented onycholysis of a solitary nail without inflammation. The etiological agent was diagnosed to be Cunninghamella bertholletiae, a fungus pertaining to the order Mucorales (subdivision Mucoromycotina) and known for some of the invasive lesions among immunocompromised patients. This case demonstrates the association of onychomycosis with Cunninghamella bertholletiae in an immune competent individual, not reported so far. PMID:26640729

  9. Phylogenetic diversity of endophytic leaf fungus isolates from the medicinal tree Trichilia elegans (Meliaceae).

    PubMed

    Rhoden, S A; Garcia, A; Rubin Filho, C J; Azevedo, J L; Pamphile, J A

    2012-01-01

    Various types of organisms, mainly fungi and bacteria, live within vegetal organs and tissues, without causing damage to the plant. These microorganisms, which are called endophytes, can be useful for biological control and plant growth promotion; bioactive compounds from these organisms may have medical and pharmaceutical applications. Trichilia elegans (Meliaceae) is a native tree that grows abundantly in several regions of Brazil. Preparations using the leaves, seeds, bark, and roots of many species of the Meliaceae family have been widely used in traditional medicine, and some members of the Trichilia genus are used in Brazilian popular medicine. We assessed the diversity of endophytic fungi from two wild specimens of T. elegans, collected from a forest remnant, by sequencing ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 of rDNA of the isolates. The fungi were isolated and purified; 97 endophytic fungi were found; they were separated into 17 morpho-groups. Of the 97 endophytic fungi, four genera (Phomopsis, Diaporthe, Dothideomycete, and Cordyceps) with 11 morpho-groups were identified. Phomopsis was the most frequent genus among the identified endophytes. Phylogenetic analysis showed two major clades: Sordariomycetes, which includes three genera, Phomopsis, Diaporthe, and Cordyceps, and the clade Dothideomycetes, which was represented by the order Pleosporales. PMID:22782630

  10. New Record of Mariannaea elegans var. elegans in Korea.

    PubMed

    Tang, Longqing; Hyun, Min Woo; Yun, Yeo Hong; Suh, Dong Yeon; Kim, Seong Hwan; Sung, Gi Ho

    2012-03-01

    A Mariannaea fungus was isolated during investigation of an elm tree infested with unidentified beetles. Based on morphological characteristics and molecular analysis of the internal transcribed spacer rDNA sequence, the fungus was identified as Mariannaea elegans var. elegans. Fungal growth was better on malt extract agar than on potato dextrose agar and oatmeal agar. Optimal temperature and pH for growth of the fungus were 30℃ and pH 7.0, respectively. The fungus was found to have the ability to produce extracellular enzymes such as amylase, β-glucosidase, cellulase, and protease. This is first report on M. elegans var. elegans in Korea. PMID:22783129

  11. Mechanism of hydroxylation of biphenyl by Cunninghamella echinulata.

    PubMed Central

    Smith, R V; Davis, P J; Clark, A M; Prasatik, S K

    1981-01-01

    The hydroxylation of [U-2H]biphenyl and [2,2',3,3',5,5',6,6'-2H]biphenyl by Cunninghamella echinulata A.T.C.C. 9244 has been studied. G.l.c.-mass-spectrometry analyses indicate the lack of an isotope effect during the hydroxylation of the perdeuterated substrate. Both g.l.c.-mass spectrometry and 1H n.m.r. were used to definitively demonstrate the presence of a 1,2-hydride-shift during the microbiological hydroxylation of [2,2',3,3',5,5',6,6'-2H]biphenyl. PMID:7306077

  12. Three new cytochalasins from the marine-derived fungus Spicaria elegans KLA03 by supplementing the cultures with L- and D-tryptophan.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fa-Zuo; Wei, Hong-Juan; Zhu, Tian-Jiao; Li, De-Hai; Lin, Zhen-Jian; Gu, Qian-Qun

    2011-05-01

    Three new cytochalasins Z(21) -Z(23) (1-3, resp.), together with five analogs, 4-8, were isolated from Spicaria elegans KLA03 by the OSMAC (one strain-many compounds) approach with adding L- and D-tryptophan during its cultivation. The structures of new cytochalasins were elucidated on the basis of comprehensive 1D- and 2D-NMR and HR-ESI-MS analyses. Cytochalasins Z(21) and Z(22) (1 and 2, resp.), and compound 5 showed cytotoxic activities against A-549 cell lines with IC(50) values of 8.2, 20.0, and 3.1 μM, respectively. PMID:21560237

  13. Biosurfactant-and-Bioemulsifier Produced by a Promising Cunninghamella echinulata Isolated from Caatinga Soil in the Northeast of Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Nadielly R. Andrade; Luna, Marcos A. C.; Santiago, André L. C. M. A.; Franco, Luciana O.; Silva, Grayce K. B.; de Souza, Patrícia M.; Okada, Kaoru; Albuquerque, Clarissa D. C.; da Silva, Carlos A. Alves; Campos-Takaki, Galba M.

    2014-01-01

    A Mucoralean fungus was isolated from Caatinga soil of Pernambuco, Northeast of Brazil, and was identified as Cunninghamella echinulata by morphological, physiological, and biochemical tests. This strain was evaluated for biosurfactant/bioemulsifier production using soybean oil waste (SOW) and corn steep liquor (CSL) as substrates, added to basic saline solution, by measuring surface tension and emulsifier index and activity. The best results showed the surface water tension was reduced from 72 to 36 mN/m, and an emulsification index (E24) of 80% was obtained using engine oil and burnt engine oil, respectively. A new molecule of biosurfactant showed an anionic charge and a polymeric chemical composition consisting of lipids (40.0% w/w), carbohydrates (35.2% w/w) and protein (20.3% w/w). In addition, the biosurfactant solution (1%) demonstrated its ability for an oil displacement area (ODA) of 37.36 cm2, which is quite similar to that for Triton X-100 (38.46 cm2). The stability of the reduction in the surface water tension as well as of the emulsifier index proved to be stable over a wide range of temperatures, in pH, and in salt concentration (4%–6% w/v). The biosurfactant showed an ability to reduce and increase the viscosity of hydrophobic substrates and their molecules, suggesting that it is a suitable candidate for mediated enhanced oil recovery. At the same time, these studies indicate that renewable, relatively inexpensive and easily available resources can be used for important biotechnological processes. PMID:25257520

  14. Microbial models of mammalian metabolism: involvement of cytochrome P450 in the N-demethylation of N-methylcarbazole by Cunninghamella echinulata.

    PubMed

    Yang, W; Jiang, T; Acosta, D; Davis, P J

    1993-09-01

    1. As previously reported (Yang and Davis 1992), N-methylcarbazole (NMC) is converted to N-hydroxymethylcarbazole (NHMC), and 3-hydroxy-N-hydroxymethylcarbazole (3-OH-NHMC), two relatively stable carbinolamine metabolites by the fungus Cunninghamella echinulata (ATCC 9244). Decomposition of these two carbinolamines yields the corresponding dealkylated metabolites, carbazole and 3-hydroxycarbazole. In the present study, the possible involvement of cytochrome P450 in the requisite N-alkyl hydroxylation reaction was examined. 2. Carbon monoxide, a classical P450 inhibitor, markedly inhibited the formation of NHMC, as did potassium cyanide. 1-Benzylimidazole, piperonyl butoxide and SKF-525A inhibited the formation of both NHMC and 3-OH-NHMC, while beta-naphthoflavone (5,6-benzoflavone) induced their formation. 3. The source of the oxygen atom in the metabolite NHMC was examined by GC/MS analysis of NHMC formed during incubation of NMC in H218O-enriched medium which resulted in no incorporation of labelled oxygen into the metabolite. 4. An intermolecular isotope effect was not observed for the formation of NHMC suggesting that C-H bond cleavage is not a rate limiting step in the formation of this metabolite under the conditions examined. 5. It was concluded that P450 enzymes may be involved in the N-demethylation of NMC catalyzed by this fungal model of mammalian metabolism, and provides further support for biochemical and mechanistic parallels between mammalian metabolism and microbial systems catalyzing phase-1 biotransformations. PMID:8291265

  15. Optimization of Aeration and Agitation Rate for Lipid and Gamma Linolenic Acid Production by Cunninghamella bainieri 2A1 in Submerged Fermentation Using Response Surface Methodology

    PubMed Central

    Saad, Normah; Abdeshahian, Peyman; Kalil, Mohd Sahaid; Wan Yusoff, Wan Mohtar

    2014-01-01

    The locally isolated filamentous fungus Cunninghamella bainieri 2A1 was cultivated in a 5 L bioreactor to produce lipid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). The optimization was carried out using response surface methodology based on a central composite design. A statistical model, second-order polynomial model, was adjusted to the experimental data to evaluate the effect of key operating variables, including aeration rate and agitation speed on lipid production. Process analysis showed that linear and quadratic effect of agitation intensity significantly influenced lipid production process (P < 0.01). The quadratic model also indicated that the interaction between aeration rate and agitation speed had a highly significant effect on lipid production (P < 0.01). Experimental results showed that a lipid content of 38.71% was produced in optimum conditions using an airflow rate and agitation speed of 0.32 vvm and 599 rpm, respectively. Similar results revealed that 0.058 (g/g) gamma-linolenic acid was produced in optimum conditions where 1.0 vvm aeration rate and 441.45 rpm agitation rate were used. The regression model confirmed that aeration and agitation were of prime importance for optimum production of lipid in the bioreactor. PMID:25610901

  16. Whole-Cell Mediated 11β-Hydroxylation on the Basic Limonoid Skeleton by Cunninghamella echinulata.

    PubMed

    Haldar, Saikat; Mulani, Fayaj A; Aarthy, Thiagarayaselvam; Thulasiram, Hirekodathakallu V

    2015-06-19

    Regio- and stereoselective 11β-hydroxylation was achieved on the basic limonoid skeleton through microbial transformation. Whole cells of Cunninghamella echinulata efficiently converted basic limonoids such as epoxyazadiradione, azadiradione, and gedunin to their 11β-hydroxy analogues as the sole metabolite. Fermentation conditions affecting the efficiency (96%) of biotransformation including substrate concentration, incubation period, pH, and temperature were optimized. The position and stereochemistry of hydroxyl functionality on the isolated metabolites were established through extensive spectroscopic and spectrometric studies (1D, 2D NMR, ESI-MS, and MS/MS). PMID:25985231

  17. Fungus Amongus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wakeley, Deidra

    2005-01-01

    This role-playing simulation is designed to help teach middle level students about the typical lifecycle of a fungus. In this interactive simulation, students assume the roles of fungi, spores, living and dead organisms, bacteria, and rain. As they move around a playing field collecting food and water chips, they discover how the organisms…

  18. Antimicrobial abietane diterpenoids from Plectranthus elegans.

    PubMed

    Dellar, J E; Cole, M D; Waterman, P G

    1996-02-01

    Two novel abietane diterpenoids have been isolated from the aerial material of Plectranthus elegans and identified as 11-hydroxy-12-oxo-7,9(11),13-abietatriene and 7 alpha,11-dihydroxy-12-methoxy-8,11,13-abietatriene. Their structures were determined through rigorous use of spectroscopic methods. Both inhibited spore germination of the fungus Cladosporium cucumerinum, in direct bioautography, at a dose of 1 microgram. The new diterpenes also inhibited the growth of Gram-positive bacteria, in the concentration range 10-40 micrograms ml-1 in broth dilution assay. No effect was observed against Gram-negative bacteria. The ecological implications of these findings are discussed. PMID:8835454

  19. Production of gamma-linolenic acid by Cunninghamella echinulata cultivated on glucose and orange peel.

    PubMed

    Gema, H; Kavadia, A; Dimou, D; Tsagou, V; Komaitis, M; Aggelis, G

    2002-03-01

    A newly isolated strain of Cunninghamella echinulata grown on glucose produced significant quantities of biomass and cellular lipids in media with high C/N ratio. The oil yield from glucose consumed increased after nitrogen exhaustion in the growth medium, but gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content in cellular oil systematically decreased during the lipid accumulation process. When lipid accumulation was completed, GLA concentration in the cellular lipids progressively increased. The highest GLA production (720 mg/l) was achieved in medium with a C/N ratio equal to 163. C. echinulata was also able to grow on orange peel. The C/N ratio in the orange peel decreased from 50 to 26 during solid-state fermentation. Maximum oxygen uptake was observed during assimilation of reducing sugars, whereas a polygalacturonase activity was detected after reducing sugars had been exhausted. The maximum GLA production was 1.2-1.5 mg/g of fermented peel, calculated on a dry weight basis. After enrichment of the pulp with inorganic nitrogen and glucose, an increase in the production of oil and GLA was observed. PMID:11935180

  20. Pulmonary zygomycosis with Cunninghamella bertholletiae in a killer whale (Orcinus orca).

    PubMed

    Abdo, W; Kakizoe, Y; Ryono, M; Dover, S R; Fukushi, H; Okuda, H; Kano, R; Shibahara, T; Okada, E; Sakai, H; Yanai, T

    2012-07-01

    An adult female killer whale (Orcinus orca) was transported to the Port of Nagoya public aquarium in June 2010. While the animal was being maintained in the aquarium there was a gradual decrease in body weight. On October 1st, 2010 the whale exhibited signs of gastrointestinal disease and died on January 14th, 2011. At necropsy examination the gastric compartments were filled with a large number of variably-sized rocks (total weight 81.4 kg) and there was marked ulceration in the third compartment. There were multifocal tubercle-like nodules within the lungs and on sectioning there were numerous abscesses and pulmonary cavities. Microscopically, there was severe suppurative pneumonia associated with fungal hyphae that were infrequently septate and often branched. Numerous bacterial colonies were also present. The hyphae demonstrated immunohistochemical cross-reactivity with Rhizomucor spp. and Cunninghamella bertholletiae was cultured. Bacteriological culture revealed the presence of Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas oryzihabitans. This case represents the first documentation of zygomycosis associated with C. bertholletiae in a marine mammal. PMID:22000035

  1. C. elegans TRP channels

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Rui; Xu, X.Z. Shawn

    2010-01-01

    TRP (transient receptor potential) channels represent a superfamily of cation channels found in all eukaryotes. The C. elegans genome encodes seventeen TRP channels covering all of the seven TRP subfamilies. Genetic analyses in C. elegans have implicated TRP channels in a wide spectrum of behavioral and physiological processes, ranging from sensory transduction (e.g. chemosensation, touch sensation, proprioception and osmosensation) to fertilization, drug dependence, organelle biogenesis, apoptosis, gene expression, and neurotransmitter/hormone release. Many C. elegans TRP channels share similar activation and regulatory mechanisms with their vertebrate counterparts. Studies in C. elegans have also revealed some previously unrecognized functions and regulatory mechanisms of TRP channels. C. elegans represents an excellent genetic model organism for the study of function and regulation of TRP channels in vivo. PMID:21290304

  2. Rice-Field Drowning-Associated Pneumonia in which Pseudomonas spp., Aspergillus fumigatus, and Cunninghamella sp. Are Isolated.

    PubMed

    Yamawaki, Satoshi; Nakashima, Kei; Suzuki, Fumi; Otsuki, Ayumu; Watanabe, Junko; Takai, Motohisa; Katsurada, Masahiro; Katsurada, Naoko; Ohkuni, Yoshihiro; Misawa, Masafumi; Kaneko, Norihiro; Otsuka, Yoshihito; Aoshima, Masahiro

    2016-01-01

    We herein report the case of an 84-year-old who developed pneumonia after drowning in a rice field. Besides Aspergillus fumigatus, many pathogens previously not reported in drowning-associated pneumonia (such as Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas putida, Nocardia niigatensis, and Cunninghamella sp.) were isolated from his sputum. He received sulbactam/ampicillin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, voriconazole, levofloxacin and liposomal amphotericin B, but died due to respiratory failure. Because the patient had drowned in a contaminated stagnant rice field and had multiple lung cavities, zygomycosis was suspected. This report provides invaluable information for the consideration of zygomycosis after an individual drowning in a rice field, even in an immunocompetent patient. PMID:27041173

  3. Repeated Batch Fermentation Biotechnology for the Biosynthesis of Lipid and Gamma-Linolenic Acid by Cunninghamella bainieri 2A1

    PubMed Central

    Ganjali Dashti, Marjan; Abdeshahian, Peyman; Wan Yusoff, Wan Mohtar; Kalil, Mohd Sahaid; Abdul Hamid, Aidil

    2014-01-01

    The biosynthesis of biomedical products including lipid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) by Cunninghamella bainieri 2A1 was studied in repeated batch fermentation. Three key process variables, namely, glucose concentration, ammonium tartrate concentration, and harvesting time, were optimized using response surface methodology. Repeated batch fermentation was carried out by the cultivation of Cunninghamella bainieri 2A1 in nitrogen-limited medium with various nitrogen concentration (1–4 g/L) and glucose concentration (20–40 g/L) at three time intervals (12 h, 24 h, and 48 h). Experimental results showed that the highest lipid concentration of 6.2 g/L and the highest GLA concentration of 0.4 g/L were obtained in optimum conditions, where 20.2 g/L glucose, 2.12 g/L ammonium tartrate, and 48 h harvesting time were utilized. Statistical results showed that the interaction between glucose and ammonium tartrate concentration had highly significant effects on lipid and GLA biosynthesis (P < 0.01). Moreover, harvesting time had a significant interaction effect with glucose and ammonium tartrate concentration on lipid production (P < 0.05). PMID:25147817

  4. Demodex mite infestation of unknown significance in a patient with rhinocerebral mucormycosis due to Apophysomyces elegans species complex.

    PubMed

    Hallur, Vinaykumar; Singh, Gagandeep; Rudramurthy, Shivaprakash M; Kapoor, Rakesh; Chakrabarti, Arunaloke

    2013-06-01

    Demodex mites have been reported in the past as a cause of facial rash in immunosuppressed patients. Here, we report an interesting case of possible demodicosis associated with rhinocerebral mucormycosis. The association of mites with a fungus was detected on direct microscopic examination of the scrapings of a nasal ulcer. The mite and the fungus were identified as Demodex folliculorum and Apophysomyces elegans species complex, respectively. PMID:23475907

  5. Apophysomyces elegans: a novel cause of endogenous endophthalmitis in an immunocompetent individual.

    PubMed

    Dave, Vivek Pravin; Sharma, Savitri; Yogi, Rohit; Reddy, Swapna

    2014-12-01

    A 20-year-old male presented with sudden onset redness, pain, and decreased vision in his left eye. Best-corrected visual acuity in the left eye was noted to be perception of light positive with inaccurate projection. On clinical examination, he was diagnosed to have left eye endogenous endophthalmitis. Smear and culture of vitreous biopsy were positive for Apophysomyces elegans, a fungus known to cause extensive soft tissue infections systemically characteristically in immunocompetent individual. The patient was treated aggressively with topical, systemic, and intravitreal antifungals but had a poor visual and anatomical outcome. This is a first known report of endogenous endophthalmitis due to Apophysomyces elegans. PMID:25183462

  6. Transgenesis in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Praitis, Vida; Maduro, Morris F

    2011-01-01

    The ability to manipulate the genome of organisms at will is perhaps the single most useful ability for the study of biological systems. Techniques for the generation of transgenics in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans became available in the late 1980s. Since then, improvements to the original approach have been made to address specific limitations with transgene expression, expand on the repertoire of the types of biological information that transgenes can provide, and begin to develop methods to target transgenes to defined chromosomal locations. Many recent, detailed protocols have been published, and hence in this chapter, we will review various approaches to making C. elegans transgenics, discuss their applications, and consider their relative advantages and disadvantages. Comments will also be made on anticipated future developments and on the application of these methods to other nematodes. PMID:22118277

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Neuropeptide GPCRs in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Frooninckx, Lotte; Van Rompay, Liesbeth; Temmerman, Liesbet; Van Sinay, Elien; Beets, Isabel; Janssen, Tom; Husson, Steven J.; Schoofs, Liliane

    2012-01-01

    Like most organisms, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans relies heavily on neuropeptidergic signaling. This tiny animal represents a suitable model system to study neuropeptidergic signaling networks with single cell resolution due to the availability of powerful molecular and genetic tools. The availability of the worm’s complete genome sequence allows researchers to browse through it, uncovering putative neuropeptides and their cognate G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Many predictions have been made about the number of C. elegans neuropeptide GPCRs. In this review, we report the state of the art of both verified as well as predicted C. elegans neuropeptide GPCRs. The predicted neuropeptide GPCRs are incorporated into the receptor classification system based on their resemblance to orthologous GPCRs in insects and vertebrates. Appointing the natural ligand(s) to each predicted neuropeptide GPCR (receptor deorphanization) is a crucial step during characterization. The development of deorphanization strategies resulted in a significant increase in the knowledge of neuropeptidergic signaling in C. elegans. Complementary localization and functional studies demonstrate that neuropeptides and their GPCRs represent a rich potential source of behavioral variability in C. elegans. Here, we review all neuropeptidergic signaling pathways that so far have been functionally characterized in C. elegans. PMID:23267347

  11. Batch culture and repeated-batch culture of Cunninghamella bainieri 2A1 for lipid production as a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Dashti, Marjan Ganjali; Abdeshahian, Peyman

    2016-03-01

    This research was performed based on a comparative study on fungal lipid production by a locally isolated strain Cunninghamella bainieri 2A1 in batch culture and repeated-batch culture using a nitrogen-limited medium. Lipid production in the batch culture was conducted to study the effect of different agitation rates on the simultaneous consumption of ammonium tartrate and glucose sources. Lipid production in the repeated-batch culture was studied by considering the effect of harvesting time and harvesting volume of the culture broth on the lipid accumulation. The batch cultivation was carried out in a 500 ml Erlenmeyer flask containing 200 ml of the fresh nitrogen-limited medium. Microbial culture was incubated at 30 °C under different agitation rates of 120, 180 and 250 rpm for 120 h. The repeated-batch culture was performed at three harvesting times of 12, 24 and 48 h using four harvesting cultures of 60%, 70%, 80% and 90%. Experimental results revealed that nitrogen source (ammonium tartrate) was fully utilized by C. bainieri 2A1 within 24 h in all agitation rates tested. It was also observed that a high amount of glucose in culture medium was consumed by C. bainieri 2A1 at 250 rpm agitation speed during the batch fermentation. Similar results showed that the highest lipid concentration of 2.96 g/L was obtained at an agitation rate of 250 rpm at 120 h cultivation time with the maximum lipid productivity of 7.0 × 10(-2) mg/ml/h. On the other hand, experimental results showed that the highest lipid concentration produced in the repeated-batch culture was 3.30 g/L at the first cycle of 48 h harvesting time using 70% harvesting volume, while 0.23 g/L gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) was produced at the last cycle of 48 h harvesting time using 80% harvesting volume. PMID:26980997

  12. Batch culture and repeated-batch culture of Cunninghamella bainieri 2A1 for lipid production as a comparative study

    PubMed Central

    Dashti, Marjan Ganjali; Abdeshahian, Peyman

    2015-01-01

    This research was performed based on a comparative study on fungal lipid production by a locally isolated strain Cunninghamella bainieri 2A1 in batch culture and repeated-batch culture using a nitrogen-limited medium. Lipid production in the batch culture was conducted to study the effect of different agitation rates on the simultaneous consumption of ammonium tartrate and glucose sources. Lipid production in the repeated-batch culture was studied by considering the effect of harvesting time and harvesting volume of the culture broth on the lipid accumulation. The batch cultivation was carried out in a 500 ml Erlenmeyer flask containing 200 ml of the fresh nitrogen-limited medium. Microbial culture was incubated at 30 °C under different agitation rates of 120, 180 and 250 rpm for 120 h. The repeated-batch culture was performed at three harvesting times of 12, 24 and 48 h using four harvesting cultures of 60%, 70%, 80% and 90%. Experimental results revealed that nitrogen source (ammonium tartrate) was fully utilized by C. bainieri 2A1 within 24 h in all agitation rates tested. It was also observed that a high amount of glucose in culture medium was consumed by C. bainieri 2A1 at 250 rpm agitation speed during the batch fermentation. Similar results showed that the highest lipid concentration of 2.96 g/L was obtained at an agitation rate of 250 rpm at 120 h cultivation time with the maximum lipid productivity of 7.0 × 10−2 mg/ml/h. On the other hand, experimental results showed that the highest lipid concentration produced in the repeated-batch culture was 3.30 g/L at the first cycle of 48 h harvesting time using 70% harvesting volume, while 0.23 g/L gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) was produced at the last cycle of 48 h harvesting time using 80% harvesting volume. PMID:26980997

  13. 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

  14. Fungal biotransformation of 6-nitrochrysene

    SciTech Connect

    Pothuluri, J.V.; Sutherland, J.B.; Freeman, J.P.; Cerniglia, C.E.

    1998-08-01

    The fungus Cunninghamella elegans was used to biotransform 6-nitrochrysene, a mutagen that is a widespread environmental contaminant. After 6 days, 74% of the {sup 3}H-labeled 6-nitrochrysene added had been metabolized to two isomeric sulfate conjugates. These conjugates were separated by high-performance liquid chromatography and identified by UV-visible, {sup 1}H nuclear magnetic resonance, and mass spectral techniques as 6-nitrochrysene 1-sulfate and 6-nitrochrysene 2-sulfate.

  15. C. elegans chemotaxis assay.

    PubMed

    Margie, Olivia; Palmer, Chris; Chin-Sang, Ian

    2013-01-01

    Many organisms use chemotaxis to seek out food sources, avoid noxious substances, and find mates. Caenorhabditis elegans has impressive chemotaxis behavior. The premise behind testing the response of the worms to an odorant is to place them in an area and observe the movement evoked in response to an odorant. Even with the many available assays, optimizing worm starting location relative to both the control and test areas, while minimizing the interaction of worms with each other, while maintaining a significant sample size remains a work in progress (1-10). The method described here aims to address these issues by modifying the assay developed by Bargmann et al.(1). A Petri dish is divided into four quadrants, two opposite quadrants marked "Test" and two are designated "Control". Anesthetic is placed in all test and control sites. The worms are placed in the center of the plate with a circle marked around the origin to ensure that non-motile worms will be ignored. Utilizing a four-quadrant system rather than one 2 or two 1 eliminates bias in the movement of the worms, as they are equidistant from test and control samples, regardless of which side of the origin they began. This circumvents the problem of worms being forced to travel through a cluster of other worms to respond to an odorant, which can delay worms or force them to take a more circuitous route, yielding an incorrect interpretation of their intended path. This method also shows practical advantages by having a larger sample size and allowing the researcher to run the assay unattended and score the worms once the allotted time has expired. PMID:23644543

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. Electrophysiological Methods for C. elegans Neurobiology

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Miriam B.; Lindsay, Theodore H.; Lockery, Shawn R.; Richmond, Janet E.

    2014-01-01

    Patch-clamp electrophysiology is the technique of choice for the biophysical analysis of the function of nerve, muscle, and synapse in C. elegans nematodes. Considerable technical progress has been made in C. elegans electrophysiology in the decade since the initial publication of this technique. Today, most, if not all electrophysiological studies that can be done in larger animal preparations can also be done in C. elegans. This chapter has two main goals. The first is to present to a broad audience the many techniques available for patch-clamp analysis of neurons, muscles, and synapses in C. elegans. The second is to provide a methodological introduction to the techniques for patch-clamping C. elegans neurons and body-wall muscles in vivo, including emerging methods for optogenetic stimulation coupled with post-synaptic recording. We also present samples of the cell-intrinsic and post-synaptic ionic currents that can be measured in C. elegans nerve and muscle. PMID:22226532

  19. Yellow Pigment Aurovertins Mediate Interactions between the Pathogenic Fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia and Its Nematode Host.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan-li; Li, Lin-fang; Li, Dong-xian; Wang, Baile; Zhang, Keqin; Niu, Xuemei

    2015-07-29

    Nematophagous fungi are globally distributed soil fungi and well-known natural predators of soil-dwelling nematodes. Pochonia chlamydosporia can be found in diverse nematode-suppressive soils as a parasite of nematode eggs and is one of the most studied potential biological control agents of nematodes. However, little is known about the functions of small molecules in the process of infection of nematodes by this parasitic fungus or about small-molecule-mediated interactions between the pathogenic fungus and its host. Our recent study demonstrated that a P. chlamydosporia strain isolated from root knots of tobacco infected by the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita produced a class of yellow pigment metabolite aurovertins, which induced the death of the free-living nematode Panagrellus redivevus. Here we report that nematicidal P. chlamydosporia strains obtained from the nematode worms tended to yield a total yellow pigment aurovertin production exceeding the inhibitory concentration shown in nematicidal bioassays. Aurovertin D was abundant in the pigment metabolites of P. chlamydosporia strains. Aurovertin D showed strong toxicity toward the root-knot nematode M. incognita and exerted profound and detrimental effects on the viability of Caenorhabditis elegans even at a subinhibitory concentration. Evaluation of the nematode mutation in the β subunit of F1-ATPase, together with the application of RNA interference in screening each subunit of F1FO-ATPase in the nematode worms, demonstrated that the β subunit of F1-ATPase might not be the specific target for aurovertins in nematodes. The resistance of C. elegans daf-2(e1370) and the hypersensitivity of C. elegans daf-16(mu86) to aurovertin D indicated that DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor in nematodes was triggered in response to the aurovertin attack. These findings advance our understanding of the roles of aurovertin production in the interactions between nematodes and the pathogen fungus P. chlamydosporia

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Cocaine modulates locomotion behavior in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Ward, Alex; Walker, Vyvyca J; Feng, Zhaoyang; Xu, X Z Shawn

    2009-01-01

    Cocaine, a potent addictive substance, is an inhibitor of monoamine transporters, including DAT (dopamine transporter), SERT (serotonin transporter) and NET (norepinephrine transporter). Cocaine administration induces complex behavioral alterations in mammals, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we tested the effect of cocaine on C. elegans behavior. We show for the first time that acute cocaine treatment evokes changes in C. elegans locomotor activity. Interestingly, the neurotransmitter serotonin, rather than dopamine, is required for cocaine response in C. elegans. The C. elegans SERT MOD-5 is essential for the effect of cocaine, consistent with the role of cocaine in targeting monoamine transporters. We further show that the behavioral response to cocaine is primarily mediated by the ionotropic serotonin receptor MOD-1. Thus, cocaine modulates locomotion behavior in C. elegans primarily by impinging on its serotoninergic system. PMID:19536276

  4. Metabolic inhibition of meloxicam by specific CYP2C9 inhibitors in Cunninghamella blakesleeana NCIM 687: in silico and in vitro studies.

    PubMed

    Prasad, G Shyam; Srisailam, K; Sashidhar, R B

    2016-01-01

    Specific inhibitors of Cytochrome P4502C9 enzyme (CYP2C9) viz. clopidogrel, fenofibrate fluvoxamine and sertraline at concentration of 50, 100, 150 and 200 µM were employed to investigate the nature of enzyme involved in bioconversion of meloxicam to its main metabolite 5-OH methyl meloxicam by Cunninghamella blakesleeana. Virtual screening for interaction of specific CYP2C9 inhibitors with human CYP2C9 enzyme was performed by molecular docking using Auto dock vina 4.2 version. The in silico studies were further substantiated by in vitro studies, which indicated fenofibrate to be a potent inhibitor of CYP2C9 enzyme followed by sertraline, clopidogrel and fluvoxamine, respectively. Two-stage fermentation protocol was followed to study metabolism of meloxicam and its inhibition by different CYP2C9 inhibitors. Meloxicam metabolites were identified using HPLC, LC-MS analysis and based on previous reports, as 5-OH methyl meloxicam (M1), 5-carboxy meloxicam (M2) and an unidentified metabolite (M3). All the inhibitors tested in the study showed a clear concentration dependent inhibition of meloxicam metabolism. The results suggest that the enzymes involved in metabolism of meloxicam in C. blakesleeana are akin to mammalian metabolism. Hence, C. blakesleeana can be used as a model organism in studying drug interactions and also in predicting mammalian drug metabolism. PMID:27026863

  5. Using C. elegans for aging research

    PubMed Central

    Tissenbaum, Heidi A.

    2015-01-01

    Over a century ago, the zoologist Emile Maupas first identified the nematode, Rhabditis elegans, in the soil in Algiers. Subsequent work and phylogenic studies renamed the species Caenorhabditis elegans or more commonly referred to as C. elegans; (Caeno meaning recent; rhabditis meaning rod; elegans meaning nice). However, it was not until 1963, when Sydney Brenner, already successful from his work on DNA, RNA, and the genetic code, suggested the future of biological research lay in model organisms. Brenner believed that biological research required a model system that could grow in vast quantities in the lab, were cheap to maintain and had a simple body plan, and he chose the nematode C. elegans to fulfill such a role. Since that time, C. elegans has emerged as one of the premiere model systems for aging research. This paper reviews some initial identification of mutants with altered lifespan with a focus on genetics and then discusses advantages and disadvantages for using C. elegans as a model system to understand human aging. This review focuses on molecular genetics aspects of this model organism. PMID:26136622

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. C. elegans outside the Petri dish

    PubMed Central

    Frézal, Lise; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2015-01-01

    The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has risen to the status of a top model organism for biological research in the last fifty years. Among laboratory animals, this tiny nematode is one of the simplest and easiest organisms to handle. And its life outside the laboratory is beginning to be unveiled. Like other model organisms, C. elegans has a boom-and-bust lifestyle. It feasts on ephemeral bacterial blooms in decomposing fruits and stems. After resource depletion, its young larvae enter a migratory diapause stage, called the dauer. Organisms known to be associated with C. elegans include migration vectors (such as snails, slugs and isopods) and pathogens (such as microsporidia, fungi, bacteria and viruses). By deepening our understanding of the natural history of C. elegans, we establish a broader context and improved tools for studying its biology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05849.001 PMID:25822066

  10. C. elegans outside the Petri dish.

    PubMed

    Frézal, Lise; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2015-01-01

    The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has risen to the status of a top model organism for biological research in the last fifty years. Among laboratory animals, this tiny nematode is one of the simplest and easiest organisms to handle. And its life outside the laboratory is beginning to be unveiled. Like other model organisms, C. elegans has a boom-and-bust lifestyle. It feasts on ephemeral bacterial blooms in decomposing fruits and stems. After resource depletion, its young larvae enter a migratory diapause stage, called the dauer. Organisms known to be associated with C. elegans include migration vectors (such as snails, slugs and isopods) and pathogens (such as microsporidia, fungi, bacteria and viruses). By deepening our understanding of the natural history of C. elegans, we establish a broader context and improved tools for studying its biology. PMID:25822066

  11. 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

  12. Forward and reverse mutagenesis in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kutscher, Lena M.; Shaham, Shai

    2014-01-01

    Mutagenesis drives natural selection. In the lab, mutations allow gene function to be deciphered. C. elegans is highly amendable to functional genetics because of its short generation time, ease of use, and wealth of available gene-alteration techniques. Here we provide an overview of historical and contemporary methods for mutagenesis in C. elegans, and discuss principles and strategies for forward (genome-wide mutagenesis) and reverse (target-selected and gene-specific mutagenesis) genetic studies in this animal. PMID:24449699

  13. Neurogenetics of vesicular transporters in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Rand, J B; Duerr, J S; Frisby, D L

    2000-12-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has a number of advantages for the analysis of synaptic molecules. These include a simple nervous system in which all cells are identified and synaptic connectivity is known and reproducible, a large collection of mutants and powerful methods of genetic analysis, simple methods for the generation and analysis of transgenic animals, and a number of relatively simple quantifiable behaviors. Studies in C. elegans have made major contributions to our understanding of vesicular transmitter transporters. Two of the four classes of vesicular transporters so far identified (VAChT and VGAT) were first described and cloned in C. elegans; in both cases, the genes were first identified and cloned by means of mutations causing a suggestive phenotype (1, 2). The phenotypes of eat-4 mutants and the cell biology of the EAT-4 protein were critical in the identification of this protein as the vesicular glutamate transporter (3, 4). In addition, the unusual gene structure associated with the cholinergic locus was first described in C. elegans (5). The biochemical properties of the nematode transporters are surprisingly similar to their vertebrate counterparts, and they can be assayed under similar conditions using the same types of mammalian cells (6, 7). In addition, mild and severe mutants (including knockouts) are available for each of the four C. elegans vesicular transporters, which has permitted a careful evaluation of the role(s) of vesicular transport in transmitter-specific behaviors. Accordingly, it seems appropriate at this time to present the current status of the field. In this review, we will first discuss the properties of C. elegans vesicular transporters and transporter mutants, and then explore some of the lessons and insights C. elegans research has provided to the field of vesicular transport. PMID:11099459

  14. Mitochondrial Cell Death Pathways in Caenorhabiditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Seervi, Mahendra; Xue, Ding

    2015-01-01

    Programmed cell death is an evolutionarily conserved process essential for animal development and tissue homeostasis. Mitochondria have been demonstrated to play a central role in regulating both the activation and the execution of apoptosis. In particular, mitochondria release multiple proapoptotic factors from its intermembrane space, leading to both caspase-dependent and -independent cell death. Despite the pivotal roles of invertebrate animal models, Caenorhabiditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, in deciphering conserved pathways and mechanisms of programmed cell death, the importance of mitochondria to apoptosis of invertebrates remains elusive and largely unexplored. Recent studies have corroborated significant association between mitochondria and apoptosis in C. elegans, making it a thrust area of investigations. In this review, we detail the roles of mitochondrial proteins in mediating execution of cell death in C. elegans, including chromosome fragmentation, phosphatidylserine externalization, and elimination of mitochondria, and discuss the potential roles of mitochondria in the activation of C. elegans cell death. The combination of traditional powerful genetic tools and the emergence of the multiple new reverse genetic techniques, including the highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing method, should make C. elegans an ideal animal model for analyzing mitochondrial cell death pathways and associated regulatory mechanisms. PMID:26431563

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Regulation of Body Fat in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasan, Supriya

    2016-01-01

    Studies conducted in C. elegans over the last decade highlight the ancient and complex origins of body fat regulation. In this critical review, I introduce the major functional approaches used to study energy balance and body fat, the lipid composition of C. elegans, the regulation of cellular fat metabolism and its transcriptional control. Next I describe the influence of the sensory nervous system on body fat and the major regulatory mechanisms that couple food perception in the nervous system with the production of energy via fat metabolism. The final section describes the opportunities for the discovery of neuroendocrine factors that control 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. [Cutaneous mold fungus granuloma from Ulocladium chartarum].

    PubMed

    Altmeyer, P; Schon, K

    1981-01-01

    Cutaneous granulomas due to the mold fungus Ulocladium chartarum (Preuss) are described in a 58 year old woman. This fungus is usually harmless for mammalian. It is thought that a consisting immunosuppression (Brill-Symmer's disease, therapy with corticosteroids) was a priming condition for the infection. The route of infection in this patient described is unknown. PMID:7194869

  5. Neurophysiological methods in C. elegans: an introduction.

    PubMed

    Schafer, William R

    2006-01-01

    The simple and well-defined structure of the C. elegans nervous system has made it an attractive model for studying the neural and genetic basis of behavior. However, the wider use physiological methods for monitoring neural activity in vivo or determining the effects of specific ion channels on neuronal function has been a relatively recent development. This chapter presents a compendium of protocols and technical reports on the current state of the art in C. elegans electrophysiology and neuroimaging. These include methods for calcium imaging in intact animals, in situ electrical recording from neurons and muscle cells, and in vitro recording from cultured neurons and oocytes. PMID:18050439

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Granulicatella elegans Causing Periorbital Infection During Orthodontic Treatment.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong Joon; Choi, Bo Mi; Choi, Kyung Seek

    2016-01-01

    Granulicatella elegans is a normal component of the oral flora and is an unusual causative agent of infective endocarditis. A case of G. elegans periorbital infection of the eyelid after dental treatment is reported. A healthy 35-year-old man presented with painful swelling of the left upper eyelid. He was empirically treated with oral amoxicillin for 1 week. He presented 3 months later with the same clinical features. G. elegans and Staphylococcus epidermidis were identified in bacterial cultures from wound aspirates. Probable relapse of periorbital infection was successfully treated with a 6-week course of oral amoxicillin. This is the first reported case of a non-bloodstream infection caused by G. elegans. Clinicians should be aware of G. elegans as an unusual causative agent of periorbital infection. Within the limitations of this case report, prolonged antibiotic therapy is recommended for a G. elegans periorbital infection to minimize the risk of relapse. PMID:25105523

  14. Chemical detoxification of small molecules by C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Stupp, Gregory S.; von Reuss, Stephan H.; Izrayelit, Yevgeniy; Ajredini, Ramadan; Schroeder, Frank C.; Edison, Arthur S.

    2012-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans lives in compost and decaying fruit, eats bacteria and is exposed to pathogenic microbes. We show that C. elegans is able to modify diverse microbial small-molecule toxins via both O-and N-glucosylation as well as unusual 3′-O-phosphorylation of the resulting glucosides. The resulting glucosylated derivatives have significantly reduced toxicity to C. elegans, suggesting that these chemical modifications represent a general mechanism for worms to detoxify their environments. PMID:23163740

  15. Alternariol 9-methyl ether from the endophytic fungus Alternaria sp. Samif01 and its bioactivities.

    PubMed

    Lou, Jingfeng; Yu, Ruiting; Wang, Xiaohan; Mao, Ziling; Fu, Linyun; Liu, Yang; Zhou, Ligang

    2016-01-01

    One bioactive compound, identified as alternariol 9-methyl ether, was isolated from the crude extract of the endophytic fungus Alternaria sp. Samif01 residing in the roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge. Alternariol 9-methyl ether was active against bacteria with minimum inhibitory concentration values ranging from 25 to 75μg/mL and median inhibitory concentration (IC50) values ranging from 16.00 to 38.27μg/mL. The IC50 value of alternariol 9-methyl ether against spore germination of Magnaporthe oryzae was 87.18μg/mL. Alternariol 9-methyl ether also showed antinematodal activity against Bursaphelenchus xylophilus and Caenorhabditis elegans with IC50 values of 98.17μg/mL and 74.62μg/mL, respectively. This work is the first report on alternariol 9-methyl ether and its biological activities from the endophytic fungus Alternaria sp. Samif01 derived from S. miltiorrhiza Bunge. The results indicate the potential of Alternaria sp. Samif01 as a source of alternariol 9-methyl ether and also support that alternariol 9-methyl ether is a natural compound with high potential bioactivity against microorganisms. PMID:26887231

  16. Alternariol 9-methyl ether from the endophytic fungus Alternaria sp. Samif01 and its bioactivities

    PubMed Central

    Lou, Jingfeng; Yu, Ruiting; Wang, Xiaohan; Mao, Ziling; Fu, Linyun; Liu, Yang; Zhou, Ligang

    2016-01-01

    One bioactive compound, identified as alternariol 9-methyl ether, was isolated from the crude extract of the endophytic fungus Alternaria sp. Samif01 residing in the roots of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge. Alternariol 9-methyl ether was active against bacteria with minimum inhibitory concentration values ranging from 25 to 75 μg/mL and median inhibitory concentration (IC50) values ranging from 16.00 to 38.27 μg/mL. The IC50 value of alternariol 9-methyl ether against spore germination of Magnaporthe oryzae was 87.18 μg/mL. Alternariol 9-methyl ether also showed antinematodal activity against Bursaphelenchus xylophilus and Caenorhabditis elegans with IC50 values of 98.17 μg/mL and 74.62 μg/mL, respectively. This work is the first report on alternariol 9-methyl ether and its biological activities from the endophytic fungus Alternaria sp. Samif01 derived from S. miltiorrhiza Bunge. The results indicate the potential of Alternaria sp. Samif01 as a source of alternariol 9-methyl ether and also support that alternariol 9-methyl ether is a natural compound with high potential bioactivity against microorganisms. PMID:26887231

  17. 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

  18. C. elegans in high-throughput drug discovery

    PubMed Central

    O’Reilly, Linda P.; Luke, Cliff J.; Perlmutter, David H.; Silverman, Gary A.; Pak, Stephen C.

    2014-01-01

    C. elegans has proven to be a useful model organism for investigating molecular and cellular aspects of numerous human diseases. More recently, investigators have explored the use of this organism as a tool for drug discovery. Although earlier drug screens were labor-intensive and low in throughput, recent advances in high-throughput liquid workflows, imaging platforms and data analysis software have made C. elegans a viable option for automated high-throughput drug screens. This review will outline the evolution of C. elegans-based drug screening, discuss the inherent challenges of using C. elegans, and highlight recent technological advances that have paved the way for future drug screens. PMID:24333896

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Locomotion of C elegans in structured environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majmudar, Trushant; Keaveny, Eric; Shelley, Michael; Zhang, Jun

    2011-11-01

    We have established a combined experimental and numerical platform to study the swimming dynamics of an undulating worm in structured environments (fluid-filled micro-pillar arrays). We have shown that the worm (C. elegans) swims with different velocity and frequency depending on the lattice spacing and our purely mechanistic simulations (elastically linked bead-chain) reproduce the experimental results qualitatively and quantitatively, including ``life-like'' trajectories the worm exhibits. We build upon this platform to investigate more complex environments, such as linear and radial lattices, with gradients in spacing. In addition, we study C. elegans mutants to investigate the role of length of the worm, frequency of undulations, and mechano-sensation on the resultant dynamics. We also examine the worm moving through a lattice with random distribution of obstacles - a model soil-like environment. Our combined experimental and simulations approach allows us to gain insights into the dynamics of locomotion of undulating microorganisms in realistic complex environments.

  7. [C. elegans: of neurons and genes].

    PubMed

    Gally, Christelle; Bessereau, Jean-Louis

    2003-01-01

    The human brain contains 100 billion neurons and probably one thousand times more synapses. Such a system can be analyzed at different complexity levels, from cognitive functions to molecular structure of ion channels. However, it remains extremely difficult to establish links between these different levels. An alternative strategy relies on the use of much simpler animals that can be easily manipulated. In 1974, S. Brenner introduced the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. This worm has a simple nervous system that only contains 302 neurons and about 7,000 synapses. Forward genetic screens are powerful tools to identify genes required for specific neuron functions and behaviors. Moreover, studies of mutant phenotypes can identify the function of a protein in the nervous system. The data that have been obtained in C. elegans demonstrate a fascinating conservation of the molecular and cellular biology of the neuron between worms and mammals through more than 550 million years of evolution. PMID:12942444

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. Fungus-insect gall of Phlebopus portentosus.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chun-Xia; He, Ming-Xia; Cao, Yang; Liu, Jing; Gao, Feng; Wang, Wen-Bing; Ji, Kai-Ping; Shao, Shi-Cheng; Wang, Yun

    2015-01-01

    Phlebopus portentosus is a popular edible wild mushroom found in the tropical Yunnan, China, and northern Thailand. In its natural habitats, a gall often has been found on some plant roots, around which fungal fruiting bodies are produced. The galls are different from common insect galls in that their cavity walls are not made from plant tissue but rather from the hyphae of P. portentosus. Therefore we have termed this phenomenon "fungus-insect gall". Thus far six root mealy bug species in the family Pseudococcidae that form fungus-insect galls with P. portentosus have been identified: Formicococcus polysperes, Geococcus satellitum, Planococcus minor, Pseudococcus cryptus, Paraputo banzigeri and Rastrococcus invadens. Fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of more than 21 plant species, including Delonix regia, Citrus maxima, Coffea arabica and Artocarpus heterophyllus. Greenhouse inoculation trials showed that fungus-insect galls were found on the roots of A. heterophyllus 1 mo after inoculation. The galls were subglobose to globose, fulvous when young and became dark brown at maturation. Each gall harbored one or more mealy bugs and had a chimney-like vent for ventilation and access to the gall. The cavity wall had three layers. Various shaped mealy bug wax deposits were found inside the wall. Fungal hyphae invaded the epidermis of plant roots and sometimes even the cortical cells during the late stage of gall development. The identity of the fungus inside the cavity was confirmed by molecular methods. PMID:25344264

  16. The Caenorhabiditis elegans model as a reliable tool in neurotoxicology

    PubMed Central

    Avila, Daiana; Helmcke, Kirsten; Aschner, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Caenorhabiditis elegans (C. elegans) offers an attractive experimental platform as it has a short life cycle, is inexpensive to maintain and most importantly has high degree of evolutionary conservation with higher eukaryotes. Understanding the contribution of inherent genes that regulate neurotoxicity and antioxidant stress responses in the worm provides critical insight into mechanisms of mammalian neurotoxicity. The C. elegans model readily enables multi-gene approach, allowing for combinatorial genetic variation to be studied within the context of the influence of multigenic polymorphisms in environmental risk and vulnerability. This review provides a synopsis of recent studies on metal and pesticides toxicity in C. elegans, highlighting the utility of the model system in understanding molecular mechanisms that underlie developmental, reproductive and neuronal damage. The continuation of these investigations combining basic toxicological experimentation with novel genetic and high throughput methods will continue to make C. elegans an invaluable tool for future research, providing insight into molecular and cellular mechanisms of toxicity. PMID:21148196

  17. 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

  18. An unusual niche for an opportunistic fungus.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-del Valle, N; Quigdley, L; Silva-Ruíz, S A

    1991-02-01

    An acrylic on canvas painting from the collection of the Institute of Puerto Rico Culture was found to be stained with light brown spots. Under ultraviolet light it was evident that these spots covered the entire painting. Scotch tape samples from different areas of the painting were taken. In almost all of these samples, septated hyphae were observed to surround the canvas fibers and in most of them, spiny or rough-surfaced conidia were also observed. A sample from the canvas which was incubated over a Sabourand agar plate yielded a fungus very similar to the one observed in the tape samples after subculturing in potato dextrose agar. Slide cultures and culture characteristics provided evidence that this fungus was a species of Scopulariopsis. This fungus has been implicated in human disease and in this case, it was the cause of the deterioration of the painting. PMID:2043232

  19. Dentigerumycin: a bacterial mediator of an ant-fungus symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Dong-Chan; Poulsen, Michael; Currie, Cameron R.; Clardy, Jon

    2009-01-01

    Fungus-growing ants engage in mutualistic associations with both the fungus they cultivate for food and actinobacteria (Pseudonocardia spp.) that produce selective antibiotics to defend that fungus from specialized fungal parasites. In the first system to be analyzed at the molecular level, the bacterium associated with the ant Apterostigma dentigerum produces dentigerumycin, a cyclic depsipeptide with highly modified amino acids, to selectively inhibit the parasitic fungus (Escovopsis sp.). PMID:19330011

  20. Microbial light-activatable proton pumps as neuronal inhibitors to functionally dissect neuronal networks in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Husson, Steven J; Liewald, Jana F; Schultheis, Christian; Stirman, Jeffrey N; Lu, Hang; Gottschalk, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Essentially any behavior in simple and complex animals depends on neuronal network function. Currently, the best-defined system to study neuronal circuits is the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, as the connectivity of its 302 neurons is exactly known. Individual neurons can be activated by photostimulation of Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) using blue light, allowing to directly probe the importance of a particular neuron for the respective behavioral output of the network under study. In analogy, other excitable cells can be inhibited by expressing Halorhodopsin from Natronomonas pharaonis (NpHR) and subsequent illumination with yellow light. However, inhibiting C. elegans neurons using NpHR is difficult. Recently, proton pumps from various sources were established as valuable alternative hyperpolarizers. Here we show that archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch) from Halorubrum sodomense and a proton pump from the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans (Mac) can be utilized to effectively inhibit excitable cells in C. elegans. Arch is the most powerful hyperpolarizer when illuminated with yellow or green light while the action spectrum of Mac is more blue-shifted, as analyzed by light-evoked behaviors and electrophysiology. This allows these tools to be combined in various ways with ChR2 to analyze different subsets of neurons within a circuit. We exemplify this by means of the polymodal aversive sensory ASH neurons, and the downstream command interneurons to which ASH neurons signal to trigger a reversal followed by a directional turn. Photostimulating ASH and subsequently inhibiting command interneurons using two-color illumination of different body segments, allows investigating temporal aspects of signaling downstream of ASH. PMID:22815873

  1. Open-Ended Experimentation with the Fungus Pilobolus.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coble, Charles R.; Bland, Charles E.

    This paper describes open-ended experimentation with the fungus Pilobolus for laboratory work by high school students. The fungus structure and reproduction is described and sources of the fungus are suggested. Four areas for investigation are suggested: the effect of a diffuse light source, the effect of a point light source, the effect of light…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Solanapyrone analogues from a Hawaiian fungicolous fungus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Four new solanayrone analogues (solanapyrones J-M; 1-4) have been isolated from an unidentified fungicolous fungus collected in Hawaii. The structures and relative configurations of these compounds were determined by analysis of ID NMR, 2D NMR, and MS data. Solanapyrone J(1) showed antifungal acti...

  9. 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

  10. Alcohol Disinhibition of Behaviors in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Topper, Stephen M.; Aguilar, Sara C.; Topper, Viktoria Y.; Elbel, Erin; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T.

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol has a wide variety of effects on physiology and behavior. One of the most well-recognized behavioral effects is disinhibition, where behaviors that are normally suppressed are displayed following intoxication. A large body of evidence has shown that alcohol-induced disinhibition in humans affects attention, verbal, sexual, and locomotor behaviors. Similar behavioral disinhibition is also seen in many animal models of ethanol response, from invertebrates to mammals and primates. Here we describe several examples of disinhibition in the nematode C. elegans. The nematode displays distinct behavioral states associated with locomotion (crawling on land and swimming in water) that are mediated by dopamine. On land, animals crawl and feed freely, but these behaviors are inhibited in water. We found that additional behaviors, including a variety of escape responses are also inhibited in water. Whereas alcohol non-specifically impaired locomotion, feeding, and escape responses in worms on land, alcohol specifically disinhibited these behaviors in worms immersed in water. Loss of dopamine signaling relieved disinhibition of feeding behavior, while loss of the D1-like dopamine receptor DOP-4 impaired the ethanol-induced disinhibition of crawling. The powerful genetics and simple nervous system of C. elegans may help uncover conserved molecular mechanisms that underlie alcohol-induced disinhibition of behaviors in higher animals. PMID:24681782

  11. 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

  12. Visualizing Neuroblast Cytokinesis During C. elegans Embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Wernike, Denise; van Oostende, Chloe; Piekny, Alisa

    2014-01-01

    This protocol describes the use of fluorescence microscopy to image dividing cells within developing Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. In particular, this protocol focuses on how to image dividing neuroblasts, which are found underneath the epidermal cells and may be important for epidermal morphogenesis. Tissue formation is crucial for metazoan development and relies on external cues from neighboring tissues. C. elegans is an excellent model organism to study tissue morphogenesis in vivo due to its transparency and simple organization, making its tissues easy to study via microscopy. Ventral enclosure is the process where the ventral surface of the embryo is covered by a single layer of epithelial cells. This event is thought to be facilitated by the underlying neuroblasts, which provide chemical guidance cues to mediate migration of the overlying epithelial cells. However, the neuroblasts are highly proliferative and also may act as a mechanical substrate for the ventral epidermal cells. Studies using this experimental protocol could uncover the importance of intercellular communication during tissue formation, and could be used to reveal the roles of genes involved in cell division within developing tissues. PMID:24686748

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. CRISPR-Cas9-guided Genome Engineering in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun-Min; Colaiácovo, Monica P.

    2016-01-01

    The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) system is successfully being used for efficient and targeted genome editing in various organisms including the nematode C. elegans. Recent studies developed various CRISPR-Cas9 approaches to enhance genome engineering via two major DNA double-strand break repair pathways: non-homologous end joining and homologous recombination. Here we describe a protocol for Cas9-mediated C. elegans genome editing together with single guide RNA (sgRNA) and repair template cloning and injection methods required for delivering Cas9, sgRNAs and repair template DNA into the C. elegans germline. PMID:27366893

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Sensory systems: their impact on C. elegans survival

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yun; Alcedo, Joy

    2014-01-01

    Summary An animal’s survival strongly depends on a nervous system that can rapidly process and integrate the changing quality of its environment and promote the most appropriate physiological responses. This is amply demonstrated in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, where its sensory system has been shown to impact multiple physiological traits that range from behavior and developmental plasticity to longevity. Because of the accessibility of its nervous system and the number of tools available to study and manipulate its neural circuitry, C. elegans has thus become an important model organism in dissecting the mechanisms through which the nervous system promotes survival. Here we review our current understanding of how the C. elegans sensory system affects diverse physiological traits, whose coordination would be essential for survival under fluctuating environments. The knowledge we derive from the C. elegans studies should provide testable hypotheses in discovering similar mechanisms in higher animals. PMID:24997267

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. The Geometry of Locomotive Behavioral States in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Bjorness, Theresa; Greene, Robert; You, Young-Jai

    2013-01-01

    We develop a new hidden Markov model-based method to analyze C elegans locomotive behavior and use this method to quantitatively characterize behavioral states. In agreement with previous work, we find states corresponding to roaming, dwelling, and quiescence. However, we also find evidence for a continuum of intermediate states. We suggest that roaming, dwelling, and quiescence may best be thought of as extremes which, mixed in any proportion, define the locomotive repertoire of C elegans foraging and feeding behavior. PMID:23555813

  3. Imaging Lipid Metabolism in Live Caenorhabditis elegans Using Fingerprint Vibrations**

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ping; Liu, Bin; Zhang, Delong; Belew, Micah Y.; Cheng, Ji-Xin

    2015-01-01

    Quantitation of lipid storage, desaturation, and oxidation in live C. elegans has been a long-standing obstacle. By hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering imaging and multivariate analysis in fingerprint vibration region, we present a platform that allows quantitative mapping of fat distribution, degree of fat unsaturation, lipid oxidation, and cholesterol storage in vivo in whole worm. Our results reveal for the first time that lysosome related organelles in intestinal cells are sites for storage of cholesterol in C. elegans. PMID:25195517

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. Flow analysis of C. elegans swimming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montenegro-Johnson, Thomas; Gagnon, David; Arratia, Paulo; Lauga, Eric

    2015-11-01

    Improved understanding of microscopic swimming has the potential to impact numerous biomedical and industrial processes. A crucial means of analyzing these systems is through experimental observation of flow fields, from which it is important to be able to accurately deduce swimmer physics such as power consumption, drag forces, and efficiency. We examine the swimming of the nematode worm C. elegans, a model system for undulatory micro-propulsion. Using experimental data of swimmer geometry and kinematics, we employ the regularized stokeslet boundary element method to simulate the swimming of this worm outside the regime of slender-body theory. Simulated flow fields are then compared with experimentally extracted values confined to the swimmer beat plane, demonstrating good agreement. We finally address the question of how to estimate three-dimensional flow information from two-dimensional measurements.

  14. [Report on a fungus parasitizing Entamoeba histolytica].

    PubMed

    Cao, C Q; Feng, Y S

    1989-01-01

    Infection of Entamoeba histolytica with chytridiaceous fungus Sphaerita was observed in some specimens obtained from a farmer and stained with iron-haematoxylin. The fungi were found in 78% of the cysts, mostly immature ones. Within the amoebae this parasite occurred singly, in groups, or in the form of a sporangium. It was located in the cytoplasm, the glycogen mass or the chromatoidal bars. In the same specimen, the parasitic fungus was also found in 18% of E. coli cysts; in 11% of E. nana cysts; while only one of 16 E. hartmanni cysts was parasitized. It is an interesting case of superimposed parasitism so far reported in China as well as a rare case of several species of amoebae being heavily involved with the same in the scientific literature. PMID:2548767

  15. 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

  16. [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

  17. [Melanin complex of the fungus Inonotus obliquus].

    PubMed

    Babitskaia, V G; Shcherba, V V; Ikonnikova, N V

    2000-01-01

    The fungus Inonotus obliquus (Pers.) Pil. synthesised high-molecular-weight phenolic pigments that were assigned to melanins according to their physicochemical properties. It was showed that copper ions (0.008%), pyrocatechol (1.0 mM), and tyrosine (20.0 mM) stimulated the melanogenesis. The production of melanin correlated with the synthesis of o- and p-diphenoloxidases. The fungal melanin had strong antioxidant and genoprotective effects. PMID:10994193

  18. 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 ...

  19. Symbiotic Fungi Produce Laccases Potentially Involved in Phenol Degradation in Fungus Combs of Fungus-Growing Termites in Thailand†

    PubMed Central

    Taprab, Yaovapa; Johjima, Toru; Maeda, Yoshimasa; Moriya, Shigeharu; Trakulnaleamsai, Savitr; Noparatnaraporn, Napavarn; Ohkuma, Moriya; Kudo, Toshiaki

    2005-01-01

    Fungus-growing termites efficiently decompose plant litter through their symbiotic relationship with basidiomycete fungi of the genus Termitomyces. Here, we investigated phenol-oxidizing enzymes in symbiotic fungi and fungus combs (a substrate used to cultivate symbiotic fungi) from termites belonging to the genera Macrotermes, Odontotermes, and Microtermes in Thailand, because these enzymes are potentially involved in the degradation of phenolic compounds during fungus comb aging. Laccase activity was detected in all the fungus combs examined as well as in the culture supernatants of isolated symbiotic fungi. Conversely, no peroxidase activity was detected in any of the fungus combs or the symbiotic fungal cultures. The laccase cDNA fragments were amplified directly from RNA extracted from fungus combs of five termite species and a fungal isolate using degenerate primers targeting conserved copper binding domains of basidiomycete laccases, resulting in a total of 13 putative laccase cDNA sequences being identified. The full-length sequences of the laccase cDNA and the corresponding gene, lcc1-2, were identified from the fungus comb of Macrotermes gilvus and a Termitomyces strain isolated from the same fungus comb, respectively. Partial purification of laccase from the fungus comb showed that the lcc1-2 gene product was a dominant laccase in the fungus comb. These findings indicate that the symbiotic fungus secretes laccase to the fungus comb. In addition to laccase, we report novel genes that showed a significant similarity with fungal laccases, but the gene product lacked laccase activity. Interestingly, these genes were highly expressed in symbiotic fungi of all the termite hosts examined. PMID:16332742

  20. Function and regulation of TRP family channels in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Rui; Xu, X. Z. Shawn

    2010-01-01

    Seventeen transient receptor potential (TRP) family proteins are encoded by the C. elegans genome, and they cover all of the seven TRP subfamilies, including TRPC, TRPV, TRPM, TRPN, TRPA, TRPP and TRPML. Classical forward and reverse genetic screens have isolated mutant alleles in every C. elegans trp gene, and their characterizations have revealed novel functions and regulatory mechanisms of TRP channels. For example, the TRPC channels TRP-1 and TRP-2 control nicotine-dependent behavior, while TRP-3, a sperm TRPC channel, is regulated by sperm activation and required for sperm-egg interactions during fertilization. Similar to their vertebrate counterparts, C. elegans TRPs function in sensory physiology. For instance, the TRPV channels OSM-9 and OCR-2 act in chemosensation, osmosensation and touch sensation, the TRPA member TRPA-1 regulates touch sensation, while the TRPN channel TRP-4 mediates proprioception. Some C. elegans TRPM, TRPP and TRPML members exhibit cellular functions similar to their vertebrate homologues and have provided insights into human diseases, including polycystic kidney disease, hypomagnesemia and mucolipidosis type IV. The availability of a complete set of trp gene mutants in conjunction with its facile genetics makes C. elegans a powerful model for studying the function and regulation of TRP family channels in vivo. PMID:19421772

  1. 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

  2. Chemically Defined Medium and Caenorhabditis elegans: A Powerful Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szewczyk, N. J.; Kozak, E.; Conley, C. A.

    2003-01-01

    C. elegans has been established as a powerful genetic system. Growth in 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 me in large-scale growth and screening of animals. Here we present our initial results from developing culture systems with CeMM. 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 of 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 defined medium composition. 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.

  3. LRRK2 modulates vulnerability to mitochondrial dysfunction in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Saha, Shamol; Guillily, Maria; Ferree, Andrew; Lanceta, Joel; Chan, Diane; Ghosh, Joy; Hsu, Cindy H.; Segal, Lilach; Raghavan, Kesav; Matsumoto, Kunihiro; Hisamoto, Naoki; Kuwahara, Tomoki; Iwatsubo, Takeshi; Moore, Landon; Goldstein, Lee; Cookson, Mark; Wolozin, Benjamin

    2009-01-01

    Summary Mutations in leucine rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) cause autosomal dominant familial Parkinson’s disease. We generated lines of C. elegans expressing neuronally directed human LRRK2. Expressing human LRRK2 expression increased nematode survival in response to rotenone or paraquat, which are agents that cause mitochondrial dysfunction. Protection by G2019S, R1441C or kinase dead LRRK2 was less than protection by wild type LRRK2. Knockdown of lrk-1, the endogenous orthologue of LRRK2 in C. elegans, reduced survival associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. C. elegans expressing LRRK2 showed rapid loss of dopaminergic markers (DAT∷GFP fluorescence and dopamine levels) beginning in early adulthood. Loss of dopaminergic markers was greater for the G2019S LRRK2 line than for the WT line. Rotenone treatment induced a larger loss of dopamine markers in C. elegans expressing G2019S LRRK2 than in C. elegans expressing WT LRRK2; however loss of dopaminergic markers in the G2019S LRRK2 nematode lines was not statistically different than that in the control line. These data suggest that LRRK2 plays an important role in modulating the response to mitochondrial inhibition, and raises the possibility that mutations in LRRK2 selectively enhance the vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons to a stressor associated with Parkinson’s disease. PMID:19625511

  4. The dynamics of the thermal memory of C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryu, William; Palanski, Konstantine; Bartumeus, Frederic; Nemenman, Ilya

    2014-03-01

    C. elegans has the capacity to learn associatively. For example, C. elegans associates temperature with food and performs thermotaxis towards this temperature when placed on a spatial thermal gradient. However, very little is understood how C. elegans acquires this thermal memory. We have developed a novel droplet-based microfluidic assay to measure the dynamics of the thermal memory of C. elegans. Individual animals are placed in an array of microdroplets on a slide, and a linear temperature gradient of 0.5 deg/cm is applied to the array. By measuring the swimming motions of C. elegans in the droplets, we show that they can perform thermotaxis. By calculating an index of this taxis behavior over time, we quantify the worm's thermal memory and measure its dynamics when the animals are exposed to different conditions of feeding and starvation. Over a time scale of hours, we find that the thermal preference of wild-type worms decays and will actually become inverted and that mutations in the insulin signaling pathway perturb the dynamics. This biphasic conditional association can be explained with a reinforcement learning model with independent reinforcement and avoidance pathways with distinct time scales. Human Frontier Science Program.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Functional Genomic Analysis of C. elegans Molting

    PubMed Central

    Frand, Alison R; Russel, Sascha

    2005-01-01

    Although the molting cycle is a hallmark of insects and nematodes, neither the endocrine control of molting via size, stage, and nutritional inputs nor the enzymatic mechanism for synthesis and release of the exoskeleton is well understood. Here, we identify endocrine and enzymatic regulators of molting in C. elegans through a genome-wide RNA-interference screen. Products of the 159 genes discovered include annotated transcription factors, secreted peptides, transmembrane proteins, and extracellular matrix enzymes essential for molting. Fusions between several genes and green fluorescent protein show a pulse of expression before each molt in epithelial cells that synthesize the exoskeleton, indicating that the corresponding proteins are made in the correct time and place to regulate molting. We show further that inactivation of particular genes abrogates expression of the green fluorescent protein reporter genes, revealing regulatory networks that might couple the expression of genes essential for molting to endocrine cues. Many molting genes are conserved in parasitic nematodes responsible for human disease, and thus represent attractive targets for pesticide and pharmaceutical development. PMID:16122351

  10. 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

  11. Achieving immortality in the C. elegans germline.

    PubMed

    Smelick, Chris; Ahmed, Shawn

    2005-01-01

    Germline immortality is a topic that has intrigued theoretical biologists interested in aging for over a century. The germ cell lineage can be passed from one generation to the next, indefinitely. In contrast, somatic cells are typically only needed for a single generation and are then discarded. Germ cells may, therefore, harbor rejuvenation mechanisms that enable them to proliferate for eons. Such processes are thought to be either absent from or down-regulated in somatic cells, although cell non-autonomous forms of rejuvenation are formally possible. A thorough description of mechanisms that foster eternal youth in germ cells is lacking. The mysteries of germline immortality are being addressed in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by studying mutants that reproduce normally for several generations but eventually become sterile. The mortal germline mutants probably become sterile as a consequence of accumulating various forms of heritable cellular damage. Such mutants are abundant, indicating that several different biochemical pathways are required to rejuvenate the germline. Thus, forward genetics should help to define mechanisms that enable the germline to achieve immortality. PMID:15619471

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Overview of gene structure in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Spieth, John; Lawson, Daniel; Davis, Paul; Williams, Gary; Howe, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    In the early stage of the C. elegans sequencing project, the ab initio gene prediction program Genefinder was used to find protein-coding genes. Subsequently, protein-coding genes structures have been actively curated by WormBase using evidence from all available data sources. Most coding loci were identified by the Genefinder program, but the process of gene curation results in a continual refinement of the details of gene structure, involving the correction and confirmation of intron splice sites, the addition of alternate splicing forms, the merging and splitting of incorrect predictions, and the creation and extension of 5' and 3' ends. The development of new technologies results in the availability of further data sources, and these are incorporated into the evidence used to support the curated structures. Non-coding genes are more difficult to curate using this methodology, and so the structures for most of these have been imported from the literature or from specialist databases of ncRNA data. This article describes the structure and curation of transcribed regions of genes. PMID:25368915

  16. In situ soil remediation: Bacteria or fungi?

    SciTech Connect

    Cutright, T.J.; Lee, S.

    1995-07-01

    Contamination of the environment is not a new problem. For most of recorded history, the unwanted byproducts of industrial and residential processes have been dumped into unlined pits or nearby streams. Although disposal techniques have greatly improved, significant quantities of hazardous materials are still being released to the environment via accidental spills and leaking underground storage tanks. One particular group of contaminants of critical environmental concern is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAH-contaminated sites typically cover large areas; therefore, the development of in situ remediation techniques such as bioremediation is strongly emphasized. In situations when inherent microorganisms are not capable of degrading the contaminants, foreign strains must be used. Bioremediation experiments were conducted to compare the remediation efficiencies of a bacteria and a fungus for an industrially PAH contaminated soil. Specifically, the use of three supplemental nutrient solutions were investigated in conjunction with the bacteria Achromobacter sp. and fungus Cunninghamella echinulata var. elegans.

  17. Expanding Distribution of Lethal Amphibian Fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe.

    PubMed

    Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Martel, An; Asselberghs, Johan; Bales, Emma K; Beukema, Wouter; Bletz, Molly C; Dalbeck, Lutz; Goverse, Edo; Kerres, Alexander; Kinet, Thierry; Kirst, Kai; Laudelout, Arnaud; Marin da Fonte, Luis F; Nöllert, Andreas; Ohlhoff, Dagmar; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Schmidt, Benedikt R; Speybroeck, Jeroen; Spikmans, Frank; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Veith, Michael; Vences, Miguel; Wagner, Norman; Pasmans, Frank; Lötters, Stefan

    2016-07-01

    Emerging fungal diseases can drive amphibian species to local extinction. During 2010-2016, we examined 1,921 urodeles in 3 European countries. Presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans at new locations and in urodeles of different species expands the known geographic and host range of the fungus and underpins its imminent threat to biodiversity. PMID:27070102

  18. Draft Genome Sequence of the Cellulolytic Fungus Chaetomium globosum

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Li-Jun; Grabherr, Manfred; Birren, Bruce W.

    2015-01-01

    Chaetomium globosum is a filamentous fungus typically isolated from cellulosic substrates. This species also causes superficial infections of humans and, more rarely, can cause cerebral infections. Here, we report the genome sequence of C. globosum isolate CBS 148.51, which will facilitate the study and comparative analysis of this fungus. PMID:25720678

  19. Metacridamides A and B from the biocontrol fungus metarhizium acridum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Metarhizium acridum, an entomopathogenic fungus, has been commercialized and used successfully for biocontrol of grasshopper pests in Africa and Australia. As part of an effort to catalog the secondary metabolites of this fungus we discovered that its conidia produce two novel 17-membered macrocycl...

  20. Association of fungus gnats with oomycetal plant pathogens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dark-winged fungus gnats in the genus Bradysia (Diptera: Sciaridae) are especially abundant in greenhouse plant production. It is thought that adult fungus gnats do not feed in the greenhouse setting; however sciarid larvae are known to feed on microorganisms in the soil, including various Oomycete...

  1. Expanding Distribution of Lethal Amphibian Fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Martel, An; Asselberghs, Johan; Bales, Emma K.; Beukema, Wouter; Bletz, Molly C.; Dalbeck, Lutz; Goverse, Edo; Kerres, Alexander; Kinet, Thierry; Kirst, Kai; Laudelout, Arnaud; Marin da Fonte, Luis F.; Nöllert, Andreas; Ohlhoff, Dagmar; Sabino-Pinto, Joana; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Speybroeck, Jeroen; Spikmans, Frank; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Veith, Michael; Vences, Miguel; Wagner, Norman; Pasmans, Frank

    2016-01-01

    Emerging fungal diseases can drive amphibian species to local extinction. During 2010–2016, we examined 1,921 urodeles in 3 European countries. Presence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans at new locations and in urodeles of different species expands the known geographic and host range of the fungus and underpins its imminent threat to biodiversity. PMID:27070102

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Mechanisms of innate immunity in C. elegans epidermis

    PubMed Central

    Taffoni, Clara; Pujol, Nathalie

    2015-01-01

    The roundworm C. elegans has been successfully used for more than 50 y as a genetically tractable invertebrate model in diverse biological fields such as neurobiology, development and interactions. C. elegans feeds on bacteria and can be naturally infected by a wide range of microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria and fungi. Most of these pathogens infect C. elegans through its gut, but some have developed ways to infect the epidermis. In this review, we will mainly focus on epidermal innate immunity, in particular the signaling pathways and effectors activated upon wounding and fungal infection that serve to protect the host. We will discuss the parallels that exist between epidermal innate immune responses in nematodes and mammals. PMID:26716073

  6. Metabotropic GABA signalling modulates longevity in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chun, Lei; Gong, Jianke; Yuan, Fengling; Zhang, Bi; Liu, Hongkang; Zheng, Tianlin; Yu, Teng; Xu, X. Z. Shawn; Liu, Jianfeng

    2015-01-01

    The nervous system plays an important but poorly understood role in modulating longevity. GABA, a prominent inhibitory neurotransmitter, is best known to regulate nervous system function and behaviour in diverse organisms. Whether GABA signalling affects aging, however, has not been explored. Here we examined mutants lacking each of the major neurotransmitters in C. elegans, and find that deficiency in GABA signalling extends lifespan. This pro-longevity effect is mediated by the metabotropic GABAB receptor GBB-1, but not ionotropic GABAA receptors. GBB-1 regulates lifespan through G protein-PLCβ signalling, which transmits longevity signals to the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO, a key regulator of lifespan. Mammalian GABAB receptors can functionally substitute for GBB-1 in lifespan control in C. elegans. Our results uncover a new role of GABA signalling in lifespan regulation in C. elegans, raising the possibility that a similar process may occur in other organisms. PMID:26537867

  7. Microbial pathogenesis and host defense in the nematode C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Lianne B.; Troemel, Emily R.

    2014-01-01

    Epithelial cells line the surfaces of the body, and are on the front lines of defense against microbial infection. Like many other metazoans, the nematode C. elegans lacks known professional immune cells and relies heavily on defense mediated by epithelial cells. New results indicate that epithelial defense in C. elegans can be triggered through detection of pathogen-induced perturbation of core physiology within host cells and through autophagic defense against intracellular and extracellular pathogens. Recent studies have also illuminated a diverse array of pathogenic attack strategies used against C. elegans. These findings are providing insight into the underpinnings of host/pathogen interactions in a simple animal host that can inform studies of infectious diseases in humans. PMID:25461579

  8. CRISPR-Cas9-Guided Genome Engineering in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyun-Min; Colaiácovo, Monica P

    2016-01-01

    The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated) system is successfully being used for efficient and targeted genome editing in various organisms, including the nematode C. elegans. Recent studies have developed various CRISPR-Cas9 approaches to enhance genome engineering via two major DNA double-strand break repair pathways: non-homologous end joining and homologous recombination. Here we describe a protocol for Cas9-mediated C. elegans genome editing together with single guide RNA (sgRNA) and repair template cloning, as well as injection methods required for delivering Cas9, sgRNAs, and repair template DNA into the C. elegans germline. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27366893

  9. Femtosecond laser dissection in C. elegans neural circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samuel, Aravinthan D. T.; Chung, Samuel H.; Clark, Damon A.; Gabel, Christopher V.; Chang, Chieh; Murthy, Venkatesh; Mazur, Eric

    2006-02-01

    The nematode C. elegans, a millimeter-long roundworm, is a well-established model organism for studies of neural development and behavior, however physiological methods to manipulate and monitor the activity of its neural network have lagged behind the development of powerful methods in genetics and molecular biology. The small size and transparency of C. elegans make the worm an ideal test-bed for the development of physiological methods derived from optics and microscopy. We present the development and application of a new physiological tool: femtosecond laser dissection, which allows us to selectively ablate segments of individual neural fibers within live C. elegans. Femtosecond laser dissection provides a scalpel with submicrometer resolution, and we discuss its application in studies of neural growth, regenerative growth, and the neural basis of behavior.

  10. Dissection of C. elegans behavioral genetics in 3-D environments

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Namseop; Hwang, Ara B.; You, Young-Jai; V. Lee, Seung-Jae; Ho Je, Jung

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a widely used model for genetic dissection of animal behaviors. Despite extensive technical advances in imaging methods, it remains challenging to visualize and quantify C. elegans behaviors in three-dimensional (3-D) natural environments. Here we developed an innovative 3-D imaging method that enables quantification of C. elegans behavior in 3-D environments. Furthermore, for the first time, we characterized 3-D-specific behavioral phenotypes of mutant worms that have defects in head movement or mechanosensation. This approach allowed us to reveal previously unknown functions of genes in behavioral regulation. We expect that our 3-D imaging method will facilitate new investigations into genetic basis of animal behaviors in natural 3-D environments. PMID:25955271

  11. Behavioral plasticity in C. elegans: paradigms, circuits, genes.

    PubMed

    Hobert, Oliver

    2003-01-01

    Life in the soil is an intellectual and practical challenge that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans masters by utilizing 302 neurons. The nervous system assembled by these 302 neurons is capable of executing a variety of behaviors, some of respectable complexity. The simplicity of the nervous system, its thoroughly characterized structure, several sets of well-defined behaviors, and its genetic amenability combined with its isogenic background make C. elegans an attractive model organism to study the genetics of behavior. This review describes several behavioral plasticity paradigms in C. elegans and their underlying neuronal circuits and then goes on to review the forward genetic analysis that has been undertaken to identify genes involved in the execution of these behaviors. Lastly, the review outlines how reverse genetics and genomic approaches can guide the analysis of the role of genes in behavior and why and how they will complement the forward genetic analysis of behavior. PMID:12486705

  12. The nematode C. elegans as a complex viscoelastic fluid.

    PubMed

    Backholm, Matilda; Ryu, William S; Dalnoki-Veress, Kari

    2015-05-01

    The viscoelastic material properties of the model organism C. elegans were probed with a micropipette deflection technique and modelled with the standard linear solid model. Dynamic relaxation measurements were performed on the millimetric nematode to investigate its viscous characteristics in detail. We show that the internal properties of C. elegans can not be fully described by a simple Newtonian fluid. Instead, a power-law fluid model was implemented and shown to be in excellent agreement with experimental results. The nematode exhibits shear thinning properties and its complex fluid characteristics were quantified. The bending-rate dependence of the internal damping coefficient of C. elegans could affect its gait modulation in different external environments. PMID:25957177

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Bacterial farming by the fungus Morchella crassipes

    PubMed Central

    Pion, Martin; Spangenberg, Jorge E.; Simon, Anaele; Bindschedler, Saskia; Flury, Coralie; Chatelain, Auriel; Bshary, Redouan; Job, Daniel; Junier, Pilar

    2013-01-01

    The interactions between bacteria and fungi, the main actors of the soil microbiome, remain poorly studied. Here, we show that the saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal soil fungus Morchella crassipes acts as a bacterial farmer of Pseudomonas putida, which serves as a model soil bacterium. Farming by M. crassipes consists of bacterial dispersal, bacterial rearing with fungal exudates, as well as harvesting and translocation of bacterial carbon. The different phases were confirmed experimentally using cell counting and 13C probing. Common criteria met by other non-human farming systems are also valid for M. crassipes farming, including habitual planting, cultivation and harvesting. Specific traits include delocalization of food production and consumption and separation of roles in the colony (source versus sink areas), which are also found in human agriculture. Our study evidences a hitherto unknown mutualistic association in which bacteria gain through dispersal and rearing, while the fungus gains through the harvesting of an additional carbon source and increased stress resistance of the mycelium. This type of interaction between fungi and bacteria may play a key role in soils. PMID:24174111

  17. Assembly of complex plant–fungus networks

    PubMed Central

    Toju, Hirokazu; Guimarães, Paulo R.; Olesen, Jens M.; Thompson, John N.

    2014-01-01

    Species in ecological communities build complex webs of interaction. Although revealing the architecture of these networks is fundamental to understanding ecological and evolutionary dynamics in nature, it has been difficult to characterize the structure of most species-rich ecological systems. By overcoming this limitation through next-generation sequencing technology, we herein uncover the network architecture of below-ground plant–fungus symbioses, which are ubiquitous to terrestrial ecosystems. The examined symbiotic network of a temperate forest in Japan includes 33 plant species and 387 functionally and phylogenetically diverse fungal taxa, and the overall network architecture differs fundamentally from that of other ecological networks. In contrast to results for other ecological networks and theoretical predictions for symbiotic networks, the plant–fungus network shows moderate or relatively low levels of interaction specialization and modularity and an unusual pattern of ‘nested’ network architecture. These results suggest that species-rich ecological networks are more architecturally diverse than previously recognized. PMID:25327887

  18. Bacterial farming by the fungus Morchella crassipes.

    PubMed

    Pion, Martin; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Simon, Anaele; Bindschedler, Saskia; Flury, Coralie; Chatelain, Auriel; Bshary, Redouan; Job, Daniel; Junier, Pilar

    2013-12-22

    The interactions between bacteria and fungi, the main actors of the soil microbiome, remain poorly studied. Here, we show that the saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal soil fungus Morchella crassipes acts as a bacterial farmer of Pseudomonas putida, which serves as a model soil bacterium. Farming by M. crassipes consists of bacterial dispersal, bacterial rearing with fungal exudates, as well as harvesting and translocation of bacterial carbon. The different phases were confirmed experimentally using cell counting and (13)C probing. Common criteria met by other non-human farming systems are also valid for M. crassipes farming, including habitual planting, cultivation and harvesting. Specific traits include delocalization of food production and consumption and separation of roles in the colony (source versus sink areas), which are also found in human agriculture. Our study evidences a hitherto unknown mutualistic association in which bacteria gain through dispersal and rearing, while the fungus gains through the harvesting of an additional carbon source and increased stress resistance of the mycelium. This type of interaction between fungi and bacteria may play a key role in soils. PMID:24174111

  19. Hazardous waste treatment using fungus enters marketplace

    SciTech Connect

    Illman, D.L.

    1993-07-01

    When the announcement was made eight years ago that a common fungus had been found that could degrade a variety of environmental pollutants, the news stirred interest in the scientific community, the private sector, and the general public. Here was the promise of a new technology that might be effective and economical in treating hazardous waste, especially the most recalcitrant of toxic pollutants. Today, commercialization is beginning amid a mixture of optimism and skepticism. The organism in question is white rot fungus, or Phanerochaete chrysosporium, and it belongs to a family of woodrotting fungi common all over North America. The fungi secrete enzymes that break down lignin in wood to carbon dioxide and water--a process called mineralization. These lignin-degrading enzymes are not very discriminating, however. The white rot fungi have been shown to degrade such materials as DDT, the herbicide (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy)acetic acid (2,4,5-T), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), pentachlorophenol (PCP), creosote, coal tars, and heavy fuels, in many cases mineralizing these pollutants to a significant extent.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Sperm and Oocyte Communication Mechanisms Controlling C. elegans Fertility

    PubMed Central

    Han, Sung Min; Cottee, Pauline A.; Miller, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    During sexual reproduction in many species, sperm and oocyte secrete diffusible signaling molecules to help orchestrate the biological symphony of fertilization. In the Caenorhabditis elegans gonad, bidirectional signaling between sperm and oocyte is important for guiding sperm to the fertilization site and inducing oocyte maturation. The molecular mechanisms that regulate sperm guidance and oocyte maturation are being delineated. Unexpectedly, these mechanisms are providing insight into human diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and cancer. Here we review sperm and oocyte communication in C. elegans and discuss relationships to human disorders. PMID:20034089

  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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Biophysical and biological meanings of healthspan from C. elegans cohort

    SciTech Connect

    Suda, Hitoshi

    2014-09-12

    Highlights: • We focus on a third factor, noise, as well as on genetic and environmental factors. • C. elegans fed a healthy food had an extended healthspan as compared to those fed a conventional diet. • An amplification of ATP noise was clearly evident from around the onset of biodemographic aging. • The extension of timing of noise amplification may contribute to effectively extending the healthspan. • The same mechanism of the mean lifespan extension in C. elegans may be realized in humans. - Abstract: Lifespan among individuals ranges widely in organisms from yeast to mammals, even in an isogenic cohort born in a nearly uniform environment. Needless to say, genetic and environmental factors are essential for aging and lifespan, but in addition, a third factor or the existence of a stochastic element must be reflected in aging and lifespan. An essential point is that lifespan or aging is an unpredictable phenomenon. The present study focuses on elucidating the biophysical and biological meanings of healthspan that latently indwells a stochastic nature. To perform this purpose, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans served as a model animal. C. elegans fed a healthy food had an extended healthspan as compared to those fed a conventional diet. Then, utilizing this phenomenon, we clarified a mechanism of healthspan extension by measuring the single-worm ATP and estimating the ATP noise (or the variability of the ATP content) among individual worms and by quantitatively analyzing biodemographic data with the lifespan equation that was derived from a fluctuation theory.

  12. Silicon-inducible defenses of Zinnia elegans against Myzus persicae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several examples exist of silicon (Si) amendment inducing plant chemical defenses against plant pathogens, but few studies have focused on Si-induced defenses against phloem-feeding herbivores. The current study examined Si treatment of Zinnia elegans Jacq. cv. Oklahoma White (Compositae) on the pe...

  13. The emergence of stereotyped behaviors in C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Greg; Ryu, William; Bialek, William

    2010-03-01

    Many organisms, including humans, engage in stereotyped behaviors and these are often attributed to a deterministic command process within the nervous system. Here we use the locomotor dynamics of the nematode C. elegans to suggest an alternative explanation in which stereotyped behavior emerges due to noise within a non-linear dynamical system. In previous work (PLoS Comp Bio 4, e1000028 (2008)) we found that the body shapes of freely-crawling C. elegans are well-captured by four `eigenworms', two of which encode the phase of a locomotory wave that generates forward and backward motion. We also used this representation to infer a non-linear dynamical model for the phase in which forward and backward crawling emerge as attractors of the deterministic dynamics. Here we show that noise induces reversals between forward and backward crawling and that the predicted reversal rate is in good agreement with experiment, with no adjustable parameters. In this model, reversals follow a stereotyped trajectory for the same reason that Brownian escape over a barrier is dominated by a narrowly defined class of trajectories. Stereotypy becomes even clearer in the dynamics with lower noise levels; the real C. elegans is just outside the regime where the reversal rate follows an Arrhenius dependence on the noise level. We discus the implications of our results for C. elegans and other organisms.

  14. 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

  15. The C. elegans Rab Family: Identification, Classification and Toolkit Construction

    PubMed Central

    Gallegos, Maria E.; Balakrishnan, Sanjeev; Chandramouli, Priya

    2012-01-01

    Rab monomeric GTPases regulate specific aspects of vesicle transport in eukaryotes including coat recruitment, uncoating, fission, motility, target selection and fusion. Moreover, individual Rab proteins function at specific sites within the cell, for example the ER, golgi and early endosome. Importantly, the localization and function of individual Rab subfamily members are often conserved underscoring the significant contributions that model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans can make towards a better understanding of human disease caused by Rab and vesicle trafficking malfunction. With this in mind, a bioinformatics approach was first taken to identify and classify the complete C. elegans Rab family placing individual Rabs into specific subfamilies based on molecular phylogenetics. For genes that were difficult to classify by sequence similarity alone, we did a comparative analysis of intron position among specific subfamilies from yeast to humans. This two-pronged approach allowed the classification of 30 out of 31 C. elegans Rab proteins identified here including Rab31/Rab50, a likely member of the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Second, a molecular toolset was created to facilitate research on biological processes that involve Rab proteins. Specifically, we used Gateway-compatible C. elegans ORFeome clones as starting material to create 44 full-length, sequence-verified, dominant-negative (DN) and constitutive active (CA) rab open reading frames (ORFs). Development of this toolset provided independent research projects for students enrolled in a research-based molecular techniques course at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB). PMID:23185324

  16. The C. elegans rab family: identification, classification and toolkit construction.

    PubMed

    Gallegos, Maria E; Balakrishnan, Sanjeev; Chandramouli, Priya; Arora, Shaily; Azameera, Aruna; Babushekar, Anitha; Bargoma, Emilee; Bokhari, Abdulmalik; Chava, Siva Kumari; Das, Pranti; Desai, Meetali; Decena, Darlene; Saramma, Sonia Dev Devadas; Dey, Bodhidipra; Doss, Anna-Louise; Gor, Nilang; Gudiputi, Lakshmi; Guo, Chunyuan; Hande, Sonali; Jensen, Megan; Jones, Samantha; Jones, Norman; Jorgens, Danielle; Karamchedu, Padma; Kamrani, Kambiz; Kolora, Lakshmi Divya; Kristensen, Line; Kwan, Kelly; Lau, Henry; Maharaj, Pranesh; Mander, Navneet; Mangipudi, Kalyani; Menakuru, Himabindu; Mody, Vaishali; Mohanty, Sandeepa; Mukkamala, Sridevi; Mundra, Sheena A; Nagaraju, Sudharani; Narayanaswamy, Rajhalutshimi; Ndungu-Case, Catherine; Noorbakhsh, Mersedeh; Patel, Jigna; Patel, Puja; Pendem, Swetha Vandana; Ponakala, Anusha; Rath, Madhusikta; Robles, Michael C; Rokkam, Deepti; Roth, Caroline; Sasidharan, Preeti; Shah, Sapana; Tandon, Shweta; Suprai, Jagdip; Truong, Tina Quynh Nhu; Uthayaruban, Rubatharshini; Varma, Ajitha; Ved, Urvi; Wang, Zeran; Yu, Zhe

    2012-01-01

    Rab monomeric GTPases regulate specific aspects of vesicle transport in eukaryotes including coat recruitment, uncoating, fission, motility, target selection and fusion. Moreover, individual Rab proteins function at specific sites within the cell, for example the ER, golgi and early endosome. Importantly, the localization and function of individual Rab subfamily members are often conserved underscoring the significant contributions that model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans can make towards a better understanding of human disease caused by Rab and vesicle trafficking malfunction. With this in mind, a bioinformatics approach was first taken to identify and classify the complete C. elegans Rab family placing individual Rabs into specific subfamilies based on molecular phylogenetics. For genes that were difficult to classify by sequence similarity alone, we did a comparative analysis of intron position among specific subfamilies from yeast to humans. This two-pronged approach allowed the classification of 30 out of 31 C. elegans Rab proteins identified here including Rab31/Rab50, a likely member of the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Second, a molecular toolset was created to facilitate research on biological processes that involve Rab proteins. Specifically, we used Gateway-compatible C. elegans ORFeome clones as starting material to create 44 full-length, sequence-verified, dominant-negative (DN) and constitutive active (CA) rab open reading frames (ORFs). Development of this toolset provided independent research projects for students enrolled in a research-based molecular techniques course at California State University, East Bay (CSUEB). PMID:23185324

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. METABOLISM OF AN INSECT NEUROPEPTIDE BY THE NEMATODE C. ELEGANS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We are interested in neuropeptides in nematodes as leads to new control agents for parasitic nematodes. This includes physiological aspects of neuropeptide action and metabolic regulation of these peptides. The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, with its mapped genome, offers unique opport...

  3. The C. elegans touch response facilitates escape from predacious fungi.

    PubMed

    Maguire, Sean M; Clark, Christopher M; Nunnari, John; Pirri, Jennifer K; Alkema, Mark J

    2011-08-01

    Predator-prey interactions are vital determinants in the natural selection of behavioral traits. Gentle touch to the anterior half of the body of Caenorhabditis elegans elicits an escape response in which the animal quickly reverses and suppresses exploratory head movements [1, 2]. Here, we investigate the ecological significance of the touch response in predator-prey interactions between C. elegans and predacious fungi that catch nematodes using constricting hyphal rings. We show that the constricting rings of Drechslerella doedycoides catch early larval stages with a diameter similar to the trap opening. There is a delay between the ring entry and ring closure, which allows the animal to withdraw from the trap before being caught. Mutants that fail to suppress head movements in response to touch are caught more efficiently than the wild-type. This demonstrates that the coordination of motor programs allows C. elegans to smoothly retract from a fungal noose and evade capture. Our results suggest that selective pressures imposed by predacious fungi have shaped the evolution of C. elegans escape behavior. PMID:21802299

  4. Mechanotransduction: feeling the squeeze in the C. elegans reproductive system.

    PubMed

    Cram, Erin J

    2015-01-19

    A new study reports that the RhoGAP SPV-1 senses membrane curvature and cell stretch in the Caenorhabditis elegans spermatheca. Without SPV-1, the cells of the spermatheca are hypercontractile, leading to deformation and rapid ejection of the fertilized eggs. The spermatheca may provide a paradigm for understanding how cells detect mechanical stimuli in vivo. PMID:25602308

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Is the Fungus Magnaporthe Losing DNA Methylation?

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Ken-ichi; Van Vu, Ba; Kadotani, Naoki; Tanaka, Masaki; Murata, Toshiki; Shiina, Kohta; Chuma, Izumi; Tosa, Yukio; Nakayashiki, Hitoshi

    2013-01-01

    The long terminal repeat retrotransposon, Magnaporthe gypsy-like element (MAGGY), has been shown to be targeted for cytosine methylation in a subset of Magnaporthe oryzae field isolates. Analysis of the F1 progeny from a genetic cross between methylation-proficient (Br48) and methylation-deficient (GFSI1-7-2) isolates revealed that methylation of the MAGGY element was governed by a single dominant gene. Positional cloning followed by gene disruption and complementation experiments revealed that the responsible gene was the DNA methyltransferase, MoDMT1, an ortholog of Neurospora crassa Dim-2. A survey of MAGGY methylation in 60 Magnaporthe field isolates revealed that 42 isolates from rice, common millet, wheat, finger millet, and buffelgrass were methylation proficient while 18 isolates from foxtail millet, green bristlegrass, Japanese panicgrass, torpedo grass, Guinea grass, and crabgrass were methylation deficient. Phenotypic analyses showed that MoDMT1 plays no major role in development and pathogenicity of the fungus. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the average copy number of genomic MAGGY elements was not significantly different between methylation-deficient and -proficient field isolates even though the levels of MAGGY transcript were generally higher in the former group. MoDMT1 gene sequences in the methylation-deficient isolates suggested that at least three independent mutations were responsible for the loss of MoDMT1 function. Overall, our data suggest that MoDMT1 is not essential for the natural life cycle of the fungus and raise the possibility that the genus Magnaporthe may be losing the mechanism of DNA methylation on the evolutionary time scale. PMID:23979580

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. MicroRNA binding sites in C. elegans 3' UTRs.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chaochun; Rennie, William A; Mallick, Bibekanand; Kanoria, Shaveta; Long, Dang; Wolenc, Adam; Carmack, C Steven; Ding, Ye

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Since the discovery of lin-4, the founding member of the miRNA family, over 360 miRNAs have been identified for Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Prediction and validation of targets are essential for elucidation of regulatory functions of these miRNAs. For C. elegans, crosslinking immunoprecipitation (CLIP) has been successfully performed for the identification of target mRNA sequences bound by Argonaute protein ALG-1. In addition, reliable annotation of the 3' untranslated regions (3' UTRs) as well as developmental stage-specific expression profiles for both miRNAs and 3' UTR isoforms are available. By utilizing these data, we developed statistical models and bioinformatics tools for both transcriptome-scale and developmental stage-specific predictions of miRNA binding sites in C. elegans 3' UTRs. In performance evaluation via cross validation on the ALG-1 CLIP data, the models were found to offer major improvements over established algorithms for predicting both seed sites and seedless sites. In particular, our top-ranked predictions have a substantially higher true positive rate, suggesting a much higher likelihood of positive experimental validation. A gene ontology analysis of stage-specific predictions suggests that miRNAs are involved in dynamic regulation of biological functions during C. elegans development. In particular, miRNAs preferentially target genes related to development, cell cycle, trafficking, and cell signaling processes. A database for both transcriptome-scale and stage-specific predictions and software for implementing the prediction models are available through the Sfold web server at http://sfold.wadsworth.org. PMID:24827614

  11. A Monoclonal Antibody Toolkit for C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hadwiger, Gayla; Dour, Scott; Arur, Swathi; Fox, Paul; Nonet, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    in whole mount immunocytochemistry, most of these antibodies work on western blots and thus should be of use for biochemical fractionation studies. Conclusions/Significance We have produced a set of monoclonal antibodies to subcellular components of the nematode C. elegans for the research community. These reagents are being made available through the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank (DSHB). PMID:20405020

  12. Mucormycosis (Mucor fungus ball) of the maxillary sinus.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hang Sun; Yang, Hoon Shik; Kim, Kyung Soo

    2014-01-01

    A fungus ball is an extramucosal fungal proliferation that completely fills one or more paranasal sinuses and usually occurs as a unilateral infection. It is mainly caused by Aspergillus spp in an immunocompetent host, but some cases of paranasal fungal balls reportedly have been caused by Mucor spp. A Mucor fungus ball is usually found in the maxillary sinus and/or the sphenoid sinus and may be black in color. Patients with mucormycosis, or a Mucor fungal ball infection, usually present with facial pain or headache. On computed tomography, there are no pathognomonic findings that are conclusive for a diagnosis of mucormycosis. In this article we report a case of mucormycosis in a 56-year-old woman and provide a comprehensive review of the literature on the "Mucor fungus ball." To the best of our knowledge, 5 case reports (8 patients) have been published in which the fungus ball was thought to be caused by Mucor spp. PMID:25397383

  13. An insect parasitoid carrying an ochratoxin producing fungus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vega, Fernando E.; Posada, Francisco; Gianfagna, Thomas J.; Chaves, Fabio C.; Peterson, Stephen W.

    2006-06-01

    The insect parasitoid Prorops nasuta has been introduced from Africa to many coffee-producing countries in an attempt to control the coffee berry borer. In this paper, we report on the sequencing of the ITS LSU-rDNA and beta-tubulin loci used to identify a fungus isolated from the cuticle of a P. nasuta that emerged from coffee berries infected with the coffee berry borer. The sequences were compared with deposits in GenBank and the fungus was identified as Aspergillus westerdijkiae. The fungus tested positive for ochratoxin A production, with varying levels depending on the media in which it was grown. These results raise the possibility that an insect parasitoid might be disseminating an ochratoxin-producing fungus in coffee plantations.

  14. Mechanosensory Neuron Aging: Differential Trajectories with Lifespan-Extending Alaskan Berry and Fungal Treatments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Scerbak, Courtney; Vayndorf, Elena M; Hernandez, Alicia; McGill, Colin; Taylor, Barbara E

    2016-01-01

    Many nutritional interventions that increase lifespan are also proposed to postpone age-related declines in motor and cognitive function. Potential sources of anti-aging compounds are the plants and fungi that have adapted to extreme environments. We studied the effects of four commonly consumed and culturally relevant Interior Alaska berry and fungus species (bog blueberry, lowbush cranberry, crowberry, and chaga) on the decline in overall health and neuron function and changes in touch receptor neuron morphology associated with aging. We observed increased wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan and improved markers of healthspan upon treatment with Alaskan blueberry, lowbush cranberry, and chaga extracts. Interestingly, although all three treatments increased lifespan, they differentially affected the development of aberrant morphologies in touch receptor neurons. Blueberry treatments decreased anterior mechanosensory neuron (ALM) aberrations (i.e., extended outgrowths and abnormal cell bodies) while lowbush cranberry treatment increased posterior mechanosensory neuron (PLM) aberrations, namely process branching. Chaga treatment both decreased ALM aberrations (i.e., extended outgrowths) and increased PLM aberrations (i.e., process branching and loops). These results support the large body of knowledge positing that there are multiple cellular strategies and mechanisms for promoting health with age. Importantly, these results also demonstrate that although an accumulation of abnormal neuron morphologies is associated with aging and decreased health, not all of these morphologies are detrimental to neuronal and organismal health. PMID:27486399

  15. Mechanosensory Neuron Aging: Differential Trajectories with Lifespan-Extending Alaskan Berry and Fungal Treatments in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Scerbak, Courtney; Vayndorf, Elena M.; Hernandez, Alicia; McGill, Colin; Taylor, Barbara E.

    2016-01-01

    Many nutritional interventions that increase lifespan are also proposed to postpone age-related declines in motor and cognitive function. Potential sources of anti-aging compounds are the plants and fungi that have adapted to extreme environments. We studied the effects of four commonly consumed and culturally relevant Interior Alaska berry and fungus species (bog blueberry, lowbush cranberry, crowberry, and chaga) on the decline in overall health and neuron function and changes in touch receptor neuron morphology associated with aging. We observed increased wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan and improved markers of healthspan upon treatment with Alaskan blueberry, lowbush cranberry, and chaga extracts. Interestingly, although all three treatments increased lifespan, they differentially affected the development of aberrant morphologies in touch receptor neurons. Blueberry treatments decreased anterior mechanosensory neuron (ALM) aberrations (i.e., extended outgrowths and abnormal cell bodies) while lowbush cranberry treatment increased posterior mechanosensory neuron (PLM) aberrations, namely process branching. Chaga treatment both decreased ALM aberrations (i.e., extended outgrowths) and increased PLM aberrations (i.e., process branching and loops). These results support the large body of knowledge positing that there are multiple cellular strategies and mechanisms for promoting health with age. Importantly, these results also demonstrate that although an accumulation of abnormal neuron morphologies is associated with aging and decreased health, not all of these morphologies are detrimental to neuronal and organismal health. PMID:27486399

  16. Fungus Ball in Concha Bullosa: A Rare Case with Anosmia

    PubMed Central

    Özkırıs, Mahmut; Kapusuz, Zeliha; Seçkın, Selda; Saydam, Levent

    2013-01-01

    Concha bullosa is the pneumatization of the concha and is one of the most common variations of the sinonasal anatomy. The histopathological changes caused by the infections which arise from the impaired aeration of conchal cavity are frequently found. Fungus ball of the nasal cavity is an extremely rare, fungal infection with only three cases reported previously. In this paper, we present the fourth fungus ball case which developed within a concha bullosa and presented with anosmia. PMID:23936708

  17. Gene cloning and functional analysis of a second delta 6-fatty acid desaturase from an arachidonic acid-producing Mortierella fungus.

    PubMed

    Sakuradani, Eiji; Shimizu, Sakayu

    2003-04-01

    We demonstrated that Mortierella alpina 1S-4 has two delta 6-desaturases, which are involved in the desaturation of linoleic acid to gamma-linolenic acid. For one of the two delta 6-desaturases, designated as delta 6I, gene cloning and its heterologous expression in a fungus, Aspergillus oryzae, has previously been reported. In addition, we indicated in this paper that there is an isozyme of the two delta 6-desaturases, designated as delta 6II, in M. alpina 1S-4. The predicted amino acid sequences of the Mortierella delta 6-desaturases were similar to those of ones from other organisms, i.e. borage and Caenorhabditis elegans, and had a cytochrome b5-like domain at the N-terminus, being different from the yeast delta 9-desaturase, which has the corresponding domain at the C-terminus. The full-length delta 6II cDNA was expressed in A. oryzae, resulting in the accumulation of gamma-linolenic acid (which was not detected in the control Aspergillus) up to 37% of the total fatty acids. The analysis of real-time quantitative PCR (RTQ-PCR) showed that the quantity of delta 6I RNA was 2.4-, 9-, and 17-fold higher than that of delta 6II RNA on 2, 3, and 4 days in M. alpina 1S-4, respectively. M. alpina 1S-4 is the first fungus to be confirmed to have two functional delta 6-desaturase genes. PMID:12784608

  18. Biological control of Ascaris suum eggs by Pochonia chlamydosporia fungus.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Sebastião Rodrigo; de Araújo, Jackson Victor; Braga, Fábio Ribeiro; Araujo, Juliana Milani; Frassy, Luiza Neme; Ferreira, Aloízio Soares

    2011-12-01

    Ascaris suum is a gastrointestinal nematode parasite of swines. The aim of this study was to observe Pochonia chlamydosporia fungus on biological control of A. suum eggs after fungus passage through swines gastrointestinal tract. Eighteen pigs, previously dewormed, were randomly divided into three groups: group 1, treated with the fungus isolate VC4; group 2, treated with the fungus isolate VC1 and group 3 did not receive fungus (control). In the treated groups, each animal received a 9 g single dose of mycelium mass containing P. chlamydosporia (VC1 or VC4). Thereafter, animal fecal samples were collected at the following intervals: 8, 12, 24, 36, 48, 72 and 96 h after treatment beginning and these were poured in Petri dishes containing 2% water-agar culture medium. Then, 1,000 A. suum eggs were poured into each dish and kept in an incubator at 26 °C and in the dark for 30 days. After this period, approximately 100 eggs were removed from each Petri dish and morphologically analyzed under light microscopy following the ovicidal activity parameters. The higher percentage observed for isolated VC4 eggs destruction was 57.5% (36 h) after fungus administration and for isolate VC1 this percentage was 45.8% (24 h and 72 h) (p > 0.01). P. chlamydosporia remained viable after passing through the gastrointestinal tract of swines, maintaining its ability of destroying A. suum eggs. PMID:21796329

  19. Genome-Wide RNAi Screens in C. elegans to Identify Genes Influencing Lifespan and Innate Immunity.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Amit; Rae, Robbie

    2016-01-01

    RNA interference is a rapid, inexpensive, and highly effective tool used to inhibit gene function. In C. elegans, whole genome screens have been used to identify genes involved with numerous traits including aging and innate immunity. RNAi in C. elegans can be carried out via feeding, soaking, or injection. Here we outline protocols used to maintain, grow, and carry out RNAi via feeding in C. elegans and determine whether the inhibited genes are essential for lifespan or innate immunity. PMID:27581293

  20. Propulsion by sinusoidal locomotion: A motion inspired by Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulrich, Xialing

    Sinusoidal locomotion is commonly seen in snakes, fish, nematodes, or even the wings of some birds and insects. This doctoral thesis presents the study of sinusoidal locomotion of the nematode C. elegans in experiments and the application of the state-space airloads theory to the theoretical forces of sinusoidal motion. An original MATLAB program has been developed to analyze the video records of C. elegans' movement in different fluids, including Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. The experimental and numerical studies of swimming C. elegans has revealed three conclusions. First, though the amplitude and wavelength are varying with time, the motion of swimming C. elegans can still be viewed as sinusoidal locomotion with slips. The average normalized wavelength is a conserved character of the locomotion for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. Second, fluid viscosity affects the frequency but not the moving speed of C. elegans, while fluid elasticity affects the moving speed but not the frequency. Third, by the resistive force theory, for more elastic fluids the ratio of resistive coefficients becomes smaller. Inspired by the motion of C. elegans and other animals performing sinusoidal motion, we investigated the sinusoidal motion of a thin flexible wing in theory. Given the equation of the motion, we have derived the closed forms of propulsive force, lift and other generalized forces applying on the wing. We also calculated the power required to perform the motion, the power lost due to the shed vortices and the propulsive efficiency. These forces and powers are given as functions of reduced frequency k, dimensionless wavelength z, dimensionless amplitude A/b, and time. Our results show that a positive, time-averaged propulsive force is produced for all k>k0=pi/ z. At k=k0, which implies the moment when the moving speed of the wing is the same as the wave speed of its undulation, the motion reaches a steady state with all forces being zero. If there were no

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Malaria mosquitoes attracted by fatal fungus.

    PubMed

    George, Justin; Jenkins, Nina E; Blanford, Simon; Thomas, Matthew B; Baker, Thomas C

    2013-01-01

    Insect-killing fungi such as Beauveria bassiana are being evaluated as possible active ingredients for use in novel biopesticides against mosquito vectors that transmit malaria. Fungal pathogens infect through contact and so applications of spores to surfaces such as walls, nets, or other resting sites provide possible routes to infect mosquitoes in and around domestic dwellings. However, some insects can detect and actively avoid fungal spores to reduce infection risk. If true for mosquitoes, such behavior could render the biopesticide approach ineffective. Here we find that the spores of B. bassiana are highly attractive to females of Anopheles stephensi, a major anopheline mosquito vector of human malaria in Asia. We further find that An. stephensi females are preferentially attracted to dead and dying caterpillars infected with B. bassiana, landing on them and subsequently becoming infected with the fungus. Females are also preferentially attracted to cloth sprayed with oil-formulated B. bassiana spores, with 95% of the attracted females becoming infected after a one-minute visit on the cloth. This is the first report of an insect being attracted to a lethal fungal pathogen. The exact mechanisms involved in this behavior remain unclear. Nonetheless, our results indicate that biopesticidal formulations comprising B. bassiana spores will be conducive to attraction and on-source visitation by malaria vectors. PMID:23658757

  4. The agricultural pathology of ant fungus gardens

    PubMed Central

    Currie, Cameron R.; Mueller, Ulrich G.; Malloch, David

    1999-01-01

    Gardens of fungus-growing ants (Formicidae: Attini) traditionally have been thought to be free of microbial parasites, with the fungal mutualist maintained in nearly pure “monocultures.” We conducted extensive isolations of “alien” (nonmutualistic) fungi from ant gardens of a phylogenetically representative collection of attine ants. Contrary to the long-standing assumption that gardens are maintained free of microbial pathogens and parasites, they are in fact host to specialized parasites that are only known from attine gardens and that are found in most attine nests. These specialized garden parasites, belonging to the microfungus genus Escovopsis (Ascomycota: anamorphic Hypocreales), are horizontally transmitted between colonies. Consistent with theory of virulence evolution under this mode of pathogen transmission, Escovopsis is highly virulent and has the potential for rapid devastation of ant gardens, leading to colony mortality. The specialized parasite Escovopsis is more prevalent in gardens of the more derived ant lineages than in gardens of the more “primitive” (basal) ant lineages. Because fungal cultivars of derived attine lineages are asexual clones of apparently ancient origin whereas cultivars of primitive ant lineages were domesticated relatively recently from free-living sexual stocks, the increased virulence of pathogens associated with ancient asexual cultivars suggests an evolutionary cost to cultivar clonality, perhaps resulting from slower evolutionary rates of cultivars in the coevolutionary race with their pathogens. PMID:10393936

  5. Malaria Mosquitoes Attracted by Fatal Fungus

    PubMed Central

    George, Justin; Jenkins, Nina E.; Blanford, Simon; Thomas, Matthew B.; Baker, Thomas C.

    2013-01-01

    Insect-killing fungi such as Beauveria bassiana are being evaluated as possible active ingredients for use in novel biopesticides against mosquito vectors that transmit malaria. Fungal pathogens infect through contact and so applications of spores to surfaces such as walls, nets, or other resting sites provide possible routes to infect mosquitoes in and around domestic dwellings. However, some insects can detect and actively avoid fungal spores to reduce infection risk. If true for mosquitoes, such behavior could render the biopesticide approach ineffective. Here we find that the spores of B. bassiana are highly attractive to females of Anopheles stephensi, a major anopheline mosquito vector of human malaria in Asia. We further find that An. stephensi females are preferentially attracted to dead and dying caterpillars infected with B. bassiana, landing on them and subsequently becoming infected with the fungus. Females are also preferentially attracted to cloth sprayed with oil-formulated B. bassiana spores, with 95% of the attracted females becoming infected after a one-minute visit on the cloth. This is the first report of an insect being attracted to a lethal fungal pathogen. The exact mechanisms involved in this behavior remain unclear. Nonetheless, our results indicate that biopesticidal formulations comprising B. bassiana spores will be conducive to attraction and on-source visitation by malaria vectors. PMID:23658757

  6. Secondary Metabolites from the Fungus Emericella nidulans

    PubMed Central

    Tarawneh, Amer H.; León, Francisco; Radwan, Mohamed M.; Rosa, Luiz H.

    2014-01-01

    A new polyketide derivative koninginin H (1), has been isolated from the fungus Emericella nidulans, together with koninginin E (2), koninginin A (3), trichodermatide B (4), citrantifidiol (5), (4S,5R)-4-hydroxy-5-methylfuran-2-one (6), the glycerol derivatives gingerglycolipid B (7), (2S)-bis[9Z,12Z]-1-O, 2-O-dilinoleoyl-3-O-[α-d-galactopyranosyl-(1″→6′)β-d-galactopyranosyl]glycerol (8), (2S)-bis[9Z,12Z]-1-O, 2-O-dilinoleoyl-3-O-β-d-galactopyranosylglycerol (9), the cerebroside flavuside B (10), and the known sterols β-sitosterol glucoside and ergosta-5,7,22-trien-3-ol. Their structures were established by extensive NMR studies (1H NMR, 13C NMR, DEPT, 1H–1H COSY, HSQC, HMBC) and mass spectrometry. The antibacterial, antimalarial, antifungal and antileishmanial activities of compounds 1-10 were examined and the results indicated that compound 4 showed good antifungal activity against Cryptococcus neoformans with an IC50 value of 4.9 μg /mL. PMID:24273867

  7. The first fossil fungus gardens of Isoptera: oldest evidence of symbiotic termite fungiculture (Miocene, Chad basin).

    PubMed

    Duringer, Philippe; Schuster, Mathieu; Genise, Jorge F; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassan Taisso; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2006-12-01

    Higher termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae (fungus-growing termites) are known to build fungus gardens where a symbiotic fungus (Termitomyces sp.) is cultivated. The fungus grows on a substrate called fungus comb, a structure built with the termites' own faeces. Here we present the first fossil fungus combs ever found in the world. They were extracted from 7-million-year-old continental sandstone (Chad basin). Fossilized fungus combs have an ovoid morphology with a more or less flattened concave base and a characteristic general alveolar aspect. Under lens, they display a typical millimetre-scale pelletal structure. The latter, as well as the general shape and alveolar aspect, are similar to the morphology of fungus combs from extant fungus-growing termites. PMID:16924476

  8. The first fossil fungus gardens of Isoptera: oldest evidence of symbiotic termite fungiculture (Miocene, Chad basin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duringer, Philippe; Schuster, Mathieu; Genise, Jorge F.; Likius, Andossa; Mackaye, Hassan Taisso; Vignaud, Patrick; Brunet, Michel

    2006-12-01

    Higher termites of the subfamily Macrotermitinae (fungus-growing termites) are known to build fungus gardens where a symbiotic fungus ( Termitomyces sp.) is cultivated. The fungus grows on a substrate called fungus comb, a structure built with the termites’ own faeces. Here we present the first fossil fungus combs ever found in the world. They were extracted from 7-million-year-old continental sandstone (Chad basin). Fossilized fungus combs have an ovoid morphology with a more or less flattened concave base and a characteristic general alveolar aspect. Under lens, they display a typical millimetre-scale pelletal structure. The latter, as well as the general shape and alveolar aspect, are similar to the morphology of fungus combs from extant fungus-growing termites.

  9. 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

  10. The C. elegans healthspan and stress-resistance assay toolkit.

    PubMed

    Keith, Scott Alexander; Amrit, Francis Raj Gandhi; Ratnappan, Ramesh; Ghazi, Arjumand

    2014-08-01

    A wealth of knowledge on the genetic mechanisms that govern aging has emerged from the study of mutants that exhibit enhanced longevity and exceptional resilience to adverse environmental conditions. In these studies, lifespan has been an excellent proxy for establishing the rate of aging, but it is not always correlated with qualitative measures of healthy aging or 'healthspan'. Although the attributes of healthspan have been challenging to define, they share some universal features that are increasingly being incorporated into aging studies. Here we describe methods used to determine Caenorhabditis elegans healthspan. These include assessments of tissue integrity and functionality and resistance to a variety of biotic and abiotic stressors. We have chosen to include simple, rapid assays in this collection that can be easily undertaken in any C. elegans laboratory, and can be relied on to provide a preliminary but thorough insight into the healthspan of a population. PMID:24727065