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Sample records for actinomucor elegans var

  1. Abutilon theophrasti's defense against the allelochemical benzoxazolin-2(3H)-one: support by Actinomucor elegans.

    PubMed

    Kia, Sevda Haghi; Schulz, Margot; Ayah, Emmanuel; Schouten, Alexander; Müllenborn, Carmen; Paetz, Christian; Schneider, Bernd; Hofmann, Diana; Disko, Ulrich; Tabaglio, Vincenzo; Marocco, Adriano

    2014-12-01

    Abutilon theophrasti Medik., previously found to be rather insensitive to benzoxazinoid containing rye mulch and the allelochemical benzoxazolin-2(3H)-one (BOA), can be associated with the zygomycete Actinomucor elegans, whereby the fungus colonizes the root relatively superficially and mainly in the maturation zone. The fungus mitigates necrosis of the cotyledons when seedlings are incubated with 2 mM BOA, in contrast to those that lack the fungus. In liquid cultures of the fungus, tryptophan was identified. The accumulation of tryptophan is increased in presence of BOA. This amino acid seems to be important in protecting Abutilon against BOA and its derivatives since it suppressed the accumulation of BOA derived, highly toxic 2-aminophen-oxazin-3-one (APO) in the medium and on the root surface during BOA incubations of Abutilon seedlings. Although A. elegans is insensitive to BOA and APO, the fungus is not able to protect the plant against harmful effects of APO, when seedlings are treated with the compound. Abutilon can detoxify BOA via BOA-6-OH glucosylation probably by a cell wall associated glucosyltransferase, but only low amounts of the product accumulate. Low tryptophan concentrations can contribute to a degradation of the toxic intermediate BOA-6-OH by Fenton reactions, whereby the amino acid is oxidized. One of the oxidation products was identified as 4(1H)-quinolinone, which is the core substructure of the quorum sensing molecule 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4-quinolone. The mutualistic association of Abutilon theophrasti with Actinomucor elegans is considered as opportunistic and facultative. Such plant-fungus associations depend rather likely on environmental conditions, such as the mode of fertilization.

  2. Transposons in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Bessereau, Jean-Louis

    2006-01-18

    Transposons are discrete segments of DNA capable of moving through the genome of their host via an RNA intermediate in the case of class I retrotransposon or via a "cut-and-paste" mechanism for class II DNA transposons. Since transposons take advantage of their host's cellular machinery to proliferate in the genome and enter new hosts, transposable elements can be viewed as parasitic or "selfish DNA". However, transposons may have been beneficial for their hosts as genome evolution drivers, thus providing an example of molecular mutualism. Interactions between transposon and C. elegans research were undoubtedly mutualistic, leading to the advent of needed genomic tools to drive C. elegans research while providing insights into the transposition field. Tc1, the first C. elegans transposon to be identified, turned out to be the founding member of a widespread family of mobile elements: the Tc1/mariner superfamily. The investigation into transposition regulation in C. elegans has uncovered an unforeseen link between transposition, genome surveillance and RNA interference. Conversely, transposons were utilized soon after their identification to inactivate and clone genes, providing some of the first molecular identities of C. elegans genes. Recent results suggest that transposons might provide a means to engineer site-directed mutations into the C. elegans genome. This article describes the different transposons present in the C. elegans genome with a specific emphasis on the ones that proved to be mobile under laboratory conditions. Mechanisms and control of transposition are discussed briefly. Some tools based on the use of transposons for C. elegans research are presented at the end of this review.

  3. Survival assays using Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hae-Eun H.; Jung, Yoonji; Lee, Seung-Jae V.

    2017-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model organism with many useful features, including rapid development and aging, easy cultivation, and genetic tractability. Survival assays using C. elegans are powerful methods for studying physiological processes. In this review, we describe diverse types of C. elegans survival assays and discuss the aims, uses, and advantages of specific assays. C. elegans survival assays have played key roles in identifying novel genetic factors that regulate many aspects of animal physiology, such as aging and lifespan, stress response, and immunity against pathogens. Because many genetic factors discovered using C. elegans are evolutionarily conserved, survival assays can provide insights into mechanisms underlying physiological processes in mammals, including humans. PMID:28241407

  4. Antioxidant activity and delayed aging effects of hot water extract from Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana leaves.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Szu-Chin; Li, Wen-Hsuan; Shi, Yeu-Ching; Yen, Pei-Ling; Lin, Huan-You; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan; Chang, Shang-Tzen

    2014-05-07

    The antioxidant activity and delayed aging effects of hot water extracts from leaves of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana were investigated. Free radical, superoxide radical scavenging, and total phenolic content assays were employed to evaluate the in vitro activities of the extracts. In addition, in vivo assays using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans were also performed in this study. The results showed that among all soluble fractions obtained from the extracts, the ethyl acetate-soluble fraction has the best in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activities. Moreover, it decreased significantly the deposition of lipofuscin (aging pigment) and extended the lifespan of C. elegans. Bioactivity-guided fractionation yielded six potent antioxidant constituents from the ethyl acetate-soluble fraction, namely, catechin, quercetin, quercetin-3-O-α-rhamnoyranoside, myricetin-3-O-α-rhamnoyranoside, vanillic acid, and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid. Quercetin-3-O-α-rhamnoyranoside pretreatment showed the highest survival of C. elegans upon juglone exposure. Taken together, the results revealed that hot water extracts from C. obtusa var. formosana leaves have the potential to be used as a source for antioxidant or delayed aging health food.

  5. Measurement of /var epsilon/'//var epsilon/ at Fermilab

    SciTech Connect

    Hsiung, Yee B.

    1988-10-01

    The current status of the measurement of ''direct'' CP violation parameters /var epsilon/'//var epsilon/ in the Fermilab experiment E731 is reviewed. Preliminary results on upper limit for the decays K/sub L/ ..-->.. ..pi../sup 0/e/sup +/e/sup /minus// and ..pi../sup 0/ ..-->.. e/sup +/e/sup /minus// (from 20% of the data taken in 1987-88) are also reported. 9 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab.

  6. 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

  7. Meiotic Development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lui, Doris Y.

    2013-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans has become a powerful experimental organism with which to study meiotic processes that promote the accurate segregation of chromosomes during the generation of haploid gametes. Haploid reproductive cells are produced through one round of chromosome replication followed by two successive cell divisions. Characteristic meiotic chromosome structure and dynamics are largely conserved in C. elegans. Chromosomes adopt a meiosis-specific structure by loading cohesin proteins, assembling axial elements, and acquiring chromatin marks. Homologous chromosomes pair and form physical connections though synapsis and recombination. Synaptonemal complex and crossover formation allow for the homologs to stably associate prior to remodeling that facilitates their segregation. This chapter will cover conserved meiotic processes as well as highlight aspects of meiosis that are unique to C. elegans. PMID:22872477

  8. 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...

  9. Transducing touch in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Miriam B; Schwarz, Erich M

    2003-01-01

    Mechanosensation has been studied for decades, but understanding of its molecular mechanism is only now emerging from studies in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. In both cases, the entry point proved to be genetic screens that allowed molecules needed for mechanosensation to be identified without any prior understanding of the likely components. In C. elegans, genetic screens revealed molecules needed for touch sensation along the body wall and other regions of force sensitivity. Members of two extensive membrane protein families have emerged as candidate sensory mechanotransduction channels: mec-4 and mec-10, which encode amiloride-sensitive channels (ASCs or DEG/ENaCs), and osm-9, which encodes a TRP ion channel. There are roughly 50 other members of these families whose functions in C. elegans are unknown. This article classifies these channels in C. elegans, with an emphasis on insights into their function derived from mutation. We also review the neuronal cell types in which these channels might be expressed and mediate mechanotransduction.

  10. Electrophysiological methods for Caenorhabditis elegans neurobiology.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Patch-clamp electrophysiology is a technique of choice for the biophysical analysis of the function of nerve, muscle, and synapse in Caenorhabditis 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 postsynaptic recording. We also present samples of the cell-intrinsic and postsynaptic ionic currents that can be measured in C. elegans nerves and muscles.

  11. 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

  12. Antibacterial activity of essential oils of Pimenta racemosa var. terebinthina and Pimenta racemosa var. grisea.

    PubMed

    Saenz, M T; Tornos, M P; Alvarez, A; Fernandez, M A; García, M D

    2004-09-01

    The antibacterial activity of essential oils of Pimenta racemosa var. terebinthina and P. racemosa var. grisea was determined against Gram (+) and Gram (-) bacteria. P. racemosa var. grisea demonstrated a more pronounced activity. These data would indicate the potential usefulness of the variety grisea as a microbiostatic, antiseptic or disinfectant agent.

  13. TabVar: Tabulated Variables

    SciTech Connect

    Bachan, John

    2015-12-15

    TabVar: A Python library for manipulating datasets in the form of tabulated variables. Tables in tabvar contain many columns representing independent variables, but exactly one distinguished column for the dependent variable. Having a single distinguished column allows a natural lifting of arithmetic operators to tables, much (and in fact fully generalizing) multidimensional array arithmetic. The convenient syntax of whole-table arithmetic, along with the usual operations of filtering and aggregation, and all in the setting of python's interactive REPL allows for rapid exploration of datasets.

  14. 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.

  15. The C. elegans model in toxicity testing

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Caenorhabditis elegans is a small nematode that can be maintained at low cost and handled using standard in vitro techniques. Unlike toxicity testing using cell cultures, C. elegans toxicity assays provide data from a whole animal with intact and metabolically active digestive, reproductive, endocrine, sensory and neuromuscular systems. Toxicity ranking screens in C. elegans have repeatedly been shown to be as predictive of rat LD50 ranking as mouse LD50 ranking. Additionally, many instances of conservation of mode of toxic action have been noted between C. elegans and mammals. These consistent correlations make the case for inclusion of C. elegans assays in early safety testing and as one component in tiered or integrated toxicity testing strategies, but do not indicate that nematodes alone can replace data from mammals for hazard evaluation. As with cell cultures, good C. elegans culture practice (GCeCP) is essential for reliable results. This article reviews C. elegans use in various toxicity assays, the C. elegans model's strengths and limitations for use in predictive toxicology, and GCeCP. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Journal of Applied Toxicology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID:27443595

  16. The Neuroethology of C. elegans Escape

    PubMed Central

    Pirri, Jennifer K.; Alkema, Mark J.

    2012-01-01

    Escape behaviors are crucial to survive predator encounters. Touch to the head of C. elegans induces an escape response where the animal rapidly backs away from the stimulus and suppresses foraging head movements. The coordination of head and body movements facilitates escape from predacious fungi that cohabitate with nematodes in organic debris. An appreciation of the natural habitat of laboratory organisms, like C. elegans, enables a comprehensive neuroethological analysis of behavior. In this review we discuss the neuronal mechanisms and the ecological significance of the C. elegans touch response. PMID:22226513

  17. The sensory cilia of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Inglis, Peter N; Ou, Guangshuo; Leroux, Michel R; Scholey, Jonathan M

    2007-03-08

    The non-motile cilium, once believed to be a vestigial cellular structure, is now increasingly associated with the ability of a wide variety of cells and organisms to sense their chemical and physical environments. With its limited number of sensory cilia and diverse behavioral repertoire, C. elegans has emerged as a powerful experimental system for studying how cilia are formed, function, and ultimately modulate complex behaviors. Here, we discuss the biogenesis, distribution, structures, composition and general functions of C. elegans cilia. We also briefly highlight how C. elegans is being used to provide molecular insights into various human ciliopathies, including Polycystic Kidney Disease and Bardet-Biedl Syndrome.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 4D-Var Developement at GMAO

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelc, Joanna S.; Todling, Ricardo; Akkraoui, Amal El

    2014-01-01

    The Global Modeling and Assimilation Offce (GMAO) is currently using an IAU-based 3D-Var data assimilation system. GMAO has been experimenting with a 3D-Var-hybrid version of its data assimilation system (DAS) for over a year now, which will soon become operational and it will rapidly progress toward a 4D-EnVar. Concurrently, the machinery to exercise traditional 4DVar is in place and it is desirable to have a comparison of the traditional 4D approach with the other available options, and evaluate their performance in the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) DAS. This work will also explore the possibility for constructing a reduced order model (ROM) to make traditional 4D-Var computationally attractive for increasing model resolutions. Part of the research on ROM will be to search for a suitably acceptable space to carry on the corresponding reduction. This poster illustrates how the IAU-based 4D-Var assimilation compares with our currently used IAU-based 3D-Var.

  1. 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

  2. C. elegans outside the Petri dish.

    PubMed

    Frézal, Lise; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2015-03-30

    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.

  3. Analysis of aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Deepti S; Taylor, Rebecca C; Dillin, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    This chapter is dedicated to the study of aging in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The assays are divided into two sections. In the first section, we describe detailed protocols for performing life span analysis in solid and liquid medium. In the second section, we describe various assays for measuring age-related changes. Our laboratory has been involved in several fruitful collaborations with non-C. elegans researchers keen on testing a role for their favorite gene in modulating aging (Carrano et al., 2009; Dong et al., 2007; Raices et al., 2008; Wolff et al., 2006). But even with the guidance of trained worm biologists, this undertaking can be daunting. We hope that this chapter will serve as a worthy compendium for those researchers who may or may not have immediate access to laboratories studying C. elegans.

  4. The C. elegans Lifespan Machine

    PubMed Central

    Stroustrup, Nicholas; Ulmschneider, Bryne E.; Nash, Zachary M.; López Moyado, Isaac F.; Apfeld, Javier; Fontana, Walter

    2013-01-01

    The measurement of lifespan pervades aging research. Because lifespan results from complex interactions between genetic, environmental and stochastic factors, it varies widely even among isogenic individuals. The action of molecular mechanisms on lifespan is therefore visible only through their statistical effects on populations. Survival assays in C. elegans provided critical insights into evolutionarily conserved determinants of aging. To enable the rapid acquisition of survival curves at arbitrary statistical resolution, we developed a scalable imaging and analysis platform to observe nematodes over multiple weeks across square meters of agar surface at 8 μm resolution. The method generates a permanent visual record of individual deaths from which survival curves are constructed and validated, producing data consistent with the manual method for several mutants in both standard and stressful environments. Our approach allows rapid, detailed reverse-genetic and chemical screens for effects on survival and enables quantitative investigations into the statistical structure of aging. PMID:23666410

  5. Volatiles of Chrysanthemum zawadskii var. latilobum K

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Kyung-Mi; Kim, Gun-Hee

    2012-01-01

    The volatile aroma constituents of Chrysanthemum zawadskii var. latilobum K. were separated by hydro distillation extraction (HDE) method using a Clevenger-type apparatus, and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The yield of C. zawadskii var. latilobum K. flower essential oil (FEO) was 0.12% (w/w) and the color was light green. Fifty-five volatile chemical components, which make up 88.38% of the total aroma composition, were tentatively characterized. C. zawadskii var. latilobum K. FEOs contained 27 hydrocarbons, 12 alcohols, 7 ketones, 4 esters, 1 aldehyde, 1 amine, and 3 miscellaneous components. The major functional groups were terpene alcohol and ketone. Borneol (12.96), (±)-7-epi-amiteol (12.60), and camphor (10.54%) were the predominant volatiles. These compounds can be used in food and pharmaceutical industries due to their active bio-functional properties. PMID:24471090

  6. Proteomic analysis of mitochondria from Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Cai, Tanxi; Wu, Peng; Cui, Ziyou; Chen, Xiulan; Hou, Junjie; Xie, Zhensheng; Xue, Peng; Shi, Linan; Liu, Pingsheng; Yates, John R; Yang, Fuquan

    2009-10-01

    Mitochondria play essential roles in cell physiological processes including energy production, metabolism, ion homeostasis, cell growth, aging and apoptosis. Proteomic strategies have been applied to the study of mitochondria since 1998; these studies have yielded decisive information about the diverse physiological functions of the organelle. As an ideal model biological system, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been widely used in the study of several diseases, such as metabolic diseases and cancer. However, the mitochondrial proteome of C. elegans remains elusive. In this study, we purified mitochondria from C. elegans and performed a comprehensive proteomic analysis using the shotgun proteomic approach. A total of 1117 proteins have been identified with at least two unique peptides. Their physicochemical and functional characteristics, subcellular locations, related biological processes, and associations with human diseases, especially Parkinson's disease, are discussed. An orthology comparison was also performed between C. elegans and four other model organisms for a general depiction of the conservation of mitochondrial proteins during evolution. This study will provide new clues for understanding the role of mitochondria in the physiological and pathological processes of C. elegans.

  7. 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.

  8. Detection of Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Palmisano, Nicholas J.; Meléndez, Alicia

    2017-01-01

    Autophagy is a dynamic and catabolic process that results in the breakdown and recycling of cellular components through the autophagosomal-lysosomal pathway. Many autophagy genes identified in yeast and mammals have orthologs in C. elegans. In recent years, gene inactivation, by RNAi and/or chromosomal mutations, has been useful to probe the functions of autophagy in C. elegans, and a role for autophagy has been shown in multiple processes such as, the adaptation to stress, longevity, cell death, cell growth control, clearance of aggregate prone proteins, degradation of P granules during embryogenesis, and apoptotic cell clearance. Here we discuss some of these roles and describe methods that can be used to study autophagy in C. elegans. Specifically, we summarize how to visualize autophagy in embryos, larva, or adults, how to detect the lipidation of LGG-1 by western blot, and how to inactivate autophagy genes by RNAi. PMID:26729905

  9. Dopamine regulates body size in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Detection of Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Palmisano, Nicholas J; Meléndez, Alicia

    2016-02-01

    Autophagy is a dynamic and catabolic process that results in the breakdown and recycling of cellular components through the autophagosomal-lysosomal pathway. Many autophagy genes identified in yeasts and mammals have orthologs in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In recent years, gene inactivation by RNA interference (RNAi) and chromosomal mutations has been useful to probe the functions of autophagy in C. elegans, and a role for autophagy has been shown to contribute to multiple processes, such as the adaptation to stress, longevity, cell death, cell growth control, clearance of aggregation-prone proteins, degradation of P granules during embryogenesis, and apoptotic cell clearance. Here, we discuss some of these roles and describe methods that can be used to study autophagy in C. elegans. Specifically, we summarize how to visualize autophagy in embryos, larva, or adults, how to detect the lipidation of the ubiquitin-like modifier LGG-1 by western blot, and how to inactivate autophagy genes by RNAi.

  12. Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Nectogale elegans.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ting; Yan, Chaochao; Tan, Zheng; Tu, Feiyun; Yue, Bisong; Zhang, Xiuyue

    2014-08-01

    The elegant water shrew (Nectogale elegans) belongs to the family Soricidae, and distributes in northern South Asia, central and southern China and northern Southeast Asia. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of N. elegans was sequenced. It was determined to be 17,460 bases, and included 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNA genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes and one non-coding region, which is similar to other mammalian mitochondrial genomes. Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods were used to construct phylogenetic trees based on 12 heavy-strand concatenated PCGs. Phylogenetic analyses further confirmed that Crocidurinae diverged prior to Soricinae, and Sorex unguiculatus differentiated earlier than N. elegans.

  13. A sleep state during C. elegans development

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Matthew D.; Raizen, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is the simplest animal shown to sleep. It sleeps during lethargus, a larval transition stage. Behavior during lethargus has the sleep properties of a specific quiescent posture and elevated arousal threshold that are reversible to strong stimulation and of increased sleep drive following sleep deprivation. Genetic similarities between sleep regulation during C. elegans lethargus and sleep regulation in other animals point to a sleep state that was an evolutionarily ancestor to sleep both in C. elegans and other animals. Recent publications have shed light on key questions in sleep biology: (1) How is sleep regulated? (2) How is sensory information gated during sleep? (3) How is sleep homeostasis mediated? (4) What is the core function of sleep? PMID:23562486

  14. C. elegans survivors without telomerase

    PubMed Central

    Lackner, Daniel H.; Karlseder, Jan

    2013-01-01

    In most eukaryotic organisms with a linear genome, the telomerase complex is essential for telomere maintenance and, thus, for genomic integrity. Proper telomerase function in stem and germ cell populations counteracts replication-dependent telomere shortening. On the other hand, repression of telomerase expression in most somatic tissues limits the proliferative potential of these cells through the induction of a permanent cell cycle arrest termed senescence upon critical telomere erosion. Thus, senescence, induced by telomere shortening and subsequent DNA damage signaling, is an essential tumor suppressive mechanism, emphasized by the fact that repression of telomerase is lost in about 90% of cancers, endowing them with unlimited proliferative potential. In 10% of cancers telomeres are maintained using the recombination-based alternative mechanism of telomere lengthening (ALT). To date, ALT and ALT-like mechanisms have only been described in the context of individual cells such as cancer cells and yeast. Now, several “survivor” strains of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have been generated that can propagate despite mutations of the telomerase gene. These nematode strains represent the first multi-cellular organism with canonical telomerase that can survive in the absence of a functional telomerase pathway. PMID:24058854

  15. VAR Support from Distributed Wind Energy Resources: Preprint

    SciTech Connect

    Romanowitz, H.; Muljadi, E.; Butterfield, C. P.; Yinger, R.

    2004-07-01

    As the size and quantity of wind farms and other distributed generation facilities increase, especially in relation to local grids, the importance of a reactive power compensator or VAR support from these facilities becomes more significant. Poorly done, it can result in cycling or inadequate VAR support, and the local grid could experience excessive voltage regulation and, ultimately, instability. Improved wind turbine and distributed generation power control technologies are creating VAR support capabilities that can be used to enhance the voltage regulation and stability of local grids. Locating VAR support near the point of consumption, reducing step size, and making the control active all improve the performance of the grid. This paper presents and discusses alternatives for improving the integration of VAR support from distributed generation facilities such as wind farms. We also examine the relative effectiveness of distributed VAR support on the local grid and how it can b e integrated with the VAR support of the grid operator.

  16. Ascaroside signaling in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Ludewig, Andreas H; Schroeder, Frank C

    2013-01-18

    Over the past 10 years, the relevance of small-molecule signaling for many aspects of C. elegans development and behavior has become apparent. One prominent group of small-molecule signals are the ascarosides, which control dauer entry and exit as well as a variety of sex-specific and social behaviors, including male attraction, hermaphrodite repulsion, olfactory plasticity, and aggregation. This wide range of biological functions is facilitated by a great diversity of ascaroside chemical structures. These are based on the sugar ascarylose, which is linked to fatty acid-like side chains of varying lengths and often decorated further with building blocks derived from amino acids, folate, and other primary metabolites. Different ascarosides or combinations of ascarosides mediate different phenotypes, and even small differences in chemical structures are often associated with strongly altered activity profiles. Additional complexity arises from concentration-dependent effects and synergism between different ascarosides. The ascarosides are sensed by several types of chemosensory head neurons, including the ASK, ASI, and ADL neurons as well as the male-specific CEM neurons. Ascaroside perception is mediated by diverse families of G-protein coupled membrane receptors that act upstream of conserved signal transduction pathways, including insulin/IGF-1 signaling and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling. Biosynthesis of the ascarosides appears to integrate input from several primary metabolic pathways, including peroxisomal β-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids and amino acid catabolism. Life stage, sex, as well as food availability and other environmental factors affect ascaroside biosynthesis, suggesting that ascaroside signaling communicates detailed information about life history and metabolic state.

  17. Ascaroside signaling in C. elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Ludewig, Andreas H; Schroeder, Frank C

    2013-01-01

    Over the past 10 years, the relevance of small-molecule signaling for many aspects of C. elegans development and behavior has become apparent. One prominent group of small-molecule signals are the ascarosides, which control dauer entry and exit as well as a variety of sex-specific and social behaviors, including male attraction, hermaphrodite repulsion, olfactory plasticity, and aggregation. This wide range of biological functions is facilitated by a great diversity of ascaroside chemical structures. These are based on the sugar ascarylose, which is linked to fatty acid-like side chains of varying lengths and often decorated further with building blocks derived from amino acids, folate, and other primary metabolites. Different ascarosides or combinations of ascarosides mediate different phenotypes, and even small differences in chemical structures are often associated with strongly altered activity profiles. Additional complexity arises from concentration-dependent effects and synergism between different ascarosides. The ascarosides are sensed by several types of chemosensory head neurons, including the ASK, ASI, and ADL neurons as well as the male-specific CEM neurons. Ascaroside perception is mediated by diverse families of G-protein coupled membrane receptors that act upstream of conserved signal transduction pathways, including insulin/IGF-1 signaling and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling. Biosynthesis of the ascarosides appears to integrate input from several primary metabolic pathways, including peroxisomal β-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids and amino acid catabolism. Life stage, sex, as well as food availability and other environmental factors affect ascaroside biosynthesis, suggesting that ascaroside signaling communicates detailed information about life history and metabolic state. PMID:23355522

  18. The invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans biosynthesizes ascorbate.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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 (13)C-labeling of ascorbate when C. elegans was grown with (13)C-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.

  19. Guidelines for monitoring autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Hormetic effect of methylmercury on Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Helmcke, Kirsten J. Aschner, Michael

    2010-10-15

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

  3. Pregnane glycosides from Caralluma adscendens var. fimbriata.

    PubMed

    Kunert, Olaf; Rao, Vijayalakshmi Gurunath; Babu, Gummadi Sridhar; Sujatha, Palatheeya; Sivagamy, Malayalam; Anuradha, Sandala; Rao, Belvotagi Venkatrao Adavi; Kumar, Bobbala Ravi; Alex, Robert Michael; Schühly, Wolfgang; Kühnelt, Doris; Rao, Ghanakota Venkateshwara; Rao, Achanta Venkata Narasimha Appa

    2008-02-01

    Eleven novel pregnane glycosides, 2-7 and 9-13, of which four, i.e., 10-13, comprised a new pregnane-type genin exhibiting a hydroxymethylene instead of a Me group at C(19), and the known pregnane glycoside stalagmoside V (8) were isolated from whole plants of Caralluma adscendens var. fimbriata, a native Indian succulent plant. Their structures were elucidated by extensive 2D-NMR spectroscopic studies.

  4. Chemical detoxification of small molecules by Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-15

    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.

  5. 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

  6. The laboratory domestication of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    Model organisms are of great importance to our understanding of basic biology and to making advances in biomedical research. However, the influence of laboratory cultivation on these organisms is underappreciated, and 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 with natural strains. Here we describe potential selective pressures that led to the 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 influence of laboratory-derived alleles and to harness the full power of C. elegans.

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans pheromones regulate multiple complex behaviors.

    PubMed

    Edison, Arthur S

    2009-08-01

    A family of small molecules called ascarosides act as pheromones to control multiple behaviors in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. At picomolar concentrations, a synergistic mixture of at least three ascarosides produced by hermaphrodites causes male-specific attraction. At higher concentrations, the same ascarosides, perhaps in a different mixture, induce the developmentally arrested stage known as dauer. The production of ascarosides is strongly dependent on environmental conditions, although relatively little is known about the major variables and mechanisms of their regulation. Thus, male mating and dauer formation are linked through a common set of small molecules whose expression is sensitive to a given microenvironment, suggesting a model by which ascarosides regulate the overall life cycle of C. elegans.

  8. Dietary choice behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Shtonda, Boris Borisovich; Avery, Leon

    2005-01-01

    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

  9. RNASeq in C. elegans following manganese exposure

    PubMed Central

    Parmalee, Nancy L.; Maqbool, Shahina B.; Ye, Bin; Calder, Brent; Bowman, Aaron B.; Aschner, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Manganese is a metal that is required for optimal biological functioning of organisms. Absorption, cellular import and export, and excretion of manganese are all tightly regulated. While some genes involved in regulation, such as DMT-1 and ferroportin are known, it is presumed that many more are involved and as yet unknown. Excessive exposure to manganese, usually in industrial settings, such as mining or welding, can lead to neurotoxicity and a condition known as manganism that closely resembles Parkinson's disease. Elucidating transcriptional changes following manganese exposure could lead to the development of biomarkers for exposure. This unit presents a protocol for RNA sequencing in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans to assay for transcriptional changes following exposure to manganese. This protocol is adaptable to any environmental exposure in C. elegans. The protocol results in counts of gene transcripts in control versus exposed conditions, and a ranked list of differentially expressed genes for further study. PMID:26250396

  10. Proteome of the Caenorhabditis elegans oocyte.

    PubMed

    Chik, John K; Schriemer, David C; Childs, Sarah J; McGhee, James D

    2011-05-06

    Oocytes were purified from the temperature-sensitive fertilization-defective fer-1(b232ts) mutant of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and used for comprehensive mass spectrometric analysis. Using stringent criteria, 1165 C. elegans proteins were identified; at lower stringency, an additional 288 proteins were identified. We validate the high degree of sample purity and evaluate several possible sources of bias in the proteomic data. We compare the classes of proteins identified in the current oocyte proteome with protein classes identified in our previously determined oocyte transcriptome. The oocyte proteome appears enriched in proteins likely to be needed immediately upon fertilization, whereas the transcriptome appears enriched in molecules and processes needed later in embryogenesis. The current study provides fundamental background information for future more detailed studies of oocyte biology.

  11. A database of Caenorhabditis elegans behavioral phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Yemini, Eviatar; Jucikas, Tadas; Grundy, Laura J; Brown, André E X; Schafer, William R

    2013-09-01

    Using low-cost automated tracking microscopes, we have generated a behavioral database for 305 Caenorhabditis elegans strains, including 76 mutants with no previously described phenotype. The growing database currently consists of 9,203 short videos segmented to extract behavior and morphology features, and these videos and feature data are available online for further analysis. The database also includes summary statistics for 702 measures with statistical comparisons to wild-type controls so that phenotypes can be identified and understood by users.

  12. The Si elegans project at the interface of experimental and computational Caenorhabditis elegans neurobiology and behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrushin, Alexey; Ferrara, Lorenzo; Blau, Axel

    2016-12-01

    Objective. In light of recent progress in mapping neural function to behavior, we briefly and selectively review past and present endeavors to reveal and reconstruct nervous system function in Caenorhabditis elegans through simulation. Approach. Rather than presenting an all-encompassing review on the mathematical modeling of C. elegans, this contribution collects snapshots of pathfinding key works and emerging technologies that recent single- and multi-center simulation initiatives are building on. We thereby point out a few general limitations and problems that these undertakings are faced with and discuss how these may be addressed and overcome. Main results. Lessons learned from past and current computational approaches to deciphering and reconstructing information flow in the C. elegans nervous system corroborate the need of refining neural response models and linking them to intra- and extra-environmental interactions to better reflect and understand the actual biological, biochemical and biophysical events that lead to behavior. Together with single-center research efforts, the Si elegans and OpenWorm projects aim at providing the required, in some cases complementary tools for different hardware architectures to support advancement into this direction. Significance. Despite its seeming simplicity, the nervous system of the hermaphroditic nematode C. elegans with just 302 neurons gives rise to a rich behavioral repertoire. Besides controlling vital functions (feeding, defecation, reproduction), it encodes different stimuli-induced as well as autonomous locomotion modalities (crawling, swimming and jumping). For this dichotomy between system simplicity and behavioral complexity, C. elegans has challenged neurobiologists and computational scientists alike. Understanding the underlying mechanisms that lead to a context-modulated functionality of individual neurons would not only advance our knowledge on nervous system function and its failure in pathological

  13. In vivo laser axotomy in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Alexandra B; Edwards, Tyson J; Hammarlund, Marc

    2011-05-19

    Neurons communicate with other cells via axons and dendrites, slender membrane extensions that contain pre- or post-synaptic specializations. If a neuron is damaged by injury or disease, it may regenerate. Cell-intrinsic and extrinsic factors influence the ability of a neuron to regenerate and restore function. Recently, the nematode C. elegans has emerged as an excellent model organism to identify genes and signaling pathways that influence the regeneration of neurons(1-6). The main way to initiate neuronal regeneration in C. elegans is laser-mediated cutting, or axotomy. During axotomy, a fluorescently-labeled neuronal process is severed using high-energy pulses. Initially, neuronal regeneration in C. elegans was examined using an amplified femtosecond laser(5). However, subsequent regeneration studies have shown that a conventional pulsed laser can be used to accurately sever neurons in vivo and elicit a similar regenerative response(1,3,7). We present a protocol for performing in vivo laser axotomy in the worm using a MicroPoint pulsed laser, a turnkey system that is readily available and that has been widely used for targeted cell ablation. We describe aligning the laser, mounting the worms, cutting specific neurons, and assessing subsequent regeneration. The system provides the ability to cut large numbers of neurons in multiple worms during one experiment. Thus, laser axotomy as described herein is an efficient system for initiating and analyzing the process of regeneration.

  14. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its genome.

    PubMed

    Hodgkin, J; Plasterk, R H; Waterston, R H

    1995-10-20

    Over the past two decades, the small soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become established as a major model system for the study of a great variety of problems in biology and medicine. One of its most significant advantages is its simplicity, both in anatomy and in genomic organization. The entire haploid genetic content amounts to 100 million base pairs of DNA, about 1/30 the size of the human value. As a result, C. elegans has also provided a pilot system for the construction of physical maps of larger animal and plant genomes, and subsequently for the complete sequencing of those genomes. By mid-1995, approximately one-fifth of the complete DNA sequence of this animal had been determined. Caenorhabditis elegans provides a test bed not only for the development and application of mapping and sequencing technologies, but also for the interpretation and use of complete sequence information. This article reviews the progress so far toward a realizable goal--the total description of the genome of a simple animal.

  15. Targeted genome engineering in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiangyang; Feng, Xuezhu; Guang, Shouhong

    2016-01-01

    The generation of mutants and transgenes are indispensible for biomedical research. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a series of methods have been developed to introduce genome modifications, including random mutagenesis by chemical reagents, ionizing radiation and transposon insertion. In addition, foreign DNA can be integrated into the genome through microparticle bombardment approach or by irradiation of animals carrying microinjected extrachromosomal arrays. Recent research has revolutionized the genome engineering technologies by using customized DNA nucleases to manipulate particular genes and genomic sequences. Many streamlined editing strategies are developed to simplify the experimental procedure and minimize the cost. In this review, we will summarize the recent progress of the site-specific genome editing methods in C. elegans, including the Cre/LoxP, FLP/FRT, MosTIC system, zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcriptional activator-like nucleases (TALENs), and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 nuclease. Particularly, the recent studies of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing method in C. elegans will be emphatically discussed.

  16. 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.

  17. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hallem, Elissa A.; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

    Carbon dioxide is produced as a by-product of cellular respiration by all aerobic organisms and thus serves for many animals as an important indicator of food, mates, and predators. However, whether free-living terrestrial nematodes such as Caenorhabditis elegans respond to CO2 was unclear. We have demonstrated that adult C. elegans display an acute avoidance response upon exposure to CO2 that is characterized by the cessation of forward movement and the rapid initiation of backward movement. This response is mediated by a cGMP signaling pathway that includes the cGMP-gated heteromeric channel TAX-2/TAX-4. CO2 avoidance is modulated by multiple signaling molecules, including the neuropeptide Y receptor NPR-1 and the calcineurin subunits TAX-6 and CNB-1. Nutritional status also modulates CO2 responsiveness via the insulin and TGFβ signaling pathways. CO2 response is mediated by a neural circuit that includes the BAG neurons, a pair of sensory neurons of previously unknown function. TAX-2/TAX-4 function in the BAG neurons to mediate acute CO2 avoidance. Our results demonstrate that C. elegans senses and responds to CO2 using multiple signaling pathways and a neural network that includes the BAG neurons and that this response is modulated by the physiological state of the worm. PMID:18524955

  18. Pentacyclic triterpenoids from Aster ageratoides var. pilosus.

    PubMed

    Yan, Fu-Lin; Wang, Ai-Xia; Jia, Zhong-Jian

    2004-11-01

    Two new pentacyclic triterpenoids, 2beta,3beta,16alpha-trihydroxyl-24alpha-al-olean-12-en-28-oic acid (1), 2beta,3beta-dihydroxyl-16-O-beta-D-glucopyranose-24alpha-al-olean-12-en-28-oic acid (2) and two known pentacyclic triterpenoids were isolated from the roots of Aster ageratoides var. pilosus. Their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic methods (IR, MS, 1H, 13C and 2D NMR). In addition, the anti-bacterial activity and anti-tumor activity of compound 2 were tested.

  19. Species differentiation in Caenorhabditis briggsae and Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, P. A.; Platzer, E. G.; Eby, J. E.

    1977-01-01

    Identification of five laboratory strains (1-5) of putative Caenorhabditis briggsae was undertaken. Examination of the male bursal ray arrangement, mating tests with males of Caenorhabditis elegans, malate dehydrogenase zymograms, and SDS polyacrylamide electrophoresis demonstrated that strain 4 was C. briggsae and the others were C. elegans. PMID:19305593

  20. C. elegans locomotion analysis using algorithmic information theory.

    PubMed

    Skandari, Roghieh; Le Bihan, Nicolas; Manton, Jonathan H

    2015-01-01

    This article investigates the use of algorithmic information theory to analyse C. elegans datasets. The ability of complexity measures to detect similarity in animals' behaviours is demonstrated and their strengths are compared to methods such as histograms. Introduced quantities are illustrated on a couple of real two-dimensional C. elegans datasets to investigate the thermotaxis and chemotaxis behaviours.

  1. Effect of electromagnetic nanopulses on C. elegans fertility.

    PubMed

    Bojjawar, Tripura; Jalari, Madan; Aamodt, Eric; Ware, Matthew F; Haynie, Donald T

    2006-10-01

    Electromagnetic nanopulse exposure results in decreased fertility of C. elegans, a well studied, multicellar organism. Experiments indicate that this effect is unlikely to be due to heating. Instead, nanopulses interfere with fertilization or development by an as yet undetermined mechanism. Study of nanopulse exposure of C. elegans could help to understand more generally how living organisms interact with electromagnetic fields.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  3. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Avila, Daiana; Helmcke, Kirsten; Aschner, Michael

    2012-03-01

    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.

  5. Ecdysteroids in Axenically Propagated Caenorhabditis elegans and Culture Medium

    PubMed Central

    Chitwood, D. J.; Feldlaufer, M. F.

    1990-01-01

    Ecdysteroids (insect molting hormones) from Caenorhabditis elegans were chromatographically purified and quantified by radioimmunoassay. Nematodes from semidefined medium contained the immunoreactive equivalent of 460 pg ecdysone per gram dry weight. Culture medium, however, contained the immunoreactive equivalent of 68 times the quantity within the nematodes. In a defined medium lacking immunoreactivity, C. elegans contained 520 pg ecdysone equivalents per gram dry weight but reproduced slowly. Reproduction of C. elegans in defined medium was enhanced by formulation in agar. Propagation of C. elegans in either agar-based or aqueous defined medium supplemented with [¹⁴C]cholesterol of high specific activity failed to result in production of radiolabeled free ecdysteroids or polar or apolar ecdysteroid conjugates. Failure to demonstrate ecdysteroid biosynthesis in C. elegans raises questions about the ecdysteroids identified previously in nematodes being products of endogenous biosynthesis, a necessary condition for these compounds to be nematode hormones. PMID:19287765

  6. C. elegans behavior of preference choice on bacterial food.

    PubMed

    Abada, Emad Abd-elmoniem; Sung, Hyun; Dwivedi, Meenakshi; Park, Byung-Jae; Lee, Sun-Kyung; Ahnn, Joohong

    2009-09-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a free living soil nematode and thus in its natural habitat, C. elegans encounters many different species of soil bacteria. Although some soil bacteria may be excellent sources of nutrition for the worm, others may be pathogenic. Thus, we undertook a study to understand how C. elegans can identify their preferred food using a simple behavioral assay. We found that there are various species of soil bacteria that C. elegans prefers in comparison to the standard laboratory E. coli strain OP50. In particular, two bacterial strains, Bacillus mycoides and Bacillus soli, were preferred strains. Interestingly, the sole feeding of these bacteria to wild type animals results in extended lifespan through the activation of the autophagic process. Further studies will be required to understand the precise mechanism controlling the behavior of identification and selection of food in C. elegans.

  7. Neurodegenerative disorders: insights from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Dimitriadi, Maria; Hart, Anne C.

    2010-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases impose a burden on society, yet for the most part, the mechanisms underlying neuronal dysfunction and death in these disorders remain unclear despite the identification of relevant disease genes. Given the molecular conservation in neuronal signaling pathways across vertebrate and invertebrate species, many researchers have turned to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to identify the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease pathology. C. elegans can be engineered to express human proteins associated with neurodegeneration; additionally, the function of C. elegans orthologs of human neurodegenerative disease genes can be dissected. Herein, we examine major C. elegans neurodegeneration models that recapitulate many aspects of human neurodegenerative disease and we survey the screens that have identified modifier genes. This review highlights how the C. elegans community has used this versatile organism to model several aspects of human neurodegeneration and how these studies have contributed to our understanding of human disease. PMID:20493260

  8. Strength in numbers: "Omics" studies of C. elegans innate immunity.

    PubMed

    Simonsen, Karina T; Gallego, Sandra F; Færgeman, Nils J; Kallipolitis, Birgitte H

    2012-10-01

    For more than ten years the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has proven to be a valuable model for studies of the host response to various bacterial and fungal pathogens. When exposed to a pathogenic organism, a clear response is elicited in the nematode, which is characterized by specific alterations on the transcriptional and translational levels. Early on, researchers took advantage of the possibility to conduct large-scale investigations of the C. elegans immune response. Multiple studies demonstrated that C. elegans does indeed mount a protective response against invading pathogens, thus rendering this small nematode a very useful and simple host model for the study of innate immunity and host-pathogen interactions. Here, we provide an overview of key aspects of innate immunity in C. elegans revealed by recent whole-genome transcriptomics and proteomics studies of the global response of C. elegans to various bacterial and fungal pathogens.

  9. Genetic maps for Pinus elliottii var. elliottii and P. caribaea var. hondurensis using AFLP and microsatellite markers.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, M; Cross, M; Dieters, M J; Henry, R

    2003-05-01

    Genetic maps for individual Pinus elliottii var. elliottii and P. caribaea var. hondurensis trees were generated using a pseudo-testcross mapping strategy. A total of 329 amplified fragment length polymorphic (AFLP) and 12 microsatellite markers were found to segregate in a sample of 93 interspecfic F(1) progeny. The male P. caribaea var. hondurensis parent was more heterozygous than the female P. elliottii var. elliottii parent with 19% more markers segregating on the male side. Framework maps were constructed using a LOD 5 threshold for grouping and interval support threshold of LOD 2. The framework map length for the P. elliottii var. elliottii megagametophyte parent (1,170 cM Kosambi; 23 linkage groups) was notably smaller than the P. caribaea var. hondurensis pollen parent (1,658 cM Kosambi; 27 linkage groups). The difference in map lengths was assumed to be due to sex-related recombination variation, which has been previously reported for pines, as the difference in map lengths not be accounted for by the larger number of markers mapping to the P. caribaea var. hondurensis parent - 109 compared with 78 in P. elliottii var. elliottii parent. Based on estimated genome sizes for these species, the framework maps for P. elliottii var. elliottii and P. caribaea var. hondurensis covered 82% and 88% of their respective genomes. The pseudo-testcross strategy was extended to include AFLP and microsatellite markers in an intercross configuration. These comprehensive maps provided further genome coverage, 1,548 and 1,828 cM Kosambi for P. elliottii var. elliottii and P. caribaea var. hondurensis, respectively, and enabled homologous linkage groups to be identified in the two parental maps. Homologous linkage groups were identified for 11 out of 24 P. elliottii var. elliottii and 10 out of 25 P. caribaea var. hondurensis groups. A higher than expected level of segregation distortion was found for both AFLP and microsatellite markers. An explanation for this segregation

  10. Chemical diversity of volatiles of Teucrium orientale L. var. orientale, var. puberulens, and var. glabrescens determined by simultaneous GC-FID and GC/MS techniques.

    PubMed

    Ozek, Gulmira; Ozek, Temel; Dinç, Muhittin; Doǧu, Süleyman; Başer, Kemal H C

    2012-06-01

    In the present work, three varieties of Teucrium orientale, var. orientale, var. puberulens, and var. glabrescens, were collected and investigated for chemical composition of the oils. Subsequent gas chromatography (GC-FID) and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS) revealed high abundance of sesquiterpenes in the essential oils analyzed. All the oils contained β-caryophyllene (22.6, 8.5, and 6.3%, resp.) and hexadecanoic acid (7.9, 12.8, and 13.1%). Germacrene D (24.6 and 33.4%) and bicyclogermacrene (6.7 and 8.5%) were found to be the main constituents of var. orientale and var. puberulens, respectively. The high percentages of β-cubebene (26.9%), α-cubebene (9.0%), and α-copaene (7.2%) established the diversity of var. glabrescens. The qualitative difference between the essential oils allowed the differentiation between the varieties in agreement with the morphological observations described in Flora of Turkey for each variety studied. In addition, a cluster analysis of twelve Teucrium taxa based on the essential-oil composition has been carried out. Hovewer, the analysis did not clearly reflect the infrageneric classification of the genus, it largely confirmed the relationships between the infraspecific taxa of Teucrium orientale and T. chamaedrys.

  11. Gelsemium alkaloids, immunosuppressive agents from Gelsemium elegans.

    PubMed

    Xu, You-Kai; Liao, Shang-Gao; Na, Zhi; Hu, Hua-Bin; Li, Yan; Luo, Huai-Rong

    2012-09-01

    Bioassay-guided isolation of the stems of Gelsemium elegans has led to the isolation of two new Gelsemium alkaloids, 21-(2-oxopropyl)-koumine (1) and 11-methoxygelselegine (2), and two known alkaloids, koumine (3) and gelselegine (4). The structures of 1-2 were determined by spectroscopic (for both) and single-crystal X-ray diffraction (for 1) analysis. All compounds isolated were evaluated for their potential as immunosuppressive agents and the data suggested that Gelsemium alkaloids of different structural types possibly have potential as immunosuppressive agents.

  12. Imaging embryonic morphogenesis in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Hardin, Jeff

    2011-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans embryo is well suited to morphogenetic analysis via modern microscopy, due to its short generation time, transparency, invariant lineage, and the ability to generate transgenic embryos expressing various fluorescent proteins. This chapter provides an overview of microscopy techniques for imaging embryonic morphogenesis, including making agar mounts, capturing four-dimensional (4D) data using Nomarski microscopy, imaging of actin in embryos, factors important for optimizing 4D fluorescence microscopy, and recent techniques that leverage fluorescence microscopy for intracellular imaging of cellular components during morphogenesis.

  13. Measuring Oxygen Consumption Rate in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Palikaras, Konstantinos; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2017-01-01

    The rate of oxygen consumption is a vital marker indicating cellular function during lifetime under normal or metabolically challenged conditions. It is used broadly to study mitochondrial function (Artal-Sanz and Tavernarakis, 2009; Palikaras et al., 2015; Ryu et al., 2016) or investigate factors mediating the switch from oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis (Chen et al., 2015; Vander Heiden et al., 2009). In this protocol, we describe a method for the determination of oxygen consumption rates in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:28239622

  14. Somatic Embryogenesis in Olive (Olea europaea L. subsp. europaea var. sativa and var. sylvestris).

    PubMed

    Rugini, Eddo; Silvestri, Cristian

    2016-01-01

    Protocols for olive somatic embryogenesis from zygotic embryos and mature tissues have been described for both Olea europaea sub. europaea var. sativa and var. sylvestris. Immature zygotic embryos (no more than 75 days old), used after fruit collection or stored at 12-14 °C for 2-3 months, are the best responsive explants and very slightly genotype dependent, and one single protocol can be effective for a wide range of genotypes. On the contrary, protocols for mature zygotic embryos and for mature tissue of cultivars are often genotype specific, so that they may require many adjustments according to genotypes. The use of thidiazuron and cefotaxime seems to be an important trigger for induction phase particularly for tissues derived from cultivars. Up to now, however, the application of this technique for large-scale propagation is hampered also by the low rate of embryo germination; it proves nonetheless very useful for genetic improvement.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 1D-VAR Retrieval Using Superchannels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Xu; Zhou, Daniel; Larar, Allen; Smith, William L.; Schluessel, Peter; Mango, Stephen; SaintGermain, Karen

    2008-01-01

    Since modern ultra-spectral remote sensors have thousands of channels, it is difficult to include all of them in a 1D-var retrieval system. We will describe a physical inversion algorithm, which includes all available channels for the atmospheric temperature, moisture, cloud, and surface parameter retrievals. Both the forward model and the inversion algorithm compress the channel radiances into super channels. These super channels are obtained by projecting the radiance spectra onto a set of pre-calculated eigenvectors. The forward model provides both super channel properties and jacobian in EOF space directly. For ultra-spectral sensors such as Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) and the NPOESS Airborne Sounder Testbed Interferometer (NAST), a compression ratio of more than 80 can be achieved, leading to a significant reduction in computations involved in an inversion process. Results will be shown applying the algorithm to real IASI and NAST data.

  18. 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

  19. Morphogenesis of the C. elegans vulva

    PubMed Central

    Schindler, Adam J

    2012-01-01

    Understanding how cells move, change shape, and alter cellular behaviors to form organs, a process termed morphogenesis, is one of the great challenges of developmental biology. Formation of the C. elegans vulva is a powerful, simple, and experimentally accessible model for elucidating how morphogenetic processes produce an organ. In the first step of vulval development, three epithelial precursor cells divide and differentiate to generate 22 cells of seven different vulval subtypes. The 22 vulval cells then rearrange from a linear array into a tube, with each of the seven cell types undergoing characteristic morphogenetic behaviours that construct the vulva. Vulval morphogenesis entails many of the same cellular activities that underlie organogenesis and tissue formation across species, including invagination, lumen formation, oriented cell divisions, cell-cell adhesion, cell migration, cell fusion, extracellular matrix remodelling and cell invasion. Studies of vulval development have led to pioneering discoveries in a number of these processes and are beginning to bridge the gap between the pathways that specify cells and their connections to morphogenetic behaviors. The simplicity of the vulva and the experimental tools available in C. elegans will continue to make vulval morphogenesis a powerful paradigm to further our understanding of the largely mysterious mechanisms that build tissues and organs. PMID:23418408

  20. RNA interference spreading in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    May, Robin C; Plasterk, Ronald H A

    2005-01-01

    The phenomenon of RNA interference (RNAi) occurs in eukaryotic organisms from across the boundaries of taxonomic kingdoms. In all cases, the basic mechanism of RNAi appears to be conserved--an initial trigger [double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) containing perfect homology over at least 19-21/bp with an endogenous gene] is processed into short interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules and these siRNAs stimulate degradation of the homologous mRNA. In the vast majority of species, RNAi can only be initiated following the deliberate introduction of dsRNA into a cell by microinjection, electroporation, or transfection. However, in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, RNAi can be simply initiated by supplying dsRNA in the surrounding medium or in the diet. Following uptake, this dsRNA triggers a systemic effect, initiating RNAi against the corresponding target gene in tissues that are not in direct contact with the external milieu. This phenomenon of systemic RNAi, or RNAi spreading, is notably absent from mammalian species, a fact that is likely to prove a substantial barrier to the wider use of RNAi as a clinical therapy. An understanding of the mechanism of systemic RNAi is therefore of considerable importance, and several advances of the last few years have begun to shed light on this process. Here we review our current understanding of systemic RNAi in C. elegans and draw comparisons with systemic RNAi pathways in other organisms.

  1. Food transport in the C. elegans pharynx.

    PubMed

    Avery, Leon; Shtonda, Boris B

    2003-07-01

    Pumping of the C. elegans pharynx transports food particles (bacteria) posteriorly. We examined muscle motions to determine how this posterior transport is effected. We find that the motions of the middle section of the pharynx, the anterior isthmus, are delayed relative to the anterior section, the corpus. Simulations in which particles are assumed to move at mean fluid velocity when not captured by the walls of the pharyngeal lumen show that delayed isthmus motions do indeed cause net particle transport; however, the amount is much less than in the real pharynx. We propose that the geometry of the pharyngeal lumen forces particles to the center, where they move faster than mean fluid velocity. When this acceleration is incorporated into the simulation, particles are transported efficiently. The transport mechanism we propose explains past observations that the timing of muscle relaxation is important for effective transport. Our model also makes a prediction, which we confirm, that smaller bacteria are better food sources for C. elegans than large ones.

  2. The Multilayer Connectome of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Branicky, Robyn; Barnes, Christopher L.; Bullmore, Edward T.

    2016-01-01

    Connectomics has focused primarily on the mapping of synaptic links in the brain; yet it is well established that extrasynaptic volume transmission, especially via monoamines and neuropeptides, is also critical to brain function and occurs primarily outside the synaptic connectome. We have mapped the putative monoamine connections, as well as a subset of neuropeptide connections, in C. elegans based on new and published gene expression data. The monoamine and neuropeptide networks exhibit distinct topological properties, with the monoamine network displaying a highly disassortative star-like structure with a rich-club of interconnected broadcasting hubs, and the neuropeptide network showing a more recurrent, highly clustered topology. Despite the low degree of overlap between the extrasynaptic (or wireless) and synaptic (or wired) connectomes, we find highly significant multilink motifs of interaction, pinpointing locations in the network where aminergic and neuropeptide signalling modulate synaptic activity. Thus, the C. elegans connectome can be mapped as a multiplex network with synaptic, gap junction, and neuromodulator layers representing alternative modes of interaction between neurons. This provides a new topological plan for understanding how aminergic and peptidergic modulation of behaviour is achieved by specific motifs and loci of integration between hard-wired synaptic or junctional circuits and extrasynaptic signals wirelessly broadcast from a small number of modulatory neurons. PMID:27984591

  3. End Joining at Caenorhabditis elegans Telomeres

    PubMed Central

    Lowden, Mia Rochelle; Meier, Bettina; Lee, Teresa Wei-sy; Hall, Julie; Ahmed, Shawn

    2008-01-01

    Critically shortened telomeres can be subjected to DNA repair events that generate end-to-end chromosome fusions. The resulting dicentric chromosomes can enter breakage–fusion–bridge cycles, thereby impeding elucidation of the structures of the initial fusion events and a mechanistic understanding of their genesis. Current models for the molecular basis of fusion of critically shortened, uncapped telomeres rely on PCR assays that typically capture fusion breakpoints created by direct ligation of chromosome ends. Here we use independent approaches that rely on distinctive features of Caenorhabditis elegans to study the frequency of direct end-to-end chromosome fusion in telomerase mutants: (1) holocentric chromosomes that allow for genetic isolation of stable end-to-end fusions and (2) unique subtelomeric sequences that allow for thorough PCR analysis of samples of genomic DNA harboring multiple end-to-end fusions. Surprisingly, only a minority of end-to-end fusion events resulted from direct end joining with no additional genome rearrangements. We also demonstrate that deficiency for the C. elegans Ku DNA repair heterodimer does not affect telomere length or cause synthetic effects in the absence of telomerase. PMID:18780750

  4. Epigenetics in C. elegans: facts and challenges.

    PubMed

    Wenzel, Dirk; Palladino, Francesca; Jedrusik-Bode, Monika

    2011-08-01

    Epigenetics is defined as the study of heritable changes in gene expression that are not accompanied by changes in the DNA sequence. Epigenetic mechanisms include histone post-translational modifications, histone variant incorporation, non-coding RNAs, and nucleosome remodeling and exchange. In addition, the functional compartmentalization of the nucleus also contributes to epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying epigenetic phenomena and their biological function have relied on various model systems, including yeast, plants, flies, and cultured mammalian cells. Here we will expose the reader to the current understanding of epigenetic regulation in the roundworm C. elegans. We will review recent models of nuclear organization and its impact on gene expression, the biological role of enzymes modifying core histones, and the function of chromatin-associated factors, with special emphasis on Polycomb (PcG) and Trithorax (Trx-G) group proteins. We will discuss how the C. elegans model has provided novel insight into mechanisms of epigenetic regulation as well as suggest directions for future research.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Phytochemical and termiticidal study of Lantana camara var. aculeata leaves.

    PubMed

    Verma, Rajesh K; Verma, Suman K

    2006-09-01

    Extracts of Lantana camara var. aculeata leaves were studied for their phytochemical constituents and termiticidal effects against adult termite workers. The 5% chloroform extract was found to be significantly effective against termite workers.

  8. Puccinia jaceae var.solstitialis teliospore priming on yellow starthistle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Following the introduction of Puccinia jaceae var. solstitialis to California for biological control of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis, Asteraceae), teliospores, pycnia, and multiple urediniospore generations have been observed in the field. Because urediniospores have a relatively short...

  9. Epidemiological aspects of Trichophyton rubrum var. raubitschekii in Japan.

    PubMed

    Hiruma, Midori; Kano, Rui; Sugita, Takashi; Mochizuki, Takashi; Hasegawa, Atsuhiko; Hiruma, Masataro

    2012-12-01

    Trichophyton rubrum var. raubitschekii is a rare anthropophilic dermatophyte isolated around the world from tinea corporis, tinea cruris, tinea pedis and tinea unguium. In this study, the isolation rate of T. rubrum var. raubitschekii was studied in 200 cases of tinea pedis and tinea unguium in Japan. The 200 clinical isolates were shown to be of downy type as their colonies on Sabouraud's dextrose agar were white to cream, suede-like to downy, with a yellow-brown to wine-red reverse, and they produced few macroconidia. The type strain of T. rubrum var. raubitschekii (CBS 100084) and one clinical isolate (KMU 8337; isolated at Kanazawa) of downy type tested positive for urease, but the reference strain of T. rubrum (CBS 392.58) and the remaining 199 clinical isolates tested negative. Further epidemiological investigations are required to study human cases of infection with the granular type of T. rubrum and T. rubrum var. raubitschekii in Japan.

  10. New pseudoguaiane derivatives from Inula aschersoniana Janka var. aschersoniana.

    PubMed

    Trendafilova, Antoaneta; Todorova, Milka; Genova, Viktoriya; Shestakova, Pavletta; Dimitrov, Dimitar; Jadranine, Milka; Milosavljevic, Slobodan

    2014-08-01

    The aerial parts of Inula aschersoniana Janka var. aschersoniana afforded parthenolide, diepoxycostunolide, inusoniolide, chrysosplenol C and four new pseudoguaiane-type sesquiterpenoids. Their structures were determined using spectral methods and relative stereochemistry by NOESY correlations.

  11. Immunomodulatory Activity of Xanthones from Calophyllum teysmannii var. inuphylloide.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, M J; Nascimento, M S; Cidade, H M; Pinto, M M; Kijjoa, A; Anantachoke, C; Silva, A M; Herz, W

    1999-05-01

    Nine xanthones, including 3-(4-hydroxy-3-metnylbutyl)-4,8-dihydroxyxanthone, were isolated from the wood of a Thai collection of CALOPHYLLUM TEYSMANNII Miq. var. INUPHYLLOIDE (King) P. Stephen. Immunomodulatory activities of eight of these have been investigated.

  12. Microfluidics as a tool for C. elegans research.

    PubMed

    San-Miguel, Adriana; Lu, Hang

    2013-09-24

    Microfluidics has emerged as a set of powerful tools that have greatly advanced some areas of biological research, including research using C. elegans. The use of microfluidics has enabled many experiments that are otherwise impossible with conventional methods. Today there are many examples that demonstrate the main advantages of using microfluidics for C. elegans research, achieving precise environmental conditions and facilitating worm handling. Examples range from behavioral analysis under precise chemical or odor stimulation, locomotion studies in well-defined structural surroundings, and even long-term culture on chip. Moreover, microfluidics has enabled coupling worm handling and imaging thus facilitating genetic screens, optogenetic studies, and laser ablation experiments. In this article, we review some of the applications of microfluidics for C. elegans research and provide guides for the design, fabrication, and use of microfluidic devices for C. elegans research studies.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. BACTERIAL ATTRACTION AND QUORUM SENSING INHIBITION IN CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS EXUDATES

    PubMed Central

    KAPLAN, FATMA; BADRI, DAYAKAR V.; ZACHARIAH, CHERIAN; AJREDINI, RAMADAN; SANDOVAL, FRANCISCO J; ROJE, SANJA; LEVINE, LANFANG H.; ZHANG, FENGLI; ROBINETTE, STEVEN L.; ALBORN, HANS T.; ZHAO, WEI; STADLER, MICHAEL; NIMALENDRAN, RATHIKA; DOSSEY, AARON T.; BRÜSCHWEILER, RAFAEL; VIVANCO, JORGE M.; EDISON, ARTHUR S.

    2014-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a bacterivorous nematode, lives in complex rotting fruit, soil, and compost environments, and chemical interactions are required for mating, monitoring population density, recognition of food, avoidance of pathogenic microbes, and other essential ecological functions. Despite being one of the best-studied model organisms in biology, relatively little is known about the signals that C. elegans uses to chemically interact with its environment or as defense. C. elegans exudates were analyzed using several analytical methods and found to contain 36 common metabolites including organic acids, amino acids and sugars, all in relatively high abundance. Furthermore, the concentrations of amino acids in the exudates were dependent on developmental stage. The C. elegans exudates were tested for bacterial chemotaxis using Pseudomonas putida (KT2440), a plant growth promoting rhizobacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO1), a soil bacterium pathogenic to C. elegans, and E. coli (OP50), a non-motile bacterium tested as a control. The C. elegans exudates attracted the two Psuedomonas species, but had no detectable antibacterial activity against P. aeruginosa. To our surprise, the exudates of young adult and adult life stages of C. elegans exudates inhibited quorum sensing in the reporter system based on the LuxR bacterial quorum sensing (QS) system, which regulates bacterial virulence and other factors in Vibrio fischeri. We were able to fractionate the QS inhibition and bacterial chemotaxis activities, demonstrating that these activities are chemically distinct. Our results demonstrate that C. elegans can attract its bacterial food and has the potential of partially regulating the virulence of bacterial pathogens by inhibiting specific QS systems. PMID:19649780

  16. Building a Cell and Anatomy Ontology of Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sternberg, Paul W.

    2003-01-01

    We are endowed with a rich knowledge about Caenorhabditis elegans. Its stereotyped anatomy and development has stimulated research and resulted in the accumulation of cell-based information concerning gene expression, and the role of specific cells in developmental signalling and behavioural circuits. To make the information more accessible to sophisticated queries and automated retrieval systems, WormBase has begun to construct a C. elegans cell and anatomy ontology. Here we present our strategies and progress. PMID:18629098

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. CeNDR, the Caenorhabditis elegans natural diversity resource.

    PubMed

    Cook, Daniel E; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Roberts, Joshua P; Andersen, Erik C

    2017-01-04

    Studies in model organisms have yielded considerable insights into the etiology of disease and our understanding of evolutionary processes. Caenorhabditis elegans is among the most powerful model organisms used to understand biology. However, C. elegans is not used as extensively as other model organisms to investigate how natural variation shapes traits, especially through the use of genome-wide association (GWA) analyses. Here, we introduce a new platform, the C. elegans Natural Diversity Resource (CeNDR) to enable statistical genetics and genomics studies of C. elegans and to connect the results to human disease. CeNDR provides the research community with wild strains, genome-wide sequence and variant data for every strain, and a GWA mapping portal for studying natural variation in C. elegans Additionally, researchers outside of the C. elegans community can benefit from public mappings and integrated tools for comparative analyses. CeNDR uses several databases that are continually updated through the addition of new strains, sequencing data, and association mapping results. The CeNDR data are accessible through a freely available web portal located at http://www.elegansvariation.org or through an application programming interface.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. CeNDR, the Caenorhabditis elegans natural diversity resource

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Daniel E.; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Roberts, Joshua P.; Andersen, Erik C.

    2017-01-01

    Studies in model organisms have yielded considerable insights into the etiology of disease and our understanding of evolutionary processes. Caenorhabditis elegans is among the most powerful model organisms used to understand biology. However, C. elegans is not used as extensively as other model organisms to investigate how natural variation shapes traits, especially through the use of genome-wide association (GWA) analyses. Here, we introduce a new platform, the C. elegans Natural Diversity Resource (CeNDR) to enable statistical genetics and genomics studies of C. elegans and to connect the results to human disease. CeNDR provides the research community with wild strains, genome-wide sequence and variant data for every strain, and a GWA mapping portal for studying natural variation in C. elegans. Additionally, researchers outside of the C. elegans community can benefit from public mappings and integrated tools for comparative analyses. CeNDR uses several databases that are continually updated through the addition of new strains, sequencing data, and association mapping results. The CeNDR data are accessible through a freely available web portal located at http://www.elegansvariation.org or through an application programming interface. PMID:27701074

  5. 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:26087236

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Big Data in Caenorhabditis elegans: quo vadis?

    PubMed

    Hutter, Harald; Moerman, Donald

    2015-11-05

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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 ...

  11. Genetic Dissection of Late-Life Fertility in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Deqing; Park, Sang-Kyu; Cypser, James R.; Tedesco, Patricia M.; Phillips, Patrick C.; Johnson, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

    The large post-reproductive life span reported for the free-living hermaphroditic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, which lives for about 10 days after its 5-day period of self-reproduction, seems at odds with evolutionary theory. Species with long post-reproductive life spans such as mammals are sometimes explained by a need for parental care or transfer of information. This does not seem a suitable explanation for C elegans. Previous reports have shown that C elegans can regain fertility when mated after the self-fertile period but did not report the functional limits. Here, we report the functional life span of the C elegans germ line when mating with males. We show that C elegans can regain fertility late in life (significantly later than in previous reports) and that the end of this period corresponds quite well to its 3-week total life span. Genetic analysis reveals that late-life fertility is controlled by conserved pathways involved with aging and dietary restriction. PMID:21622982

  12. Superoxide dismutase SOD-1 modulates C. elegans pathogen avoidance behavior

    PubMed Central

    Horspool, Alexander M.; Chang, Howard C.

    2017-01-01

    The C. elegans nervous system mediates protective physiological and behavioral responses amid infection. However, it remains largely unknown how the nervous system responds to reactive oxygen species (ROS) activated by pathogenic microbes during infection. Here, we show superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD-1), an enzyme that converts superoxide into less toxic hydrogen peroxide and oxygen, functions in the gustatory neuron ASER to mediate C. elegans pathogen avoidance response. When C. elegans first encounters pathogenic bacteria P. aeruginosa, SOD-1 is induced in the ASER neuron. After prolonged P. aeruginosa exposure, ASER-specific SOD-1 expression is diminished. In turn, C. elegans starts to vacate the pathogenic bacteria lawn. Genetic knockdown experiments reveal that pathogen-induced ROS activate sod-1 dependent behavioral response non cell-autonomously. We postulate that the delayed aversive response to detrimental microbes may provide survival benefits by allowing C. elegans to temporarily utilize food that is tainted with pathogens as an additional energy source. Our data offer a mechanistic insight into how the nervous system mediates food-seeking behavior amid oxidative stress and suggest that the internal state of redox homeostasis could underlie the behavioral response to harmful microbial species. PMID:28322326

  13. Radiation-induced genomic instability in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Huumonen, Katriina; Immonen, Hanna-Kaisa; Baverstock, Keith; Hiltunen, Mikko; Korkalainen, Merja; Lahtinen, Tapani; Parviainen, Juha; Viluksela, Matti; Wong, Garry; Naarala, Jonne; Juutilainen, Jukka

    2012-10-09

    Radiation-induced genomic instability has been well documented, particularly in vitro. However, the understanding of its mechanisms and their consequences in vivo is still limited. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans; strain CB665) nematodes were exposed to X-rays at doses of 0.1, 1, 3 or 10Gy. The endpoints were measured several generations after exposure and included mutations in the movement-related gene unc-58, alterations in gene expression analysed with oligoarrays containing the entire C. elegans genome, and micro-satellite mutations measured by capillary electrophoresis. The progeny of the irradiated nematodes showed an increased mutation frequency in the unc-58 gene, with a maximum response observed at 1Gy. Significant differences were also found in gene expression between the irradiated (1Gy) and non-irradiated nematode lines. Differences in gene expression did not show clear clustering into certain gene categories, suggesting that the instability might be a chaotic process rather than a result of changes in the function of few specific genes such as, e.g., those responsible for DNA repair. Increased heterogeneity in gene expression, which has previously been described in irradiated cultured human lymphocytes, was also observed in the present study in C. elegans, the coefficient of variation of gene expression being higher in the progeny of irradiated nematodes than in control nematodes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first publication reporting radiation-induced genomic instability in C. elegans.

  14. Using transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans in soil toxicity testing.

    PubMed

    Graves, Amber L; Boyd, Windy A; Williams, Phillip L

    2005-05-01

    Soil bioassays are important tools for evaluating toxicological effects within the terrestrial environment. The American Society for Testing and Materials E2172-01 Standard Guide outlines a method for conducting laboratory soil toxicity tests using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This method is an efficient tool for extracting C. elegans from soil samples and can be carried out after a 24-h exposure period using relatively small amounts of soil. Drawbacks of this method include problems with (1) recovery of nematodes from soils containing a high percentage of organic matter, and (2) distinguishing indigenous nematode species from nematodes added for the laboratory test. Due in part to these issues, C. elegans has not been extensively accepted for use in soil testing. To address these concerns and improve upon the American Society for Testing and Materials method, this project focused on using transgenic strains of C. elegans carrying a GFP-expressing element. Lethality and behavior tests revealed that the transgenic nematodes respond similarly to the wild-type N2 strain, indicating that they can be used in the same manner in soil testing. The GFP marker is easily identifiable not only within soils containing a large amount of organic matter, but also in field-collected soils containing indigenous nematodes. These results support the use of transgenic GFP C. elegans in soil bioassays as a tool to further the reliability of laboratory toxicity tests.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Holden-Dye, Lindy; Walker, Robert J

    2014-12-16

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Summary Predator-prey interactions are vital determinants in the natural selection of behavioral traits. However, we have few insights into both the neural mechanisms and the selective advantage of specific 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]. Even though the C. elegans touch response has provided one of the rare examples of how neural networks translate sensory input to a coordinated motor output [2], the ecological significance of the escape response is unclear. We investigate predator-prey relationships between C. elegans and predacious fungi that catch nematodes using constricting rings as trapping devices. 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 getting caught. Mutants that fail to suppress head movements in response to touch are caught more efficiently than the wild type in constricting fungal rings. Direct competition experiments show that the suppression of head movements in response to touch is an ecologically relevant behavior that allows the C. elegans to smoothly retract from a fungal noose and evade capture. These results suggest that selective pressures imposed by predacious fungi have shaped the evolution of C. elegans escape behavior. PMID:21802299

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Extremum Seeking Control of Smart Inverters for VAR Compensation

    SciTech Connect

    Arnold, Daniel; Negrete-Pincetic, Matias; Stewart, Emma; Auslander, David, M; Callaway, Duncan

    2015-09-04

    Reactive power compensation is used by utilities to ensure customer voltages are within pre-defined tolerances and reduce system resistive losses. While much attention has been paid to model-based control algorithms for reactive power support and Volt Var Optimization (VVO), these strategies typically require relatively large communications capabilities and accurate models. In this work, a non-model-based control strategy for smart inverters is considered for VAR compensation. An Extremum Seeking control algorithm is applied to modulate the reactive power output of inverters based on real power information from the feeder substation, without an explicit feeder model. Simulation results using utility demand information confirm the ability of the control algorithm to inject VARs to minimize feeder head real power consumption. In addition, we show that the algorithm is capable of improving feeder voltage profiles and reducing reactive power supplied by the distribution substation.

  1. A Method for Evaluating Volt-VAR Optimization Field Demonstrations

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, Kevin P.; Weaver, T. F.

    2014-08-31

    In a regulated business environment a utility must be able to validate that deployed technologies provide quantifiable benefits to the end-use customers. For traditional technologies there are well established procedures for determining what benefits will be derived from the deployment. But for many emerging technologies procedures for determining benefits are less clear and completely absent in some cases. Volt-VAR Optimization is a technology that is being deployed across the nation, but there are still numerous discussions about potential benefits and how they are achieved. This paper will present a method for the evaluation, and quantification of benefits, for field deployments of Volt-VAR Optimization technologies. In addition to the basic methodology, the paper will present a summary of results, and observations, from two separate Volt-VAR Optimization field evaluations using the proposed method.

  2. Meiotic chromosome pairing in Actinidia chinensis var. deliciosa.

    PubMed

    Mertten, D; Tsang, G K; Manako, K I; McNeilage, M A; Datson, P M

    2012-12-01

    Polyploids are defined as either autopolyploids or allopolyploids, depending on their mode of origin and/or chromosome pairing behaviour. Autopolyploids have chromosome sets that are the result of the duplication or combination of related genomes (e.g., AAAA), while allopolyploids result from the combination of sets of chromosomes from two or more different taxa (e.g., AABB, AABBCC). Allopolyploids are expected to show preferential pairing of homologous chromosomes from within each parental sub-genome, leading to disomic inheritance. In contrast, autopolyploids are expected to show random pairing of chromosomes (non-preferential pairing), potentially leading to polysomic inheritance. The two main cultivated taxa of Actinidia (kiwifruit) are A. chinensis (2x and 4x) and A. chinensis var. deliciosa (6x). There is debate whether A. chinensis var. deliciosa is an autopolyploid derived solely from A. chinensis or whether it is an allopolyploid derived from A. chinensis and one or two other Actinidia taxa. To investigate whether preferential or non-preferential chromosome pairing occurs in A. chinensis var. deliciosa, the inheritance of microsatellite alleles was analysed in the tetraploid progeny of a cross between A. chinensis var. deliciosa and the distantly related Actinidia eriantha Benth. (2x). The frequencies of inherited microsatellite allelic combinations in the hybrids suggested that non-preferential chromosome pairing had occurred in the A. chinensis var. deliciosa parent. Meiotic chromosome analysis showed predominantly bivalent formation in A. chinensis var. deliciosa, but a low frequency of quadrivalent chromosome formations was observed (1 observed in 20 pollen mother cells).

  3. Terpenoids and sterols from Nepeta cataria L. var. citriodora (Lamiaceae).

    PubMed

    Klimek, Barbara; Modnicki, Daniel

    2005-01-01

    Isolation and GC/MS quantitative determination of ursolic acid in the herb of Nepeta cataria var. citriodora have been performed. The content of this compound was in the range 0.95-1.30%. Daucosterol (beta-sitosterol 3-O-beta-D-glucoside) was also isolated from the plant, in addition to small amounts of beta-sitosterol, campesterol, alpha-amyrin and beta-amyrin. The content and composition of essential oil in samples of the Nepeta cataria var. citriodora herb have been analysed as well.

  4. BZ UMa and Var Her 04: Orphan TOADS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Price, A.; Howell, S.

    2005-05-01

    Both BZ UMa and Var Her 04 are cataclysmic variable stars without a home. Neither fit easily into current classification systems so may extend the population distribution of two unique CV types: UGWZ dwarf novae and intermediate polars. New outburst photometry and archival X-Ray data shed some new light on BZ UMa's high energy state and new spectral and IR observations from Spitzer of dust around the newly discovered cataclysmic variable Var Her 04 may help find it a home as well.

  5. [Iridoid glycosides from buds of Jasminum officinale L. var. grandiflorum].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Gui-qin; Yin, Zhi-feng; Liu, Yu-cui; Li, Hong-bo

    2011-10-01

    The study on the buds of Jasminum officinale L. var. grandiflorum was carried out to look for anti-HBV constituents. The isolation and purification were performed by HPLC and chromatography on silica gel, polyamide and Sephadex LH-20 column. The structures were elucidated on the basis of physicochemical properties and spectral analysis. Six iridoid glycosides were identified as jasgranoside B (1), 6-O-methy-catalpol (2), deacetyl asperulosidic acid (3), aucubin (4), 8-dehydroxy shanzhiside (5), and loganin (6). Jasgranoside B (1) is a new compound. Compounds 2-6 were isolated from Jasminum officinale L. var. grandiflorum for the first time.

  6. Dynamical complexity in the C.elegans neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonopoulos, C. G.; Fokas, A. S.; Bountis, T. C.

    2016-09-01

    We model the neuronal circuit of the C.elegans soil worm in terms of a Hindmarsh-Rose system of ordinary differential equations, dividing its circuit into six communities which are determined via the Walktrap and Louvain methods. Using the numerical solution of these equations, we analyze important measures of dynamical complexity, namely synchronicity, the largest Lyapunov exponent, and the ΦAR auto-regressive integrated information theory measure. We show that ΦAR provides a useful measure of the information contained in the C.elegans brain dynamic network. Our analysis reveals that the C.elegans brain dynamic network generates more information than the sum of its constituent parts, and that attains higher levels of integrated information for couplings for which either all its communities are highly synchronized, or there is a mixed state of highly synchronized and desynchronized communities.

  7. Lessons from C. elegans: Signaling pathways for longevity

    PubMed Central

    Lapierre, Louis R.; Hansen, Malene

    2012-01-01

    Recent research using model organisms such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has highlighted a critical role for several conserved signaling pathways in longevity determination. Here, we review three major endocrine- and nutrient-sensing signaling pathways with influence on lifespan, the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF), target of rapamycin (TOR), and germline signaling pathways. Although these pathways engage distinct sets of transcription factors, the three pathways appear to modulate aging in C. elegans through partially overlapping effector mechanisms, including lipid metabolism and autophagy. This review highlights the latest advances in our understanding of how the insulin/IGF-1, TOR, and germline signaling pathways utilize different transcription factors to modulate aging in C. elegans with special emphasis on the role of lipid metabolism and autophagy. PMID:22939742

  8. Mechanisms of aging-related proteinopathies in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dong-Kyu; Kim, Tae Ho; Lee, Seung-Jae

    2016-01-01

    Aging is the most important risk factor for human neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Pathologically, these diseases are characterized by the deposition of specific protein aggregates in neurons and glia, representing the impairment of neuronal proteostasis. However, the mechanism by which aging affects the proteostasis system and promotes protein aggregation remains largely unknown. The short lifespan and ample genetic resources of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) have made this species a favorite model organism for aging research, and the development of proteinopathy models in this organism has helped us to understand how aging processes affect protein aggregation and neurodegeneration. Here, we review the recent literature on proteinopathies in C. elegans models and discuss the insights we have gained into the mechanisms of how aging processes are integrated into the pathogenesis of various neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:27713398

  9. 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

  10. Formation and Regulation of Adaptive Response in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Y.-L.; Wang, D.-Y.

    2012-01-01

    All organisms respond to environmental stresses (e.g., heavy metal, heat, UV irradiation, hyperoxia, food limitation, etc.) with coordinated adjustments in order to deal with the consequences and/or injuries caused by the severe stress. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans often exerts adaptive responses if preconditioned with low concentrations of agents or stressor. In C. elegans, three types of adaptive responses can be formed: hormesis, cross-adaptation, and dietary restriction. Several factors influence the formation of adaptive responses in nematodes, and some mechanisms can explain their response formation. In particular, antioxidation system, heat-shock proteins, metallothioneins, glutathione, signaling transduction, and metabolic signals may play important roles in regulating the formation of adaptive responses. In this paper, we summarize the published evidence demonstrating that several types of adaptive responses have converged in C. elegans and discussed some possible alternative theories explaining the adaptive response control. PMID:22997543

  11. High-throughput screening in the C. elegans nervous system.

    PubMed

    Kinser, Holly E; Pincus, Zachary

    2016-06-03

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model organism in the field of neurobiology. The wiring of the C. elegans nervous system has been entirely mapped, and the animal's optical transparency allows for in vivo observation of neuronal activity. The nematode is also small in size, self-fertilizing, and inexpensive to cultivate and maintain, greatly lending to its utility as a whole-animal model for high-throughput screening (HTS) in the nervous system. However, the use of this organism in large-scale screens presents unique technical challenges, including reversible immobilization of the animal, parallel single-animal culture and containment, automation of laser surgery, and high-throughput image acquisition and phenotyping. These obstacles require significant modification of existing techniques and the creation of new C. elegans-based HTS platforms. In this review, we outline these challenges in detail and survey the novel technologies and methods that have been developed to address them.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Biosynthesis of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer pheromone.

    PubMed

    Butcher, Rebecca A; Ragains, Justin R; Li, Weiqing; Ruvkun, Gary; Clardy, Jon; Mak, Ho Yi

    2009-02-10

    To sense its population density and to trigger entry into the stress-resistant dauer larval stage, Caenorhabditis elegans uses the dauer pheromone, which consists of ascaroside derivatives with short, fatty acid-like side chains. Although the dauer pheromone has been studied for 25 years, its biosynthesis is completely uncharacterized. The daf-22 mutant is the only known mutant defective in dauer pheromone production. Here, we show that daf-22 encodes a homolog of human sterol carrier protein SCPx, which catalyzes the final step in peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation. We also show that dhs-28, which encodes a homolog of the human d-bifunctional protein that acts just upstream of SCPx, is also required for pheromone production. Long-term daf-22 and dhs-28 cultures develop dauer-inducing activity by accumulating less active, long-chain fatty acid ascaroside derivatives. Thus, daf-22 and dhs-28 are required for the biosynthesis of the short-chain fatty acid-derived side chains of the dauer pheromone and link dauer pheromone production to metabolic state.

  17. Muscle cell attachment in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the body wall muscles exert their force on the cuticle to generate locomotion. Interposed between the muscle cells and the cuticle are a basement membrane and a thin hypodermal cell. The latter contains bundles of filaments attached to dense plaques in the hypodermal cell membranes, which together we have called a fibrous organelle. In an effort to define the chain of molecules that anchor the muscle cells to the cuticle we have isolated five mAbs using preparations enriched in these components. Two antibodies define a 200-kD muscle antigen likely to be part of the basement membrane at the muscle/hypodermal interface. Three other antibodies probably identify elements of the fibrous organelles in the adjacent hypodermis. The mAb IFA, which reacts with mammalian intermediate filaments, also recognizes these structures. We suggest that the components recognized by these antibodies are likely to be involved in the transmission of tension from the muscle cell to the cuticle. PMID:1860880

  18. Locomotion of C elegans in structured environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

    Undulatory locomotion of microorganisms like soil-dwelling worms and sperm, in structured environments, is ubiquitous in nature. They navigate complex environments consisting of fluids and obstacles, negotiating hydrodynamic effects and geometrical constraints. Here we report experimental observations on the locomotion of C elegans swimming in arrays of micro-pillars in square lattices, with different lattice spacing. We observe that the worm employs a number of different locomotion strategies depending on the lattice spacing. As observed previously in the literature, we uncover regimes of enhanced locomotion, where the velocity is much higher than the free-swimming velocity. In addition, we also observe changes in frequency, velocity, and the gait of the worm as a function of lattice spacing. We also track the worm over time and find that it exhibits super-diffusive behavior and covers a larger area by utilizing the obstacles. These results may have significant impact on the foraging behavior of the worm in its natural environment. Our experimental approach, in conjunction with modeling and simulations, allows us to disentangle the effects of structure and hydrodynamics for an undulating microorganism.

  19. ASI regulates satiety quiescence in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Gallagher, Thomas; Kim, Jeongho; Oldenbroek, Marieke; Kerr, Rex; You, Young-Jai

    2013-06-05

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, satiety quiescence mimics behavioral aspects of satiety and postprandial sleep in mammals. On the basis of calcium-imaging, genetics, and behavioral studies, here we report that a pair of amphid neurons, ASI, is activated by nutrition and regulates worms' behavioral states specifically promoting satiety quiescence; ASI inhibits the switch from quiescence to dwelling (a browsing state) and accelerates the switch from dwelling to quiescence. The canonical TGFβ pathway, whose ligand is released from ASI, regulates satiety quiescence. The mutants of a ligand, a receptor and SMADs in the TGFβ pathway all eat more and show less quiescence than wild-type. The TGFβ receptor in downstream neurons RIM and RIC is sufficient for worms to exhibit satiety quiescence, suggesting neuronal connection from ASI to RIM and RIC is essential for feeding regulation through the TGFβ pathway. ASI also regulates satiety quiescence partly through cGMP signaling; restoring cGMP signaling in ASI rescues the satiety quiescence defect of cGMP signaling mutants. From these results, we propose that TGFβ and cGMP pathways in ASI connect nutritional status to promotion of satiety quiescence, a sleep-like behavioral state.

  20. Developmental genetics of the Caenorhabditis elegans pharynx.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. ASI regulates satiety quiescence in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Thomas; Kim, Jeongho; Oldenbroek, Marieke; Kerr, Rex; You, Young-Jai

    2013-01-01

    In C. elegans, satiety quiescence mimics behavioral aspects of satiety and post-prandial sleep in mammals. On the basis of calcium-imaging, genetics and behavioral studies, here we report that a pair of amphid neurons ASI is activated by nutrition and regulates worms’ behavioral states specifically promoting satiety quiescence; ASI inhibits the switch from quiescence to dwelling (a browsing state) and accelerates the switch from dwelling to quiescence. The canonical TGFβ pathway, whose ligand is released from ASI, regulates satiety quiescence. The mutants of a ligand, a receptor and SMADs in the TGFβ pathway all eat more and show less quiescence than wild type. The TGFβ receptor in downstream neurons RIM and RIC is sufficient for worms to exhibit satiety quiescence, suggesting neuronal connection from ASI to RIM and RIC is essential for feeding regulation through the TGFβ pathway. ASI also regulates satiety quiescence partly through cGMP signaling; restoring cGMP signaling in ASI rescues the satiety quiescence defect of cGMP signaling mutants. From these results, we propose that TGFβ and cGMP pathways in ASI connect nutritional status to promotion of satiety quiescence, a sleep-like behavioral state. PMID:23739968

  3. Chromosome I Duplications in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:2307351

  4. Measuring Food Intake and Nutrient Absorption in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-06-01

    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.

  5. Phomalactone from a Phytopathogenic Fungus Infecting ZINNIA elegans (ASTERACEAE) Leaves.

    PubMed

    Meepagala, Kumudini M; Johnson, Robert D; Techen, Natascha; Wedge, David E; Duke, Stephen O

    2015-07-01

    Zinnia elegans Jacq. plants are infected by a fungus that causes dark red spots with necrosis on leaves, particularly in late spring to the middle of summer in the Mid-South of the United States. This fungal disease causes the leaves to wilt and eventually kills the plant. The fungus was isolated, cultured in potato dextrose broth, and identified as Nigrospora sphaerica by molecular techniques. Two major lactone metabolites (phomalactone and catenioblin A) were isolated from liquid culture of N. sphaerica isolated from Z. elegans. When injected into leaves of Z. elegans, phomalactone caused lesions similar to those of the fungus. The lesion sizes were proportional to the concentration of the phomalactone. Phomalactone, but not catenioblin A, was phytotoxic to Z. elegans and other plant species by inhibition of seedling growth and by causing electrolyte leakage from photosynthetic tissues of both Z. elegans leaves and cucumber cotyledons. This latter effect may be related to the wilting caused by the fungus in mature Z. elegans plants. Phomalactone was moderately fungicidal to Coletotrichum fragariae and two Phomopsis species, indicating that the compound may keep certain other fungi from encroaching into plant tissue that N. sphaerica has infected. Production of large amounts of phomalactone by N. sphaerica contributes to the pathogenic behavior of this fungus, and may have other ecological functions in the interaction of N. sphaerica with other fungi. This is the first report of isolation of catenioblin A from a plant pathogenic fungus. The function of catenioblin A is unclear, as it was neither significantly phyto- nor fungitoxic.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Microbiome Research

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Fan; Berg, Maureen; Dierking, Katja; Félix, Marie-Anne; Shapira, Michael; Samuel, Buck S.; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2017-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is used as a central model system across biological disciplines. Surprisingly, almost all research with this worm is performed in the absence of its native microbiome, possibly affecting generality of the obtained results. In fact, the C. elegans microbiome had been unknown until recently. This review brings together results from the first three studies on C. elegans microbiomes, all published in 2016. Meta-analysis of the data demonstrates a considerable conservation in the composition of the microbial communities, despite the distinct geographical sample origins, study approaches, labs involved and perturbations during worm processing. The C. elegans microbiome is enriched and in some cases selective for distinct phylotypes compared to corresponding substrate samples (e.g., rotting fruits, decomposing plant matter, and compost soil). The dominant bacterial groups include several Gammaproteobacteria (Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonaceae, and Xanthomonodaceae) and Bacteroidetes (Sphingobacteriaceae, Weeksellaceae, Flavobacteriaceae). They are consistently joined by several rare putative keystone taxa like Acetobacteriaceae. The bacteria are able to enhance growth of nematode populations, as well as resistance to biotic and abiotic stressors, including high/low temperatures, osmotic stress, and pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The associated microbes thus appear to display a variety of effects beneficial for the worm. The characteristics of these effects, their relevance for C. elegans fitness, the presence of specific co-adaptations between microbiome members and the worm, and the molecular underpinnings of microbiome-host interactions represent promising areas of future research, for which the advantages of C. elegans as an experimental system should prove of particular value. PMID:28386252

  7. Proteomic study and marker protein identification of Caenorhabditis elegans lipid droplets.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Na, Huimin; Liu, Zhenglong; Zhang, Shuyan; Xue, Peng; Chen, Yong; Pu, Jing; Peng, Gong; Huang, Xun; Yang, Fuquan; Xie, Zhensheng; Xu, Tao; Xu, Pingyong; Ou, Guangshuo; Zhang, Shaobing O; Liu, Pingsheng

    2012-08-01

    Lipid droplets (LDs) are a neutral lipid storage organelle that is conserved across almost all species. Many metabolic syndromes are directly linked to the over-storage of neutral lipids in LDs. The study of LDs in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has been difficult because of the lack of specific LD marker proteins. Here we report the purification and proteomic analysis of C. elegans lipid droplets for the first time. We identified 306 proteins, 63% of these proteins were previously known to be LD-proteins, suggesting a similarity between mammalian and C. elegans LDs. Using morphological and biochemical analyses, we show that short-chain dehydrogenase, DHS-3 is almost exclusively localized on C. elegans LDs, indicating that it can be used as a LD marker protein in C. elegans. These results will facilitate further mechanistic studies of LDs in this powerful genetic system, C. elegans.

  8. Proteomic Study and Marker Protein Identification of Caenorhabditis elegans Lipid Droplets*

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Peng; Na, Huimin; Liu, Zhenglong; Zhang, Shuyan; Xue, Peng; Chen, Yong; Pu, Jing; Peng, Gong; Huang, Xun; Yang, Fuquan; Xie, Zhensheng; Xu, Tao; Xu, Pingyong; Ou, Guangshuo; Zhang, Shaobing O.; Liu, Pingsheng

    2012-01-01

    Lipid droplets (LDs) are a neutral lipid storage organelle that is conserved across almost all species. Many metabolic syndromes are directly linked to the over-storage of neutral lipids in LDs. The study of LDs in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has been difficult because of the lack of specific LD marker proteins. Here we report the purification and proteomic analysis of C. elegans lipid droplets for the first time. We identified 306 proteins, 63% of these proteins were previously known to be LD-proteins, suggesting a similarity between mammalian and C. elegans LDs. Using morphological and biochemical analyses, we show that short-chain dehydrogenase, DHS-3 is almost exclusively localized on C. elegans LDs, indicating that it can be used as a LD marker protein in C. elegans. These results will facilitate further mechanistic studies of LDs in this powerful genetic system, C. elegans. PMID:22493183

  9. Transformation of jervine by Cunninghamella elegans ATCC 9245.

    PubMed

    El Sayed, K A; Halim, A F; Zaghloul, A M; Dunbar, D C; McChesney, J D

    2000-09-01

    Preparative-scale fermentation of the known C-nor-D-homosteroidal jerveratrum alkaloid jervine with Cunninghamella elegans (ATCC 9245) has resulted in the isolation of (-)-jervinone as the major metabolite. In addition, C. elegans ATCC 9245 was able to epimerize C-3 of jervine, producing 3-epi-jervine. This epimerization reaction was similar to that reported for tomatidine, the known spirosolane-type Solanum alkaloid. The structure elucidation of both metabolites was based primarily on 1D- and 2D-NMR analyses.

  10. Transcriptome analysis of antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum - var silencing is not dependent on antisense RNA

    PubMed Central

    Ralph, Stuart A; Bischoff, Emmanuel; Mattei, Denise; Sismeiro, Odile; Dillies, Marie-Agnès; Guigon, Ghislaine; Coppee, Jean-Yves; David, Peter H; Scherf, Artur

    2005-01-01

    Background Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the most severe form of malaria, undergoes antigenic variation through successive presentation of a family of antigens on the surface of parasitized erythrocytes. These antigens, known as Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) proteins, are subject to a mutually exclusive expression system, and are encoded by the multigene var family. The mechanism whereby inactive var genes are silenced is poorly understood. To investigate transcriptional features of this mechanism, we conducted a microarray analysis of parasites that were selected to express different var genes by adhesion to chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) or CD36. Results In addition to oligonucleotides for all predicted protein-coding genes, oligonucleotide probes specific to each known var gene of the FCR3 background were designed and added to the microarray, as well as tiled sense and antisense probes for a subset of var genes. In parasites selected for adhesion to CSA, one full-length var gene (var2csa) was strongly upregulated, as were sense RNA molecules emanating from the 3' end of a limited subset of other var genes. No global relationship between sense and antisense production of var genes was observed, but notably, some var genes had coincident high levels of both antisense and sense transcript. Conclusion Mutually exclusive expression of PfEMP1 proteins results from transcriptional silencing of non-expressed var genes. The distribution of steady-state sense and antisense RNA at var loci are not consistent with a silencing mechanism based on antisense silencing of inactive var genes. Silencing of var loci is also associated with altered regulation of genes distal to var loci. PMID:16277748

  11. Indolizidine, Antiinfective and Antiparasitic Compounds from Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prosopilosidine, a new potent antiinfective and antiparasitic 2,3-dihydro-1H-indolizinium chloride, (1), was isolated from Prosopis glandulosa Torr. var. glandulosa. Furthermore, three additional new and one known indolizidines, prosopilosine (2), isoprosopilosine (3), isoprosopilosidine (4) and jul...

  12. New diterpenes from the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Y H; Chen, C H; Huang, S L

    1998-06-26

    An abietane diterpene, 11,14-dihydroxy-8,11,13-abietatrien-7-one (1); a seco-abietane diterpene, obtuanhydride (2); and an isopimarane diterpene, 18,19-O-isopropylidene-18, 19-dihydroxyisopimara-8(14),15-diene (3) were isolated from the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana. The structures of these new compounds were elucidated by spectroscopic methods.

  13. Fast Responding Voltage Regulator and Dynamic VAR Compensator

    SciTech Connect

    Divan, Deepak; Moghe, Rohit; Tholomier, Damien

    2014-12-31

    The objectives of this project were to develop a dynamic VAR compensator (DVC) for voltage regulation through VAR support to demonstrate the ability to achieve greater levels of voltage control on electricity distribution networks, and faster response compared to existing grid technology. The goal of the project was to develop a prototype Fast Dynamic VAR Compensator (Fast DVC) hardware device, and this was achieved. In addition to developing the dynamic VAR compensator device, Varentec in partnership with researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU) successfully met the objectives to model the potential positive impact of such DVCs on representative power networks. This modeling activity validated the ability of distributed dynamic VAR compensators to provide fast voltage regulation and reactive power control required to respond to grid disturbances under high penetration of fluctuating and intermittent distributed energy resources (DERs) through extensive simulation studies. Specifically the following tasks were set to be accomplished: 1) Development of dynamic VAR compensator to support dynamic voltage variations on the grid through VAR control 2) Extensive testing of the DVC in the lab environment 3) Present the operational DVC device to the DOE at Varentec’s lab 4) Formulation of a detailed specification sheet, unit assembly document, test setup document, unit bring-up plan, and test plan 5) Extensive simulations of the DVC in a system with high PV penetration. Understanding the operation with many DVC on a single distribution system 6) Creation and submittal of quarterly and final reports conveying the design documents, unit performance data, modeling simulation charts and diagrams, and summary explanations of the satisfaction of program goals. This report details the various efforts that led to the development of the Fast DVC as well as the modeling & simulation results. The report begins with the introduction in Section II which outlines the

  14. 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.

  15. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-04

    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.

  16. Modulating Behavior in C. elegans Using Electroshock and Antiepileptic Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Kailiang; Grill, Brock; Dawson-Scully, Ken

    2016-01-01

    The microscopic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a valuable model for understanding the molecular and cellular basis of neurological disorders. The worm offers important physiological similarities to mammalian models such as conserved neuron morphology, ion channels, and neurotransmitters. While a wide-array of behavioral assays are available in C. elegans, an assay for electroshock/electroconvulsion remains absent. Here, we have developed a quantitative behavioral method to assess the locomotor response following electric shock in C. elegans. Electric shock impairs normal locomotion, and induces paralysis and muscle twitching; after a brief recovery period, shocked animals resume normal locomotion. We tested electric shock responses in loss-of-function mutants for unc-25, which encodes the GABA biosynthetic enzyme GAD, and unc-49, which encodes the GABAA receptor. unc-25 and unc-49 mutants have decreased inhibitory GABAergic transmission to muscles, and take significantly more time to recover normal locomotion following electric shock compared to wild-type. Importantly, increased sensitivity of unc-25 and unc-49 mutants to electric shock is rescued by treatment with antiepileptic drugs, such as retigabine. Additionally, we show that pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), a GABAA receptor antagonist and proconvulsant in mammalian and C. elegans seizure models, increases susceptibility of worms to electric shock. PMID:27668426

  17. 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...

  18. Toxicity testing of neurotoxic pesticides in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Dean; Williams, Phillip L

    2014-01-01

    The use of pesticides is ubiquitous worldwide, and these chemicals exert adverse effects on both target and nontarget species. Understanding the modes of action of pesticides, as well as quantifying exposure concentration and duration, is an important goal of clinicians and environmental health scientists. Some chemical exposures result in adverse effects on the nervous system. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a model lab organism well established for studying neurotoxicity, since the components of its nervous system are mapped and known, and most of its neurotransmitters correspond to human homologs. This review encompasses published studies in which C. elegans nematodes were exposed to pesticides with known neurotoxic actions. Endpoints measured include changes in locomotion, feeding behavior, brood size, growth, life span, and cell death. From data presented, evidence indicates that C. elegans can serve a role in assessing the effects of neurotoxic pesticides at the sublethal cellular level, thereby advancing our understanding of the mechanisms underlying toxicity induced by these chemicals. A proposed toxicity testing scheme for water-soluble chemicals is also included.

  19. Lessons from bloodless worms: heme homeostasis in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Jason; Hamza, Iqbal

    2015-06-01

    Heme is an essential cofactor for proteins involved in diverse biological processes such as oxygen transport, electron transport, and microRNA processing. Free heme is hydrophobic and cytotoxic, implying that specific trafficking pathways must exist for the delivery of heme to target hemoproteins which reside in various subcellular locales. Although heme biosynthesis and catabolism have been well characterized, the pathways for trafficking heme within and between cells remain poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans serves as a unique animal model for uncovering these pathways because, unlike vertebrates, the worm lacks enzymes to synthesize heme and therefore is crucially dependent on dietary heme for sustenance. Using C. elegans as a genetic animal model, several novel heme trafficking molecules have been identified. Importantly, these proteins have corresponding homologs in vertebrates underscoring the power of using C. elegans, a bloodless worm, in elucidating pathways in heme homeostasis and hematology in humans. Since iron deficiency and anemia are often exacerbated by parasites such as helminths and protozoa which also rely on host heme for survival, C. elegans will be an ideal model to identify anti-parasitic drugs that target heme transport pathways unique to the parasite.

  20. 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...

  1. Homologs of the Hh signalling network in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Bürglin, Thomas R; Kuwabara, Patricia E

    2006-01-28

    In Drosophila and vertebrates, Hedgehog (Hh) signalling is mediated by a cascade of genes, which play essential roles in cell proliferation and survival, and in patterning of the embryo, limb buds and organs. In C. elegans, this pathway has undergone considerable evolutionary divergence; genes encoding homologues of key pathway members, including Hh, Smoothened, Cos2, Fused and Suppressor of Fused, are absent. Surprisingly, over sixty proteins (i.e. WRT, GRD, GRL, and QUA), encoded by a set of genes collectively referred to as the Hh-related genes, and two co-orthologs (PTC-1,-3) of fly Patched, a Hh receptor, are present in C. elegans. Several of the Hh-related proteins are bipartite and all can potentially generate peptides with signalling activity, although none of these peptides shares obvious sequence similarity with Hh. In addition, the ptc-related (ptr) genes, which are present in a single copy in Drosophila and vertebrates and encode proteins closely related to Patched, have undergone an expansion in number in nematodes. A number of functions, including roles in molting, have been attributed to the C. elegans Hh-related, PTC and PTR proteins; most of these functions involve processes that are associated with the trafficking of proteins, sterols or sterol-modified proteins. Genes encoding other components of the Hh signalling pathway are also found in C. elegans, but their functions remain to be elucidated.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. A pharmacological network for lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Xiaolan; Linton, James M; Schork, Nicholas J; Buck, Linda B; Petrascheck, Michael

    2014-01-01

    One goal of aging research is to find drugs that delay the onset of age-associated disease. Studies in invertebrates, particularly Caenorhabditis elegans, have uncovered numerous genes involved in aging, many conserved in mammals. However, which of these encode proteins suitable for drug targeting is unknown. To investigate this question, we screened a library of compounds with known mammalian pharmacology for compounds that increase C. elegans lifespan. We identified 60 compounds that increase longevity in C. elegans, 33 of which also increased resistance to oxidative stress. Many of these compounds are drugs approved for human use. Enhanced resistance to oxidative stress was associated primarily with compounds that target receptors for biogenic amines, such as dopamine or serotonin. A pharmacological network constructed with these data reveal that lifespan extension and increased stress resistance cluster together in a few pharmacological classes, most involved in intercellular signaling. These studies identify compounds that can now be explored for beneficial effects on aging in mammals, as well as tools that can be used to further investigate the mechanisms underlying aging in C. elegans. PMID:24134630

  5. The evolutionary role of males in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chasnov, Jeffrey R.

    2013-01-01

    Although the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans reproduces primarily as a self-fertilizing hermaphrodite, males are maintained in natural populations at low frequency. In this commentary, I discuss the evolutionary forces that maintain males and the role males might play in this mating system. PMID:24058855

  6. Evolutionary innovation of the excretory system in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaodong; Chamberlin, Helen M

    2004-03-01

    The evolution of complexity relies on changes that result in new gene functions. Here we show that the unique morphological and functional features of the excretory duct cell in C. elegans result from the gain of expression of a single gene. Our results show that innovation can be achieved by altered expression of a transcription factor without coevolution of all target genes.

  7. 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

  8. Involvement of AAT transporters in methylmercury toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Caito, Samuel W; Zhang, Yaofang; Aschner, Michael

    2013-06-14

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin that enters mammalian cells as a conjugate with L-cysteine through L-type large neutral amino acid transporter, LAT1, by a molecular mimicry mechanism by structurally resembling L-methionine. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has been increasingly used to study the neurotoxic effects of MeHg, but little is known about uptake and transport of MeHg in the worm. This study examined whether MeHg uptake through LAT1 is evolutionarily conserved in nematodes. MeHg toxicity in C. elegans was blocked by pre-treatment of worms with l-methionine, suggesting a role for amino acid transporters in MeHg transport. Knockdown of aat-1, aat-2, and aat-3, worm homologues to LAT1, increased the survival of C. elegans following MeHg treatment and significantly attenuated MeHg content following exposure. These results indicate that MeHg is transported in the worm by a conserved mechanism dependent on functioning amino acid transporters.

  9. 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…

  10. 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

    2011-08-09

    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.

  11. Histidine Protects Against Zinc and Nickel Toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, John T.; Bruinsma, Janelle J.; Schneider, Daniel L.; Collier, Sara; Guthrie, James; Chinwalla, Asif; Robertson, J. David; Mardis, Elaine R.; Kornfeld, Kerry

    2011-01-01

    Zinc is an essential trace element involved in a wide range of biological processes and human diseases. Zinc excess is deleterious, and animals require mechanisms to protect against zinc toxicity. To identify genes that modulate zinc tolerance, we performed a forward genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants that were resistant to zinc toxicity. Here we demonstrate that mutations of the C. elegans histidine ammonia lyase (haly-1) gene promote zinc tolerance. C. elegans haly-1 encodes a protein that is homologous to vertebrate HAL, an enzyme that converts histidine to urocanic acid. haly-1 mutant animals displayed elevated levels of histidine, indicating that C. elegans HALY-1 protein is an enzyme involved in histidine catabolism. These results suggest the model that elevated histidine chelates zinc and thereby reduces zinc toxicity. Supporting this hypothesis, we demonstrated that dietary histidine promotes zinc tolerance. Nickel is another metal that binds histidine with high affinity. We demonstrated that haly-1 mutant animals are resistant to nickel toxicity and dietary histidine promotes nickel tolerance in wild-type animals. These studies identify a novel role for haly-1 and histidine in zinc metabolism and may be relevant for other animals. PMID:21455490

  12. Regulatory myosin light-chain genes of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Cummins, C; Anderson, P

    1988-01-01

    We have cloned and analyzed the Caenorhabditis elegans regulatory myosin light-chain genes. C. elegans contains two such genes, which we have designated mlc-1 and mlc-2. The two genes are separated by 2.6 kilobases and are divergently transcribed. We determined the complete nucleotide sequences of both mlc-1 and mlc-2. A single, conservative amino acid substitution distinguishes the sequences of the two proteins. The C. elegans proteins are strongly homologous to regulatory myosin light chains of Drosophila melanogaster and vertebrates and weakly homologous to a superfamily of eucaryotic calcium-binding proteins. Both mlc-1 and mlc-2 encode abundant mRNAs. We mapped the 5' termini of these transcripts by using primer extension sequencing of mRNA templates. mlc-1 mRNAs initiate within conserved hexanucleotides at two different positions, located at -28 and -38 relative to the start of translation. The 5' terminus of mlc-2 mRNA is not encoded in the 4.8-kilobase genomic region upstream of mlc-2. Rather, mlc-2 mRNA contains at its 5' end a short, untranslated leader sequence that is identical to the trans-spliced leader sequence of three C. elegans actin genes. Images PMID:3244358

  13. 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.

  14. Artificial and natural RNA interactions between bacteria and C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Braukmann, Fabian; Jordan, David; Miska, Eric

    2017-03-23

    19 years after Lisa Timmons and Andy Fire first described RNA transfer from bacteria to C. elegans in an experimental setting [Timmons and Fire, 1998 ] the biological role of this trans-kingdom RNA-based communication remains unknown. Here we summarize our current understanding on the mechanism and potential role of such social RNA.

  15. Functional characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans heteromeric amino acid transporters.

    PubMed

    Veljkovic, Emilija; Stasiuk, Susan; Skelly, Patrick J; Shoemaker, Charles B; Verrey, François

    2004-02-27

    Mammalian heteromeric amino acid transporters (HATs) are composed of a multi-transmembrane spanning catalytic protein covalently associated with a type II glycoprotein (e.g. 4F2hc, rBAT) through a disulfide bond. Caenorhabditis elegans has nine genes encoding close homologues of the HAT catalytic proteins. Three of these genes (designated AAT-1 to AAT-3) have a much higher degree of similarity to the mammalian homologues than the other six, including the presence of a cysteine residue at the position known to form a disulfide bridge to the glycoprotein partner in mammalian HATs. C. elegans also has two genes encoding homologues of the heteromeric amino acid transporter type II glycoprotein subunits (designated ATG-1 and ATG-2). Both ATG, and/or AAT-1, -2, -3 proteins were expressed in Xenopus oocytes and tested for amino acid transport function. This screen revealed that AAT-1 and AAT-3 facilitate amino acid transport when expressed together with ATG-2 but not with ATG-1 or the mammalian type II glycoproteins 4F2hc and rBAT. AAT-1 and AAT-3 covalently bind to both C. elegans ATG glycoproteins, but only the pairs with ATG-2 traffic to the oocyte surface. Both of these functional, surface-expressed C. elegans HATs transport most neutral amino acids and display the highest transport rate for l-Ala and l-Ser (apparent K(m) 100 microm range). Similar to their mammalian counterparts, the C. elegans HATs function as (near) obligatory amino acid exchangers. Taken together, this study demonstrates that the heteromeric structure and the amino acid exchange function of HATs have been conserved throughout the evolution of nematodes to mammals.

  16. Quantum dot nanoparticles affect the reproductive system of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Pei-Chun L; O'Callaghan, Maureen; Al-Salim, Najeh; Hurst, Mark R H

    2012-10-01

    Quantum dots (QDs) are an increasingly important class of nanoparticle, but little ecotoxicological data for QDs has been published to date. The effects of mercaptosuccinic acid (MSA)-capped QDs (QDs-MSA) and equivalent concentrations of cadmium (Cd) from cadmium chloride on growth and reproduction of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Rhabditidae) were assessed in laboratory experiments. Growth from larvae to adults of C. elegans was unaffected by exposure to 1 µM fluorescent QDs-MSA, but adults produced more embryos and laid them prematurely. Furthermore, C. elegans exposed to QDs-MSA (1 µM) showed a high percentage of embryo mortality (19.2 ± 0.5, p < 0.001, percentage ± standard deviation) compared with unexposed nematodes (11.6 ± 0.4). An egg-laying defect phenotype was also observed at high frequency in response to 1 µM QDs-MSA exposure (38.3 ± 3.6%, p < 0.01; control 10.0 ± 2.2%). This resulted in a reduced mean life span (20.5 ± 1.1 d, p < 0.05) compared with the control (24.6 ± 1.0 d). Cadmium also caused reduced life span in C. elegans, but a low incidence of egg-laying defects was observed, suggesting that Cd and QDs-MSA affected C. elegans by different mechanisms. Furthermore, egg-laying defects caused by QDs-MSA responded to the addition of the anticonvulsant ethosuximide and to a lesser extent to the neurotransmitter serotonin, suggesting that QDs-MSA might have disrupted motor neurons during the reproduction process.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Distinct Patterns of Gene and Protein Expression Elicited by Organophosphorus Pesticides in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    alterations in the expression of a number of genes and proteins involved in cell death. Neuronal death in response to OP exposure in C . elegans is...level of free acetylcholine. At face value, the evidence argues against the occurrence of necrosis. C . elegans has six aspartyl protease genes (asp-1...axon damage [2]. There are two genes in the C . elegans genome homologous to the vertebrate secondary OP target, NTE (ZK370.4 and M110.7; [27] and

  20. [Physiological characteristics of Pinus densiflora var. zhangwuensis and Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica seedlings on sandy lands under salt-alkali stresses].

    PubMed

    Meng, Peng; Li, Yu-Ling; Zhang, Bai-xi

    2013-02-01

    For the popularization of Pinus densiflora var. zhangwuensis, a new afforestation tree species on the desertified and salinized-alkalized lands in Northern China, and to evaluate the salinity-alkalinity tolerance of the tree species and to better understand the tolerance mechanisms, a pot experiment with 4-year old P. densiflora var. zhangwuensis and P. sylvestris var. mongolica was conducted to study their seedlings growth and physiological and biochemical indices under the effects of three types salt (NaCl, Na2CO3, and NaHCO3 ) stresses and of alkali (NaOH) stress. Under the salt-alkali stresses, the injury level of P. densiflora var. zhangwuensis was lower, and the root tolerance index was higher. The leaf catalase (CAT) activity increased significantly by 22. 6 times at the most, as compared with the control; the leaf malondialdehyde (MDA) content had no significant increase; the leaf chlorophyll (Chl) content had a smaller decrement; and the leaf water content (LWC) increased slightly. P. sylvestris var. mongolica responded differently to the salt-alkali stresses. Its leaf CAT activity had less change, MDA content increased significantly, Chl content had significant decrease, and LWC decreased slightly. It was suggested that P. densi-flora var. zhangwuensis had a greater salinity-alkalinity tolerance than P. sylvestris var. mongolica. The higher iron concentration in P. densiflora var. zhangwuensis needles enhanced the CAT activity and Chl content, whereas the higher concentrations of zinc and copper were associated with the stronger salinity-alkalinity tolerance.

  1. [Photosynthetic parameters and physiological indexes of Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis influenced by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi].

    PubMed

    Wei, Zheng-xin; Guo, Dong-qin; Li, Hai-feng; Ding, Bo; Zhang, Jie; Zhou, Nong; Yu, Jie

    2015-10-01

    Through potted inoculation test at room temperature and indoor analysis, the photosynthetic parameters and physiological and biochemical indexes of Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis were observed after 28 arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi were injected into the P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis growing in a sterile soil environment. The results showed that AM fungi established a good symbiosis with P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis. The AM fungi influenced the photosynthetic parameters and physiological and biochemical indexes of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis. And the influences were varied depending on different AM fungi. The application of AM fungi improved photosynthesis intensity of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis mesophyll cells, the contents of soluble protein and soluble sugar, protective enzyme activity of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis leaf, which was beneficial to resist the adverse environment and promote the growth of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis. Otherwise, there was a certain mutual selectivity between P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis and AM fungi. From the comprehensive effect of inoculation, Racocetra coralloidea, Scutellospora calospora, Claroideoglomus claroideum, S. pellucida and Rhizophagus clarus were the most suitable AM fungi to P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis when P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis was planted in the field.

  2. [Glycosides from flowers of Jasminum officinale L. var. grandiflorum].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Gui-qin; Xia, Jing-jing; Dong, Jun-xing

    2007-10-01

    To study the chemical constituents of the flower of Jasminum officinale L. var. grandiflorum. The compounds were isolated and purified by re-crystallization and chromatography on silica gel and Sephadex LH-20 column. Their structures were elucidated on the physicochemical properties and spectral analysis. Seven glycosides were identified as kaempferol-3-O-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl (1-->3)-[alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl (1-->6)]-beta-D-galactopyranoside (I), kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside (II), 7-ketologanin (III), oleoside-11-methyl ester (IV), 7-glucosyl-l1-methyl oleoside (V), ligstroside (VI), oleuropein (VII). Compound I is a new compound. Compounds III and V were isolated from the family of Jasminum for the first time and compounds II, IV and VI were isolated from Jasminum officinale L. var. grandiflorum for the first time.

  3. Autofluorescence of the fungus Morchella conica var. rigida.

    PubMed

    Zižka, Z; Gabriel, J

    2011-03-01

    Autofluorescence (primary fluorescence (AF)) of fruiting bodies and stems of the fungus Morchella conica var. rigida was studied by fluorescence microscopy including sporangia and ascospores. The ascospores were characterized by a weak green-yellow AF at blue excitation. Using a green excitation, no AF was observed. The hyphae located under the layer of asci with ascospores exhibited a higher primary fluorescence, namely their walls that had green-yellow color at blue excitation. Also, their red AF observed when a green excitation was used was significant. Similarly, the hyphae located in the fungal stem exhibited a significant AF, especially their walls when the blue light was used for excitation. In addition, large, yellow-to-yellow/green, oval-to-round bodies with strong fluorescence were detected whose morphological equivalents were not clearly visible in the white halogen light. The AF of the fungus M. conica var. rigida was lower compared with the other higher fungi studied so far.

  4. Synthesis of Calocybe indica var. APK2 polysaccharide repeating unit.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Zhu, Xiangming

    2014-06-04

    The first total synthesis of p-methoxyphenyl α-l-fucopyranosyl-(1→6)-α-d-galactopyranosyl-(1→4)-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1→6)-β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1→6)-β-d-glucopyranoside (2) was achieved starting from five monosaccharide building blocks. This structure represents the repeating unit of the polysaccharide isolated from edible mushroom Calocybe indica var. APK2, and was synthesized in high overall yield via a convergent '3+2' glycosylation strategy.

  5. New lignans from the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Yueh-Hsiung; Chen, Chia-Hsien; Lin, Yun-Lian

    2002-07-01

    Four new lignans, 3',4'-O,O-demethylenehinokinin (1), chamalignolide (2), 8'beta-hydroxyhinokinin (3) and 7beta,8beta-epoxyzuonin A (4), as well as (-)-hinokinin (5), and (-)-zuonin A (6), were isolated from the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana. The structures of these lignans were unambiguously determined by spectroscopic methods. And the absolute configuration of 1 was elucidated with a circular dichroism (CD) spectrum.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Stochastic assembly produces heterogeneous communities in the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine

    PubMed Central

    Vega, Nicole M.; Gore, Jeff

    2017-01-01

    Host-associated bacterial communities vary extensively between individuals, but it can be very difficult to determine the sources of this heterogeneity. Here, we demonstrate that stochastic bacterial community assembly in the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine is sufficient to produce strong interworm heterogeneity in community composition. When worms are fed with two neutrally competing, fluorescently labeled bacterial strains, we observe stochastically driven bimodality in community composition, in which approximately half of the worms are dominated by each bacterial strain. A simple model incorporating stochastic colonization suggests that heterogeneity between worms is driven by the low rate at which bacteria successfully establish new intestinal colonies. We can increase this rate experimentally by feeding worms at high bacterial density; in these conditions, the bimodality disappears. These results demonstrate that demographic noise is a potentially important driver of diversity in bacterial community formation and suggest a role for C. elegans as a model system for ecology of host-associated communities. PMID:28257456

  9. Transcriptional Regulation of Gene Expression in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Reinke, Valerie; Krause, Michael; Okkema, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Protein coding gene sequences are converted to mRNA by the highly regulated process of transcription. The precise temporal and spatial control of transcription for many genes is an essential part of development in metazoans. Thus, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying transcriptional control is essential to understanding cell fate determination during embryogenesis, post-embryonic development, many environmental interactions, and disease-related processes. Studies of transcriptional regulation in C. elegans exploit its genomic simplicity and physical characteristics to define regulatory events with single cell and minute time scale resolution. When combined with the genetics of the system, C. elegans offers a unique and powerful vantage point from which to study how chromatin-associated protein and their modifications interact with transcription factors and their binding sites to yield precise control of gene expression through transcriptional regulation. PMID:23801596

  10. The time-resolved transcriptome of C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Boeck, Max E.; Huynh, Chau; Gevirtzman, Lou; Thompson, Owen A.; Wang, Guilin; Kasper, Dionna M.; Reinke, Valerie; Hillier, LaDeana W.; Waterston, Robert H.

    2016-01-01

    We generated detailed RNA-seq data for the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans with high temporal resolution in the embryo as well as representative samples from post-embryonic stages across the life cycle. The data reveal that early and late embryogenesis is accompanied by large numbers of genes changing expression, whereas fewer genes are changing in mid-embryogenesis. This lull in genes changing expression correlates with a period during which histone mRNAs produce almost 40% of the RNA-seq reads. We find evidence for many more splice junctions than are annotated in WormBase, with many of these suggesting alternative splice forms, often with differential usage over the life cycle. We annotated internal promoter usage in operons using SL1 and SL2 data. We also uncovered correlated transcriptional programs that span >80 kb. These data provide detailed annotation of the C. elegans transcriptome. PMID:27531719

  11. Endogenous RNAi and adaptation to environment in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Grishok, Alla

    2012-01-01

    The contributions of short RNAs to the control of repetitive elements are well documented in animals and plants. Here, the role of endogenous RNAi and AF10 homolog ZFP-1 in the adaptation of C. elegans to the environment is discussed. First, modulation of insulin signaling through regulation of transcription of the PDK-1 kinase (Mansisidor et al., PLoS Genetics, 2011) is reviewed. Second, an siRNA-based natural selection model is proposed in which variation in endogenous siRNA pools between individuals is subject to natural selection similarly to DNA-based genetic variation. The value of C. elegans for the research of siRNA-based epigenetic variation and adaptation is highlighted. PMID:24058837

  12. Organization of neuronal microtubules in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    1979-01-01

    We have studied the organization of microtubules in neurons of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Six neurons, which we call the microtubule cells, contain bundles of darkly staining microtubules which can be followed easily in serial-section electron micrographs. Reconstruction of individual microtubules in these cells indicate that most, if not all, microtubules are short compared with the length of the cell process. Average microtubule length varies characteristically with cell type. The arrangement of microtubules gives an overall polarity to each bundle: the distal ends of the microtubles are on the outside of the bundle, whereas the proximal ends are preferentially inside. The distal and proximal ends each have a characteristic appearance indicating that these microtubules may have a polarity of their own. Short microtubules in processes of other neurons in C. elegans have also been observed. PMID:479300

  13. A dual mechanosensory and chemosensory neuron in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, J M; Horvitz, H R

    1993-01-01

    After light touch to its nose, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans halts forward locomotion and initiates backing. Here we show that three classes of neurons (ASH, FLP, and OLQ) sense touch to the nose and hence are required for this avoidance response. ASH, FLP, and OLQ have sensory endings that contain axonemal cilia. Mutant animals that have defective ciliated sensory endings as well as laser-operated animals that lack ASH, FLP, and OLQ fail to respond to touch to the nose. Together with the previous work of others, these results demonstrate that C. elegans has at least five morphologically distinct classes of mechanosensory neurons. Interestingly, the ASH neuron also acts as a chemosensory neuron; it mediates the avoidance of noxious chemicals. Since ASH possesses both chemosensory and mechanosensory modalities, this neuron might be functionally analogous to vertebrate nociceptors, which mediate the sensation of pain. PMID:8460126

  14. C. elegans as a model for membrane traffic

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Ken; Norris, Anne; Sato, Miyuki; Grant, Barth D.

    2014-01-01

    The counterbalancing action of the endocytosis and secretory pathways maintains a dynamic equilibrium that regulates the composition of the plasma membrane, allowing it to maintain homeostasis and to change rapidly in response to changes in the extracellular environment and/or intracellular metabolism. These pathways are intimately integrated with intercellular signaling systems and play critical roles in all cells. Studies in Caenorhabditis elegans have revealed diverse roles of membrane trafficking in physiology and development and have also provided molecular insight into the fundamental mechanisms that direct cargo sorting, vesicle budding, and membrane fisson and fusion. In this review, we summarize progress in understanding membrane trafficking mechanisms derived from work in C. elegans, focusing mainly on work done in non-neuronal cell-types, especially the germline, early embryo, coelomocytes, and intestine. PMID:24778088

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  16. Dietary and microbiome factors determine longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Direct measurements of drag forces in C. elegans crawling locomotion.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-21

    With a simple and versatile microcantilever-based force measurement technique, we have probed the drag forces involved in Caenorhabditis elegans locomotion. As a worm crawls on an agar surface, we found that substrate viscoelasticity introduces nonlinearities in the force-velocity relationships, yielding nonconstant drag coefficients that are not captured by original resistive force theory. A major contributing factor to these nonlinearities is the formation of a shallow groove on the agar surface. We measured both the adhesion forces that cause the worm's body to settle into the agar and the resulting dynamics of groove formation. Furthermore, we quantified the locomotive forces produced by C. elegans undulatory motions on a wet viscoelastic agar surface. We show that an extension of resistive force theory is able to use the dynamics of a nematode's body shape along with the measured drag coefficients to predict the forces generated by a crawling nematode.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Magnetosensitive neurons mediate geomagnetic orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-17

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

  20. Life span extension of Caenorhabditis elegans by novel pyridoperimidine derivative.

    PubMed

    Sayed, Ahmed A R; El-Shaieb, Kamal M; Mourad, Aboul-Fetouh E

    2012-01-01

    Zwitterions formed from the addition of triphenylphosphine to dialky acetylene-dicarboxylates attack the nucleus of both 1H-perimidine (1) and 1H-benzo[d]imidazole (9) to form novel pyrido[1,2,3-cd]perimidine and imidazo[4,5,1-ij]quinoline derivatives in moderate yields (64-72%). The biological activity of the products has been studied. Compound 3a was found to extend life span of wild type Caenorhabditis elegans under standard laboratory conditions. Both heat stress and induced chemical stress resistance of wild type C. elegans were improved in a reverse dose-dependent manner due to 3a treatment. In addition, treatment of worms with compound 3a significantly attenuated the formation of advanced glycation end products in a reverse dose-dependent manner.

  1. Neuroendocrine modulation sustains the C. elegans forward motor state

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Maria A; Chitturi, Jyothsna; Laskova, Valeriya; Meng, Jun; Findeis, Daniel; Wiekenberg, Anne; Mulcahy, Ben; Luo, Linjiao; Li, Yan; Lu, Yangning; Hung, Wesley; Qu, Yixin; Ho, Chi-Yip; Holmyard, Douglas; Ji, Ni; McWhirter, Rebecca; Samuel, Aravinthan DT; Miller, David M; Schnabel, Ralf; Calarco, John A; Zhen, Mei

    2016-01-01

    Neuromodulators shape neural circuit dynamics. Combining electron microscopy, genetics, transcriptome profiling, calcium imaging, and optogenetics, we discovered a peptidergic neuron that modulates C. elegans motor circuit dynamics. The Six/SO-family homeobox transcription factor UNC-39 governs lineage-specific neurogenesis to give rise to a neuron RID. RID bears the anatomic hallmarks of a specialized endocrine neuron: it harbors near-exclusive dense core vesicles that cluster periodically along the axon, and expresses multiple neuropeptides, including the FMRF-amide-related FLP-14. RID activity increases during forward movement. Ablating RID reduces the sustainability of forward movement, a phenotype partially recapitulated by removing FLP-14. Optogenetic depolarization of RID prolongs forward movement, an effect reduced in the absence of FLP-14. Together, these results establish the role of a neuroendocrine cell RID in sustaining a specific behavioral state in C. elegans. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19887.001 PMID:27855782

  2. Variable Pathogenicity Determines Individual Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Blanco, Adolfo; Kim, Stuart K.

    2011-01-01

    A common property of aging in all animals is that chronologically and genetically identical individuals age at different rates. To unveil mechanisms that influence aging variability, we identified markers of remaining lifespan for Caenorhabditis elegans. In transgenic lines, we expressed fluorescent reporter constructs from promoters of C. elegans genes whose expression change with age. The expression levels of aging markers in individual worms from a young synchronous population correlated with their remaining lifespan. We identified eight aging markers, with the superoxide dismutase gene sod-3 expression being the best single predictor of remaining lifespan. Correlation with remaining lifespan became stronger if expression from two aging markers was monitored simultaneously, accounting for up to 49% of the variation in individual lifespan. Visualizing the physiological age of chronologically-identical individuals allowed us to show that a major source of lifespan variability is different pathogenicity from individual to individual and that the mechanism involves variable activation of the insulin-signaling pathway. PMID:21533182

  3. Stochastic left-right neuronal asymmetry in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Alqadah, Amel; Hsieh, Yi-Wen; Xiong, Rui; Chuang, Chiou-Fen

    2016-12-19

    Left-right asymmetry in the nervous system is observed across species. Defects in left-right cerebral asymmetry are linked to several neurological diseases, but the molecular mechanisms underlying brain asymmetry in vertebrates are still not very well understood. The Caenorhabditis elegans left and right amphid wing 'C' (AWC) olfactory neurons communicate through intercellular calcium signalling in a transient embryonic gap junction neural network to specify two asymmetric subtypes, AWC(OFF) (default) and AWC(ON) (induced), in a stochastic manner. Here, we highlight the molecular mechanisms that establish and maintain stochastic AWC asymmetry. As the components of the AWC asymmetry pathway are highly conserved, insights from the model organism C. elegans may provide a window onto how brain asymmetry develops in humans.This article is part of the themed issue 'Provocative questions in left-right asymmetry'.

  4. A soil bioassay using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-07-01

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

  5. Improving the Caenorhabditis elegans genome annotation using machine learning.

    PubMed

    Rätsch, Gunnar; Sonnenburg, Sören; Srinivasan, Jagan; Witte, Hanh; Müller, Klaus-R; Sommer, Ralf-J; Schölkopf, Bernhard

    2007-02-23

    For modern biology, precise genome annotations are of prime importance, as they allow the accurate definition of genic regions. We employ state-of-the-art machine learning methods to assay and improve the accuracy of the genome annotation of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The proposed machine learning system is trained to recognize exons and introns on the unspliced mRNA, utilizing recent advances in support vector machines and label sequence learning. In 87% (coding and untranslated regions) and 95% (coding regions only) of all genes tested in several out-of-sample evaluations, our method correctly identified all exons and introns. Notably, only 37% and 50%, respectively, of the presently unconfirmed genes in the C. elegans genome annotation agree with our predictions, thus we hypothesize that a sizable fraction of those genes are not correctly annotated. A retrospective evaluation of the Wormbase WS120 annotation [] of C. elegans reveals that splice form predictions on unconfirmed genes in WS120 are inaccurate in about 18% of the considered cases, while our predictions deviate from the truth only in 10%-13%. We experimentally analyzed 20 controversial genes on which our system and the annotation disagree, confirming the superiority of our predictions. While our method correctly predicted 75% of those cases, the standard annotation was never completely correct. The accuracy of our system is further corroborated by a comparison with two other recently proposed systems that can be used for splice form prediction: SNAP and ExonHunter. We conclude that the genome annotation of C. elegans and other organisms can be greatly enhanced using modern machine learning technology.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Programmed cell death in C. elegans, mammals and plants.

    PubMed

    Lord, Christina E N; Gunawardena, Arunika H L A N

    2012-08-01

    Programmed cell death (PCD) is the regulated removal of cells within an organism and plays a fundamental role in growth and development in nearly all eukaryotes. In animals, the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has aided in elucidating many of the pathways involved in the cell death process. Various analogous PCD processes can also be found within mammalian PCD systems, including vertebrate limb development. Plants and animals also appear to share hallmarks of PCD, both on the cellular and molecular level. Cellular events visualized during plant PCD resemble those seen in animals including: nuclear condensation, DNA fragmentation, cytoplasmic condensation, and plasma membrane shrinkage. Recently the molecular mechanisms involved in plant PCD have begun to be elucidated. Although few regulatory proteins have been identified as conserved across all eukaryotes, molecular features such as the participation of caspase-like proteases, Bcl-2-like family members and mitochondrial proteins appear to be conserved between plant and animal systems. Transgenic expression of mammalian and C. elegans pro- and anti-apoptotic genes in plants has been observed to dramatically influence the regulatory pathways of plant PCD. Although these genes often show little to no sequence similarity they can frequently act as functional substitutes for one another, thus suggesting that action may be more important than sequence resemblance. Here we present a summary of these findings, focusing on the similarities, between mammals, C. elegans, and plants. An emphasis will be placed on the mitochondria and its role in the cell death pathway within each organism. Through the comparison of these systems on both a cellular and molecular level we can begin to better understand PCD in plant systems, and perhaps shed light on the pathways, which are controlling the process. This manuscript adds to the field of PCD in plant systems by profiling apoptotic factors, to scale on a protein

  9. Gene editing activity on extrachromosomal arrays in C. elegans transgenics.

    PubMed

    Falgowski, Kerry A; Kmiec, Eric B

    2011-04-15

    Gene editing by modified single-stranded oligonucleotides is a strategy aimed at inducing single base changes into the genome, generating a permanent genetic change. The work presented here explores gene editing capabilities in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Current approaches to gene mutagenesis in C. elegans have been plagued by non-specificity and thus the ability to induce precise, directed alterations within the genome of C. elegans would offer a platform upon which structure/function analyses can be carried out. As such, several in vivo assay systems were developed to evaluate gene editing capabilities in C. elegans. Fluorescence was chosen as the selectable endpoint as fluorescence can be easily detected through the transparent worm body even from minimal expression. Two tissue specific fluorescent expression vectors containing either a GFP or mCherry transgene were mutagenized to create a single nonsense mutation within the open reading frame of each respective fluorescent gene. These served as the target site to evaluate the frequency of gene editing on extrachromosomal array transgenic lines. Extrachromosomal arrays can carry hundreds of copies of the transgene, therefore low frequency events (like those in the gene editing reaction) may be detected. Delivery of the oligonucleotide was accomplished by microinjection into the gonads of young adult worms in an effort to induce repair of the mutated fluorescent gene in the F1 progeny. Despite many microinjections on the transgenic strains with varying concentrations of ODNs, no gene editing events were detected. This result is consistent with the previous research, demonstrating the difficulties encountered in targeting embryonic stem cells and the pronuclei of single-celled embryos.

  10. Evaluation of Burkholderia cepacia Complex Bacteria Pathogenicity Using Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Tedesco, Pietro; Di Schiavi, Elia; Esposito, Fortunato Palma; de Pascale, Donatella

    2017-01-01

    This protocol describes two biological assays to evaluate pathogenicity of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) strains against the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Specifically, these two assays allow one to identify if the under-investigated Bcc strains are able to kill the nematodes by intestinal colonization (slow killing assay, SKA) or by toxins production (fast killing assay, FKA). The principal differences between the two assays rely on the different killing kinetics for worms. PMID:28255573

  11. Evaluation of Burkholderia cepacia Complex Bacteria Pathogenicity Using Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Tedesco, Pietro; Di Schiavi, Elia; Esposito, Fortunato Palma; de Pascale, Donatella

    2016-10-20

    This protocol describes two biological assays to evaluate pathogenicity of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) strains against the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Specifically, these two assays allow one to identify if the under-investigated Bcc strains are able to kill the nematodes by intestinal colonization (slow killing assay, SKA) or by toxins production (fast killing assay, FKA). The principal differences between the two assays rely on the different killing kinetics for worms.

  12. Allyl isothiocyanate induced stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) from mustard is cytotoxic; however the mechanism of its toxicity is unknown. We examined the effects of AITC on heat shock protein (HSP) 70 expression in Caenorhabditis elegans. We also examined factors affecting the production of AITC from its precursor, sinigrin, a glucosinolate, in ground Brassica juncea cv. Vulcan seed as mustard has some potential as a biopesticide. Findings An assay to determine the concentration of AITC in ground mustard seed was improved to allow the measurement of AITC release in the first minutes after exposure of ground mustard seed to water. Using this assay, we determined that temperatures above 67°C decreased sinigrin conversion to AITC in hydrated ground B. juncea seed. A pH near 6.0 was found to be necessary for AITC release. RT-qPCR revealed no significant change in HSP70A mRNA expression at low concentrations of AITC (< 0.1 μM). However, treatment with higher concentrations (> 1.0 μM) resulted in a four- to five-fold increase in expression. A HSP70 ELISA showed that AITC toxicity in C. elegans was ameliorated by the presence of ground seed from low sinigrin B. juncea cv. Arrid. Conclusions • AITC induced toxicity in C. elegans, as measured by HSP70 expression. • Conditions required for the conversion of sinigrin to AITC in ground B. juncea seed were determined. • The use of C. elegans as a bioassay to test AITC or mustard biopesticide efficacy is discussed. PMID:22093285

  13. Discovery of Novel microRNAs in Aging Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    de Lencastre, Alexandre; Slack, Frank

    2015-01-01

    The rapid development of deep sequencing technologies over the last few years and concomitant increases in sequencing depth and cost efficiencies have opened the door to a ever-widening range of applications in biology-from whole-genome sequencing, to ChIP-seq analysis, epigenomic and RNA transcriptome surveys. Here we describe the application of deep sequencing to the discovery of novel microRNAs and characterization of their differential expression during adulthood in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. An unusual clinical presentation of tinea faciei caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes var. erinacei.

    PubMed

    Lee, Deok-Woo; Yang, Ji-Hye; Choi, Seok-Joo; Won, Chong-Hyun; Chang, Sung-Eun; Lee, Mi-Woo; Choi, Jee-Ho; Moon, Kee-Chan; Kim, Mi-Na

    2011-01-01

    Trichophyton mentagrophytes var. erinacei, the natural host of which is the hedgehog, has been found to cause highly inflammatory and pruritic eruptions, including tinea manuum, tinea corporis, nail infection, kerion, scalp infection, and tinea barbae. To our knowledge, however, no reports have been made of tinea faciei caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes var. erinacei in the English language literature. We provide here the case of tinea faciei caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes var. erinacei.

  16. VT-1161 Protects Immunosuppressed Mice from Rhizopus arrhizus var. arrhizus Infection.

    PubMed

    Gebremariam, Teclegiorgis; Wiederhold, Nathan P; Fothergill, Annette W; Garvey, Edward P; Hoekstra, William J; Schotzinger, Robert J; Patterson, Thomas F; Filler, Scott G; Ibrahim, Ashraf S

    2015-12-01

    We studied the efficacy of the investigational drug VT-1161 against mucormycosis. VT-1161 had more potent in vitro activity against Rhizopus arrhizus var. arrhizus than against R. arrhizus var. delemar. VT-1161 treatment demonstrated dose-dependent plasma drug levels with prolonged survival time and lowered tissue fungal burden in immunosuppressed mice infected with R. arrhizus var. arrhizus and was as effective as high-dose liposomal amphotericin B treatment. These results support further development of VT-1161 against mucormycosis.

  17. Control of Oocyte Growth and Meiotic Maturation in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seongseop; Spike, Caroline; Greenstein, David

    2013-01-01

    In sexually reproducing animals, oocytes arrest at diplotene or diakinesis and resume meiosis (meiotic maturation) in response to hormones. Chromosome segregation errors in female meiosis I are the leading cause of human birth defects, and age-related changes in the hormonal environment of the ovary are a suggested cause. C. elegans is emerging as a genetic paradigm for studying hormonal control of meiotic maturation. The meiotic maturation processes in C. elegans and mammals share a number of biological and molecular similarities. Major sperm protein (MSP) and luteinizing hormone (LH), though unrelated in sequence, both trigger meiotic resumption using somatic Gαs-adenylate cyclase pathways and soma-germline gap-junctional communication. At a molecular level, the oocyte responses apparently involve the control of conserved protein kinase pathways and post-transcriptional gene regulation in the oocyte. At a cellular level, the responses include cortical cytoskeletal rearrangement, nuclear envelope breakdown, assembly of the acentriolar meiotic spindle, chromosome segregation, and likely changes important for fertilization and the oocyte-to-embryo transition. This chapter focuses on signaling mechanisms required for oocyte growth and meiotic maturation in C. elegans and discusses how these mechanisms coordinate the completion of meiosis and the oocyte-to-embryo transition. PMID:22872481

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model for anthelmintic discovery

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Tat-mediated protein delivery in living Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-01-19

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

  20. Undulatory Locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans on Wet Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Shen, X.N.; Sznitman, J.; Krajacic, P.; Lamitina, T.; Arratia, P.E.

    2012-01-01

    The physical and biomechanical principles that govern undulatory movement on wet surfaces have important applications in physiology, physics, and engineering. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, with its highly stereotypical and functionally distinct sinusoidal locomotory gaits, is an excellent system in which to dissect these properties. Measurements of the main forces governing the C. elegans crawling gait on lubricated surfaces have been scarce, primarily due to difficulties in estimating the physical features at the nematode-gel interface. Using kinematic data and a hydrodynamic model based on lubrication theory, we calculate both the surface drag forces and the nematode's bending force while crawling on the surface of agar gels within a preexisting groove. We find that the normal and tangential surface drag coefficients during crawling are ∼222 and 22, respectively, and the drag coefficient ratio is ∼10. During crawling, the calculated internal bending force is time-periodic and spatially complex, exhibiting a phase lag with respect to the nematode's body bending curvature. This phase lag is largely due to viscous drag forces, which are higher during crawling as compared to swimming in an aqueous buffer solution. The spatial patterns of bending force generated during either swimming or crawling correlate well with previously described gait-specific features of calcium signals in muscle. Further, our analysis indicates that one may be able to control the motility gait of C. elegans by judiciously adjusting the magnitude of the surface drag coefficients. PMID:22735527

  1. Quantitative analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans chemotaxis using a microfluidic device.

    PubMed

    Hu, Liang; Ye, Jinjuan; Tan, Haowei; Ge, Anle; Tang, Lichun; Feng, Xiaojun; Du, Wei; Liu, Bi-Feng

    2015-08-05

    Caenorhabditis elegans, one of the widely studied model organisms, sense external chemical cues and perform relative chemotaxis behaviors through its simple chemosensory neuronal system. To study the mechanism underlying chemosensory behavior, a rapid and reliable method for quantitatively analyzing the worms' behaviors is essential. In this work, we demonstrated a microfluidic approach for investigating chemotaxis responses of worms to chemical gradients. The flow-based microfluidic chip was consisted of circular tree-like microchannels, which was able to generate eight flow streams containing stepwise chemical concentrations without the difference in flow velocity. Worms' upstream swimming into microchannels with various concentrations was monitored for quantitative analysis of the chemotaxis behavior. By using this microfluidic chip, the attractive and repellent responses of C. elegans to NaCl were successfully quantified within several minutes. The results demonstrated the wild type-like repellent responses and severely impaired attractive responses in grk-2 mutant animals with defects in calcium influx. In addition, the chemotaxis analysis of the third stage larvae revealed that its gustatory response was different from that in the adult stage. Thus, our microfluidic method provided a useful platform for studying the chemosensory behaviors of C. elegans and screening of chemosensation-related chemical drugs.

  2. Mechanosensitive unpaired innexin channels in C. elegans touch neurons.

    PubMed

    Sangaletti, Rachele; Dahl, Gerhard; Bianchi, Laura

    2014-11-15

    Invertebrate innexin proteins share sequence homology with vertebrate pannexins and general membrane topology with both pannexins and connexins. While connexins form gap junctions that mediate intercellular communication, pannexins are thought to function exclusively as plasma membrane channels permeable to both ions and small molecules. Undoubtedly, certain innexins function as gap junction proteins. However, due to sequence similarity to pannexins, it was postulated that innexins also function as plasma membrane channels. Indeed, some of the leech innexins were found to mediate ATP release as unpaired membrane channels with shared pharmacology to pannexin channels. We show here that Caenorhabditis elegans touch-sensing neurons express a mechanically gated innexin channel with a conductance of ∼1 nS and voltage-dependent and K(+)-selective subconductance state. We also show that C. elegans touch neurons take up ethidium bromide through a mechanism that is activated and blocked by innexin activating stimuli and inhibitors, respectively. Finally, we present evidence that touch neurons' innexins are required for cell death induced by chemical ischemia. Our work demonstrates that innexins function as plasma membrane channels in native C. elegans neurons, where they may play a role in pathological cell death.

  3. Mechanistic analysis of the search behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Disruption of iron homeostasis increases phosphine toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Cha'on, Ubon; Valmas, Nicholas; Collins, Patrick J; Reilly, Paul E B; Hammock, Bruce D; Ebert, Paul R

    2007-03-01

    The aim of this study is to identify the biochemical mechanism of phosphine toxicity and resistance, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism. To date, the precise mode of phosphine action is unclear. In this report, we demonstrate the following dose-dependent actions of phosphine, in vitro: (1) reduction of ferric iron (Fe3+) to ferrous iron (Fe2+), (2) release of iron from horse ferritin, (3) and the peroxidation of lipid as a result of iron release from ferritin. Using in situ hybridization, we show that the ferritin genes of C. elegans, both ferritin-1 and ferritin-2, are expressed along the digestive tract with greatest expression at the proximal and distal ends. Basal expression of the ferritin-2 gene, as determined by quantitative PCR, is approximately 80 times that of ferritin-1. However, transcript levels of ferritin-1 are induced at least 20-fold in response to phosphine, whereas there is no change in the level of ferritin-2. This resembles the reported pattern of ferritin gene regulation by iron, suggesting that phosphine toxicity may be related to an increase in the level of free iron. Indeed, iron overload increases phosphine toxicity in C. elegans at least threefold. Moreover, we demonstrate that suppression of ferritin-2 gene expression by RNAi, significantly increases sensitivity to phosphine. This study identifies similarities between phosphine toxicity and iron overload and demonstrates that phosphine can trigger iron release from storage proteins, increasing lipid peroxidation, leading to cell injury and/or cell death.

  5. Caenorhabditis elegans: A Genetic Guide to Parasitic Nematode Biology

    PubMed Central

    Bird, D. McK.; Opperman, C. H.

    1998-01-01

    The advent of parasite genome sequencing projects, as well as an increase in biology-directed gene discovery, promises to reveal genes encoding many of the key molecules required for nematode-host interactions. However, distinguishing parasitism genes from those merely required for nematode viability remains a substantial challenge. Although this will ultimately require a functional test in the host or parasite, the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can be exploited as a heterologous system to determine function of candidate parasitism genes. Studies of C. elegans also have revealed genetic networks, such as the dauer pathway, that may also be important adaptations for parasitism. As a more directed means of identifying parasitism traits, we developed classical genetics for Heterodera glycines and have used this approach to map genes conferring host resistance-breaking phenotypes. It is likely that the C. elegans and H. glycines genomes will be at least partially syntenic, thus permitting predictive physical mapping of H. glycines genes of interest. PMID:19274223

  6. DNA methylation on N6-adenine in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Greer, Eric Lieberman; Blanco, Mario Andres; Gu, Lei; Sendinc, Erdem; Liu, Jianzhao; Aristizábal-Corrales, David; Hsu, Chih-Hung; Aravind, L.; He, Chuan; Shi, Yang

    2015-01-01

    Summary In mammalian cells, DNA methylation on the 5th position of cytosine (5mC) plays an important role as an epigenetic mark. However, DNA methylation was considered to be absent in C. elegans because of the lack of detectable 5mC as well as homologs of the cytosine DNA methyltransferases. Here, using multiple approaches, we demonstrate the presence of adenine N6-methylation (6mA) in C. elegans DNA. We further demonstrate that this modification increases trans-generationally in a paradigm of epigenetic inheritance. Importantly, we identify a DNA demethylase, NMAD-1, and a potential DNA methyltransferase, DAMT-1, which regulate 6mA levels and crosstalk between methylation of histone H3K4me2 and 6mA, and control the epigenetic inheritance of phenotypes associated with the loss of the H3K4me2 demethylase spr-5. Together, these data identify a DNA modification in C. elegans and raise the exciting possibility that 6mA may be a carrier of heritable epigenetic information in eukaryotes. PMID:25936839

  7. Genome Editing in C. elegans and Other Nematode Species

    PubMed Central

    Sugi, Takuma

    2016-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a 1 mm long free-living nematode, is a popular model animal that has been widely utilized for genetic investigations of various biological processes. Characteristic features that make C. elegans a powerful model of choice for eukaryotic genetic studies include its rapid life cycle (development from egg to adult in 3.5 days at 20 °C), well-annotated genome, simple morphology (comprising only 959 somatic cells in the hermaphrodite), and transparency (which facilitates non-invasive fluorescence observations). However, early approaches to introducing mutations in the C. elegans genome, such as chemical mutagenesis and imprecise excision of transposons, have required large-scale mutagenesis screens. To avoid this laborious and time-consuming procedure, genome editing technologies have been increasingly used in nematodes including C. briggsae and Pristionchus pacificus, thereby facilitating their genetic analyses. Here, I review the recent progress in genome editing technologies using zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcriptional activator-like nucleases (TALENs), and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 in nematodes and offer perspectives on their use in the future. PMID:26927083

  8. Function and Regulation of Lipid Biology in Caenorhabditis elegans Aging

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Nicole Shangming; Taubert, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefiting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular, and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging. PMID:22629250

  9. Cell-specific proteomic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Yuet, Kai P.; Doma, Meenakshi K.; Ngo, John T.; Sweredoski, Michael J.; Graham, Robert L. J.; Moradian, Annie; Hess, Sonja; Schuman, Erin M.; Sternberg, Paul W.; Tirrell, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Proteomic analysis of rare cells in heterogeneous environments presents difficult challenges. Systematic methods are needed to enrich, identify, and quantify proteins expressed in specific cells in complex biological systems including multicellular plants and animals. Here, we have engineered a Caenorhabditis elegans phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase capable of tagging proteins with the reactive noncanonical amino acid p-azido-l-phenylalanine. We achieved spatiotemporal selectivity in the labeling of C. elegans proteins by controlling expression of the mutant synthetase using cell-selective (body wall muscles, intestinal epithelial cells, neurons, and pharyngeal muscle) or state-selective (heat-shock) promoters in several transgenic lines. Tagged proteins are distinguished from the rest of the protein pool through bioorthogonal conjugation of the azide side chain to probes that permit visualization and isolation of labeled proteins. By coupling our methodology with stable-isotope labeling of amino acids in cell culture (SILAC), we successfully profiled proteins expressed in pharyngeal muscle cells, and in the process, identified proteins not previously known to be expressed in these cells. Our results show that tagging proteins with spatiotemporal selectivity can be achieved in C. elegans and illustrate a convenient and effective approach for unbiased discovery of proteins expressed in targeted subsets of cells. PMID:25691744

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. High-throughput gene mapping in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Swan, Kathryn A; Curtis, Damian E; McKusick, Kathleen B; Voinov, Alexander V; Mapa, Felipa A; Cancilla, Michael R

    2002-07-01

    Positional cloning of mutations in model genetic systems is a powerful method for the identification of targets of medical and agricultural importance. To facilitate the high-throughput mapping of mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans, we have identified a further 9602 putative new single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between two C. elegans strains, Bristol N2 and the Hawaiian mapping strain CB4856, by sequencing inserts from a CB4856 genomic DNA library and using an informatics pipeline to compare sequences with the canonical N2 genomic sequence. When combined with data from other laboratories, our marker set of 17,189 SNPs provides even coverage of the complete worm genome. To date, we have confirmed >1099 evenly spaced SNPs (one every 91 +/- 56 kb) across the six chromosomes and validated the utility of our SNP marker set and new fluorescence polarization-based genotyping methods for systematic and high-throughput identification of genes in C. elegans by cloning several proprietary genes. We illustrate our approach by recombination mapping and confirmation of the mutation in the cloned gene, dpy-18.

  12. DNA Methylation and Potential for Epigenetic Regulation in Pygospio elegans.

    PubMed

    Kesäniemi, Jenni E; Heikkinen, Liisa; Knott, K Emily

    2016-01-01

    Transitions in developmental mode are common evolutionarily, but how and why they occur is not understood. Developmental mode describes larval phenotypes, including morphology, ecology and behavior of larvae, which typically are generalized across different species. The polychaete worm Pygospio elegans is one of few species polymorphic in developmental mode, with multiple larval phenotypes, providing a possibility to examine the potential mechanisms allowing transitions in developmental mode. We investigated the presence of DNA methylation in P. elegans, and, since maternal provisioning is a key factor determining eventual larval phenotype, we compared patterns of DNA methylation in females during oogenesis in this species. We demonstrate that intragenic CpG site DNA methylation and many relevant genes necessary for DNA methylation occur in P. elegans. Methylation-sensitive AFLP analysis showed that gravid females with offspring differing in larval developmental mode have significantly different methylation profiles and that the females with benthic larvae and non-reproductive females from the same location also differ in their epigenetic profiles. Analysis of CpG sites in transcriptome data supported our findings of DNA methylation in this species and showed that CpG observed/expected ratios differ among females gravid with embryos destined to different developmental modes. The differences in CpG site DNA methylation patterns seen among the samples suggest a potential for epigenetic regulation of gene expression (through DNA methylation) in this species.

  13. DNA Methylation and Potential for Epigenetic Regulation in Pygospio elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kesäniemi, Jenni E.; Heikkinen, Liisa; Knott, K. Emily

    2016-01-01

    Transitions in developmental mode are common evolutionarily, but how and why they occur is not understood. Developmental mode describes larval phenotypes, including morphology, ecology and behavior of larvae, which typically are generalized across different species. The polychaete worm Pygospio elegans is one of few species polymorphic in developmental mode, with multiple larval phenotypes, providing a possibility to examine the potential mechanisms allowing transitions in developmental mode. We investigated the presence of DNA methylation in P. elegans, and, since maternal provisioning is a key factor determining eventual larval phenotype, we compared patterns of DNA methylation in females during oogenesis in this species. We demonstrate that intragenic CpG site DNA methylation and many relevant genes necessary for DNA methylation occur in P. elegans. Methylation-sensitive AFLP analysis showed that gravid females with offspring differing in larval developmental mode have significantly different methylation profiles and that the females with benthic larvae and non-reproductive females from the same location also differ in their epigenetic profiles. Analysis of CpG sites in transcriptome data supported our findings of DNA methylation in this species and showed that CpG observed/expected ratios differ among females gravid with embryos destined to different developmental modes. The differences in CpG site DNA methylation patterns seen among the samples suggest a potential for epigenetic regulation of gene expression (through DNA methylation) in this species. PMID:27008314

  14. In vivo neuronal calcium imaging in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Chung, Samuel H; Sun, Lin; Gabel, Christopher V

    2013-04-10

    The nematode worm C. elegans is an ideal model organism for relatively simple, low cost neuronal imaging in vivo. Its small transparent body and simple, well-characterized nervous system allows identification and fluorescence imaging of any neuron within the intact animal. Simple immobilization techniques with minimal impact on the animal's physiology allow extended time-lapse imaging. The development of genetically-encoded calcium sensitive fluorophores such as cameleon and GCaMP allow in vivo imaging of neuronal calcium relating both cell physiology and neuronal activity. Numerous transgenic strains expressing these fluorophores in specific neurons are readily available or can be constructed using well-established techniques. Here, we describe detailed procedures for measuring calcium dynamics within a single neuron in vivo using both GCaMP and cameleon. We discuss advantages and disadvantages of both as well as various methods of sample preparation (animal immobilization) and image analysis. Finally, we present results from two experiments: 1) Using GCaMP to measure the sensory response of a specific neuron to an external electrical field and 2) Using cameleon to measure the physiological calcium response of a neuron to traumatic laser damage. Calcium imaging techniques such as these are used extensively in C. elegans and have been extended to measurements in freely moving animals, multiple neurons simultaneously and comparison across genetic backgrounds. C. elegans presents a robust and flexible system for in vivo neuronal imaging with advantages over other model systems in technical simplicity and cost.

  15. Isotopic ratio outlier analysis global metabolomics of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Stupp, Gregory S; Clendinen, Chaevien S; Ajredini, Ramadan; Szewc, Mark A; Garrett, Timothy; Menger, Robert F; Yost, Richard A; Beecher, Chris; Edison, Arthur S

    2013-12-17

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

  16. Antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of hydroalcoholic extract from Salvia elegans.

    PubMed

    Herrera-Ruiz, Maribel; García-Beltrán, Yolanda; Mora, Sergio; Díaz-Véliz, Gabriela; Viana, Glauce S B; Tortoriello, Jaime; Ramírez, Guillermo

    2006-08-11

    Salvia elegans Vahl (Lamiaceae), popularly known as "mirto", is a shrub that has been widely used in Mexican traditional medicine for the treatment of different central nervous system (CNS) diseases, principally, anxiety. Nevertheless, the available scientific information about this species is scarce and there are no reports related to its possible effect on the CNS. In this work, the antidepressant and anxiolytic like effects of hydroalcoholic (60%) extract of Salvia elegans (leaves and flowers) were evaluated in mice. The extract, administered orally, was able to increase the percentage of time spent and the percentage of arm entries in the open arms of the elevated plus-maze, as well as to increase the time spent by mice in the illuminated side of the light-dark test, and to decrease the immobility time of mice subjected to the forced swimming test. The same extract was not able to modify the spontaneous locomotor activity measured in the open field test. These results provide support for the potential antidepressant and anxiolytic activity of Salvia elegans.

  17. Courtship herding in the fiddler crab Uca elegans.

    PubMed

    How, Martin J; Hemmi, Jan M

    2008-12-01

    Male and female animals are not always complicit during reproduction, giving rise to coercion. One example of a system that is assumed to involve sexual coercion is the mate herding behaviour of fiddler crabs: males push females towards the home burrow with the goal of forcing copulation at the burrow entrance. We recorded and analysed in detail the courtship behaviour of a North Australian species of fiddler crab Uca elegans. Courtship was composed of four main phases: broadcast waving, outward run, herding and at burrow display. During interactions males produced claw-waving displays which were directed posteriorly towards the female and which varied in timing and structure depending on the courtship phase. We suggest that courtship herding in U. elegans is driven primarily by mate choice for the following reasons, (1) females can evade herding, (2) no other reproductive strategies were observed, (3) males broadcast their presence and accompany courtship with conspicuous claw waves, and (4) the behaviour ends with the female leading the male into the home burrow. As an alternative function for herding in U. elegans we suggest that the behaviour represents a form of courtship guiding, in which males direct complicit females to the correct home burrow.

  18. Mechanosensitive unpaired innexin channels in C. elegans touch neurons

    PubMed Central

    Sangaletti, Rachele; Dahl, Gerhard

    2014-01-01

    Invertebrate innexin proteins share sequence homology with vertebrate pannexins and general membrane topology with both pannexins and connexins. While connexins form gap junctions that mediate intercellular communication, pannexins are thought to function exclusively as plasma membrane channels permeable to both ions and small molecules. Undoubtedly, certain innexins function as gap junction proteins. However, due to sequence similarity to pannexins, it was postulated that innexins also function as plasma membrane channels. Indeed, some of the leech innexins were found to mediate ATP release as unpaired membrane channels with shared pharmacology to pannexin channels. We show here that Caenorhabditis elegans touch-sensing neurons express a mechanically gated innexin channel with a conductance of ∼1 nS and voltage-dependent and K+-selective subconductance state. We also show that C. elegans touch neurons take up ethidium bromide through a mechanism that is activated and blocked by innexin activating stimuli and inhibitors, respectively. Finally, we present evidence that touch neurons' innexins are required for cell death induced by chemical ischemia. Our work demonstrates that innexins function as plasma membrane channels in native C. elegans neurons, where they may play a role in pathological cell death. PMID:25252948

  19. Mating Damages the Cuticle of C. elegans Hermaphrodites

    PubMed Central

    Woodruff, Gavin C.; Knauss, Christine M.; Maugel, Timothy K.; Haag, Eric S.

    2014-01-01

    Lifespan costs to reproduction are common across multiple species, and such costs could potentially arise through a number of mechanisms. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, it has been suggested that part of the lifespan cost to hermaphrodites from mating results from physical damage owing to the act of copulation itself. Here, we examine whether mating damages the surface of the hermaphrodite cuticle via scanning electron microscopy. It is found that mated hermaphrodites suffered delamination of cuticle layers surrounding the vulva, and that the incidence of such damage depends on genetic background. Unmated hermaphrodites demonstrated almost no such damage, even when cultured in soil with potentially abrasive particles. Thus, a consequence of mating for C. elegans hermaphrodites is physical cuticle damage. These experiments did not assess the consequences of cuticle damage for lifespan, and the biological significance of this damage remains unclear. We further discuss our results within the context of recent studies linking the lifespan cost to mating in C. elegans hermaphrodites to male secretions. PMID:25105881

  20. Direct micro-mechanical measurements on C. elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

    The millimeter-sized nematode Caenorhabditis elegans provides an excellent biophysical system for both static and dynamic biomechanical studies. The undulatory motion exhibited by this model organism as it crawls or swims through a medium is ubiquitous in nature at scales from microns to meters. A successful description of this form of locomotion requires knowledge of the material properties of the crawler, as well as its force output as it moves. Here we present an experimental technique with which the material properties and dynamics of C. elegans can be directly probed. By using the deflection of a flexible micropipette, the bending stiffness of C. elegans has been measured at all stages of its life cycle, as well as along the body of the adult worm. The mechanical properties of the worm are modelled as a viscoelastic material which provides new insights into its material properties. The forces exerted by the worm during undulatory motion are also discussed. Direct experimental characterization of this model organism provides guidance for theoretical treatments of undulatory locomotion in general.

  1. Isotopic Ratio Outlier Analysis Global Metabolomics of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Dopamine modulates the plasticity of mechanosensory responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sanyal, Suparna; Wintle, Richard F; Kindt, Katie S; Nuttley, William M; Arvan, Rokhand; Fitzmaurice, Paul; Bigras, Eve; Merz, David C; Hébert, Terence E; van der Kooy, Derek; Schafer, William R; Culotti, Joseph G; Van Tol, Hubert H M

    2004-01-01

    Dopamine-modulated behaviors, including information processing and reward, are subject to behavioral plasticity. Disruption of these behaviors is thought to support drug addictions and psychoses. The plasticity of dopamine-mediated behaviors, for example, habituation and sensitization, are not well understood at the molecular level. We show that in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a D1-like dopamine receptor gene (dop-1) modulates the plasticity of mechanosensory behaviors in which dopamine had not been implicated previously. A mutant of dop-1 displayed faster habituation to nonlocalized mechanical stimulation. This phenotype was rescued by the introduction of a wild-type copy of the gene. The dop-1 gene is expressed in mechanosensory neurons, particularly the ALM and PLM neurons. Selective expression of the dop-1 gene in mechanosensory neurons using the mec-7 promoter rescues the mechanosensory deficit in dop-1 mutant animals. The tyrosine hydroxylase-deficient C. elegans mutant (cat-2) also displays these specific behavioral deficits. These observations provide genetic evidence that dopamine signaling modulates behavioral plasticity in C. elegans. PMID:14739932

  3. Antisense long noncoding RNAs regulate var gene activation in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Amit-Avraham, Inbar; Pozner, Guy; Eshar, Shiri; Fastman, Yair; Kolevzon, Netanel; Yavin, Eylon; Dzikowski, Ron

    2015-03-03

    The virulence of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of the deadliest form of human malaria, is attributed to its ability to evade human immunity through antigenic variation. These parasites alternate between expression of variable antigens, encoded by members of a multicopy gene family named var. Immune evasion through antigenic variation depends on tight regulation of var gene expression, ensuring that only a single var gene is expressed at a time while the rest of the family is maintained transcriptionally silent. Understanding how a single gene is chosen for activation is critical for understanding mutually exclusive expression but remains a mystery. Here, we show that antisense long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) initiating from var introns are associated with the single active var gene at the time in the cell cycle when the single var upstream promoter is active. We demonstrate that these antisense transcripts are incorporated into chromatin, and that expression of these antisense lncRNAs in trans triggers activation of a silent var gene in a sequence- and dose-dependent manner. On the other hand, interference with these lncRNAs using complement peptide nucleic acid molecules down-regulated the active var gene, erased the epigenetic memory, and induced expression switching. Altogether, our data provide evidence that these antisense lncRNAs play a key role in regulating var gene activation and mutually exclusive expression.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Influence of Silicon on Resistance of Zinnia Elegans to Myzus Persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Studies were conducted to examine the effect of treating Zinnia elegans Jacq. with soluble silicon on the performance of the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae (Sulzer). Zinnia elegans plants were irrigated every 2 days throughout the duration of the experiment with a nutrient solution amended with ...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Using RNAi in C. "elegans" to Demonstrate Gene Knockdown Phenotypes in the Undergraduate Biology Lab Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roy, Nicole M.

    2013-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful technology used to knock down genes in basic research and medicine. In 2006 RNAi technology using "Caenorhabditis elegans" ("C. elegans") was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine and thus students graduating in the biological sciences should have experience with this technology. However,…

  8. A Chemosensory Adaptation Module for the Physiology Laboratory from Student-Directed "C. elegans" Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindblom, Tim

    2006-01-01

    The model organism, "Caenorhabditis elegans," in addition to being well suited to genetics and cell biology teaching applications, can also be useful in the physiology laboratory. In this article, the author describes how students in a junior level college Comparative Physiology course have made use of "C. elegans" in semester-long,…

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amano, Hisayuki; Maruyama, Ichiro N.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, Edith M.

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Molecular epidemiology of Italian clinical Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii isolates.

    PubMed

    Cogliati, Massimo; Zamfirova, Ralika R; Tortorano, Anna Maria; Viviani, Maria Anna

    2013-07-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans variety grubii is the major etiological agent of cryptococcal meningitis in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent patients. The current PCR-based molecular methods are not sufficient to discriminate among the different populations of this yeast. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the genotypes of the Italian clinical C. neoformans var. grubii isolates by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). A total of 53 isolates, each representative of a single case, were studied. Genotyping was performed using the ISHAM Cryptococcus MLST consensus scheme and the results were compared to the publically available global C. neoformans var. grubii MLST dataset. A total of 16 genotypes were identified; 14 were new genotypes, one was identical to sequence type (ST) ST81, which had been previously reported from Thailand, and one to ST23 already identified in Uganda, the USA and Korea. Sequence type ST61 was the most numerous, including 16 isolates. Network phylogenetic analysis showed that the Italian isolates could be divided into at least three clusters with similarities with those recovered in Africa, Asia and Americas. Distribution of the STs among the isolates could not be correlated to the hospital in which they were recovered or to the HIV status of the patients. The majority of the isolates belonged to the molecular type VNI; three belonged to the rare molecular type VNII and one to the VNB group, which until now had not been described in Europe. The results reveal that the Italian C. neoformans var. grubii population presents a distinct variability, displaying a high number of new genotypes, and probably recombines sexually.

  14. Resistance to Southern Root-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) in Wild Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides)

    PubMed Central

    Thies, Judy A.; Ariss, Jennifer J.; Kousik, Chandrasekar S.; Hassell, Richard L.; Levi, Amnon

    2016-01-01

    Southern root-knot nematode (RKN, Meloidogyne incognita) is a serious pest of cultivated watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus) in southern regions of the United States and no resistance is known to exist in commercial watermelon cultivars. Wild watermelon relatives (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) have been shown in greenhouse studies to possess varying degrees of resistance to RKN species. Experiments were conducted over 2 yr to assess resistance of southern RKN in C. lanatus var. citroides accessions from the U.S. Watermelon Plant Introduction Collection in an artificially infested field site at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, SC. In the first study (2006), 19 accessions of C. lanatus var. citroides were compared with reference entries of Citrullus colocynthis and C. lanatus var. lanatus. Of the wild watermelon accessions, two entries exhibited significantly less galling than all other entries. Five of the best performing C. lanatus var. citroides accessions were evaluated with and without nematicide at the same field site in 2007. Citrullus lanatus var. citroides accessions performed better than C. lanatus var. lanatus and C. colocynthis. Overall, most entries of C. lanatus var. citroides performed similarly with and without nematicide treatment in regard to root galling, visible egg masses, vine vigor, and root mass. In both years of field evaluations, most C. lanatus var. citroides accessions showed lesser degrees of nematode reproduction and higher vigor and root mass than C. colocynthis and C. lanatus var. lanatus. The results of these two field evaluations suggest that wild watermelon populations may be useful sources of resistance to southern RKN. PMID:27168648

  15. Resistance to Southern Root-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) in Wild Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides).

    PubMed

    Thies, Judy A; Ariss, Jennifer J; Kousik, Chandrasekar S; Hassell, Richard L; Levi, Amnon

    2016-03-01

    Southern root-knot nematode (RKN, Meloidogyne incognita) is a serious pest of cultivated watermelon (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus) in southern regions of the United States and no resistance is known to exist in commercial watermelon cultivars. Wild watermelon relatives (Citrullus lanatus var. citroides) have been shown in greenhouse studies to possess varying degrees of resistance to RKN species. Experiments were conducted over 2 yr to assess resistance of southern RKN in C. lanatus var. citroides accessions from the U.S. Watermelon Plant Introduction Collection in an artificially infested field site at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, SC. In the first study (2006), 19 accessions of C. lanatus var. citroides were compared with reference entries of Citrullus colocynthis and C. lanatus var. lanatus. Of the wild watermelon accessions, two entries exhibited significantly less galling than all other entries. Five of the best performing C. lanatus var. citroides accessions were evaluated with and without nematicide at the same field site in 2007. Citrullus lanatus var. citroides accessions performed better than C. lanatus var. lanatus and C. colocynthis. Overall, most entries of C. lanatus var. citroides performed similarly with and without nematicide treatment in regard to root galling, visible egg masses, vine vigor, and root mass. In both years of field evaluations, most C. lanatus var. citroides accessions showed lesser degrees of nematode reproduction and higher vigor and root mass than C. colocynthis and C. lanatus var. lanatus. The results of these two field evaluations suggest that wild watermelon populations may be useful sources of resistance to southern RKN.

  16. Automatic identification of Caenorhabditis elegans in population images by shape energy features.

    PubMed

    Ochoa, D; Gautama, S; Philips, W

    2010-05-01

    Experiments on model organisms are used to extend the understanding of complex biological processes. In Caenorhabditis elegans studies, populations of specimens are sampled to measure certain morphological properties and a population is characterized based on statistics extracted from such samples. Automatic detection of C. elegans in such culture images is a difficult problem. The images are affected by clutter, overlap and image degradations. In this paper, we exploit shape and appearance differences between C. elegans and non-C. elegans segmentations. Shape information is captured by optimizing a parametric open contour model on training data. Features derived from the contour energies are proposed as shape descriptors and integrated in a probabilistic framework. These descriptors are evaluated for C. elegans detection in culture images. Our experiments show that measurements extracted from these samples correlate well with ground truth data. These positive results indicate that the proposed approach can be used for quantitative analysis of complex nematode images.

  17. Insight into the Family of Na+/Ca2+ Exchangers of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Vishal; He, Chao; Sacca-Schaeffer, Julian; Brzozowski, Eric; Martin-Herranz, Daniel E.; Mendelowitz, Zelda; Fitzpatrick, David A.; O’Halloran, Damien M.

    2013-01-01

    Here we provide the first genome-wide in vivo analysis of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger family in the model system Caenorhabditis elegans. We source all members of this family within the Caenorhabditis genus and reconstruct their phylogeny across humans and Drosophila melanogaster. Next, we provide a description of the expression pattern for each exchanger gene in C. elegans, revealing a wide expression in a number of tissues and cell types including sensory neurons, interneurons, motor neurons, muscle cells, and intestinal tissue. Finally, we conduct a series of behavioral and functional analyses through mutant characterization in C. elegans. From these data we demonstrate that, similar to mammalian systems, the expression of Na+/Ca2+ exchangers in C. elegans is skewed toward excitable cells, and we propose that C. elegans may be an ideal model system for the study of Na+/Ca2+ exchangers. PMID:23893482

  18. A flicker reduction control strategy using an adaptive var compensator

    SciTech Connect

    Jatskevich, J.; Wasynczuk, O.; Conrad, L.

    1999-11-01

    A detailed computer model of a power network with loads, resistance welders and an Adaptive Var Compensator (AVC) has been developed and used to determine the effectiveness of the AVC on the reduction of observable flicker at neighboring loads. Flicker severity is determined using the UIE/IEC flickermeter methodology. Different control strategies for the AVC are considered and compared with respect to flicker reduction. A new flicker adaptive control (FAC) strategy is proposed that can be used for both power factor correction and flicker reduction. The measurement technique used in the FAC is shown to be accurate even in presence of significant harmonic distortion.

  19. Adaptive fuzzy logic control of a static VAR system

    SciTech Connect

    Dash, P.K.; Routray, A.; Panda, P.C.; Panda, S.K.

    1995-12-31

    A fuzzy gain scheduling scheme for PID controller for transient and dynamic voltage stabilization of power transmission systems has been presented in this paper. Fuzzy rules and reasoning are utilized on-line to determine the controller parameters based on the error signal and its derivative. The static VAR controller is designed with the bus angle deviation and its rate as the input signal to a fuzzy PI or PID control loop. This control is tested for a power transmission system supplying dynamic loads and provides superior performance.

  20. AmeriFlux US-Var Vaira Ranch- Ione

    DOE Data Explorer

    Baldocchi, Dennis [University of California, Berkeley

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Var Vaira Ranch- Ione. Site Description - Located in the lower foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains on privately owned land, the Vaira Ranch site is classified as a grassland dominated by C3 annual grasses. Managed by local rancher, Fran Vaira, brush has been periodically removed for cattle grazing. Species include a variety of grasses and herbs, including purple false brome, smooth cat's ear, and rose clover. Growing season is confined to the wet season only, typically from October to early May.

  1. [Coumarins from Peucedanum harry-smithii var. subglabrum].

    PubMed

    Li, Wen; Feng, Shilan; Hu, Fangdi; Chen, Erlin

    2009-05-01

    The root of Peucedanum harry-smithii var. subglabrum was extracted with methanol, then separated with solvents at different polarity into four fractions: aqueous (H2O), ethyl acetate (AcOEt), chloroform (CHCl3) and petroleum ether (DAB-6). From AcOEt psoralen, bargapten, xanthotoxin, marmesin, umbelliferone, scopoletin, (+/-) peuformosin, Pd-I b, (+/-) selinidin, praeruptorin D were isolated by column chromatography on silica gel, using petroleum ether/ethyl acetate as eluent. The structures of the coumarins were identified by 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR.

  2. Pungent Alkamides from Spilanthes acmella L. var. oleracea Clarke.

    PubMed

    Nakatani, N; Nagashima, M

    1992-01-01

    A main pungent amide, spilanthol (1), and three alkamides, (2E)-N-(2-methylbutyl)-2-undecene-8,10-diynamide (2), (2E,7Z)-N-isobutyl-2,7-tridecadiene-10,12-diynamide (3), and (7Z)-N-isobutyl-7-tridecene-10,12-diynamide (4) were isolated from the flower heads of Spilanthes acmella L. var. oleracea Clarke. Their structures were established by spectroscopic methods. Compounds 2 and 4 were new and 3 was found for the first time in Spilanthes species. Chemotaxonomic aspects are discussed.

  3. Novel diterpenes from the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Yueh-Hsiung; Chen, Chia-Hsien; Chien, Shih-Chang; Lin, Hsiu-Chuan

    2004-06-01

    Two novel diterpenes, obtusanal B (1) and obtusadione (2), along with obtusanal A (3), obtunone (4), 12-hydroxy-6,7-secoabieta-8,11,13-triene-6,7-dial, 8,12-dihydroxydielmentha-5,9-diene-7,11-dione and myrcene, isolated from the heartwood of Chamaecyparis obtusa var. formosana, were characterized by spectroscopic means, including 2D-NMR techniques. Compounds 1 and 2 are 7(6-->2)abeoabietane and 14(8-->9)abeoabietane type diterpenes, respectively. Their biosyntheses were proposed.

  4. A new languidulane diterpenoid from Salvia mexicana var. mexicana.

    PubMed

    Frontana-Uribe, Bernardo Antonio; Escárcega-Bobadilla, Martha Verónica; Estrada-Reyes, Rosa; Morales-Serna, José Antonio; Salmón, Manuel; Cárdenas, Jorge

    2011-10-21

    From the aerial parts of Salvia mexicana var. mexicana, two C-10 epimers (α and β) of salvimexicanolide were isolated. Our interpretation of the data, especially the 13C NMR, led us to conclude that the previously described 13C-NMR spectrum of the α-epimer was not accurately assigned and it actually corresponds to the β-epimer. The structures proposed for the salvimexicanolides were verified by means of NOESY experiments. Dugesin B, arbutin, naringenin and the mixture of oleanolic and ursolic acids were also isolated from this Salvia spp.

  5. Spasmolytic constituents from Eucalyptus camaldulensis var. obtusa leaves.

    PubMed

    Begum, S; Farhat, F; Sultana, I; Siddiqui, B S; Shaheen, F; Gilani, A H

    2000-09-01

    Phytochemical studies on the leaves of Eucalyptus camaldulensis var. obtusa have resulted in the isolation of a new triterpenoid camaldulin (3beta-formyloxyurs-11-en-28,13beta-olide) (1) along with ursolic acid lactone acetate (2), ursolic acid lactone (3), betulinic acid (4), and beta-sitosterol 3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (5). The structures were assigned on the basis of 1D and 2D NMR studies. Compounds 1-3 were tested for spasmolytic activity and were found to possess calcium antagonist activity.

  6. A microfluidic device for automated, high-speed microinjection of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Song, Pengfei; Dong, Xianke; Liu, Xinyu

    2016-01-01

    The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has been widely used as a model organism in biological studies because of its short and prolific life cycle, relatively simple body structure, significant genetic overlap with human, and facile/inexpensive cultivation. Microinjection, as an established and versatile tool for delivering liquid substances into cellular/organismal objects, plays an important role in C. elegans research. However, the conventional manual procedure of C. elegans microinjection is labor-intensive and time-consuming and thus hinders large-scale C. elegans studies involving microinjection of a large number of C. elegans on a daily basis. In this paper, we report a novel microfluidic device that enables, for the first time, fully automated, high-speed microinjection of C. elegans. The device is automatically regulated by on-chip pneumatic valves and allows rapid loading, immobilization, injection, and downstream sorting of single C. elegans. For demonstration, we performed microinjection experiments on 200 C. elegans worms and demonstrated an average injection speed of 6.6 worm/min (average worm handling time: 9.45 s/worm) and a success rate of 77.5% (post-sorting success rate: 100%), both much higher than the performance of manual operation (speed: 1 worm/4 min and success rate: 30%). We conducted typical viability tests on the injected C. elegans and confirmed that the automated injection system does not impose significant adverse effect on the physiological condition of the injected C. elegans. We believe that the developed microfluidic device holds great potential to become a useful tool for facilitating high-throughput, large-scale worm biology research. PMID:26958099

  7. Silence, Metaperformance, and Communication in Pedro Almodóvar's "Hable con ella"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fellie, Maria C.

    2016-01-01

    Many scenes in Pedro Almodóvar's "Hable con ella" (2002) include shots of metaperformances such as silent films, dances, television shows, concerts, and bullfights. Spectators often observe passive characters who are in turn observing. By presenting these performances within cinematic performance, Almodóvar highlights our role as viewers…

  8. 40 CFR 80.170 - Volumetric additive reconciliation (VAR), equipment calibration, and recordkeeping requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... must be identified. Each VAR formula record must also contain the following information: (a) Automated... description of each adjustment to any initially set concentration. The concentration adjustment information..., accessible, and easily readable. VAR formula records must also be stored with access and audit...

  9. Characterization of 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci of Pityopsis graminifolia var. latifolia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pityopsis graminifolia (Michx.) Small var. latifolia (Fern.) Semple is an herbaceous perennial that grows in close proximity to the federally endangered species P. ruthii (Small) Small. Twelve polymorphic microsatellite loci were identified from 87 samples of P. graminifolia var. latifolia and addit...

  10. Coumarins from Murraya paniculata var. zollingeri endemic to the Timor Islands.

    PubMed

    Teshima, Naoko; Yamada, Hiromi; Ju-ichi, Motoharu; Uji, Tahan; Kinoshita, Takeshi; Ito, Chihiro

    2015-02-01

    Four new coumarins, murrangatin-1'-senecioate (1), 5-methoxypanial (2), mexoticin-2'-senecioate (3) and murralongic acid (4), were isolated from the leaves of Murraya paniculata var. zollingeri, together with 23 known coumarins. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated based on spectroscopic data. The taxonomic status of M. paniculata var. zollingeri is briefly discussed, along with its similarity to M. paniculata.

  11. 40 CFR 80.170 - Volumetric additive reconciliation (VAR), equipment calibration, and recordkeeping requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... applicable. (i) For a facility which uses in-line meters to measure detergent usage, the total volume of... formula record or in the form of computer printouts or other comparable VAR supporting documentation. (ii... supporting data may be supplied on the VAR formula record or in the form of computer printouts or...

  12. Bacillus cereus var. toyoi enhanced systemic immune response in piglets.

    PubMed

    Schierack, Peter; Wieler, Lothar H; Taras, David; Herwig, Volker; Tachu, Babila; Hlinak, Andreas; Schmidt, Michael F G; Scharek, Lydia

    2007-07-15

    Probiotic bacteria have been suggested to stimulate the host immune system. In this study we evaluated the immunomodulatory effects of probiotic Bacillus cereus var. toyoi on the systemic immunity of piglets. A pool of 70 piglets was divided into a probiotic or control group. We determined the ratios of peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) subsets and measured proliferative responses and cytokine production of PBMCs and effects on vaccination responses. Blood samples of probiotic-treated piglets showed a significantly lower frequency of CD8(high)/CD3+ T cells and CD8(low)/CD3+ T cells and a significant higher CD4+/CD8+ ratio. IL-4 and IFN-gamma production of polyclonally stimulated PBMCs was on average higher in the probiotic group. Specific proliferative responses of PBMCs to Influenza vaccination antigens were significantly higher and antibody titers against H3N2 Influenza and Mycoplasma vaccination antigens were on average higher in the probiotic group. In conclusion, B. cereus var. toyoi therefore alters the immune status of piglets as indicated by changes in the ratios as well as functionalities of systemic immune cell populations.

  13. Metabolic and bioactivity insights into Brassica oleracea var. acephala.

    PubMed

    Ferreres, Federico; Fernandes, Fátima; Sousa, Carla; Valentão, Patrícia; Pereira, José A; Andrade, Paula B

    2009-10-14

    Seeds of Brassica oleracea var. acephala (kale) were analyzed by HPLC/UV-PAD/MSn-ESI. Several phenolic acids and flavonol derivatives were identified. The seeds of this B. oleracea variety exhibited more flavonol derivatives than those of tronchuda cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. costata), also characterized in this paper. Quercetin and isorhamnetin derivatives were found only in kale seeds. Oxalic, aconitic, citric, pyruvic, malic, quinic, shikimic, and fumaric acids were the organic acids present in these matrices, malic acid being predominant in kale and citric acid in tronchuda cabbage seeds. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitory activity was determined in aqueous extracts from both seeds. Kale leaves and butterflies, larvae, and excrements of Pieris brassicae reared on kale were also evaluated. Kale seeds were the most effective AChE inhibitor, followed by tronchuda cabbage seeds and kale leaves. With regard to P. brassicae material, excrements exhibited stronger inhibitory capacity. These results may be explained by the presence of sinapine, an analogue of acetylcholine, only in seed materials. A strong concentration-dependent antioxidant capacity against DPPH, nitric oxide, and superoxide radicals was observed for kale seeds.

  14. Molecular structures of fructans from Agave tequilana Weber var. azul.

    PubMed

    Lopez, Mercedes G; Mancilla-Margalli, Norma A; Mendoza-Diaz, Guillermo

    2003-12-31

    Agave plants utilize crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) for CO(2) fixation. Fructans are the principal photosynthetic products generated by agave plants. These carbohydrates are fructose-bound polymers frequently with a single glucose moiety. Agave tequilana Weber var. azul is an economically important CAM species not only because it is the sole plant allowed for tequila production but because it is a potential source of prebiotics. Because of the large amounts of carbohydrates in A. tequilana, in this study the molecular structures of its fructans were determined by fructan derivatization for linkage analysis coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and matrix-assisted laser desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Fructans were extracted from 8-year-old A. tequilana plants. The linkage types present in fructans from A. tequilana were determined by permethylation followed by reductive cleavage, acetylation, and finally GC-MS analysis. Analysis of the degree of polymerization (DP) estimated by (1)H NMR integration and (13)C NMR and confirmed by MALDI-TOF-MS showed a wide DP ranging from 3 to 29 units. All of the analyses performed demonstrated that fructans from A. tequilana consist of a complex mixture of fructooligosaccharides containing principally beta(2 --> 1) linkages, but also beta(2 --> 6) and branch moieties were observed. Finally, it can be stated that fructans from A. tequilana Weber var. azul are not an inulin type as previously thought.

  15. The Development and Application of an Integrated VAR Process Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballantyne, A. Stewart

    2016-07-01

    The VAR ingot has been the focus of several modelling efforts over the years with the result that the thermal regime in the ingot can be simulated quite realistically. Such models provide important insight into solidification of the ingot but present some significant challenges to the casual user such as a process engineer. To provide the process engineer with a tool to assist in the development of a melt practice, a comprehensive model of the complete VAR process has been developed. A radiation heat transfer simulation of the arc has been combined with electrode and ingot models to develop a platform which accepts typical operating variables (voltage, current, and gap) together with process parameters (electrode size, crucible size, orientation, water flow, etc.) as input data. The output consists of heat flow distributions and solidification parameters in the form of text, comma-separated value, and visual toolkit files. The resulting model has been used to examine the relationship between the assumed energy distribution in the arc and the actual energy flux which arrives at the ingot top surface. Utilizing heat balance information generated by the model, the effects of electrode-crucible orientation and arc gap have been explored with regard to the formation of ingot segregation defects.

  16. Empirical analysis on future-cash arbitrage risk with portfolio VaR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Rongda; Li, Cong; Wang, Weijin; Wang, Ze

    2014-03-01

    This paper constructs the positive arbitrage position by alternating the spot index with Chinese Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) portfolio and estimating the arbitrage-free interval of futures with the latest trade data. Then, an improved Delta-normal method was used, which replaces the simple linear correlation coefficient with tail dependence correlation coefficient, to measure VaR (Value-at-risk) of the arbitrage position. Analysis of VaR implies that the risk of future-cash arbitrage is less than that of investing completely in either futures or spot market. Then according to the compositional VaR and the marginal VaR, we should increase the futures position and decrease the spot position appropriately to minimize the VaR, which can minimize risk subject to certain revenues.

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans-based Model Systems for Antifungal Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Anastassopoulou, Cleo G.; Fuchs, Beth Burgwyn; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2013-01-01

    The substantial morbidity and mortality associated with invasive fungal infections constitute undisputed tokens of their severity. The continued expansion of susceptible population groups (such as immunocompromised individuals, patients undergoing extensive surgery, and those hospitalized with serious underlying diseases especially in the intensive care unit) and the limitations of current antifungal agents due to toxicity issues or to the development of resistance, mandate the development of novel antifungal drugs. Currently, drug discovery is transitioning from the traditional in vitro large-scale screens of chemical libraries to more complex bioassays, including in vivo studies on whole animals; invertebrates, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, are thus gaining momentum as screening tools. Key pathogenesis features of fungal infections, including filament formation, are expressed in certain invertebrate and mammalian hosts; among the various potential hosts, C. elegans provides an attractive platform both for the study of host-pathogen interactions and the identification of new antifungal agents. Advantages of compound screening in this facile, relatively inexpensive and not as ethically challenged whole-animal context, include the simultaneous assessment of antifungal efficacy and toxicity that could result in the identification of compounds with distinct mechanisms of action, for example by promoting host immune responses or by impeding fungal virulence factors. With the recent advent of using predictive models to screen for compounds with improved chances of bioavailability in the nematode a priori, high-throughput screening of chemical libraries using the C. elegans-c. albicans antifungal discovery assay holds even greater promise for the identification of novel antifungal agents in the near future. PMID:21470110

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  19. Maternal control of pattern formation in early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    PubMed

    Bowerman, B

    1998-01-01

    Genetic screens for recessive, maternal-effect, embryonic-lethal mutations have identified about 25 genes that control early steps of pattern formation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. These maternal genes are discussed as belonging to one of three groups. The par group genes establish and maintain polarity in the one-cell zygote in response to sperm entry, defining an anterior/posterior body axis at least in part through interactions with the cyto-skeleton mediated by cortically localized proteins. Blastomere identity group genes act down-stream of the par group to specify the identities of individual embryonic cells, or blastomeres, using both cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms. Requirements for the blastomere identity genes are consistent with previous studies suggesting that early asymmetric cleavages in the C. elegans embryo generate six "founder" cells that account for much of the C. elegans body plan. Intermediate group genes, most recently identified, may link the establishment of polarity in the zygote by par group genes to the localization of blastomere identity group gene functions. This review summarizes the known requirements for the members of each group, although it seems clear that additional regulatory genes controlling pattern formation in the early embryo have yet to be identified. An emerging challenge is to link the function of the genes in these three groups into interacting pathways that can account for the specification of the six founder cell identities in the early embryo, five of which produce somatic cell types and one of which produces the germline.

  20. Structural Properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans Neuronal Network

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Characterisation of Caenorhabditis elegans sperm transcriptome and proteome

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Although sperm is transcriptionally and translationally quiescent, complex populations of RNAs, including mRNAs and non-coding RNAs, exist in sperm. Previous microarray analysis of germ cell mutants identified hundreds of sperm genes in Caenorhabditis elegans. To take a more comprehensive view on C. elegans sperm genes, here, we isolate highly pure sperm cells and employ high-throughput technologies to obtain sperm transcriptome and proteome. Results First, sperm transcriptome consists of considerable amounts of non-coding RNAs, many of which have not been annotated and may play functional roles during spermatogenesis. Second, apart from kinases/phosphatases as previously reported, ion binding proteins are also enriched in sperm, underlying the crucial roles of intracellular ions in post-translational regulation in sperm. Third, while the majority of sperm genes/proteins have low abundance, a small number of sperm genes/proteins are hugely enriched in sperm, implying that sperm only rely on a small set of proteins for post-translational regulation. Lastly, by extensive RNAi screening of sperm enriched genes, we identified a few genes that control fertility. Our further analysis reveals a tight correlation between sperm transcriptome and sperm small RNAome, suggesting that the endogenous siRNAs strongly repress sperm genes. This leads to an idea that the inefficient RNAi screening of sperm genes, a phenomenon currently with unknown causes, might result from the competition between the endogenous RNAi pathway and the exogenous RNAi pathway. Conclusions Together, the obtained sperm transcriptome and proteome serve as valuable resources to systematically study spermatogenesis in C. elegans. PMID:24581041

  2. Mechanism underlying prolongevity induced by bifidobacteria in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Komura, Tomomi; Ikeda, Takanori; Yasui, Chikako; Saeki, Shigeru; Nishikawa, Yoshikazu

    2013-02-01

    Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are probiotic bacteria that modify host defense systems and have the ability to extend the lifespan of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we attempted to elucidate the mechanism by which bifidobacteria prolong the lifespan of C. elegans. When the nematode was fed Bifidobacterium infantis (BI) mixed at various ratios with the standard food bacterium Escherichia coli strain OP50 (OP), the mean lifespan of worms was extended in a dose-dependent manner. Worms fed BI displayed higher locomotion and produced more offspring than control worms. The growth curves of nematodes were similar regardless of the amount of BI mixed with OP, suggesting that BI did not induce prolongevity effects through caloric restriction. Notably, feeding worms the cell wall fraction of BI alone was sufficient to promote prolongevity. The accumulation of protein carbonyls and lipofuscin, a biochemical marker of aging, was also lower in worms fed BI; however, the worms displayed similar susceptibility to heat, hydrogen peroxide, and paraquat, an inducer of free radicals, as the control worms. As a result of BI feeding, loss-of-function mutants of daf-16, jnk-1, aak-2, tol-1, and tir-1 exhibited a longer lifespan than OP-fed control worms, but BI failed to extend the lifespan of pmk-1, skn-1, and vhp-1 mutants. As skn-1 induces phase 2 detoxification enzymes, our findings suggest that cell wall components of bifidobacteria increase the average lifespan of C. elegans via activation of skn-1, regulated by the p38 MAPK pathway, but not by general activation of the host defense system via DAF-16.

  3. 1D-Var assimilation of TMI and SSM/I observations in rainy areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreau, E.; Lopez, P.; Bauer, P.

    2003-04-01

    The assimilation of observations related to cloud and precipitation has become a very important issue for most operational weather services including ECMWF. A 1D-Var method was developed by Marécal and Mahfouf (2000) for correcting individual profiles of the model's control variables in order to decrease the discrepancies that often exist between the simulated surface rainfall rates and corresponding retrievals obtained from TMI or SSM/I microwave measurements. Instead of performing the 1D-Var on surface rainfall rates that are derived from multi-channel microwave brightness temperatures (BTs) thanks to various algorithms, the 1D-Var calculations have been applied to the BTs directly. The multiple sensitivities of the BTs to the vertically integrated amounts of rain water and cloud water should provide a stronger constraint on the 1D-Var minimization. Another advantage of this method could result from the better knowledge of the errors on observed BTs than on derived rainfall rates. The potential of applying 1D-Var directly to TMI and SSM/I microwave brightness temperatures has been investigated in this study and its results have been compared with the 1D-Var with derived rainfall rates. Results are presented for a pacific super-typhoon and for a north-atlantic extratropical front. A comparison of the retrieved rain profiles using both methods with rain information deduced from the TRMM precipitation radar (PR) is also presented. Additional direct comparisons with the PR reflectivities will be shown by A. Benedetti (2003). Following the work by Marécal and Mahfouf (2002), indirect "1D-Var + 4D-Var" assimilation experiments will be performed. In this approach, the temperature and humidity increments provided by the 1D-Var are first converted into total column water vapour pseudo-observations that are in turn assimilated in ECMWF's 4D-Var system.

  4. [Necrotizing fasciitis in an immunocompetent patient caused by Apophysomyces elegans].

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Carmen Elena; Arango, Myrtha; Correa, Ana Lucía; López, Luz Saider; Restrepo, Angela

    2004-09-01

    A case study is presented of a 7-year-old boy, seriously injured in a car accident, who developed a fatal infection due to Aphophysomyces elegans--a mold of the Mucoracea family. Fungal invasion was initially manifested by a spotted wound in the left lumbar region which developed into a necrotizing fasciitis. Later this progressed to the right lumbar area, including the gluteus and the corresponding flank. Antimycotic treatment proved ineffective, and the child died 8 weeks after the accident. Other cases due to this fungus are reviewed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Thomas E.; Nelson, Gregory A.

    1991-01-01

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

  6. Intracellular Assessment of ATP Levels in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Palikaras, Konstantinos; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2017-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells heavily depend on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generated by oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) within mitochondria. ATP is the major energy currency molecule, which fuels cell to carry out numerous processes, including growth, differentiation, transportation and cell death among others (Khakh and Burnstock, 2009). Therefore, ATP levels can serve as a metabolic gauge for cellular homeostasis and survival (Artal-Sanz and Tavernarakis, 2009; Gomes et al., 2011; Palikaras et al., 2015). In this protocol, we describe a method for the determination of intracellular ATP levels using a bioluminescence approach in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:28194429

  7. Chromosome pairing and synapsis during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis.

    PubMed

    Rog, Ofer; Dernburg, Abby F

    2013-06-01

    Meiosis is the specialized cell division cycle that produces haploid gametes to enable sexual reproduction. Reduction of chromosome number by half requires elaborate chromosome dynamics that occur in meiotic prophase to establish physical linkages between each pair of homologous chromosomes. Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as an excellent model organism for molecular studies of meiosis, enabling investigators to combine the power of molecular genetics, cytology, and live analysis. Here we focus on recent studies that have shed light on how chromosomes find and identify their homologous partners, and the structural changes that accompany and mediate these interactions.

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans: a model system for space biology studies.

    PubMed

    Johnson, T E; Nelson, G A

    1991-01-01

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

  9. Public and private mechanisms of life extension in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Houthoofd, Koen; Vanfleteren, Jacques R

    2007-06-01

    Model organisms have been widely used to study the ageing phenomenon in order to learn about human ageing. Although the phylogenetic diversity between vertebrates and some of the most commonly used model systems could hardly be greater, several mechanisms of life extension are public (common characteristic in divergent species) and likely share a common ancestry. Dietary restriction, reduced IGF-signaling and, seemingly, reduced ROS-induced damage are the best known mechanisms for extending longevity in a variety of organisms. In this review, we summarize the knowledge of ageing in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and compare the mechanisms of life extension with knowledge from other model organisms.

  10. Caenorhabditis elegans metabolic gene regulatory networks govern the cellular economy.

    PubMed

    Watson, Emma; Walhout, Albertha J M

    2014-10-01

    Diet greatly impacts metabolism in health and disease. In response to the presence or absence of specific nutrients, metabolic gene regulatory networks sense the metabolic state of the cell and regulate metabolic flux accordingly, for instance by the transcriptional control of metabolic enzymes. Here, we discuss recent insights regarding metazoan metabolic regulatory networks using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model, including the modular organization of metabolic gene regulatory networks, the prominent impact of diet on the transcriptome and metabolome, specialized roles of nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) in responding to dietary conditions, regulation of metabolic genes and metabolic regulators by miRNAs, and feedback between metabolic genes and their regulators.

  11. Variability of chemical composition and antioxidant activity of essential oils between Myrtus communis var. Leucocarpa DC and var. Melanocarpa DC.

    PubMed

    Petretto, Giacomo Luigi; Maldini, Mariateresa; Addis, Roberta; Chessa, Mario; Foddai, Marzia; Rourke, Jonathan P; Pintore, Giorgio

    2016-04-15

    Essential oils (EOs) from several individuals of Myrtus communis L. (M. communis) growing in different habitats in Sardinia have been studied. The analyses were focused on four groups of samples, namely cultivated and wild M. communis var. melanocarpa DC, characterized by red/purple berries, and cultivated and wild M. communis var. leucocarpa DC, characterized by white berries. Qualitative and quantitative analyses demonstrated different EO fingerprints among the studied samples: cultivated and wild leucocarpa variety differs mainly from the melanocarpa variety by a high amount of myrtenyl acetate (>200 mg/mL and 0.4 mg/mL in leucocarpa and melanocarpa varieties respectively). Conversely, the wild group is characterized by a higher amount, compared with the cultivated species, of linalool (about 110 mg/mL and 20 mg/mL respectively), linalyl acetate (about 24 mg/mL and about 6 mg/mL respectively) whereas EOs of the cultivated plants were rich in pinocarveol-cis compared with wild plants (about 2 mg/mL and about 0.5 mg/mL respectively). Principal component analysis applied to the chromatographic data confirm a differentiation and classification of EOs from the four groups of M. communis plants. Finally, antioxidant activity of the studied EOs shows differences between the various categories of samples.

  12. Dialogue between E. coli free radical pathways and the mitochondria of C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Govindan, J Amaranath; Jayamani, Elamparithi; Zhang, Xinrui; Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Ruvkun, Gary

    2015-10-06

    The microbial world presents a complex palette of opportunities and dangers to animals, which have developed surveillance and response strategies to hints of microbial intent. We show here that the mitochondrial homeostatic response pathway of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans responds to Escherichia coli mutations that activate free radical detoxification pathways. Activation of C. elegans mitochondrial responses could be suppressed by additional mutations in E. coli, suggesting that C. elegans responds to products of E. coli to anticipate challenges to its mitochondrion. Out of 50 C. elegans gene inactivations known to mediate mitochondrial defense, we found that 7 genes were required for C. elegans response to a free radical producing E. coli mutant, including the bZip transcription factor atfs-1 (activating transcription factor associated with stress). An atfs-1 loss-of-function mutant was partially resistant to the effects of free radical-producing E. coli mutant, but a constitutively active atfs-1 mutant growing on wild-type E. coli inappropriately activated the pattern of mitochondrial responses normally induced by an E. coli free radical pathway mutant. Carbonylated proteins from free radical-producing E. coli mutant may directly activate the ATFS-1/bZIP transcription factor to induce mitochondrial stress response: feeding C. elegans with H2O2-treated E. coli induces the mitochondrial unfolded protein response, and inhibition of a gut peptide transporter partially suppressed C. elegans response to free radical damaged E. coli.

  13. A Disease Model of Muscle Necrosis Caused by Aeromonas dhakensis Infection in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Po-Lin; Chen, Yi-Wei; Ou, Chun-Chun; Lee, Tzer-Min; Wu, Chi-Jung; Ko, Wen-Chien; Chen, Chang-Shi

    2017-01-01

    A variety of bacterial infections cause muscle necrosis in humans. Caenorhabditis elegans has epidermis and bands of muscle that resemble soft-tissue structures in mammals and humans. Here, we developed a muscle necrosis model caused by Aeromonas dhakensis infection in C. elegans. Our data showed that A. dhakensis infected and killed C. elegans rapidly. Characteristic muscle damage in C. elegans induced by A. dhakensis was demonstrated in vivo. Relative expression levels of host necrosis-associated genes, asp-3, asp-4, and crt-1 increased significantly after A. dhakensis infection. The RNAi sensitive NL2099 rrf-3 (pk1426) worms with knockdown of necrosis genes of crt-1 and asp-4 by RNAi showed prolonged survival after A. dhakensis infection. Specifically knockdown of crt-1 and asp-4 by RNAi in WM118 worms, which restricted RNAi only to the muscle cells, conferred significant resistance to A. dhakensis infection. In contrast, the severity of muscle damage and toxicity produced by the A. dhakensis hemolysin-deletion mutant is attenuated. In another example, shiga-like toxin-producing enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) known to elicit toxicity to C. elegans with concomitant enteropathogenicty, did not cause muscle necrosis as A. dhakensis did. Taken together, these results show that Aeromonas infection induces muscle necrosis and rapid death of infected C. elegans, which are similar to muscle necrosis in humans, and then validate the value of the C. elegans model with A. dhakensis infection in studying Aeromonas pathogenicity. PMID:28101079

  14. Is life span extension in single gene long-lived Caenorhabditis elegans mutants due to hypometabolism?

    PubMed

    Van Voorhies, Wayne A

    2003-06-01

    The nematode C. elegans is widely used in aging research largely because of the identification of numerous gene mutations that significantly increase worm longevity. While model organisms such as C. elegans can provide important insights into aging it is also important to consider the limitations of these systems. For example, ectothermic (poikilothermic) organisms are able to tolerate a much larger metabolic depression than humans and considering only chronological longevity when assaying for long-lived mutants provides a limited perspective on the mechanisms by which longevity is increased. In order to provide true insight into the aging process additional physiological processes, such as metabolic rate, must also be assayed. Currently it is controversial when long-lived C. elegans mutants retain normal metabolic function. Resolving this issue requires accurately measuring the metabolic rate of C. elegans under conditions that minimize environmental stress. Comparisons of metabolic rate between long-lived and wild-type C. elegans under more optimized conditions indicate that the extended longevity of at least some long-lived C. elegans mutants may be due to a reduction in metabolic rate, rather than an alteration of a metabolically-independent genetic mechanism specific to aging. Consistent with this assertion are studies showing that the disruption of mitochondrial function in C. elegans can extend worm's longevity, but typically causes worms to grow and develop more slowly than wild-type animals.

  15. Dialogue between E. coli free radical pathways and the mitochondria of C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Govindan, J. Amaranath; Jayamani, Elamparithi; Zhang, Xinrui; Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Ruvkun, Gary

    2015-01-01

    The microbial world presents a complex palette of opportunities and dangers to animals, which have developed surveillance and response strategies to hints of microbial intent. We show here that the mitochondrial homeostatic response pathway of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans responds to Escherichia coli mutations that activate free radical detoxification pathways. Activation of C. elegans mitochondrial responses could be suppressed by additional mutations in E. coli, suggesting that C. elegans responds to products of E. coli to anticipate challenges to its mitochondrion. Out of 50 C. elegans gene inactivations known to mediate mitochondrial defense, we found that 7 genes were required for C. elegans response to a free radical producing E. coli mutant, including the bZip transcription factor atfs-1 (activating transcription factor associated with stress). An atfs-1 loss-of-function mutant was partially resistant to the effects of free radical-producing E. coli mutant, but a constitutively active atfs-1 mutant growing on wild-type E. coli inappropriately activated the pattern of mitochondrial responses normally induced by an E. coli free radical pathway mutant. Carbonylated proteins from free radical-producing E. coli mutant may directly activate the ATFS-1/bZIP transcription factor to induce mitochondrial stress response: feeding C. elegans with H2O2-treated E. coli induces the mitochondrial unfolded protein response, and inhibition of a gut peptide transporter partially suppressed C. elegans response to free radical damaged E. coli. PMID:26392561

  16. Population dynamics and habitat sharing of natural populations of Caenorhabditis elegans and C. briggsae

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a major model organism in laboratory biology. Very little is known, however, about its ecology, including where it proliferates. In the past, C. elegans was mainly isolated from human-made compost heaps, where it was overwhelmingly found in the non-feeding dauer diapause stage. Results C. elegans and C. briggsae were found in large, proliferating populations in rotting plant material (fruits and stems) in several locations in mainland France. Both species were found to co-occur in samples isolated from a given plant species. Population counts spanned a range from one to more than 10,000 Caenorhabditis individuals on a single fruit or stem. Some populations with an intermediate census size (10 to 1,000) contained no dauer larvae at all, whereas larger populations always included some larvae in the pre-dauer or dauer stages. We report on associated micro-organisms, including pathogens. We systematically sampled a spatio-temporally structured set of rotting apples in an apple orchard in Orsay over four years. C. elegans and C. briggsae were abundantly found every year, but their temporal distributions did not coincide. C. briggsae was found alone in summer, whereas both species co-occurred in early fall and C. elegans was found alone in late fall. Competition experiments in the laboratory at different temperatures show that C. briggsae out-competes C. elegans at high temperatures, whereas C. elegans out-competes C. briggsae at lower temperatures. Conclusions C. elegans and C. briggsae proliferate in the same rotting vegetal substrates. In contrast to previous surveys of populations in compost heaps, we found fully proliferating populations with no dauer larvae. The temporal sharing of the habitat by the two species coincides with their temperature preference in the laboratory, with C. briggsae populations growing faster than C. elegans at higher temperatures, and vice at lower temperatures. PMID:22731941

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for studying Cronobacter sakazakii ATCC BAA-894 pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sivamaruthi, Bhagavathi Sundaram; Ganguli, Abhijit; Kumar, Mukesh; Bhaviya, Sheker; Pandian, Shunmugiah Karutha; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2011-10-01

    Cronobacter sakazakii is occasionally associated with food-borne illness seen in neonates and infants with weakened immune system. It can cause meningitis, local necrotizing enterocolitis and systemic bacteremia leading to infant mortality rates upto 33-80%. With the aim of investigating whether C. sakazakii is also a pathogen of the model organism C. elegans, we have performed killing assays and monitored the mortality of host fed with pathogen. C. elegans fed with C. sakazakii die over the course of several days, as a consequence of an accumulation of bacteria in the host intestine. Further, the rate of C. sakazakii mediated infection in C. elegans depends on the accumulation of the bacterial load inside the host. C. sakazakii killed C. elegans with an LT(50) (time for half to die) of 134 ± 2.8 h in liquid assay conditions, whereas the mortality of C. elegans infected with C. sakazakii was less pronounced during solid assays. We found that 24 h of C. sakazakii infection is enough to cause gametogenesis defects and increased cell damage in intestinal tract of host. To monitor the immune regulations during C. sakazakii infection in C. elegans at molecular level, total RNA was isolated and few candidate genes (lys-7, clec-60 and clec-87) were kinetically analyzed by using the semi-quantitative RT-PCR. The level of expression of lys-7, clec-60 and clec-87 mRNAs isolated from C. elegans infected with C. sakazakii was significantly higher when compared to C. elegans exposed to E. coli OP50 control. This is the first report in which physiological changes and an induction of host immunity mediated antimicrobial genes by C. sakazakii are shown in C. elegans.

  18. Evolution of host innate defence: insights from C. elegans and primitive invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Irazoqui, Javier E.; Urbach, Jonathan M.; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2010-01-01

    Preface The genetically tractable model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was first used to model bacterial virulence in vivo a decade ago. Since then, great strides have been made in the identification of host response pathways that are involved in the defence against infection. Strikingly, C. elegans seems to detect and respond to infection without the involvement of its Toll-like receptor homologue, in contrast to the well-established role for these proteins in innate immunity in mammals. What, therefore, do we know about host defence mechanisms in C. elegans, and what can they tell us about innate immunity in higher organisms? PMID:20029447

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Phenazine derivatives cause proteotoxicity and stress in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Ray, Arpita; Rentas, Courtney; Caldwell, Guy A.; Caldwell, Kim A.

    2014-01-01

    It is widely recognized that bacterial metabolites have toxic effects in animal systems. Phenazines are a common bacterial metabolite within the redox-active exotoxin class. These compounds have been shown to be toxic to the soil invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans with the capability of causing oxidative stress and lethality. Here we report that chronic, low-level exposure to three separate phenazine molecules (phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, pyocyanin and 1-hydroxyphenazine) upregulated ER stress response and enhanced expression of a superoxide dismutase reporter in vivo. Exposure to these molecules also increased of polyglutamine and α-synuclein in the bodywall muscle cells of C. elegans. Exposure of worms to these phenazines caused additional sensitivity in dopamine neurons expressing wild-type α-synuclein, indicating a possible defect in protein homeostasis. The addition of an anti-oxidant failed to rescue the neurotoxic and protein aggregation phenotypes caused by these compounds. Thus, increased production of superoxide radicals that occurs in whole animals in response to these phenazines appears independent from the toxicity phenotype observed. Collectively, these data provide cause for further consideration of the neurodegenerative impact of phenazines. PMID:25304539

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans Intersectin: A Synaptic Protein Regulating Neurotransmission

    PubMed Central

    Rose, Simon; Malabarba, Maria Grazia; Krag, Claudia; Schultz, Anna; Tsushima, Hanako; Di Fiore, Pier Paolo

    2007-01-01

    Intersectin is a multifunctional protein that interacts with components of the endocytic and exocytic pathways, and it is also involved in the control of actin dynamics. Drosophila intersectin is required for viability, synaptic development, and synaptic vesicle recycling. Here, we report the characterization of intersectin function in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nematode intersectin (ITSN-1) is expressed in the nervous system, and it is enriched in presynaptic regions. The C. elegans intersectin gene (itsn-1) is nonessential for viability. In addition, itsn-1-null worms do not display any evident phenotype, under physiological conditions. However, they display aldicarb-hypersensitivity, compatible with a negative regulatory role of ITSN-1 on neurotransmission. ITSN-1 physically interacts with dynamin and EHS-1, two proteins involved in synaptic vesicle recycling. We have previously shown that EHS-1 is a positive modulator of synaptic vesicle recycling in the nematode, likely through modulation of dynamin or dynamin-controlled pathways. Here, we show that ITSN-1 and EHS-1 have opposite effects on aldicarb sensitivity, and on dynamin-dependent phenotypes. Thus, the sum of our results identifies dynamin, or a dynamin-controlled pathway, as a potential target for the negative regulatory role of ITSN-1. PMID:17942601

  3. Our evolving view of Wnt signaling in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Robertson, Scott M.; Lin, Rueyling

    2012-01-01

    In this commentary, we discuss how our recent paper by Yang et al. contributes a new wrinkle to the already somewhat curious Wnt signaling pathway in C. elegans. We begin with a historical perspective on the Wnt pathway in the worm, followed by a summary of the key salient point from Yang et al., 2011, namely demonstration of mutually inhibitory binding of a β-catenin SYS-1 to the N-terminus and another β-catenin WRM-1 to the C-terminus of the TCF protein POP-1, and a plausible structural explanation for these differential binding specificities. The mutually inhibitory binding creates one population of POP-1 that is bound by WRM-1, phosphorylated by the NLK kinase and exported from the nucleus, and another bound by coactivator SYS-1 that remains in the nucleus. We speculate on the evolutionary history of the four β-catenins in C. elegans and suggest a possible link between multiple β-catenin gene duplications and the requirement to reduce nuclear POP-1 levels to activate Wnt target genes. PMID:24058829

  4. Cell cycle controls stress response and longevity in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Dottermusch, Matthias; Lakner, Theresa; Peyman, Tobias; Klein, Marinella; Walz, Gerd; Neumann-Haefelin, Elke

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have revealed a variety of genes and mechanisms that influence the rate of aging progression. In this study, we identified cell cycle factors as potent regulators of health and longevity in C. elegans. Focusing on the cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (cdk-2) and cyclin E (cye-1), we show that inhibition of cell cycle genes leads to tolerance towards environmental stress and longevity. The reproductive system is known as a key regulator of longevity in C. elegans. We uncovered the gonad as the central organ mediating the effects of cell cycle inhibition on lifespan. In particular, the proliferating germ cells were essential for conferring longevity. Steroid hormone signaling and the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16 were required for longevity associated with cell cycle inhibition. Furthermore, we discovered that SKN-1 (ortholog of mammalian Nrf proteins) activates protective gene expression and induces longevity when cell cycle genes are inactivated. We conclude that both, germline absence and inhibition through impairment of cell cycle machinery results in longevity through similar pathways. In addition, our studies suggest further roles of cell cycle genes beyond cell cycle progression and support the recently described connection of SKN-1/Nrf to signals deriving from the germline. PMID:27668945

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Axons degenerate in the absence of mitochondria in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Rawson, Randi L; Yam, Lung; Weimer, Robby M; Bend, Eric G; Hartwieg, Erika; Horvitz, H Robert; Clark, Scott G; Jorgensen, Erik M

    2014-03-31

    Many neurodegenerative disorders are associated with mitochondrial defects [1-3]. Mitochondria can play an active role in degeneration by releasing reactive oxygen species and apoptotic factors [4-7]. Alternatively, mitochondria can protect axons from stress and insults, for example by buffering calcium [8]. Recent studies manipulating mitochondria lend support to both of these models [9-13]. Here, we identify a C. elegans mutant, ric-7, in which mitochondria are unable to exit the neuron cell bodies, similar to the kinesin-1/unc-116 mutant. When axons lacking mitochondria are cut with a laser, they rapidly degenerate. Some neurons even spontaneously degenerate in ric-7 mutants. Degeneration can be suppressed by forcing mitochondria into the axons of the mutants. The protective effect of mitochondria is also observed in the wild-type: a majority of axon fragments containing a mitochondrion survive axotomy, whereas those lacking mitochondria degenerate. Thus, mitochondria are not required for axon degeneration and serve a protective role in C. elegans axons.

  7. Starvation-induced collective behavior in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Artyukhin, Alexander B.; Yim, Joshua J.; Cheong Cheong, Mi; Avery, Leon

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new type of collective behavior in C. elegans nematodes, aggregation of starved L1 larvae. Shortly after hatching in the absence of food, L1 larvae arrest their development and disperse in search for food. In contrast, after two or more days without food, the worms change their behavior—they start to aggregate. The aggregation requires a small amount of ethanol or acetate in the environment. In the case of ethanol, it has to be metabolized, which requires functional alcohol dehydrogenase sodh-1. The resulting acetate is used in de novo fatty acid synthesis, and some of the newly made fatty acids are then derivatized to glycerophosphoethanolamides and released into the surrounding medium. We examined several other Caenorhabditis species and found an apparent correlation between propensity of starved L1s to aggregate and density dependence of their survival in starvation. Aggregation locally concentrates worms and may help the larvae to survive long starvation. This work demonstrates how presence of ethanol or acetate, relatively abundant small molecules in the environment, induces collective behavior in C. elegans associated with different survival strategies. PMID:26013573

  8. A Sexually Conditioned Switch of Chemosensory Behavior in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Butcher, Rebecca A.; Clardy, Jon; Tomioka, Masahiro; Iino, Yuichi

    2013-01-01

    In sexually reproducing animals, mating is essential for transmitting genetic information to the next generation and therefore animals have evolved mechanisms for optimizing the chance of successful mate location. In the soil nematode C. elegans, males approach hermaphrodites via the ascaroside pheromones, recognize hermaphrodites when their tails contact the hermaphrodites' body, and eventually mate with them. These processes are mediated by sensory signals specialized for sexual communication, but other mechanisms may also be used to optimize mate location. Here we describe associative learning whereby males use sodium chloride as a cue for hermaphrodite location. Both males and hermaphrodites normally avoid sodium chloride after associative conditioning with salt and starvation. However, we found that males become attracted to sodium chloride after conditioning with salt and starvation if hermaphrodites are present during conditioning. For this conditioning, which we call sexual conditioning, hermaphrodites are detected by males through pheromonal signaling and additional cue(s). Sex transformation experiments suggest that neuronal sex of males is essential for sexual conditioning. Altogether, these results suggest that C. elegans males integrate environmental, internal and social signals to determine the optimal strategy for mate location. PMID:23861933

  9. A sexually conditioned switch of chemosensory behavior in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Naoko; Iwata, Ryo; Yokoi, Saori; Butcher, Rebecca A; Clardy, Jon; Tomioka, Masahiro; Iino, Yuichi

    2013-01-01

    In sexually reproducing animals, mating is essential for transmitting genetic information to the next generation and therefore animals have evolved mechanisms for optimizing the chance of successful mate location. In the soil nematode C. elegans, males approach hermaphrodites via the ascaroside pheromones, recognize hermaphrodites when their tails contact the hermaphrodites' body, and eventually mate with them. These processes are mediated by sensory signals specialized for sexual communication, but other mechanisms may also be used to optimize mate location. Here we describe associative learning whereby males use sodium chloride as a cue for hermaphrodite location. Both males and hermaphrodites normally avoid sodium chloride after associative conditioning with salt and starvation. However, we found that males become attracted to sodium chloride after conditioning with salt and starvation if hermaphrodites are present during conditioning. For this conditioning, which we call sexual conditioning, hermaphrodites are detected by males through pheromonal signaling and additional cue(s). Sex transformation experiments suggest that neuronal sex of males is essential for sexual conditioning. Altogether, these results suggest that C. elegans males integrate environmental, internal and social signals to determine the optimal strategy for mate location.

  10. The rich club of the C. elegans neuronal connectome.

    PubMed

    Towlson, Emma K; Vértes, Petra E; Ahnert, Sebastian E; Schafer, William R; Bullmore, Edward T

    2013-04-10

    There is increasing interest in topological analysis of brain networks as complex systems, with researchers often using neuroimaging to represent the large-scale organization of nervous systems without precise cellular resolution. Here we used graph theory to investigate the neuronal connectome of the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, which is defined anatomically at a cellular scale as 2287 synaptic connections between 279 neurons. We identified a small number of highly connected neurons as a rich club (N = 11) interconnected with high efficiency and high connection distance. Rich club neurons comprise almost exclusively the interneurons of the locomotor circuits, with known functional importance for coordinated movement. The rich club neurons are connector hubs, with high betweenness centrality, and many intermodular connections to nodes in different modules. On identifying the shortest topological paths (motifs) between pairs of peripheral neurons, the motifs that are found most frequently traverse the rich club. The rich club neurons are born early in development, before visible movement of the animal and before the main phase of developmental elongation of its body. We conclude that the high wiring cost of the globally integrative rich club of neurons in the C. elegans connectome is justified by the adaptive value of coordinated movement of the animal. The economical trade-off between physical cost and behavioral value of rich club organization in a cellular connectome confirms theoretical expectations and recapitulates comparable results from human neuroimaging on much larger scale networks, suggesting that this may be a general and scale-invariant principle of brain network organization.

  11. Dopamine signaling tunes spatial pattern selectivity in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Han, Bicheng; Dong, Yongming; Zhang, Lin; Liu, Yan; Rabinowitch, Ithai; Bai, Jihong

    2017-01-01

    Animals with complex brains can discriminate the spatial arrangement of physical features in the environment. It is unknown whether such sensitivity to spatial patterns can be accomplished in simpler nervous systems that lack long-range sensory modalities such as vision and hearing. Here we show that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can discriminate spatial patterns in its surroundings, despite having a nervous system of only 302 neurons. This spatial pattern selectivity requires touch-dependent dopamine signaling, including the mechanosensory TRP-4 channel in dopaminergic neurons and the D2-like dopamine receptor DOP-3. We find that spatial pattern selectivity varies significantly among C. elegans wild isolates. Electrophysiological recordings show that natural variations in TRP-4 reduce the mechanosensitivity of dopaminergic neurons. Polymorphic substitutions in either TRP-4 or DOP-3 alter the selectivity of spatial patterns. Together, these results demonstrate an ancestral role for dopamine signaling in tuning spatial pattern preferences in a simple nervous system. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22896.001 PMID:28349862

  12. Differential physiological roles of ESCRT complexes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dong-Wan; Sung, Hyun; Shin, Donghyuk; Shen, Haihong; Ahnn, Joohong; Lee, Sun-Kyung; Lee, Sangho

    2011-06-01

    Endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) complexes are involved in endosomal trafficking to the lysosome, cytokinesis, and viral budding. Extensive genetic, biochemical, and structural studies on the ESCRT system have been carried out in yeast and mammalian systems. However, the question of how the ESCRT system functions at the whole organism level has not been fully explored. In C. elegans, we performed RNAi experiments to knock-down gene expression of components of the ESCRT system and profiled their effects on protein degradation and endocytosis of YP170, a yolk protein. Targeted RNAi knock-down of ESCRT-I (tsg-101 and vps-28) and ESCRT-III (vps-24, and vps-32.2) components interfered with protein degradation while knock-down of ESCRT-II (vps-25 and vps-36) and ESCRT-III (vps-20 and vps-24) components hampered endocytosis. In contrast, the knockdown of vps-37, another ESCRT-I component, showed no defect in either YP170 uptake or degradation. Depletion of at least one component from each complex - ESCRT-0 (hgrs-1), ESCRT-I (tsg-101, vps-28, and vps-37), ESCRT-II (vps-36), ESCRT-III (vps-24), and Vps4 (vps-4) - resulted in abnormal distribution of embryos in the uterus of worms, possibly due to abnormal ovulation, fertilization, and egglaying. These results suggest differential physiological roles of ESCRT-0, -I, -II, and -III complexes in the context of the whole organism, C. elegans.

  13. Metabolism and aging in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Van Voorhies, Wayne A

    2002-09-01

    Research into the causes of aging has greatly increased in recent years. Much of this interest is due to the discovery of genes in a variety of model organisms that appear to modulate aging. Studies of long-lived mutants can potentially provide valuable insights into the fundamental mechanisms of aging. While there are many advantages to the use of model organisms to study aging it is also important to consider the limitations of these systems, particularly because ectothermic (poikilothermic) organisms can survive a far greater metabolic depression than humans. As such, the consideration of only chronological longevity when assaying for long-lived mutants provides a limited perspective on the mechanisms by which longevity is increased. Additional physiological processes, such as metabolic rate, must also be assayed to provide true insight into the aging process. This is especially true in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which has the natural ability to enter into a metabolically reduced state in which it can survive many times longer than its normal lifetime. The extended longevity of at least some long-lived C. elegans mutants may be due to a reduction in metabolic rate, rather than an alteration of a metabolically independent genetic mechanism specific for aging.

  14. Molecular signatures of cell migration in C. elegans Q neuroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Ou, Guangshuo

    2009-01-01

    Metazoan cell movement has been studied extensively in vitro, but cell migration in living animals is much less well understood. In this report, we have studied the Caenorhabditis elegans Q neuroblast lineage during larval development, developing live animal imaging methods for following neuroblast migration with single cell resolution. We find that each of the Q descendants migrates at different speeds and for distinct distances. By quantitative green fluorescent protein imaging, we find that Q descendants that migrate faster and longer than their sisters up-regulate protein levels of MIG-2, a Rho family guanosine triphosphatase, and/or down-regulate INA-1, an integrin α subunit, during migration. We also show that Q neuroblasts bearing mutations in either MIG-2 or INA-1 migrate at reduced speeds. The migration defect of the mig-2 mutants, but not ina-1, appears to result from a lack of persistent polarization in the direction of cell migration. Thus, MIG-2 and INA-1 function distinctly to control Q neuroblast migration in living C. elegans. PMID:19349580

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  16. A connectivity model for the locomotor network of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Haspel, Gal; O'Donovan, Michael J

    2012-04-01

    Recently, we described a new method for representing and analyzing the connectivity of a motoneuronal network. We used it to deduce a connectivity model for the neuromuscular network that generates locomotion in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The network regulates muscle contraction and for this reason we used the location or function of body wall muscles to map every element (neuron or muscle cell) in a new framework, namely the peri-motor space. The previously published connectivity data for C. elegans locomotion network are incomplete; in particular, the connectivity of motoneurons in the posterior half of the animal is missing or partial. When we analyzed the connectivity data for motoneurons in the anterior half, we detected repeating patterns which we named iterativity. We analyzed the iterativity of each class of motoneuron and statistically validated that it is higher than expected by chance. We could then extrapolate the iteration into the posterior half. Here we will explain the new terms and elaborate on the process of analysis and the features of the new connectivity model.

  17. A connectivity model for the locomotor network of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Haspel, Gal; O’Donovan, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Recently, we described a new method for representing and analyzing the connectivity of a motoneuronal network. We used it to deduce a connectivity model for the neuromuscular network that generates locomotion in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The network regulates muscle contraction and for this reason we used the location or function of body wall muscles to map every element (neuron or muscle cell) in a new framework, namely the peri-motor space. The previously published connectivity data for C. elegans locomotion network are incomplete; in particular, the connectivity of motoneurons in the posterior half of the animal is missing or partial. When we analyzed the connectivity data for motoneurons in the anterior half, we detected repeating patterns which we named iterativity. We analyzed the iterativity of each class of motoneuron and statistically validated that it is higher than expected by chance. We could then extrapolate the iteration into the posterior half. Here we will explain the new terms and elaborate on the process of analysis and the features of the new connectivity model. PMID:24058836

  18. 3-D worm tracker for freely moving C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Namseop; Pyo, Jaeyeon; Lee, Seung-Jae; Je, Jung Ho

    2013-01-01

    The manner in which the nervous system regulates animal behaviors in natural environments is a fundamental issue in biology. To address this question, C. elegans has been widely used as a model animal for the analysis of various animal behaviors. Previous behavioral assays have been limited to two-dimensional (2-D) environments, confining the worm motion to a planar substrate that does not reflect three-dimensional (3-D) natural environments such as rotting fruits or soil. Here, we develop a 3-D worm tracker (3DWT) for freely moving C. elegans in 3-D environments, based on a stereoscopic configuration. The 3DWT provides us with a quantitative trajectory, including the position and movement direction of the worm in 3-D. The 3DWT is also capable of recording and visualizing postures of the moving worm in 3-D, which are more complex than those in 2-D. Our 3DWT affords new opportunities for understanding the nervous system function that regulates animal behaviors in natural 3-D environments.

  19. Magnetosensitive neurons mediate geomagnetic orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Fat Metabolism Regulates Satiety Behavior in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hyun, Moonjung; Davis, Kristen; Lee, Inhwan; Kim, Jeongho; Dumur, Catherine; You, Young-Jai

    2016-01-01

    Animals change feeding behavior depending on their metabolic status; starved animals are eager to eat and satiated animals stop eating. C. elegans exhibits satiety quiescence under certain conditions that mimics many aspects of post-prandial sleep in mammals. Here we show that this feeding behavior depends on fat metabolism mediated by the SREBP-SCD pathway, an acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) and certain nuclear hormone receptors (NRs). Mutations of the genes in the SREBP-SCD pathway reduce satiety quiescence. An RNA interference (RNAi) screen of the genes that regulate glucose and fatty acid metabolism identified an ACC necessary for satiety quiescence in C. elegans. ACC catalyzes the first step in de novo fatty acid biosynthesis known to be downstream of the SREBP pathway in mammals. We identified 28 NRs by microarray whose expression changes during refeeding after being starved. When individually knocked down by RNAi, 11 NRs among 28 affect both fat storage and satiety behavior. Our results show that the major fat metabolism pathway regulates feeding behavior and NRs could be the mediators to link the feeding behavior to the metabolic changes. PMID:27097601

  1. Left-right patterning in the C. elegans embryo

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The development of bilateral symmetry during the evolution of species probably 600 million years ago brought about several important innovations: It fostered efficient locomotion, streamlining and favored the development of a central nervous system through cephalization. However, to increase their functional capacities, many organisms exhibit chirality by breaking their superficial left-right (l-r) symmetry, which manifests in the lateralization of the nervous system or the l-r asymmetry of internal organs. In most bilateria, the mechanisms that maintain consistent l-r asymmetry throughout development are poorly understood. This review highlights insights into mechanisms that couple early embryonic l-r symmetry breaking to subsequent l-r patterning in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. A recently identified strategy for l-r patterning in the early C. elegans embryo is discussed, the spatial separation of midline and anteroposterior axis, which relies on a rotational cellular rearrangement and non-canonical Wnt signaling. Evidence for a general relevance of rotational/torsional rearrangements during organismal l-r patterning and for non-canonical Wnt signaling/planar cell polarity as a common signaling mechanism to maintain l-r asymmetry is presented. PMID:21509174

  2. Analysis of meiotic sister chromatid cohesion in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Severson, Aaron F.

    2016-01-01

    In sexually reproducing organisms, the formation of healthy gametes (sperm and eggs) requires the proper establishment and release of meiotic sister chromatid cohesion (SCC). SCC tethers replicated sisters from their formation in premeiotic S phase until the stepwise removal of cohesion in anaphase of meiosis I and II allows the separation of homologs and then sisters. Defects in the establishment or release of meiotic cohesion cause chromosome segregation errors that lead to the formation of aneuploid gametes and inviable embryos. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an excellent model for studies of meiotic sister chromatid cohesion due to its genetic tractability and the excellent cytological properties of the hermaphrodite gonad. Moreover, mutants defective in the establishment or maintenance of meiotic SCC nevertheless produce abundant gametes, allowing analysis of the pattern of chromosome segregation. Here I will describe two approaches for analysis of meiotic cohesion in C. elegans. The first approach relies on cytology to detect and quantify defects in SCC. The second approach relies on PCR and restriction digests to identify embryos that inherited an incorrect complement of chromosomes due to aberrant meiotic chromosome segregation. Both approaches are sensitive enough to identify rare errors and precise enough to reveal distinctive phenotypes resulting from mutations that perturb meiotic SCC in different ways. The robust, quantitative nature of these assays should strengthen phenotypic comparisons of different meiotic mutants and enhance the reproducibility of data generated by different investigators. PMID:27797074

  3. Characterization of mitochondrial thioredoxin reductase from C. elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Lacey, Brian M.; Hondal, Robert J. . E-mail: Robert.Hondal@uvm.edu

    2006-08-04

    Thioredoxin reductase catalyzes the NADPH-dependent reduction of the catalytic disulfide bond of thioredoxin. In mammals and other higher eukaryotes, thioredoxin reductases contain the rare amino acid selenocysteine at the active site. The mitochondrial enzyme from Caenorhabditis elegans, however, contains a cysteine residue in place of selenocysteine. The mitochondrial C. elegans thioredoxin reductase was cloned from an expressed sequence tag and then produced in Escherichia coli as an intein-fusion protein. The purified recombinant enzyme has a k {sub cat} of 610 min{sup -1} and a K {sub m} of 610 {mu}M using E. coli thioredoxin as substrate. The reported k {sub cat} is 25% of the k {sub cat} of the mammalian enzyme and is 43-fold higher than a cysteine mutant of mammalian thioredoxin reductase. The enzyme would reduce selenocysteine, but not hydrogen peroxide or insulin. The flanking glycine residues of the GCCG motif were mutated to serine. The mutants improved substrate binding, but decreased the catalytic rate.

  4. Cuticle surface proteins of wild type and mutant Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Blaxter, M L

    1993-03-25

    The molecular components of the surface of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have been identified by surface-specific radioiodination. Four compartments were defined by fractionation of labeled wild type (N2 strain) adult hermaphrodites. Organic solvents extracted cuticular lipids. Homogenization in detergents released a single, non-collagenous, hydrophobic protein. This is not glycosylated and is a heterodimer of 6.5- and 12-kDa subunits. The third compartment, proteins solubilized by reducing agents, included both the cuticular collagens and the heterodimer. Residual material corresponds to the cuticlin fraction. Larval stages showed a similar pattern, except that the dauer larva had an additional 37-kDa detergent-soluble protein. Other species of rhabditid nematodes displayed similar profiles, and comparison with parasitic species suggests that this simple pattern may be primitive in the Nematoda. A C. elegans strain mutant in cuticular collagen (rol-6) had a pattern identical to that of wild type, but another morphological mutant (dpy-3) [corrected] and several mutants that differ in surface reactivity to antibody and lectins (srf mutants) also had striking differences in surface labeling patterns.

  5. Seed oil composition of Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis (Mart.) Ducke.

    PubMed

    Avato, P; Pesante, M A; Fanizzi, F P; Santos, C Aimbiré de Moraes

    2003-07-01

    The chemical composition of the oil extracted from the seeds of Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis (Mart.) Ducke (syn. P. sorbilis) was investigated. Cyanolipids constituted 3% of the total oil from guaraná seeds, whereas acylglycerols accounted for 28%. 1H and 13C NMR analyses indicated that type I cyanolipids (1-cyano-2-hydroxymethylprop-2-ene-1-ol diesters) are present in the oil from P. cupana. GC and GC-MS analysis showed that cis-11-octadecenoic (cis-vaccenic acid) and cis-11-eicosenoic acids were the main FA (30.4 and 38.7%) esterified to the nitrile group. Paullinic acid (7.0%) was also an abundant component. Oleic acid (37.4%) was the dominant fatty acyl chain in the acylglycerols.

  6. Intraspecific Variation in Carotenoids of Brassica oleracea var. sabellica.

    PubMed

    Mageney, Vera; Baldermann, Susanne; Albach, Dirk C

    2016-04-27

    Carotenoids are best known as a source of natural antioxidants. Physiologically, carotenoids are part of the photoprotection in plants as they act as scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS). An important source of carotenoids in European food is Brassica oleracea. Focusing on the most abundant carotenoids, we estimated the contents of ß-carotene, (9Z)-neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and lutein as well as those of chlorophylls a and b to assess their variability in Brassica oleracea var. sabellica. Our analyses included more than 30 cultivars categorized in five distinct sets grouped according to morphological characteristics or geographical origin. Our results demonstrated specific carotenoid patterns characteristic for American, Italian, and red-colored kale cultivars. Moreover, we demonstrated a tendency of high zeaxanthin proportions under traditional harvest conditions, which accord to low-temperature regimes. We also compared the carotenoid patterns of self-generated hybrid lines. Corresponding findings indicated that crossbreeding has a high potential for carotenoid content optimization in kale.

  7. Microsatellite markers for Senna spectabilis var. excelsa (Caesalpinioideae, Fabaceae)1

    PubMed Central

    López-Roberts, M. Cristina; Barbosa, Ariane R.; Paganucci de Queiroz, Luciano; van den Berg, Cássio

    2016-01-01

    Premise of the study: Senna spectabilis var. excelsa (Fabaceae) is a South and Central American tree of great ecological importance and one of the most common species in several sites of seasonally dry forests. Our goal was to develop microsatellite markers to assess the genetic diversity and structure of this species. Methods and Results: We designed and assessed 53 loci obtained from a microsatellite-enriched library and an intersimple sequence repeat library. Fourteen loci were polymorphic, and they presented a total of 39 alleles in a sample of 61 individuals from six populations. The mean values of observed and expected heterozygosities were 0.355 and 0.479, respectively. Polymorphism information content was 0.390 and the Shannon index was 0.778. Conclusions: Polymorphism information content and Shannon index indicate that at least nine of the 14 microsatellite loci developed are moderate to highly informative, and potentially useful for population genetic studies in this species. PMID:26819856

  8. Minor pregnanes from Caralluma adscendens var. gracilis and Caralluma pauciflora.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Kommidi Devendar; Rao, Belvotagi Venkatrao Adavi; Babu, Gummadi Sridhar; Kumar, Bobbala Ravi; Braca, Alessandra; Vassallo, Antonio; De Tommasi, Nunziatina; Rao, Ghanakota Venkateshwar; Rao, Achanta Venkata Narasimha Appa

    2011-10-01

    Phytochemical investigation of Caralluma adscendens var. gracilis and Caralluma pauciflora (Asclepiadaceae) whole plant extracts allowed to isolate one pregnane glycoside and two pregnanes characterized as 12β,20-O-dibenzoyl-5α,6-dihydrosarcostin β-oleandropyranosyl-(1→4)-β-cymaropyranosyl-(1→4)-β-digitoxypyranosyl-(1→4)-β-cymaropyranosyl-(1→4)-β-cymaropyranoside (1), 12β-O-benzoyl-3β,11α,14β,20R-pentahydroxy-pregn-5-ene (2), and 11α-O-benzoyl-3β,12β,14β,20R-pentahydroxy-pregn-5-ene (3), respectively. Their structural characterization was obtained on the basis of extensive NMR spectral studies. Three known pregnane glycosides along with lupeol and β-sitosterol were also isolated and characterized.

  9. Deterioration of expanded polystyrene caused by Aureobasidium pullulans var. melanogenum.

    PubMed

    Castiglia, Valeria C; Kuhar, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    An expanded-polystyrene factory located in northern Buenos Aires reported unusual dark spots causing esthetic damage in their production. A fungal strain forming black-olive colonies on extract malt agar medium was isolated from the damaged material and identified as Aureobasidium pullullans var. melanogenum. This fungus is particularly known for its capacity to produce hydrolytic enzymes and a biodegradable extracellular polysaccharide known as pullulan, which is used in the manufacture of packaging material for food and medicine. Laboratory tests were conducted to characterize its growth parameters. It was found that the organism was resistant to a wide range of pHs but did not survive at temperatures over 65°C. The proposed action plan includes drying of the material prior to packaging and disinfection of the machinery used in the manufacturing process and of the silos used for raw material storage.

  10. Aberrant meiotic behavior in Agave tequilana Weber var. azul

    PubMed Central

    Ruvalcaba-Ruiz, Domingo; Rodríguez-Garay, Benjamin

    2002-01-01

    Background Agave tequilana Weber var. azul, is the only one variety permitted by federal law in México to be used for tequila production which is the most popular contemporary alcoholic beverage made from agave and recognized worldwide. Despite the economic, genetic, and ornamental value of the plant, it has not been subjected to detailed cytogenetic research, which could lead to a better understanding of its reproduction for future genetic improvement. The objective of this work was to study the meiotic behavior in pollen mother cells and its implications on the pollen viability in Agave tequilana Weber var. azul. Results The analysis of Pollen Mother Cells in anaphase I (A-I) showed 82.56% of cells with a normal anaphase and, 17.44% with an irregular anaphase. In which 5.28% corresponded to cells with side arm bridges (SAB); 3.68% cells with one bridge and one fragment; 2.58% of irregular anaphase showed cells with one or two lagging chromosomes and 2.95% showed one acentric fragment; cells with two bridges and cells with two bridges and one acentric fragment were observed in frequencies of 1.60% and 1.35% respectively. In anaphase II some cells showed bridges and fragments too. Aberrant A-I cells had many shrunken or empty pollen grains (42.00%) and 58.00 % viable pollen. Conclusion The observed meiotic irregularities suggest that structural chromosome aberrations have occurred, such as heterozygous inversions, sister chromatid exchanges, deletions and duplications which in turn are reflected in a low pollen viability. PMID:12396234

  11. Origin of Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans Diploid Strains

    PubMed Central

    Cogliati, Massimo; Esposto, Maria C.; Clarke, David L.; Wickes, Brian L.; Viviani, Maria A.

    2001-01-01

    The basidiomycetous yeast Cryptococcus neoformans is an important human fungal pathogen. Two varieties, C. neoformans var. neoformans and C. neoformans var. gattii, have been identified. Both are heterothallic with two mating types, MATa and MATα. Some rare isolates are self-fertile and are considered occasional diploid or aneuploid strains. In the present study, 133 isolates, mostly from Italian patients, were investigated to detect the presence of diploid strains in the Igiene Università Milano culture collection. All of the diploid isolates were further investigated by different methods to elucidate their origins. Forty-nine diploid strains were identified by flow cytometry. PCR fingerprinting using the (GACA)4 primer showed that the diploid state was associated with two specific genotypes identified as VN3 and VN4. Determination of mating type on V8 juice medium confirmed that the majority of the strains were sterile. PCR and dot blotting using the two pheromone genes (MFa and MFα) as probes identified 36 of the 49 diploid isolates as MATa/α. The results of pheromone gene sequencing showed that two allelic MFα genes exist and are distinct for serotypes A and D. In contrast, the MFa gene sequence was conserved in both serotype alleles. Amplification of serotype-specific STE20 alleles demonstrated that the diploid strains contained one mating locus inherited from a serotype A parent and one inherited from a serotype D parent. The present results suggest that diploid isolates may be common among the C. neoformans population and that in Italy and other European countries serotype A and D populations are not genetically isolated but are able to recombine by sexual reproduction. PMID:11682503

  12. Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii: Separate Varietal Status for Cryptococcus neoformans Serotype A Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Franzot, Sarah P.; Salkin, Ira F.; Casadevall, Arturo

    1999-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans presently includes isolates which have been determined by the immunologic reactivity of their capsular polysaccharides to be serotype A and those which have been determined to be serotype D. However, recent analyses of the URA5 sequences and DNA fingerprinting patterns suggest significant genetic differences between the two serotypes. Therefore, we propose to recognize these genotypic distinctions, as well as previously reported phenotypic differences, by restricting C. neoformans var. neoformans to isolates which are serotype D and describing a new variety, C. neoformans var. grubii, for serotype A isolates. PMID:9986871

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Katic, Iskra; Großhans, Helge

    2013-11-01

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

  15. Movers and shakers or anchored: Caenorhabditis elegans nuclei achieve it with KASH/SUN.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Kang; Hanna-Rose, Wendy

    2010-05-01

    The invariant cell division patterns that characterize Caenorhabditis elegans development make it an ideal system to study the mechanisms that control nuclear movement and positioning. Forward genetic screens in this system allowed identification of the key molecular machinery for connecting the nucleus to the cytoskeleton; pairs of protein partners, consisting of a KASH domain protein and a SUN domain protein, bridge the nuclear envelope to connect the nucleus to cytoskeletal components. The C. elegans genome encodes several KASH/SUN pairs, and mutant phenotypes as well as tissue-specific expression patterns suggest a diversity of functions. These functions include moving the nucleus but have been extended to effects on the chromosomes inside the nucleus as well. We review the impact of the C. elegans system in pioneering this field as well as the functions of these KASH/SUN protein pairs across spatial and temporal C. elegans development.

  16. Monitoring the clearance of apoptotic and necrotic cells in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Li, Zao; Lu, Nan; He, Xiangwei; Zhou, Zheng

    2013-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an excellent model organism for studying the mechanisms -controlling cell death, including apoptosis, a cell suicide event, and necrosis, pathological cell deaths caused by environmental insults or genetic alterations. C. elegans has also been established as a model for understanding how dying cells are cleared from animal bodies. In particular, the transparent nature of worm bodies and eggshells make C. elegans particularly amenable for live-cell microscopy. Here we describe methods for identifying apoptotic and necrotic cells in living C. elegans embryos, larvae, and adults and for monitoring their clearance during development. We further discuss specific methods to distinguish engulfed from unengulfed apoptotic cells, and methods to monitor cellular and molecular events occurring during phagosome maturation. These methods are based on Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) microscopy or fluorescence microscopy using GFP-based reporters.

  17. Phylogeography of the malagasy ring-tailed mongoose, Galidia elegans, from mtDNA sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Chanda E; Pastorini, Jennifer; Dollar, Luke; Hahn, William J

    2009-02-01

    The ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans) represents one of the most widely distributed mongooses in Madagascar; however, we know little about the ecology of this seemingly ubiquitous species. Currently, G. elegans is divided into three recognized subspecies--G. e. elegans, G. e. dambrensis, and G. e. occidentalis--based on differences in pelage coloration between the distinct geographic locations. We used intraspecific DNA variation to describe the phylogenetic relationships among the described subspecies. Approximately 550 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA control region were analyzed from 19 G. elegans specimens representing all three subspecies sampled from across the species' geographic range. Sequence data from outgroup taxa were included for comparison. Examination of the recovered sequences revealed a strongly supported distinct genetic signature in the western region of the island, but remained inconclusive with respect to supporting the designation of the northern and eastern 'subspecies' for treatment as divergent intraspecific units for management.

  18. Metabolite induction of Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larvae arises via transport in the pharynx.

    PubMed

    Baiga, Thomas J; Guo, Haibing; Xing, Yalan; O'Doherty, George A; Dillin, Andrew; Austin, Michael B; Noel, Joseph P; La Clair, James J

    2008-05-16

    Caenorhabditis elegans sense natural chemicals in their environment and use them as cues to regulate their development. This investigation probes the mechanism of sensory trafficking by evaluating the processing of fluorescent derivatives of natural products in C. elegans. Fluorescent analogs of daumone, an ascaroside, and apigenin were prepared by total synthesis and evaluated for their ability to induce entry into a nonaging dauer state. Fluorescent imaging detailed the uptake and localization of every labeled compound at each stage of the C. elegans life cycle. Comparative analyses against natural products that did not induce dauer indicated that dauer-triggering natural products accumulated in the cuticle of the pharnyx. Subsequent transport of these molecules to amphid neurons signaled entry into the dauer state. These studies provide cogent evidence supporting the roles of the glycosylated fatty acid daumone and related ascarosides and the ubiquitous plant flavone apigenin as chemical cues regulating C. elegans development.

  19. C. elegans Major Fats Are Stored in Vesicles Distinct from Lysosome-Related Organelles

    PubMed Central

    O’Rourke, Eyleen J.; Soukas, Alexander A.; Carr, Christopher E.; Ruvkun, Gary

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Genetic conservation allows ancient features of fat storage endocrine pathways to be explored in C. elegans. Multiple studies have used Nile red or BODIPY-labeled fatty acids to identify regulators of fat mass. When mixed with their food, E. coli bacteria, Nile red, and BODIPY-labeled fatty acids stain multiple spherical cellular structures in the C. elegans major fat storage organ, the intestine. However, here we demonstrate that, in the conditions previously reported, the lysosome-related organelles stained by Nile red and BODIPY-labeled fatty acids are not the C. elegans major fat storage compartment. We show that the major fat stores are contained in a distinct cellular compartment that is not stained by Nile red. Using biochemical assays, we validate oil red O staining as a method to assess major fat stores in C. elegans, allowing for efficient and accurate genetic and functional genomic screens for genes that control fat accumulation at the organismal level. PMID:19883620

  20. Lipid signalling couples translational surveillance to systemic detoxification in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Govindan, J. Amaranath; Jayamani, Elamparithi; Zhang, Xinrui; Breen, Peter; Larkins-Ford, Jonah; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2015-01-01

    Translation in eukaryotes is surveilled to detect toxins and virulence factors and coupled to the induction of defense pathways. C. elegans germline-specific mutations in translation components are detected by this system to induce detoxification and immune responses in distinct somatic cells. An RNAi screen revealed gene inactivations that act at multiple steps in lipid biosynthetic and kinase pathways that act upstream of MAP kinase to mediate the systemic communication of translation-defects to induce detoxification genes. Mammalian bile acids can rescue the defect in detoxification gene induction caused by C. elegans lipid biosynthetic gene inactivations. Extracts prepared from C. elegans with translation deficits but not from wild type can also rescue detoxification gene induction in lipid biosynthetic defective strains. These eukaryotic antibacterial countermeasures are not ignored by bacteria: particular bacterial species suppress normal C. elegans detoxification responses to mutations in translation factors. PMID:26322678

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Acute behavioral responses to pheromones in C. elegans (adult behaviors: attraction, repulsion).

    PubMed

    Jang, Heeun; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2013-01-01

    The pheromone drop test is a simple and robust behavioral assay to quantify acute avoidance of pheromones in C. elegans, and the suppression of avoidance by attractive pheromones. In the pheromone drop test, water-soluble C. elegans pheromones are individually applied to animals that are freely moving on a large plate. Upon encountering a repellent, each C. elegans animal may or may not try to escape by making a long reversal. The fraction of animals that make a long reversal response indicates the repulsiveness of a given pheromone to a specific genotype/strain of C. elegans. Performing the drop test in the presence of bacterial food enhances the avoidance response to pheromones. Attraction to pheromones can be assayed by the suppression of reversals to repulsive pheromones or by the suppression of the basal reversal rate to buffer.

  3. Microfluidics for the analysis of behavior, nerve regeneration, and neural cell biology in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Yakar, Adela; Chronis, Nikos; Lu, Hang

    2010-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a widely adopted model organism for studying various neurobiological processes at the molecular and cellular level in vivo. With a small, flexible, and continuously moving body, the manipulation of C. elegans becomes a challenging task. In this review, we highlight recent advances in microfluidic technologies for the manipulation of C. elegans. These new family of microfluidic chips are capable of handling single or populations of worms in a high-throughput fashion and accurately controlling their microenvironment. So far, they have been successfully used to study neural circuits and behavior, to perform large-scale phetotyping and morphology-based screens as well as to understand axon regeneration after injury. We envision that microfluidic chips can further be used to study different aspects of the C. elegans nervous system, extending from fundamental understanding of behavioral dynamics to more complicated biological processes such as neural aging and learning and memory. PMID:19896831

  4. Mode of bacterial pathogenesis determines phenotype in elt-2 and elt-7 RNAi Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Samantha L; Sturgeon, Craig R; Travers, Deborah M; Montgomery, Madeline C

    2011-05-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans has become a useful model for studying innate immunity. ELT-2, which is homologous to human GATA-4, -5 and -6, is considered the primary GATA transcription factor controlling intestinal immunity in C. elegans. In this study, we characterize the timeline of intestinal distension in nematodes where ELT-2 and another intestinal GATA transcription factor, ELT-7, are abrogated by RNAi using two different models: colonization and toxin-based infections by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show that both ELT-2 and ELT-7 are important for survival of C. elegans exposed to P. aeruginosa. Intestinal distension is accelerated in elt-2 RNAi nematodes, and is observed in colonization but not toxin-based Pseudomonas infection. Upon onset of intestinal distension, nematodes die within 24 h, regardless of experimental treatment. These data provide new insight into the role of ELT-2 and ELT-7 in protecting C. elegans against P. aeruginosa infection.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Intestinal autophagy activity is essential for host defense against Salmonella typhimurium infection in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Curt, Alexander; Zhang, Jiuli; Minnerly, Justin; Jia, Kailiang

    2014-08-01

    Salmonella typhimurium infects both intestinal epithelial cells and macrophages. Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that is present in all eukaryotes. Autophagy has been reported to limit the Salmonella replication in Caenorhabditis elegans and in mammals. However, it is unknown whether intestinal autophagy activity plays a role in host defense against Salmonella infection in C. elegans. In this study, we inhibited the autophagy gene bec-1 in different C. elegans tissues and examined the survival of these animals following Salmonella infection. Here we show that inhibition of the bec-1 gene in the intestine but not in other tissues confers susceptibility to Salmonella infection, which is consistent with recent studies in mice showing that autophagy is involved in clearance of Salmonella in the intestinal epithelial cells. Therefore, the intestinal autophagy activity is essential for host defense against Salmonella infection from C. elegans to mice, perhaps also in humans.

  9. Dense aggregations of Pygospio elegans (Claparède): effect on macrofaunal community structure and sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolam, Stefan G.; Fernandes, Teresa F.

    2003-05-01

    Epibenthic biogenic structures such as polychaete tubes are conspicuous features of many marine soft-bottom habitats. This paper compares the benthic macrofauna in patches with high and low densities of the tube-dweller Pygospio elegans on intertidal sandflats in eastern Scotland (UK). The main aim of this study was to determine potential differences in the macrofaunal community structure, the size distribution of individual species and sediment properties. Multivariate data analyses revealed that the macrofaunal community composition (excluding P. elegans) within patches was always significantly different from outside patches, mainly due to variability in the abundances of Cerastoderma edule and Corophium volutator. In addition to P. elegans, 5 taxa were sufficiently abundant for univariate analyses, 4 of these ( Capitella capitata, C. edule, Macoma balthica and C. volutator) being significantly more abundant within P. elegans patches than in surrounding, non-patch sediments. The size distribution of P. elegans was significantly different between patches (bimodal distribution) and non-patches (skewed distribution). Similarly, there was a greater proportion of larger C. capitata individuals within patches compared to non-patch sediments. Sediment organic content and silt/clay fraction were always significantly higher in patch sediments while redox profiles showed no differences except at the end of the study period when the top 2 cm within patches were more positive and more negative at 4 cm. These results imply that even relatively small (1-1.5 m 2) P. elegans patches can have large effects on the spatial variability of macrofaunal community structure on intertidal sandflats. Towards the end of the study there were marked visual changes in the P. elegans patches, such as wave-ripple marks on the surface, which signified their demise. This coincided with dramatic changes in the invertebrate community structure within patches. Along with the decline in P. elegans

  10. Homologous and unique G protein alpha subunits in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Lochrie, M A; Mendel, J E; Sternberg, P W; Simon, M I

    1991-01-01

    A cDNA corresponding to a known G protein alpha subunit, the alpha subunit of Go (Go alpha), was isolated and sequenced. The predicted amino acid sequence of C. elegans Go alpha is 80-87% identical to other Go alpha sequences. An mRNA that hybridizes to the C. elegans Go alpha cDNA can be detected on Northern blots. A C. elegans protein that crossreacts with antibovine Go alpha antibody can be detected on immunoblots. A cosmid clone containing the C. elegans Go alpha gene (goa-1) was isolated and mapped to chromosome I. The genomic fragments of three other C. elegans G protein alpha subunit genes (gpa-1, gpa-2, and gpa-3) have been isolated using the polymerase chain reaction. The corresponding cosmid clones were isolated and mapped to disperse locations on chromosome V. The sequences of two of the genes, gpa-1 and gpa-3, were determined. The predicted amino acid sequences of gpa-1 and gpa-3 are only 48% identical to each other. Therefore, they are likely to have distinct functions. In addition they are not homologous enough to G protein alpha subunits in other organisms to be classified. Thus C. elegans has G proteins that are identifiable homologues of mammalian G proteins as well as G proteins that appear to be unique to C. elegans. Study of identifiable G proteins in C. elegans may result in a further understanding of their function in other organisms, whereas study of the novel G proteins may provide an understanding of unique aspects of nematode physiology. Images PMID:1907494

  11. A conserved checkpoint monitors meiotic chromosome synapsis inCaenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Bhalla, Needhi; Dernburg, Abby F.

    2005-07-14

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

  12. A natural odor attraction between lactic acid bacteria and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jae Im; Yoon, Kyoung-Hye; Subbammal Kalichamy, Saraswathi; Yoon, Sung-Sik; Il Lee, Jin

    2016-03-01

    Animal predators can track prey using their keen sense of smell. The bacteriovorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans employs sensitive olfactory sensory neurons that express vertebrate-like odor receptors to locate bacteria. C. elegans displays odor-related behaviors such as attraction, aversion and adaptation, but the ecological significance of these behaviors is not known. Using a combination of food microbiology and genetics, we elucidate a possible predator-prey relationship between C. elegans and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in rotting citrus fruit. LAB produces the volatile odor diacetyl as an oxidized by-product of fermentation in the presence of citrate. We show that C. elegans is attracted to LAB when grown on citrate media or Citrus medica L, commonly known as yuzu, a citrus fruit native to East Asia, and this attraction is mediated by the diacetyl odor receptor, ODR-10. We isolated a wild LAB strain and a wild C. elegans-related nematode from rotten yuzu, and demonstrate that the wild nematode was attracted to the diacetyl produced by LAB. These results not only identify an ecological function for a C. elegans olfactory behavior, but contribute to the growing understanding of ecological relationships between the microbial and metazoan worlds.

  13. The Remarkably Diverse Family of T-Box Factors in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Okkema, P G

    2017-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a simple metazoan animal that is widely used as a model to understand the genetic control of development. The completely sequenced C. elegans genome contains 22 T-box genes, and they encode factors that show remarkable diversity in sequence, DNA-binding specificity, and function. Only three of the C. elegans T-box factors can be grouped into the conserved subfamilies found in other organisms, while the remaining factors are significantly diverged and unlike those in most other animals. While some of the C. elegans factors can bind canonical T-box binding elements, others bind and regulate target gene expression through distinct sequences. The nine genetically characterized T-box factors have varied functions in development and morphogenesis of muscle, hypodermal tissues, and neurons, as well as in early blastomere fate specification, cell migration, apoptosis, and sex determination, but the functions of most of the C. elegans T-box factors have not yet been extensively characterized. Like T-box factors in other animals, interaction with a Groucho-family corepressor and posttranslational SUMOylation have been shown to affect C. elegans T-box factor activity, and it is likely that additional mechanisms affecting T-box factor activity will be discovered using the effective genetic approaches in this organism.

  14. The lifespan-extending effects of Nymphaea hybrid root extract in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Ziheng; Lv, Ting; Li, Min; Zhang, Yusi; Xue, Ting; Yang, Linsong; Liu, Hui; Zhang, Weiming

    2014-12-01

    Nymphaea hybrid, a water lily from the Nymphaeaceae family, has been found to exhibit some in vivo beneficial effects. In the present study we investigated the lifespan-extending effects of Nymphaea hybrid root extract in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that Nymphaea hybrid root extract significantly extended the lifespan of C.elegans and improved its locomotion during aging. Moreover, Nymphaea hybrid root extract increased the resistance of C.elegans to both heat stress and oxidative stress. We found that the ability of Nymphaea hybrid root extract to increase lifespan was independent of its antimicrobial effects and was probably associated with its effects on the reproduction of C.elegans. In addition, the lifespan-extending effects of Nymphaea hybrid root extract were found to be dependent on the insulin/IGF signaling pathway. We also found that total flavones of Nymphaea hybrid could increase survival of C.elegans in both normal and adverse conditions, indicating that total flavones comprise the major fractions with lifespan-extending effects. Therefore, Nymphaea hybrid root extract has lifespan-extending effects in C.elegans and could be developed as a functional food.

  15. Use of Caenorhabditis elegans for preselecting Lactobacillus isolates to control Salmonella Typhimurium.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chunyang; Wang, Jinquan; Gong, Joshua; Yu, Hai; Pacan, Jennifer C; Niu, Zhongxiang; Si, Weiduo; Sabour, Parviz M

    2011-01-01

    Host-specific probiotics have been used to control enteric pathogens, including foodborne pathogens, in food animal production. However, evaluation of the efficacy of these probiotics requires costly in vivo assays in the target animal. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been used for prescreening of antimicrobial agents and for studies of host-pathogen interactions. In the present study, 17 Lactobacillus isolates from chicken and pig intestines were tested with C. elegans, and the ability of these isolates to prevent death from Salmonella infection was variable. Two Lactobacillus isolates (S64, which gave full protection, and CL11, which gave no protection) were further studied. Both isolates exhibited a similar colonization profile in the C. elegans intestine. Although different culture fractions of CL11 were not protective, both live and heat-killed S64 cells provided full or partial protection of C. elegans from death caused by Salmonella infection. In contrast, different culture fractions from both isolates had similar effects on the colonization of the nematode intestine by Salmonella Typhimurium DT104. Our preliminary results from a pig performance trial revealed a correlation between the degree of protection in the C. elegans survival assay and the performance of 35-day-old weaned piglets that were treated with the same Lactobacillus isolates, suggesting that C. elegans can be used as a laboratory animal model for preselecting probiotics for control of Salmonella infections.

  16. Delivery of dietary triglycerides to Caenorhabditis elegans using lipid nanoparticles: Nanoemulsion-based delivery systems.

    PubMed

    Colmenares, Daniel; Sun, Quancai; Shen, Peiyi; Yue, Yiren; McClements, D Julian; Park, Yeonhwa

    2016-07-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful tool for studying food bioactives on specific biochemical pathways. However, many food bioactives are highly hydrophobic with extremely low water-solubilities, thereby making them difficult to study using C. elegans. The purpose of this study was to develop nanoemulsion-based systems to deliver hydrophobic molecules in a form that could be ingested by C. elegans. Optical microscopy showed that oil-in-water nanoemulsions with a range of particle diameters (40-500nm) could be ingested by C. elegans. The amount of lipid ingested depended on the size and concentration of the nanoparticles. Fatty acid analysis showed incorporation of conjugated linoleic acid and there was a significant reduction in the fat levels of C. elegans when they were incubated with nanoemulsions containing conjugated linoleic acid, which suggested that this hydrophobic lipid was successfully delivered to the nematodes. The incorporation of hydrophobic molecules into nanoemulsion based-delivery systems may therefore enable their activities to be studied using C. elegans.

  17. 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.

  18. Locomotion and Body Shape Changes of Metabolically Different C.elegans in Fluids with Varying Viscosities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Rachel; Brenowitz, Noah; Shen, Amy

    2010-11-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans (C.elegans) are soil dwelling roundworms that have served as model organisms for studying a multitude of biological and engineering phenomena. On agar, the locomotion of the worm is sinusoidal, while in water, the swimming motion of the worm appears more episodic. The efficiency of the worm locomotion is tested by placing the worm in four fluids with varying viscosities. We quantify the locomotion pattern variations by categorizing the swimming kinematics and shapes of the C.elegans. The locomotion of two mutants C.elegans and a control C.elegans was tested: daf2, nhr49, and N2 Wildtype. The metabolic effects of the worms are evaluated by focusing on the forward swimming velocity, wavelength, amplitude and swimming frequency were compared. Using these measured values, we were able to quantify the efficiency, the speed of propagation of the wave along the body resulting in forward movement (wave velocity), and transverse velocity, defined as the amplitude times the frequency, of the worm locomotion. It was shown that C.elegans has a preferential swimming shape that adapts as the environment changes regardless of its efficiency.

  19. Excessive folate synthesis limits lifespan in the C. elegans: E. coli aging model

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Gut microbes influence animal health and thus, are potential targets for interventions that slow aging. Live E. coli provides the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans with vital micronutrients, such as folates that cannot be synthesized by animals. However, the microbe also limits C. elegans lifespan. Understanding these interactions may shed light on how intestinal microbes influence mammalian aging. Results Serendipitously, we isolated an E. coli mutant that slows C. elegans aging. We identified the disrupted gene to be aroD, which is required to synthesize aromatic compounds in the microbe. Adding back aromatic compounds to the media revealed that the increased C. elegans lifespan was caused by decreased availability of para-aminobenzoic acid, a precursor to folate. Consistent with this result, inhibition of folate synthesis by sulfamethoxazole, a sulfonamide, led to a dose-dependent increase in C. elegans lifespan. As expected, these treatments caused a decrease in bacterial and worm folate levels, as measured by mass spectrometry of intact folates. The folate cycle is essential for cellular biosynthesis. However, bacterial proliferation and C. elegans growth and reproduction were unaffected under the conditions that increased lifespan. Conclusions In this animal:microbe system, folates are in excess of that required for biosynthesis. This study suggests that microbial folate synthesis is a pharmacologically accessible target to slow animal aging without detrimental effects. PMID:22849329

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-10

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

  1. Ultrastructure of the spermatozoon of the digenean Plagiorchis elegans (Rudolphi, 1802) (Plagiorchioidea, Plagiorchiidae).

    PubMed

    Ndiaye, Papa Ibnou; Quilichini, Yann; Tkach, Vasyl V; Greiman, Stephen E; Bâ, Cheikh Tidiane; Marchand, Bernard

    2013-09-01

    The ultrastructure of the mature spermatozoon of the type genus of the Plagiorchiidae Plagiorchis elegans (Rudolphi, 1802), a parasite of the Golden hamster, Mesocricetus auratus is described. This study is the first ultrastructural study of the spermatozoon of a Plagiorchis, the second of a plagiorchiid species and only the third in the Plagiorchioidea. Previously data on spermatozoon ultrastructure existed only for the plagiorchiid Enodiotrema reductum and the omphalometrid Rubenstrema exasperatum. The mature spermatozoon of P. elegans exhibited the general pattern described in most digenean species, namely two axonemes of the 9 + "1" Trepaxonemata pattern, nucleus, mitochondria, external ornamentation of the plasma membrane, spine-like bodies, and glycogen granules. However, the rather typical expansion of the plasma membrane is not found in P. elegans. Another peculiarity of the spermatozoon of P. elegans is the presence of a structure called thin cytoplasm termination. Spermatozoon ultrastructure of P. elegans is compared with that of E. reductum and R. exasperatum. Spermatozoon of P. elegans conforms to the general pattern described in E. reductum. Thus, this study further expands our knowledge on the spermatozoon ultrastructure among the members of the Plagiorchioidea, one of the most phylogenetically derived groups of the digenea.

  2. Insights into the Ecotoxicity of Silver Nanoparticles Transferred from Escherichia coli to Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Xun; Xu, Shengmin; Yang, Yaning; Li, Luzhi; Chen, Shaopeng; Xu, An; Wu, Lijun

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies have indicated that engineered nanomaterials can be transferred through the food chain. However, their potential ecotoxicity to the environment is not fully understood. Here, we systematically evaluated the physiological behavior and toxicity of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using a food chain model from Escherichia coli (E. coli) to Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results demonstrated that AgNPs accumulated in E. coli could be transferred to the C. elegans, and AgNPs were clearly distributed in the gut lumen, subcutaneous tissue and gonad. After being transferred to C. elegans through the food chain, the accumulated AgNPs caused serious toxicity to the higher trophic level (C. elegans), including effects on germ cell death, reproductive integrity and life span. Relative to larger particles (75 nm), small AgNPs (25 nm) more easily accumulated in the food chain and exhibited a stronger toxicity to the higher trophic level. More importantly, both the AgNPs that had accumulated in C. elegans through the food chain and the resulting impairment of germ cells could be transferred to the next generation, indicating that AgNP can cause genetic damage across generations. Our findings highlight that nanomaterials pose potential ecotoxicity to ecosystems via transport through the food chain. PMID:27811981

  3. A natural odor attraction between lactic acid bacteria and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Jae Im; Yoon, Kyoung-hye; Subbammal Kalichamy, Saraswathi; Yoon, Sung-Sik; Il Lee, Jin

    2016-01-01

    Animal predators can track prey using their keen sense of smell. The bacteriovorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans employs sensitive olfactory sensory neurons that express vertebrate-like odor receptors to locate bacteria. C. elegans displays odor-related behaviors such as attraction, aversion and adaptation, but the ecological significance of these behaviors is not known. Using a combination of food microbiology and genetics, we elucidate a possible predator–prey relationship between C. elegans and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in rotting citrus fruit. LAB produces the volatile odor diacetyl as an oxidized by-product of fermentation in the presence of citrate. We show that C. elegans is attracted to LAB when grown on citrate media or Citrus medica L, commonly known as yuzu, a citrus fruit native to East Asia, and this attraction is mediated by the diacetyl odor receptor, ODR-10. We isolated a wild LAB strain and a wild C. elegans-related nematode from rotten yuzu, and demonstrate that the wild nematode was attracted to the diacetyl produced by LAB. These results not only identify an ecological function for a C. elegans olfactory behavior, but contribute to the growing understanding of ecological relationships between the microbial and metazoan worlds. PMID:26241504

  4. Insights into the Ecotoxicity of Silver Nanoparticles Transferred from Escherichia coli to Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Xun; Xu, Shengmin; Yang, Yaning; Li, Luzhi; Chen, Shaopeng; Xu, An; Wu, Lijun

    2016-11-01

    Previous studies have indicated that engineered nanomaterials can be transferred through the food chain. However, their potential ecotoxicity to the environment is not fully understood. Here, we systematically evaluated the physiological behavior and toxicity of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using a food chain model from Escherichia coli (E. coli) to Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results demonstrated that AgNPs accumulated in E. coli could be transferred to the C. elegans, and AgNPs were clearly distributed in the gut lumen, subcutaneous tissue and gonad. After being transferred to C. elegans through the food chain, the accumulated AgNPs caused serious toxicity to the higher trophic level (C. elegans), including effects on germ cell death, reproductive integrity and life span. Relative to larger particles (75 nm), small AgNPs (25 nm) more easily accumulated in the food chain and exhibited a stronger toxicity to the higher trophic level. More importantly, both the AgNPs that had accumulated in C. elegans through the food chain and the resulting impairment of germ cells could be transferred to the next generation, indicating that AgNP can cause genetic damage across generations. Our findings highlight that nanomaterials pose potential ecotoxicity to ecosystems via transport through the food chain.

  5. Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Divergence among Meloidogyne incognita, Romanomermis culicivorax, Ascaris suum, and Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Powers, T. O.; Harris, T. S.; Hyman, B. C.

    1993-01-01

    Mitochondrial DNA sequences were obtained from the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 3 (ND3), large rRNA, and cytochrome b genes from Meloidogyne incognita and Romanomermis culicivorax. Both species show considerable genetic distance within these same genes when compared with Caenorhabditis elegans or Ascaris suum, two species previously analyzed. Caenorhabditis, Ascaris, and Meloidogyne were selected as representatives of three subclasses in the nematode class Secernentea: Rhabditia, Spiruria, and Diplogasteria, respectively. Romanomermis served as a representative out-group of the class Adenophorea. The divergence between the phytoparasitic lineage (represented by Meloidogyne) and the three other species is so great that virtually every variable position in these genes appears to have accumulated multiple mutations, obscuring the phylogenetic information obtainable from these comparisons. The 39 and 42% amino acid similarity between the M. incognita and C. elegans ND3 and cytochrome b coding sequences, respectively, are approximately the same as those of C. elegans-mouse comparisons for the same genes (26 and 44%). This discovery calls into question the feasibility of employing cloned C. elegans probes as reagents to isolate phytoparasitic nematode genes. The genetic distance between the phytoparasitic nematode lineage and C. elegans markedly contrasts with the 79% amino acid similarity between C. elegans and A. suum for the same sequences. The molecular data suggest that Caenorhabditis and Ascaris belong to the same subclass. PMID:19279810

  6. Stimulation of host immune defenses by a small molecule protects C. elegans from bacterial infection.

    PubMed

    Pukkila-Worley, Read; Feinbaum, Rhonda; Kirienko, Natalia V; Larkins-Ford, Jonah; Conery, Annie L; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans offers currently untapped potential for carrying out high-throughput, live-animal screens of low molecular weight compound libraries to identify molecules that target a variety of cellular processes. We previously used a bacterial infection assay in C. elegans to identify 119 compounds that affect host-microbe interactions among 37,214 tested. Here we show that one of these small molecules, RPW-24, protects C. elegans from bacterial infection by stimulating the host immune response of the nematode. Using transcriptome profiling, epistasis pathway analyses with C. elegans mutants, and an RNAi screen, we show that RPW-24 promotes resistance to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection by inducing the transcription of a remarkably small number of C. elegans genes (∼1.3% of all genes) in a manner that partially depends on the evolutionarily-conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway and the transcription factor ATF-7. These data show that the immunostimulatory activity of RPW-24 is required for its efficacy and define a novel C. elegans-based strategy to identify compounds with activity against antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens.

  7. A genome-wide screen of bacterial mutants that enhance dauer formation in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Khanna, Amit; Kumar, Jitendra; Vargas, Misha A.; Barrett, LaKisha; Katewa, Subhash; Li, Patrick; McCloskey, Tom; Sharma, Amit; Naudé, Nicole; Nelson, Christopher; Brem, Rachel; Killilea, David W.; Mooney, Sean D.; Gill, Matthew; Kapahi, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Molecular pathways involved in dauer formation, an alternate larval stage that allows Caenorhabditis elegans to survive adverse environmental conditions during development, also modulate longevity and metabolism. The decision to proceed with reproductive development or undergo diapause depends on food abundance, population density, and temperature. In recent years, the chemical identities of pheromone signals that modulate dauer entry have been characterized. However, signals derived from bacteria, the major source of nutrients for C. elegans, remain poorly characterized. To systematically identify bacterial components that influence dauer formation and aging in C. elegans, we utilized the individual gene deletion mutants in E. coli (K12). We identified 56 diverse E. coli deletion mutants that enhance dauer formation in an insulin-like receptor mutant (daf-2) background. We describe the mechanism of action of a bacterial mutant cyaA, that is defective in the production of cyclic AMP, which extends lifespan and enhances dauer formation through the modulation of TGF-β (daf-7) signaling in C. elegans. Our results demonstrate the importance of bacterial components in influencing developmental decisions and lifespan in C. elegans. Furthermore, we demonstrate that C. elegans is a useful model to study bacterial-host interactions. PMID:27958277

  8. Phytoremediation of cadmium-contaminated farmland soil by the hyperaccumulator Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla.

    PubMed

    Song, Xueying; Hu, Xiaojun; Ji, Puhui; Li, Yushuang; Chi, Guangyu; Song, Yufang

    2012-04-01

    A field study was conducted to evaluate the phytoremediation efficiency of cadmium (Cd) contaminated soil utilizing the Cd hyperaccumulator Beta vulgaris L. var. cicla during one growing season (about 2 months) on farmland in Zhangshi Irrigation Area, the representative wastewater irrigation area in China. Results showed that B. vulgaris L. var. cicla is a promising plant in the phytoremediation of Cd contaminated farmland soil. The maximum of Cd phytoremediation efficiency by B. vulgaris L. var. cicla reached 144.6 mg/ha during one growing season. Planting density had a significant effect on the plant biomass and the overall Cd phytoremediation efficiency (p < 0.05). The amendment of organic manure promoted the biomass increase of B. vulgaris L. var. cicla (p < 0.05) but inhibited the Cd phytoremediation efficiency.

  9. Two new eriophyid mite species associated with Clematis terniflora var. mandshurica in China (Acari, Eriophyidae)

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Yan; Sun, Yan-Mei; Xue, Xiao-Feng

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Two new eriophyid mite species associated with Clematis terniflora var. mandshurica, namely Aculops jilinensis sp. n. and Phyllocoptes terniflores sp. n., are described. Both species infest the tender leaves of host plants, inducing severe curling and blistering. PMID:27833416

  10. [Content and distribution of active components in cultivated and wild Taxus chinensis var. mairei plants].

    PubMed

    Yu, Shao-Shuai; Sun, Qi-Wu; Zhang, Xiao-Ping; Tian, Sheng-Ni; Bo, Pei-Lei

    2012-10-01

    Taxus chinensis var. mairei is an endemic and endangered plant species in China. The resources of T. chinensis var. mairei have been excessively exploited due to its anti-cancer potential, accordingly, the extant T. chinensis var. mairei population is decreasing. In this paper, ultrasonic extraction and HPLC were adopted to determine the contents of active components paclitaxel, 7-xylosyltaxol and cephalomannine in cultivated and wild T. chinensis var. mairei plants, with the content distribution of these components in different parts of the plants having grown for different years and at different slope aspects investigated. There existed obvious differences in the contents of these active components between cultivated and wild T. chinensis var. mairei plants. The paclitaxel content in the wild plants was about 0.78 times more than that in the cultivated plants, whereas the 7-xylosyltaxol and cephalomannine contents were slishtly higher in the cultivated plants. The differences in the three active components contents between different parts and tree canopies of the plants were notable, being higher in barks and upper tree canopies. Four-year old plants had comparatively higher contents of paclitaxel, 7-xylosyltaxol and cephalomannine (0.08, 0.91 and 0.32 mg x g(-1), respectively), and the plants growing at sunny slope had higher contents of the three active components, with significant differences in the paclitaxel and 7-xylosyltaxol contents and unapparent difference in the cephalomannine content of the plants at shady slope. It was suggested that the accumulation of the three active components in T. chinensis var. mairei plants were closely related to the sunshine conditions. To appropriately increase the sunshine during the artificial cultivation of T. chinensis var. mairei would be beneficial to the accumulation of the three active components in T. chinensis var. mairei plants.

  11. Weinmannia marquesana var. angustifolia (Cunoniaceae), a new variety from the Marquesas Islands

    PubMed Central

    Lorence, David H.; Wagner, Warren L.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Weinmannia marquesana F. Br. var. angustifolia Lorence & W. L. Wagner, var. nov., a new variety with narrow, simple leaves endemic to Tahuata, Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia) is described and its affinities and conservation status are discussed. It is similar to the other two varieties of this species by having simple leaves, but this new variety has much narrower leaf blades, and it resembles Weinmannia tremuloides in having narrow leaf blades but differs by having simple, not trifoliolate leaves. PMID:22171181

  12. Isolation and structure elucidation of a new prenylcoumarin from Murraya paniculata var. omphalocarpa (Rutaceae).

    PubMed

    Kinoshita, Takeshi; Shimada, Motoko

    2002-01-01

    A new C-8 prenylated 5,7-dimethoxycoumarin named omphamurrayin was isolated from the leaves of Murraya paniculata var. omphalocarpa, and its structure was established as 5,7-dimethoxy-8-(1-oxo-2-senecioyl-3-methyl-3-butenyl)-2H-1-benzopyran-2-one on the basis of the spectroscopic evidence. The taxonomic status of M. paniculata var. omphalocarpa is briefly discussed, along with its synonymity to M. paniculata from the chemosystematic viewpoint.

  13. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a tool to predict chemical activity on mammalian development and identify mechanisms influencing toxicological outcome

    PubMed Central

    Harlow, Philippa H.; Perry, Simon J.; Widdison, Stephanie; Daniels, Shannon; Bondo, Eddie; Lamberth, Clemens; Currie, Richard A.; Flemming, Anthony J.

    2016-01-01

    To determine whether a C. elegans bioassay could predict mammalian developmental activity, we selected diverse compounds known and known not to elicit such activity and measured their effect on C. elegans egg viability. 89% of compounds that reduced C. elegans egg viability also had mammalian developmental activity. Conversely only 25% of compounds found not to reduce egg viability in C. elegans were also inactive in mammals. We conclude that the C. elegans egg viability assay is an accurate positive predictor, but an inaccurate negative predictor, of mammalian developmental activity. We then evaluated C. elegans as a tool to identify mechanisms affecting toxicological outcomes among related compounds. The difference in developmental activity of structurally related fungicides in C. elegans correlated with their rate of metabolism. Knockdown of the cytochrome P450s cyp-35A3 and cyp-35A4 increased the toxicity to C. elegans of the least developmentally active compounds to the level of the most developmentally active. This indicated that these P450s were involved in the greater rate of metabolism of the less toxic of these compounds. We conclude that C. elegans based approaches can predict mammalian developmental activity and can yield plausible hypotheses for factors affecting the biological potency of compounds in mammals. PMID:26987796

  14. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a tool to predict chemical activity on mammalian development and identify mechanisms influencing toxicological outcome.

    PubMed

    Harlow, Philippa H; Perry, Simon J; Widdison, Stephanie; Daniels, Shannon; Bondo, Eddie; Lamberth, Clemens; Currie, Richard A; Flemming, Anthony J

    2016-03-18

    To determine whether a C. elegans bioassay could predict mammalian developmental activity, we selected diverse compounds known and known not to elicit such activity and measured their effect on C. elegans egg viability. 89% of compounds that reduced C. elegans egg viability also had mammalian developmental activity. Conversely only 25% of compounds found not to reduce egg viability in C. elegans were also inactive in mammals. We conclude that the C. elegans egg viability assay is an accurate positive predictor, but an inaccurate negative predictor, of mammalian developmental activity. We then evaluated C. elegans as a tool to identify mechanisms affecting toxicological outcomes among related compounds. The difference in developmental activity of structurally related fungicides in C. elegans correlated with their rate of metabolism. Knockdown of the cytochrome P450s cyp-35A3 and cyp-35A4 increased the toxicity to C. elegans of the least developmentally active compounds to the level of the most developmentally active. This indicated that these P450s were involved in the greater rate of metabolism of the less toxic of these compounds. We conclude that C. elegans based approaches can predict mammalian developmental activity and can yield plausible hypotheses for factors affecting the biological potency of compounds in mammals.

  15. Mutation of C. elegans demethylase spr-5 extends transgenerational longevity

    PubMed Central

    Greer, Eric Lieberman; Becker, Ben; Latza, Christian; Antebi, Adam; Shi, Yang

    2016-01-01

    Complex organismal properties such as longevity can be transmitted across generations by non-genetic factors. Here we demonstrate that deletion of the C. elegans histone H3 lysine 4 dimethyl (H3K4me2) demethylase, spr-5, causes a trans-generational increase in lifespan. We identify a chromatin-modifying network, which regulates this lifespan extension. We further show that this trans-generational lifespan extension is dependent on a hormonal signaling pathway involving the steroid dafachronic acid, an activator of the nuclear receptor DAF-12. These findings suggest that loss of the demethylase SPR-5 causes H3K4me2 mis-regulation and activation of a known lifespan-regulating signaling pathway, leading to trans-generational lifespan extension. PMID:26691751

  16. ceh-16/engrailed patterns the embryonic epidermis of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Cassata, Giuseppe; Shemer, Gidi; Morandi, Paolo; Donhauser, Roland; Podbilewicz, Benjamin; Baumeister, Ralf

    2005-02-01

    engrailed is a homeobox gene essential for developmental functions such as differentiation of cell populations and the onset of compartment boundaries in arthropods and vertebrates. We present the first functional study on engrailed in an unsegmented animal: the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In the developing worm embryo, ceh-16/engrailed is predominantly expressed in one bilateral row of epidermal cells (the seam cells). We show that ceh-16/engrailed primes a specification cascade through three mechanisms: (1) it suppresses fusion between seam cells and other epidermal cells by repressing eff-1/fusogen expression; (2) it triggers the differentiation of the seam cells through different factors, including the GATA factor elt-5; and (3) it segregates the seam cells into a distinct lateral cellular compartment, repressing cell migration toward dorsal and ventral compartments.

  17. Regulators of Lysosome Function and Dynamics in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Gee, Kevin; Zamora, Danniel; Horm, Teresa; George, Laeth; Upchurch, Cameron; Randall, Justin; Weaver, Colby; Sanford, Caitlin; Miller, Austin; Hernandez, Sebastian; Dang, Hope; Fares, Hanna

    2017-01-01

    Lysosomes, the major membrane-bound degradative organelles, have a multitude of functions in eukaryotic cells. Lysosomes are the terminal compartments in the endocytic pathway, though they display highly dynamic behaviors, fusing with each other and with late endosomes in the endocytic pathway, and with the plasma membrane during regulated exocytosis and for wound repair. After fusing with late endosomes, lysosomes are reformed from the resulting hybrid organelles through a process that involves budding of a nascent lysosome, extension of the nascent lysosome from the hybrid organelle, while remaining connected by a membrane bridge, and scission of the membrane bridge to release the newly formed lysosome. The newly formed lysosomes undergo cycles of homotypic fusion and fission reactions to form mature lysosomes. In this study, we used a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify six regulators of lysosome biology. We show that these proteins function in different steps of lysosome biology, regulating lysosome formation, lysosome fusion, and lysosome degradation. PMID:28122949

  18. A circuit for gradient climbing in C. elegans chemotaxis

    PubMed Central

    Larsch, Johannes; Flavell, Steven W.; Liu, Qiang; Gordus, Andrew; Albrecht, Dirk R.; Bargmann, Cornelia I.

    2016-01-01

    Animals have a remarkable ability to track dynamic sensory information. For example, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can locate a diacetyl odor source across a 100,000-fold concentration range. Here, we relate neuronal properties, circuit implementation, and behavioral strategies underlying this robust navigation. Diacetyl responses in AWA olfactory neurons are concentration- and history-dependent; AWA integrates over time at low odor concentrations, but as concentrations rise it desensitizes rapidly through a process requiring cilia transport. After desensitization, AWA retains sensitivity to small odor increases. The downstream AIA interneuron amplifies weak odor inputs and desensitizes further, resulting in a stereotyped response to odor increases over three orders of magnitude. The AWA-AIA circuit drives asymmetric behavioral responses to odor increases that facilitate gradient climbing. The adaptation-based circuit motif embodied by AWA and AIA shares computational properties with bacterial chemotaxis and the vertebrate retina, each providing a solution for maintaining sensitivity across a dynamic range. PMID:26365196

  19. Methodological considerations for heat shock of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zevian, Shannin C; Yanowitz, Judith L

    2014-08-01

    Stress response pathways share commonalities across many species, including humans, making heat shock experiments valuable tools for many biologists. The study of stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans has provided great insight into many complex pathways and diseases. Nevertheless, the heat shock/heat stress field does not have consensus as to the timing, temperature, or duration of the exposure and protocols differ extensively between laboratories. The lack of cohesiveness makes it difficult to compare results between groups or to know where to start when preparing your own protocol. We present a discussion of some of the major hurdles to reproducibility in heat shock experiments as well as detailed protocols for heat shock and hormesis experiments.

  20. Neurobiology of Caenorhabditis elegans Locomotion: Where Do We Stand?

    PubMed Central

    Gjorgjieva, Julijana; Biron, David; Haspel, Gal

    2014-01-01

    Animals use a nervous system for locomotion in some stage of their life cycle. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a major animal model for almost all fields of experimental biology, has long been used for detailed studies of genetic and physiological locomotion mechanisms. Of its 959 somatic cells, 302 are neurons that are identifiable by lineage, location, morphology, and neurochemistry in every adult hermaphrodite. Of those, 75 motoneurons innervate body wall muscles that provide the thrust during locomotion. In this Overview, we concentrate on the generation of either forward- or backward-directed motion during crawling and swimming. We describe locomotion behavior, the parts constituting the locomotion system, and the relevant neuronal connectivity. Because it is not yet fully understood how these components combine to generate locomotion, we discuss competing hypotheses and models. PMID:26955070

  1. The epipharyngeal sensilla of the damselfly Ischnura elegans (Odonata, Coenagrionidae).

    PubMed

    Rebora, Manuela; Gaino, Elda; Piersanti, Silvana

    2014-11-01

    The knowledge on Odonata adult mouthparts sensilla is scanty and, notwithstanding the epipharynx in the labrum is considered an organ of taste, no ultrastructural investigation has been performed so far on this structure in Odonata. The labrum of the adult of the damselfly Ischnura elegans (Odonata, Coenagrionidae) shows on its ventral side the epipharynx with sensilla represented by articulated hairs and by small pegs located at the apex of slightly raised domes. Under scanning and transmission electron microscope, the articulated hairs, with a well developed socket and tubular body, have the typical structure of bristles, the most common type of insect mechanoreceptors, usually responding to direct touch; the pegs, showing an apical pore together with a variable number of sensory neurons (from two to five), the outer dendritic segments of which show a dendrite sheath stopping along their length, have features typical of contact chemoreceptors.

  2. An Engineering Approach to Extending Lifespan in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sagi, Dror; Kim, Stuart K.

    2012-01-01

    We have taken an engineering approach to extending the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans. Aging stands out as a complex trait, because events that occur in old animals are not under strong natural selection. As a result, lifespan can be lengthened rationally using bioengineering to modulate gene expression or to add exogenous components. Here, we engineered longer lifespan by expressing genes from zebrafish encoding molecular functions not normally present in worms. Additionally, we extended lifespan by increasing the activity of four endogenous worm aging pathways. Next, we used a modular approach to extend lifespan by combining components. Finally, we used cell- and worm-based assays to analyze changes in cell physiology and as a rapid means to evaluate whether multi-component transgenic lines were likely to have extended longevity. Using engineering to add novel functions and to tune endogenous functions provides a new framework for lifespan extension that goes beyond the constraints of the worm genome. PMID:22737090

  3. Iron promotes protein insolubility and aging in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Klang, Ida M.; Schilling, Birgit; Sorensen, Dylan J.; Sahu, Alexandria K.; Kapahi, Pankaj; Andersen, Julie K.; Swoboda, Peter; Killilea, David W.; Gibson, Bradford W.; Lithgow, Gordon J.

    2014-01-01

    Many late-onset proteotoxic diseases are accompanied by a disruption in homeostasis of metals (metallostasis) including iron, copper and zinc. Although aging is the most prominent risk factor for these disorders, the impact of aging on metallostasis and its role in proteotoxic disease remain poorly understood. Moreover, it is not clear whether a loss of metallostasis influences normal aging. We have investigated the role of metallostasis in longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that calcium, copper, iron, and manganese levels increase as a function of age, while potassium and phosphorus levels tend to decrease. Increased dietary iron significantly accelerated the age-related accumulation of insoluble protein, a molecular pathology of aging. Proteomic analysis revealed widespread effects of dietary iron in multiple organelles and tissues. Pharmacological interventions to block accumulation of specific metals attenuated many models of proteotoxicity and extended normal lifespan. Collectively, these results suggest that a loss of metallostasis with aging contributes to age-related protein aggregation. PMID:25554795

  4. Crossover Suppressors and Balanced Recessive Lethals in CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Robert K.

    1978-01-01

    Two dominant suppressors of crossing over have been identified following X-ray treatment of the small nematode C. elegans. They suppress crossing over in linkage group II (LGII) about 100-fold and 50-fold and are both tightly linked to LGII markers. One, called C1, segregates independently of all other linkage groups and is homozygous fertile. The other is a translocation involving LGII and X. The translocation also suppresses crossing over along the right half of X and is homozygous lethal. C1 has been used as a balancer of LGII recessive lethal and sterile mutations induced by EMS. The frequencies of occurrence of lethals and steriles were approximately equal. Fourteen mutations were assigned to complementation groups and mapped. They tended to map in the same region where LGII visibles are clustered. PMID:631558

  5. Oxidative status of stressed Caenorhabditis elegans treated with epicatechin.

    PubMed

    González-Manzano, Susana; González-Paramás, Ana M; Delgado, Laura; Patianna, Simone; Surco-Laos, Felipe; Dueñas, Montserrat; Santos-Buelga, Celestino

    2012-09-12

    The aim of this work was to examine the mechanisms involved in the in vivo antioxidant effects of epicatechin (EC), a major flavonoid in the human diet. The influence of EC in different oxidative biomarkers (reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, intracellular glutathione, activity of catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and superoxide dismutase (SOD)) was studied in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans . Under thermal stress condition, exposure of the worms (wild type N2 strains) to EC (200 μM) significantly reduced ROS levels (up to 28%) and enhanced the production of reduced glutathione (GSH). However, no significant changes were appreciated in the activities of GPx, CAT, and SOD, suggesting that further activation of these antioxidant enzymes was not required once the concentration of ROS in the EC-treated worms was restored to what could be considered physiological levels.

  6. Flow-Based Network Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome

    PubMed Central

    Bacik, Karol A.; Schaub, Michael T.; Billeh, Yazan N.; Barahona, Mauricio

    2016-01-01

    We exploit flow propagation on the directed neuronal network of the nematode C. elegans to reveal dynamically relevant features of its connectome. We find flow-based groupings of neurons at different levels of granularity, which we relate to functional and anatomical constituents of its nervous system. A systematic in silico evaluation of the full set of single and double neuron ablations is used to identify deletions that induce the most severe disruptions of the multi-resolution flow structure. Such ablations are linked to functionally relevant neurons, and suggest potential candidates for further in vivo investigation. In addition, we use the directional patterns of incoming and outgoing network flows at all scales to identify flow profiles for the neurons in the connectome, without pre-imposing a priori categories. The four flow roles identified are linked to signal propagation motivated by biological input-response scenarios. PMID:27494178

  7. Biscembranoids and Cembranoids from the Soft Coral Sarcophyton elegans.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Zou, Yi-Hong; Ge, Man-Xi; Lou, Lan-Lan; Xu, Yun-Shao; Ahmed, Abrar; Chen, Yun-Yun; Zhang, Jun-Sheng; Tang, Gui-Hua; Yin, Sheng

    2017-03-23

    Two novel biscembranoids, sarelengans A and B (1 and 2), five new cembranoids, sarelengans C-G (3-7), along with two known cembranoids (8 and 9) were isolated from the South China Sea soft coral Sarcophyton elegans. Their structures were determined by spectroscopic and chemical methods, and those of 1, 4, 5, and 6 were confirmed by single crystal X-ray diffraction. Compounds 1 and 2 represent the first example of biscembranoids featuring a trans-fused A/B-ring conjunction between the two cembranoid units. Their unique structures may shed light on an unusual biosynthetic pathway involving a cembranoid-∆⁸ rather than the normal cembranoid-∆¹ unit in the endo-Diels-Alder cycloaddition. Compounds 2 and 3 exhibited potential inhibitory effects on nitric oxide production in RAW 264.7 macrophages, with IC50 values being at 18.2 and 32.5 μM, respectively.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  9. Suppressors of the Unc-73 Gene of Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Run, J. Q.; Steven, R.; Hung, M. S.; van-Weeghel, R.; Culotti, J. G.; Way, J. C.

    1996-01-01

    The unc-73 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans is necessary for proper axon guidance. Animals mutant in this gene are severely uncoordinated and also exhibit defects in cell migration and cell lineages. We have isolated coordinated revertants of unc-73(e936). These fall into three classes: intragenic revertants, extragenic dominant suppressors (sup-39), and a single apparently intragenic mutation that is a dominant suppressor with a linked recessive lethal phenotype. sup-39 mutations cause early embryonic lethality, but escapers have a wild-type movement phenotype as larvae and adults. Gonads of sup-39 mutant animals show a novel defect: normal gonads have a single row of oocytes, but sup-39 gonads often have two rows of oocytes. This result suggests that the mutant gonad is defective in choosing on its surface only a single site from which nuclei will emerge to form oocytes. These results are interpreted in terms of an effect of unc-73 on determination of cell polarity. PMID:8722777

  10. Manganese-induced Neurotoxicity: From C. elegans to Humans

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Pan; Chakraborty, Sudipta; Peres, Tanara V.; Bowman, Aaron B.; Aschner, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Manganese (Mn) is one of the most abundant metals on the earth. It is required for normal cellular activities, but overexposure leads to toxicity. Neurons are more susceptible to Mn-induced toxicity than other cells, and accumulation of Mn in the brain results in Manganism that presents with Parkinson's disease (PD)-like symptoms. In the last decade, a number of Mn transporters have been identified, which improves our understanding of Mn transport in and out of cells. However, the mechanism of Mn-induced neurotoxicity is only partially uncovered, with further research needed to explore the whole picture of Mn-induced toxicity. In this review, we will address recent progress in Mn-induced neurotoxicity from C. elegans to humans, and explore future directions that will help understand the mechanisms of its neurotoxicity. PMID:25893090

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  12. Radiation-induced gene expression in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, Gregory A.; Jones, Tamako A.; Chesnut, Aaron; Smith, Anna L.

    2002-01-01

    We used the nematode C. elegans to characterize the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of ionizing radiation in a simple animal model emphasizing the unique effects of charged particle radiation. Here we demonstrate by RT-PCR differential display and whole genome microarray hybridization experiments that gamma rays, accelerated protons and iron ions at the same physical dose lead to unique transcription profiles. 599 of 17871 genes analyzed (3.4%) showed differential expression 3 hrs after exposure to 3 Gy of radiation. 193 were up-regulated, 406 were down-regulated and 90% were affected only by a single species of radiation. A novel statistical clustering technique identified the regulatory relationships between the radiation-modulated genes and showed that genes affected by each radiation species were associated with unique regulatory clusters. This suggests that independent homeostatic mechanisms are activated in response to radiation exposure as a function of track structure or ionization density.

  13. Cortical microtubule contacts position the spindle in C. elegans embryos.

    PubMed

    Kozlowski, Cleopatra; Srayko, Martin; Nedelec, Francois

    2007-05-04

    Interactions between microtubules and the cell cortex play a critical role in positioning organelles in a variety of biological contexts. Here we used Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to study how cortex-microtubule interactions position the mitotic spindle in response to polarity cues. Imaging EBP-2::GFP and YFP::alpha-tubulin revealed that microtubules shrink soon after cortical contact, from which we propose that cortical adaptors mediate microtubule depolymerization energy into pulling forces. We also observe association of dynamic microtubules to form astral fibers that persist, despite the catastrophe events of individual microtubules. Computer simulations show that these effects, which are crucially determined by microtubule dynamics, can explain anaphase spindle oscillations and posterior displacement in 3D.

  14. Balancing up and downregulation of the C. elegans X chromosomes

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Alyssa C.; Csankovszki, Györgyi

    2015-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, males have one X chromosome and hermaphrodites have two. Emerging evidence indicates that the male X is transcriptionally more active than autosomes to balance the single X to two sets of autosomes. Because upregulation is not limited to males, hermaphrodites need to strike back and downregulate expression from the two X chromosomes to balance gene expression in their genome. Hermaphrodite-specific downregulation involves binding of the dosage compensation complex to both Xs. Advances in recent years revealed that the action of the dosage compensation complex results in compaction of the X chromosomes, changes in the distribution of histone modifications, and ultimately limiting RNA Polymerase II loading to achieve chromosome-wide gene repression. PMID:25966908

  15. Genetic interactions affecting touch sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Gu, G; Caldwell, G A; Chalfie, M

    1996-06-25

    At least 13 genes (mec-1, mec-2, mec-4-10, mec-12, mec-14, mec-15, and mec-18) are needed for the response to gentle touch by 6 touch receptor neurons in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Several, otherwise recessive alleles of some of these genes act as dominant enhancer mutations of temperature-sensitive alleles of mec-4, mec-5, mec-6, mec-12, and mec-15. Screens for additional dominant enhancers of mec-4 and mec-5 yielded mutations in previously known genes. In addition, some mec-7 alleles showed allele-specific, dominant suppression of the mec-15 touch-insensitive (Mec) phenotype. The dominant enhancement and suppression exhibited by these mutations suggest that the products of several touch genes interact. These results are consistent with a model, supported by the known sequences of these genes, that almost all of the touch function genes contribute to the mechanosensory apparatus.

  16. Mechanical systems biology of C. elegans touch sensation

    PubMed Central

    Krieg, Michael; Dunn, Alex; Goodman, Miriam B.

    2015-01-01

    The sense of touch informs us of the physical properties of our surroundings and is a critical aspect of communication. Before touches are perceived, mechanical signals are transmitted quickly and reliably from the skin’s surface to mechano-electrical transduction channels embedded within specialized sensory neurons. We are just beginning to understand how soft tissues participate in force transmission and how they are deformed. Here, we review empirical and theoretical studies of single molecules and molecular ensembles thought to be involved in mechanotransmission and apply the concepts emerging from this work to the sense of touch. We focus on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a well-studied model for touch sensation in which mechanics can be studied on the molecular, cellular, and systems level. Finally, we conclude that force transmission is an emergent property of macromolecular cellular structures that mutually stabilize one another. PMID:25597279

  17. Engineering the Caenorhabditis elegans genome with CRISPR/Cas9.

    PubMed

    Waaijers, Selma; Boxem, Mike

    2014-08-01

    The development in early 2013 of CRISPR/Cas9-based genome engineering promises to dramatically advance our ability to alter the genomes of model systems at will. A single, easily produced targeting RNA guides the Cas9 endonuclease to a specific DNA sequence where it creates a double strand break. Imprecise repair of the break can yield mutations, while homologous recombination with a repair template can be used to effect specific changes to the genome. The tremendous potential of this system led several groups to independently adapt it for use in Caenorhabditiselegans, where it was successfully used to generate mutations and to create tailored genome changes through homologous recombination. Here, we review the different approaches taken to adapt CRISPR/Cas9 for C. elegans, and provide practical guidelines for CRISPR/Cas9-based genome engineering.

  18. Molecular biology of thermosensory transduction in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Ichiro; Mori, Ikue

    2015-10-01

    As the environmental temperature prominently influences diverse biological aspects of the animals, thermosensation and the subsequent information processing in the nervous system has attracted much attention in biology. Thermotaxis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal behavioral paradigm by which to address the molecular mechanism underlying thermosensory transduction. Molecular genetic analysis in combination with other physiological and behavioral studies revealed that sensation of ambient temperature is mediated mainly by cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling in thermosensory neurons. The information of the previously perceived temperature is also stored within the thermosensory neurons, and the consequence of the comparison between the past and the present temperature is conveyed to the downstream interneurons to further regulate the motor-circuits that encode the locomotion.

  19. Alternative meiotic chromatid segregation in the holocentric plant Luzula elegans

    PubMed Central

    Heckmann, Stefan; Jankowska, Maja; Schubert, Veit; Kumke, Katrin; Ma, Wei; Houben, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Holocentric chromosomes occur in a number of independent eukaryotic lineages. They form holokinetic kinetochores along the entire poleward chromatid surfaces, and owing to this alternative chromosome structure, species with holocentric chromosomes cannot use the two-step loss of cohesion during meiosis typical for monocentric chromosomes. Here we show that the plant Luzula elegans maintains a holocentric chromosome architecture and behaviour throughout meiosis, and in contrast to monopolar sister centromere orientation, the unfused holokinetic sister centromeres behave as two distinct functional units during meiosis I, resulting in sister chromatid separation. Homologous non-sister chromatids remain terminally linked after metaphase I, by satellite DNA-enriched chromatin threads, until metaphase II. They then separate at anaphase II. Thus, an inverted sequence of meiotic sister chromatid segregation occurs. This alternative meiotic process is most likely one possible adaptation to handle a holocentric chromosome architecture and behaviour during meiosis. PMID:25296379

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Asymmetric neural development in the C. elegans olfactory system

    PubMed Central

    Hsieh, Yi-Wen; Alqadah, Amel; Chuang, Chiou-Fen

    2014-01-01

    Asymmetries in the nervous system have been observed throughout the animal kingdom. Deviations of brain asymmetries are associated with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders; however, there has been limited progress in determining how normal asymmetry is established in vertebrates. In the C. elegans chemosensory system, two pairs of morphologically symmetrical neurons exhibit molecular and functional asymmetries. This review focuses on the development of antisymmetry of the pair of AWC olfactory neurons, from transcriptional regulation of general cell identity, establishment of asymmetry through neural network formation and calcium signaling, to the maintenance of asymmetry throughout the life of the animal. Many of the factors that are involved in AWC development have homologs in vertebrates, which may potentially function in the development of vertebrate brain asymmetry. PMID:24478264

  2. 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Beale, Elmus G

    2008-01-01

    5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) has been called "the metabolic master switch" because of its central role in regulating fuel homeostasis. AMPK, a heterotrimeric serine/threonine protein kinase composed of alpha, beta, and gamma subunits, is activated by upstream kinases and by 5'-AMP in response to various nutritional and stress signals. Downstream effects include regulation of metabolism, protein synthesis, cell growth, and mediation of the actions of a number of hormones, including leptin. However, AMPK research represents a young and growing field; hence, there are many unanswered questions regarding the control and action of AMPK. This review presents evidence for the existence of AMPK signaling pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans, a genetically tractable model organism that has yet to be fully exploited to elucidate AMPK signaling mechanisms.

  3. Neuropeptide signaling remodels chemosensory circuit composition in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Leinwand, Sarah G.; Chalasani, Sreekanth H.

    2013-01-01

    Neural circuits detect environmental changes and drive behavior. The routes of information flow through dense neural networks are dynamic; however, the mechanisms underlying this circuit flexibility are poorly understood. Here, we define a novel, sensory context-dependent and neuropeptide-regulated switch in the composition of a C. elegans salt sensory circuit. The primary salt detectors, ASE sensory neurons, use BLI-4 endoprotease-dependent cleavage to release the insulin-like peptide INS-6 in response to large but not small changes in external salt stimuli. Insulins, signaling through the insulin receptor DAF-2, functionally switch the AWC olfactory sensory neuron into an interneuron in the salt circuit. Animals with disrupted insulin signaling have deficits in salt attraction, suggesting that peptidergic signaling potentiates responses to high salt stimuli, which may promote ion homeostasis. Our results show that sensory context and neuropeptide signaling modify neural networks and suggest general mechanisms for generating flexible behavioral outputs by modulating neural circuit composition. PMID:24013594

  4. Mucoraceous moulds involved in the commercial fermentation of Sufu Pehtze.

    PubMed

    Han, Bei-Zhong; Kuijpers, Angelina F A; Thanh, Nguyen V; Nout, M J Robert

    2004-04-01

    Sufu is a fermented cheese-like soybean product in China and Vietnam, obtained by fungal solid-state fermentation of soybean curd (tofu), which results in moulded tofu or 'pehtze'. The final product sufu is obtained by maturing pehtze in a brine containing alcohol and salt during a period of several months. The present report deals with the identity and phylogenetic relationships of mould starter cultures used for the preparation ofpehtze. Starter cultures used in commercial pehtze fermentation were obtained from factories located in several provinces of China and Vietnam, isolated from their pehtze and some were obtained from culture collections. They were identified as Actinomucor repens, Actinomucor taiwanensis, Mucor circinelloides, Mocur hiemalis, Mocur racemosus, and Rhizopus microsporus var. microsporus. Phylogenetic relations based on sequencing of genomic DNA of these starters and of relevant control strains from collections indicate that the genera Mucor, Actinomucor and Rhizopus form distinct and homogenous clusters, with Mucor and Actinomucor showing a slightly closer relationship with each other than with Rhizopus.

  5. Evaluation of pesticide toxicities with differing mechanisms using Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ruan, Qin-Li; Ju, Jing-Juan; Li, Yun-Hui; Liu, Ran; Pu, Yue-Pu; Yin, Li-Hong; Wang, Da-Yong

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to (1) determine whether model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was sensitive to pesticides at the maximum concentration limits regulated by national agency standards, and (2) examine the multi-biological toxicities occurring as a result of exposure to pesticides. Five pesticides, namely, chlorpyrifos, imibacloprid, buprofezin, cyhalothrin, and glyphosate, with four different mechanisms of action were selected for the investigation. In accordance with national agency requirements, 4 exposed groups were used for each tested pesticide with the concentration scales ranging from 1.0 x 10(-3) to 1 mg/L. L4 larvae were exposed for 24 and 72 h, respectively. Endpoints of locomotion, propagation, and development were selected for the assay as parameters of toxicity. After exposure for 24 h, both the body bend frequency and head thrash frequency of nematodes exposed to chlorpyrifos, imibacloprid, and cyhalothrin decreased in a concentration-dependent manner, and there were significant differences between exposed groups at maximum concentration level (MCL) compared to control. The generation time of nematodes exposed to buprofezin 24 h significantly increased in a concentration-dependent manner in the highest exposed group. When exposed for 72 h, the body bend frequency and head thrash frequency of nematodes exposed to cyhalothrin markedly decreased at MCL. The generation time and brood size of nematodes exposed to buprofezin were reduced in a concentration-dependent manner. The behavior of nematodes was sensitive to pesticides with neurotoxic properties, while pesticides affecting insect growth modified the reproductive system. The effects of pesticides on nematodes exposed for 24 h appeared more sensitive than with exposure for 72 h. Caenorhabditis elegans may thus be used for assessing the adverse effects of pesticide residues in aquatic environment.

  6. A spatial and temporal map of C. elegans gene expression.

    PubMed

    Spencer, W Clay; Zeller, Georg; Watson, Joseph D; Henz, Stefan R; Watkins, Kathie L; McWhirter, Rebecca D; Petersen, Sarah; Sreedharan, Vipin T; Widmer, Christian; Jo, Jeanyoung; Reinke, Valerie; Petrella, Lisa; Strome, Susan; Von Stetina, Stephen E; Katz, Menachem; Shaham, Shai; Rätsch, Gunnar; Miller, David M

    2011-02-01

    The C. elegans genome has been completely sequenced, and the developmental anatomy of this model organism is described at single-cell resolution. Here we utilize strategies that exploit this precisely defined architecture to link gene expression to cell type. We obtained RNAs from specific cells and from each developmental stage using tissue-specific promoters to mark cells for isolation by FACS or for mRNA extraction by the mRNA-tagging method. We then generated gene expression profiles of more than 30 different cells and developmental stages using tiling arrays. Machine-learning-based analysis detected transcripts corresponding to established gene models and revealed novel transcriptionally active regions (TARs) in noncoding domains that comprise at least 10% of the total C. elegans genome. Our results show that about 75% of transcripts with detectable expression are differentially expressed among developmental stages and across cell types. Examination of known tissue- and cell-specific transcripts validates these data sets and suggests that newly identified TARs may exercise cell-specific functions. Additionally, we used self-organizing maps to define groups of coregulated transcripts and applied regulatory element analysis to identify known transcription factor- and miRNA-binding sites, as well as novel motifs that likely function to control subsets of these genes. By using cell-specific, whole-genome profiling strategies, we have detected a large number of novel transcripts and produced high-resolution gene expression maps that provide a basis for establishing the roles of individual genes in cellular differentiation.

  7. Behavioral response of Caenorhabditis elegans to localized thermal stimuli

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Nociception evokes a rapid withdrawal behavior designed to protect the animal from potential danger. C. elegans performs a reflexive reversal or forward locomotory response when presented with noxious stimuli at the head or tail, respectively. Here, we have developed an assay with precise spatial and temporal control of an infrared laser stimulus that targets one-fifth of the worm’s body and quantifies multiple aspects of the worm’s escape response. Results When stimulated at the head, we found that the escape response can be elicited by changes in temperature as small as a fraction of a degree Celsius, and that aspects of the escape behavior such as the response latency and the escape direction change advantageously as the amplitude of the noxious stimulus increases. We have mapped the behavioral receptive field of thermal nociception along the entire body of the worm, and show a midbody avoidance behavior distinct from the head and tail responses. At the midbody, the worm is sensitive to a change in the stimulus location as small as 80 μm. This midbody response is probabilistic, producing either a backward, forward or pause state after the stimulus. The distribution of these states shifts from reverse-biased to forward-biased as the location of the stimulus moves from the middle towards the anterior or posterior of the worm, respectively. We identified PVD as the thermal nociceptor for the midbody response using calcium imaging, genetic ablation and laser ablation. Analyses of mutants suggest the possibility that TRPV channels and glutamate are involved in facilitating the midbody noxious response. Conclusion Through high resolution quantitative behavioral analysis, we have comprehensively characterized the C. elegans escape response to noxious thermal stimuli applied along its body, and found a novel midbody response. We further identified the nociceptor PVD as required to sense noxious heat at the midbody and can spatially differentiate

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

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sandeep; Dietrich, Nicholas; Kornfeld, Kerry

    2016-02-01

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

  9. Genome-wide analysis of condensin binding in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Condensins are multi-subunit protein complexes that are essential for chromosome condensation during mitosis and meiosis, and play key roles in transcription regulation during interphase. Metazoans contain two condensins, I and II, which perform different functions and localize to different chromosomal regions. Caenorhabditis elegans contains a third condensin, IDC, that is targeted to and represses transcription of the X chromosome for dosage compensation. Results To understand condensin binding and function, we performed ChIP-seq analysis of C. elegans condensins in mixed developmental stage embryos, which contain predominantly interphase nuclei. Condensins bind to a subset of active promoters, tRNA genes and putative enhancers. Expression analysis in kle-2-mutant larvae suggests that the primary effect of condensin II on transcription is repression. A DNA sequence motif, GCGC, is enriched at condensin II binding sites. A sequence extension of this core motif, AGGG, creates the condensin IDC motif. In addition to differences in recruitment that result in X-enrichment of condensin IDC and condensin II binding to all chromosomes, we provide evidence for a shared recruitment mechanism, as condensin IDC recruiter SDC-2 also recruits condensin II to the condensin IDC recruitment sites on the X. In addition, we found that condensin sites overlap extensively with the cohesin loader SCC-2, and that SDC-2 also recruits SCC-2 to the condensin IDC recruitment sites. Conclusions Our results provide the first genome-wide view of metazoan condensin II binding in interphase, define putative recruitment motifs, and illustrate shared loading mechanisms for condensin IDC and condensin II. PMID:24125077

  10. Plant adaptogens increase lifespan and stress resistance in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Wiegant, F A C; Surinova, S; Ytsma, E; Langelaar-Makkinje, M; Wikman, G; Post, J A

    2009-02-01

    Extracts of plant adaptogens such as Eleutherococcus senticosus (or Acanthopanax senticosus) and Rhodiola rosea can increase stress resistance in several model systems. We now show that both extracts also increase the mean lifespan of the nematode C. elegans in a dose-dependent way. In at least four independent experiments, 250 microg/ml Eleutherococcus (SHE-3) and 10-25 microg/ml Rhodiola (SHR-5) significantly increased life span between 10 and 20% (P < 0.001), increased the maximum lifespan with 2-3 days and postponed the moment when the first individuals in a population die, suggesting a modulation of the ageing process. With higher concentrations, less effect was observed, whereas at the highest concentrations tested (2500 microg/ml Eleutherococcus and 250 microg/ml Rhodiola) a lifespan shortening effect was observed of 15-25% (P < 0.001). Both adaptogen extracts were also able to increase stress resistance in C. elegans: against a relatively short heat shock (35 degrees C during 3 h) as well as chronic heat treatment at 26 degrees C. An increase against chronic oxidative stress conditions was observed in mev-1 mutants, and during exposure of the wild type nematode to paraquat (10 mM) or UV stress, be it less efficiently. Concerning the mode of action: both adaptogens induce translocation of the DAF-16 transcription factor from the cytoplasm into the nucleus, suggesting a reprogramming of transcriptional activities favoring the synthesis of proteins involved in stress resistance (such as the chaperone HSP-16) and longevity. Based on these observations, it is suggested that adaptogens are experienced as mild stressors at the lifespan-enhancing concentrations and thereby induce increased stress resistance and a longer lifespan.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Mechanisms of plasticity in a Caenorhabditis elegans mechanosensory circuit

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Regulators of AWC-Mediated Olfactory Plasticity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    O'Halloran, Damien M.; L'Etoile, Noelle D.

    2009-01-01

    While most sensory neurons will adapt to prolonged stimulation by down-regulating their responsiveness to the signal, it is not clear which events initiate long-lasting sensory adaptation. Likewise, we are just beginning to understand how the physiology of the adapted cell is altered. Caenorhabditis elegans is inherently attracted to specific odors that are sensed by the paired AWC olfactory sensory neurons. The attraction diminishes if the animal experiences these odors for a prolonged period of time in the absence of food. The AWC neuron responds acutely to odor-exposure by closing calcium channels. While odortaxis requires a Gα subunit protein, cGMP-gated channels, and guanylyl cyclases, adaptation to prolonged odor exposure requires nuclear entry of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase, EGL-4. We asked which candidate members of the olfactory signal transduction pathway promote nuclear entry of EGL-4 and which molecules might induce long-term adaptation downstream of EGL-4 nuclear entry. We found that initiation of long-term adaptation, as assessed by nuclear entry of EGL-4, is dependent on G-protein mediated signaling but is independent of fluxes in calcium levels. We show that long-term adaptation requires polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that may act on the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel type V OSM-9 downstream of EGL-4 nuclear entry. We also present evidence that high diacylglycerol (DAG) levels block long-term adaptation without affecting EGL-4 nuclear entry. Our analysis provides a model for the process of long-term adaptation that occurs within the AWC neuron of C. elegans: G-protein signaling initiates long-lasting olfactory adaptation by promoting the nuclear entry of EGL-4, and once EGL-4 has entered the nucleus, processes such as PUFA activation of the TRP channel OSM-9 may dampen the output of the AWC neuron. PMID:20011101

  14. Arundina graminifolia var. revoluta (Arethuseae, Orchidaceae) has fern-type rheophyte characteristics in the leaves.

    PubMed

    Yorifuji, Eri; Ishikawa, Naoko; Okada, Hiroshi; Tsukaya, Hirokazu

    2015-03-01

    Morphological and molecular variation between Arundina graminifolia var. graminifolia and the dwarf variety, A. graminifolia var. revoluta, was examined to assess the validity of their taxonomic characteristics and genetic background for identification. Morphological analysis in combination with field observations indicated that A. graminifolia var. revoluta is a rheophyte form of A. graminifolia characterized by narrow leaves, whereas the other morphological characteristics described for A. graminifolia var. revoluta, such as smaller flowers and short stems, were not always accompanied by the narrower leaf phenotype. Molecular analysis based on matK sequences indicated that only partial differentiation has occurred between A. graminifolia var. graminifolia and A. graminifolia var. revoluta. Therefore, we should consider the rheophyte form an ecotype rather than a variety. Anatomical observations of the leaves revealed that the rheophyte form of A. graminifolia possessed characteristics of the rheophytes of both ferns and angiosperms, such as narrower palisade tissue cells and thinner spongy tissue cells, as well as fewer cells in the leaf-width direction and fewer mesophyll cell layers.

  15. Penetration, Post-penetration Development, and Reproduction of Meloidogyne incognita on Cucumis melo var. texanus.

    PubMed

    Faske, T R

    2013-03-01

    Cucumis melo var. texanus, a wild melon commonly found in the southern United States and two accessions, Burleson Co. and MX 1230, expressed resistance to Meloidogyne incognita in preliminary experiments. To characterize the mechanism of resistance, we evaluated root penetration, post-penetration development, reproduction, and emigration of M. incognita on these two accessions of C. melo var. texanus. Additionally, we evaluated 22 accessions of C. melo var. texanus for their reaction against M. incognita in a greenhouse experiment. Fewer (P ≤ 0.05) J2 penetrated the root system of C. melo var. texanus accessions (Burleson Co. and MX 1230) and C. metuliferus (PI 482452) (resistant control), 7 days after inoculation (DAI) than in C. melo 'Hales Best Jumbo' (susceptible control). A delayed (P ≤ 0.05) rate of nematode development was observed at 7, 14, and 21 DAI that contributed to lower (P ≤ 0.05) egg production on both accessions and C. metuliferus compared with C. melo. Though J2 emigration was observed on all Cucumis genotypes a higher (P ≤ 0.05) rate of J2 emigration was observed from 3 to 6 DAI on accession Burleson Co. and C. metuliferus than on C. melo. The 22 accessions of C. melo var. texanus varied relative to their reaction to M. incognita with eight supporting similar levels of nematode reproduction to that of C. metuliferus. Cucumis melo var. texanus may be a useful source of resistance against root-knot nematode in melon.

  16. Characterization of the antigenicity of Cpl1, a surface protein of Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans.

    PubMed

    Cai, Jian-Piao; Liu, Ling-Li; To, Kelvin K W; Lau, Candy C Y; Woo, Patrick C Y; Lau, Susanna K P; Guo, Yong-Hui; Ngan, Antonio H Y; Che, Xiao-Yan; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2015-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans is an important fungal pathogen. The capsule is a well established virulence factor and a target site for diagnostic tests. The CPL1 gene is required for capsular formation and virulence. The protein product Cpl1 has been proposed to be a secreted protein, but the characteristics of this protein have not been reported. Here we sought to characterize Cpl1. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the Cpl1 of C. neoformans var. neoformans and the Cpl1 orthologs identified in C. neoformans var. grubii and C. gattii formed a distinct cluster among related fungi; while the putative ortholog found in Trichosporon asahii was distantly related to the Cryptococcus cluster. We expressed Cpl1 abundantly as a secreted His-tagged protein in Pichia pastoris. The protein was used to immunize guinea pigs and rabbits for high titer mono-specific polyclonal antibody that was shown to be highly specific against the cell wall of C. neoformans var. neoformans and did not cross react with C. gattii, T. asahii, Aspergillus spp., Candida spp. and Penicillium spp. Using the anti-Cpl1 antibody, we detected Cpl1 protein in the fresh culture supernatant of C. neoformans var. neoformans and we showed by immunostaining that the Cpl1 protein was located on the surface. The Cpl1 protein is a specific surface protein of C. neoformans var. neoformans.

  17. Semi-nonparametric VaR forecasts for hedge funds during the recent crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Brio, Esther B.; Mora-Valencia, Andrés; Perote, Javier

    2014-05-01

    The need to provide accurate value-at-risk (VaR) forecasting measures has triggered an important literature in econophysics. Although these accurate VaR models and methodologies are particularly demanded for hedge fund managers, there exist few articles specifically devoted to implement new techniques in hedge fund returns VaR forecasting. This article advances in these issues by comparing the performance of risk measures based on parametric distributions (the normal, Student’s t and skewed-t), semi-nonparametric (SNP) methodologies based on Gram-Charlier (GC) series and the extreme value theory (EVT) approach. Our results show that normal-, Student’s t- and Skewed t- based methodologies fail to forecast hedge fund VaR, whilst SNP and EVT approaches accurately success on it. We extend these results to the multivariate framework by providing an explicit formula for the GC copula and its density that encompasses the Gaussian copula and accounts for non-linear dependences. We show that the VaR obtained by the meta GC accurately captures portfolio risk and outperforms regulatory VaR estimates obtained through the meta Gaussian and Student’s t distributions.

  18. Genomic organization and expression of 23 new genes from MATalpha locus of Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii.

    PubMed

    Ren, Ping; Roncaglia, Paola; Springer, Deborah J; Fan, Jinjiang; Chaturvedi, Vishnu

    2005-01-07

    The pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans (Cn) causes cryptococcosis, a life-threatening disease of the brain. Molecular studies of Cn variety gattii have lagged behind other two varieties (var. grubii and var. neoformans) although they have distinct biology and disease patterns. We focused on gene discovery in MATalpha locus because it predominates in clinical strains. A var. gattii cosmid library was screened with DNA probes from other two varieties. Two positive clones were sequenced to identify ORFs based on similarities to known proteins, and to ESTs using bioinformatics, and manually by a curator. Approximately 76kb sequenced DNA revealed 23 genes and ORFs. The existence of predicted genes was verified by RT-PCR analyses designed to amplify spliced sequences. The results confirmed that the transcripts were expressed both at 30 and 37 degrees C. The var. gattii MATalpha locus genes showed rearrangements in order and orientation vis-a-vis other two varieties. Mating-specific genes showed higher nonsynonymous mutation rates, and gene trees showed var. gattii strains in a distinct clade. The identification of the largest number, thus far, of var. gattii structural genes should set the stage for future molecular pathogenesis studies.

  19. Working alliance inventory applied to virtual and augmented reality (WAI-VAR): psychometrics and therapeutic outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Miragall, Marta; Baños, Rosa M.; Cebolla, Ausiàs; Botella, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    This study examines the psychometric properties of the Working Alliance Inventory-Short (WAI-S) adaptation to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) therapies (WAI-VAR). The relationship between the therapeutic alliance (TA) with VR and AR and clinically significant change (CSC) is also explored. Seventy-five patients took part in this study (74.7% women, Mage = 34.41). Fear of flying and adjustment disorder patients received VR therapy, and cockroach phobia patients received AR therapy. Psychometric properties, CSC, one-way ANOVA, Spearman’s Correlations and Multiple Regression were calculated. The WAI-VAR showed a unidimensional structure, high internal consistency and adequate convergent validity. “Not changed” patients scored lower on the WAI-VAR than “improved” and “recovered” patients. Correlation between the WAI-VAR and CSC was moderate. The best fitting model for predicting CSC was a linear combination of the TA with therapist (WAI-S) and the TA with VR and AR (WAI-VAR), due to the latter variable slightly increased the percentage of variability accounted for in CSC. The WAI-VAR is the first validated instrument to measure the TA with VR and AR in research and clinical practice. This study reveals the importance of the quality of the TA with technologies in achieving positive outcomes in the therapy. PMID:26500589

  20. Working alliance inventory applied to virtual and augmented reality (WAI-VAR): psychometrics and therapeutic outcomes.

    PubMed

    Miragall, Marta; Baños, Rosa M; Cebolla, Ausiàs; Botella, Cristina

    2015-01-01

    This study examines the psychometric properties of the Working Alliance Inventory-Short (WAI-S) adaptation to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) therapies (WAI-VAR). The relationship between the therapeutic alliance (TA) with VR and AR and clinically significant change (CSC) is also explored. Seventy-five patients took part in this study (74.7% women, M age = 34.41). Fear of flying and adjustment disorder patients received VR therapy, and cockroach phobia patients received AR therapy. Psychometric properties, CSC, one-way ANOVA, Spearman's Correlations and Multiple Regression were calculated. The WAI-VAR showed a unidimensional structure, high internal consistency and adequate convergent validity. "Not changed" patients scored lower on the WAI-VAR than "improved" and "recovered" patients. Correlation between the WAI-VAR and CSC was moderate. The best fitting model for predicting CSC was a linear combination of the TA with therapist (WAI-S) and the TA with VR and AR (WAI-VAR), due to the latter variable slightly increased the percentage of variability accounted for in CSC. The WAI-VAR is the first validated instrument to measure the TA with VR and AR in research and clinical practice. This study reveals the importance of the quality of the TA with technologies in achieving positive outcomes in the therapy.

  1. Isolation of Su(var)3-7 mutations by homologous recombination in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed Central

    Seum, Carole; Pauli, Daniel; Delattre, Marion; Jaquet, Yannis; Spierer, Anne; Spierer, Pierre

    2002-01-01

    The Su(var)3-7 gene, a haplo-suppressor and triplo-enhancer of position-effect variegation (PEV), encodes a zinc finger heterochromatin-associated protein. To understand the role of this protein in heterochromatin and genomic silencing, mutations were generated by homologous recombination. The donor fragment contained a yellow(+) gene and 7.6 kb of the Su(var)3-7 gene inserted between two FRTs. The Su(var)3-7 sequence contained three stop codons flanking an I-SceI cut site located in the 5' half of the gene. Using two different screening approaches, we obtained an allelic series composed of three mutant alleles. The three mutations are dominant suppressors of PEV. One behaves as a null mutation and results in a maternal-effect recessive lethal phenotype that can be rescued by a zygotic paternal wild-type gene. A P transposon zygotically expressing a Su(var)3-7 full-length cDNA also rescues the mutant phenotype. One hypomorphic allele is viable and the pleiotropic phenotype showed by adult flies indicates that rapidly and late dividing cells seem the most affected by reduced amounts of Su(var)3-7 protein. All three mutants were characterized at the molecular level. Each expresses a portion of the Su(var)3-7 protein that is unable to enter the nucleus and bind chromatin. PMID:12136016

  2. The mystery of C. elegans aging: an emerging role for fat. Distant parallels between C. elegans aging and metabolic syndrome?

    PubMed

    Ackerman, Daniel; Gems, David

    2012-06-01

    New C. elegans studies imply that lipases and lipid desaturases can mediate signaling effects on aging. But why might fat homeostasis be critical to aging? Could problems with fat handling compromise health in nematodes as they do in mammals? The study of signaling pathways that control longevity could provide the key to one of the great unsolved mysteries of biology: the mechanism of aging. But as our view of the regulatory pathways that control aging grows ever clearer, the nature of aging itself has, if anything, grown more obscure. In particular, focused investigations of the oxidative damage theory have raised questions about an old assumption: that a fundamental cause of aging is accumulation of molecular damage. Could fat dyshomeostasis instead be critical?

  3. Bioactive phenylpropanoid analogues from Piper betle L. var. haldia leaves.

    PubMed

    Atiya, Akhtar; Sinha, Barij Nayan; Lal, Uma Ranjan

    2017-02-15

    Phytochemical analyses of the chloroform extract of Piper betle L. var. birkoli, Piperaceae, leaves led to the isolation of two new phenylpropanoid analogues: bis-chavicol dodecanoyl ester (2) and bis-hydroxychavicol dodecanoyl ester (3), along with one known compound: allyl-3-methoxy-4-hydroxybenzene (1) on the basis of spectroscopic data 1D ((1)H and (13)C) and 2D ((1)H-(1)H COSY and HMBC) NMR, as well as ESI-MS, FT-IR, HR-ESI-MS and LC-ESI-MS. Compound 2 and 3 exhibited excellent antioxidant DPPH radical scavenging activity with IC50 values of 12.67 μg/mL and 1.08 μg/mL compared to ascorbic acid as a standard antioxidant drug with IC50 value of 6.60 μg/mL. Evaluation of cytotoxic activity against two human oral cancer cell lines (AW13516 and AW8507) showed significant effect with GI50 values of 19.61 and 23.01 μg/mL for compound 2 and 10.25 and 13.12 μg/mL for compound 3, compared to Doxorubicin(®) as a standard cytotoxic drug with GI50 value of < 10 μg/mL.

  4. ACAT inhibitory activity of exudates from Calocedrus macrolepis var. formosana.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Yu-Hsin; Chen, Kuan-Jung; Chien, Shih-Chang; Cheng, Wen-Ling; Xiao, Jun-Hong; Wang, Sheng-Yang

    2012-12-01

    Cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) is an enzyme controlling cholesterol esterification in cells. Large amounts of cholesterol esters accumulate in macrophages and smooth muscle cells of blood vessel walls resulting in the initial stages of atherosclerosis. Thus, atherosclerosis might be inhibited through inhibition of the activity of ACAT. In the present study, we identified by spectral analysis and chromatographic quantification that ferruginol was the most abundant component of exudates secreted from the wounding site of Calocedrus macrolepis Kurz var. formosana. Results obtained from the cholesterol absorption assay revealed that ferruginol exhibited a significant inhibitory activity on cholesterol absorption in mice macrophages (RAW 264.7 cell). Based on the results from analyzing the ratio of cholesterol esterification, ferruginol dose-dependently suppressed cholesterol esterification and the IC50 value was 2.0 microg/mL. In conclusion, ferruginol revealed strong inhibitory activities that retarded the absorption and esterification of cholesterol in cells. Our finding indicates that ferruginol might possess a potential for development as a pharmaceutical product for preventing arteriosclerosis.

  5. De Novo Transcriptome Analysis of Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyun A; Shin, Ah-Young; Lee, Min-Seon; Lee, Hee-Jeong; Lee, Heung-Ryul; Ahn, Jongmoon; Nahm, Seokhyeon; Jo, Sung-Hwan; Park, Jeong Mee; Kwon, Suk-Yoon

    2016-02-01

    Oriental melon (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa) is one of six subspecies of melon and is cultivated widely in East Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. Although oriental melon is economically valuable in Asia and is genetically distinct from other subspecies, few reports of genome-scale research on oriental melon have been published. We generated 30.5 and 36.8 Gb of raw RNA sequence data from the female and male flowers, leaves, roots, and fruit of two oriental melon varieties, Korean landrace (KM) and Breeding line of NongWoo Bio Co. (NW), respectively. From the raw reads, 64,998 transcripts from KM and 100,234 transcripts from NW were de novo assembled. The assembled transcripts were used to identify molecular markers (e.g., single-nucleotide polymorphisms and simple sequence repeats), detect tissue-specific expressed genes, and construct a genetic linkage map. In total, 234 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and 25 simple sequence repeats were screened from 7,871 and 8,052 candidates, respectively, between the KM and NW varieties and used for construction of a genetic map with 94 F2 population specimens. The genetic linkage map consisted of 12 linkage groups, and 248 markers were assigned. These transcriptome and molecular marker data provide information useful for molecular breeding of oriental melon and further comparative studies of the Cucurbitaceae family.

  6. De Novo Transcriptome Analysis of Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyun A; Shin, Ah-Young; Lee, Min-Seon; Lee, Hee-Jeong; Lee, Heung-Ryul; Ahn, Jongmoon; Nahm, Seokhyeon; Jo, Sung-Hwan; Park, Jeong Mee; Kwon, Suk-Yoon

    2016-01-01

    Oriental melon (Cucumis melo L. var. makuwa) is one of six subspecies of melon and is cultivated widely in East Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. Although oriental melon is economically valuable in Asia and is genetically distinct from other subspecies, few reports of genome-scale research on oriental melon have been published. We generated 30.5 and 36.8 Gb of raw RNA sequence data from the female and male flowers, leaves, roots, and fruit of two oriental melon varieties, Korean landrace (KM) and Breeding line of NongWoo Bio Co. (NW), respectively. From the raw reads, 64,998 transcripts from KM and 100,234 transcripts from NW were de novo assembled. The assembled transcripts were used to identify molecular markers (e.g., single-nucleotide polymorphisms and simple sequence repeats), detect tissue-specific expressed genes, and construct a genetic linkage map. In total, 234 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and 25 simple sequence repeats were screened from 7,871 and 8,052 candidates, respectively, between the KM and NW varieties and used for construction of a genetic map with 94 F2 population specimens. The genetic linkage map consisted of 12 linkage groups, and 248 markers were assigned. These transcriptome and molecular marker data provide information useful for molecular breeding of oriental melon and further comparative studies of the Cucurbitaceae family. PMID:26743902

  7. Periodicity of Wuchereria bancrofti var. pacifica filariasis in French Polynesia.

    PubMed

    Moulia-Pelat, J P; Glaziou, P; Chanteau, S; Nguyen-Ngoc, L; Marcet, Y; Gardines, R; Martin, P M; Cartel, J L

    1993-06-01

    In 1992, a study on microfilaremia periodicity was carried out on 12 Wuchereria bancrofti carriers in the Marquesas islands. Blood samples were collected simultaneously every 4 hours during a 48 hour period by finger-prick and venipuncture for determination of microfilaremia by both blood film and membrane filtration technique methods, and for determination of antigenemia. The membrane filtration results showed no significant nycthemeral variations between the microfilaria densities at hours 16:00, 20:00, 24:00, 04:00, 08:00 and 12:00. Conversely, the blood film method showed a significant difference between the microfilaria densities: the microfilaremia was higher during the day (12:00-20:00 hours) than during the night (24:00-08:00 hours). As for antigenemia, using Og 4 C3 monoclonal antibody, there was no significant fluctuation during 48 hours. These results confirm that W. bancrofti var. pacifica is subperiodic and diurnal in French Polynesia. In particular, they substantiate the validity of examining venous blood by the membrane filtration technique as the judgment criterion of choice in therapeutic trials and of examining capillary blood during peak hours by the blood film method for evaluating the endemic level in a population.

  8. Micropropagation of globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus).

    PubMed

    Iapichino, Giovanni

    2013-01-01

    The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus L. var. scolymus) is a perennial plant cultivated in the Mediterranean region and the Americas for its edible young flower heads. Although vegetative propagation by offshoots or by "ovoli" (underground dormant axillary buds) has been the primary method of propagation, the potential for the diffusion of diseases and the phenotypic variability can be very high. The propagation of this species by axillary shoot proliferation from in vitro-cultured meristems produces systemic pathogen-free plants and a higher multiplication rate as compared to that obtained by conventional agamic multiplication. Axillary shoot proliferation can be induced from excised shoot apices cultured on Murashige and Skoog agar solidified medium supplemented with various concentrations of cytokinins and auxins, depending on genotype. For the production of virus-free plants, meristems, 0.3-0.8 mm long are excised from shoot apices and surface sterilized. The transfer of artichoke microshoots to a medium lacking cytokinins or with low cytokinin concentration is critical for rooting. Adventitious roots develop within 3-5 weeks after transfer to root induction MS medium containing NAA or IAA at various concentrations. However, in vitro rooting frequency rate is dependent on the genotype and the protocol used. Acclimatization of in vitro microshoots having 3-4 roots is successfully accomplished; plantlets develop new roots in ex vitro conditions and continue to grow.

  9. Bauhinia variegata var. variegata lectin: isolation, characterization, and comparison.

    PubMed

    Chan, Yau Sang; Ng, Tzi Bun

    2015-01-01

    Bauhinia variegata var. variegata seeds are rich in proteins. Previously, one of the major storage proteins of the seeds was found to be a trypsin inhibitor that possessed various biological activities. By using another purification protocol, a glucoside- and galactoside-binding lectin that demonstrated some differences from the previously reported B. variegata lectin could be isolated from the seeds. It involved affinity chromatography on Affi-gel blue gel, ion exchange chromatography on Q-Sepharose and Mono Q, and also size exclusion chromatography on Superdex 75. The lectin was not retained on Affi-gel blue gel but interacted with Q-Sepharose. The lectin was a 64-kDa protein with two 32-kDa subunits. It had low thermostability (stable up to 50 °C) and moderate pH stability (stable in pH 3-10). It exhibited anti-proliferative activity on nasopharyngeal carcinoma HONE1 cells with an IC50 of 12.8 μM after treatment for 48 h. It also slightly inhibited the growth of hepatoma HepG2 cells. The lectin may have potential in aiding cancer treatments.

  10. Toxicological assessment of nattokinase derived from Bacillus subtilis var. natto.

    PubMed

    Lampe, Bradley J; English, J Caroline

    2016-02-01

    Subtilisin NAT, commonly known as "nattokinase," is a fibrinolytic enzyme produced by the bacterial strain B. subtilis var. natto, which plays a central role in the fermentation of soybeans into the popular Japanese food natto. Recent studies have reported on the potential anticoagulatory and antihypertensive effects of nattokinase administration in humans, with no indication of adverse effects. To evaluate the safety of nattokinase in a more comprehensive manner, several GLP-compliant studies in rodents and human volunteers have been conducted with the enzyme product, NSK-SD (Japan Bio Science Laboratory Co., Ltd., Japan). Nattokinase was non-mutagenic and non-clastogenic in vitro, and no adverse effects were observed in 28-day and 90-day subchronic toxicity studies conducted in Sprague-Dawley rats at doses up to 167 mg/kg-day and 1000 mg/kg-day, respectively. Mice inoculated with 7.55 × 10(8) CFU of the enzyme-producing bacterial strain showed no signs of toxicity or residual tissue concentrations of viable bacteria. Additionally consumption of 10 mg/kg-day nattokinase for 4 weeks was well tolerated in healthy human volunteers. These findings suggest that the oral consumption of nattokinase is of low toxicological concern. The 90-day oral subchronic NOAEL for nattokinase in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats is 1000 mg/kg-day, the highest dose tested.

  11. Transport of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki via fomites.

    PubMed

    Van Cuyk, Sheila; Veal, Lee Ann B; Simpson, Beverley; Omberg, Kristin M

    2011-09-01

    The intentional and controlled release of an aerosolized bacterium provides an opportunity to investigate the implications of a biological attack. Since 2006, Los Alamos National Laboratory has worked with several urban areas, including Fairfax County, VA, to design experiments to evaluate biodefense concepts of operations using routine spraying of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk). Btk is dispersed in large quantities as a slurry to control the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar. Understanding whether personnel and equipment pick up residual contamination during sampling activities and transport it to other areas is critical for the formulation of appropriate response and recovery plans. While there is a growing body of literature surrounding the transmission of viral diseases via fomites, there is limited information on the transport of Bacillus species via this route. In 2008, LANL investigated whether field sampling activities conducted near sprayed areas, post-spray, resulted in measurable cross-contamination of sampling personnel, equipment, vehicles, and hotel rooms. Viable Btk was detected in all sample types, indicating transport of the agent occurred via fomites.

  12. Foam Separation of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Bacillus subtilis var. niger

    PubMed Central

    Grieves, R. B.; Wang, S. L.

    1967-01-01

    An experimental investigation established the effect of the presence of inorganic salts on the foam separation of Pseudomonas fluorescens and of Bacillus subtilis var. niger (B. globigii) from aqueous suspension by use of a cationic surfactant. For P. fluorescens, 5.0 μeq/ml of NaCl, KCl, Na2SO4, K2SO4, CaCl2, CaSO4, MgCl2, or MgSO4 produced increases in the cell concentration in the residual suspension (not carried into the foam) from 2.9 × 105 up to 1.6 × 106 to 2.8 × 107 cells per milliliter (initial suspensions contain from 3.3 × 107 to 4.8 × 107 cells per milliliter). The exceptional influence of magnesium was overcome by bringing the cells into contact first with the surfactant and then the salt. For B. subtilis, the presence of 5.0 μeq/ml of any of the eight salts increased the residual cell concentration by one order of magnitude from 1.2 × 104 to about 4.0 × 105 cells per milliliter. This occurred regardless of the sequence of contact as long as the surfactant contact period was sufficient. The presence of salts increased collapsed foam volumes with P. fluorescens and decreased collapsed foam volumes with B. subtilis. PMID:4961933

  13. Antioxidant properties of European cranberrybush fruit (Viburnum opulus var. edule).

    PubMed

    Rop, Otakar; Reznicek, Vojtech; Valsikova, Magdalena; Jurikova, Tunde; Mlcek, Jiri; Kramarova, Daniela

    2010-06-23

    In the literature there is little available information concerning European cranberrybush fruit (Viburnum opulus var. edule). This plant can be cultivated, even in harsh climatic conditions, because of its low environmental demands, and it is possible to harvest the fruit even in the snow cover. The aim of this study was to determine the content of polyphenolics, antioxidant activity, flavonoids and vitamin C in the fruit of three cultivars Leningradskaya otbornaya , Souzga and Taezny rubiny of this species. In the case of polyphenolics, high contents [up to 8.29 g of gallic acid/kg of fresh mass (FM)] were observed. The 1,1 -diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2 -azinobis-3-ethyl-benzthiazino-6-sulphonic acid (ABTS) tests were applied to determine antioxidant activity, which was also high in comparison with other fruit species. The corresponding correlations between the polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity were in case of the DPPH test r(2) = 0.88 and for the ABTS test r(2) = 0.98. For comparison, the scavenging activity towards reactive oxygen species (superoxide anion, hydroxyl radical and nitric oxide) was determined by using a 25% fruit extract of particular cultivars. Antioxidant efficiency was also assessed using the rat liver slice model. Furthermore, the contents of flavonoids and vitamin C were assayed, giving values of 4.89 g/kg and 1.64 g/kg FM, respectively. The work should contribute to the popularization of this species as a promising crop plant in human nutrition.

  14. Editor's Highlight: Comparative Toxicity of Organophosphate Flame Retardants and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers to Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Behl, Mamta; Rice, Julie R; Smith, Marjo V; Co, Caroll A; Bridge, Matthew F; Hsieh, Jui-Hua; Freedman, Jonathan H; Boyd, Windy A

    2016-12-01

    With the phasing-out of the polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants due to concerns regarding their potential developmental toxicity, the use of replacement compounds such as organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) has increased. Limited toxicity data are currently available to estimate the potential adverse health effects of the OPFRs. The toxicological effects of 4 brominated flame retardants, including 3 PBDEs and 3,3',5,5'-tetrabromobisphenol A, were compared with 6 aromatic OPFRs and 2 aliphatic OPFRs. The effects of these chemicals were determined using 3 biological endpoints in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (feeding, larval development, and reproduction). Because C. elegans development was previously reported to be sensitive to mitochondrial function, results were compared with those from an in vitro mitochondrial membrane permeabilization (MMP) assay. Overall 11 of the 12 flame retardants were active in 1 or more C. elegans biological endpoints, with only tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate inactive across all endpoints including the in vitro MMP assay. For 2 of the C. elegans endpoints, at least 1 OPFR had similar toxicity to the PBDEs: triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) inhibited larval development at levels comparable to the 3 PBDEs; whereas TPHP and isopropylated phenol phosphate (IPP) affected C. elegans reproduction at levels similar to the PBDE commercial mixture, DE-71. The PBDEs reduced C. elegans feeding at lower concentrations than any OPFR. In addition, 9 of the 11 chemicals that inhibited C. elegans larval development also caused significant mitochondrial toxicity. These results suggest that some of the replacement aromatic OPFRs may have levels of toxicity comparable to PBDEs.

  15. On-chip analysis of C. elegans muscular forces and locomotion patterns in microstructured environments.

    PubMed

    Johari, Shazlina; Nock, Volker; Alkaisi, Maan M; Wang, Wenhui

    2013-05-07

    The understanding of force interplays between an organism and its environment is imperative in biological processes. Noticeably scarce from the study of C. elegans locomotion is the measurement of the nematode locomotion forces together with other important locomotive metrics. To bridge the current gap, we present the investigation of C. elegans muscular forces and locomotion metrics (speed, amplitude and wavelength) in one single assay. This assay uses polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) micropillars as force sensing elements and, by variation of the pillar arrangement, introduces microstructure. To show the usefulness of the assay, twelve wild-type C. elegans sample worms were tested to obtain a total of 4665 data points. The experimental results lead to several key findings. These include: (1) maximum force is exerted when the pillar is in contact with the middle part of the worm body, (2) C. elegans locomotion forces are highly dependent on the structure of the surrounding environment, (3) the worms' undulation frequency and locomotion speed increases steadily from the narrow spacing of 'honeycomb' design to the wider spacing of 'lattice' pillar arrangement, and (4) C. elegans maintained their natural sinusoidal movement in the microstructured device, despite the existence of PDMS micropillars. The assay presented here focuses on wild type C. elegans, but the method can be easily applied to its mutants and other organisms. In addition, we also show that, by inverting the measurement device, worm locomotion behaviour can be studied in various substrate environments normally unconducive to flexible pillar fabrication. The quantitative measurements demonstrated in this work further improve the understanding of C. elegans mechanosensation and locomotion.

  16. The influence of metabolic rate on longevity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Van Voorhies, Wayne A

    2002-12-01

    Much of the recent interest in aging research is due to the discovery of genes in a variety of model organisms that appear to modulate aging. A large amount of research has focused on the use of such long-lived mutants to examine the fundamental causes of aging. While model organisms do offer many advantages for studying aging, it also critical to consider the limitations of these systems. In particular, ectothermic (poikilothermic) organisms can tolerate a much larger metabolic depression than humans. Thus, considering only chronological longevity when assaying for long-lived mutants provides a limited perspective on the mechanisms by which longevity is increased. In order to provide true insight into the aging process additional physiological processes, such as metabolic rate, must also be assayed. This is especially true in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which can naturally enter into a metabolically reduced state in which it survives many times longer than its usual lifetime. Currently it is seen as controversial if long-lived C. elegans mutants retain normal metabolic function. Resolving this issue requires accurately measuring the metabolic rate of C. elegans under conditions that minimize environmental stress. Additionally, the relatively small size of C. elegans requires the use of sensitive methodologies when determining metabolic rates. Several studies indicating that long-lived C. elegans mutants have normal metabolic rates may be flawed due to the use of inappropriate measurement conditions and techniques. Comparisons of metabolic rate between long-lived and wild-type C. elegans under more optimized conditions indicate that the extended longevity of at least some long-lived C. elegans mutants may be due to a reduction in metabolic rate, rather than an alteration of a metabolically independent genetic mechanism specific to aging.

  17. Burkholderia pseudomallei kills Caenorhabditis elegans through virulence mechanisms distinct from intestinal lumen colonization

    PubMed Central

    Ooi, Soon-Keat; Lim, Tian-Yeh; Lee, Song-Hua; Nathan, Sheila

    2012-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is hypersusceptible to Burkholderia pseudomallei infection. However, the virulence mechanisms underlying rapid lethality of C. elegans upon B. pseudomallei infection remain poorly defined. To probe the host-pathogen interaction, we constructed GFP-tagged B. pseudomallei and followed bacterial accumulation within the C. elegans intestinal lumen. Contrary to slow-killing by most bacterial pathogens, B. pseudomallei caused fairly limited intestinal lumen colonization throughout the period of observation. Using grinder-defective mutant worms that allow the entry of intact bacteria also did not result in full intestinal lumen colonization. In addition, we observed a significant decline in C. elegans defecation and pharyngeal pumping rates upon B. pseudomallei infection. The decline in defecation rates ruled out the contribution of defecation to the limited B. pseudomallei colonization. We also demonstrated that the limited intestinal lumen colonization was not attributed to slowed host feeding as bacterial loads did not change significantly when feeding was stimulated by exogenous serotonin. Both these observations confirm that B. pseudomallei is a poor colonizer of the C. elegans intestine. To explore the possibility of toxin-mediated killing, we examined the transcription of the C. elegans ABC transporter gene, pgp-5, upon B. pseudomallei infection of the ppgp-5::gfp reporter strain. Expression of pgp-5 was highly induced, notably in the pharynx and intestine, compared with Escherichia coli-fed worms, suggesting that the host actively thwarted the pathogenic assaults during infection. Collectively, our findings propose that B. pseudomallei specifically and continuously secretes toxins to overcome C. elegans immune responses. PMID:23076282

  18. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an integrated toxicological tool to assess water quality and pollution.

    PubMed

    Clavijo, Araceli; Kronberg, María Florencia; Rossen, Ariana; Moya, Aldana; Calvo, Daniel; Salatino, Santa Esmeralda; Pagano, Eduardo Antonio; Morábito, José Antonio; Munarriz, Eliana Rosa

    2016-11-01

    Determination of water quality status in rivers is critical to establish a sustainable water management policy. For this reason, over the last decades it has been recommended to perform integrated water assessments that include water quantities and physicochemical, ecological and toxicological tests. However, sometimes resources are limited and it is not possible to perform large-scale chemical determinations of pollutants or conduct numerous ecotoxicological tests. To overcome this problem we use and measure the growth, as a response parameter, of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to assess water quality in rivers. The C. elegans is a ubiquitous organism that has emerged as an important model organism in aquatic and soil toxicology research. The Tunuyán River Basin (Province of Mendoza, Argentina) has been selected as a representative traditional water monitoring system to test the applicability of the C. elegans toxicological bioassay to generate an integrated water quality evaluation. Jointly with the C. elegans toxic assays, physicochemical and bacteriological parameters were determined for each monitoring site. C. elegans bioassays help to identify different water qualities in the river basin. Multivariate statistical analysis (PCA and linear regression models) has allowed us to confirm that traditional water quality studies do not predict potential toxic effects on living organisms. On the contrary, physicochemical and bacteriological analyzes explain <62% of the C. elegans growth response variability, showing that ecotoxicological bioassays are important to obtain a realistic scenario of water quality threats. Our results confirm that the C. elegans bioassay is a sensible and suitable tool to assess toxicity and should be implemented in routine water quality monitoring.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  20. Identification of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor orthologue in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Vadakkadath Meethal, Sivan; Gallego, Miguel J; Haasl, Ryan J; Petras, Stephen J; Sgro, Jean-Yves; Atwood, Craig S

    2006-01-01

    Background The Caenorhabditis elegans genome is known to code for at least 1149 G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), but the GPCR(s) critical to the regulation of reproduction in this nematode are not yet known. This study examined whether GPCRs orthologous to human gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR) exist in C. elegans. Results Our sequence analyses indicated the presence of two proteins in C. elegans, one of 401 amino acids [GenBank: NP_491453; WormBase: F54D7.3] and another of 379 amino acids [GenBank: NP_506566; WormBase: C15H11.2] with 46.9% and 44.7% nucleotide similarity to human GnRHR1 and GnRHR2, respectively. Like human GnRHR1, structural analysis of the C. elegans GnRHR1 orthologue (Ce-GnRHR) predicted a rhodopsin family member with 7 transmembrane domains, G protein coupling sites and phosphorylation sites for protein kinase C. Of the functionally important amino acids in human GnRHR1, 56% were conserved in the C. elegans orthologue. Ce-GnRHR was actively transcribed in adult worms and immunoanalyses using antibodies generated against both human and C. elegans GnRHR indicated the presence of a 46-kDa protein, the calculated molecular mass of the immature Ce-GnRHR. Ce-GnRHR staining was specifically localized to the germline, intestine and pharynx. In the germline and intestine, Ce-GnRHR was localized specifically to nuclei as revealed by colocalization with a DNA nuclear stain. However in the pharynx, Ce-GnRHR was localized to the myofilament lattice of the pharyngeal musculature, suggesting a functional role for Ce-GnRHR signaling in the coupling of food intake with reproduction. Phylogenetic analyses support an early evolutionary origin of GnRH-like receptors, as evidenced by the hypothesized grouping of Ce-GnRHR, vertebrate GnRHRs, a molluscan GnRHR, and the adipokinetic hormone receptors (AKHRs) and corazonin receptors of arthropods. Conclusion This is the first report of a GnRHR orthologue in C. elegans, which shares significant

  1. Paralysis and killing of Caenorhabditis elegans by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli requires the bacterial tryptophanase gene.

    PubMed

    Anyanful, Akwasi; Dolan-Livengood, Jennifer M; Lewis, Taiesha; Sheth, Seema; Dezalia, Mark N; Sherman, Melanie A; Kalman, Lisa V; Benian, Guy M; Kalman, Daniel

    2005-08-01

    Pathogenic Escherichia coli, including enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) are major causes of food and water-borne disease. We have developed a genetically tractable model of pathogenic E. coli virulence based on our observation that these bacteria paralyse and kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Paralysis and killing of C. elegans by EPEC did not require direct contact, suggesting that a secreted toxin mediates the effect. Virulence against C. elegans required tryptophan and bacterial tryptophanase, the enzyme catalysing the production of indole and other molecules from tryptophan. Thus, lack of tryptophan in growth media or deletion of tryptophanase gene failed to paralyse or kill C. elegans. While known tryptophan metabolites failed to complement an EPEC tryptophanase mutant when presented extracellularly, complementation was achieved with the enzyme itself expressed either within the pathogen or within a cocultured K12 strains. Thus, an unknown metabolite of tryptophanase, derived from EPEC or from commensal non-pathogenic strains, appears to directly or indirectly regulate toxin production within EPEC. EPEC strains containing mutations in the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), a pathogenicity island required for virulence in humans, also displayed attenuated capacity to paralyse and kill nematodes. Furthermore, tryptophanase activity was required for full activation of the LEE1 promoter, and for efficient formation of actin-filled membranous protrusions (attaching and effacing lesions) that form on the surface of mammalian epithelial cells following attachment and which depends on LEE genes. Finally, several C. elegans genes, including hif-1 and egl-9, rendered C. elegans less susceptible to EPEC when mutated, suggesting their involvement in mediating toxin effects. Other genes including sek-1, mek-1, mev-1, pgp-1,3 and vhl-1, rendered C. elegans more

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-10

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

  3. A Conserved Function of C. elegans CASY-1 Calsyntenin in Associative Learning

    PubMed Central

    Hoerndli, Frédéric J.; Walser, Michael; Fröhli Hoier, Erika; de Quervain, Dominique; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; Hajnal, Alex

    2009-01-01

    Background Whole-genome association studies in humans have enabled the unbiased discovery of new genes associated with human memory performance. However, such studies do not allow for a functional or causal testing of newly identified candidate genes. Since polymorphisms in Calsyntenin 2 (CLSTN2) showed a significant association with episodic memory performance in humans, we tested the C. elegans CLSTN2 ortholog CASY-1 for possible functions in the associative behavior of C. elegans. Methodology/Principal Findings Using three different associative learning paradigms and functional rescue experiments, we show that CASY-1 plays an important role during associative learning in C. elegans. Furthermore, neuronal expression of human CLSTN2 in C. elegans rescues the learning defects of casy-1 mutants. Finally, genetic interaction studies and neuron-specific expression experiments suggest that CASY-1 may regulate AMPA-like GLR-1 glutamate receptor signaling. Conclusion/Significance Our experiments demonstrate a remarkable conservation of the molecular function of Calsyntenins between nematodes and humans and point at a role of C. elegans casy-1 in regulating a glutamate receptor signaling pathway. PMID:19287492

  4. Highly efficient microfluidic sorting device for synchronizing developmental stages of C. elegans based on deflecting electrotaxis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xixian; Hu, Rui; Ge, Anle; Hu, Liang; Wang, Shanshan; Feng, Xiaojun; Du, Wei; Liu, Bi-Feng

    2015-06-07

    C. elegans as a powerful model organism has been widely used in fundamental biological studies. Many of these studies frequently need a large number of different stage-synchronized worms due to the stage-specific features of C. elegans among 4 distinct larval stages and the adult stage. In this work, we present an interesting and cost-effective microfluidic approach to realize simultaneous sorting of C. elegans of different developmental stages by deflecting electrotaxis. The microfluidic device was fabricated using PDMS consisting of symmetric sorting channels with specific angles, which was further hybridized to an agarose plate. While applying an electric field, different stages of C. elegans would crawl to the negative pore with different angles due to their deflecting electrotaxis. Thus, the worms were separated and synchronized by stages. lon-2 mutant was further used to study this electrotactic response and the results indicated that the body size plays a key role in determining the deflecting angle in matured adult worms. In addition to discriminating wild-type hermaphrodites, it could also be employed to sort mutants with abnormal development sizes and males. Therefore, our device provided a versatile and highly efficient platform for sorting C. elegans to meet the requirement of large numbers of different stage-synchronized worms. It can also be further used to investigate the neuronal basis of deflecting electrotaxis in worms.

  5. A screening-based platform for the assessment of cellular respiration in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Koopman, Mandy; Michels, Helen; Dancy, Beverley M.; Kamble, Rashmi; Mouchiroud, Laurent; Auwerx, Johan; Nollen, Ellen A.A.; Houtkooper, Riekelt H.

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is at the core of many diseases, ranging from inherited metabolic diseases to common conditions that are associated with ageing. While associations between ageing and mitochondrial function have been identified using mammalian models, much of the mechanistic insight has emerged from C. elegans. Mitochondrial respiration is recognized as an indicator of mitochondrial health. Seahorse XF96 respirometers are the state-of-the-art platform to assess respiration in cells, and we adapted the technique for applications involving C. elegans. Here, we provide a detailed protocol to optimise and measure respiration in C. elegans with the XF96 respirometer, including the interpretation of parameters and results. The protocol takes ~2 days to complete, excluding time spent culturing C. elegans, and includes (i) the preparation of C. elegans samples, (ii) selection and loading of compounds to be injected, (iii) preparing and executing a run with the XF96 respirometer, and (iv) post-experimental data-analysis, including normalization. In addition, we compare our XF96 application with other existing techniques, including the 8-well Seahorse XFp. The main benefits of the XF96 include the limited number of worms required and high-throughput capacity due to 96-well format. PMID:27583642

  6. A screening-based platform for the assessment of cellular respiration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Koopman, Mandy; Michels, Helen; Dancy, Beverley M; Kamble, Rashmi; Mouchiroud, Laurent; Auwerx, Johan; Nollen, Ellen A A; Houtkooper, Riekelt H

    2016-10-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is at the core of many diseases ranging from inherited metabolic diseases to common conditions that are associated with aging. Although associations between aging and mitochondrial function have been identified using mammalian models, much of the mechanistic insight has emerged from Caenorhabditis elegans. Mitochondrial respiration is recognized as an indicator of mitochondrial health. The Seahorse XF96 respirometer represents the state-of-the-art platform for assessing respiration in cells, and we adapted the technique for applications involving C. elegans. Here we provide a detailed protocol to optimize and measure respiration in C. elegans with the XF96 respirometer, including the interpretation of parameters and results. The protocol takes ∼2 d to complete, excluding the time spent culturing C. elegans, and it includes (i) the preparation of C. elegans samples, (ii) selection and loading of compounds to be injected, (iii) preparation and execution of a run with the XF96 respirometer and (iv) postexperimental data analysis, including normalization. In addition, we compare our XF96 application with other existing techniques, including the eight-well Seahorse XFp. The main benefits of the XF96 include the limited number of worms required and the high throughput capacity due to the 96-well format.

  7. A microfluidic device and automatic counting system for the study of C. elegans reproductive aging

    PubMed Central

    Li, Siran; Stone, Howard A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is an excellent model to study reproductive aging because of its short life span, its cessation of reproduction in mid-adulthood, and the strong conservation of pathways that regulate longevity. During its lifetime, a wild-type C. elegans hermaphrodite usually lays about 200–300 self-fertilized hatchable eggs, which mainly occurs in the first three to five days of adulthood. Here, we report the development of a microfluidic assay and a real-time, automatic progeny counting system that records progeny counting information from many individual C. elegans hermaphrodites. This system offers many advantages compared to conventional plate assays. The flow of non-proliferating bacteria not only feeds the worms but also flushes the just-hatched young progeny through a filter that separates mothers from their offspring. The progeny that are flushed out of the chamber are detected and recorded using a novel algorithm. In our current design, one device contains as many as 16 individual chambers. Here we show examples of real-time progeny production information from wild-type (N2) and daf-2 (insulin receptor) mutants. We believe that this system has the potential to become a powerful, high time-resolution tool to study the detailed reproduction of C. elegans. PMID:25407755

  8. A stochastic neuronal model predicts random search behaviors at multiple spatial scales in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, William M; Augustine, Steven B; Lawton, Kristy J; Lindsay, Theodore H; Thiele, Tod R; Izquierdo, Eduardo J; Faumont, Serge; Lindsay, Rebecca A; Britton, Matthew Cale; Pokala, Navin; Bargmann, Cornelia I; Lockery, Shawn R

    2016-01-01

    Random search is a behavioral strategy used by organisms from bacteria to humans to locate food that is randomly distributed and undetectable at a distance. We investigated this behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, an organism with a small, well-described nervous system. Here we formulate a mathematical model of random search abstracted from the C. elegans connectome and fit to a large-scale kinematic analysis of C. elegans behavior at submicron resolution. The model predicts behavioral effects of neuronal ablations and genetic perturbations, as well as unexpected aspects of wild type behavior. The predictive success of the model indicates that random search in C. elegans can be understood in terms of a neuronal flip-flop circuit involving reciprocal inhibition between two populations of stochastic neurons. Our findings establish a unified theoretical framework for understanding C. elegans locomotion and a testable neuronal model of random search that can be applied to other organisms. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12572.001 PMID:26824391

  9. The Caenorhabditis elegans Ldb/NLI/Clim orthologue ldb-1 is required for neuronal function.

    PubMed

    Cassata, G; Röhrig, S; Kuhn, F; Hauri, H P; Baumeister, R; Bürglin, T R

    2000-10-01

    LIM homeodomain (LIM-HD) and nuclear LIM-only proteins play important roles in a variety of developmental processes in animals. In some cases their activities are modulated by a nuclear LIM binding protein family called Ldb/NLI/Clim. Here we characterize the Ldb/NLI/Clim orthologue ldb-1 of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Two alternatively spliced variants exist, which differ in their amino-termini. The ldb-1 orthologue of Caenorhabditis briggsae has the same structure as that of C. elegans and is highly conserved throughout the open reading frame, while conservation to fly and vertebrate proteins is restricted to specific domains: the dimerization domain, the nuclear localization sequence, and the LIM interaction domain. C. elegans ldb-1 is expressed in neurogenic tissues in embryos, in all neurons in larval and adult stages, and in vulval cells, gonadal sheath cells, and some body muscle cells. C. elegans LDB-1 is able to specifically bind LIM domains in yeast two-hybrid assays. RNA inactivation studies suggest that C. elegans ldb-1 is not required for the differentiation of neurons that express the respective LIM-HD genes or for LIM-HD gene autoregulation. In contrast, ldb-1 is necessary for several neuronal functions mediated by LIM-HD proteins, including the transcriptional activation of mec-2, the mechanosensory neuron-specific stomatin.

  10. Advanced Behavioral Analyses Show that the Presence of Food Causes Subtle Changes in C. elegans Movement

    PubMed Central

    Angstman, Nicholas B.; Frank, Hans-Georg; Schmitz, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    As a widely used and studied model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans worms offer the ability to investigate implications of behavioral change. Although, investigation of C. elegans behavioral traits has been shown, analysis is often narrowed down to measurements based off a single point, and thus cannot pick up on subtle behavioral and morphological changes. In the present study videos were captured of four different C. elegans strains grown in liquid cultures and transferred to NGM-agar plates with an E. coli lawn or with no lawn. Using an advanced software, WormLab, the full skeleton and outline of worms were tracked to determine whether the presence of food affects behavioral traits. In all seven investigated parameters, statistically significant differences were found in worm behavior between those moving on NGM-agar plates with an E. coli lawn and NGM-agar plates with no lawn. Furthermore, multiple test groups showed differences in interaction between variables as the parameters that significantly correlated statistically with speed of locomotion varied. In the present study, we demonstrate the validity of a model to analyze C. elegans behavior beyond simple speed of locomotion. The need to account for a nested design while performing statistical analyses in similar studies is also demonstrated. With extended analyses, C. elegans behavioral change can be investigated with greater sensitivity, which could have wide utility in fields such as, but not limited to, toxicology, drug discovery, and RNAi screening. PMID:27065825

  11. Inducible and titratable silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in vivo with histamine-gated chloride channels.

    PubMed

    Pokala, Navin; Liu, Qiang; Gordus, Andrew; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2014-02-18

    Recent progress in neuroscience has been facilitated by tools for neuronal activation and inactivation that are orthogonal to endogenous signaling systems. We describe here a chemical-genetic approach for inducible silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in intact animals, using the histamine-gated chloride channel HisCl1 from Drosophila and exogenous histamine. Administering histamine to freely moving C. elegans that express HisCl1 transgenes in neurons leads to rapid and potent inhibition of neural activity within minutes, as assessed by behavior, functional calcium imaging, and electrophysiology of neurons expressing HisCl1. C. elegans does not use histamine as an endogenous neurotransmitter, and exogenous histamine has little apparent effect on wild-type C. elegans behavior. HisCl1-histamine silencing of sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons leads to behavioral effects matching their known functions. In addition, the HisCl1-histamine system can be used to titrate the level of neural activity, revealing quantitative relationships between neural activity and behavioral output. We use these methods to dissect escape circuits, define interneurons that regulate locomotion speed (AVA, AIB) and escape-related omega turns (AIB), and demonstrate graded control of reversal length by AVA interneurons and DA/VA motor neurons. The histamine-HisCl1 system is effective, robust, compatible with standard behavioral assays, and easily combined with optogenetic tools, properties that should make it a useful addition to C. elegans neurotechnology.

  12. Identification of Virulence Properties in Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 Using Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sahu, Surasri N.; Anriany, Yuda; Grim, Christopher J.; Kim, Sungji; Chang, Zenas; Joseph, Sam W.; Cinar, Hediye N.

    2013-01-01

    Salmonella enterica serover Typhimurium definitive phage type DT104, resistant to multiple antibiotics, is one of the most widespread Salmonella species in human infection worldwide. Although several cohort studies indicate that DT104 carrying the multidrug resistance (MDR) locus on salmonella genomic island 1 is a possible hyper-virulent strain compared to DT104 strains without MDR, or other Salmonella enterica serotypes, existing experimental evidence regarding virulence properties associated with the MDR region is controversial. To address this question, we constructed an isogenic MDR deletion (∆MDR) mutant strain of DT104, SNS12, by allelic exchange and used Caenorhabditis elegans as a host model to assess differences in virulence between these two strains. SNS12 exhibited decreased virulence in C. elegans, and we observed increased colonization and proliferation of the intestine of C. elegans by DT104. The immune response against MDR-carrying DT104 appears to function through a non-canonical Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) pathway, namely prion-like-(QN-rich)-domain-bearing protein pathway (PQN), in a ced-1 dependent manner in C. elegans. Further, we also demonstrate that genes of the PQN pathway and antimicrobial peptide gene abf-2, are expressed at higher transcriptional levels in worms immediately following exposure to DT104, in comparison with worms exposed to SNS12. Altogether, our results suggest that the MDR region of Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 has a direct role in virulence against Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:24124587

  13. The ETS-5 transcription factor regulates activity states in Caenorhabditis elegans by controlling satiety

    PubMed Central

    Juozaityte, Vaida; Pladevall-Morera, David; Podolska, Agnieszka; Nørgaard, Steffen; Pocock, Roger

    2017-01-01

    Animal behavior is shaped through interplay among genes, the environment, and previous experience. As in mammals, satiety signals induce quiescence in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we report that the C. elegans transcription factor ETS-5, an ortholog of mammalian FEV/Pet1, controls satiety-induced quiescence. Nutritional status has a major influence on C. elegans behavior. When foraging, food availability controls behavioral state switching between active (roaming) and sedentary (dwelling) states; however, when provided with high-quality food, C. elegans become sated and enter quiescence. We show that ETS-5 acts to promote roaming and inhibit quiescence by setting the internal “satiety quotient” through fat regulation. Acting from the ASG and BAG sensory neurons, we show that ETS-5 functions in a complex network with serotonergic and neuropeptide signaling pathways to control food-regulated behavioral state switching. Taken together, our results identify a neuronal mechanism for controlling intestinal fat stores and organismal behavioral states in C. elegans, and establish a paradigm for the elucidation of obesity-relevant mechanisms. PMID:28193866

  14. Identification of virulence properties in Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 using Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sahu, Surasri N; Anriany, Yuda; Grim, Christopher J; Kim, Sungji; Chang, Zenas; Joseph, Sam W; Cinar, Hediye N

    2013-01-01

    Salmonella enterica serover Typhimurium definitive phage type DT104, resistant to multiple antibiotics, is one of the most widespread Salmonella species in human infection worldwide. Although several cohort studies indicate that DT104 carrying the multidrug resistance (MDR) locus on salmonella genomic island 1 is a possible hyper-virulent strain compared to DT104 strains without MDR, or other Salmonella enterica serotypes, existing experimental evidence regarding virulence properties associated with the MDR region is controversial. To address this question, we constructed an isogenic MDR deletion (∆MDR) mutant strain of DT104, SNS12, by allelic exchange and used Caenorhabditis elegans as a host model to assess differences in virulence between these two strains. SNS12 exhibited decreased virulence in C. elegans, and we observed increased colonization and proliferation of the intestine of C. elegans by DT104. The immune response against MDR-carrying DT104 appears to function through a non-canonical Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) pathway, namely prion-like-(QN-rich)-domain-bearing protein pathway (PQN), in a ced-1 dependent manner in C. elegans. Further, we also demonstrate that genes of the PQN pathway and antimicrobial peptide gene abf-2, are expressed at higher transcriptional levels in worms immediately following exposure to DT104, in comparison with worms exposed to SNS12. Altogether, our results suggest that the MDR region of Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 has a direct role in virulence against Caenorhabditis elegans.

  15. Inducible and titratable silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in vivo with histamine-gated chloride channels

    PubMed Central

    Pokala, Navin; Liu, Qiang; Gordus, Andrew; Bargmann, Cornelia I.

    2014-01-01

    Recent progress in neuroscience has been facilitated by tools for neuronal activation and inactivation that are orthogonal to endogenous signaling systems. We describe here a chemical-genetic approach for inducible silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in intact animals, using the histamine-gated chloride channel HisCl1 from Drosophila and exogenous histamine. Administering histamine to freely moving C. elegans that express HisCl1 transgenes in neurons leads to rapid and potent inhibition of neural activity within minutes, as assessed by behavior, functional calcium imaging, and electrophysiology of neurons expressing HisCl1. C. elegans does not use histamine as an endogenous neurotransmitter, and exogenous histamine has little apparent effect on wild-type C. elegans behavior. HisCl1-histamine silencing of sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons leads to behavioral effects matching their known functions. In addition, the HisCl1-histamine system can be used to titrate the level of neural activity, revealing quantitative relationships between neural activity and behavioral output. We use these methods to dissect escape circuits, define interneurons that regulate locomotion speed (AVA, AIB) and escape-related omega turns (AIB), and demonstrate graded control of reversal length by AVA interneurons and DA/VA motor neurons. The histamine-HisCl1 system is effective, robust, compatible with standard behavioral assays, and easily combined with optogenetic tools, properties that should make it a useful addition to C. elegans neurotechnology. PMID:24550306

  16. A microfluidic device and automatic counting system for the study of C. elegans reproductive aging.

    PubMed

    Li, Siran; Stone, Howard A; Murphy, Coleen T

    2015-01-21

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is an excellent model to study reproductive aging because of its short life span, its cessation of reproduction in mid-adulthood, and the strong conservation of pathways that regulate longevity. During its lifetime, a wild-type C. elegans hermaphrodite usually lays about 200-300 self-fertilized hatchable eggs, which mainly occurs in the first three to five days of adulthood. Here, we report the development of a microfluidic assay and a real-time, automatic progeny counting system that records progeny counting information from many individual C. elegans hermaphrodites. This system offers many advantages compared to conventional plate assays. The flow of non-proliferating bacteria not only feeds the worms but also flushes the just-hatched young progeny through a filter that separates mothers from their offspring. The progeny that are flushed out of the chamber are detected and recorded using a novel algorithm. In our current design, one device contains as many as 16 individual chambers. Here we show examples of real-time progeny production information from wild-type (N2) and daf-2 (insulin receptor) mutants. We believe that this system has the potential to become a powerful, high time-resolution tool to study the detailed reproduction of C. elegans.

  17. Dairy Propionibacterium extends the mean lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via activation of the innate immune system

    PubMed Central

    Kwon, Gayeung; Lee, Jiyun; Lim, Young-Hee

    2016-01-01

    Dairy Propionibacterium freudenreichii is a candidate non-lactic acid probiotic. However, little information is available on the effect of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension and to elucidate the mechanism of P. freudenreichii-dependent lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that P. freudenreichii significantly (p < 0.05) extended the lifespan of C. elegans compared with Escherichia coli OP50, a standard food for the worm. Analysis of age-related biomarkers showed that P. freudenreichii retards ageing. Moreover, P. freudenreichii increased resistance against a human pathogen, Salmonella typhimurium, through the activation of skn-1, which is involved in pathogen resistance in C. elegans. Furthermore, P. freudenreichii-fed daf-16, jnk-1, skn-1 or daf-7 loss-of-function mutants showed an extended mean lifespan compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. However, the increase in lifespan was not observed in pmk-1, sek-1, mek-1, dbl-1, daf-12 or daf-2 mutants, which suggests potential roles for these genes in P. freudenreichii-induced longevity in C. elegans. In conclusion, P. freudenreichii extends the lifespan of C. elegans via the p38 MAPK pathway involved in stress response and the TGF-β pathways associated with anti-inflammation processes in the immune system. PMID:27531646

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans as a platform to study the mechanism of action of synthetic antitumor lipids.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Blanco, Adolfo; Rodríguez-Matellán, Alberto G; Reis-Sobreiro, Mariana; Sáenz-Narciso, Beatriz; Cabello, Juan; Mohler, William A; Mollinedo, Faustino

    2014-01-01

    Drugs capable of specifically recognizing and killing cancer cells while sparing healthy cells are of great interest in anti-cancer therapy. An example of such a drug is edelfosine, the prototype molecule of a family of synthetic lipids collectively known as antitumor lipids (ATLs). A better understanding of the selectivity and the mechanism of action of these compounds would lead to better anticancer treatments. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, we modeled key features of the ATL selectivity against cancer cells. Edelfosine induced a selective and direct killing action on C. elegans embryos, which was dependent on cholesterol, without affecting adult worms and larvae. Distinct ATLs ranked differently in their embryonic lethal effect with edelfosine > perifosine > erucylphosphocholine > miltefosine. Following a biased screening of 57 C. elegans mutants we found that inactivation of components of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway led to resistance against the ATL edelfosine in both C. elegans and human tumor cells. This paper shows that C. elegans can be used as a rapid platform to facilitate ATL research and to further understand the mechanism of action of edelfosine and other synthetic ATLs.

  19. Unique C. elegans telomeric overhang structures reveal the evolutionarily conserved properties of telomeric DNA

    PubMed Central

    Školáková, Petra; Foldynová-Trantírková, Silvie; Bednářová, Klára; Fiala, Radovan; Vorlíčková, Michaela; Trantírek, Lukáš

    2015-01-01

    There are two basic mechanisms that are associated with the maintenance of the telomere length, which endows cancer cells with unlimited proliferative potential. One mechanism, referred to as alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), accounts for approximately 10–15% of all human cancers. Tumours engaged in the ALT pathway are characterised by the presence of the single stranded 5′-C-rich telomeric overhang (C-overhang). This recently identified hallmark of ALT cancers distinguishes them from healthy tissues and renders the C-overhang as a clear target for anticancer therapy. We analysed structures of the 5′-C-rich and 3′-G-rich telomeric overhangs from human and Caenorhabditis elegans, the recently established multicellular in vivo model of ALT tumours. We show that the telomeric DNA from C. elegans and humans forms fundamentally different secondary structures. The unique structural characteristics of C. elegans telomeric DNA that are distinct not only from those of humans but also from those of other multicellular eukaryotes allowed us to identify evolutionarily conserved properties of telomeric DNA. Differences in structural organisation of the telomeric DNA between the C. elegans and human impose limitations on the use of the C. elegans as an ALT tumour model. PMID:25855805

  20. Indolizidine, antiinfective and antiparasitic compounds from Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa.

    PubMed

    Samoylenko, Volodymyr; Ashfaq, Mohammad K; Jacob, Melissa R; Tekwani, Babu L; Khan, Shabana I; Manly, Susan P; Joshi, Vaishali C; Walker, Larry A; Muhammad, Ilias

    2009-01-01

    A new potent antiinfective and antiparasitic 2,3-dihydro-1H-indolizinium chloride (1) was isolated from Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa. Three additional new (2-4) and one known (5) indolizidines were also isolated, and the dihydrochloride salts of 1-3 (compounds 6, 7, and 8) were prepared. Structures were determined by 1D and 2D NMR and mass spectra. Compound 1 showed potent in vitro antifungal activity against Cryptococcus neoformans and Aspergillus fumigatus (IC(50) values = 0.4 and 3.0 microg/mL, respectively) and antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium intracellulare (IC(50) values of 0.35 and 0.9 microg/mL, respectively). The remarkable in vitro fungicidal activity of 1-4 against C. neoformans (MFCs = 0.63-1.25 microg/mL) and 2, 3, and 5 against A. fumigatus (MFCs = 0.63-2.5 microg/mL) were similar to amphotericin B, but >2-4-fold more potent than 6-8. Prosopilosidine (1) showed potent in vivo activity at 0.0625 mg/kg/day/ip for 5 days in a murine model of cryptococcosis by eliminating approximately 76% of C. neoformans infection from brain tissue compared to approximately 83% with amphotericin B at 1.5 mg/kg/day. Compounds 1 and 4 exhibited potent activity and high selectivity index (SI) values against chloroquine-sensitive (D6) and chloroquine-resistant (W2) strains of Plasmodium falciparum, with IC(50) values of 39 and 95 ng/mL and 42 and 120 ng/mL, respectively (chloroquine, IC(50) = 17 and 140 ng/mL). Prosopilosine (1) also showed in vivo antimalarial activity, with an ED(50) value of approximately 2 mg/kg/day/ip against Plasmodium berghei-infected mice after 3 days of treatment.

  1. Identification of parental genomes and genomic organization in Aster microcephalus var. ovatus.

    PubMed

    Matoba, Hideyuki; Soejima, Akiko; Hoshi, Yoshikazu

    2007-09-01

    The karyotype of diploid Aster iinumae is morphologically similar to that of diploid Aster ageratoides var. ageratoides, however, its chromosome size is apparently smaller (S-type chromosomes versus L-type chromosomes, respectively). The hybrid origin of tetraploid Aster microcephalus var. ovatus (LS-type chromosomes) has previously been suggested by cytogenetics and chloroplast DNA (cp DNA) data. The cp DNA phylogeny also implies that the S-type chromosome is apomorphic, which means that genome size reduction occurred on the evolutionary way to A. iinumae. In this study, we have demonstrated that the chromosome size difference does not depend on the intensity of chromosome condensation but on the DNA content. The simultaneous genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) results show the similarity between S-type chromosomes of A. iinumae and A. microcephalus var. ovatus, and between L-type chromosomes of A. ageratoides and A. microcephalus var. ovatus, which provide additional evidence for A. microcephalus var. ovatus being a tetraploid amphidiploid produced by hybridization between S-type chromosomes and L-type chromosomes. The distribution patterns of Ty1-copia-like retrotransposons were similar in L- and S-type chromosomes. The copies of this retrotransposon dispersed uniformly on all chromosomes, and it is not yet apparent how the Ty1-copia-like retrotransposon affects the size difference between them.

  2. Allowing for model error in strong constraint 4D-Var

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howes, Katherine; Lawless, Amos; Fowler, Alison

    2016-04-01

    Four dimensional variational data assimilation (4D-Var) can be used to obtain the best estimate of the initial conditions of an environmental forecasting model, namely the analysis. In practice, when the forecasting model contains errors, the analysis from the 4D-Var algorithm will be degraded to allow for errors later in the forecast window. This work focusses on improving the analysis at the initial time by allowing for the fact that the model contains error, within the context of strong constraint 4D-Var. The 4D-Var method developed acknowledges the presence of random error in the model at each time step by replacing the observation error covariance matrix with an error covariance matrix that includes both observation error and model error statistics. It is shown that this new matrix represents the correct error statistics of the innovations in the presence of model error. A method for estimating this matrix using innovation statistics, without requiring prior knowledge of the model error statistics, is presented. The method is demonstrated numerically using a non-linear chaotic system with erroneous parameter values. We show that that the new method works to reduce the analysis error covariance when compared with a standard strong constraint 4D-Var scheme. We discuss the fact that an improved analysis will not necessarily provide a better forecast.

  3. Antidepressant-like Effect of Kaempferol and Quercitirin, Isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten

    PubMed Central

    Park, Soo-Hyun; Sim, Yun-Beom; Han, Pyung-Lim; Lee, Jin-Koo

    2010-01-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. is widely cultivated in Jeju Island (South Korea) for use in manufacture of health foods. This study described antidepressant effect of two flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitrin) isolated from the Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. The expression of the hypothalamic POMC mRNA or plasma β-endorphin levels were increased by extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten or its flavoniods administered orally. In addition, antidepressant activity was studied using tail suspension test (TST), forced swimming test (FST) and rota-rod test in chronically restraint immobilization stress group in mice. After restraint stress (2 hrs/day for 14 days), animals were kept in cage for 14 days without any further stress, bet with drugs. Mice were fed with a diet supplemented for 14 days and during the behavioral test period with kaempferol or quercitrin (30 mg/kg/day). POMC mRNA or plasma β-endorphin level was increased by extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten and its flavoniods. In addition, immobility time in TST and FST was significantly reduced by kaempferol or quercitrin. In rota-rod test, the time of permanence was maintained to the semblance of control group in turning at 15 rpm. Our results suggest that two flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitrin) isolated from the Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. show a potent antidepressant effect. PMID:22110339

  4. Antidepressant-like Effect of Kaempferol and Quercitirin, Isolated from Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten.

    PubMed

    Park, Soo-Hyun; Sim, Yun-Beom; Han, Pyung-Lim; Lee, Jin-Koo; Suh, Hong-Won

    2010-06-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. is widely cultivated in Jeju Island (South Korea) for use in manufacture of health foods. This study described antidepressant effect of two flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitrin) isolated from the Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. The expression of the hypothalamic POMC mRNA or plasma β-endorphin levels were increased by extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten or its flavoniods administered orally. In addition, antidepressant activity was studied using tail suspension test (TST), forced swimming test (FST) and rota-rod test in chronically restraint immobilization stress group in mice. After restraint stress (2 hrs/day for 14 days), animals were kept in cage for 14 days without any further stress, bet with drugs. Mice were fed with a diet supplemented for 14 days and during the behavioral test period with kaempferol or quercitrin (30 mg/kg/day). POMC mRNA or plasma β-endorphin level was increased by extract of Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten and its flavoniods. In addition, immobility time in TST and FST was significantly reduced by kaempferol or quercitrin. In rota-rod test, the time of permanence was maintained to the semblance of control group in turning at 15 rpm. Our results suggest that two flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitrin) isolated from the Opuntia ficus-indica var. saboten. show a potent antidepressant effect.

  5. Subcellular distribution and chemical forms of thorium in Brassica juncea var. foliosa.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Sai; Kai, Hailu; Zha, Zhongyong; Fang, Zhendong; Wang, Dingna; Du, Liang; Zhang, Dong; Feng, Xiaojie; Jin, Yongdong; Xia, Chuanqin

    2016-06-01

    Brassica juncea var. foliosa (B. juncea var. foliosa) is a promising species for thorium (Th) phytoextraction due to its large biomass, fast growth rate and high tolerance toward Th. To further understand the mechanisms of Th tolerance, the present study investigated the subcellular distribution and chemical forms of Th found in B. juncea var. foliosa Our results indicated that in both roots and leaves, Th contents in different parts of the cells follow the order of cell wall > membranes and soluble fraction > organelles. In particular, Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) analysis showed that Th was abundantly located in cell walls of the roots. Additionally, when plants were exposed to different concentrations of Th, we have found that Th existed in B. juncea var. foliosa with different chemical forms. Much of the Th extracted by 2% acetic acid (HAc), 1 M NaCl and HCl in roots with the percentage distribution varied from 47.2% to 62.5%, while in leaves, most of the Th was in the form of residue and the subdominant amount of Th was extracted by HCl, followed by 2% HAc. This suggested that Th compartmentation in cytosol and integration with phosphate or proteins in cell wall might be responsible for the tolerance of B. juncea var. foliosa to the stress of Th.

  6. VarMod: modelling the functional effects of non-synonymous variants.

    PubMed

    Pappalardo, Morena; Wass, Mark N

    2014-07-01

    Unravelling the genotype-phenotype relationship in humans remains a challenging task in genomics studies. Recent advances in sequencing technologies mean there are now thousands of sequenced human genomes, revealing millions of single nucleotide variants (SNVs). For non-synonymous SNVs present in proteins the difficulties of the problem lie in first identifying those nsSNVs that result in a functional change in the protein among the many non-functional variants and in turn linking this functional change to phenotype. Here we present VarMod (Variant Modeller) a method that utilises both protein sequence and structural features to predict nsSNVs that alter protein function. VarMod develops recent observations that functional nsSNVs are enriched at protein-protein interfaces and protein-ligand binding sites and uses these characteristics to make predictions. In benchmarking on a set of nearly 3000 nsSNVs VarMod performance is comparable to an existing state of the art method. The VarMod web server provides extensive resources to investigate the sequence and structural features associated with the predictions including visualisation of protein models and complexes via an interactive JSmol molecular viewer. VarMod is available for use at http://www.wasslab.org/varmod.

  7. VarR controls colonization and virulence in the marine macroalgal pathogen Nautella italica R11

    PubMed Central

    Gardiner, Melissa; Fernandes, Neil D.; Nowakowski, Dennis; Raftery, Mark; Kjelleberg, Staffan; Zhong, Ling; Thomas, Torsten; Egan, Suhelen

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence to suggest that macroalgae (seaweeds) are susceptible to infectious disease. However, to date, little is known about the mechanisms that facilitate the colonization and virulence of microbial seaweed pathogens. One well-described example of a seaweed disease is the bleaching of the red alga Delisea pulchra, which can be caused by the bacterium Nautella italica R11, a member of the Roseobacter clade. This pathogen contains a unique luxR-type gene, varR, which we hypothesize controls its colonization and virulence. We show here that a varR knock-out strain is deficient in its ability to cause disease in D. pulchra and is defective in biofilm formation and attachment to a common algal polysaccharide. Moreover complementation of the varR gene in trans can restore these functions to the wild type levels. Proteomic analysis of bacterial cells in planktonic and biofilm growth highlight the potential importance of nitrogen scavenging, mobilization of energy reserves, and stress resistance in the biofilm lifestyle of N. italica R11. Moreover, we show that VarR regulates the expression of a specific subset of biofilm-associated proteins. Taken together these data suggest that VarR controls colonization and persistence of N. italica R11 on the surface of a macroalgal host and that it is an important regulator of virulence. PMID:26528274

  8. Hormetic heat shock and HSF-1 overexpression improve C. elegans survival and proteostasis by inducing autophagy.

    PubMed

    Kumsta, Caroline; Hansen, Malene

    2017-03-23

    The cellular recycling process of macroautophagy/autophagy is an essential homeostatic system induced by various stresses, but it remains unclear how autophagy contributes to organismal stress resistance. In a recent study, we report that a mild and physiologically beneficial ("hormetic") heat shock as well as overexpression of the heat-shock responsive transcription factor HSF-1 systemically increases autophagy in C. elegans. Accordingly, we found HSF-1- and heat stress-inducible autophagy to be required for C. elegans thermoresistance and longevity. Moreover, a hormetic heat shock or HSF-1 overexpression alleviated PolyQ protein aggregation in an autophagy-dependent manner. Collectively, we demonstrate a critical role for autophagy in C. elegans stress resistance and hormesis, and reveal a requirement for autophagy in HSF-1 regulated functions in the heat-shock response, proteostasis, and aging.

  9. Effects of initial surface wettability on biofilm formation and subsequent settlement of Hydroides elegans.

    PubMed

    Huggett, Megan J; Nedved, Brian T; Hadfield, Michael G

    2009-01-01

    Hydroides elegans is a major fouling organism in tropical waters around the world, including Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. To determine the importance of initial surface characteristics on biofilm community composition and subsequent colonization by larvae of H. elegans, the settlement and recruitment of larvae to biofilmed surfaces with six different initial surface wettabilities were tested in Pearl Harbor. Biofilm community composition, as determined by a combined approach of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and fluorescence in situ hybridization, was similar across all surfaces, regardless of initial wettability, and all surfaces had distinct temporal shifts in community structure over a 10 day period. Larvae settled and recruited in higher numbers to surfaces with medium to low wettability in both May and August, and also to slides with high wettability in August. Pearl Harbor biofilm communities developed similarly on a range of surface wettabilities, and after 10 days in Pearl Harbor all surfaces were equally attractive to larvae of Hydroides elegans, regardless of initial surface properties.

  10. DevStaR: high-throughput quantification of C. elegans developmental stages.

    PubMed

    White, Amelia G; Lees, Brandon; Kao, Huey-Ling; Cipriani, P Giselle; Munarriz, Eliana; Paaby, Annalise B; Erickson, Katherine; Guzman, Sherly; Rattanakorn, Kirk; Sontag, Eduardo; Geiger, Davi; Gunsalus, Kristin C; Piano, Fabio

    2013-10-01

    We present DevStaR, an automated computer vision and machine learning system that provides rapid, accurate, and quantitative measurements of C. elegans embryonic viability in high-throughput (HTP) applications. A leading genetic model organism for the study of animal development and behavior, C. elegans is particularly amenable to HTP functional genomic analysis due to its small size and ease of cultivation, but the lack of efficient and quantitative methods to score phenotypes has become a major bottleneck. DevStaR addresses this challenge using a novel hierarchical object recognition machine that rapidly segments, classifies, and counts animals at each developmental stage in images of mixed-stage populations of C. elegans. Here, we describe the algorithmic design of the DevStaR system and demonstrate its performance in scoring image data acquired in HTP screens.

  11. Soma-Germline Interactions That Influence Germline Proliferation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Korta, Dorota Z.; Hubbard, E. Jane Albert

    2011-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans boasts a short lifecycle and high fecundity, two features that make it an attractive and powerful genetic model organism. Several recent studies indicate that germline proliferation, a prerequisite to optimal fecundity, is tightly controlled over the course of development. Cell proliferation control includes regulation of competence to proliferate, a poorly understood aspect of cell fate specification, as well as cell-cycle control. Furthermore, dynamic regulation of cell proliferation occurs in response to multiple external signals. The C. elegans germ line is proving a valuable model for linking genetic, developmental, systemic, and environmental control of cell proliferation. Here, we consider recent studies that contribute to our understanding of germ cell proliferation in C. elegans. We focus primarily on somatic control of germline proliferation, how it differs at different life stages, and how it can be altered in the context of the life cycle and changes in environmental status. PMID:20225254

  12. Latrophilin is required for toxicity of black widow spider venom in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Mee, Christopher J; Tomlinson, Simon R; Perestenko, Pavel V; De Pomerai, David; Duce, Ian R; Usherwood, Peter N R; Bell, David R

    2004-01-01

    Black widow spider venom (BWSV) kills Caenorhabditis elegans after injection owing to the presence of heat- and detergent-sensitive components, which are high-molecular-mass latrotoxins. A C. elegans homologue of latrophilin/CIRL (calcium-independent receptor for latrotoxin), B0457.1, was identified and shown to have five conserved domains. RNAi (RNA interference) of this gene rendered C. elegans resistant to BWSV, whereas RNAi for CYP37A1 or a neurexin I homologue, and a deletion mutant of the related B0286.2 gene, had no effect on BWSV toxicity. The latrophilin RNAi mutants exhibit changes in defaecation cycle and alterations in drug sensitivity. These results demonstrate that latrophilin mediates the toxicity of BWSV and provide evidence for a physiological function of this receptor. PMID:14594448

  13. Detecting apoptotic cells and monitoring their clearance in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lu, Nan; Yu, Xiaomeng; He, Xiangwei; Zhou, Zheng

    2009-01-01

    Apoptosis is a genetically controlled process of cell suicide that plays an important role in animal development and in maintaining homeostasis. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has proven to be an excellent model organism for studying the mechanisms controlling apoptosis and the subsequent clearance of apoptotic cells, aided with cell-biological and genetic tools. In particular, the transparent nature of worm bodies and eggshells makes C. elegans particularly amiable for live cell microscopy. Here we describe a few methods for identifying apoptotic cells in living C. elegans embryos and adults and for monitoring their clearance during embryonic development. These methods are based on Differential Interference Contrast microscopy and on fluorescence microscopy using GFP-based reporters.

  14. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Daniel E.; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Tanny, Robyn E.; Seo, Beomseok; Riccardi, David D.; Noble, Luke M.; Rockman, Matthew V.; Alkema, Mark J.; Braendle, Christian; Kammenga, Jan E.; Wang, John; Kruglyak, Leonid; Félix, Marie-Anne; Lee, Junho; Andersen, Erik C.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are involved in the maintenance of chromosomes and the prevention of genome instability. Despite this central importance, significant variation in telomere length has been observed in a variety of organisms. The genetic determinants of telomere-length variation and their effects on organismal fitness are largely unexplored. Here, we describe natural variation in telomere length across the Caenorhabditis elegans species. We identify a large-effect variant that contributes to differences in telomere length. The variant alters the conserved oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold of protection of telomeres 2 (POT-2), a homolog of a human telomere-capping shelterin complex subunit. Mutations within this domain likely reduce the ability of POT-2 to bind telomeric DNA, thereby increasing telomere length. We find that telomere-length variation does not correlate with offspring production or longevity in C. elegans wild isolates, suggesting that naturally long telomeres play a limited role in modifying fitness phenotypes in C. elegans. PMID:27449056

  15. The nephronophthisis-related gene ift-139 is required for ciliogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2016-08-12

    Defects in cilia cause a spectrum of diseases known as ciliopathies. Nephronophthisis, a ciliopathy, is the most common genetic cause of renal disease. Here, I cloned and analysed a nephronophthisis-related gene ift-139 in Caenorhabditis elegans. ift-139 was exclusively expressed in ciliated neurons in C. elegans. Genetic and cellular analyses suggest that ift-139 plays a role in retrograde intraflagellar transport and is required for cilia formation. A homologous point mutation that causes ciliopathy disrupted the function of ift-139 in C. elegans. ift-139 is an orthologue of human TTC21B, mutations in which are known to cause nephronophthisis 12 and short-rib thoracic dysplasia 4. These results suggest that ift-139 is evolutionarily conserved and fundamental to the formation of cilia.

  16. On an analogue signal processing circuit in the Nematode C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Skandari, Roghieh; Iino, Yuichi; Manton, Jonathan H

    2016-08-01

    In this work we will work on analogue signal processing in the neural circuit of C. elegans which is able to detect the analogue signals from the environment and produce locomotive behaviours which are in accordance with experiments. The signals in C. elegans are processed in a purely analogue procedure, since no action potential has been recorded in its neural activity. We aim to show how signal processing can be executed in analogue domain in a living creature. In order to do that we will model two different behaviours of C. elegans which are generated in the same network of neurons, klinotaxis behaviour and isothermal tracking. We will implement a Genetic Algorithm to find appropriate sets of parameters of the model. Our contribution is to show how relatively straight forward differential equations can lead to relatively complex and different behaviours.

  17. Information content of Caenorhabditis elegans splice site sequences varies with intron length.

    PubMed Central

    Fields, C

    1990-01-01

    A database of sequences of 139 introns from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was analyzed using the information measure of Schneider et al. (1986) J. Mol. Biol. 128: 415-431. Statistically significant information is encoded by at least the first 30 nt and last 20 nt of C. elegans introns. Both the quantity and the distribution of information in the 5' splice site sequences differs between the typical short (length less than 75 nt) and rarer long (length greater than 75 nt) introns, with the 5 sites of long introns containing approximately one bit more information. 3' splice site sequences of long and short C. elegans introns differ significantly in the region between -20 and -10 nt. PMID:2326191

  18. Bacillus subtilis biofilm extends Caenorhabditis elegans longevity through downregulation of the insulin-like signalling pathway

    PubMed Central

    Donato, Verónica; Ayala, Facundo Rodríguez; Cogliati, Sebastián; Bauman, Carlos; Costa, Juan Gabriel; Leñini, Cecilia; Grau, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    Beneficial bacteria have been shown to affect host longevity, but the molecular mechanisms mediating such effects remain largely unclear. Here we show that formation of Bacillus subtilis biofilms increases Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan. Biofilm-proficient B. subtilis colonizes the C. elegans gut and extends worm lifespan more than biofilm-deficient isogenic strains. Two molecules produced by B. subtilis — the quorum-sensing pentapeptide CSF and nitric oxide (NO) — are sufficient to extend C. elegans longevity. When B. subtilis is cultured under biofilm-supporting conditions, the synthesis of NO and CSF is increased in comparison with their production under planktonic growth conditions. We further show that the prolongevity effect of B. subtilis biofilms depends on the DAF-2/DAF-16/HSF-1 signalling axis and the downregulation of the insulin-like signalling (ILS) pathway. PMID:28134244

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans selects distinct crawling and swimming gaits via dopamine and serotonin.

    PubMed

    Vidal-Gadea, Andrés; Topper, Stephen; Young, Layla; Crisp, Ashley; Kressin, Leah; Elbel, Erin; Maples, Thomas; Brauner, Martin; Erbguth, Karen; Axelrod, Abram; Gottschalk, Alexander; Siegel, Dionicio; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T

    2011-10-18

    Many animals, including humans, select alternate forms of motion (gaits) to move efficiently in different environments. However, it is unclear whether primitive animals, such as nematodes, also use this strategy. We used a multifaceted approach to study how the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans freely moves into and out of water. We demonstrate that C. elegans uses biogenic amines to switch between distinct crawling and swimming gaits. Dopamine is necessary and sufficient to initiate and maintain crawling after swimming. Serotonin is necessary and sufficient to transition from crawling to swimming and to inhibit a set of crawl-specific behaviors. Further study of locomotory switching in C. elegans and its dependence on biogenic amines may provide insight into how gait transitions are performed in other animals.

  20. Baccoside A suppresses epileptic-like seizure/convulsion in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Rakesh; Gupta, Shipra; Tandon, Sudeep; Wolkenhauer, Olaf; Vera, Julio; Gupta, Shailendra K

    2010-09-01

    The 1 mm long Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the prime research tools to study different human neurodegenerative diseases. We have considered the case in which increase in the surrounding temperature of this multicellular model leads to abnormal bursts of neuronal cells that can be linked to seizure or convulsion. The induction of such seizure/convulsion mechanism was done by gradually increasing the temperature with 1x buffer (100 mM NaCl, 50 mM MgCl(2)) in adult C. elegans. In the present experiment it is demonstrated that Baccoside A can significantly reduce the seizure/convulsion in C. elegans at higher temperatures (26-28+/-1 degrees C). Furthermore, in T-type Ca(2+) channel cca-1 mutant worms, no convulsion was recorded. Our experimental results suggest that plant molecules from Bacopa monnieri may be useful in suppressing the seizure/convulsion in worms.

  1. Different genes govern Yersinia pestis pathogenicity in Caenorhabditis elegans and human lice.

    PubMed

    Houhamdi, Linda; Raoult, Didier

    2008-05-01

    To assess the role of virulence factors identified in Caenorhabditis elegans in the transmission of plague by lice, we infected 100 lice by feeding them on rabbits and made them bacteremic; the rabbits had been intravenously inoculated with 10(9) CFU of six different mutant Yersinia pestis strains of lower pathogenicity for C. elegans, obtained from the KIM5 strain. This strain lacks genes used for biofilm formation. High mortality rates were observed in all lice, which excreted viable bacteria in their feces. Mutants killed rabbits when infected intravenously, but mutants were not transmitted to rabbits by infected lice. We conclude that the genes governing pathogenicity in C. elegans and louse are not identical.

  2. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Protects Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans from β-Amyloid Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Gang; Wang, Xi; Zhou, Ting-Ting; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Li, Shao; Zhao, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Our previous studies found SVHRP could enhance neurogenesis and inhibit microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in vivo. Here, we use the transgenic CL4176, CL2006, and CL2355 strains of Caenorhabditis elegans which express the human Aβ1-42 to investigate the effects and the possible mechanisms of SVHRP mediated protection against Aβ toxicity in vivo. The results showed that SVHRP-fed worms displayed remarkably decreased paralysis, less abundant toxic Aβ oligomers, reduced Aβ plaque deposition with respect to untreated animals. SVHRP also suppressed neuronal Aβ expression-induced defects in chemotaxis behavior and attenuated levels of ROS in the transgenic C. elegans. Taken together, these results suggest SVHRP could protect against Aβ-induced toxicity in C. elegans. Further studies need to be conducted in murine models and humans to analyze the effectiveness of the peptide. PMID:27507947

  3. l-Arginine Enhances Resistance against Oxidative Stress and Heat Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Heran; Ma, Yudan; Zhang, Zhixian; Zhao, Ziyuan; Lin, Ran; Zhu, Jinming; Guo, Yi; Xu, Li

    2016-01-01

    The antioxidant properties of l-arginine (l-Arg) in vivo, and its effect on enhancing resistance to oxidative stress and heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans were investigated. C. elegans, a worm model popularly used in molecular and developmental biology, was used in the present study. Here, we report that l-Arg, at a concentration of 1 mM, prolonged C. elegans life by 26.98% and 37.02% under oxidative and heat stress, respectively. Further experiments indicated that the longevity-extending effects of l-Arg may be exerted by its free radical scavenging capacity and the upregulation of aging-associated gene expression in worms. This work is important in the context of numerous recent studies that concluded that environment stresses are associated with an increased population death rate. PMID:27690079

  4. Motility analysis of the nematode C. elegans on wet soft media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sznitman, Josue; Shen, Xiaoning; Arratia, Paulo

    2011-11-01

    Undulatory locomotion is widely utilized by limbless organisms such as snakes, eels and worms. When moving on top of wet soft gels (e.g. agar), undulating organisms such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans display a motility gait that is characterized by crawling. Until present however, a detailed understanding of how C. elegans' crawling gait generates propulsion over soft gels is lacking. Namely, how much crawling force does C. elegans generate? Here, we propose a simple model based on lubrication theory to examine the biomechanics of crawling motion. In analogy to the well-known resistive-force theory (RFT) for low Reynolds number swimming, our model provides a mechanism for the linear relation between the sliding speeds and the drag forces, and sheds light on the role of grooves created by nematodes on agar. We further examine the kinematics of locomotion experimentally and compare muscle activity patterns between crawling and swimming gaits, emphasizing the inherent differences in nematode adaptability to different environments.

  5. Unraveling the mechanisms of synapse formation and axon regeneration: the awesome power of C. elegans genetics

    PubMed Central

    YiShi, JIN

    2015-01-01

    Since Caenorhabditis elegans was chosen as a model organism by Sydney Brenner in 1960’s, genetic studies in this organism have been instrumental in discovering the function of genes and in deciphering molecular signaling network. The small size of the organism and the simple nervous system enable the complete reconstruction of the first connectome. The stereotypic developmental program and the anatomical reproducibility of synaptic connections provide a blueprint to dissect the mechanisms underlying synapse formation. Recent technological innovation using laser surgery of single axons and in vivo imaging has also made C. elegans a new model for axon regeneration. Importantly, genes regulating synaptogenesis and axon regeneration are highly conserved in function across animal phyla. This mini-review will summarize the main approaches and the key findings in understanding the mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of the nervous system. The impact of such findings underscores the awesome power of C. elegans genetics. PMID:26563175

  6. Compartmentalization of the endoplasmic reticulum in the early C. elegans embryos

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Zuo Yen; Prouteau, Manoël

    2016-01-01

    The one-cell Caenorhabditis elegans embryo is polarized to partition fate determinants between the cell lineages generated during its first division. Using fluorescence loss in photobleaching, we find that the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of the C. elegans embryo is physically continuous throughout the cell, but its membrane is compartmentalized shortly before nuclear envelope breakdown into an anterior and a posterior domain, indicating that a diffusion barrier forms in the ER membrane between these two domains. Using mutants with disorganized ER, we show that ER compartmentalization is independent of the morphological transition that the ER undergoes in mitosis. In contrast, compartmentalization takes place at the position of the future cleavage plane in a par-3–dependent manner. Together, our data indicate that the ER membrane is compartmentalized in cells as diverse as budding yeast, mouse neural stem cells, and the early C. elegans embryo. PMID:27597753

  7. A chemical screen to identify inducers of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Rauthan, Manish; Pilon, Marc

    2015-01-01

    We previously showed that inhibition of the mevalonate pathway in C. elegans causes inhibition of protein prenylation, developmental arrest and lethality. We also showed that constitutive activation of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response, UPRmt, is an effective way for C. elegans to become resistant to the negative effects of mevalonate pathway inhibition. This was an important finding since statins, a drug class prescribed to lower cholesterol levels in patients, act by inhibiting the mevalonate pathway, and it is therefore possible that some of their undesirable side effects could be alleviated by activating the UPRmt. Here, we screened a chemical library and identified 4 compounds that specifically activated the UPRmt. One of these compounds, methacycline hydrochloride (a tetracycline antibiotic) also protected C. elegans and mammalian cells from statin toxicity. Methacycline hydrochloride and ethidium bromide, a known UPRmt activator, were also tested in mice: only ethidium bromide significantly activate the UPRmt in skeletal muscles. PMID:27123370

  8. DamID Analysis of Nuclear Organization in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Saldivar, Georgina; Meister, Peter; Askjaer, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The development of genomics and next generation sequencing platforms has dramatically improved our insight into chromatin structure and organization and its fine interplay with gene expression. The nuclear envelope has emerged as a key component in nuclear organization via extensive contacts between the genome and numerous proteins at the nuclear periphery. These contacts may have profound effects on gene expression as well as cell proliferation and differentiation. Indeed, their perturbations are associated with several human pathologies known as laminopathies or nuclear envelopathies. However, due to their dynamic behavior the contacts between nuclear envelope proteins and chromatin are challenging to identify, in particular in intact tissues. Here, we propose the DamID technique as an attractive method to globally characterize chromatin organization in the popular model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. DamID is based on the in vivo expression of a chromatin-associated protein of interest fused to the Escherichia coli DNA adenine methyltransferase, which produces unique identification tags at binding site in the genome. This marking is simple, highly specific and can be mapped by sensitive enzymatic and next generation sequencing approaches.

  9. A remote control for the C. elegans nervous system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leifer, Andrew M.; Fang-Yen, Christopher; Samuel, Aravinthan D. T.

    2010-03-01

    We demonstrate a closed-loop optogenetic illumination system to stimulate or inhibit arbitrary patterns of neurons and muscle in a freely roaming worm. Transgenic worms that express light-sensitive ion channels in neurons or muscle are used. A microscope with a video camera records the worm's posture and motion. As the worm moves unrestrained, custom real-time image processing software analyzes the worm's position and estimates the location of targeted muscle and neuron cells. For each frame captured by the camera, the software generates an illumination pattern and directs a digital mirror device to shine laser light onto the targeted cells. The system can illuminate an arbitrary spatial and temporal pattern and thus can selectively inhibit or stimulate different sets of cells during the course of a single experiment. The image processing software is very fast and analyzes a 1024 by 768 pixel image containing a worm in less than 10ms. The system has been tested using worms expressing Channelrhodopsin and Halorhodopsin in both neurons and muscle. Preliminary results from an investigation of the C. elegans motor circuit are shown.

  10. Rapid phenotypic changes in Caenorhabditis elegans under uranium exposure.

    PubMed

    Dutilleul, Morgan; Lemaire, Laurie; Réale, Denis; Lecomte, Catherine; Galas, Simon; Bonzom, Jean-Marc

    2013-07-01

    Pollutants can induce selection pressures on populations, and the effects may be concentration-dependant. The main ways to respond to the stress are acclimation (i.e. plastic changes) and adaptation (i.e. genetic changes). Acclimation provides a short-term response to environmental changes and adaptation can have longer-term implications on the future of the population. One way of studying these responses is to conduct studies on the phenotypic changes occurring across generations in populations experimentally subjected to a selective factor (i.e. multigenerational test). To our knowledge, such studies have not been performed with uranium (U). Here, the phenotypic changes were explored across three generations in experimental Caenorhabditis elegans populations exposed to different U-concentrations. Significant negative effects of U were detected on survival, generation time, brood size, body length and body bend. At lower U-concentrations, the negative effects were reduced in the second or the third generation, indicating an improvement by acclimation. In contrast, at higher U-concentrations, the negative effects on brood size were amplified across generations. Consequently, under high U-concentrations acclimation may not be sufficient, and adaptation of individuals would be required, to permit the population to avoid extinction. The results highlight the need to consider changes across generations to enhance environmental risk assessment related to U pollution.

  11. Resolving coiled shapes reveals new reorientation behaviors in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Broekmans, Onno D; Rodgers, Jarlath B; Ryu, William S; Stephens, Greg J

    2016-01-01

    We exploit the reduced space of C. elegans postures to develop a novel tracking algorithm which captures both simple shapes and also self-occluding coils, an important, yet unexplored, component of 2D worm behavior. We apply our algorithm to show that visually complex, coiled sequences are a superposition of two simpler patterns: the body wave dynamics and a head-curvature pulse. We demonstrate the precise Ω-turn dynamics of an escape response and uncover a surprising new dichotomy in spontaneous, large-amplitude coils; deep reorientations occur not only through classical Ω-shaped postures but also through larger postural excitations which we label here as δ-turns. We find that omega and delta turns occur independently, suggesting a distinct triggering mechanism, and are the serpentine analog of a random left-right step. Finally, we show that omega and delta turns occur with approximately equal rates and adapt to food-free conditions on a similar timescale, a simple strategy to avoid navigational bias. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17227.001 PMID:27644113

  12. Family of FLP Peptides in Caenorhabditis elegans and Related Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chris; Kim, Kyuhyung

    2014-01-01

    Neuropeptides regulate all aspects of behavior in multicellular organisms. Because of their ability to act at long distances, neuropeptides can exert their effects beyond the conventional synaptic connections, thereby adding an intricate layer of complexity to the activity of neural networks. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a large number of neuropeptide genes that are expressed throughout the nervous system have been identified. The actions of these peptides supplement the synaptic connections of the 302 neurons, allowing for fine tuning of neural networks and increasing the ways in which behaviors can be regulated. In this review, we focus on a large family of genes encoding FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs). These genes, the flp genes, have been used as a starting point to identifying flp genes throughout Nematoda. Nematodes have the largest family of FaRPs described thus far. The challenges in the future are the elucidation of their functions and the identification of the receptors and signaling pathways through which they function. PMID:25352828

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ailion, M; Thomas, J H

    2000-01-01

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

  15. P-body and Stress Granule Quantification in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Rieckher, Matthias; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2017-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells contain various types of cytoplasmic, non-membrane bound ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules that consist of non-translating mRNAs and a versatile set of associated proteins. One prominent type of RNP granules are Processing bodies (P bodies), which majorly harbors translationally inactive mRNAs and an array of proteins mediating mRNA degradation, translational repression and cellular mRNA transport (Sheth and Parker, 2003). Another type of RNP granules, the stress granules (SGs), majorly contain mRNAs associated with translation initiation factors and are formed upon stress-induced translational stalling (Kedersha et al., 2000 and 1999). Multiple evidence obtained from studies in unicellular organisms supports a model in which P bodies and SGs physically interact during cellular stress to direct mRNAs for transport, decay, temporal storage or reentry into translation (Anderson and Kedersha, 2008; Decker and Parker, 2012). The quantification, distribution and colocalization of P bodies and/or SGs are essential tools to study the composition of RNP granules and their contribution to fundamental cellular processes, such as stress response and translational regulation. In this protocol we describe a method to quantify P bodies and SGs in somatic tissues of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:28239624

  16. Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance of Longevity in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Greer, Eric L.; Maures, Travis J.; Ucar, Duygu; Hauswirth, Anna G.; Mancini, Elena; Lim, Jana P.; Benayoun, Bérénice A.; Shi, Yang; Brunet, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Chromatin modifiers regulate lifespan in several organisms, raising the question of whether changes in chromatin states in the parental generation could be incompletely reprogrammed in the next generation and thereby affect the lifespan of descendents. The histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) complex composed of ASH-2, WDR-5, and the histone methyltransferase SET-2 regulates C. elegans lifespan. Here we show that deficiencies in the H3K4me3 chromatin modifiers ASH-2, WDR-5, or SET-2 in the parental generation extend the lifespan of descendents up until the third generation. The transgenerational inheritance of lifespan extension by members of the ASH-2 complex is dependent on the H3K4me3 demethylase RBR-2, and requires the presence of a functioning germline in the descendents. Transgenerational inheritance of lifespan is specific for the H3K4me3 methylation complex and is associated with epigenetic changes in gene expression. Thus, manipulation of specific chromatin modifiers only in parents can induce an epigenetic memory of longevity in descendents. PMID:22012258

  17. Sphingolipid metabolism regulates development and lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Axon Regeneration Genes Identified by RNAi Screening in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Nix, Paola; Hammarlund, Marc; Hauth, Linda; Lachnit, Martina; Jorgensen, Erik M.

    2014-01-01

    Axons of the mammalian CNS lose the ability to regenerate soon after development due to both an inhibitory CNS environment and the loss of cell-intrinsic factors necessary for regeneration. The complex molecular events required for robust regeneration of mature neurons are not fully understood, particularly in vivo. To identify genes affecting axon regeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans, we performed both an RNAi-based screen for defective motor axon regeneration in unc-70/β-spectrin mutants and a candidate gene screen. From these screens, we identified at least 50 conserved genes with growth-promoting or growth-inhibiting functions. Through our analysis of mutants, we shed new light on certain aspects of regeneration, including the role of β-spectrin and membrane dynamics, the antagonistic activity of MAP kinase signaling pathways, and the role of stress in promoting axon regeneration. Many gene candidates had not previously been associated with axon regeneration and implicate new pathways of interest for therapeutic intervention. PMID:24403161

  19. Staufen Negatively Modulates MicroRNA Activity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Perilipin-related protein regulates lipid metabolism in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chughtai, Ahmed Ali; Kaššák, Filip; Kostrouchová, Markéta; Novotný, Jan Philipp; Krause, Michael W.; Kostrouch, Zdenek

    2015-01-01

    Perilipins are lipid droplet surface proteins that contribute to fat metabolism by controlling the access of lipids to lipolytic enzymes. Perilipins have been identified in organisms as diverse as metazoa, fungi, and amoebas but strikingly not in nematodes. Here we identify the protein encoded by the W01A8.1 gene in Caenorhabditis elegans as the closest homologue and likely orthologue of metazoan perilipin. We demonstrate that nematode W01A8.1 is a cytoplasmic protein residing on lipid droplets similarly as human perilipins 1 and 2. Downregulation or elimination of W01A8.1 affects the appearance of lipid droplets resulting in the formation of large lipid droplets localized around the dividing nucleus during the early zygotic divisions. Visualization of lipid containing structures by CARS microscopy in vivo showed that lipid-containing structures become gradually enlarged during oogenesis and relocate during the first zygotic division around the dividing nucleus. In mutant embryos, the lipid containing structures show defective intracellular distribution in subsequent embryonic divisions and become gradually smaller during further development. In contrast to embryos, lipid-containing structures in enterocytes and in epidermal cells of adult animals are smaller in mutants than in wild type animals. Our results demonstrate the existence of a perilipin-related regulation of fat metabolism in nematodes and provide new possibilities for functional studies of lipid metabolism. PMID:26357594