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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans gabaergic

  1. An extrasynaptic GABAergic signal modulates a pattern of forward movement in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Yu; Wen, Quan; Liu, He; Zhong, Connie; Qin, Yuqi; Harris, Gareth; Kawano, Taizo; Wu, Min; Xu, Tianqi; Samuel, Aravinthan DT; Zhang, Yun

    2016-01-01

    As a common neurotransmitter in the nervous system, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) modulates locomotory patterns in both vertebrates and invertebrates. However, the signaling mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of GABAergic modulation are not completely understood. Here, we demonstrate that a GABAergic signal in C. elegans modulates the amplitude of undulatory head bending through extrasynaptic neurotransmission and conserved metabotropic receptors. We show that the GABAergic RME head motor neurons generate undulatory activity patterns that correlate with head bending and the activity of RME causally links with head bending amplitude. The undulatory activity of RME is regulated by a pair of cholinergic head motor neurons SMD, which facilitate head bending, and inhibits SMD to limit head bending. The extrasynaptic neurotransmission between SMD and RME provides a gain control system to set head bending amplitude to a value correlated with optimal efficiency of forward movement. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14197.001 PMID:27138642

  2. Mitochondrial division in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Gandre, Shilpa; van der Bliek, Alexander M

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Intermediate Filaments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zuela, Noam; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Toxicity testing using Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  5. Intermediate Filaments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zuela, Noam; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2016-01-01

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

  6. The glia of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Oikonomou, Grigorios; Shaham, Shai

    2010-01-01

    Glia have been, in many ways, the proverbial elephant in the room. Although glia are as numerous as neurons in vertebrate nervous systems, technical and other concerns had left research on these cells languishing, while research on neurons marched on. Importantly, model systems to study glia had lagged considerably behind. A concerted effort in recent years to develop the canonical invertebrate model animals, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, as settings to understand glial roles in nervous system development and function has begun to bear fruit. In this review we summarize our current understanding of glia and their roles in the nervous system of the nematode C. elegans. The recent studies we describe highlight the similarities and differences between C. elegans and vertebrate glia, and focus on novel insights that are likely to have general relevance to all nervous systems. PMID:21732423

  7. Durotaxis in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Parida, Lipika; Padmanabhan, Venkat

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Durotaxis in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Parida, Lipika; Padmanabhan, Venkat

    2016-08-01

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

  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. 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.

  11. Germline Transformation of Caenorhabditis elegans by Injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kadandale, Pavan; Chatterjee, Indrani; Singson, Andrew

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Optogenetic mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Noma, Kentaro; Jin, Yishi

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Using Caenorhabditis elegans to Study Serpinopathies

    PubMed Central

    Long, Olivia S.; Gosai, Sager J.; Kwak, Joon Hyeok; King, Dale E.; Perlmutter, David H.; Silverman, Gary A.; Pak, Stephen C.

    2015-01-01

    Protein misfolding, polymerization, and/or aggregation are hallmarks of serpinopathies and many other human genetic disorders including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s disease. While higher organism models have helped shape our understanding of these diseases, simpler model systems, like Caenorhabditis elegans, offer great versatility for elucidating complex genetic mechanisms underlying these diseases. Moreover, recent advances in automated high-throughput methodologies have promoted C. elegans as a useful tool for drug discovery. In this chapter, we describe how one could model serpinopathies in C. elegans and how one could exploit this model to identify small molecule compounds that can be developed into effective therapeutic drugs. PMID:21683258

  16. 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

  17. Regulation of body fat in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Supriya

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Laser Microsurgery in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution.

    PubMed

    Gray, Jeremy C; Cutter, Asher D

    2014-03-01

    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.

  20. Dopamine regulates body size in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans proteomics comes of age.

    PubMed

    Shim, Yhong-Hee; Paik, Young-Ki

    2010-02-01

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

  3. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research.

    PubMed

    Muthaiyan Shanmugam, Muniesh; Subhra Santra, Tuhin

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Is Caenorhabditis elegans the Magic Bullet for Anthelminthic Drug Discovery?

    PubMed

    Keiser, Jennifer

    2015-10-01

    Recent advances in handling and readout have facilitated high-throughput screens with Caenorhabditis elegans. A new study demonstrates that C. elegans is a useful tool in high-throughput anthelminthic drug discovery. Despite challenges, drug discovery using C. elegans offers opportunities that might lead the way to novel anthelminthic drugs.

  5. Proteomics applications in Caenorhabditis elegans research.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-25

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

  6. The laboratory domestication of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Dietary choice behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Shtonda, Boris Borisovich; Avery, Leon

    2006-01-01

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

  8. The Caenorhabditis elegans genome: a multifractal analysis.

    PubMed

    Vélez, P E; Garreta, L E; Martínez, E; Díaz, N; Amador, S; Tischer, I; Gutiérrez, J M; Moreno, P A

    2010-05-25

    The Caenorhabditis elegans genome has several regular and irregular characteristics in its nucleotide composition; these are observed within and between chromosomes. To study these particularities, we carried out a multifractal analysis, which requires a large number of exponents to characterize scaling properties. We looked for a relationship between the genetic information content of the chromosomes and multifractal parameters and found less multifractality compared to the human genome. Differences in multifractality among chromosomes and in regions of chromosomes, and two group averages of chromosome regions were observed. All these differences were mainly dependent on differences in the contents of repetitive DNA. Based on these properties, we propose a nonlinear model for the structure of the C. elegans genome, with some biological implications. These results suggest that examining differences in multifractality is a viable approach for measuring local variations of genomic information contents along chromosomes. This approach could be extended to other genomes in order to characterize structural and functional regions of chromosomes.

  9. Xenobiotic Detoxification in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lindblom, Tim H.; Dodd, Allyn K.

    2009-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model organism for the study of such diverse aspects of animal physiology and behavior as embryonic development, chemoreception, and the genetic control of lifespan. Yet, even though the entire genome sequence of this organism was deposited into public databases several years ago, little is known about xenobiotic metabolism in C. elegans. In part, the paucity of detoxification information may be due to the plush life enjoyed by nematodes raised in the laboratory. In the wild, however, these animals experience a much greater array of chemical assaults. Living in the interstitial water of the soil, populations of C. elegans exhibit a boom and bust lifestyle characterized by prodigious predation of soil microbes punctuated by periods of dispersal as a non-developing alternative larval stage. During the booming periods of population expansion, these animals almost indiscriminately consume everything in their environment including any number of compounds from other animals, microorganisms, plants, and xenobiotics. Several recent studies have identified many genes encoding sensors and enzymes these nematodes may use in their xeno-coping strategies. Here, we will discuss these recent advances, as well as the efforts by our lab and others to utilize the genomic resources of the C. elegans system to elucidate this nematode’s molecular defenses against toxins. PMID:16902959

  10. 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.

  11. Xenobiotic detoxification in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lindblom, Tim H; Dodd, Allyn K

    2006-09-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model organism for the study of such diverse aspects of animal physiology and behavior as embryonic development, chemoreception, and the genetic control of lifespan. Yet, even though the entire genome sequence of this organism was deposited into public databases several years ago, little is known about xenobiotic metabolism in C. elegans. In part, the paucity of detoxification information may be due to the plush life enjoyed by nematodes raised in the laboratory. In the wild, however, these animals experience a much greater array of chemical assaults. Living in the interstitial water of the soil, populations of C. elegans exhibit a boom and bust lifestyle characterized by prodigious predation of soil microbes punctuated by periods of dispersal as a non-developing alternative larval stage. During the booming periods of population expansion, these animals almost indiscriminately consume everything in their environment including any number of compounds from other animals, microorganisms, plants, and xenobiotics. Several recent studies have identified many genes encoding sensors and enzymes these nematodes may use in their xeno-coping strategies. Here, we will discuss these recent advances, as well as the efforts by our lab and others to utilize the genomic resources of the C. elegans system to elucidate this nematode's molecular defenses against toxins.

  12. The invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans biosynthesizes ascorbate

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Hormetic effect of methylmercury on Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Helmcke, Kirsten J; Aschner, Michael

    2010-10-15

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

  14. 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.

  15. Caenorhabditis elegans vulval cell fate patterning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Félix, Marie-Anne

    2012-08-01

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

  16. Maximally informative foraging by Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Calhoun, Adam J; Chalasani, Sreekanth H; Sharpee, Tatyana O

    2014-01-01

    Animals have evolved intricate search strategies to find new sources of food. Here, we analyze a complex food seeking behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to derive a general theory describing different searches. We show that C. elegans, like many other animals, uses a multi-stage search for food, where they initially explore a small area intensively (‘local search’) before switching to explore a much larger area (‘global search’). We demonstrate that these search strategies as well as the transition between them can be quantitatively explained by a maximally informative search strategy, where the searcher seeks to continuously maximize information about the target. Although performing maximally informative search is computationally demanding, we show that a drift-diffusion model can approximate it successfully with just three neurons. Our study reveals how the maximally informative search strategy can be implemented and adopted to different search conditions. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04220.001 PMID:25490069

  17. 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.

  18. Programmed Cell Death During Caenorhabditis elegans Development.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hallem, Elissa A; Sternberg, Paul W

    2008-06-10

    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 TGFbeta 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.

  20. CLC chloride channels in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    1999-11-26

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

  1. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hallem, Elissa A; Sternberg, Paul W

    2008-06-10

    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 TGFbeta 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

  2. 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...

  3. Chemotaxis of crawling and swimming Caenorhabditis Elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

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

  4. Rapid RNA analysis of individual Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ly, Kien; Reid, Suzanne J; Snell, Russell G

    2015-01-01

    Traditional RNA extraction methods rely on the use of hazardous chemicals such as phenol, chloroform, guanidinium thiocyanate to disrupt cells and inactivate RNAse simultaneously. RNA isolation from Caenorhabditis elegans presents another challenge due to its tough cuticle, therefore several repeated freeze-thaw cycles may be needed to disrupt the cuticle before the cell contents are released. In addition, a large number of animals are required for successful RNA isolation. To overcome these issues, we have developed a simple and efficient method using proteinase K and a brief heat treatment to release RNA of quality suitable for quantitative PCR analysis.The benefits of the method are: •Faster and safer compared to conventional RNA extraction methods•Released RNA can be used directly for cDNA synthesis without purification•As little as a single worm is sufficient.

  5. 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

  6. Quantification of Glutathione in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Caito, Samuel W.; Aschner, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. Widespread Genomic Incompatibilities in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Witting, Michael; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Big Data in Caenorhabditis elegans: quo vadis?

    PubMed

    Hutter, Harald; Moerman, Donald

    2015-11-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. The Genetics of Feeding in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Avery, L.

    1993-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. The neurexin superfamily of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Haklai-Topper, Liat; Soutschek, Jürgen; Sabanay, Helena; Scheel, Jochen; Hobert, Oliver; Peles, Elior

    2011-01-01

    The neurexin superfamily is a group of transmembrane molecules mediating cell-cell contacts and generating specialized membranous domains in polarized epithelial and nerves cells. We describe here the domain organization and expression of the entire, core neurexin superfamily in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which is composed of three family members. One of the superfamily members, nrx-1, is an ortholog of vertebrate neurexin, the other two, itx-1 and nlr-1, are orthologs of the Caspr subfamily of neurexin-like genes. Based on reporter gene analysis, we find that nrx-1 is exclusively expressed in most if not all cells of the nervous system and localizes to presynaptic specializations. itx-1 and nrx-1 reporter genes are expressed in non-overlapping patterns within and outside the nervous system. ITX-1 protein co-localizes with β-G-spectrin to a subapical domain within intestinal cells. These studies provide a starting point for further functional analysis of this family of proteins.

  15. 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

  16. Chromosome I duplications in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Nondisjunction Mutants of the Nematode CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    PubMed Central

    Hodgkin, Jonathan; Horvitz, H. Robert; Brenner, Sydney

    1979-01-01

    The frequency of males (5AA; XO) among the self progeny of wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodites (5AA; XX) is about one in 500. Fifteen him (for "high incidence of males") mutations have been identified that increase this frequency by a factor of ten to 150, as a result of increased X-chromosome nondisjunction. The mutations define ten complementation groups, which have been mapped: nine are autosomal, and one sex linked. Most of the mutants are superficially wild type in anatomy and behavior; however, him-4 mutants display gonadal abnormalities, and unc-86 mutants, which have a Him phenotype, exhibit a variety of anatomical and behavioral abnormalities. All the mutants segregate fertile 3X hermaphrodite progeny as well as XO male progeny. Some produce large numbers of inviable zygotes. Mutants in all ten genes produce diplo-X and nullo-X exceptional ova, and in the four strains tested, diplo-X and nullo-X exceptional sperm are produced by 2X "transformed" males. It appears likely that most of the mutants have defects in both gamete lines of the hermaphrodite. XO males of him strains other than him-4 and unc-86 are similar to wild-type males in anatomy and behavior, and all produce equal or almost equal numbers of haplo-X and nullo-X sperm, and no diplo-X sperm. Male fertility is reduced to varying extents in all him mutants. In four of the strains, nondisjunction during oogenesis has been shown to occur at a reductional division, and in three of these strains, abnormalities in recombination have been demonstrated. One mutant also exhibits autosomal nondisjunction, but many of the others probably do not. Therefore, the X chromosome of C. elegans may differ from the autosomes in the mechanisms controlling its meiotic behavior.——3X hermaphrodites are shorter and less fertile than 2X hermaphrodites, and they produce many inviable zygotes among their self progeny: these are probably 4X zygotes. Haplo-X and diplo-X ova are produced in 2:1 ratio by 3X

  20. 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

    2016-02-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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…

  5. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for obesity research.

    PubMed

    Zheng, J; Greenway, F L

    2012-02-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Inactivation of GABAA receptor is related to heat shock stress response in organism model Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Gabriela; Elizalde, Alejandro; Trujillo, Xochitl; Montoya-Pérez, Rocío; Mendoza-Magaña, María Luisa; Hernandez-Chavez, Abel; Hernandez, Leonardo

    2016-09-01

    The mechanisms underlying oxidative stress (OS) resistance are not completely clear. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a good organism model to study OS because it displays stress responses similar to those in mammals. Among these mechanisms, the insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway is thought to affect GABAergic neurotransmission. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of heat shock stress (HS) on GABAergic activity in C. elegans. For this purpose, we tested the effect of exposure to picrotoxin (PTX), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), hydrogen peroxide, and HS on the occurrence of a shrinking response (SR) after nose touch stimulus in N2 (WT) worms. Moreover, the effect of HS on the expression of UNC-49 (GABAA receptor ortholog) in the EG1653 strain and the effect of GABA and PTX exposure on HSP-16.2 expression in the TJ375 strain were analyzed. PTX 1 mM- or H2O2 0.7 mM-exposed worms displayed a SR in about 80 % of trials. GABA exposure did not cause a SR. HS prompted the occurrence of a SR as did PTX 1 mM or H2O2 0.7 mM exposure. In addition, HS increased UNC-49 expression, and PTX augmented HSP-16.2 expression. Thus, the results of the present study suggest that oxidative stress, through either H2O2 exposure or application of heat shock, inactivates the GABAergic system, which subsequently would affect the oxidative stress response, perhaps by enhancing the activity of transcription factors DAF-16 and HSF-1, both regulated by the IIS pathway and related to hsp-16.2 expression.

  8. Inactivation of GABAA receptor is related to heat shock stress response in organism model Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Camargo, Gabriela; Elizalde, Alejandro; Trujillo, Xochitl; Montoya-Pérez, Rocío; Mendoza-Magaña, María Luisa; Hernandez-Chavez, Abel; Hernandez, Leonardo

    2016-09-01

    The mechanisms underlying oxidative stress (OS) resistance are not completely clear. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a good organism model to study OS because it displays stress responses similar to those in mammals. Among these mechanisms, the insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway is thought to affect GABAergic neurotransmission. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of heat shock stress (HS) on GABAergic activity in C. elegans. For this purpose, we tested the effect of exposure to picrotoxin (PTX), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), hydrogen peroxide, and HS on the occurrence of a shrinking response (SR) after nose touch stimulus in N2 (WT) worms. Moreover, the effect of HS on the expression of UNC-49 (GABAA receptor ortholog) in the EG1653 strain and the effect of GABA and PTX exposure on HSP-16.2 expression in the TJ375 strain were analyzed. PTX 1 mM- or H2O2 0.7 mM-exposed worms displayed a SR in about 80 % of trials. GABA exposure did not cause a SR. HS prompted the occurrence of a SR as did PTX 1 mM or H2O2 0.7 mM exposure. In addition, HS increased UNC-49 expression, and PTX augmented HSP-16.2 expression. Thus, the results of the present study suggest that oxidative stress, through either H2O2 exposure or application of heat shock, inactivates the GABAergic system, which subsequently would affect the oxidative stress response, perhaps by enhancing the activity of transcription factors DAF-16 and HSF-1, both regulated by the IIS pathway and related to hsp-16.2 expression. PMID:27230213

  9. Microsporidia are natural intracellular parasites of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Maddox, Amy S; Maddox, Paul S

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans, a Model Organism for Investigating Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Marsh, Elizabeth K.

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Genomic response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to spaceflight.

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

    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-beta 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.

  15. CRISPR-Based Methods for Caenorhabditis elegans Genome Engineering

    PubMed Central

    Dickinson, Daniel J.; Goldstein, Bob

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Comparison of Caenorhabditis elegans NLP peptides with arthropod neuropeptides.

    PubMed

    Husson, Steven J; Lindemans, Marleen; Janssen, Tom; Schoofs, Liliane

    2009-04-01

    Neuropeptides are small messenger molecules that can be found in all metazoans, where they govern a diverse array of physiological processes. Because neuropeptides seem to be conserved among pest species, selected peptides can be considered as attractive targets for drug discovery. Much can be learned from the model system Caenorhabditis elegans because of the availability of a sequenced genome and state-of-the-art postgenomic technologies that enable characterization of endogenous peptides derived from neuropeptide-like protein (NLP) precursors. Here, we provide an overview of the NLP peptide family in C. elegans and discuss their resemblance with arthropod neuropeptides and their relevance for anthelmintic discovery.

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

    PubMed Central

    GEMS, DAVID

    2000-01-01

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

  18. Regulation of the X Chromosomes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. The model Caenorhabditis elegans in diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Morcos, Michael; Hutter, Harald

    2009-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus, with its complications, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) share many similarities. Both are age-related and associated with enhanced formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and oxidative stress, factors that can be observed during the normal aging process as well. AGE deposits can be found in areas of atherosclerotic lesions in diabetes and in senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in AD. A classical model organism in aging research is the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Though C. elegans lacks a vascular system, it has been introduced in diabetes and AD research since it shares many similarities at the molecular level to pathological processes found in humans. AGEs accumulate in C. elegans, and increased AGE-formation and mitochondrial AGE-modification are responsible for increased oxidative stress and limiting life span. Moreover, C. elegans has an accessible and well characterized nervous system and features several genes homologous to human genes implicated in AD like amyloid-beta protein precursor, presenilins and tau. In addition, human genes linked to AD, such as amyloid-beta or tau, can be expressed and studied in C. elegans. So far, C. elegans research has contributed to a better understanding of the function of AD-related genes and the development of this disease.

  20. 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.

  1. Temperature, stress and spontaneous mutation in Caenorhabditis briggsae and Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Matsuba, Chikako; Ostrow, Dejerianne G; Salomon, Matthew P; Tolani, Amit; Baer, Charles F

    2013-02-23

    Mutation rate often increases with environmental temperature, but establishing causality is complicated. Asymmetry between physiological stress and deviation from the optimal temperature means that temperature and stress are often confounded. We allowed mutations to accumulate in two species of Caenorhabditis for approximately 100 generations at 18°C and for approximately 165 generations at 26°C; 26°C is stressful for Caenorhabditis elegans but not for Caenorhabditis briggsae. We report mutation rates at a set of microsatellite loci and estimates of the per-generation decay of fitness (ΔM(w)), the genomic mutation rate for fitness (U) and the average effect of a new mutation (E[a]), assayed at both temperatures. In C. elegans, the microsatellite mutation rate is significantly greater at 26°C than at 18°C whereas in C. briggsae there is only a slight, non-significant increase in mutation rate at 26°C, consistent with stress-dependent mutation in C. elegans. The fitness data from both species qualitatively reinforce the microsatellite results. The fitness results of C. elegans are potentially complicated by selection but also suggest temperature-dependent mutation; the difference between the two species suggests that physiological stress plays a significant role in the mutational process.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  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:26088431

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27662786

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model for anthelmintic discovery.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-06-25

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Host-Microbe Interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Aixin

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans swimming in a saturated particulate system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Sunghwan

    2010-03-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a nematode that often swims in saturated soil in nature. We investigated the locomotive behavior of C. elegans swimming in a fluid with particles of various sizes and found that the nematode swims a greater distance per undulation than it does in a fluid without particles. The Strouhal number (a ratio of lateral to forward velocity) of C. elegans significantly decreases in a saturated particulate medium (0.50±0.13) in comparison to a fluid without particles (1.6±0.27). This result was unexpected due to the generally low performance of a body moving in a high drag medium. In our model, a saturated granular system is approximated as a porous medium where only the hydrodynamic forces on the body are considered. Combining these assumptions with resistive force theory, we find that a porous medium provides more asymmetric drag on a slender body, and consequently that C. elegans locomotes with a greater distance per undulation.

  14. 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

    2012-10-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Holden-Dye, Lindy; Walker, Robert J

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Nucleotide Excision Repair in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lans, Hannes; Vermeulen, Wim

    2011-01-01

    Nucleotide excision repair (NER) plays an essential role in many organisms across life domains to preserve and faithfully transmit DNA to the next generation. In humans, NER is essential to prevent DNA damage-induced mutation accumulation and cell death leading to cancer and aging. NER is a versatile DNA repair pathway that repairs many types of DNA damage which distort the DNA helix, such as those induced by solar UV light. A detailed molecular model of the NER pathway has emerged from in vitro and live cell experiments, particularly using model systems such as bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cell cultures. In recent years, the versatility of the nematode C. elegans to study DNA damage response (DDR) mechanisms including NER has become increasingly clear. In particular, C. elegans seems to be a convenient tool to study NER during the UV response in vivo, to analyze this process in the context of a developing and multicellular organism, and to perform genetic screening. Here, we will discuss current knowledge gained from the use of C. elegans to study NER and the response to UV-induced DNA damage. PMID:22091407

  17. Toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sese, Beke T; Grant, Alastair; Reid, Brian J

    2009-01-01

    The presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the environment has attracted much concern owing to their mutagenic and carcinogenic properties. Regulatory authorities have favored the use of biological indicators as an essential means of assessing potential toxicity of environmental pollutants. This study aimed to assess the toxicity of acenaphthene, phenanthrene, anthracene, fluoranthene, pyrene, and benzo[a]pyrene to Caenorhabditis elegans by measuring LC50 and EC50 values for growth and reproduction. The exposure to all chemicals was carried out in aqueous medium. All PAHs showed a low acute toxicity to C. elegans. There was no significant mortality in C. elegans after 24 h of exposure at PAH concentrations within (and indeed above) their respective solubility limits. Prolonged exposure (72 h) at high concentrations for acenaphthene (70,573 microg/L), phenanthrene (3758 microg/L), anthracene (1600 microg/L), fluoranthene (1955 microg/L), pyrene (1653 microg/L), and benzo[a]pyrene (80 microg/L) produced mortality. Results also showed that reproduction and growth were much more sensitive parameters of adverse response than lethality, and consequently may be more useful in assessing PAH toxicity using C. elegans. In comparison with previous studies, C. elegans was found to be approximately 2-fold less sensitive to acenaphthene, 5-fold less sensitive to phenanthrene, and 20-fold less sensitive to fluoranthene than Daphnia magna. However, the 48-h LC50 for benzo[a]pyrene (174 microg/L) reported in the present study with C. elegans was similar to that reported elsewhere for Daphnia magna (200 microg/L). Although C. elegans indicated greater sensitivity to benzo[a]pyrene than Artemia salina (174 microg/L vs. 10000 microg/L), the organism showed less sensitivity to pyrene (8 microg/L vs. 2418 microg/L), fluoranthene (40 microg/L vs. 2719 microg/L), and phenanthrene (677 microg/L vs. 4772 microg/L) than Artemia salina. Caenorhabditis elegans, while not the

  18. 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.

  19. An elegant mind: learning and memory in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ardiel, Evan L; Rankin, Catharine H

    2010-04-01

    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 predict aversive chemicals or the presence or absence of food. In each case, the neural circuit underlying the behavior has been at least partially described, and forward and reverse genetics are being used to elucidate the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. Several genes have been identified with no known role other than mediating behavior plasticity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-02-01

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

  1. Illuminating neural circuits and behaviour in Caenorhabditis elegans with optogenetics.

    PubMed

    Fang-Yen, Christopher; Alkema, Mark J; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2015-09-19

    The development of optogenetics, a family of methods for using light to control neural activity via light-sensitive proteins, has provided a powerful new set of tools for neurobiology. These techniques have been particularly fruitful for dissecting neural circuits and behaviour in the compact and transparent roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Researchers have used optogenetic reagents to manipulate numerous excitable cell types in the worm, from sensory neurons, to interneurons, to motor neurons and muscles. Here, we show how optogenetics applied to this transparent roundworm has contributed to our understanding of neural circuits.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-08-01

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

  3. Illuminating neural circuits and behaviour in Caenorhabditis elegans with optogenetics

    PubMed Central

    Fang-Yen, Christopher; Alkema, Mark J.; Samuel, Aravinthan D. T.

    2015-01-01

    The development of optogenetics, a family of methods for using light to control neural activity via light-sensitive proteins, has provided a powerful new set of tools for neurobiology. These techniques have been particularly fruitful for dissecting neural circuits and behaviour in the compact and transparent roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Researchers have used optogenetic reagents to manipulate numerous excitable cell types in the worm, from sensory neurons, to interneurons, to motor neurons and muscles. Here, we show how optogenetics applied to this transparent roundworm has contributed to our understanding of neural circuits. PMID:26240427

  4. Magnetosensitive neurons mediate geomagnetic orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Caenorhabditis elegans ATAD-3 modulates mitochondrial iron and heme homeostasis.

    PubMed

    van den Ecker, Daniela; Hoffmann, Michael; Müting, Gesine; Maglioni, Silvia; Herebian, Diran; Mayatepek, Ertan; Ventura, Natascia; Distelmaier, Felix

    2015-11-13

    ATAD3 (ATPase family AAA domain-containing protein 3) is a mitochondrial protein, which is essential for cell viability and organismal development. ATAD3 has been implicated in several important cellular processes such as apoptosis regulation, respiratory chain function and steroid hormone biosynthesis. Moreover, altered expression of ATAD3 has been associated with several types of cancer. However, the exact mechanisms underlying ATAD3 effects on cellular metabolism remain largely unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Caenorhabditis elegans ATAD-3 is involved in mitochondrial iron and heme homeostasis. Knockdown of atad-3 caused mitochondrial iron- and heme accumulation. This was paralleled by changes in the expression levels of several iron- and heme-regulatory genes as well as an increased heme uptake. In conclusion, our data indicate a regulatory role of C. elegans ATAD-3 in mitochondrial iron and heme metabolism.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  7. Fucoxanthin increases lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lashmanova, Ekaterina; Proshkina, Ekaterina; Zhikrivetskaya, Svetlana; Shevchenko, Oksana; Marusich, Elena; Leonov, Sergey; Melerzanov, Alex; Zhavoronkov, Alex; Moskalev, Alexey

    2015-10-01

    The pharmacological activation of stress-defense mechanisms is one of the perspective ways to increase human lifespan. The goal of the present study was to study the effects on lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans of two carotenoids: ß-carotene and fucoxanthin, which are bioactive natural substances in human diet. In addition, the effects of carotenoids on the flies survival were studied under stress conditions, including starvation, thermal stress (35°C), oxidative stress (20 mM paraquat), as well as locomotor activity, fecundity, and genes expression level. Our results demonstrated lifespan extension of flies by both carotenoids. However, the positive effects on the lifespan of C. elegans were revealed only for fucoxanthin. In presence of carotenoids decreased flies' fecundity, increased spontaneous locomotor activity and resistance to oxidative stress were detected.

  8. Noncanonical cell death in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kinet, Maxime J.; Shaham, Shai

    2014-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis. elegans has served as a fruitful setting for cell death research for over three decades. A conserved pathway of four genes, egl-1/BH3-only, ced-9/Bcl-2, ced-4/Apaf-1, and ced-3/caspase, coordinates most developmental cell deaths in C. elegans. However, other cell death forms, programmed and pathological, have also been described in this animal. Some of these share morphological and/or molecular similarities with the canonical apoptotic pathway, while others do not. Indeed, recent studies suggest the existence of an entirely novel mode of programmed developmental cell destruction that may also be conserved beyond nematodes. Here we review evidence for these noncanonical pathways. We propose that different cell death modalities can function as backup mechanisms for apoptosis, or as tailor-made programs that allow specific dying cells to be efficiently cleared from the animal. PMID:25065890

  9. 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

  10. RIC-3 phosphorylation enables dual regulation of excitation and inhibition of Caenorhabditis elegans muscle.

    PubMed

    Safdie, Gracia; Liewald, Jana F; Kagan, Sarah; Battat, Emil; Gottschalk, Alexander; Treinin, Millet

    2016-10-01

    Brain function depends on a delicate balance between excitation and inhibition. Similarly, Caenorhabditis elegans motor system function depends on a precise balance between excitation and inhibition, as C. elegans muscles receive both inhibitory, GABAergic and excitatory, cholinergic inputs from motor neurons. Here we show that phosphorylation of the ER-resident chaperone of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, RIC-3, leads to increased muscle excitability. RIC-3 phosphorylation at Ser-164 depends on opposing functions of the phosphatase calcineurin (TAX-6), and of the casein kinase II homologue KIN-10. Effects of calcineurin down-regulation and of phosphorylated RIC-3 on muscle excitability are mediated by GABAA receptor inhibition. Thus RIC-3 phosphorylation enables effects of this chaperone on GABAA receptors in addition to nAChRs. This dual effect provides coordinated regulation of excitation and inhibition and enables fine-tuning of the excitation-inhibition balance. Moreover, regulation of inhibitory GABAA signaling by calcineurin, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, enables homeostatic balancing of excitation and inhibition.

  11. RIC-3 phosphorylation enables dual regulation of excitation and inhibition of Caenorhabditis elegans muscle.

    PubMed

    Safdie, Gracia; Liewald, Jana F; Kagan, Sarah; Battat, Emil; Gottschalk, Alexander; Treinin, Millet

    2016-10-01

    Brain function depends on a delicate balance between excitation and inhibition. Similarly, Caenorhabditis elegans motor system function depends on a precise balance between excitation and inhibition, as C. elegans muscles receive both inhibitory, GABAergic and excitatory, cholinergic inputs from motor neurons. Here we show that phosphorylation of the ER-resident chaperone of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, RIC-3, leads to increased muscle excitability. RIC-3 phosphorylation at Ser-164 depends on opposing functions of the phosphatase calcineurin (TAX-6), and of the casein kinase II homologue KIN-10. Effects of calcineurin down-regulation and of phosphorylated RIC-3 on muscle excitability are mediated by GABAA receptor inhibition. Thus RIC-3 phosphorylation enables effects of this chaperone on GABAA receptors in addition to nAChRs. This dual effect provides coordinated regulation of excitation and inhibition and enables fine-tuning of the excitation-inhibition balance. Moreover, regulation of inhibitory GABAA signaling by calcineurin, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, enables homeostatic balancing of excitation and inhibition. PMID:27489343

  12. Effect of vitamin D3 on lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Messing, Jennifer A; Heuberger, Roschelle; Schisa, Jennifer A

    2013-12-01

    Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient, necessary for human health. To determine if Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) could function as an effective model to study the mechanisms of action of vitamin D, we asked if vitamin D3 affects C. elegans lifespan. Multiple factors positively impact lifespan in this system including dietary restriction and vitamin E. In addition, the C. elegans DAF-12 nuclear hormone receptor is homologous to the vitamin D receptor in humans and is therefore a candidate for a functional vitamin D receptor. It was hypothesized that vitamin D3 supplementation would increase the lifespan of C. elegans in a DAF-12-dependent manner. Dose-response curves were completed, and results indicate that exposure to 1,000 µg/ml vitamin D3 significantly increased the lifespan of wild-type worms by up to 39% (p<0.001). The daf-12 mutants exposed to 1,000 µg/ml vitamin D3 lived significantly longer than daf-12 controls exposed to 0 µg/ml (p<0.001), but among worms exposed to 1,000 µg/ml vitamin D3, wild type lived significantly longer than daf-12 (p<0.01). The data suggest that vitamin D3 can interact with multiple receptors, possibly implicating the NHR family of nuclear hormone receptors related to DAF-12. This research is the first to our knowledge to utilize C. elegans as a model to study the impact of vitamin D3 on longevity and supports the use of this model system to increase our understanding of vitamin D function at the cellular level, its role in cellular health, and its potential medicinal utility in humans.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

  14. ROS in Aging Caenorhabditis elegans: Damage or Signaling?

    PubMed Central

    Back, Patricia; Braeckman, Bart P.; Matthijssens, Filip

    2012-01-01

    Many insights into the mechanisms and signaling pathways underlying aging have resulted from research on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In this paper, we discuss the recent findings that emerged using this model organism concerning the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the aging process. The accrual of oxidative stress and damage has been the predominant mechanistic explanation for the process of aging for many years, but reviewing the recent studies in C. elegans calls this theory into question. Thus, it becomes more and more evident that ROS are not merely toxic byproducts of the oxidative metabolism. Rather it seems more likely that tightly controlled concentrations of ROS and fluctuations in redox potential are important mediators of signaling processes. We therefore discuss some theories that explain how redox signaling may be involved in aging and provide some examples of ROS functions and signaling in C. elegans metabolism. To understand the role of ROS and the redox status in physiology, stress response, development, and aging, there is a rising need for accurate and reversible in vivo detection. Therefore, we comment on some methods of ROS and redox detection with emphasis on the implementation of genetically encoded biosensors in C. elegans. PMID:22966416

  15. Enhanced Caenorhabditis elegans Locomotion in a Structured Microfluidic Environment

    PubMed Central

    Park, Sungsu; Hwang, Hyejin; Nam, Seong-Won; Martinez, Fernando; Austin, Robert H.; Ryu, William S.

    2008-01-01

    Background Behavioral studies of Caenorhabditis elegans traditionally are done on the smooth surface of agar plates, but the natural habitat of C. elegans and other nematodes is the soil, a complex and structured environment. In order to investigate how worms move in such environments, we have developed a technique to study C. elegans locomotion in microstructures fabricated from agar. Methodology/Principal Findings When placed in open, liquid-filled, microfluidic chambers containing a square array of posts, we discovered that worms are capable of a novel mode of locomotion, which combines the fast gait of swimming with the more efficient movements of crawling. When the wavelength of the worms matched the periodicity of the post array, the microstructure directed the swimming and increased the speed of C. elegans ten-fold. We found that mutants defective in mechanosensation (mec-4, mec-10) or mutants with abnormal waveforms (unc-29) did not perform this enhanced locomotion and moved much more slowly than wild-type worms in the microstructure. Conclusion/Significance These results show that the microstructure can be used as a behavioral screen for mechanosensory and uncoordinated mutants. It is likely that worms use mechanosensation in the movement and navigation through heterogeneous environments. PMID:18575618

  16. 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.

  17. Trehalose metabolism genes in Caenorhabditis elegans and filarial nematodes.

    PubMed

    Pellerone, F I; Archer, S K; Behm, C A; Grant, W N; Lacey, M J; Somerville, A C

    2003-09-30

    The sugar trehalose is claimed to be important in the physiology of nematodes where it may function in sugar transport, energy storage and protection against environmental stresses. In this study we investigated the role of trehalose metabolism in nematodes, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model, and also identified complementary DNA clones putatively encoding genes involved in trehalose pathways in filarial nematodes. In C. elegans two putative trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (tps) genes encode the enzymes that catalyse trehalose synthesis and five putative trehalase (tre) genes encode enzymes catalysing hydrolysis of the sugar. We showed by RT-PCR or Northern analysis that each of these genes is expressed as mRNA at all stages of the C. elegans life cycle. Database searches and sequencing of expressed sequence tag clones revealed that at least one tps gene and two tre genes are expressed in the filarial nematode Brugia malayi, while one tps gene and at least one tre gene were identified for Onchocerca volvulus. We used the feeding method of RNA interference in C. elegans to knock down temporarily the expression of each of the tps and tre genes. Semiquantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed that expression of each gene was silenced by RNA interference. We did not observe an obvious phenotype for any of the genes silenced individually but gas-chromatographic analysis showed >90% decline in trehalose levels when both tps genes were targeted simultaneously. This decline in trehalose content did not affect viability or development of the nematodes.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans glia modulate neuronal activity and behavior

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  2. Structural analysis of hyperperiodic DNA from Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Herrero, Fernando; Seidel, Ralf; Johnson, Steven M; Fire, Andrew; Dekker, Nynke H

    2006-01-01

    Several bioinformatics studies have identified an unexpected but remarkably prevalent approximately 10 bp periodicity of AA/TT dinucleotides (hyperperiodicity) in certain regions of the Caenorhabditis elegans genome. Although the relevant C.elegans DNA segments share certain sequence characteristics with bent DNAs from other sources (e.g. trypanosome mitochondria), the nematode sequences exhibit a much more extensive and defined hyperperiodicity. Given the presence of hyperperiodic structures in a number of critical C.elegans genes, the physical characteristics of hyperperiodic DNA are of considerable interest. In this work, we demonstrate that several hyperperiodic DNA segments from C.elegans exhibit structural anomalies using high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) and gel electrophoresis. Our quantitative analysis of AFM images reveals that hyperperiodic DNA adopts a significantly smaller mean square end-to-end distance, hence a more compact coil structure, compared with non-periodic DNA of similar length. While molecules remain capable of adopting both bent and straight (rod-like) configurations, indicating that their flexibility is still retained, examination of the local curvatures along the DNA contour length reveals that the decreased mean square end-to-end distance can be attributed to the presence of long-scale intrinsic bending in hyperperiodic DNA. Such bending is not detected in non-periodic DNA. Similar studies of shorter, nucleosome-length DNAs that survived micrococcal nuclease digestion show that sequence hyperperiodicity in short segments can likewise induce strong intrinsic bending. It appears, therefore, that regions of the C.elegans genome display a significant correlation between DNA sequence and unusual mechanical properties. PMID:16738142

  3. Formation, regulation and evolution of Caenorhabditis elegans 3'UTRs.

    PubMed

    Jan, Calvin H; Friedman, Robin C; Ruby, J Graham; Bartel, David P

    2011-01-01

    Post-transcriptional gene regulation frequently occurs through elements in mRNA 3' untranslated regions (UTRs). Although crucial roles for 3'UTR-mediated gene regulation have been found in Caenorhabditis elegans, most C. elegans genes have lacked annotated 3'UTRs. Here we describe a high-throughput method for reliable identification of polyadenylated RNA termini, and we apply this method, called poly(A)-position profiling by sequencing (3P-Seq), to determine C. elegans 3'UTRs. Compared to standard methods also recently applied to C. elegans UTRs, 3P-Seq identified 8,580 additional UTRs while excluding thousands of shorter UTR isoforms that do not seem to be authentic. Analysis of this expanded and corrected data set suggested that the high A/U content of C. elegans 3'UTRs facilitated genome compaction, because the elements specifying cleavage and polyadenylation, which are A/U rich, can more readily emerge in A/U-rich regions. Indeed, 30% of the protein-coding genes have mRNAs with alternative, partially overlapping end regions that generate another 10,480 cleavage and polyadenylation sites that had gone largely unnoticed and represent potential evolutionary intermediates of progressive UTR shortening. Moreover, a third of the convergently transcribed genes use palindromic arrangements of bidirectional elements to specify UTRs with convergent overlap, which also contributes to genome compaction by eliminating regions between genes. Although nematode 3'UTRs have median length only one-sixth that of mammalian 3'UTRs, they have twice the density of conserved microRNA sites, in part because additional types of seed-complementary sites are preferentially conserved. These findings reveal the influence of cleavage and polyadenylation on the evolution of genome architecture and provide resources for studying post-transcriptional gene regulation.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2015-08-01

    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.

  6. 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

    2015-08-01

    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. PMID:26320797

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

    PubMed

    Zetka, M

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-05

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

  10. Black tea increased survival of Caenorhabditis elegans under stress.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Li-Gui; Huang, Jian-An; Li, Juan; Yu, Peng-Hui; Xiong, Zhe; Zhang, Jian-Wei; Gong, Yu-Shun; Liu, Zhong-Hua; Chen, Jin-Hua

    2014-11-19

    The present study examined the effects of black tea (Camellia sinensis) extracts (BTE) in Caenorhabditis elegans under various abiotic stressors. Results showed BTE increased nematode resistance to osmosis, heat, and UV irradiation treatments. However, BTE could not increase nematodes' lifespan under normal culture conditions and MnCl2-induced toxicity at concentrations we used. Further studies showed that BTE decreased reactive oxygen species and up-regulated some antioxidant enzymes, including GSH-PX, and genes, such as gsh-px and sod-3. However, only a slight extension in mev-1 mutants mean lifespan was observed without significance. These results indicated that the antioxidant activity of BTE might be necessary but not sufficient to protect against aging to C. elegans. Moreover, BTE increased the mRNA level of stress-response genes such as sir-2.1 and sek-1. Our finding demonstrated BTE might increase heat and UV stress resistance in a sir.2.1-dependent manner. Taken together, BTE enhanced stress resistance with multiple mechanisms in C. elegans. PMID:25345740

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-06-29

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

  12. Serotonin control of thermotaxis memory behavior in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Li, Yinxia; Zhao, Yunli; Huang, Xu; Lin, Xingfeng; Guo, Yuling; Wang, Daoyong; Li, Chaojun; Wang, Dayong

    2013-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is as an ideal model system for the study of mechanisms underlying learning and memory. In the present study, we employed C. elegans assay system of thermotaxis memory to investigate the possible role of serotonin neurotransmitter in memory control. Our data showed that both mutations of tph-1, bas-1, and cat-4 genes, required for serotonin synthesis, and mutations of mod-5 gene, encoding a serotonin reuptake transporter, resulted in deficits in thermotaxis memory behavior. Exogenous treatment with serotonin effectively recovered the deficits in thermotaxis memory of tph-1 and bas-1 mutants to the level of wild-type N2. Neuron-specific activity assay of TPH-1 suggests that serotonin might regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior by release from the ADF sensory neurons. Ablation of ADF sensory neurons by expressing a cell-death activator gene egl-1 decreased the thermotaxis memory, whereas activation of ADF neurons by expression of a constitutively active protein kinase C homologue (pkc-1(gf)) increased the thermotaxis memory and rescued the deficits in thermotaxis memory in tph-1 mutants. Moreover, serotonin released from the ADF sensory neurons might act through the G-protein-coupled serotonin receptors of SER-4 and SER-7 to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Genetic analysis implies that serotonin might further target the insulin signaling pathway to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Thus, our results suggest the possible crucial role of serotonin and ADF sensory neurons in thermotaxis memory control in C. elegans.

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Palmisano, Nicholas J; Meléndez, Alicia

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Black tea increased survival of Caenorhabditis elegans under stress.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Li-Gui; Huang, Jian-An; Li, Juan; Yu, Peng-Hui; Xiong, Zhe; Zhang, Jian-Wei; Gong, Yu-Shun; Liu, Zhong-Hua; Chen, Jin-Hua

    2014-11-19

    The present study examined the effects of black tea (Camellia sinensis) extracts (BTE) in Caenorhabditis elegans under various abiotic stressors. Results showed BTE increased nematode resistance to osmosis, heat, and UV irradiation treatments. However, BTE could not increase nematodes' lifespan under normal culture conditions and MnCl2-induced toxicity at concentrations we used. Further studies showed that BTE decreased reactive oxygen species and up-regulated some antioxidant enzymes, including GSH-PX, and genes, such as gsh-px and sod-3. However, only a slight extension in mev-1 mutants mean lifespan was observed without significance. These results indicated that the antioxidant activity of BTE might be necessary but not sufficient to protect against aging to C. elegans. Moreover, BTE increased the mRNA level of stress-response genes such as sir-2.1 and sek-1. Our finding demonstrated BTE might increase heat and UV stress resistance in a sir.2.1-dependent manner. Taken together, BTE enhanced stress resistance with multiple mechanisms in C. elegans.

  19. Pan-neuronal imaging in roaming Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-23

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

  20. Electrotaxis of Caenorhabditis elegans in a microfluidic environment.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-21

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

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

    PubMed

    Mah, K B; Rankin, C H

    1992-11-01

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

  2. On-demand optical immobilization of Caenorhabditis elegans for high-resolution imaging and microinjection.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Hyundoo; Krajniak, Jan; Matsunaga, Yohei; Benian, Guy M; Lu, Hang

    2014-09-21

    This paper describes a novel selective immobilization technique based on optical control of the sol-gel transition of thermoreversible Pluronic gel, which provides a simple, versatile, and biocompatible approach for high-resolution imaging and microinjection of Caenorhabditis elegans.

  3. piRNAs and siRNAs collaborate in Caenorhabditis elegans genome defense

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans piRNAs promote genome surveillance by triggering siRNA-mediated silencing of nonself DNA in competition with licensing programs that support endogenous gene expression. PMID:22818087

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. A mutational analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in space.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yang; Lai, Kenneth; Cheung, Iris; Youds, Jillian; Tarailo, Maja; Tarailo, Sanja; Rose, Ann

    2006-10-10

    The International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment First Flight (ICE-First) was a project using C. elegans as a model organism to study the biological effects of short duration spaceflight (11 days in the International Space Station). As a member of the ICE-First research team, our group focused on the mutational effects of spaceflight. Several approaches were taken to measure mutational changes that occurred during the spaceflight including measurement of the integrity of poly-G/poly-C tracts, determination of the mutation frequency in the unc-22 gene, analysis of lethal mutations captured by the genetic balancer eT1(III;V), and identification of alterations in telomere length. By comparing the efficiency, sensitivity, and convenience of these methods, we deduced that the eT1 balancer system is well-suited for capturing, maintaining and recovering mutational events that occur over several generations during spaceflight. In the course of this experiment, we have extended the usefulness of the eT1 balancer system by identifying the physical breakpoints of the eT1 translocation and have developed a PCR assay to follow the eT1 chromosomes. C. elegans animals were grown in a defined liquid media during the spaceflight. This is the first analysis of genetic changes in C. elegans grown in the defined media. Although no significant difference in mutation rate was detected between spaceflight and control samples, which is not surprising given the short duration of the spaceflight, we demonstrate here the utility of worms as an integrating biological dosimeter for spaceflight. PMID:16765996

  8. Chaperone-interacting TPR proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Haslbeck, Veronika; Eckl, Julia M; Kaiser, Christoph J O; Papsdorf, Katharina; Hessling, Martin; Richter, Klaus

    2013-08-23

    The ATP-hydrolyzing molecular chaperones Hsc70/Hsp70 and Hsp90 bind a diverse set of tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR)-containing cofactors via their C-terminal peptide motifs IEEVD and MEEVD. These cochaperones contribute to substrate turnover and confer specific activities to the chaperones. Higher eukaryotic genomes encode a large number of TPR-domain-containing proteins. The human proteome contains more than 200 TPR proteins, and that of Caenorhabditis elegans, about 80. It is unknown how many of them interact with Hsc70 or Hsp90. We systematically screened the C. elegans proteome for TPR-domain-containing proteins that likely interact with Hsc70 and Hsp90 and ranked them due to their similarity with known chaperone-interacting TPRs. We find C. elegans to encode many TPR proteins, which are not present in yeast. All of these have homologs in fruit fly or humans. Highly ranking uncharacterized open reading frames C33H5.8, C34B2.5 and ZK370.8 may encode weakly conserved homologs of the human proteins RPAP3, TTC1 and TOM70. C34B2.5 and ZK370.8 bind both Hsc70 and Hsp90 with low micromolar affinities. Mutation of amino acids involved in EEVD binding disrupts the interaction. In vivo, ZK370.8 is localized to mitochondria in tissues with known chaperone requirements, while C34B2.5 colocalizes with Hsc70 in intestinal cells. The highest-ranking open reading frame with non-conserved EEVD-interacting residues, F52H3.5, did not show any binding to Hsc70 or Hsp90, suggesting that only about 15 of the TPR-domain-containing proteins in C. elegans interact with chaperones, while the many others may have evolved to bind other ligands.

  9. A mutational analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in space.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yang; Lai, Kenneth; Cheung, Iris; Youds, Jillian; Tarailo, Maja; Tarailo, Sanja; Rose, Ann

    2006-10-10

    The International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment First Flight (ICE-First) was a project using C. elegans as a model organism to study the biological effects of short duration spaceflight (11 days in the International Space Station). As a member of the ICE-First research team, our group focused on the mutational effects of spaceflight. Several approaches were taken to measure mutational changes that occurred during the spaceflight including measurement of the integrity of poly-G/poly-C tracts, determination of the mutation frequency in the unc-22 gene, analysis of lethal mutations captured by the genetic balancer eT1(III;V), and identification of alterations in telomere length. By comparing the efficiency, sensitivity, and convenience of these methods, we deduced that the eT1 balancer system is well-suited for capturing, maintaining and recovering mutational events that occur over several generations during spaceflight. In the course of this experiment, we have extended the usefulness of the eT1 balancer system by identifying the physical breakpoints of the eT1 translocation and have developed a PCR assay to follow the eT1 chromosomes. C. elegans animals were grown in a defined liquid media during the spaceflight. This is the first analysis of genetic changes in C. elegans grown in the defined media. Although no significant difference in mutation rate was detected between spaceflight and control samples, which is not surprising given the short duration of the spaceflight, we demonstrate here the utility of worms as an integrating biological dosimeter for spaceflight.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Gene silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans by transitive RNA interference

    PubMed Central

    ALDER, MATTHEW N.; DAMES, SHALE; GAUDET, JEFFREY; MANGO, SUSAN E.

    2003-01-01

    When a cell is exposed to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), mRNA from the homologous gene is selectively degraded by a process called RNA interference (RNAi). Here, we provide evidence that dsRNA is amplified in Caenorhabditis elegans to ensure a robust RNAi response. Our data suggest a model in which mRNA targeted by RNAi functions as a template for 5′ to 3′ synthesis of new dsRNA (termed transitive RNAi). Strikingly, the effect is nonautonomous: dsRNA targeted to a gene expressed in one cell type can lead to transitive RNAi-mediated silencing of a second gene expressed in a distinct cell type. These data suggest dsRNA synthesized in vivo can mediate systemic RNAi. PMID:12554873

  15. 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

  16. Longevity and heat stress regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Manuel J

    2003-01-01

    Aging is the most complex phenotype for a multicellular organism. This process is now being under severe investigation. Here I will review the different processes known to affect longevity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and their relationship with thermotolerance. All the longevity mutants that have been tested so far show an increase in stress resistance. In particular, long-lived mutants affected in the IGF/insulin pathway and those affected in the germ-line formation are both thermotolerant and long-lived. The mechanisms that activate the stress resistance are now been understood including the DAF-16 fork head transcription factor transport to the nucleus and the activation of genes involved in the defense to stress. The high correlation between stress resistance and longevity suggests that the same molecular activities that defend the cell from stress can defend the cell from the damage caused by aging.

  17. Isolation and Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan assay of flavonoids from onion.

    PubMed

    Xue, You-Lin; Ahiko, Tomoyuki; Miyakawa, Takuya; Amino, Hisako; Hu, Fangyu; Furihata, Kazuo; Kita, Kiyoshi; Shirasawa, Takuji; Sawano, Yoriko; Tanokura, Masaru

    2011-06-01

    The main flavonoids were isolated from three selected onion cultivars. Three phenolic compounds were obtained by reverse-phase HPLC, and their structures were elucidated by multiple NMR measurements. There were two known compounds, quercetin and quercetin 3'-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (Q3'G), and one novel compound, quercetin 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside-(4→1)-β-d-glucopyranoside (Q3M), which was identified in onion for the first time. These flavonoids were found to be more abundant in the onion peel than in the flesh or core. Their antioxidative activities were tested using the DPPH method, and their antiaging activities were evaluated using a Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan assay. No direct correlation was found between antioxidative activity and antiaging activity. Quercetin showed the highest antioxidative activity, whereas Q3M showed the strongest antiaging activity among these flavonoids, which might be related to its high hydrophilicity. PMID:21563825

  18. Optogenetic manipulation of neural activity in freely moving Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Leifer, Andrew M; Fang-Yen, Christopher; Gershow, Marc; Alkema, Mark J; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2011-01-01

    We present an optogenetic illumination system capable of real-time light delivery with high spatial resolution to specified targets in freely moving Caenorhabditis elegans. A tracking microscope records the motion of an unrestrained worm expressing Channelrhodopsin-2 or Halorhodopsin/NpHR in specific cell types. Image processing software analyzes the worm’s position within each video frame, rapidly estimates the locations of targeted cells, and instructs a digital micromirror device to illuminate targeted cells with laser light of the appropriate wavelengths to stimulate or inhibit activity. Since each cell in an unrestrained worm is a rapidly moving target, our system operates at high speed (~50 frames per second) to provide high spatial resolution (~30 µm). To demonstrate the accuracy, flexibility, and utility of our system, we present optogenetic analyses of the worm motor circuit, egg-laying circuit, and mechanosensory circuits that were not possible with previous methods. PMID:21240279

  19. A size threshold governs Caenorhabditis elegans developmental progression.

    PubMed

    Uppaluri, Sravanti; Brangwynne, Clifford P

    2015-08-22

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

  20. Paternal RNA contributions in the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote

    PubMed Central

    Stoeckius, Marlon; Grün, Dominic; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2014-01-01

    Development of the early embryo is thought to be mainly driven by maternal gene products and post-transcriptional gene regulation. Here, we used metabolic labeling to show that RNA can be transferred by sperm into the oocyte upon fertilization. To identify genes with paternal expression in the embryo, we performed crosses of males and females from divergent Caenorhabditis elegans strains. RNA sequencing of mRNAs and small RNAs in the 1-cell hybrid embryo revealed that about one hundred sixty paternal mRNAs are reproducibly expressed in the embryo and that about half of all assayed endogenous siRNAs and piRNAs are also of paternal origin. Together, our results suggest an unexplored paternal contribution to early development. PMID:24894551

  1. A size threshold governs Caenorhabditis elegans developmental progression

    PubMed Central

    Uppaluri, Sravanti; Brangwynne, Clifford P.

    2015-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Neural and genetic degeneracy underlies Caenorhabditis elegans feeding behavior

    PubMed Central

    Trojanowski, Nicholas F.; Padovan-Merhar, Olivia; Fang-Yen, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Degenerate networks, in which structurally distinct elements can perform the same function or yield the same output, are ubiquitous in biology. Degeneracy contributes to the robustness and adaptability of networks in varied environmental and evolutionary contexts. However, how degenerate neural networks regulate behavior in vivo is poorly understood, especially at the genetic level. Here, we identify degenerate neural and genetic mechanisms that underlie excitation of the pharynx (feeding organ) in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using cell-specific optogenetic excitation and inhibition. We show that the pharyngeal neurons MC, M2, M4, and I1 form multiple direct and indirect excitatory pathways in a robust network for control of pharyngeal pumping. I1 excites pumping via MC and M2 in a state-dependent manner. We identify nicotinic and muscarinic receptors through which the pharyngeal network regulates feeding rate. These results identify two different mechanisms by which degeneracy is manifest in a neural circuit in vivo. PMID:24872529

  6. Neural mechanisms for evaluating environmental variability in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Calhoun, Adam J.; Tong, Ada; Pokala, Navin; Fitzpatrick, James A. J.; Sharpee, Tatyana O.; Chalasani, Sreekanth H.

    2015-01-01

    Summary The ability to evaluate variability in the environment is vital for making optimal behavioral decisions. Here we show that Caenorhabditis elegans evaluates variability in its food environment and then modifies its future behavior accordingly. We derived a behavioral model that reveals a critical period over which information about the food environment is acquired and predicts future search behavior. We identified a pair of high-threshold sensory neurons that encode variability in food concentration and downstream dopamine-dependent circuitry that generates appropriate search behavior upon removal from food. Further, we show that CREB is required in a subset of interneurons and determines the timescale over which the variability is integrated. Interestingly, the variability circuit is a subset of a larger circuit driving search behavior, showing that learning directly modifies the very same neurons driving behavior. Our study reveals how a neural circuit decodes environmental variability to generate contextually appropriate decisions. PMID:25864633

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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...

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. From Modes to Movement in the Behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, Greg J.; Johnson-Kerner, Bethany; Bialek, William; Ryu, William S.

    2010-01-01

    Organisms move through the world by changing their shape, and here we explore the mapping from shape space to movements in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as it crawls on an agar plate. We characterize the statistics of the trajectories through the correlation functions of the orientation angular velocity, orientation angle and the mean-squared displacement, and we find that the loss of orientational memory has significant contributions from both abrupt, large amplitude turning events and the continuous dynamics between these events. Further, we discover long-time persistence of orientational memory in the intervals between abrupt turns. Building on recent work demonstrating that C. elegans movements are restricted to a low-dimensional shape space, we construct a map from the dynamics in this shape space to the trajectory of the worm along the agar. We use this connection to illustrate that changes in the continuous dynamics reveal subtle differences in movement strategy that occur among mutants defective in two classes of dopamine receptors. PMID:21103370

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  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. Anabolic function of phenylalanine hydroxylase in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  19. Proteomic identification of germline proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Quantitative classification and natural clustering of Caenorhabditis elegans behavioral phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Geng, Wei; Cosman, Pamela; Baek, Joong-Hwan; Berry, Charles C; Schafer, William R

    2003-11-01

    Genetic analysis of nervous system function relies on the rigorous description of behavioral phenotypes. However, standard methods for classifying the behavioral patterns of mutant Caenorhabditis elegans rely on human observation and are therefore subjective and imprecise. Here we describe the application of machine learning to quantitatively define and classify the behavioral patterns of C. elegans nervous system mutants. We have used an automated tracking and image processing system to obtain measurements of a wide range of morphological and behavioral features from recordings of representative mutant types. Using principal component analysis, we represented the behavioral patterns of eight mutant types as data clouds distributed in multidimensional feature space. Cluster analysis using the k-means algorithm made it possible to quantitatively assess the relative similarities between different behavioral phenotypes and to identify natural phenotypic clusters among the data. Since the patterns of phenotypic similarity identified in this study closely paralleled the functional similarities of the mutant gene products, the complex phenotypic signatures obtained from these image data appeared to represent an effective diagnostic of the mutants' underlying molecular defects.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  2. Meiotic Recombination, Noncoding DNA and Genomic Organization in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, T. M.; Kohara, Y.; Coulson, A.; Hekimi, S.

    1995-01-01

    The genetic map of each Caenorhabditis elegans chromosome has a central gene cluster (less pronounced on the X chromosome) that contains most of the mutationally defined genes. Many linkage group termini also have clusters, though involving fewer loci. We examine the factors shaping the genetic map by analyzing the rate of recombination and gene density across the genome using the positions of cloned genes and random cDNA clones from the physical map. Each chromosome has a central gene-dense region (more diffuse on the X) with discrete boundaries, flanked by gene-poor regions. Only autosomes have reduced rates of recombination in these gene-dense regions. Cluster boundaries appear discrete also by recombination rate, and the boundaries defined by recombination rate and gene density mostly, but not always, coincide. Terminal clusters have greater gene densities than the adjoining arm but similar recombination rates. Thus, unlike in other species, most exchange in C. elegans occurs in gene-poor regions. The recombination rate across each cluster is constant and similar; and cluster size and gene number per chromosome are independent of the physical size of chromosomes. We propose a model of how this genome organization arose. PMID:8536965

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  5. Manganese Disturbs Metal and Protein Homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Angeli, Suzanne; Barhydt, Tracy; Jacobs, Ross; Killilea, David W.; Lithgow, Gordon J.; Andersen, Julie K.

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a debilitating motor and cognitive neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no cure. While aging is the major risk factor for developing PD, clear environmental risks have also been identified. Environmental exposure to the metal manganese (Mn) is a prominent risk factor for developing PD and occupational exposure to high levels of Mn can cause a syndrome known as manganism, which has symptoms that closely resemble PD. In this study, we developed a model of manganism in the environmentally tractable nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that, in addition to previously described modes of Mn toxicity, which primarily include mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, Mn exposure also significantly antagonizes protein homeostasis, another key pathological feature associated with PD and many age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Mn treatment activates the ER unfolded protein response, severely exacerbates toxicity in a disease model of protein misfolding, and alters aggregate solubility. Further, aged animals, which have previously been shown to exhibit decreased protein homeostasis, are particularly susceptible to Mn toxicity when compared to young animals, indicating the aging process sensitizes animals to metal toxicity. Mn exposure also significantly alters iron (Fe) and calcium (Ca) homeostasis, which are important for mitochondrial and ER health and which may further compound toxicity. These finding indicate that modeling manganism in C. elegans can provide a useful platform for identifying therapeutic interventions for ER stress, proteotoxicity, and age-dependent susceptibilities, key pathological features of PD and other related neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25057947

  6. Characterizing temporal patterns in the swimming activity of Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Yeontaek; Jeon, Wonju; Kang, Seung-Ho; Lee, Sang-Hee; Chon, Tae-Soo

    2012-06-01

    The locomotion behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans has been studied extensively to understand the respective roles of neural control and biomechanics as well as the interaction between them. In the present study, we suggest a new approach to characterize the temporal patterns in the swimming behavior of the organism. The approach is based on the branching length similarity (BLS) entropy defined on a simple branching network consisting of a single node and branches. The organism's swimming activity is recorded using a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera for 3 h at a rate of 4 frames per second. In each frame, we place 13 points as nodes, those points being distributed at equal intervals along the organism's length. Thus, the organism is represented by 13 nodes and 12 edges between nodes. By using the nodes and edges, we construct two simple networks. One is formed by connecting the center point to all other points, and the other is generated from the angles between edges. The BLS entropy values are calculated as S L for the former network and S θ for the latter. We investigate the distributions of the S L and the S θ values in the phase space of S L — S θ and compare those with the values obtained from a simulated C. elegans generated by using randomly-moving chained particles along a certain angle. The comparison revealed distinctive features of the movement patterns of C. elegans during swimming activity. In addition, we briefly discuss the application of our method to bio-monitoring systems to capture behavioral changes of test organisms before and after chemical treatment at low concentrations.

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

    PubMed

    Jeon, Hoon; Cha, Dong Seok

    2016-05-01

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

  8. Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-03

    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.

  9. Polyamine-independent Expression of Caenorhabditis elegans Antizyme.

    PubMed

    Stegehake, Dirk; Kurosinski, Marc-André; Schürmann, Sabine; Daniel, Jens; Lüersen, Kai; Liebau, Eva

    2015-07-17

    Degradation of ornithine decarboxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of polyamine biosynthesis, is promoted by the protein antizyme. Expression of antizyme is positively regulated by rising polyamine concentrations that induce a +1 translational frameshift required for production of the full-length protein. Antizyme itself is negatively regulated by the antizyme inhibitor. In our study, the regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans antizyme was investigated, and the antizyme inhibitor was identified. By applying a novel GFP-based method to monitor antizyme frameshifting in vivo, we show that the induction of translational frameshifting also occurs under stressful conditions. Interestingly, during starvation, the initiation of frameshifting was independent of polyamine concentrations. Because frameshifting was also prevalent in a polyamine auxotroph double mutant, a polyamine-independent regulation of antizyme frameshifting is suggested. Polyamine-independent induction of antizyme expression was found to be negatively regulated by the peptide transporter PEPT-1, as well as the target of rapamycin, but not by the daf-2 insulin signaling pathway. Stress-dependent expression of C. elegans antizyme occurred morely slowly than expression in response to increased polyamine levels, pointing to a more general reaction to unfavorable conditions and a diversion away from proliferation and reproduction toward conservation of energy. Interestingly, antizyme expression was found to drastically increase in aging individuals in a postreproductive manner. Although knockdown of antizyme did not affect the lifespan of C. elegans, knockdown of the antizyme inhibitor led to a significant reduction in lifespan. This is most likely caused by an increase in antizyme-mediated degradation of ornithine decarboxylase-1 and a resulting reduction in cellular polyamine levels.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Cell tracking in live Caenorhabditis elegans embryos via third harmonic generation imaging microscopy measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tserevelakis, George J.; Filippidis, George; Megalou, Evgenia V.; Fotakis, Costas; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2011-04-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the potential of employing third harmonic generation (THG) imaging microscopy measurements for cell tracking studies in live Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) embryos. A 1028-nm femtosecond laser was used for the excitation of unstained C. elegans samples. Different C. elegans embryonic stages (from two-cell to threefold) were imaged. Live biological specimens were irradiated for prolonged periods of time (up to 7 h), testifying to the nondestructive nature of this nonlinear imaging technique. Thus, THG image contrast modality is a powerful diagnostic tool for probing in vivo cell division during early embryogenesis.

  14. 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.

  15. Caenorhabditis elegans Egg-Laying Detection and Behavior Study Using Image Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, Wei; Cosman, Pamela; Palm, Megan; Schafer, William R.

    2005-12-01

    Egg laying is an important phase of the life cycle of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Previous studies examined egg-laying events manually. This paper presents a method for automatic detection of egg-laying onset using deformable template matching and other morphological image analysis techniques. Some behavioral changes surrounding egg-laying events are also studied. The results demonstrate that the computer vision tools and the algorithm developed here can be effectively used to study C. elegans egg-laying behaviors. The algorithm developed is an essential part of a machine-vision system for C. elegans tracking and behavioral analysis.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-12

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

  18. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Greer, Eric L; Maures, Travis J; Ucar, Duygu; Hauswirth, Anna G; Mancini, Elena; Lim, Jana P; Benayoun, Bérénice A; Shi, Yang; Brunet, Anne

    2011-10-19

    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 descendants. The histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) complex, composed of ASH-2, WDR-5 and the histone methyltransferase SET-2, regulates Caenorhabditis 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 descendants 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 descendants. 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 descendants.

  19. Olfaction Modulates Reproductive Plasticity Through Neuroendocrine Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sowa, Jessica N.; Mutlu, Ayse Sena; Xia, Fan; Wang, Meng C.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Reproductive plasticity describes the ability of organisms to adjust parameters such as volume, rate, or timing of progeny production in order to maximize successful reproduction under different environmental conditions. Reproductive plasticity in response to environmental variation has been observed in a wide range of animals [1-4]; however, the mechanisms involved in translating environmental cues into reproductive outcomes remain unknown. Here we show that olfaction modulates reproductive timing and senescence through neuroendocrine signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans. On their preferred diet, worms demonstrate an increased rate of reproduction and an early onset of reproductive aging. Perception of the preferred diet's odor by AWB olfactory neurons elicits these adjustments by increasing germline proliferation, and optogenetic stimulation of AWB neurons is sufficient to accelerate reproductive timing in the absence of dietary inputs. Furthermore, AWB neurons act through neuropeptide signaling to regulate reproductive rate and senescence. These findings reveal a neuroendocrine nexus linking olfactory sensation and reproduction in response to environmental variation, and indicate the significance of olfaction in the regulation of reproductive decline during aging. PMID:26279229

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-15

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

  2. 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

  3. The dynamics of replication licensing in live Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    PubMed

    Sonneville, Remi; Querenet, Matthieu; Craig, Ashley; Gartner, Anton; Blow, J Julian

    2012-01-23

    Accurate DNA replication requires proper regulation of replication licensing, which entails loading MCM-2-7 onto replication origins. In this paper, we provide the first comprehensive view of replication licensing in vivo, using video microscopy of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. As expected, MCM-2-7 loading in late M phase depended on the prereplicative complex (pre-RC) proteins: origin recognition complex (ORC), CDC-6, and CDT-1. However, many features we observed have not been described before: GFP-ORC-1 bound chromatin independently of ORC-2-5, and CDC-6 bound chromatin independently of ORC, whereas CDT-1 and MCM-2-7 DNA binding was interdependent. MCM-3 chromatin loading was irreversible, but CDC-6 and ORC turned over rapidly, consistent with ORC/CDC-6 loading multiple MCM-2-7 complexes. MCM-2-7 chromatin loading further reduced ORC and CDC-6 DNA binding. This dynamic behavior creates a feedback loop allowing ORC/CDC-6 to repeatedly load MCM-2-7 and distribute licensed origins along chromosomal DNA. During S phase, ORC and CDC-6 were excluded from nuclei, and DNA was overreplicated in export-defective cells. Thus, nucleocytoplasmic compartmentalization of licensing factors ensures that DNA replication occurs only once. PMID:22249291

  4. Natural Variation and Copulatory Plug Formation in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hodgkin, J.; Doniach, T.

    1997-01-01

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

  5. Choline Acetyltransferase-Deficient Mutants of the Nematode CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    PubMed Central

    Rand, James B.; Russell, Richard L.

    1984-01-01

    We have identified five independent allelic mutations, defining the gene cha-1, that result in decreased choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) activity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Four of the mutant alleles, when homozygous, lead to ChAT reductions of>98%, as well as recessive phenotypes of uncoordinated behavior, small size, slow growth and resistance to cholinesterase inhibitors. Animals homozygous for the fifth allele retain approximately 10% of the wild-type enzyme level; purified enzyme from this mutant has altered Km values for both choline and acetyl-CoA and is more thermolabile than the wild-type enzyme. These qualitative alterations, together with gene dosage data, argue that cha-1 is the structural gene for ChAT. cha-1 has been mapped to the left arm of linkage group IV and is within 0.02 map unit of the gene unc-17, mutant alleles of which lead to all of the phenotypes of cha-1 mutants except for the ChAT deficiency. Extensive complementation studies of cha-1 and unc-17 alleles reveal a complex complementation pattern, suggesting that both loci may be part of a single complex gene. PMID:6698395

  6. Genes Affecting Sensitivity to Serotonin in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Schafer, W. R.; Sanchez, B. M.; Kenyon, C. J.

    1996-01-01

    Regulating the response of a postsynaptic cell to neurotransmitter is an important mechanism for controlling synaptic strength, a process critical to learning. We have begun to define and characterize genes that may control sensitivity to the neurotransmitter serotonin in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by identifying serotonin-hypersensitive mutants. We reported previously that mutations in the gene unc-2, which encodes a putative calcium channel subunit, result in hypersensitivity to serotonin. Here we report that mutants defective in the unc-36 gene, which encodes a homologue of a calcium channel auxiliary subunit, are also serotonin-hypersensitive. Moreover, the unc-36 gene appears to be required in the same cells as unc-2 for control of the same behaviors. Mutations in several other genes, including unc-8, unc-10, unc-20, unc-35, unc-75, unc-77, and snt-1 also result in hypersensitivity to serotonin. Several of these mutations have previously been shown to confer resistance to acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, suggesting that they may affect acetylcholine release. Moreover, we found that mutations that decrease acetylcholine synthesis cause defective egg-laying and serotonin hypersensitivity. Thus, acetylcholine appears to negatively regulate the response to serotonin and may participate in the process of serotonin desensitization. PMID:8807295

  7. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 Kills Caenorhabditis elegans by Cyanide Poisoning

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Larry A.; Manoil, Colin

    2001-01-01

    In this report we describe experiments to investigate a simple virulence model in which Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 rapidly paralyzes and kills the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Our results imply that hydrogen cyanide is the sole or primary toxic factor produced by P. aeruginosa that is responsible for killing of the nematode. Four lines of evidence support this conclusion. First, a transposon insertion mutation in a gene encoding a subunit of hydrogen cyanide synthase (hcnC) eliminated nematode killing. Second, the 17 avirulent mutants examined all exhibited reduced cyanide synthesis, and the residual production levels correlated with killing efficiency. Third, exposure to exogenous cyanide alone at levels comparable to the level produced by PAO1 killed nematodes with kinetics similar to those observed with bacteria. The killing was not enhanced if hcnC mutant bacteria were present during cyanide exposure. And fourth, a nematode mutant (egl-9) resistant to P. aeruginosa was also resistant to killing by exogenous cyanide in the absence of bacteria. A model for nematode killing based on inhibition of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase is presented. The action of cyanide helps account for the unusually broad host range of virulence of P. aeruginosa and may contribute to the pathogenesis in opportunistic human infections due to the bacterium. PMID:11591663

  8. UNC-108/Rab2 Regulates Postendocytic Trafficking in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chun, Denise K.; McEwen, Jason M.; Burbea, Michelle

    2008-01-01

    After endocytosis, membrane proteins are often sorted between two alternative pathways: a recycling pathway and a degradation pathway. Relatively little is known about how trafficking through these alternative pathways is differentially regulated. Here, we identify UNC-108/Rab2 as a regulator of postendocytic trafficking in both neurons and coelomocytes. Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans Rab2 gene unc-108, caused the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged glutamate receptor GLR-1 (GLR-1::GFP) to accumulate in the ventral cord and in neuronal cell bodies. In neuronal cell bodies of unc-108/Rab2 mutants, GLR-1::GFP was found in tubulovesicular structures that colocalized with markers for early and recycling endosomes, including Syntaxin-13 and Rab8. GFP-tagged Syntaxin-13 also accumulated in the ventral cord of unc-108/Rab2 mutants. UNC-108/Rab2 was not required for ubiquitin-mediated sorting of GLR-1::GFP into the multivesicular body (MVB) degradation pathway. Mutations disrupting the MVB pathway and unc-108/Rab2 mutations had additive effects on GLR-1::GFP levels in the ventral cord. In coelomocytes, postendocytic trafficking of the marker Texas Red-bovine serum albumin was delayed. These results demonstrate that UNC-108/Rab2 regulates postendocytic trafficking, most likely at the level of early or recycling endosomes, and that UNC-108/Rab2 and the MVB pathway define alternative postendocytic trafficking mechanisms that operate in parallel. These results define a new function for Rab2 in protein trafficking. PMID:18434599

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1995-01-01

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

  11. Antagonistic sensory cues generate gustatory plasticity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Staufen Negatively Modulates MicroRNA Activity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  16. MADD-4/Punctin and Neurexin Organize C. elegans GABAergic Postsynapses through Neuroligin.

    PubMed

    Maro, Géraldine S; Gao, Shangbang; Olechwier, Agnieszka M; Hung, Wesley L; Liu, Michael; Özkan, Engin; Zhen, Mei; Shen, Kang

    2015-06-17

    At synapses, the presynaptic release machinery is precisely juxtaposed to the postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. We studied the molecular mechanisms underlying this exquisite alignment at the C. elegans inhibitory synapses. We found that the sole C. elegans neuroligin homolog, NLG-1, localizes specifically at GABAergic postsynapses and is required for clustering the GABA(A) receptor UNC-49. Two presynaptic factors, Punctin/MADD-4, an ADAMTS-like extracellular protein, and neurexin/NRX-1, act partially redundantly to recruit NLG-1 to synapses. In the absence of both MADD-4 and NRX-1, NLG-1 and GABA(A) receptors fail to cluster, and GABAergic synaptic transmission is severely compromised. Biochemically, we detect an interaction between MADD-4 and NLG-1, as well as between MADD-4 and NRX-1. Interestingly, the presence of NRX-1 potentiates binding between Punctin/MADD-4 and NLG-1, suggestive of a tripartite receptor ligand complex. We propose that presynaptic terminals induce postsynaptic receptor clustering through the action of both secreted ECM proteins and trans-synaptic adhesion complexes.

  17. MADD-4/Punctin and Neurexin Organize C. elegans GABAergic Postsynapses through Neuroligin

    PubMed Central

    Maro, Géraldine S.; Gao, Shangbang; Olechwier, Agnieszka M.; Hung, Wesley L.; Liu, Michael; Özkan, Engin

    2015-01-01

    At synapses, the presynaptic release machinery is precisely juxtaposed to the postsynaptic neurotransmitter receptors. We studied the molecular mechanisms underlying this exquisite alignment at the C. elegans inhibitory synapses. We found that the sole C. elegans neuroligin homologue, NLG-1, localizes specifically at GABAergic postsynapses and is required for clustering the GABAA receptor UNC-49. Two presynaptic factors, Punctin/MADD-4, an ADAMTS-like extracellular protein, and Neurexin/NRX-1, act partially redundantly to recruit NLG-1 to synapses. In the absence of both MADD-4 and NRX-1, NLG-1 and GABAA receptors fail to cluster, and GABAergic synaptic transmission is severely compromised. Biochemically, we detect an interaction between MADD-4 and NLG-1, as well as between MADD-4 and NRX-1. Interestingly, the presence of NRX-1 potentiates binding between Punctin/MADD-4 and NLG-1, suggestive of a tripartite receptor ligand complex. We propose that presynaptic terminals induce postsynaptic receptor clustering through the action of both secreted ECM proteins and trans-synaptic adhesion complexes. PMID:26028574

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to study renal development and disease: sexy cilia.

    PubMed

    Barr, Maureen M

    2005-02-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has no kidney per se, yet "the worm" has proved to be an excellent model to study renal-related issues, including tubulogenesis of the excretory canal, membrane transport and ion channel function, and human genetic diseases including autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The goal of this review is to explain how C. elegans has provided insight into cilia development, cilia function, and human cystic kidney diseases.

  19. A conserved checkpoint monitors meiotic chromosome synapsis inCaenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Bhalla, Needhi; Dernburg, Abby F.

    2005-07-14

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

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

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sandeep; Dietrich, Nicholas; Kornfeld, Kerry

    2016-02-01

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

  1. MicroRNA Predictors of Longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wadsworth, W.G.

    1989-01-01

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

  3. Curcumin rescues Caenorhabditis elegans from a Burkholderia pseudomallei infection

    PubMed Central

    Eng, Su-Anne; Nathan, Sheila

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Caenorhabditis elegans spermatozoan locomotion: amoeboid movement with almost no actin

    PubMed Central

    1982-01-01

    The pseudopods of Caenorhabditis elegans spermatozoa move actively causing some cells to translocate when the sperm are dissected into a low osmotic strength buffered salts solution. On time-lapse video tapes, pseudopodial projections can be seen moving at 20-45 micrometers/min from the tip to the base of the pseudopod. This movement occurs whether or not the cell is attached to a substrate. Translocation of the cell is dependent on the substrate. Some spermatozoa translocate on acid-washed glass, but a better substrate is prepared by drying an extract of Ascaris uteri (the normal site of nematode sperm motility) onto glass slides. On this substrate more than half the spermatozoa translocate at a velocity (21 micrometers/min) similar to that observed in vivo. Translocating cells attach to the substrate by their pseudopodial projections. They always move toward the pseudopod; changes in direction are caused by changes in pseudopod shape that determine points of detachment and reattachment of the cell to the substrate. Actin comprises less than 0.02% of the proteins in sperm, and myosin is undetectable. No microfilaments are found in the sperm. Immunohistochemistry shows that some actin is localized in patches in the pseudopod. The movement of spermatozoa is unaffected by cytochalasins, however, so there is no evidence that actin participates in locomotion. Fertilization-defective mutants in genes fer-2, fer-4, and fer-6 produce spermatozoa with defective pseudopodial projections, and these spermatozoa are largely immotile. Mutants in the spermatozoa do not translocate. Thus pseudopod movement is correlated with the presence of normal projections. Twelve mutants with defective muscles have spermatozoa with normal movement, so these genes do not specify products needed for both muscle and nonmuscle cell motility. PMID:7199049

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2002-01-01

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

  8. On-demand optical immobilization of Caenorhabditis elegans for high-resolution imaging and microinjection

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Hyundoo; Krajniak, Jan; Matsunaga, Yohei; Benian, Guy M.

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a novel selected immobilization technique based on optical control of the sol-gel transition of thermoreversible Pluronic gel, which provides a simple, versatile, and biocompatible approach for high-resolution imaging and microinjection of Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:25056343

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Shijing; Ali, Muhammad; Xie, Li

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Comparative Functional Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster Proteomes

    PubMed Central

    Schrimpf, Sabine P; Weiss, Manuel; Reiter, Lukas; Ahrens, Christian H; Jovanovic, Marko; Malmström, Johan; Brunner, Erich; Mohanty, Sonali; Lercher, Martin J; Hunziker, Peter E; Aebersold, Ruedi; von Mering, Christian; Hengartner, Michael O

    2009-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a popular model system in genetics, not least because a majority of human disease genes are conserved in C. elegans. To generate a comprehensive inventory of its expressed proteome, we performed extensive shotgun proteomics and identified more than half of all predicted C. elegans proteins. This allowed us to confirm and extend genome annotations, characterize the role of operons in C. elegans, and semiquantitatively infer abundance levels for thousands of proteins. Furthermore, for the first time to our knowledge, we were able to compare two animal proteomes (C. elegans and Drosophila melanogaster). We found that the abundances of orthologous proteins in metazoans correlate remarkably well, better than protein abundance versus transcript abundance within each organism or transcript abundances across organisms; this suggests that changes in transcript abundance may have been partially offset during evolution by opposing changes in protein abundance. PMID:19260763

  14. Engineering Recombinant Orsay Virus Directly in the Metazoan Host Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Hongbing; Franz, Carl J.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The recent identification of Orsay virus, the first virus that is capable of naturally infecting Caenorhabditis elegans, provides a unique opportunity to explore host-virus interaction studies in this invaluable model organism. A key feature of this system is the robust genetic tractability of the host, C. elegans, which would ideally be complemented by the ability to genetically manipulate Orsay virus in parallel. To this end, we developed a plasmid-based reverse genetics system for Orsay virus by creating transgenic C. elegans strains harboring Orsay virus cDNAs. Both wild-type and mutant Orsay viruses, including a FLAG epitope-tagged recombinant Orsay virus, were generated by use of the reverse genetics system. This is the first plasmid-based virus reverse genetics system in the metazoan C. elegans. The Orsay virus reverse genetics we established will serve as a fundamental tool in host-virus interaction studies in the model organism C. elegans. IMPORTANCE To date, Orsay virus is the first and the only identified virus capable of naturally infecting Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans is a simple multicellular model organism that mimics many fundamental features of human biology and has been used to define many biological properties conserved through evolution. Thus, the Orsay virus-C. elegans infection system provides a unique opportunity to study host-virus interactions. In order to take maximal advantage of this system, the ability to genetically engineer mutant forms of Orsay virus would be highly desirable. Most efforts to engineer viruses have been done with cultured cells. Here we describe the creation of mutant viruses directly in the multicellular organism C. elegans without the use of cell culture. We engineered a virus expressing a genetically tagged protein that could be detected in C. elegans. This provides proof of concept for modifying Orsay virus, which will greatly facilitate studies in this experimental system. PMID:25078701

  15. 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.

  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. A cellular and regulatory map of the GABAergic nervous system of C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Gendrel, Marie; Atlas, Emily G; Hobert, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmitter maps are important complements to anatomical maps and represent an invaluable resource to understand nervous system function and development. We report here a comprehensive map of neurons in the C. elegans nervous system that contain the neurotransmitter GABA, revealing twice as many GABA-positive neuron classes as previously reported. We define previously unknown glia-like cells that take up GABA, as well as 'GABA uptake neurons' which do not synthesize GABA but take it up from the extracellular environment, and we map the expression of previously uncharacterized ionotropic GABA receptors. We use the map of GABA-positive neurons for a comprehensive analysis of transcriptional regulators that define the GABA phenotype. We synthesize our findings of specification of GABAergic neurons with previous reports on the specification of glutamatergic and cholinergic neurons into a nervous system-wide regulatory map which defines neurotransmitter specification mechanisms for more than half of all neuron classes in C. elegans. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17686.001 PMID:27740909

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Genetic and environmental conditions that increase longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans decrease metabolic rate.

    PubMed

    Van Voorhies, W A; Ward, S

    1999-09-28

    Mutations that increase the longevity of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans could define genes involved in a process specific for aging. Alternatively, these mutations could reduce animal metabolic rate and increase longevity as a consequence. In ectotherms, longevity is often negatively correlated with metabolic rate. Consistent with these observations, environmental conditions that reduce the metabolic rate of C. elegans also extend longevity. We found that the metabolic rate of long-lived C. elegans mutants is reduced compared with that of wild-type worms and that a genetic suppressor that restored normal longevity to long-lived mutants restored normal metabolic rate. Thus, the increased longevity of some long-lived C. elegans mutants may be a consequence of a reduction in their metabolic rate, rather than an alteration of a genetic pathway that leads to enhanced longevity while maintaining normal physiology. The actual mechanism responsible for the inverse correlation between metabolic rate and longevity remains unknown.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Translation in eukaryotes is followed to detect toxins and virulence factors and coupled to the induction of defence pathways. Caenorhabditis elegans germline-specific mutations in translation components are detected by this system to induce detoxification and immune responses in distinct somatic cells. An RNA interference screen revealed gene inactivations that act at multiple steps in lipid biosynthetic and kinase pathways 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 the wild type can also rescue detoxification gene induction in lipid-biosynthesis-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.

  3. Evaluation of the influence of fullerenol on aging and stress resistance using Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Cong, Wenshu; Wang, Peng; Qu, Ying; Tang, Jinglong; Bai, Ru; Zhao, Yuliang; Chunying Chen; Bi, Xiaolin

    2015-02-01

    Fullerene derivatives have attracted extensive attention in biomedical fields and polyhydroxyl fullerene (fullerenol), a water-soluble fullerene derivative, is demonstrated as a powerful antioxidant. To further assess their anti-aging and anti-stress potential, we employed Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model organism to evaluate the effects of fullerenol on the growth, development, behavior and anti-stress ability in vivo. The data show that fullerenol has no obviously toxic effect on nematodes and can delay C. elegans aging progress under normal condition. Further studies demonstrate that fullerenol attenuates endogenous levels of reactive oxygen species and provides protection to C. elegans under stress conditions by up-regulating stress-related genes in a DAF-16 depend manner and improving lifespan. In summary, our data suggest that fullerenol might be a safe and reasonable anti-aging candidate with great potential in vivo.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Heterologous expression of functional G-protein-coupled receptors in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Salom, David; Cao, Pengxiu; Sun, Wenyu; Kramp, Kristopher; Jastrzebska, Beata; Jin, Hui; Feng, Zhaoyang; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2012-01-01

    New strategies for expression, purification, functional characterization, and structural determination of membrane-spanning G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are constantly being developed because of their importance to human health. Here, we report a Caenorhabditis elegans heterologous expression system able to produce milligram amounts of functional native and engineered GPCRs. Both bovine opsin [(b)opsin] and human adenosine A2A subtype receptor [(h)A2AR] expressed in neurons or muscles of C. elegans were localized to cell membranes. Worms expressing these GPCRs manifested changes in motor behavior in response to light and ligands, respectively. With a newly devised protocol, 0.6–1 mg of purified homogenous 9-cis-retinal-bound bovine isorhodopsin [(b)isoRho] and ligand-bound (h)A2AR were obtained from C. elegans from one 10-L fermentation at low cost. Purified recombinant (b)isoRho exhibited its signature absorbance spectrum and activated its cognate G-protein transducin in vitro at a rate similar to native rhodopsin (Rho) obtained from bovine retina. Generally high expression levels of 11 native and mutant GPCRs demonstrated the potential of this C. elegans system to produce milligram quantities of high-quality GPCRs and possibly other membrane proteins suitable for detailed characterization.—Salom, D., Cao, P., Sun, W., Kramp, K., Jastrzebska, B., Jin, H., Feng, Z., Palczewski, K. Heterologous expression of functional G-protein-coupled receptors in Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:22090314

  8. 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.

  9. An Evolutionarily Conserved Switch in Response to GABA Affects Development and Behavior of the Locomotor Circuit of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Han, Bingjie; Bellemer, Andrew; Koelle, Michael R.

    2015-01-01

    The neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is depolarizing in the developing vertebrate brain, but in older animals switches to hyperpolarizing and becomes the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in adults. We discovered a similar developmental switch in GABA response in Caenorhabditis elegans and have genetically analyzed its mechanism and function in a well-defined circuit. Worm GABA neurons innervate body wall muscles to control locomotion. Activation of GABAA receptors with their agonist muscimol in newly hatched first larval (L1) stage animals excites muscle contraction and thus is depolarizing. At the mid-L1 stage, as the GABAergic neurons rewire onto their mature muscle targets, muscimol shifts to relaxing muscles and thus has switched to hyperpolarizing. This muscimol response switch depends on chloride transporters in the muscles analogous to those that control GABA response in mammalian neurons: the chloride accumulator sodium-potassium-chloride-cotransporter-1 (NKCC-1) is required for the early depolarizing muscimol response, while the two chloride extruders potassium-chloride-cotransporter-2 (KCC-2) and anion-bicarbonate-transporter-1 (ABTS-1) are required for the later hyperpolarizing response. Using mutations that disrupt GABA signaling, we found that neural circuit development still proceeds to completion but with an ∼6-hr delay. Using optogenetic activation of GABAergic neurons, we found that endogenous GABAA signaling in early L1 animals, although presumably depolarizing, does not cause an excitatory response. Thus a developmental depolarizing-to-hyperpolarizing shift is an ancient conserved feature of GABA signaling, but existing theories for why this shift occurs appear inadequate to explain its function upon rigorous genetic analysis of a well-defined neural circuit. PMID:25644702

  10. The gene expression and deficiency phenotypes of Cockayne syndrome B protein in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lee, Myon Hee; Ahn, Byungchan; Choi, In Soon; Koo, Hyeon-Sook

    2002-07-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans Cockayne syndrome B protein homologue is encoded by 10 exons of the predicted open reading frame F53H4.1. The gene is expressed in germ cells and all somatic cells of the embryonic to adult stage. Although the gene expression was ubiquitous, its expression level was relatively higher in dividing cells and cells that play fundamental roles in essential physiological functions such as feeding, sensation, and reproduction. RNA interference of the gene hypersensitized C. elegans to UV radiation, as observed in enhanced germ cell proliferation arrest and apoptosis, and increased embryonic lethality, suggesting its role in nucleotide excision repair. PMID:12095617

  11. Post-Transcriptional Regulation of RNA Polymerase II Levels in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Dalley, B. K.; Rogalski, T. M.; Tullis, G. E.; Riddle, D. L.; Golomb, M.

    1993-01-01

    To investigate the regulation of RNA polymerase II levels in Caenorhabditis elegans, we have constructed nematode strains having one, two, or three copies of ama-1, the gene for the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II. Steady-state levels of RNA polymerase II polypeptides and solubilized enzyme activity are invariant with gene dosage, indicating regulatory compensation. However, steady-state levels of ama-1 mRNA are directly proportional to gene dosage. These results imply that RNA polymerase II levels in C. elegans are regulated post-transcriptionally. PMID:8436272

  12. The versatile worm: genetic and genomic resources for Caenorhabditis elegans research.

    PubMed

    Antoshechkin, Igor; Sternberg, Paul W

    2007-07-01

    Since its establishment as a model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans has been an invaluable tool for biological research. An immense spectrum of questions can be addressed using this small nematode, making it one of the most versatile and exciting model organisms. Although the many tools and resources developed by the C. elegans community greatly facilitate new discoveries, they can also overwhelm newcomers to the field. This Review aims to familiarize new worm researchers with the main resources, and help them to select the tools that are best suited for their needs. We also hope that it will be helpful in identifying new research opportunities and will promote the development of additional resources.

  13. Critical residues of the Caenorhabditis elegans unc-2 voltage-gated calcium channel that affect behavioral and physiological properties.

    PubMed

    Mathews, Eleanor A; García, Esperanza; Santi, Celia M; Mullen, Gregory P; Thacker, Colin; Moerman, Donald G; Snutch, Terrance P

    2003-07-23

    The Caenorhabditis elegans unc-2 gene encodes a voltage-gated calcium channel alpha1 subunit structurally related to mammalian dihydropyridine-insensitive high-threshold channels. In the present paper we describe the characterization of seven alleles of unc-2. Using an unc-2 promoter-tagged green fluorescent protein construct, we show that unc-2 is primarily expressed in motor neurons, several subsets of sensory neurons, and the HSN and VC neurons that control egg laying. Examination of behavioral phenotypes, including defecation, thrashing, and sensitivities to aldicarb and nicotine suggests that UNC-2 acts presynaptically to mediate both cholinergic and GABAergic neurotransmission. Sequence analysis of the unc-2 alleles shows that e55, ra605, ra606, ra609, and ra610 all are predicted to prematurely terminate and greatly reduce or eliminate unc-2 function. In contrast, the ra612 and ra614 alleles are missense mutations resulting in the substitution of highly conserved residues in the C terminus and the domain IVS4-IVS5 linker, respectively. Heterologous expression of a rat brain P/Q-type channel containing the ra612 mutation shows that the glycine to arginine substitution affects a variety of channel characteristics, including the voltage dependence of activation, steady-state inactivation, as well as channel kinetics. Overall, our findings suggest that UNC-2 plays a pivotal role in mediating a number of physiological processes in the nematode and also defines a number of critical residues important for calcium channel function in vivo. PMID:12878695

  14. Elucidating the Mechanism of Weissella-dependent Lifespan Extension in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jiyun; Kwon, Gayeung; Lim, Young-Hee

    2015-11-25

    The mechanism whereby lactic acid bacteria extend the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans has previously been elucidated. However, the role of Weissella species has yet not been studied. We show that Weissella koreensis and Weissella cibaria significantly (p < 0.05) extend the lifespan of C. elegans compared with Escherichia coli OP50 and induce the expression of several genes related to lifespan extension (daf-16, aak-2, jnk-1, sod-3 and hif-1). Oral administration of Weissella altered reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lowered the accumulation of lipofuscin and increased locomotor activity (which translates to a delay in ageing). Moreover, Weissella-fed C. elegans had decreased body sizes, brood sizes, ATP levels and pharyngeal pumping rates compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. Furthermore, mutations in sod-3, hif-1 or skn-1 did not alter lifespan extension compared with wild-type C. elegans. However, C. elegans failed to display lifespan extension in loss-of-function mutants of daf-16, aak-2 and jnk-1, which highlights the potential role of these genes in Weissella-induced longevity in C. elegans. Weissella species extend C. elegans lifespan by activating DAF-16 via the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, which is related to stress response, and the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-pathway that is activated by dietary restriction.

  15. Longevity and resistance to stress correlate with DNA repair capacity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hyun, Moonjung; Lee, Jihyun; Lee, Kyungjin; May, Alfred; Bohr, Vilhelm A; Ahn, Byungchan

    2008-03-01

    DNA repair is an important mechanism by which cells maintain genomic integrity. Decline in DNA repair capacity or defects in repair factors are thought to contribute to premature aging in mammals. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model for studying longevity and DNA repair because of key advances in understanding the genetics of aging in this organism. Long-lived C. elegans mutants have been identified and shown to be resistant to oxidizing agents and UV irradiation, suggesting a genetically determined correlation between DNA repair capacity and life span. In this report, gene-specific DNA repair is compared in wild-type C. elegans and stress-resistant C. elegans mutants for the first time. DNA repair capacity is higher in long-lived C. elegans mutants than in wild-type animals. In addition, RNAi knockdown of the nucleotide excision repair gene xpa-1 increased sensitivity to UV and reduced the life span of long-lived C. elegans mutants. These findings support that DNA repair capacity correlates with longevity in C. elegans.

  16. Elucidating the Mechanism of Weissella-dependent Lifespan Extension in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jiyun; Kwon, Gayeung; Lim, Young-Hee

    2015-01-01

    The mechanism whereby lactic acid bacteria extend the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans has previously been elucidated. However, the role of Weissella species has yet not been studied. We show that Weissella koreensis and Weissella cibaria significantly (p < 0.05) extend the lifespan of C. elegans compared with Escherichia coli OP50 and induce the expression of several genes related to lifespan extension (daf-16, aak-2, jnk-1, sod-3 and hif-1). Oral administration of Weissella altered reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lowered the accumulation of lipofuscin and increased locomotor activity (which translates to a delay in ageing). Moreover, Weissella-fed C. elegans had decreased body sizes, brood sizes, ATP levels and pharyngeal pumping rates compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. Furthermore, mutations in sod-3, hif-1 or skn-1 did not alter lifespan extension compared with wild-type C. elegans. However, C. elegans failed to display lifespan extension in loss-of-function mutants of daf-16, aak-2 and jnk-1, which highlights the potential role of these genes in Weissella-induced longevity in C. elegans. Weissella species extend C. elegans lifespan by activating DAF-16 via the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, which is related to stress response, and the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-pathway that is activated by dietary restriction. PMID:26601690

  17. A Caenorhabditis elegans model for ether lipid biosynthesis and function[S

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xun; Tarazona, Pablo; Brock, Trisha J.; Browse, John; Feussner, Ivo; Watts, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    Ether lipids are widespread in nature, and they are structurally and functionally important components of membranes. The roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, synthesizes numerous lipid species containing alkyl and alkenyl ether bonds. We isolated C. elegans strains carrying loss-of-function mutations in three genes encoding the proteins required for the initial three steps in the ether lipid biosynthetic pathway, FARD-1/FAR1, ACL-7/GNPAT, and ADS-1/AGPS. Analysis of the mutant strains show that they lack ether lipids, but possess the ability to alter their lipid composition in response to lack of ether lipids. We found that increases in de novo fatty acid synthesis and reduction of stearoyl- and palmitoyl-CoA desaturase activity, processes that are at least partially regulated transcriptionally, mediate the altered lipid composition in ether lipid-deficient mutants. Phenotypic analysis demonstrated the importance of ether lipids for optimal fertility, lifespan, survival at cold temperatures, and resistance to oxidative stress.Caenorhabditis PMID:26685325

  18. cGMP Signalling Mediates Water Sensation (Hydrosensation) and Hydrotaxis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; Qin, Li-Wei; Wu, Tai-Hong; Ge, Chang-Li; Wu, Ya-Qian; Zhang, Qiang; Song, Yan-Xue; Chen, Yuan-Hua; Ge, Ming-Hai; Wu, Jing-Jing; Liu, Hui; Xu, Yao; Su, Chun-Ming; Li, Lan-Lan; Tang, Jing; Li, Zhao-Yu; Wu, Zheng-Xing

    2016-01-01

    Animals have developed the ability to sense the water content in their habitats, including hygrosensation (sensing humidity in the air) and hydrosensation (sensing the water content in other microenvironments), and they display preferences for specific water contents that influence their mating, reproduction and geographic distribution. We developed and employed four quantitative behavioural test paradigms to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying sensing the water content in an agar substrate (hydrosensation) and hydrotaxis in Caenorhabditis elegans. By combining a reverse genetic screen with genetic manipulation, optogenetic neuronal manipulation and in vivo Ca2+ imaging, we demonstrate that adult worms avoid the wetter areas of agar plates and hypo-osmotic water droplets. We found that the cGMP signalling pathway in ciliated sensory neurons is involved in hydrosensation and hydrotaxis in Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:26891989

  19. RAB-11 Permissively Regulates Spindle Alignment by Modulating Metaphase Microtubule Dynamics in Caenorhabditis elegans Early Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Haining; Squirrell, Jayne M.

    2008-01-01

    Alignment of the mitotic spindle along a preformed axis of polarity is crucial for generating cell diversity in many organisms, yet little is known about the role of the endomembrane system in this process. RAB-11 is a small GTPase enriched in recycling endosomes. When we depleted RAB-11 by RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans, the spindle of the one-cell embryo failed to align along the axis of polarity in metaphase and underwent violent movements in anaphase. The distance between astral microtubules ends and the anterior cortex was significantly increased in rab-11(RNAi) embryos specifically during metaphase, possibly accounting for the observed spindle alignment defects. Additionally, we found that normal ER morphology requires functional RAB-11, particularly during metaphase. We hypothesize that RAB-11, in conjunction with the ER, acts to regulate cell cycle–specific changes in astral microtubule length to ensure proper spindle alignment in Caenorhabditis elegans early embryos. PMID:18385514

  20. In vivo polarization dependant Second and Third harmonic generation imaging of Caenorhabditis elegans pharyngeal muscles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filippidis, G.; Troulinaki, K.; Fotakis, C.; Tavernarakis, N.

    2009-07-01

    In this study Second and Third harmonic generation (SHG-THG) imaging measurements were performed to the pharyngeal muscles of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, in vivo with linearly polarized laser beam. Complementary information about the anatomy of the pharynx and the morphology of the anterior part of the worm were extracted. THG signals proved to have no dependence on incident light polarization, while SHG images are highly sensitive to the changes of the incident linearly polarized light.

  1. Toward a physical map of the genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Coulson, A.; Sulston, J.; Brenner, S.; Karn, J.

    1986-10-01

    A technique for digital characterization and comparison of DNA fragments, using restriction enzymes, is described. The technique is being applied to fragments from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (i) to facilitate cross-indexing of clones emanating from different laboratories and (ii) to construct a physical map of the genome. Eight hundred sixty clusters of clones, from 35 to 350 kilobases long and totaling about 60% of the genome, have been characterized.

  2. High concentration of vitamin E decreases thermosensation and thermotaxis learning and the underlying mechanisms in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Li, Yiping; Li, Yinxia; Wu, Qiuli; Ye, Huayue; Sun, Lingmei; Ye, Boping; Wang, Dayong

    2013-01-01

    α-tocopherol is a powerful liposoluble antioxidant and the most abundant isoform of vitamin E in the body. Under normal physiological conditions, adverse effects of relatively high concentration of vitamin E on organisms and the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. In the present study, we used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo assay system to investigate the possible adverse effects of high concentration of vitamin E on thermosensation and thermotaxis learning and the underlying mechanisms. Our data show that treatment with 100-200 µg/mL of vitamin E did not noticeably influence both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning; however, treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E altered both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning. The observed decrease in thermotaxis learning in 400 µg/mL of vitamin E treated nematodes might be partially due to the moderate but significant deficits in thermosensation, but not due to deficits in locomotion behavior or perception to food and starvation. Treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E did not noticeably influence the morphology of GABAergic neurons, but significantly decreased fluorescent intensities of the cell bodies in AFD sensory neurons and AIY interneurons, required for thermosensation and thermotaxis learning control. Treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E affected presynaptic function of neurons, but had no remarkable effects on postsynaptic function. Moreover, promotion of synaptic transmission by activating PKC-1 effectively retrieved deficits in both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning induced by 400 µg/mL of vitamin E. Therefore, relatively high concentrations of vitamin E administration may cause adverse effects on thermosensation and thermotaxis learning by inducing damage on the development of specific neurons and presynaptic function under normal physiological conditions in C. elegans.

  3. High Concentration of Vitamin E Decreases Thermosensation and Thermotaxis Learning and the Underlying Mechanisms in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Lingmei; Ye, Boping; Wang, Dayong

    2013-01-01

    α-tocopherol is a powerful liposoluble antioxidant and the most abundant isoform of vitamin E in the body. Under normal physiological conditions, adverse effects of relatively high concentration of vitamin E on organisms and the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. In the present study, we used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo assay system to investigate the possible adverse effects of high concentration of vitamin E on thermosensation and thermotaxis learning and the underlying mechanisms. Our data show that treatment with 100–200 µg/mL of vitamin E did not noticeably influence both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning; however, treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E altered both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning. The observed decrease in thermotaxis learning in 400 µg/mL of vitamin E treated nematodes might be partially due to the moderate but significant deficits in thermosensation, but not due to deficits in locomotion behavior or perception to food and starvation. Treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E did not noticeably influence the morphology of GABAergic neurons, but significantly decreased fluorescent intensities of the cell bodies in AFD sensory neurons and AIY interneurons, required for thermosensation and thermotaxis learning control. Treatment with 400 µg/mL of vitamin E affected presynaptic function of neurons, but had no remarkable effects on postsynaptic function. Moreover, promotion of synaptic transmission by activating PKC-1 effectively retrieved deficits in both thermosensation and thermotaxis learning induced by 400 µg/mL of vitamin E. Therefore, relatively high concentrations of vitamin E administration may cause adverse effects on thermosensation and thermotaxis learning by inducing damage on the development of specific neurons and presynaptic function under normal physiological conditions in C. elegans. PMID:23951104

  4. The neuropeptide NLP-22 regulates a sleep-like state in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Nelson, M D; Trojanowski, N F; George-Raizen, J B; Smith, C J; Yu, C-C; Fang-Yen, C; Raizen, D M

    2013-01-01

    Neuropeptides have central roles in the regulation of homoeostatic behaviours such as sleep and feeding. Caenorhabditis elegans displays sleep-like quiescence of locomotion and feeding during a larval transition stage called lethargus and feeds during active larval and adult stages. Here we show that the neuropeptide NLP-22 is a regulator of Caenorhabditis elegans sleep-like quiescence observed during lethargus. nlp-22 shows cyclical mRNA expression in synchrony with lethargus; it is regulated by LIN-42, an orthologue of the core circadian protein PERIOD; and it is expressed solely in the two RIA interneurons. nlp-22 and the RIA interneurons are required for normal lethargus quiescence, and forced expression of nlp-22 during active stages causes anachronistic locomotion and feeding quiescence. Optogenetic stimulation of the RIA interneurons has a movement-promoting effect, demonstrating functional complexity in a single-neuron type. Our work defines a quiescence-regulating role for NLP-22 and expands our knowledge of the neural circuitry controlling Caenorhabditis elegans behavioural quiescence.

  5. The novel dipeptide Tyr-Ala (TA) significantly enhances the lifespan and healthspan of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Z; Zhao, Y; Wang, X; Lin, R; Zhang, Y; Ma, H; Guo, Y; Xu, L; Zhao, B

    2016-04-01

    Food-derived bioactive peptides may have various physiological modulatory and regulatory functions and are now being studied extensively. Recently, the novel dipeptide Tyr-Ala was isolated from hydrolyzed maize protein. Tyr-Ala significantly prolonged the lifespan of wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans and extended the nematode healthspan and lifespan during heat/oxidative stress. Compared with its constituent amino acids, Tyr-Ala was more efficient in enhancing stress resistance. Further studies demonstrated that the significant longevity-extending effects of Tyr-Ala on Caenorhabditis elegans were attributed to its in vitro and in vivo free radical-scavenging effects, in addition to its ability to up-regulate stress resistance-related proteins, such as SOD (Superoxide Dismutase)-3 and HSP (Heat Shock Protein)-16.2. Real-time PCR results showed that the up-regulation of aging-associated genes, such as daf-16, sod-3, hsp-16.2 and skn-1, also contributed to the stress-resistance effect of Tyr-Ala. These results indicate that the novel dipeptide Tyr-Ala can protect against external stress and thus extend the lifespan and healthspan of Caenorhabditis elegans. Thereby, Tyr-Ala could be used as a potential medicine in anti-aging research. PMID:26987062

  6. Genome-wide identification of lineage-specific genes within Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Kun; Huang, Beibei; Zou, Ming; Lu, Dandan; He, Shunping; Wang, Guoxiu

    2015-10-01

    With the rapid growth of sequencing technology, a number of genomes and transcriptomes of various species have been sequenced, contributing to the study of lineage-specific genes (LSGs). We identified two sets of LSGs using BLAST: one included Caenorhabditis elegans species-specific genes (1423, SSGs), and the other consisted of Caenorhabditis genus-specific genes (4539, GSGs). The subsequent characterization and analysis of the SSGs and GSGs showed that they have significant differences in evolution and that most LSGs were generated by gene duplication and integration of transposable elements (TEs). We then performed temporal expression profiling and protein function prediction and observed that many SSGs and GSGs are expressed and that genes involved with sex determination, specific stress, immune response, and morphogenesis are over-represented, suggesting that these specific genes may be related to the Caenorhabditis nematodes' special ability to survive in severe and extreme environments.

  7. Dopaminergic neurotoxicity of S-ethyl N,N-dipropylthiocarbamate (EPTC), molinate, and S-methyl-N,N-diethylthiocarbamate (MeDETC) in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Caito, Samuel W.; Valentine, William M.; Aschner, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Epidemiological studies corroborate a correlation between pesticide use and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Thiocarbamate and dithiocarbamate pesticides are widely used and produce neurotoxicity in the peripheral nervous system. Recent evidence from rodent studies suggests that these compounds also cause dopaminergic (DAergic) dysfunction and altered protein processing, two hallmarks of PD. However, DAergic neurotoxicity has yet to be documented. We assessed DAergic dysfunction in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to investigate the ability of thiocarbamate pesticides to induce DAergic neurodegeneration. Acute treatment with either S-ethyl N,N-dipropylthiocarbamate (EPTC), molinate, or a common reactive intermediate of dithiocarbamate and thiocarbamate metabolism, S-methyl-N,N-diethylthiocarbamate (MeDETC), to gradual loss of DAergic cell morphology and structure over the course of 6 days in worms expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under a DAergic cell specific promoter. HPLC analysis revealed decreased DA content in the worms immediately following exposure to MeDETC, EPTC, and molinate. Additionally, worms treated with the three test compounds showed a drastic loss of DAergic-dependent behavior over a time course similar to changes in DAergic cell morphology. Alterations in the DAergic system were specific, as loss of cell structure and neurotransmitter content was not observed in cholinergic, glutamatergic, or GABAergic systems. Overall, our data suggest that thiocarbamate pesticides promote neurodegeneration and DAergic cell dysfunction in C. elegans, and may be an environmental risk factor for PD. PMID:23786526

  8. 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.

  9. Identification of gamma-aminobutyric acid and its binding sites in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Schaeffer, J.M.; Bergstrom, A.R.

    1988-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate decarboxylase and GABA-transaminase were identified in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The concentration of GABA in C. elegans is approximately 10-fold lower than the concentration of GABA in rat brain. Glutamate decarboxylase and GABA-transaminase, the GABA anabolic and catabolic enzymes, are also present in C. elegans. Crude membrane fractions were prepared from C. elegans and used to study specific (/sup 3/H) GABA binding sites. GABA binds to C. elegans membranes with high affinity and low capacity. Muscimol is a competitive inhibitor of specific GABA binding with a K/sub I/ value of 120 nM. None of the other GABA agonists or antagonists inhibited greater than 40% of the specific GABA binding at concentrations up to 10/sup -4/M. Thirteen spider venoms were examined as possible GABA agonists or antagonists, the venom from Calilena agelenidae inhibits specific GABA binding with a K/sub I/ value of 6 nl/ml. These results suggest that GABA has a physiological role as a neurotransmitter in C. elegans.

  10. Identification of Novel Human Genes Evolutionarily Conserved in Caenorhabditis elegans by Comparative Proteomics

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Chun-Hung; Chou, Chang-Yuan; Ch'ang, Lan-Yang; Liu, Chung-Shyan; Lin, Wen-chang

    2000-01-01

    Modern biomedical research greatly benefits from large-scale genome-sequencing projects ranging from studies of viruses, bacteria, and yeast to multicellular organisms, like Caenorhabditis elegans. Comparative genomic studies offer a vast array of prospects for identification and functional annotation of human ortholog genes. We presented a novel comparative proteomic approach for assembling human gene contigs and assisting gene discovery. The C. elegans proteome was used as an alignment template to assist in novel human gene identification from human EST nucleotide databases. Among the available 18,452 C. elegans protein sequences, our results indicate that at least 83% (15,344 sequences) of C. elegans proteome has human homologous genes, with 7,954 records of C. elegans proteins matching known human gene transcripts. Only 11% or less of C. elegans proteome contains nematode-specific genes. We found that the remaining 7,390 sequences might lead to discoveries of novel human genes, and over 150 putative full-length human gene transcripts were assembled upon further database analyses. [The sequence data described in this paper have been submitted to the GenBank data library under accession nos. AF132936–AF132973, AF151799–AF151909, and AF152097.] PMID:10810093

  11. Aminopeptidase-like activities in Caenorhabditis elegans and the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines.

    PubMed

    Masler, E P; Kovaleva, E S; Sardanelli, S

    2001-09-01

    Aminopeptidase-like activities in crude whole body extracts of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the plant parasitic soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines were examined. General characteristics including pH optima, heat lability, and inactivation of enzyme by organic solvent were the same for the two species. All developmental stages of H. glycines exhibited activity. In older females, activity was present primarily in the eggs. Affinity for the substrate L-alanine-4-nitroanilide was the same regardless of the stage examined, and was similar for the two species (m for C. elegans and m for H. glycines). Nearly all (>95%) of C. elegans aminopeptidase-like activity was present in the soluble fraction of the extract, while H. glycines activity was distributed between the soluble and membrane fractions. Specific activities of the soluble enzymes were highest in C. elegans and H. glycines juveniles. The C. elegans enzyme was susceptible to a number of aminopeptidase inhibitors, particularly to amastatin and leuhistin, each of which inhibited aminopeptidase-like activity more than 90% at 90 microm. In H. glycines, aminopeptidase-like activity was inhibited 39% by amastatin at 900 microm. The apparent molecular weight of the soluble C. elegans enzyme is 70-80 kDa. Some activity in H. glycines is present in the 70-80 kDa range, but most activity (80-90%) is associated with a very high molecular weight (>240 kDa) component.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:25367047

  14. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  15. The nephronophthisis-related gene ift-139 is required for ciliogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27515926

  16. Topological cluster analysis reveals the systemic organization of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Yunkyu; Choi, Myung-Kyu; Ahn, Yong-Yeol; Lee, Junho; Jeong, Jaeseung

    2011-05-01

    The modular organization of networks of individual neurons interwoven through synapses has not been fully explored due to the incredible complexity of the connectivity architecture. Here we use the modularity-based community detection method for directed, weighted networks to examine hierarchically organized modules in the complete wiring diagram (connectome) of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and to investigate their topological properties. Incorporating bilateral symmetry of the network as an important cue for proper cluster assignment, we identified anatomical clusters in the C. elegans connectome, including a body-spanning cluster, which correspond to experimentally identified functional circuits. Moreover, the hierarchical organization of the five clusters explains the systemic cooperation (e.g., mechanosensation, chemosensation, and navigation) that occurs among the structurally segregated biological circuits to produce higher-order complex behaviors. PMID:21625578

  17. 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

  18. Engineering the Caenorhabditis elegans genome using Cas9-triggered homologous recombination.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Daniel J; Ward, Jordan D; Reiner, David J; Goldstein, Bob

    2013-10-01

    Study of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has provided important insights in a wide range of fields in biology. The ability to precisely modify genomes is critical to fully realize the utility of model organisms. Here we report a method to edit the C. elegans genome using the clustered, regularly interspersed, short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease and homologous recombination. We demonstrate that Cas9 is able to induce DNA double-strand breaks with specificity for targeted sites and that these breaks can be repaired efficiently by homologous recombination. By supplying engineered homologous repair templates, we generated gfp knock-ins and targeted mutations. Together our results outline a flexible methodology to produce essentially any desired modification in the C. elegans genome quickly and at low cost. This technology is an important addition to the array of genetic techniques already available in this experimentally tractable model organism.

  19. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length.

    PubMed

    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

    2016-09-01

    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

  20. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Protects Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans from β-Amyloid Toxicity.

    PubMed

    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

  1. rBTI extends Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan by mimicking calorie restriction.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiao; Cui, Xiaodong; Wang, Zhuanhua; Li, Yuying

    2015-07-01

    Buckwheat trypsin inhibitor (BTI) is a low molecular weight polypeptide extracted from buckwheat. This study examined the effects of BTI on the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and investigated the mechanism involved. Our results showed that recombinant BTI (rBTI) extended life expectancy by mimicking calorie restriction (CR) in C. elegans. rBTI promoted formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) via increasing respiration, induced activities of ROS defense enzymes by activating DAF-16, and increased oxidative stress resistance and survival rates. The inhibition of ROS signal by antioxidants reduced rBTI-mediated longevity by up to 65%. Moreover, it was shown that the disruption of daf-2 abolished the extension of the lifespan and the increased ROS. Taken together, these data indicate that rBTI-mediated longevity mimics CR by down-regulating insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway, implying that BTI has the potential to be a novel anti-aging drug. PMID:25959406

  2. Inducing RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans by Injection of dsRNA.

    PubMed

    Hammell, Christopher M; Hannon, Gregory J

    2016-01-04

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, long double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) are overwhelmingly the trigger of choice for inducing RNA interference (RNAi). Although injection of dsRNA into the somatic or germline tissues of animals requires both specific equipment and technical skills, the ability of C. elegans to amplify the initial dsRNA trigger and to transmit the RNAi activity to other somatic tissues and to the progeny of injected animals is one of the main advantages of using C. elegans as a model system. The direct injection of dsRNA into parental animals is the most reliable method for RNAi and also presents the least experiment-to-experiment and animal-to-animal variability.

  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. Caenorhabditis elegans selects distinct crawling and swimming gaits via dopamine and serotonin

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21969584

  5. Reference toxicants for toxicity testing using Caenorhabditis elegans in aquatic media

    SciTech Connect

    Cressman, C.P. III; Williams, P.L.

    1997-09-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans aquatic toxicity assays were standardized with five common reference toxicants: CdCl{sub 2}, NaCl, KCl, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and sodium pentachlorophenate (PCP). Aquatic toxicity testing was conducted in 3 media: a standard C. elegans medium; EPA moderately hard reconstituted water; and EPA moderately hard mineral water. Test duration in each medium was 24h without a food source, and 24h and 48h with Escherichia coli strain OP50 as a food source. Each test was replicated three times with each replicate having 6 wells per concentration, 10 worms per well. LC{sub 50} values were calculated using probit analysis. The average LC{sub 50}s for each set of replications were compared to assess sensitivity and reproducibility of the data, identifying expected variation between replicate tests. These reference toxicants increase the database for C. elegans and provide a benchmark for further application.

  6. 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

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism to study APP function

    PubMed Central

    Ewald, Collin Y.; Li, Chris

    2013-01-01

    The brains of Alzheimer's disease patients show an increased number of senile plaques compared with normal patients. The major component of the plaques is the β-amyloid peptide, a cleavage product of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Although the processing of APP has been well-described, the physiological functions of APP and its cleavage products remain unclear. This article reviews the multifunctional roles of an APP orthologue, the C. elegans APL-1. Understanding the function of APL-1 may provide insights into the functions and signaling pathways of human APP. In addition, the physiological effects of introducing human β-amyloid peptide into C. elegans are also reviewed. The C. elegans system provides a powerful genetic model to identify genes regulating the molecular mechanisms underlying intracellular β-amyloid peptide accumulation. PMID:22038715

  8. Tools to Study SUMO Conjugation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Pelisch, Federico; Hay, Ronald T

    2016-01-01

    The cell biology of sumoylation has mostly been studied using transformed cultured cells and yeast. In recent years, genetic analysis has demonstrated important roles for sumoylation in the biology of C. elegans. Here, we expand the existing set of tools making it possible to address the role of sumoylation in the nematode C. elegans using a combination of genetics, imaging, and biochemistry. Most importantly, the dynamics of SUMO conjugation and deconjugation can be followed very precisely both in space and time within living worms. Additionally, the biochemistry of SUMO conjugation and deconjugation can be addressed using recombinant purified components of the C. elegans sumoylation machinery, including E3 ligases and SUMO proteases. These tools and reagents will be useful to gain insights into the biological role of SUMO in the context of a multicellular organism. PMID:27631810

  9. 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

  10. Dairy Propionibacterium extends the mean lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via activation of the innate immune system.

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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.

  12. Utility of Caenorhabditis elegans for assessing heavy metal contamination in artificial soil.

    PubMed

    Peredney, C L; Williams, P L

    2000-07-01

    There is an increasing need for the development of soil bioassay protocols. Currently the only internationally standardized soil test organism is the lumbricid earthworm Eisenia fetida. Many alternate soil test organisms have been proposed. This work compares Caenorhabditis elegans to several other test organisms, including E. fetida, for heavy metals in soil. In this evaluation, such factors as ease of testing and culturing, duration of testing, soil volume needed, and the sensitivity of the organism were considered. Results show that C. elegans is more sensitive than most other organisms evaluated and is similar in response to E. fetida. The second issue compares C. elegans LC(50) values to heavy metals criteria specified in the US EPA regulations for land application of sewage sludge. Currently, the regulations are set on total metals in the soil and do not consider bioavailability of the metals. Regulations do not consider soil physiochemical properties, such as organic matter content, clay content, and cation exchange capacity, which have been shown to affect the availability of metals to soil organisms. While the C. elegans LC(50) values are above standard values in artificial soil, work in our lab indicates that the LC(50)s are below regulation values for other soil types. Due to the ease of culturing and testing, good sensitivity, along with the wealth of biological information and ecological relevance, C. elegans is a good organism for use in soil bioassays.

  13. DNA Strand Breaks in Mitotic Germ Cells of Caenorhabditis elegans Evaluated by Comet Assay

    PubMed Central

    Park, Sojin; Choi, Seoyun; Ahn, Byungchan

    2016-01-01

    DNA damage responses are important for the maintenance of genome stability and the survival of organisms. Such responses are activated in the presence of DNA damage and lead to cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and DNA repair. In Caenorhabditis elegans, double-strand breaks induced by DNA damaging agents have been detected indirectly by antibodies against DSB recognizing proteins. In this study we used a comet assay to detect DNA strand breaks and to measure the elimination of DNA strand breaks in mitotic germline nuclei of C. elegans. We found that C. elegans brc-1 mutants were more sensitive to ionizing radiation and camptothecin than the N2 wild-type strain and repaired DNA strand breaks less efficiently than N2. This study is the first demonstration of direct measurement of DNA strand breaks in mitotic germline nuclei of C. elegans. This newly developed assay can be applied to detect DNA strand breaks in different C. elegans mutants that are sensitive to DNA damaging agents. PMID:26903030

  14. Detection and avoidance of a natural product from the pathogenic bacterium Serratia marcescens by Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Pradel, Elizabeth; Zhang, Yun; Pujol, Nathalie; Matsuyama, Tohey; Bargmann, Cornelia I; Ewbank, Jonathan J

    2007-02-13

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is present in soils and composts, where it can encounter a variety of microorganisms. Some bacteria in these rich environments are innocuous food sources for C. elegans, whereas others are pathogens. Under laboratory conditions, C. elegans will avoid certain pathogens, such as Serratia marcescens, by exiting a bacterial lawn a few hours after entering it. By combining bacterial genetics and nematode genetics, we show that C. elegans specifically avoids certain strains of Serratia based on their production of the cyclic lipodepsipentapeptide serrawettin W2. Lawn-avoidance behavior is chiefly mediated by the two AWB chemosensory neurons, probably through G protein-coupled chemoreceptors, and also involves the nematode Toll-like receptor gene tol-1. Purified serrawettin W2, added to an Escherichia coli lawn, can directly elicit lawn avoidance in an AWB-dependent fashion, as can another chemical detected by AWB. These findings represent an insight into chemical recognition between these two soil organisms and reveal sensory mechanisms for pathogen recognition in C. elegans.

  15. Effects of Microcystin-LR Exposure on Spermiogenesis in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Li, Yunhui; Zhang, Minhui; Chen, Pan; Liu, Ran; Liang, Geyu; Yin, Lihong; Pu, Yuepu

    2015-09-22

    Little is known about the effect on spermiogenesis induced by microcystin-leucine arginine (MC-LR), even though such data are very important to better elucidate reproductive health. In the current work, with the aid of nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as an animal model, we investigated the defects on spermiogenesis induced by MC-LR. Our results showed that MC-LR exposure induced sperm morphology abnormality and caused severe defects of sperm activation, trans-activation, sperm behavior and competition. Additionally, the expression levels of spe-15 were significantly decreased in C. elegans exposed to MC-LR lower than 16.0 μg/L, while the expression levels of spe-10 and fer-1 could be significantly lowered in C. elegans even exposed to 1.0 μg/L of MC-LR. Therefore, the present study reveals that MC-LR can induce adverse effects on spermiogenesis, and those defects of sperm functions may be induced by the decreases of spe-10, spe-15 and fer-1 gene expressions in C. elegans.

  16. Enhanced toxicity of silver nanoparticles in transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing amyloidogenic proteins.

    PubMed

    Soria, Cristina; Coccini, Teresa; De Simone, Uliana; Marchese, Loredana; Zorzoli, Irene; Giorgetti, Sofia; Raimondi, Sara; Mangione, P Patrizia; Ramat, Stefano; Bellotti, Vittorio; Manzo, Luigi; Stoppini, Monica

    2015-01-01

    The increasing number of applications of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) prompted us to assess their toxicity in vivo. We have investigated their effects on wild type and transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) strains expressing two prototypic amyloidogenic proteins: β2-microglobulin and Aβ peptide3-42. The use of C. elegans allowed us to highlight AgNP toxicity in the early phase of the worm's life cycle (LC50 survival, 0.9 µg/ml). A comparative analysis of LC50 values revealed that our nematode strains were more sensitive to assess AgNP toxicity than the cell lines, classically used in toxicity tests. Movement and superoxide production in the adult population were significantly affected by exposure to AgNP; the transgenic strains were more affected than the wild type worms. Our screening approach could be applied to other types of nanomaterials that can enter the body and express any nanostructure-related bioactivities. We propose that C. elegans reproducing the molecular events associated with protein misfolding diseases, e.g. Alzheimer's disease and systemic amyloidosis, may help to investigate the specific toxicity of a range of potentially harmful molecules. Our study suggests that transgenic C. elegans may be used to predict the effect of chemicals in a "fragile population", where an underlying pathologic state may amplify their toxicity.

  17. Endogenous cGMP regulates adult longevity via the insulin signaling pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hahm, Jeong-Hoon; Kim, Sunhee; Paik, Young-Ki

    2009-08-01

    G-proteins, including GPA-3, play an important role in regulating physiological responses in Caenorhabditis elegans. When confronted with an environmental stimulus such as dauer pheromone, or poor nutrients, C. elegans receives and integrates external signals through its nervous system (i.e. amphid neurons), which interprets and translates them into biological action. Here it is shown that a suppressed neuronal cGMP level caused by GPA-3 activation leads to a significant increase (47.3%) in the mean lifespan of adult C. elegans through forkhead transcription factor family O (FOXO)-mediated signal. A reduced neuronal cGMP level was found to be caused by an increased cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase activity at the transcriptional level. Our results using C. elegans mutants with specific deficits in TGF-beta and FOXO RNAi system suggest a mechanism in that cGMP, TGF-beta, and FOXO signaling interact to differentially produce the insulin-like molecules, ins-7 and daf-28, causing suppression of the insulin/IGF-1 pathway and promoting lifespan extension. Our findings provide not only a new mechanism of cGMP-mediated induction of longevity in adult C. elegans but also a possible therapeutic strategy for neuronal disease, which has been likened to brain diabetes. PMID:19489741

  18. Dairy Propionibacterium extends the mean lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via activation of the innate immune system.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Gayeung; Lee, Jiyun; Lim, Young-Hee

    2016-08-17

    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.

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans as a platform to study the mechanism of action of synthetic antitumor lipids

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25485582

  20. 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

  1. Modeling Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Human Disease using the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Silverman, Gary A.; Luke, Cliff J.; Bhatia, Sangeeta R.; Long, Olivia S.; Vetica, Anne C.; Perlmutter, David H.; Pak, Stephen C.

    2009-01-01

    As an experimental system, Caenorhabditis elegans, offers a unique opportunity to interrogate in vivo the genetic and molecular functions of human disease-related genes. For example, C. elegans has provided crucial insights into fundamental biological processes such as cell death and cell fate determinations, as well as pathological processes such as neurodegeneration and microbial susceptibility. The C. elegans model has several distinct advantages including a completely sequenced genome that shares extensive homology with that of mammals, ease of cultivation and storage, a relatively short lifespan and techniques for generating null and transgenic animals. However, the ability to conduct unbiased forward and reverse genetic screens in C. elegans remains one of the most powerful experimental paradigms for discovering the biochemical pathways underlying human disease phenotypes. The identification of these pathways leads to a better understanding of the molecular interactions that perturb cellular physiology, and forms the foundation for designing mechanism-based therapies. To this end, the ability to process large numbers of isogenic animals through automated work stations suggests that C. elegans, manifesting different aspects of human disease phenotypes, will become the platform of choice for in vivo drug discovery and target validation using high-throughput/content screening technologies. PMID:18852689

  2. A Conserved Upstream Motif Orchestrates Autonomous, Germline-Enriched Expression of Caenorhabditis elegans piRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Day, Amanda M.; Chun, Sang Young; Khivansara, Vishal; Kim, John K.

    2013-01-01

    Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) fulfill a critical, conserved role in defending the genome against foreign genetic elements. In many organisms, piRNAs appear to be derived from processing of a long, polycistronic RNA precursor. Here, we establish that each Caenorhabditis elegans piRNA represents a tiny, autonomous transcriptional unit. Remarkably, the minimal C. elegans piRNA cassette requires only a 21 nucleotide (nt) piRNA sequence and an ∼50 nt upstream motif with limited genomic context for expression. Combining computational analyses with a novel, in vivo transgenic system, we demonstrate that this upstream motif is necessary for independent expression of a germline-enriched, Piwi-dependent piRNA. We further show that a single nucleotide position within this motif directs differential germline enrichment. Accordingly, over 70% of C. elegans piRNAs are selectively expressed in male or female germline, and comparison of the genes they target suggests that these two populations have evolved independently. Together, our results indicate that C. elegans piRNA upstream motifs act as independent promoters to specify which sequences are expressed as piRNAs, how abundantly they are expressed, and in what germline. As the genome encodes well over 15,000 unique piRNA sequences, our study reveals that the number of transcriptional units encoding piRNAs rivals the number of mRNA coding genes in the C. elegans genome. PMID:23516384

  3. DNA Strand Breaks in Mitotic Germ Cells of Caenorhabditis elegans Evaluated by Comet Assay.

    PubMed

    Park, Sojin; Choi, Seoyun; Ahn, Byungchan

    2016-03-01

    DNA damage responses are important for the maintenance of genome stability and the survival of organisms. Such responses are activated in the presence of DNA damage and lead to cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and DNA repair. In Caenorhabditis elegans, double-strand breaks induced by DNA damaging agents have been detected indirectly by antibodies against DSB recognizing proteins. In this study we used a comet assay to detect DNA strand breaks and to measure the elimination of DNA strand breaks in mitotic germline nuclei of C. elegans. We found that C. elegans brc-1 mutants were more sensitive to ionizing radiation and camptothecin than the N2 wild-type strain and repaired DNA strand breaks less efficiently than N2. This study is the first demonstration of direct measurement of DNA strand breaks in mitotic germline nuclei of C. elegans. This newly developed assay can be applied to detect DNA strand breaks in different C. elegans mutants that are sensitive to DNA damaging agents.

  4. 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. PMID:27583642

  5. Detection and avoidance of a natural product from the pathogenic bacterium Serratia marcescens by Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Pradel, Elizabeth; Zhang, Yun; Pujol, Nathalie; Matsuyama, Tohey; Bargmann, Cornelia I.; Ewbank, Jonathan J.

    2007-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is present in soils and composts, where it can encounter a variety of microorganisms. Some bacteria in these rich environments are innocuous food sources for C. elegans, whereas others are pathogens. Under laboratory conditions, C. elegans will avoid certain pathogens, such as Serratia marcescens, by exiting a bacterial lawn a few hours after entering it. By combining bacterial genetics and nematode genetics, we show that C. elegans specifically avoids certain strains of Serratia based on their production of the cyclic lipodepsipentapeptide serrawettin W2. Lawn-avoidance behavior is chiefly mediated by the two AWB chemosensory neurons, probably through G protein-coupled chemoreceptors, and also involves the nematode Toll-like receptor gene tol-1. Purified serrawettin W2, added to an Escherichia coli lawn, can directly elicit lawn avoidance in an AWB-dependent fashion, as can another chemical detected by AWB. These findings represent an insight into chemical recognition between these two soil organisms and reveal sensory mechanisms for pathogen recognition in C. elegans. PMID:17267603

  6. A Highly Accurate Inclusive Cancer Screening Test Using Caenorhabditis elegans Scent Detection

    PubMed Central

    Uozumi, Takayuki; Shinden, Yoshiaki; Mimori, Koshi; Maehara, Yoshihiko; Ueda, Naoko; Hamakawa, Masayuki

    2015-01-01

    Early detection and treatment are of vital importance to the successful eradication of various cancers, and development of economical and non-invasive novel cancer screening systems is critical. Previous reports using canine scent detection demonstrated the existence of cancer-specific odours. However, it is difficult to introduce canine scent recognition into clinical practice because of the need to maintain accuracy. In this study, we developed a Nematode Scent Detection Test (NSDT) using Caenorhabditis elegans to provide a novel highly accurate cancer detection system that is economical, painless, rapid and convenient. We demonstrated wild-type C. elegans displayed attractive chemotaxis towards human cancer cell secretions, cancer tissues and urine from cancer patients but avoided control urine; in parallel, the response of the olfactory neurons of C. elegans to the urine from cancer patients was significantly stronger than to control urine. In contrast, G protein α mutants and olfactory neurons-ablated animals were not attracted to cancer patient urine, suggesting that C. elegans senses odours in urine. We tested 242 samples to measure the performance of the NSDT, and found the sensitivity was 95.8%; this is markedly higher than that of other existing tumour markers. Furthermore, the specificity was 95.0%. Importantly, this test was able to diagnose various cancer types tested at the early stage (stage 0 or 1). To conclude, C. elegans scent-based analyses might provide a new strategy to detect and study disease-associated scents. PMID:25760772

  7. Dynamics of the Model of the Caenorhabditis Elegans Neural Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kosinski, R. A.; Zaremba, M.

    2007-06-01

    The model of the neural network of nematode worm C. elegans resulting from the biological investigations and published in the literature, is proposed. In the model artificial neurons Siin (-1,1) are connected in the same way as in the C. elegans neural network. The dynamics of this network is investigated numerically for the case of simple external simulation, using the methods developed for the nonlinear systems. In the computations a number of different attractors, e.g. point, quasiperiodic and chaotic, as well as the range of their occurrence, were found. These properties are similar to the dynamical properties of a simple one dimensional neural network with comparable number of neurons investigated earlier.

  8. Undulatory Locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans on Wet Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

    The physical and bio-mechanical principles that govern undulatory movement on wet surfaces have important applications in physiology, physics, and engineering. The nematode {\\it C. 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 {\\it 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. We find that the normal and tangential surface drag force coefficients during crawling are approximately 220 and 22, respectively, and the drag coefficient ratio is approximately 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 changes in the motility gait of {\\it C. elegans} is most likely due to the nematode's adaptive response to environments characterized by different drag coefficient ratios.

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans as an undergraduate educational tool for teaching RNAi.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Janet; Krichevsky, Alexander; Leheste, Joerg R; Moloney, Daniel J

    2008-11-01

    Discovery of RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) is widely recognized as one of the most significant molecular biology breakthroughs in the past 10 years. There is a need for science educators to develop teaching tools and laboratory activities that demonstrate the power of this new technology and help students to better understand the RNAi process. C. elegans is an ideal model organism for the undergraduate laboratory because of the simplicity of worm maintenance, its well-studied genetic background, and the fact that it can be employed as a model organism in laboratory environments where vertebrate research is restricted. Certain unique features of C. elegans make it a very suitable organism for RNAi studies. Specifically, nematode strains highly sensitive to RNAi are readily available from public sources, and RNAi induction by a feeding method is an uncomplicated procedure that lends itself readily as an educational tool. In this article, we provide a detailed depiction of the use of C. elegans as an RNAi educational tool, describing two separate RNAi-based experiments. One is a qualitative experiment where students can examine the effects of knocking down the unc-22 gene involved in the regulation of muscle contraction, which results in a "twitching" phenotype. The other experiment is a quantitative RNAi experiment, where students measure the effect of knocking down the lsy-2 gene involved in neuronal development. Although these experiments are designed for a college-level study, nematode research projects can also be accomplished in secondary school facilities.

  10. Comparative Study of Several Behaviors in Caenorhabditis Elegans Following High-Let Radiation Exposure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya

    Learning and behavioral impairments following ionizing radiation exposure are an important potential risk in manned space missions. We previously reported the effects of γ-ray exposure on olfactory adaptation [1], salt chemotaxis learning [2], and locomotion - learning behavior relationship [3] in Caenorhabditis elegans. However, little is known about the effects of high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation. We investigated various behavioral responses of wellfed adult Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to accelerated carbon ions (1 2C, 18.3M eV /u, LET = 113.3keV /µm). Following carbon-ion irradiation, locomotion, basal slowing response and salt chemotaxis learning were not significantly affected, whereas chemosensation to NaCl of animals during learning was altered. These results suggest that sensitivity of the C. elegans nervous system to high-LET heavy ions differs with the types of behaviors. References: [1] Sakashita et al., Biol. Sci. Space 21, 117-20 (2007), [2] Sakashita et al., FASEB J 22, 713-20 (2008), [3] Sakashita et al., J. Radiat. Res. 49, in press (2008).

  11. Vulnerability-Based Critical Neurons, Synapses, and Pathways in the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seongkyun; Kim, Hyoungkyu; Kralik, Jerald D; Jeong, Jaeseung

    2016-08-01

    Determining the fundamental architectural design of complex nervous systems will lead to significant medical and technological advances. Yet it remains unclear how nervous systems evolved highly efficient networks with near optimal sharing of pathways that yet produce multiple distinct behaviors to reach the organism's goals. To determine this, the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model system. Progress has been made in delineating the behavioral circuits of the C. elegans, however, many details are unclear, including the specific functions of every neuron and synapse, as well as the extent the behavioral circuits are separate and parallel versus integrative and serial. Network analysis provides a normative approach to help specify the network design. We investigated the vulnerability of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome by performing computational experiments that (a) "attacked" 279 individual neurons and 2,990 weighted synaptic connections (composed of 6,393 chemical synapses and 890 electrical junctions) and (b) quantified the effects of each removal on global network properties that influence information processing. The analysis identified 12 critical neurons and 29 critical synapses for establishing fundamental network properties. These critical constituents were found to be control elements-i.e., those with the most influence over multiple underlying pathways. Additionally, the critical synapses formed into circuit-level pathways. These emergent pathways provide evidence for (a) the importance of backward locomotion, avoidance behavior, and social feeding behavior to the organism; (b) the potential roles of specific neurons whose functions have been unclear; and PMID:27540747

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:27343944

  14. A microfluidic device for the continuous culture and analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in a toxic aqueous environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Jaehoon; Nakajima, Masahiro; Tajima, Hirotaka; Huang, Qiang; Fukuda, Toshio

    2013-08-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) receives attention as a bioindicator, and the C. elegans condition has been recently analyzed using microfluidic devices equipped with an imaging system. To establish a method without an imaging system, we have proposed a novel microfluidic device with which to analyze the condition of C. elegans from the capacitance change using a pair of micro-electrodes. The device was designed to culture C. elegans, to expose C. elegans to an external stimulus, such as a chemical or toxicant, and to measure the capacitance change which indicates the condition of C. elegans. In this study, to demonstrate the capability of our device in a toxic aqueous environment, the device was applied to examine the effect of cadmium on C. elegans. Thirty L4 larval stage C. elegans were divided into three groups. One group was a control group and the other groups were exposed to cadmium solutions with concentrations of 5% and 10% LC50 for 24 h. The capacitance change and the body volume of C. elegans as a reference were measured four times and we confirmed the correlation between them. It shows that our device can analyze the condition of C. elegans without an imaging system.

  15. Probing the physiology of ASH neuron in Caenorhabditis elegans using electric current stimulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chokshi, Trushal Vijaykumar; Bazopoulou, Daphne; Chronis, Nikos

    2011-08-01

    Electrical stimulation has been widely used to modulate and study the in vitro and in vivo functionality of the nervous system. Here, we characterized the effect of electrical stimulation on ASH neuron in Caenorhabditis elegans and employed it to probe the neuron's age dependent properties. We utilized an automated microfluidic-based platform and characterized the ASH neuronal activity in response to an electric current applied to the worm's body. The electrically induced ASH neuronal response was observed to be dependent on the magnitude, polarity, and spatial location of the electrical stimulus as well as on the age of the worm.

  16. A review of transgenerational epigenetics for RNAi, longevity, germline maintenance and olfactory imprinting in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Rankin, Catharine H

    2015-01-01

    Inheritance of acquired characteristics without changes in DNA sequence has been called transgenerational epigenetics. This review looks at studies that used the model system Caenorhabditis elegans to uncover mechanisms of transgenerational epigenetics in studies of RNA interference, studies of longevity, studies of germline continuity and a study on olfactory imprinting. In each case, researchers have uncovered critical roles for small RNAs and for Argonaute proteins. They have revealed several different genetic pathways that mediate RNA silencing of foreign RNA for a few or for many generations, as well as identifying a related pathway responsible for recognized self-generated RNAs. Together, these studies have greatly advanced our understanding of trangenerational epigenetics.

  17. Collaboration between mitochondria and the nucleus is key to long life in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Chang, Hsin-Wen; Shtessel, Ludmila; Lee, Siu Sylvia

    2015-01-01

    Recent findings in diverse organisms strongly support a conserved role for mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction in longevity modulation, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. One way cells cope with mitochondrial dysfunction is through a retrograde transcriptional reprogramming response. In this review, we primarily focus on the work that has been performed in Caenorhabditis elegans to elucidate these mechanisms. We describe several transcription factors that participate in mitochondria-to-nucleus signaling and discuss how they mediate the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and life span. PMID:25450327

  18. Ellsworth C. Dougherty: A Pioneer in the Selection of Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model Organism

    PubMed Central

    Ferris, Howard

    2015-01-01

    Ellsworth Dougherty (1921–1965) was a man of impressive intellectual dimensions and interests; in a relatively short career he contributed enormously as researcher and scholar to the biological knowledge base for selection of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism in neurobiology, genetics, and molecular biology. He helped guide the choice of strains that were eventually used, and, in particular, he developed the methodology and understanding for the nutrition and axenic culture of nematodes and other organisms. Dougherty insisted upon a concise terminology for culture techniques and coined descriptive neologisms that were justified by their linguistic roots. Among other contributions, he refined the classification system for the Protista. PMID:26272995

  19. Lifespan Extension Induced by Caffeine in Caenorhabditis elegans is Partially Dependent on Adenosine Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bridi, Jessika Cristina; Barros, Alexandre Guimarães de Almeida; Sampaio, Letícia Reis; Ferreira, Júlia Castro Damásio; Antunes Soares, Felix Alexandre; Romano-Silva, Marco Aurélio

    2015-01-01

    Caffeine is a widely used psychoactive substance. Studies have shown that caffeine may play a protective role in aging-associated disorders. However, the mechanisms by which caffeine modulates aging are not yet clear. In this study, we have shown that caffeine increases Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan, delays its larval development, reduces reproduction and body length. These phenotypes were partly reversed by worm’s exposure to adenosine, which suggest a putative common target. Moreover, they were dependent on a functional insulin/IGF-1-like pathway. Our results may shed light on new genetic determinants of aging. PMID:26696878

  20. Developmental Defects in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model for Type III Galactosemia

    PubMed Central

    Brokate-Llanos, Ana M.; Monje, José M.; Murdoch, Piedad del Socorro; Muñoz, Manuel J.

    2014-01-01

    Type III galactosemia is a metabolic disorder caused by reduced activity of UDP-galactose-4-epimerase, which participates in galactose metabolism and the generation of various UDP-sugar species. We characterized gale-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans and found that a complete loss-of-function mutation is lethal, as has been hypothesized for humans, whereas a nonlethal partial loss-of-function allele causes a variety of developmental abnormalities, likely resulting from the impairment of the glycosylation process. We also observed that gale-1 mutants are hypersensitive to galactose as well as to infections. Interestingly, we found interactions between gale-1 and the unfolded protein response. PMID:25298520

  1. Centrosome movement in the early divisions of Caenorhabditis elegans: A cortical site determining centrosome position

    SciTech Connect

    Hyman, A.A. )

    1989-09-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, early blastomeres of the P cell lineage divide successively on the same axis. This axis is a consequence of the specific rotational movement of the pair of centrosomes and nucleus. A laser has been used to perturb the centrosome movements that determine the pattern of early embryonic divisions. The results support a previously proposed model in which a centrosome rotates towards its correct position by shortening of connections, possibly microtubules, between a centrosome and a defined site on the cortex of the embryo.

  2. Behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans in alternating electric field and its application to their localization and control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-04-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model organism because of its genetic similarity to humans and the ease of its manipulation in the laboratory. Recently, it was shown that a direct current electric field inside microfluidic channel induces directed movement that is highly sensitive, reliable, and benign. In this letter, we describe the worm's movement response to alternating electric fields in a similar channel setup. We demonstrate that the 1 Hz and higher frequency of alternating current field can effectively localize worms in the channel. This discovery could potentially help design microfluidic devices for high throughput automated analysis of worms.

  3. Oxaloacetate supplementation increases lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans through an AMPK/FOXO-dependent pathway.

    PubMed

    Williams, David S; Cash, Alan; Hamadani, Lara; Diemer, Tanja

    2009-12-01

    Reduced dietary intake increases lifespan in a wide variety of organisms. It also retards disease progression. We tested whether dietary supplementation of citric acid cycle metabolites could mimic this lifespan effect. We report that oxaloacetate supplementation increased lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans. The increase was dependent on the transcription factor, FOXO/DAF-16, and the energy sensor, AMP-activated protein kinase, indicating involvement of a pathway that is also required for lifespan extension through dietary restriction. These results demonstrate that supplementation of the citric acid cycle metabolite, oxaloacetate, influences a longevity pathway, and suggest a tractable means of introducing the health-related benefits of dietary restriction.

  4. Oral ingestion of Microbacterium nematophilum leads to anal-region infection in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Lisa M; Cipollo, John

    2014-04-01

    Microbacterium nematophilum is a gram positive bacterium that colonizes the Caenorhabditis elegans rectal region causing swelling and constipation. This interaction has been exploited as a model system to identify and study genes important in host-pathogen interactions and innate immunity. During attempts to inhibit the host-pathogen interaction, it became important to clarify the route of infection. Using bacteria labeled with the fluorescent dye Cy3, we show that infection is via the oral route only and that infection follows a clear pattern of ingestion, plug formation, and bump development that can be quantitatively tracked over time.

  5. Centrosome movement in the early divisions of Caenorhabditis elegans: a cortical site determining centrosome position

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, early blastomeres of the P cell lineage divide successively on the same axis. This axis is a consequence of the specific rotational movement of the pair of centrosomes and nucleus (Hyman, A. A., and J. G. White. 1987. J. Cell Biol. 105:2123-2135). A laser has been used to perturb the centrosome movements that determine the pattern of early embryonic divisions. The results support a previously proposed model in which a centrosome rotates towards its correct position by shortening of connections, possibly microtubules, between a centrosome and a defined site on the cortex of the embryo. PMID:2768338

  6. Amphetamine activates an amine-gated chloride channel to generate behavioral effects in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Safratowich, Bryan D; Lor, Chee; Bianchi, Laura; Carvelli, Lucia

    2013-07-26

    Amphetamine is a highly addictive psychostimulant, which is thought to generate its effects by promoting release of dopamine through reverse activation of dopamine transporters. However, some amphetamine-mediated behaviors persist in dopamine transporter knock-out animals, suggesting the existence of alternative amphetamine targets. Here we demonstrate the identification of a novel amphetamine target by showing that in Caenorhabditis elegans, a large fraction of the behavioral effects of amphetamine is mediated through activation of the amine-gated chloride channel, LGC-55. These findings bring to light alternative pathways engaged by amphetamine, and urge rethinking of the molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of this highly-addictive psychostimulant.

  7. Chlorophyll enhances oxidative stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans and extends its lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Erjia

    2016-01-01

    Green vegetables are thought to be responsible for several beneficial properties such as antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, and detoxification activities. It is not known whether these effects are due to chlorophyll which exists in large amounts in many foods or result from other secondary metabolites. In this study, we used the model system Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the anti-oxidative and anti-aging effects of chlorophyll in vivo. We found that chlorophyll significantly improves resistance to oxidative stress. It also enhances the lifespan of C. elegans by up to 25% via activation of the DAF-16/FOXO-dependent pathway. The results indicate that chlorophyll is absorbed by the worms and is thus bioavailable, constituting an important prerequisite for antioxidant and longevity-promoting activities inside the body. Our study thereby supports the view that green vegetables may also be beneficial for humans. PMID:27077003

  8. Biochemistry, function, and deficiency of vitamin B12 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Bito, Tomohiro; Watanabe, Fumio

    2016-09-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a nematode that has been widely used as an animal for investigation of diverse biological phenomena. Vitamin B12 is essential for the growth of this worm, which contains two cobalamin-dependent enzymes, methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase. A full complement of gene homologs encoding the enzymes associated with the mammalian intercellular metabolic processes of vitamin B12 is identified in the genome of C elegans However, this worm has no orthologs of the vitamin B12-binders that participate in human intestinal absorption and blood circulation. When the worm is treated with a vitamin B12-deficient diet for five generations (15 days), it readily develops vitamin B12 deficiency, which induces worm phenotypes (infertility, delayed growth, and shorter lifespan) that resemble the symptoms of mammalian vitamin B12 deficiency. Such phenotypes associated with vitamin B12 deficiency were readily induced in the worm.

  9. An olfactory neuron responds stochastically to temperature and modulates Caenorhabditis elegans thermotactic behavior

    PubMed Central

    Biron, David; Wasserman, Sara; Thomas, James H.; Samuel, Aravinthan D. T.; Sengupta, Piali

    2008-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans navigates thermal gradients by using a behavioral strategy that is regulated by a memory of its cultivation temperature (Tc). At temperatures above or around the Tc, animals respond to temperature changes by modulating the rate of stochastic reorientation events. The bilateral AFD neurons have been implicated as thermosensory neurons, but additional thermosensory neurons are also predicted to play a role in regulating thermotactic behaviors. Here, we show that the AWC olfactory neurons respond to temperature. Unlike AFD neurons, which respond to thermal stimuli with continuous, graded calcium signals, AWC neurons exhibit stochastic calcium events whose frequency is stimulus-correlated in a Tc-dependent manner. Animals lacking the AWC neurons or with hyperactive AWC neurons exhibit defects in the regulation of reorientation rate in thermotactic behavior. Our observations suggest that the AFD and AWC neurons encode thermal stimuli via distinct strategies to regulate C. elegans thermotactic behavior. PMID:18667708

  10. Fast Functional Germline and Epigenetic Assays in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lundby, Zachary; Camacho, Jessica; Allard, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Germ cells are unique in their ability to transfer traits and genetic information from one generation to the next. The proper development and integrity of their genome are therefore of utmost importance for the health of organisms and survival of species. Many features of mammalian germ cells, including their long development span and difficulty of access, present challenges for their study in the context of toxicity assays. In light of these barriers, the model system Caenorhabditis elegans shows great potential given its ease of manipulation and genetic tractability which can be easily adapted for high-throughput analysis. In this chapter, we discuss the advantages of examining germ cell processes in C. elegans, and describe three functional germline assays for the examination of chemical impact on germline maintenance and function including assays probing germ cell differentiation, germline apoptosis, and germline epigenetic regulation. PMID:27518628

  11. A Forward Genetic Screen for Suppressors of Somatic P Granules in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Ashley L.; Senter-Zapata, Michael J.; Campbell, Anne C.; Lust, Hannah E.; Theriault, Monique E.; Andralojc, Karolina M.; Updike, Dustin L.

    2015-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, germline expression programs are actively repressed in somatic tissue by components of the synMuv (synthetic multi-vulva) B chromatin remodeling complex, which include homologs of tumor suppressors Retinoblastoma (Rb/LIN-35) and Malignant Brain Tumor (MBT/LIN-61). However, the full scope of pathways that suppress germline expression in the soma is unknown. To address this, we performed a mutagenesis and screened for somatic expression of GFP-tagged PGL-1, a core P-granule nucleating protein. Eight alleles were isolated from 4000 haploid genomes. Five of these alleles exhibit a synMuv phenotype, whereas the remaining three were identified as hypomorphic alleles of known synMuv B genes, lin-13 and dpl-1. These findings suggest that most suppressors of germline programs in the soma of C. elegans are either required for viability or function through synMuv B chromatin regulation. PMID:26100681

  12. The application of somatic CRISPR-Cas9 to conditional genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Ou, Guangshuo

    2016-04-01

    Forward and reverse genetic approaches have been well developed in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans; however, efficient genetic tools to generate conditional gene mutations are still in high demand. Recently, the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR-Cas9) system for genome modification has provided an additional tool for C. elegans researchers to achieve simple and efficient conditional targeted mutagenesis. Here, we review recent advances in the somatic expression of Cas9 endonuclease for conditional gene editing. We present some practical considerations for improving the efficiency and reducing the off-target effects of somatic CRISPR-Cas9 and highlight a strategy to analyze somatic mutation at single-cell resolution. Finally, we outline future applications and consider challenges for this emerging genome editing platform that will need to be addressed in the future.

  13. Mapping a mutation in Caenorhabditis elegans using a polymerase chain reaction-based approach.

    PubMed

    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 undergraduate students use molecular biological techniques to map a mutation to a chromosome using a set of SNPs. Through this multi-week exercise, students perform genetic crosses, DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction, restriction enzyme digests, agarose gel electrophoresis, and analysis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Students then analyze their results to deduce the chromosomal location of the mutation. Students also use bioinformatics websites to develop hypotheses that link the genotype to the phenotype. PMID:24615818

  14. A perspective on optical developments in microfluidic platforms for Caenorhabditis elegans research

    PubMed Central

    Aubry, Guillaume; Lu, Hang

    2014-01-01

    Microfluidics offers unique ways of handling and manipulating microorganisms, which has particularly benefited Caenorhabditis elegans research. Optics plays a major role in these microfluidic platforms, not only as a read-out for the biological systems of interest but also as a vehicle for applying perturbations to biological systems. Here, we describe different areas of research in C. elegans developmental biology and behavior neuroscience enabled by microfluidics combined with the optical components. In particular, we highlight the diversity of optical tools and methods in use and the strategies implemented in microfluidics to make the devices compatible with optical techniques. We also offer some thoughts on future challenges in adapting advancements in optics to microfluidic platforms. PMID:24753721

  15. Multi-Toxic Endpoints of the Foodborne Mycotoxins in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhendong; Xue, Kathy S; Sun, Xiulan; Tang, Lili; Wang, Jia-Sheng

    2015-12-02

    Aflatoxins B₁ (AFB₁), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisin B₁ (FB₁), T-2 toxin (T-2), and zearalenone (ZEA) are the major foodborne mycotoxins of public health concerns. In the present study, the multiple toxic endpoints of these naturally-occurring mycotoxins were evaluated in Caenorhabditis elegans model for their lethality, toxic effects on growth and reproduction, as well as influence on lifespan. We found that the lethality endpoint was more sensitive for T-2 toxicity with the EC50 at 1.38 mg/L, the growth endpoint was relatively sensitive for AFB₁ toxic effects, and the reproduction endpoint was more sensitive for toxicities of AFB₁, FB₁, and ZEA. Moreover, the lifespan endpoint was sensitive to toxic effects of all five tested mycotoxins. Data obtained from this study may serve as an important contribution to knowledge on assessment of mycotoxin toxic effects, especially for assessing developmental and reproductive toxic effects, using the C. elegans model.

  16. Heat shock factor 1 prevents the reduction in thrashing due to heat shock in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Furuhashi, Tsubasa; Sakamoto, Kazuichi

    2015-07-01

    Heat shock factor 1 (HSF-1) is activated by heat stress and induces the expression of heat shock proteins. However, the role of HSF-1 in thermotolerance remains unclear. We previously reported that heat stress reversibly reduces thrashing movement in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we analyzed the function of HSF-1 on thermotolerance by monitoring thrashing movement. hsf-1 RNAi suppressed the restoration of thrashing reduced by heat stress. In contrast, hsf-1 knockdown cancelled prevention of movement reduction in insulin/IGF-1-like growth factor 1 receptor (daf-2) mutant, but didn't suppress thrashing restoration in daf-2 mutant. In addition, hsf-1 RNAi accelerated the reduction of thrashing in heat-shocked wild-type C. elegans. And, daf-16 KO didn't accelerate the reduction of thrashing by heat stress. Taken together, these results suggest that HSF-1 prevents the reduction of thrashing caused by heat shock.

  17. A High-Throughput Method for the Analysis of Larval Developmental Phenotypes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Olmedo, María; Geibel, Mirjam; Artal-Sanz, Marta; Merrow, Martha

    2015-10-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans postembryonic development consists of four discrete larval stages separated by molts. Typically, the speed of progression through these larval stages is investigated by visual inspection of the molting process. Here, we describe an automated method to monitor the timing of these discrete phases of C. elegans maturation, from the first larval stage through adulthood, using bioluminescence. The method was validated with a lin-42 mutant strain that shows delayed development relative to wild-type animals and with a daf-2 mutant that shows an extended second larval stage. This new method is inherently high-throughput and will finally allow dissecting the molecular machinery governing the speed of the developmental clock, which has so far been hampered by the lack of a method suitable for genetic screens.

  18. Ethyl methanesulfonate induces mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos at a high frequency.

    PubMed

    Hartman, Phil S; Barry, James; Finstad, Whitney; Khan, Numan; Tanaka, Masayuki; Yasuda, Kayo; Ishii, Naoaki

    2014-01-01

    Mutagenesis protocols typically call for exposure of late-stage larvae or adults to a mutagen with the intention of inducing mutations in a robust germ line. Instead, ca. 16,000 CB665 [unc-58(e665)] one- to four-cell embryos of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans were hand selected and exposed to ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) for 50min. Twenty-one reversion mutants were recovered, of which 17 were intragenic suppressors of the e665 mutation. The mutation frequency was 6.5-fold higher than when CB665 adults were similarly mutagenized, which was predicted given that cell-cycle checkpoints are muted in C. elegans embryos. The mutation spectrum was similar to that obtained after standard EMS mutagenesis. PMID:25847271

  19. Maple Syrup Decreases TDP-43 Proteotoxicity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

    PubMed

    Aaron, Catherine; Beaudry, Gabrielle; Parker, J Alex; Therrien, Martine

    2016-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease causing death of the motor neurons. Proteotoxicity caused by TDP-43 protein is an important aspect of ALS pathogenesis, with TDP-43 being the main constituent of the aggregates found in patients. We have previously tested the effect of different sugars on the proteotoxicity caused by the expression of mutant TDP-43 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we tested maple syrup, a natural compound containing many active molecules including sugars and phenols, for neuroprotective activity. Maple syrup decreased several age-dependent phenotypes caused by the expression of TDP-43(A315T) in C. elegans motor neurons and requires the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16 to be effective. PMID:27071850

  20. A High-Throughput Method for the Analysis of Larval Developmental Phenotypes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Olmedo, María; Geibel, Mirjam; Artal-Sanz, Marta; Merrow, Martha

    2015-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans postembryonic development consists of four discrete larval stages separated by molts. Typically, the speed of progression through these larval stages is investigated by visual inspection of the molting process. Here, we describe an automated method to monitor the timing of these discrete phases of C. elegans maturation, from the first larval stage through adulthood, using bioluminescence. The method was validated with a lin-42 mutant strain that shows delayed development relative to wild-type animals and with a daf-2 mutant that shows an extended second larval stage. This new method is inherently high-throughput and will finally allow dissecting the molecular machinery governing the speed of the developmental clock, which has so far been hampered by the lack of a method suitable for genetic screens. PMID:26294666

  1. p24 proteins and quality control of LIN-12 and GLP-1 trafficking in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wen, C; Greenwald, I

    1999-06-14

    Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans sel-9 gene elevate the activity of lin-12 and glp-1, which encode members of the LIN-12/NOTCH family of receptors. Sequence analysis indicates SEL-9 is one of several C. elegans p24 proteins. Allele-specific genetic interactions suggest that reducing sel-9 activity increases the activity of mutations altering the extracellular domains of LIN-12 or GLP-1. Reducing sel-9 activity restores the trafficking to the plasma membrane of a mutant GLP-1 protein that would otherwise accumulate within the cell. Our results suggest a role for SEL-9 and other p24 proteins in the negative regulation of transport of LIN-12 and GLP-1 to the cell surface, and favor a role for p24 proteins in a quality control mechanism for endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi transport. PMID:10366590

  2. Multiple phenotypes resulting from a mutagenesis screen for pharynx muscle mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ferrier, Andrew; Charron, Alexandra; Sadozai, Yama; Switaj, Lynn; Szutenbach, Anneliese; Smith, Pliny A

    2011-01-01

    We describe a novel screen to isolate pharyngeal cell morphology mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans using myo-2::GFP to rapidly identify abnormally shaped pharynxes in EMS (Ethyl Methanesulfonate) mutagenized worms. We observed over 83 C. elegans lines with distinctive pharyngeal phenotypes in worms surviving to the L1 larval stage, with phenotypes ranging from short pharynx, unattached pharynx, missing cells, asymmetric morphology, and non-adherent pharynx cells. Thirteen of these mutations have been chromosomally mapped using Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and deficiency strain complementation. Our studies have focused on genetically mapping and functionally testing two phenotypes, the short pharynx and the loss of muscle cohesion phenotypes. We have also identified new alleles of sma-1, and our screen suggests many genes directing pharynx assembly and structure may be either pharynx specific or less critical in other tissues.

  3. Multi-Toxic Endpoints of the Foodborne Mycotoxins in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhendong; Xue, Kathy S.; Sun, Xiulan; Tang, Lili; Wang, Jia-Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Aflatoxins B1 (AFB1), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisin B1 (FB1), T-2 toxin (T-2), and zearalenone (ZEA) are the major foodborne mycotoxins of public health concerns. In the present study, the multiple toxic endpoints of these naturally-occurring mycotoxins were evaluated in Caenorhabditis elegans model for their lethality, toxic effects on growth and reproduction, as well as influence on lifespan. We found that the lethality endpoint was more sensitive for T-2 toxicity with the EC50 at 1.38 mg/L, the growth endpoint was relatively sensitive for AFB1 toxic effects, and the reproduction endpoint was more sensitive for toxicities of AFB1, FB1, and ZEA. Moreover, the lifespan endpoint was sensitive to toxic effects of all five tested mycotoxins. Data obtained from this study may serve as an important contribution to knowledge on assessment of mycotoxin toxic effects, especially for assessing developmental and reproductive toxic effects, using the C. elegans model. PMID:26633509

  4. Genes down-regulated in spaceflight are involved in the control of longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Honda, Yoko; Higashibata, Akira; Matsunaga, Yohei; Yonezawa, Yukiko; Kawano, Tsuyoshi; Higashitani, Atsushi; Kuriyama, Kana; Shimazu, Toru; Tanaka, Masashi; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Ishioka, Noriaki; Honda, Shuji

    2012-01-01

    How microgravitational space environments affect aging is not well understood. We observed that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, spaceflight suppressed the formation of transgenically expressed polyglutamine aggregates, which normally accumulate with increasing age. Moreover, the inactivation of each of seven genes that were down-regulated in space extended lifespan on the ground. These genes encode proteins that are likely related to neuronal or endocrine signaling: acetylcholine receptor, acetylcholine transporter, choline acetyltransferase, rhodopsin-like receptor, glutamate-gated chloride channel, shaker family of potassium channel, and insulin-like peptide. Most of them mediated lifespan control through the key longevity-regulating transcription factors DAF-16 or SKN-1 or through dietary-restriction signaling, singly or in combination. These results suggest that aging in C. elegans is slowed through neuronal and endocrine response to space environmental cues. PMID:22768380

  5. Molecular characterization of a novel RhoGAP, RRC-1 of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Delawary, Mina; Nakazawa, Takanobu; Tezuka, Tohru; Sawa, Mariko; Iino, Yuichi; Takenawa, Tadaomi; Yamamoto, Tadashi . E-mail: tyamamot@ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp

    2007-06-01

    The GTPase-activating proteins for Rho family GTPases (RhoGAP) transduce diverse intracellular signals by negatively regulating Rho family GTPase-mediated pathways. In this study, we have cloned and characterized a novel RhoGAP for Rac1 and Cdc42, termed RRC-1, from Caenorhabditis elegans. RRC-1 was highly homologous to mammalian p250GAP and promoted GTP hydrolysis of Rac1 and Cdc42 in cells. The rrc-1 mRNA was expressed in all life stages. Using an RRC-1::GFP fusion protein, we found that RRC-1 was localized to the coelomocytes, excretory cell, GLR cells, and uterine-seam cell in adult worms. These data contribute toward understanding the roles of Rho family GTPases in C. elegans.

  6. Identifying Regulators of Morphogenesis Common to Vertebrate Neural Tube Closure and Caenorhabditis elegans Gastrulation.

    PubMed

    Sullivan-Brown, Jessica L; Tandon, Panna; Bird, Kim E; Dickinson, Daniel J; Tintori, Sophia C; Heppert, Jennifer K; Meserve, Joy H; Trogden, Kathryn P; Orlowski, Sara K; Conlon, Frank L; Goldstein, Bob

    2016-01-01

    Neural tube defects including spina bifida are common and severe congenital disorders. In mice, mutations in more than 200 genes can result in neural tube defects. We hypothesized that this large gene set might include genes whose homologs contribute to morphogenesis in diverse animals. To test this hypothesis, we screened a set of Caenorhabditis elegans homologs for roles in gastrulation, a topologically similar process to vertebrate neural tube closure. Both C. elegans gastrulation and vertebrate neural tube closure involve the internalization of surface cells, requiring tissue-specific gene regulation, actomyosin-driven apical constriction, and establishment and maintenance of adhesions between specific cells. Our screen identified several neural tube defect gene homologs that are required for gastrulation in C. elegans, including the transcription factor sptf-3. Disruption of sptf-3 in C. elegans reduced the expression of early endodermally expressed genes as well as genes expressed in other early cell lineages, establishing sptf-3 as a key contributor to multiple well-studied C. elegans cell fate specification pathways. We also identified members of the actin regulatory WAVE complex (wve-1, gex-2, gex-3, abi-1, and nuo-3a). Disruption of WAVE complex members reduced the narrowing of endodermal cells' apical surfaces. Although WAVE complex members are expressed broadly in C. elegans, we found that expression of a vertebrate WAVE complex member, nckap1, is enriched in the developing neural tube of Xenopus. We show that nckap1 contributes to neural tube closure in Xenopus. This work identifies in vivo roles for homologs of mammalian neural tube defect genes in two manipulable genetic model systems.

  7. Significant longevity-extending effects of EGCG on Caenorhabditis elegans under stress.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Longze; Jie, Guoliang; Zhang, Junjing; Zhao, Baolu

    2009-02-01

    Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a main active ingredient of green tea, is believed to be beneficial in association with anticarcinogenesis, antiobesity, and blood pressure reduction. Here we report that EGCG extended Caenorhabditis elegans longevity under stress. Under heat stress (35 degrees C), EGCG improved the mean longevity by 13.1% at 0.1 microg/ml, 8.0% at 1.0 microg/ml, and 11.8% at 10.0 microg/ml. Under oxidative stress, EGCG could improve the mean longevity of C. elegans by 172.9% at 0.1 microg/ml, 177.7% at 1.0 microg/ml, and 88.5% at 10.0 microg/ml. However, EGCG could not extend the life span of C. elegans under normal culture conditions. Further studies demonstrated that the significant longevity-extending effects of EGCG on C. elegans could be attributed to its in vitro and in vivo free radical-scavenging effects and its up-regulating effects on stress-resistance-related proteins, including superoxide dismutase-3 (SOD-3) and heat shock protein-16.2 (HSP-16.2), in transgenic C. elegans with SOD-3::green fluorescent protein (GFP) and HSP-16.::GFP expression. Quantitative real-time PCR results showed that the up-regulation of aging-associated genes such as daf-16, sod-3, and skn-1 could also contribute to the stress resistance attributed to EGCG. As the death rate of a population is closely related to the mortality caused by external stress, it could be concluded that the survival-enhancing effects of EGCG on C. elegans under stress are very important for antiaging research. PMID:19061950

  8. Brief Communication: SIR-2.1-dependent lifespan extension of Caenorhabditis elegans by oxyresveratrol and resveratrol.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jiyun; Kwon, Gayeung; Park, Jieun; Kim, Jeong-Keun; Lim, Young-Hee

    2016-10-01

    Resveratrol (RES) has been studied for its effects on the lifespan extension of Caenorhabditis elegans, but controversy still remains on its mechanism related with SIR-2. In this study, longevity assay was performed to confirm SIR-2-dependent lifespan extension of C. elgeans with RES and oxyresveratrol (OXY), an isomer of hydroxylated RES using loss-of-function mutants of C. elegans including sir-2.1 mutant. The results showed that OXY and RES significantly (P < 0.05) extended the lifespan of C. elegans compared with the control. OXY and RES also significantly (P < 0.05) increased the mRNA expression levels of sir-2.1 and aak-2 in a dose-dependent manner and increased the protein expression levels of SIR-2.1. OXY and RES treatment extended the lifespan in daf-16 loss-of-function mutants, which suggested that lifespan extension was not occurring via the activation of DAF-16. However, OXY and RES failed to extend the lifespan in loss-of-function mutants of sir-2.1 and aak-2 Therefore, OXY and RES extend the lifespan of C. elegans by overexpression of SIR-2.1, which is related to lifespan extension through calorie restriction and the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway, although this process is independent of the FOXO/DAF-16 pathway.

  9. Description of International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment first flight (ICE-FIRST)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szewczyk, N. J.; Tillman, J.; Conley, C. A.; Granger, L.; Segalat, L.; Higashitani, A.; Honda, S.; Honda, Y.; Kagawa, H.; Adachi, R.; Higashibata, A.; Fujimoto, N.; Kuriyama, K.; Ishioka, N.; Fukui, K.; Baillie, D.; Rose, A.; Gasset, G.; Eche, B.; Chaput, D.; Viso, M.

    2008-09-01

    Traveling, living and working in space is now a reality. The number of people and length of time in space is increasing. With new horizons for exploration it becomes more important to fully understand and provide countermeasures to the effects of the space environment on the human body. In addition, space provides a unique laboratory to study how life and physiologic functions adapt from the cellular level to that of the entire organism. Caenorhabditis elegans is a genetic model organism used to study physiology on Earth. Here we provide a description of the rationale, design, methods, and space culture validation of the ICE-FIRST payload, which engaged C. elegans researchers from four nations. Here we also show C. elegans growth and development proceeds essentially normally in a chemically defined liquid medium on board the International Space Station (10.9 day round trip). By setting flight constraints first and bringing together established C. elegans researchers second, we were able to use minimal stowage space to successfully return a total of 53 independent samples, each containing more than a hundred individual animals, to investigators within one year of experiment concept. We believe that in the future, bringing together individuals with knowledge of flight experiment operations, flight hardware, space biology, and genetic model organisms should yield similarly successful payloads.

  10. A C-terminal truncated mutation of spr-3 gene extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ping; Sun, Ruilin; Yao, Minghui; Chen, Weidong; Wang, Zhugang; Fei, Jian

    2013-07-01

    The lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans is determined by various genetic and environmental factors. In this paper, spr-3, a C. elegans homologous gene of the mammalian neural restrictive silencing factor (NRSF/REST), is reported to be an important gene regulating lifespan of C. elegans. A deletion mutation of spr-3, spr-3(ok2525), or RNAi inhibition of spr-3 expression led to the short lifespan phenotype in C. elegans. However, a nonsense mutation of spr-3, spr-3(by108), increased the lifespan by 26% when compared with that of wild-type nematode. The spr-3(by108) also showed increased resistance to environmental stress. The spr-3(by108) mutated gene encodes a C-terminal truncated protein with a structure comparable with the REST4, a splice variant of the NRSF/REST in mammalian. The long lifespan phenotype of spr-3(by108) mutant is confirmed as a gain of function and dependent on normal functions of daf-16 and glp-1. The lifespan of the spr-3(by108) can be synergistically enhanced by inducing a mutation in daf-2. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction results showed that the expression of daf-16 as well as its target gene sod-3, mtl-1, and sip-1 was up-regulated in the spr-3(by108) mutant. These results would be helpful to further understand the complex function of NRSF/REST gene in mammalian, especially in the aging process and longevity determination. PMID:23692984

  11. Exercise in an electrotactic flow chamber ameliorates age-related degeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Han-Sheng; Kuo, Wan-Jung; Lee, Chia-Lin; Chu, I-Hua; Chen, Chang-Shi

    2016-01-01

    Degeneration is a senescence process that occurs in all living organisms. Although tremendous efforts have been exerted to alleviate this degenerative tendency, minimal progress has been achieved to date. The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), which shares over 60% genetic similarities with humans, is a model animal that is commonly used in studies on genetics, neuroscience, and molecular gerontology. However, studying the effect of exercise on C. elegans is difficult because of its small size unlike larger animals. To this end, we fabricated a flow chamber, called "worm treadmill," to drive worms to exercise through swimming. In the device, the worms were oriented by electrotaxis on demand. After the exercise treatment, the lifespan, lipofuscin, reproductive capacity, and locomotive power of the worms were analyzed. The wild-type and the Alzheimer's disease model strains were utilized in the assessment. Although degeneration remained irreversible, both exercise-treated strains indicated an improved tendency compared with their control counterparts. Furthermore, low oxidative stress and lipofuscin accumulation were also observed among the exercise-treated worms. We conjecture that escalated antioxidant enzymes imparted the worms with an extra capacity to scavenge excessive oxidative stress from their bodies, which alleviated the adverse effects of degeneration. Our study highlights the significance of exercise in degeneration from the perspective of the simple life form, C. elegans. PMID:27305857

  12. Humidity sensation requires both mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Joshua; Vidal-Gadea, Andrés G.; Makay, Alex; Lanam, Carolyn; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T.

    2014-01-01

    All terrestrial animals must find a proper level of moisture to ensure their health and survival. The cellular-molecular basis for sensing humidity is unknown in most animals, however. We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to uncover a mechanism for sensing humidity. We found that whereas C. elegans showed no obvious preference for humidity levels under standard culture conditions, worms displayed a strong preference after pairing starvation with different humidity levels, orienting to gradients as shallow as 0.03% relative humidity per millimeter. Cell-specific ablation and rescue experiments demonstrate that orientation to humidity in C. elegans requires the obligatory combination of distinct mechanosensitive and thermosensitive pathways. The mechanosensitive pathway requires a conserved DEG/ENaC/ASIC mechanoreceptor complex in the FLP neuron pair. Because humidity levels influence the hydration of the worm’s cuticle, our results suggest that FLP may convey humidity information by reporting the degree that subcuticular dendritic sensory branches of FLP neurons are stretched by hydration. The thermosensitive pathway requires cGMP-gated channels in the AFD neuron pair. Because humidity levels affect evaporative cooling, AFD may convey humidity information by reporting thermal flux. Thus, humidity sensation arises as a metamodality in C. elegans that requires the integration of parallel mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways. This hygrosensation strategy, first proposed by Thunberg more than 100 y ago, may be conserved because the underlying pathways have cellular and molecular equivalents across a wide range of species, including insects and humans. PMID:24843133

  13. Mechanism of longevity extension of Caenorhabditis elegans induced by pentagalloyl glucose isolated from eucalyptus leaves.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yunjiao; Onken, Brian; Chen, Hongzhang; Xiao, Suyao; Liu, Xiaojuan; Driscoll, Monica; Cao, Yong; Huang, Qingrong

    2014-04-16

    The multicellular model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) was used to identify the anti-aging effect of pentagalloyl glucose (PGG) isolated from Eucalyptus leaves at four different concentrations. For 160 μM PGG, the median lifespan of C. elegans was found to increase by 18%, and the thermal stress resistance was also increased. The anti-aging effect of PGG did not cause side effects on the physiological functions including the reproduction, pharyngeal pumping rate, age pigments accumulation, and locomotion ability. The life extension induced by PGG was found to rely on genes daf-16, age-1, eat-2, sir-2.1, and isp-1 but did not rely on genes mev-1 and clk-1. These findings suggested that the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway, dietary restriction, Sir-2.1 signaling, and mitochondrial electron transport chain became partly involved with the mechanism of lifespan extension mediated by PGG. Our results provided an insight into the mechanism of longevity extension mediated by PGG in C. elegans, which might be developed into a new generation of multitarget drug to prolong lifespan.

  14. Genomic Analysis of Immune Response against Vibrio cholerae Hemolysin in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sahu, Surasri N.; Bozdag, Serdar; Lee, Jeong H.; LeClerc, Joseph E.; Cinar, Hediye Nese

    2012-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae cytolysin (VCC) is among the accessory V. cholerae virulence factors that may contribute to disease pathogenesis in humans. VCC, encoded by hlyA gene, belongs to the most common class of bacterial toxins, known as pore-forming toxins (PFTs). V. cholerae infects and kills Caenorhabditis elegans via cholerae toxin independent manner. VCC is required for the lethality, growth retardation and intestinal cell vacuolation during the infection. However, little is known about the host gene expression responses against VCC. To address this question we performed a microarray study in C. elegans exposed to V. cholerae strains with intact and deleted hlyA genes. Many of the VCC regulated genes identified, including C-type lectins, Prion-like (glutamine [Q]/asparagine [N]-rich)-domain containing genes, genes regulated by insulin/IGF-1-mediated signaling (IIS) pathway, were previously reported as mediators of innate immune response against other bacteria in C. elegans. Protective function of the subset of the genes up-regulated by VCC was confirmed using RNAi. By means of a machine learning algorithm called FastMEDUSA, we identified several putative VCC induced immune regulatory transcriptional factors and transcription factor binding motifs. Our results suggest that VCC is a major virulence factor, which induces a wide variety of immune response- related genes during V. cholerae infection in C. elegans. PMID:22675448

  15. Expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits from parasitic nematodes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Megan A; Reaves, Barbara J; Maclean, Mary J; Storey, Bob E; Wolstenholme, Adrian J

    2015-11-01

    The levamisole-sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptor present at nematode neuromuscular junctions is composed of multiple different subunits, with the exact composition varying between species. We tested the ability of two well-conserved nicotinic receptor subunits, UNC-38 and UNC-29, from Haemonchus contortus and Ascaris suum to rescue the levamisole-resistance and locomotion defects of Caenorhabditis elegans strains with null deletion mutations in the unc-38 and unc-29 genes. The parasite cDNAs were cloned downstream of the relevant C. elegans promoters and introduced into the mutant strains via biolistic transformation. The UNC-38 subunit of H. contortus was able to completely rescue both the locomotion defects and levamisole resistance of the null deletion mutant VC2937 (ok2896), but no C. elegans expressing the A. suum UNC-38 could be detected. The H. contortus UNC-29.1 subunit partially rescued the levamisole resistance of a C. elegans null mutation in unc-29 VC1944 (ok2450), but did cause increased motility in a thrashing assay. In contrast, only a single line of worms containing the A. suum UNC-29 subunit showed a partial rescue of levamisole resistance, with no effect on thrashing.

  16. Antioxidant and neuroprotective potential of chitooligomers in Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to Monocrotophos.

    PubMed

    Nidheesh, T; Salim, Chinnu; Rajini, P S; Suresh, P V

    2016-01-01

    The objectives of this investigation were to establish the propensity of the chitooligomers (COS) to ameliorate neurodegeneration and oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans induced by an organophosphorus insecticide, Monocrotophos (MCP). COS was prepared from α-chitosan by the enzymatic method using chitosanase and characterized by HPLC and electron spray ionization-TOF-(ESI-TOF)-MS. We exposed age synchronized L4 C. elegans worms (both wild type N2 and transgenic strain BZ555 (Pdat-1:GFP) to sublethal concentration of MCP (0.75mM) for 24h in the presence or absence of COS (0.2mM). The neuroprotective effect of COS was examined in N2 worms in terms of brood size, lifespan, egg laying, dopamine content, acetylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase activity and by direct visualization and quantification of degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in BZ555. Exposure to COS extended lifespan, normalized egg laying, increased brood size, decreased the dopaminergic neurodegeneration, increased the dopamine content and increased AChE and carboxylesterase activity in C. elegans treated with MCP. COS induced a significant decrease in reactive oxygen species and increased the reduced glutathione level as well as increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activity. Our findings demonstrate that COS significantly inhibits the dopaminergic neurodegeneration and associated physiological alterations induced by MCP in C. elegans by attenuating the oxidative stress as well.

  17. Identification of lipid droplet structure-like/resident proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Na, Huimin; Zhang, Peng; Chen, Yong; Zhu, Xiaotong; Liu, Yi; Liu, Yangli; Xie, Kang; Xu, Ningyi; Yang, Fuquan; Yu, Yong; Cichello, Simon; Mak, Ho Yi; Wang, Meng C; Zhang, Hong; Liu, Pingsheng

    2015-10-01

    The lipid droplet (LD) is a cellular organelle that stores neutral lipids in cells and has been linked with metabolic disorders. Caenorhabditis elegans has many characteristics which make it an excellent animal model for studying LDs. However, unlike in mammalian cells, no LD structure-like/resident proteins have been identified in C. elegans, which has limited the utility of this model for the study of lipid storage and metabolism. Herein based on three lines of evidence, we identified that MDT-28 and DHS-3 previously identified in C. elegans LD proteome were two LD structure-like/resident proteins. First, MDT-28 and DHS-3 were found to be the two most abundant LD proteins in the worm. Second, the proteins were specifically localized to LDs and we identified the domains responsible for this targeting in both proteins. Third and most importantly, the depletion of MDT-28 induced LD clustering while DHS-3 deletion reduced triacylglycerol content (TAG). We further characterized the proteins finding that MDT-28 was ubiquitously expressed in the intestine, muscle, hypodermis, and embryos, whereas DHS-3 was expressed mainly in intestinal cells. Together, these two LD structure-like/resident proteins provide a basis for future mechanistic studies into the dynamics and functions of LDs in C. elegans.

  18. NeuCode Labeling in Nematodes: Proteomic and Phosphoproteomic Impact of Ascaroside Treatment in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Rhoads, Timothy W; Prasad, Aman; Kwiecien, Nicholas W; Merrill, Anna E; Zawack, Kelson; Westphall, Michael S; Schroeder, Frank C; Kimble, Judith; Coon, Joshua J

    2015-11-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model organism for biomedical research. We previously described NeuCode stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC), a method for accurate proteome quantification with potential for multiplexing beyond the limits of traditional stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture. Here we apply NeuCode SILAC to profile the proteomic and phosphoproteomic response of C. elegans to two potent members of the ascaroside family of nematode pheromones. By consuming labeled E. coli as part of their diet, C. elegans nematodes quickly and easily incorporate the NeuCode heavy lysine isotopologues by the young adult stage. Using this approach, we report, at high confidence, one of the largest proteomic and phosphoproteomic data sets to date in C. elegans: 6596 proteins at a false discovery rate ≤ 1% and 6620 phosphorylation isoforms with localization probability ≥75%. Our data reveal a post-translational signature of pheromone sensing that includes many conserved proteins implicated in longevity and response to stress.

  19. Persistence of Long-Term Memory in Vitrified and Revived Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Barranco, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Can memory be retained after cryopreservation? Our research has attempted to answer this long-standing question by using the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, a well-known model organism for biological research that has generated revolutionary findings but has not been tested for memory retention after cryopreservation. Our study's goal was to test C. elegans' memory recall after vitrification and reviving. Using a method of sensory imprinting in the young C. elegans, we establish that learning acquired through olfactory cues shapes the animal's behavior and the learning is retained at the adult stage after vitrification. Our research method included olfactory imprinting with the chemical benzaldehyde (C6H5CHO) for phase-sense olfactory imprinting at the L1 stage, the fast-cooling SafeSpeed method for vitrification at the L2 stage, reviving, and a chemotaxis assay for testing memory retention of learning at the adult stage. Our results in testing memory retention after cryopreservation show that the mechanisms that regulate the odorant imprinting (a form of long-term memory) in C. elegans have not been modified by the process of vitrification or by slow freezing. PMID:25867710

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans star formation and negative chemotaxis induced by infection with corynebacteria.

    PubMed

    Antunes, Camila Azevedo; Clark, Laura; Wanuske, Marie-Therès; Hacker, Elena; Ott, Lisa; Simpson-Louredo, Liliane; de Luna, Maria das Gracas; Hirata, Raphael; Mattos-Guaraldi, Ana Luíza; Hodgkin, Jonathan; Burkovski, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the major model systems in biology based on advantageous properties such as short life span, transparency, genetic tractability and ease of culture using an Escherichia coli diet. In its natural habitat, compost and rotting plant material, this nematode lives on bacteria. However, C. elegans is a predator of bacteria, but can also be infected by nematopathogenic coryneform bacteria such Microbacterium and Leucobacter species, which display intriguing and diverse modes of pathogenicity. Depending on the nematode pathogen, aggregates of worms, termed worm-stars, can be formed, or severe rectal swelling, so-called Dar formation, can be induced. Using the human and animal pathogens Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Corynebacterium ulcerans as well as the non-pathogenic species Corynebacterium glutamicum, we show that these coryneform bacteria can also induce star formation slowly in worms, as well as a severe tail-swelling phenotype. While C. glutamicum had a significant, but minor influence on survival of C. elegans, nematodes were killed after infection with C. diphtheriae and C. ulcerans. The two pathogenic species were avoided by the nematodes and induced aversive learning in C. elegans.

  1. Agarose Microchambers for Long-term Calcium Imaging of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Turek, Michal; Besseling, Judith; Bringmann, Henrik

    2015-01-01

    Behavior is controlled by the nervous system. Calcium imaging is a straightforward method in the transparent nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to measure the activity of neurons during various behaviors. To correlate neural activity with behavior, the animal should not be immobilized but should be able to move. Many behavioral changes occur during long time scales and require recording over many hours of behavior. This also makes it necessary to culture the worms in the presence of food. How can worms be cultured and their neural activity imaged over long time scales? Agarose Microchamber Imaging (AMI) was previously developed to culture and observe small larvae and has now been adapted to study all life stages from early L1 until the adult stage of C. elegans. AMI can be performed on various life stages of C. elegans. Long-term calcium imaging is achieved without immobilizing the animals by using short externally triggered exposures combined with an electron multiplying charge-coupled device (EMCCD) camera recording. Zooming out or scanning can scale up this method to image up to 40 worms in parallel. Thus, a method is described to image behavior and neural activity over long time scales in all life stages of C. elegans. PMID:26132740

  2. Humidity sensation requires both mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Russell, Joshua; Vidal-Gadea, Andrés G; Makay, Alex; Lanam, Carolyn; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T

    2014-06-01

    All terrestrial animals must find a proper level of moisture to ensure their health and survival. The cellular-molecular basis for sensing humidity is unknown in most animals, however. We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to uncover a mechanism for sensing humidity. We found that whereas C. elegans showed no obvious preference for humidity levels under standard culture conditions, worms displayed a strong preference after pairing starvation with different humidity levels, orienting to gradients as shallow as 0.03% relative humidity per millimeter. Cell-specific ablation and rescue experiments demonstrate that orientation to humidity in C. elegans requires the obligatory combination of distinct mechanosensitive and thermosensitive pathways. The mechanosensitive pathway requires a conserved DEG/ENaC/ASIC mechanoreceptor complex in the FLP neuron pair. Because humidity levels influence the hydration of the worm's cuticle, our results suggest that FLP may convey humidity information by reporting the degree that subcuticular dendritic sensory branches of FLP neurons are stretched by hydration. The thermosensitive pathway requires cGMP-gated channels in the AFD neuron pair. Because humidity levels affect evaporative cooling, AFD may convey humidity information by reporting thermal flux. Thus, humidity sensation arises as a metamodality in C. elegans that requires the integration of parallel mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways. This hygrosensation strategy, first proposed by Thunberg more than 100 y ago, may be conserved because the underlying pathways have cellular and molecular equivalents across a wide range of species, including insects and humans. PMID:24843133

  3. Natural lignans from Arctium lappa as antiaging agents in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Su, Shan; Wink, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Arctium lappa is a well-known traditional medicinal plant in China (TCM) and Europe that has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, baldness or cancer. The plant produces lignans as secondary metabolites, which have a wide range of bioactivities. Yet, their antiaging potential has not been explored. In this study, we isolated six lignans from A. lappa seeds, namely arctigenin, matairesinol, arctiin, (iso)lappaol A, lappaol C, and lappaol F. The antioxidant and antiaging properties of the isolated lignans were studied using Caenorhabditis elegans as a relevant animal model. All lignans at concentrations of 10 and 100 μM significantly extended the mean life span of C. elegans. The strongest effect was observed with matairesinol, which at a concentration of 100 μM extended the life span of worms by 25%. Additionally, we observed that five lignans are strong free radical-scavengers in vitro and in vivo and all lignans can improve survival of C. elegans under oxidative stress. Furthermore, the lignans can induce the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor DAF-16 and up-regulate its expression, suggesting that a possible underlying mechanism of the observed longevity-promoting activity of lignans depends on DAF-16 mediated signaling pathway. All lignans up-regulated the expression of jnk-1, indicating that lignans may promote the C. elegans longevity and stress resistance through a JNK-1-DAF-16 cascade. Our study reports new antiaging activities of lignans, which might be candidates for developing antiaging agents.

  4. Natural lignans from Arctium lappa as antiaging agents in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Su, Shan; Wink, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Arctium lappa is a well-known traditional medicinal plant in China (TCM) and Europe that has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, baldness or cancer. The plant produces lignans as secondary metabolites, which have a wide range of bioactivities. Yet, their antiaging potential has not been explored. In this study, we isolated six lignans from A. lappa seeds, namely arctigenin, matairesinol, arctiin, (iso)lappaol A, lappaol C, and lappaol F. The antioxidant and antiaging properties of the isolated lignans were studied using Caenorhabditis elegans as a relevant animal model. All lignans at concentrations of 10 and 100 μM significantly extended the mean life span of C. elegans. The strongest effect was observed with matairesinol, which at a concentration of 100 μM extended the life span of worms by 25%. Additionally, we observed that five lignans are strong free radical-scavengers in vitro and in vivo and all lignans can improve survival of C. elegans under oxidative stress. Furthermore, the lignans can induce the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor DAF-16 and up-regulate its expression, suggesting that a possible underlying mechanism of the observed longevity-promoting activity of lignans depends on DAF-16 mediated signaling pathway. All lignans up-regulated the expression of jnk-1, indicating that lignans may promote the C. elegans longevity and stress resistance through a JNK-1-DAF-16 cascade. Our study reports new antiaging activities of lignans, which might be candidates for developing antiaging agents. PMID:26141518

  5. Toxic potentiality of bio-oils, from biomass pyrolysis, in cultured cells and Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Chatterjee, Nivedita; Eom, Hyun-Jeong; Jung, Su-Hwa; Kim, Joo-Sik; Choi, Jinhee

    2014-12-01

    Bio-oils, which are multicomponent mixtures, were produced from two different biomass (rice straw (rice oil) and sawdust of oak tree (oak oil)) by using the slow pyrolysis process, and chemical compositional screening with GC-MS detected several hazardous compounds in both bio-oil samples. The two bio-oils vary in their chemical compositional nature and concentrations. To know the actual hazard potentialities of these bio-oils, toxicological assessments were carried out in a comparative approach by using in vitro (Jurkat T and HepG2 cell) as well as in vivo (Caenorhabditis elegans) systems. A dose-dependent increase in cytotoxicity, cell death (apoptosis), and genotoxicity were observed in cultured cell systems. Similarly, the in vivo system, C. elegans also displayed a dose-dependent decrease in survival. It was found that in comparison with rice oil, oak oil displayed higher toxicity to all models systems, and the susceptibility order of the model systems were Jurkat T > HepG2 > C. elegans. Pursuing the study further toward the underlying mechanism by exploiting the C. elegans mutants screening assay, the bio-oils seem to mediate toxicity through oxidative stress and impairment of immunity. Taken together, bio-oils compositions mainly depend on the feedstock used and the pyrolysis conditions which in turn modulate their toxic potentiality.

  6. Indirect Immunofluorescence of Proteins in Oogenic Germ Cells of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Brenner, John L; Schedl, Tim

    2016-01-01

    Formation of full-grown oocytes requires the control and coordination of a number of processes (e.g., oocyte growth) through multiple stages, where disruption at any one step can result in infertility. Numerous proteins are required for the regulation and execution of the various oogenic processes as well as functioning as maternal products needed for embryogenesis. Immunofluorescence microscopy combined with staining using antibodies against specific proteins, or their posttranslationally modified forms, is a standard approach to determine the temporal and spatial location of gene products that function in oocyte development. The simple linear organization of the germline in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans allows easy correlation of protein localization and germ cell developmental stage, thus aiding in our understanding of protein function during gametogenesis. Here we outline co-immunofluorescence staining for two major regulators of C. elegans germline development, the translational repressor GLD-1 and activated form of MPK-1 (dpMPK-1) ERK MAP kinase in dissected gonads from adult C. elegans. Worms are first dissected and the extruded gonads are fixed and permeabilized before being bathed in primary antibodies against GLD-1 and dpMPK-1. Secondary antibodies conjugated to fluorophore dyes and that target the IgG domains of the primary antibody reagents are then used to provide a fluorescent signal that corresponds to the position of GLD-1 and dpMPK-1. The outlined procedure is amenable to many other proteins expressed in C. elegans germ cells. PMID:27557570

  7. Description of International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment first flight (ICE-FIRST).

    PubMed

    Szewczyk, N J; Tillman, J; Conley, C A; Granger, L; Segalat, L; Higashitani, A; Honda, S; Honda, Y; Kagawa, H; Adachi, R; Higashibata, A; Fujimoto, N; Kuriyama, K; Ishioka, N; Fukui, K; Baillie, D; Rose, A; Gasset, G; Eche, B; Chaput, D; Viso, M

    2008-09-15

    Traveling, living and working in space is now a reality. The number of people and length of time in space is increasing. With new horizons for exploration it becomes more important to fully understand and provide countermeasures to the effects of the space environment on the human body. In addition, space provides a unique laboratory to study how life and physiologic functions adapt from the cellular level to that of the entire organism. Caenorhabditis elegans is a genetic model organism used to study physiology on Earth. Here we provide a description of the rationale, design, methods, and space culture validation of the ICE-FIRST payload, which engaged C. elegans researchers from four nations. Here we also show C. elegans growth and development proceeds essentially normally in a chemically defined liquid medium on board the International Space Station (10.9 day round trip). By setting flight constraints first and bringing together established C. elegans researchers second, we were able to use minimal stowage space to successfully return a total of 53 independent samples, each containing more than a hundred individual animals, to investigators within one year of experiment concept. We believe that in the future, bringing together individuals with knowledge of flight experiment operations, flight hardware, space biology, and genetic model organisms should yield similarly successful payloads.

  8. Antimicrobial effectors in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: an outgroup to the Arthropoda.

    PubMed

    Dierking, Katja; Yang, Wentao; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-05-26

    Nematodes and arthropods likely form the taxon Ecdysozoa. Information on antimicrobial effectors from the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans may thus shed light on the evolutionary origin of these defences in arthropods. This nematode species possesses an extensive armory of putative antimicrobial effector proteins, such as lysozymes, caenopores (or saposin-like proteins), defensin-like peptides, caenacins and neuropeptide-like proteins, in addition to the production of reactive oxygen species and autophagy. As C. elegans is a bacterivore that lives in microbe-rich environments, some of its effector peptides and proteins likely function in both digestion of bacterial food and pathogen elimination. In this review, we provide an overview of C. elegans immune effector proteins and mechanisms. We summarize the experimental evidence of their antimicrobial function and involvement in the response to pathogen infection. We further evaluate the microbe-induced expression of effector genes using WormExp, a recently established database for C. elegans gene expression analysis. We emphasize the need for further analysis at the protein level to demonstrate an antimicrobial activity of these molecules both in vitro and in vivoThis article is part of the themed issue 'Evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides'.

  9. Ten years of life in compost: temporal and spatial variation of North German Caenorhabditis elegans populations

    PubMed Central

    Petersen, Carola; Saebelfeld, Manja; Barbosa, Camilo; Pees, Barbara; Hermann, Ruben Joseph; Schalkowski, Rebecca; Strathmann, Eike Andreas; Dirksen, Philipp; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a central laboratory model system in almost all biological disciplines, yet its natural life history and population biology are largely unexplored. Such information is essential for in-depth understanding of the nematode's biology because its natural ecology provides the context, in which its traits and the underlying molecular mechanisms evolved. We characterized natural phenotypic and genetic variation among North German C. elegans isolates. We used the unique opportunity to compare samples collected 10 years apart from the same compost heap and additionally included recent samples for this and a second site, collected across a 1.5-year period. Our analysis revealed significant population genetic differentiation between locations, across the 10-year time period, but for only one location a trend across the shorter time frame. Significant variation was similarly found for phenotypic traits of likely importance in nature, such as choice behavior and population growth in the presence of pathogens or naturally associated bacteria. Phenotypic variation was significantly influenced by C. elegans genotype, time of isolation, and sampling site. The here studied C. elegans isolates may provide a valuable, genetically variable resource for future dissection of naturally relevant gene functions. PMID:26380661

  10. Caenorhabditis elegans recognizes a bacterial quorum-sensing signal molecule through the AWCON neuron.

    PubMed

    Werner, Kristen M; Perez, Lark J; Ghosh, Rajarshi; Semmelhack, Martin F; Bassler, Bonnie L

    2014-09-19

    In a process known as quorum sensing, bacteria use chemicals called autoinducers for cell-cell communication. Population-wide detection of autoinducers enables bacteria to orchestrate collective behaviors. In the animal kingdom detection of chemicals is vital for success in locating food, finding hosts, and avoiding predators. This behavior, termed chemotaxis, is especially well studied in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we demonstrate that the Vibrio cholerae autoinducer (S)-3-hydroxytridecan-4-one, termed CAI-1, influences chemotaxis in C. elegans. C. elegans prefers V. cholerae that produces CAI-1 over a V. cholerae mutant defective for CAI-1 production. The position of the CAI-1 ketone moiety is the key feature driving CAI-1-directed nematode behavior. CAI-1 is detected by the C. elegans amphid sensory neuron AWC(ON). Laser ablation of the AWC(ON) cell, but not other amphid sensory neurons, abolished chemoattraction to CAI-1. These analyses define the structural features of a bacterial-produced signal and the nematode chemosensory neuron that permit cross-kingdom interaction.

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans Recognizes a Bacterial Quorum-sensing Signal Molecule through the AWCON Neuron*

    PubMed Central

    Werner, Kristen M.; Perez, Lark J.; Ghosh, Rajarshi; Semmelhack, Martin F.; Bassler, Bonnie L.

    2014-01-01

    In a process known as quorum sensing, bacteria use chemicals called autoinducers for cell-cell communication. Population-wide detection of autoinducers enables bacteria to orchestrate collective behaviors. In the animal kingdom detection of chemicals is vital for success in locating food, finding hosts, and avoiding predators. This behavior, termed chemotaxis, is especially well studied in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we demonstrate that the Vibrio cholerae autoinducer (S)-3-hydroxytridecan-4-one, termed CAI-1, influences chemotaxis in C. elegans. C. elegans prefers V. cholerae that produces CAI-1 over a V. cholerae mutant defective for CAI-1 production. The position of the CAI-1 ketone moiety is the key feature driving CAI-1-directed nematode behavior. CAI-1 is detected by the C. elegans amphid sensory neuron AWCON. Laser ablation of the AWCON cell, but not other amphid sensory neurons, abolished chemoattraction to CAI-1. These analyses define the structural features of a bacterial-produced signal and the nematode chemosensory neuron that permit cross-kingdom interaction. PMID:25092291

  12. A Screenable In Vivo Assay for Mitochondrial Modulators Using Transgenic Bioluminescent Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lagido, Cristina; McLaggan, Debbie; Glover, L. Anne

    2015-01-01

    The multicellular model organism Caenorhabditis elegans is a small nematode of approximately 1 mm in size in adulthood that is genetically and experimentally tractable. It is economical and easy to culture and dispense in liquid medium which makes it well suited for medium-throughput screening. We have previously validated the use of transgenic luciferase expressing C. elegans strains to provide rapid in vivo assessment of the nematode’s ATP levels.1-3 Here we present the required materials and procedure to carry out bioassays with the bioluminescent C. elegans strains PE254 or PE255 (or any of their derivative strains). The protocol allows for in vivo detection of sublethal effects of drugs that may identify mitochondrial toxicity, as well as for in vivo detection of potential beneficial drug effects. Representative results are provided for the chemicals paraquat, rotenone, oxaloacetate and for four firefly luciferase inhibitory compounds. The methodology can be scaled up to provide a platform for screening drug libraries for compounds capable of modulating mitochondrial function. Pre-clinical evaluation of drug toxicity is often carried out on immortalized cancerous human cell lines which derive ATP mostly from glycolysis and are often tolerant of mitochondrial toxicants.4,5 In contrast, C. elegans depends on oxidative phosphorylation to sustain development into adulthood, drawing a parallel with humans and providing a unique opportunity for compound evaluation in the physiological context of a whole live multicellular organism. PMID:26554627

  13. Description of International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment first flight (ICE-FIRST)

    PubMed Central

    Szewczyk, N.J.; Tillman, J.; Conley, C.A.; Granger, L.; Segalat, L.; Higashitani, A.; Honda, S.; Honda, Y.; Kagawa, H.; Adachi, R.; Higashibata, A.; Fujimoto, N.; Kuriyama, K.; Ishioka, N.; Fukui, K.; Baillie, D.; Rose, A.; Gasset, G.; Eche, B.; Chaput, D.; Viso, M.

    2008-01-01

    Traveling, living and working in space is now a reality. The number of people and length of time in space is increasing. With new horizons for exploration it becomes more important to fully understand and provide countermeasures to the effects of the space environment on the human body. In addition, space provides a unique laboratory to study how life and physiologic functions adapt from the cellular level to that of the entire organism. Caenorhabditis elegans is a genetic model organism used to study physiology on Earth. Here we provide a description of the rationale, design, methods, and space culture validation of the ICE-FIRST payload, which engaged C. elegans researchers from four nations. Here we also show C. elegans growth and development proceeds essentially normally in a chemically defined liquid medium on board the International Space Station (10.9 day round trip). By setting flight constraints first and bringing together established C. elegans researchers second, we were able to use minimal stowage space to successfully return a total of 53 independent samples, each containing more than a hundred individual animals, to investigators within one year of experiment concept. We believe that in the future, bringing together individuals with knowledge of flight experiment operations, flight hardware, space biology, and genetic model organisms should yield similarly successful payloads. PMID:22146801

  14. Automated cellular annotation for high-resolution images of adult Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Batzoglou, Serafim

    2013-01-01

    Motivation: Advances in high-resolution microscopy have recently made possible the analysis of gene expression at the level of individual cells. The fixed lineage of cells in the adult worm Caenorhabditis elegans makes this organism an ideal model for studying complex biological processes like development and aging. However, annotating individual cells in images of adult C.elegans typically requires expertise and significant manual effort. Automation of this task is therefore critical to enabling high-resolution studies of a large number of genes. Results: In this article, we describe an automated method for annotating a subset of 154 cells (including various muscle, intestinal and hypodermal cells) in high-resolution images of adult C.elegans. We formulate the task of labeling cells within an image as a combinatorial optimization problem, where the goal is to minimize a scoring function that compares cells in a test input image with cells from a training atlas of manually annotated worms according to various spatial and morphological characteristics. We propose an approach for solving this problem based on reduction to minimum-cost maximum-flow and apply a cross-entropy–based learning algorithm to tune the weights of our scoring function. We achieve 84% median accuracy across a set of 154 cell labels in this highly variable system. These results demonstrate the feasibility of the automatic annotation of microscopy-based images in adult C.elegans. Contact: saerni@cs.stanford.edu PMID:23812982

  15. Behavioral and Metabolic Effects of the Atypical Antipsychotic Ziprasidone on the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Gubert, Priscila; Aguiar, Gabriel Costa; Mourão, Tácito; Bridi, Jessika Cristina; Barros, Alexandre Guimarães; Soares, Félix Alexandre; Romano-Silva, Marco Aurélio

    2013-01-01

    Atypical antipsychotics are associated with metabolic syndrome, primarily associated with weight gain. The effects of Ziprasidone, an atypical antipsychotic, on metabolic syndrome has yet to be evaluated. Here in, we evaluated lipid accumulation and behavioral changes in a new experimental model, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Behavioral parameters in the worms were evaluated 24 h after Ziprasidone treatment. Subsequently, lipid accumulation was examined using Nile red, LipidTox green and BODIPY labeling. Ziprasidone at 40 µM for 24 h effectively decreased the fluorescence labeling of all markers in intestinal cells of C. elegans compared to control (0.16% dimethyl sulfoxide). Ziprasidone did not alter behaviors related to energetic balance, such as pharynx pumping, defecation cycles and movement. There was, however, a reduction in egg-production, egg-laying and body-length in nematodes exposed to Ziprasidone without any changes in the progression of larval stages. The serotoninergic pathway did not appear to modulate Ziprasidone’s effects on Nile red fluorescence. Additionally, Ziprasidone did not alter lipid accumulation in daf-16 or crh-1 deletion mutants (orthologous of the transcription factors DAF-16 and CREB, respectively). These results suggest that Ziprasidone alters reproductive behavior, morphology and lipid reserves in the intestinal cells of C. elegans. Our results highlight that the DAF-16 and CREB transcription factors are essential for Ziprasidone-induced fat store reduction. PMID:24069346

  16. Multigenic natural variation underlies Caenorhabditis elegans olfactory preference for the bacterial pathogen Serratia marcescens.

    PubMed

    Glater, Elizabeth E; Rockman, Matthew V; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2014-02-19

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can use olfaction to discriminate among different kinds of bacteria, its major food source. We asked how natural genetic variation contributes to choice behavior, focusing on differences in olfactory preference behavior between two wild-type C. elegans strains. The laboratory strain N2 strongly prefers the odor of Serratia marcescens, a soil bacterium that is pathogenic to C. elegans, to the odor of Escherichia coli, a commonly used laboratory food source. The divergent Hawaiian strain CB4856 has a weaker attraction to Serratia than the N2 strain, and this behavioral difference has a complex genetic basis. At least three quantitative trait loci (QTLs) from the CB4856 Hawaii strain (HW) with large effect sizes lead to reduced Serratia preference when introgressed into an N2 genetic background. These loci interact and have epistatic interactions with at least two antagonistic QTLs from HW that increase Serratia preference. The complex genetic architecture of this C. elegans trait is reminiscent of the architecture of mammalian metabolic and behavioral traits.

  17. Animal virus replication and RNAi-mediated antiviral silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lu, R; Maduro, M; Li, F; Li, H W; Broitman-Maduro, G; Li, W X; Ding, S W

    2005-08-18

    The worm Caenorhabditis elegans is a model system for studying many aspects of biology, including host responses to bacterial pathogens, but it is not known to support replication of any virus. Plants and insects encode multiple Dicer enzymes that recognize distinct precursors of small RNAs and may act cooperatively. However, it is not known whether the single Dicer of worms and mammals is able to initiate the small RNA-guided RNA interference (RNAi) antiviral immunity as occurs in plants and insects. Here we show complete replication of the Flock house virus (FHV) bipartite, plus-strand RNA genome in C. elegans. We show that FHV replication in C. elegans triggers potent antiviral silencing that requires RDE-1, an Argonaute protein essential for RNAi mediated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) but not by microRNAs. This immunity system is capable of rapid virus clearance in the absence of FHV B2 protein, which acts as a broad-spectrum RNAi inhibitor upstream of rde-1 by targeting the siRNA precursor. This work establishes a C. elegans model for genetic studies of animal virus-host interactions and indicates that mammals might use a siRNA pathway as an antiviral response.

  18. Exercise in an electrotactic flow chamber ameliorates age-related degeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chuang, Han-Sheng; Kuo, Wan-Jung; Lee, Chia-Lin; Chu, I-Hua; Chen, Chang-Shi

    2016-01-01

    Degeneration is a senescence process that occurs in all living organisms. Although tremendous efforts have been exerted to alleviate this degenerative tendency, minimal progress has been achieved to date. The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), which shares over 60% genetic similarities with humans, is a model animal that is commonly used in studies on genetics, neuroscience, and molecular gerontology. However, studying the effect of exercise on C. elegans is difficult because of its small size unlike larger animals. To this end, we fabricated a flow chamber, called “worm treadmill,” to drive worms to exercise through swimming. In the device, the worms were oriented by electrotaxis on demand. After the exercise treatment, the lifespan, lipofuscin, reproductive capacity, and locomotive power of the worms were analyzed. The wild-type and the Alzheimer’s disease model strains were utilized in the assessment. Although degeneration remained irreversible, both exercise-treated strains indicated an improved tendency compared with their control counterparts. Furthermore, low oxidative stress and lipofuscin accumulation were also observed among the exercise-treated worms. We conjecture that escalated antioxidant enzymes imparted the worms with an extra capacity to scavenge excessive oxidative stress from their bodies, which alleviated the adverse effects of degeneration. Our study highlights the significance of exercise in degeneration from the perspective of the simple life form, C. elegans. PMID:27305857

  19. Humidity sensation requires both mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Russell, Joshua; Vidal-Gadea, Andrés G; Makay, Alex; Lanam, Carolyn; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T

    2014-06-01

    All terrestrial animals must find a proper level of moisture to ensure their health and survival. The cellular-molecular basis for sensing humidity is unknown in most animals, however. We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to uncover a mechanism for sensing humidity. We found that whereas C. elegans showed no obvious preference for humidity levels under standard culture conditions, worms displayed a strong preference after pairing starvation with different humidity levels, orienting to gradients as shallow as 0.03% relative humidity per millimeter. Cell-specific ablation and rescue experiments demonstrate that orientation to humidity in C. elegans requires the obligatory combination of distinct mechanosensitive and thermosensitive pathways. The mechanosensitive pathway requires a conserved DEG/ENaC/ASIC mechanoreceptor complex in the FLP neuron pair. Because humidity levels influence the hydration of the worm's cuticle, our results suggest that FLP may convey humidity information by reporting the degree that subcuticular dendritic sensory branches of FLP neurons are stretched by hydration. The thermosensitive pathway requires cGMP-gated channels in the AFD neuron pair. Because humidity levels affect evaporative cooling, AFD may convey humidity information by reporting thermal flux. Thus, humidity sensation arises as a metamodality in C. elegans that requires the integration of parallel mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways. This hygrosensation strategy, first proposed by Thunberg more than 100 y ago, may be conserved because the underlying pathways have cellular and molecular equivalents across a wide range of species, including insects and humans.

  20. A Screenable In Vivo Assay for Mitochondrial Modulators Using Transgenic Bioluminescent Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lagido, Cristina; McLaggan, Debbie; Glover, L Anne

    2015-10-16

    The multicellular model organism Caenorhabditis elegans is a small nematode of approximately 1 mm in size in adulthood that is genetically and experimentally tractable. It is economical and easy to culture and dispense in liquid medium which makes it well suited for medium-throughput screening. We have previously validated the use of transgenic luciferase expressing C. elegans strains to provide rapid in vivo assessment of the nematode's ATP levels.(1-3) Here we present the required materials and procedure to carry out bioassays with the bioluminescent C. elegans strains PE254 or PE255 (or any of their derivative strains). The protocol allows for in vivo detection of sublethal effects of drugs that may identify mitochondrial toxicity, as well as for in vivo detection of potential beneficial drug effects. Representative results are provided for the chemicals paraquat, rotenone, oxaloacetate and for four firefly luciferase inhibitory compounds. The methodology can be scaled up to provide a platform for screening drug libraries for compounds capable of modulating mitochondrial function. Pre-clinical evaluation of drug toxicity is often carried out on immortalized cancerous human cell lines which derive ATP mostly from glycolysis and are often tolerant of mitochondrial toxicants.(4,5) In contrast, C. elegans depends on oxidative phosphorylation to sustain development into adulthood, drawing a parallel with humans and providing a unique opportunity for compound evaluation in the physiological context of a whole live multicellular organism.

  1. CUP-1 Is a Novel Protein Involved in Dietary Cholesterol Uptake in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Valdes, Victor J.; Athie, Alejandro; Salinas, Laura S.; Navarro, Rosa E.; Vaca, Luis

    2012-01-01

    Sterols transport and distribution are essential processes in all multicellular organisms. Survival of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans depends on dietary absorption of sterols present in the environment. However the general mechanisms associated to sterol uptake in nematodes are poorly understood. In the present work we provide evidence showing that a previously uncharacterized transmembrane protein, designated Cholesterol Uptake Protein-1 (CUP-1), is involved in dietary cholesterol uptake in C. elegans. Animals lacking CUP-1 showed hypersensitivity to cholesterol limitation and were unable to uptake cholesterol. A CUP-1-GFP fusion protein colocalized with cholesterol-rich vesicles, endosomes and lysosomes as well as the plasma membrane. Additionally, by FRET imaging, a direct interaction was found between the cholesterol analog DHE and the transmembrane “cholesterol recognition/interaction amino acid consensus” (CRAC) motif present in C. elegans CUP-1. In-silico analysis identified two mammalian homologues of CUP-1. Most interestingly, CRAC motifs are conserved in mammalian CUP-1 homologous. Our results suggest a role of CUP-1 in cholesterol uptake in C. elegans and open up the possibility for the existence of a new class of proteins involved in sterol absorption in mammals. PMID:22479487

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Olfactory plasticity is regulated by pheromonal signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Koji; Hirotsu, Takaaki; Matsuki, Masahiro; Butcher, Rebecca A; Tomioka, Masahiro; Ishihara, Takeshi; Clardy, Jon; Kunitomo, Hirofumi; Iino, Yuichi

    2011-01-01

    Population density-dependent dispersal is a well-characterized strategy of animal behavior in which dispersal rate increases when population density is higher. C. elegans shows positive chemotaxis to a set of odorants, but the chemotaxis switches from attraction to dispersal after prolonged exposure to the odorants. We show here that this plasticity of olfactory behavior is dependent on population density and this regulation is mediated by pheromonal signaling. We show that a peptide SNET-1 negatively regulates olfactory plasticity and its expression is down-regulated by the pheromone. NEP-2, a homologue of the extracellular peptidase neprilysin, antagonizes SNET-1 and this function is essential for olfactory plasticity. These results suggest that population density information is transmitted through the external pheromone and endogenous peptide signaling to modulate chemotactic behavior. PMID:20929849

  7. Malate and Fumarate Extend Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Clare B.; Copes, Neil; Brito, Andres G.; Canfield, John; Bradshaw, Patrick C.

    2013-01-01

    Malate, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle metabolite, increased lifespan and thermotolerance in the nematode C. elegans. Malate can be synthesized from fumarate by the enzyme fumarase and further oxidized to oxaloacetate by malate dehydrogenase with the accompanying reduction of NAD. Addition of fumarate also extended lifespan, but succinate addition did not, although all three intermediates activated nuclear translocation of the cytoprotective DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor and protected from paraquat-induced oxidative stress. The glyoxylate shunt, an anabolic pathway linked to lifespan extension in C. elegans, reversibly converts isocitrate and acetyl-CoA to succinate, malate, and CoA. The increased longevity provided by malate addition did not occur in fumarase (fum-1), glyoxylate shunt (gei-7), succinate dehydrogenase flavoprotein (sdha-2), or soluble fumarate reductase F48E8.3 RNAi knockdown worms. Therefore, to increase lifespan, malate must be first converted to fumarate, then fumarate must be reduced to succinate by soluble fumarate reductase and the mitochondrial electron transport chain complex II. Reduction of fumarate to succinate is coupled with the oxidation of FADH2 to FAD. Lifespan extension induced by malate depended upon the longevity regulators DAF-16 and SIR-2.1. Malate supplementation did not extend the lifespan of long-lived eat-2 mutant worms, a model of dietary restriction. Malate and fumarate addition increased oxygen consumption, but decreased ATP levels and mitochondrial membrane potential suggesting a mild uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. Malate also increased NADPH, NAD, and the NAD/NADH ratio. Fumarate reduction, glyoxylate shunt activity, and mild mitochondrial uncoupling likely contribute to the lifespan extension induced by malate and fumarate by increasing the amount of oxidized NAD and FAD cofactors. PMID:23472183

  8. miR-124/ATF-6, a novel lifespan extension pathway of Astragalus polysaccharide in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ning; Liu, Jing; Xie, Fang; Gao, Xu; Ye, Jian-Han; Sun, Lu-Yao; Wei, Ran; Ai, Jing

    2015-02-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs), especially evolutionarily conserved miRNAs play critical roles in regulating various biological process. However, the functions of conserved miRNAs in longevity are still largely unknown. Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) was recently shown to extend lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans, but its molecular mechanisms have not been fully understood. In the present study, we characterize that microRNA mediated a novel longevity pathway of APS in C. elegans. We found that APS markedly extended the lifespan of C. elegans at the second and the fourth stages. A highly conserved miRNA miR-124 was significantly upregulated in APS-treated C. elegans. Overexpression miR-124 caused the lifespan extension of C. elegans and vice versa, indicating miR-124 regulates the longevity of C. elegans. Using luciferase assay, atf-6 was established as a target gene of miR-124 which acting on three binding sites at atf-6 3'UTR. Consistently, agomir-cel-miR-124 was also shown to inhibit ATF-6 expression in C. elegans. APS-treated C. elegans showed the down-regulation of atf-6 at protein level. Furthermore, the knockdown of atf-6 by RNAi extended the lifespan of C. elegans, indicating atf-6 regulated by miR-124 contributes to lifespan extension. Taken together, miR-124 regulating ATF-6 is a new potential longevity signal pathway, which underlies the lifespan-extending effects of APS in C. elegans.

  9. Vitamin B12 deficiency in Caenorhabditis elegans results in loss of fertility, extended life cycle, and reduced lifespan.

    PubMed

    Bito, Tomohiro; Matsunaga, Yohei; Yabuta, Yukinori; Kawano, Tsuyoshi; Watanabe, Fumio

    2013-01-01

    Vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency has been linked to developmental disorders, metabolic abnormalities, and neuropathy; however, the mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans grown under B12-deficient conditions for five generations develop severe B12 deficiency associated with various phenotypes that include decreased egg-laying capacity (infertility), prolonged life cycle (growth retardation), and reduced lifespan. These phenotypes resemble the consequences of B12 deficiency in mammals, and can be induced in C. elegans in only 15 days. Thus, C. elegans is a suitable animal model for studying the biological processes induced by vitamin deficiency.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Sandeep; Dietrich, Nicholas; Kornfeld, Kerry

    2016-01-01

    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 Caenorhabdtitis 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

  11. A mitochondrial superoxide signal triggers increased longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen; Hekimi, Siegfried

    2010-01-01

    The nuo-6 and isp-1 genes of C. elegans encode, respectively, subunits of complex I and III of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Partial loss-of-function mutations in these genes decrease electron transport and greatly increase the longevity of C. elegans by a mechanism that is distinct from that induced by reducing their level of expression by RNAi. Electron transport is a major source of the superoxide anion (O(⋅) (-)), which in turn generates several types of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS), and aging is accompanied by increased oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the generation and detoxification of ROS. These observations have suggested that the longevity of such mitochondrial mutants might result from a reduction in ROS generation, which would be consistent with the mitochondrial oxidative stress theory of aging. It is difficult to measure ROS directly in living animals, and this has held back progress in determining their function in aging. Here we have adapted a technique of flow cytometry to directly measure ROS levels in isolated mitochondria to show that the generation of superoxide is elevated in the nuo-6 and isp-1 mitochondrial mutants, although overall ROS levels are not, and oxidative stress is low. Furthermore, we show that this elevation is necessary and sufficient to increase longevity, as it is abolished by the antioxidants NAC and vitamin C, and phenocopied by mild treatment with the prooxidant paraquat. Furthermore, the absence of effect of NAC and the additivity of the effect of paraquat on a variety of long- and short-lived mutants suggest that the pathway triggered by mitochondrial superoxide is distinct from previously studied mechanisms, including insulin signaling, dietary restriction, ubiquinone deficiency, the hypoxic response, and hormesis. These findings are not consistent with the mitochondrial oxidative stress theory of aging. Instead they show that increased superoxide generation acts as a signal in young

  12. Identifying Novel Helix-Loop-Helix Genes in "Caenorhabditis elegans" through a Classroom Demonstration of Functional Genomics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffin, Vernetta; McMiller, Tracee; Jones, Erika; Johnson, Casonya M.

    2003-01-01

    A 14-week, undergraduate-level Genetics and Population Biology course at Morgan State University was modified to include a demonstration of functional genomics in the research laboratory. Students performed a rudimentary sequence analysis of the "Caenorhabditis elegans" genome and further characterized three sequences that were predicted to encode…

  13. Effects of ginsenosides, the active ingredients of Panax ginseng, on development, growth, and life span of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ginsenosides, the active ingredients of Panax ginseng, are saponins derived from sterols. The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-established model for biochemical and genetic studies in animals. Although cholesterol is an essential requirement for the growth and development of C. ...

  14. Leptotene/Zygotene Chromosome Movement Via the SUN/KASH Protein Bridge in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Baudrimont, Antoine; Penkner, Alexandra; Woglar, Alexander; Machacek, Thomas; Wegrostek, Christina; Gloggnitzer, Jiradet; Fridkin, Alexandra; Klein, Franz; Gruenbaum, Yosef; Pasierbek, Pawel; Jantsch, Verena

    2010-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans inner nuclear envelope protein matefin/SUN-1 plays a conserved, pivotal role in the process of genome haploidization. CHK-2–dependent phosphorylation of SUN-1 regulates homologous chromosome pairing and interhomolog recombination in Caenorhabditis elegans. Using time-lapse microscopy, we characterized the movement of matefin/SUN-1::GFP aggregates (the equivalent of chromosomal attachment plaques) and showed that the dynamics of matefin/SUN-1 aggregates remained unchanged throughout leptonene/zygotene, despite the progression of pairing. Movement of SUN-1 aggregates correlated with chromatin polarization. We also analyzed the requirements for the formation of movement-competent matefin/SUN-1 aggregates in the context of chromosome structure and found that chromosome axes were required to produce wild-type numbers of attachment plaques. Abrogation of synapsis led to a deceleration of SUN-1 aggregate movement. Analysis of matefin/SUN-1 in a double-strand break deficient mutant revealed that repair intermediates influenced matefin/SUN-1 aggregate dynamics. Investigation of movement in meiotic regulator mutants substantiated that proper orchestration of the meiotic program and effective repair of DNA double-strand breaks were necessary for the wild-type behavior of matefin/SUN-1 aggregates. PMID:21124819

  15. Interrelationships between mitochondrial fusion, energy metabolism and oxidative stress during development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Yasuda, Kayo; Hartman, Philip S.; Ishii, Takamasa; Suda, Hitoshi; Akatsuka, Akira; Shoyama, Tetsuji; Miyazawa, Masaki; Ishii, Naoaki

    2011-01-21

    Research highlights: {yields} Growth and development of a fzo-1 mutant defective in the fusion process of mitochondria was delayed relative to the wild type of Caenorhabditis elegans. {yields} Oxygen sensitivity during larval development, superoxide production and carbonyl protein accumulation of the fzo-1 mutant were similar to wild type. {yields} fzo-1 animals had significantly lower metabolism than did N2 and mev-1 overproducing superoxide from mitochondrial electron transport complex II. {yields} Mitochondrial fusion can profoundly affect energy metabolism and development. -- Abstract: Mitochondria are known to be dynamic structures with the energetically and enzymatically mediated processes of fusion and fission responsible for maintaining a constant flux. Mitochondria also play a role of reactive oxygen species production as a byproduct of energy metabolism. In the current study, interrelationships between mitochondrial fusion, energy metabolism and oxidative stress on development were explored using a fzo-1 mutant defective in the fusion process and a mev-1 mutant overproducing superoxide from mitochondrial electron transport complex II of Caenorhabditis elegans. While growth and development of both single mutants was slightly delayed relative to the wild type, the fzo-1;mev-1 double mutant experienced considerable delay. Oxygen sensitivity during larval development, superoxide production and carbonyl protein accumulation of the fzo-1 mutant were similar to wild type. fzo-1 animals had significantly lower metabolism than did N2 and mev-1. These data indicate that mitochondrial fusion can profoundly affect energy metabolism and development.

  16. In Caenorhabditis elegans Nanoparticle-Bio-Interactions Become Transparent: Silica-Nanoparticles Induce Reproductive Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Bossinger, Olaf; von Mikecz, Anna

    2009-01-01

    While expectations and applications of nanotechnologies grow exponentially, little is known about interactions of engineered nanoparticles with multicellular organisms. Here we propose the transparent roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a simple but anatomically and biologically well defined animal model that allows for whole organism analyses of nanoparticle-bio-interactions. Microscopic techniques showed that fluorescently labelled nanoparticles are efficiently taken up by the worms during feeding, and translocate to primary organs such as epithelial cells of the intestine, as well as secondary organs belonging to the reproductive tract. The life span of nanoparticle-fed Caenorhabditis elegans remained unchanged, whereas a reduction of progeny production was observed in silica-nanoparticle exposed worms versus untreated controls. This reduction was accompanied by a significant increase of the ‘bag of worms’ phenotype that is characterized by failed egg-laying and usually occurs in aged wild type worms. Experimental exclusion of developmental defects suggests that silica-nanoparticles induce an age-related degeneration of reproductive organs, and thus set a research platform for both, detailed elucidation of molecular mechanisms and high throughput screening of different nanomaterials by analyses of progeny production. PMID:19672302

  17. xnd-1 regulates the global recombination landscape in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Cynthia R; Kuervers, Lynnette; Baillie, David L; Yanowitz, Judith L

    2010-10-14

    Meiotic crossover (CO) recombination establishes physical linkages between homologous chromosomes that are required for their proper segregation into developing gametes, and promotes genetic diversity by shuffling genetic material between parental chromosomes. COs require the formation of double strand breaks (DSBs) to create the substrate for strand exchange. DSBs occur in small intervals called hotspots and significant variation in hotspot usage exists between and among individuals. This variation is thought to reflect differences in sequence identity and chromatin structure, DNA topology and/ or chromosome domain organization. Chromosomes show different frequencies of nondisjunction (NDJ), reflecting inherent differences in meiotic crossover control, yet the underlying basis of these differences remains elusive. Here we show that a novel chromatin factor, X non-disjunction factor 1 (xnd-1), is responsible for the global distribution of COs in C. elegans. xnd-1 is also required for formation of double-strand breaks (DSBs) on the X, but surprisingly XND-1 protein is autosomally enriched. We show that xnd-1 functions independently of genes required for X chromosome-specific gene silencing, revealing a novel pathway that distinguishes the X from autosomes in the germ line, and further show that xnd-1 exerts its effects on COs, at least in part, by modulating levels of H2A lysine 5 acetylation. PMID:20944745

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans glutamylating enzymes function redundantly in male mating

    PubMed Central

    Chawla, Daniel G.; Shah, Ruchi V.; Barth, Zachary K.; Lee, Jessica D.; Badecker, Katherine E.; Naik, Anar; Brewster, Megan M.; Salmon, Timothy P.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Microtubule glutamylation is an important modulator of microtubule function and has been implicated in the regulation of centriole stability, neuronal outgrowth and cilia motility. Glutamylation of the microtubules is catalyzed by a family of tubulin tyrosine ligase-like (TTLL) enzymes. Analysis of individual TTLL enzymes has led to an understanding of their specific functions, but how activities of the TTLL enzymes are coordinated to spatially and temporally regulate glutamylation remains relatively unexplored. We have undertaken an analysis of the glutamylating TTLL enzymes in C. elegans. We find that although all five TTLL enzymes are expressed in the embryo and adult worm, loss of individual enzymes does not perturb microtubule function in embryonic cell divisions. Moreover, normal dye-filling, osmotic avoidance and male mating behavior indicate the presence of functional amphid cilia and male-specific neurons. A ttll-4(tm3310); ttll-11(tm4059); ttll-5(tm3360) triple mutant, however, shows reduced male mating efficiency due to a defect in the response step, suggesting that these three enzymes function redundantly, and that glutamylation is required for proper function of the male-specific neurons. PMID:27635036

  19. Male Phenotypes and Mating Efficiency in CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    PubMed Central

    Hodgkin, Jonathan

    1983-01-01

    Mating behavior in adult male nematodes can be assayed by mating efficiency, i.e., the number of cross progeny sired by males under standard conditions. Mutant males from 220 strains, representing most of the known complementation groups of C. elegans, have been examined for mating efficiency and for anatomical abnormalities of the specialized male copulatory organs. These data extend the phenotypic description of these mutants and indicate what anatomical and behavioral components are necessary for the ability to mate successfully. Also, mutants with specific defects in the male were sought by establishing superficially wild-type hermaphrodite stocks after mutagenesis and testing the males segregated by these stocks for mating efficiency. Forty-nine of 1119 stocks yielded abnormal males. Seventeen were characterized in detail and found to be abnormal in sensory behavior (carrying mutations in the genes che-2 or che-3) or male genital anatomy (carrying mutations in one of the genes mab-1 to mab-10). Four of the mab (male abnormal) genes affect specific postembryonic cell lineages. PMID:17246100

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans glutamylating enzymes function redundantly in male mating.

    PubMed

    Chawla, Daniel G; Shah, Ruchi V; Barth, Zachary K; Lee, Jessica D; Badecker, Katherine E; Naik, Anar; Brewster, Megan M; Salmon, Timothy P; Peel, Nina

    2016-01-01

    Microtubule glutamylation is an important modulator of microtubule function and has been implicated in the regulation of centriole stability, neuronal outgrowth and cilia motility. Glutamylation of the microtubules is catalyzed by a family of tubulin tyrosine ligase-like (TTLL) enzymes. Analysis of individual TTLL enzymes has led to an understanding of their specific functions, but how activities of the TTLL enzymes are coordinated to spatially and temporally regulate glutamylation remains relatively unexplored. We have undertaken an analysis of the glutamylating TTLL enzymes in C. elegans We find that although all five TTLL enzymes are expressed in the embryo and adult worm, loss of individual enzymes does not perturb microtubule function in embryonic cell divisions. Moreover, normal dye-filling, osmotic avoidance and male mating behavior indicate the presence of functional amphid cilia and male-specific neurons. A ttll-4(tm3310); ttll-11(tm4059); ttll-5(tm3360) triple mutant, however, shows reduced male mating efficiency due to a defect in the response step, suggesting that these three enzymes function redundantly, and that glutamylation is required for proper function of the male-specific neurons. PMID:27635036

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans glutamylating enzymes function redundantly in male mating.

    PubMed

    Chawla, Daniel G; Shah, Ruchi V; Barth, Zachary K; Lee, Jessica D; Badecker, Katherine E; Naik, Anar; Brewster, Megan M; Salmon, Timothy P; Peel, Nina

    2016-09-15

    Microtubule glutamylation is an important modulator of microtubule function and has been implicated in the regulation of centriole stability, neuronal outgrowth and cilia motility. Glutamylation of the microtubules is catalyzed by a family of tubulin tyrosine ligase-like (TTLL) enzymes. Analysis of individual TTLL enzymes has led to an understanding of their specific functions, but how activities of the TTLL enzymes are coordinated to spatially and temporally regulate glutamylation remains relatively unexplored. We have undertaken an analysis of the glutamylating TTLL enzymes in C. elegans We find that although all five TTLL enzymes are expressed in the embryo and adult worm, loss of individual enzymes does not perturb microtubule function in embryonic cell divisions. Moreover, normal dye-filling, osmotic avoidance and male mating behavior indicate the presence of functional amphid cilia and male-specific neurons. A ttll-4(tm3310); ttll-11(tm4059); ttll-5(tm3360) triple mutant, however, shows reduced male mating efficiency due to a defect in the response step, suggesting that these three enzymes function redundantly, and that glutamylation is required for proper function of the male-specific neurons.

  2. Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency enhances germ cell apoptosis and causes defective embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Yang, H-C; Chen, T-L; Wu, Y-H; Cheng, K-P; Lin, Y-H; Cheng, M-L; Ho, H-Y; Lo, S J; Chiu, D T-Y

    2013-01-01

    Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, known as favism, is classically manifested by hemolytic anemia in human. More recently, it has been shown that mild G6PD deficiency moderately affects cardiac function, whereas severe G6PD deficiency leads to embryonic lethality in mice. How G6PD deficiency affects organisms has not been fully elucidated due to the lack of a suitable animal model. In this study, G6PD-deficient Caenorhabditis elegans was established by RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown to delineate the role of G6PD in animal physiology. Upon G6PD RNAi knockdown, G6PD activity was significantly hampered in C. elegans in parallel with increased oxidative stress and DNA oxidative damage. Phenotypically, G6PD-knockdown enhanced germ cell apoptosis (2-fold increase), reduced egg production (65% of mock), and hatching (10% of mock). To determine whether oxidative stress is associated with G6PD knockdown-induced reproduction defects, C. elegans was challenged with a short-term hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The early phase egg production of both mock and G6PD-knockdown C. elegans were significantly affected by H2O2. However, H2O2-induced germ cell apoptosis was more dramatic in mock than that in G6PD-deficient C. elegans. To investigate the signaling pathways involved in defective oogenesis and embryogenesis caused by G6PD knockdown, mutants of p53 and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways were examined. Despite the upregulation of CEP-1 (p53), cep-1 mutation did not affect egg production and hatching in G6PD-deficient C. elegans. Neither pmk-1 nor mek-1 mutation significantly affected egg production, whereas sek-1 mutation further decreased egg production in G6PD-deficient C. elegans. Intriguingly, loss of function of sek-1 or mek-1 dramatically rescued defective hatching (8.3- and 9.6-fold increase, respectively) induced by G6PD knockdown. Taken together, these findings show that G6PD knockdown reduces egg production and hatching in C. elegans

  3. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model to Study the Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Engleman, Eric A.; Katner, Simon N.; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S.

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction takes a massive toll on society. Novel animal models are needed to test new treatments and understand the basic mechanisms underlying addiction. Rodent models have identified the neurocircuitry involved in addictive behavior and indicate that rodents possess some of the same neurobiologic mechanisms that mediate addiction in humans. Recent studies indicate that addiction is mechanistically and phylogenetically ancient and many mechanisms that underlie human addiction are also present in invertebrates. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has conserved neurobiologic systems with powerful molecular and genetic tools and a rapid rate of development that enables cost-effective translational discovery. Emerging evidence suggests that C. elegans is an excellent model to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced behavior and potential targets for medications development for various addictive compounds. C. elegans emit many behaviors that can be easily quantitated including some that involve interactions with the environment. Ethanol (EtOH) is the best-studied drug-of-abuse in C. elegans and at least 50 different genes/targets have been identified as mediating EtOH’s effects and polymorphisms in some orthologs in humans are associated with alcohol use disorders. C. elegans has also been shown to display dopamine and cholinergic system–dependent attraction to nicotine and demonstrate preference for cues previously associated with nicotine. Cocaine and methamphetamine have been found to produce dopamine-dependent reward-like behaviors in C. elegans. These behavioral tests in combination with genetic/molecular manipulations have led to the identification of dozens of target genes/systems in C. elegans that mediate drug effects. The one target/gene identified as essential for drug-induced behavioral responses across all drugs of abuse was the cat-2 gene coding for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is consistent with the role of dopamine

  4. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model to Study the Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction.

    PubMed

    Engleman, Eric A; Katner, Simon N; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction takes a massive toll on society. Novel animal models are needed to test new treatments and understand the basic mechanisms underlying addiction. Rodent models have identified the neurocircuitry involved in addictive behavior and indicate that rodents possess some of the same neurobiologic mechanisms that mediate addiction in humans. Recent studies indicate that addiction is mechanistically and phylogenetically ancient and many mechanisms that underlie human addiction are also present in invertebrates. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has conserved neurobiologic systems with powerful molecular and genetic tools and a rapid rate of development that enables cost-effective translational discovery. Emerging evidence suggests that C. elegans is an excellent model to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced behavior and potential targets for medications development for various addictive compounds. C. elegans emit many behaviors that can be easily quantitated including some that involve interactions with the environment. Ethanol (EtOH) is the best-studied drug-of-abuse in C. elegans and at least 50 different genes/targets have been identified as mediating EtOH's effects and polymorphisms in some orthologs in humans are associated with alcohol use disorders. C. elegans has also been shown to display dopamine and cholinergic system-dependent attraction to nicotine and demonstrate preference for cues previously associated with nicotine. Cocaine and methamphetamine have been found to produce dopamine-dependent reward-like behaviors in C. elegans. These behavioral tests in combination with genetic/molecular manipulations have led to the identification of dozens of target genes/systems in C. elegans that mediate drug effects. The one target/gene identified as essential for drug-induced behavioral responses across all drugs of abuse was the cat-2 gene coding for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is consistent with the role of dopamine neurotransmission

  5. Assessing the toxicity of contaminated soils using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as test organism.

    PubMed

    Höss, S; Jänsch, S; Moser, T; Junker, T; Römbke, J

    2009-10-01

    In this study, nine uncontaminated reference soils and 22 contaminated soils with different physico-chemical properties and contamination patterns were tested with a standardized toxicity test, using the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, as test organism. Fertility, growth and reproduction of C. elegans in the soils were compared with the exposure in standard soil Lufa St.2.2. C. elegans showed 100% fertility and a very low variability of growth in the reference soils. Although, reproduction varied considerably between the various reference soils, validity criteria (>30 offspring per test organism) were met in all reference soils. Moreover, Lufa St. 2.2 turned out to be a suitable and representative control soil. In order to clearly classify the effects of the polluted soils on C. elegans, toxicity thresholds were derived for nematode fertility (20% inhibition), growth (10% inhibition) and reproduction (40% inhibition) on the basis of the test inherent variability (MDD=minimal detectable difference), as well as their variability between the uncontaminated reference soils (MTI=maximal tolerable inhibition). The contaminated soils showed clear toxic effects on the nematodes, whereas the toxicity was better correlated to organic than to heavy metal contamination in bulk soil. Interestingly, the results of the nematode toxicity test were not well correlated with those of tests with oligochaetes, collembolans and plants, performed with the same soils, showing that the results are not redundant. The toxicity test using C. elegans turned out to be suitable for testing the toxicity of field collected soils and might by a valuable addition to soil test batteries.

  6. Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals Novel Genes Essential for Heme Homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Rao, Anita U.; Cerqueira, Gustavo C.; Mitreva, Makedonka; El-Sayed, Najib M.; Krause, Michael; Hamza, Iqbal

    2010-01-01

    Heme is a cofactor in proteins that function in almost all sub-cellular compartments and in many diverse biological processes. Heme is produced by a conserved biosynthetic pathway that is highly regulated to prevent the accumulation of heme—a cytotoxic, hydrophobic tetrapyrrole. Caenorhabditis elegans and related parasitic nematodes do not synthesize heme, but instead require environmental heme to grow and develop. Heme homeostasis in these auxotrophs is, therefore, regulated in accordance with available dietary heme. We have capitalized on this auxotrophy in C. elegans to study gene expression changes associated with precisely controlled dietary heme concentrations. RNA was isolated from cultures containing 4, 20, or 500 µM heme; derived cDNA probes were hybridized to Affymetrix C. elegans expression arrays. We identified 288 heme-responsive genes (hrgs) that were differentially expressed under these conditions. Of these genes, 42% had putative homologs in humans, while genomes of medically relevant heme auxotrophs revealed homologs for 12% in both Trypanosoma and Leishmania and 24% in parasitic nematodes. Depletion of each of the 288 hrgs by RNA–mediated interference (RNAi) in a transgenic heme-sensor worm strain identified six genes that regulated heme homeostasis. In addition, seven membrane-spanning transporters involved in heme uptake were identified by RNAi knockdown studies using a toxic heme analog. Comparison of genes that were positive in both of the RNAi screens resulted in the identification of three genes in common that were vital for organismal heme homeostasis in C. elegans. Collectively, our results provide a catalog of genes that are essential for metazoan heme homeostasis and demonstrate the power of C. elegans as a genetic animal model to dissect the regulatory circuits which mediate heme trafficking in both vertebrate hosts and their parasites, which depend on environmental heme for survival. PMID:20686661

  7. Association with Soil Bacteria Enhances p38-Dependent Infection Resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Montalvo-Katz, Sirena; Huang, Hao; Appel, Michael David; Berg, Maureen

    2013-01-01

    The importance of our inner microbial communities for proper immune responses against invading pathogens is now well accepted, but the mechanisms underlying this protection are largely unknown. In this study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate such mechanisms. Since very little is known about the microbes interacting with C. elegans in its natural environment, we began by taking the first steps to characterize the C. elegans microbiota. We established a natural-like environment in which initially germfree, wild-type larvae were grown on enriched soil. Bacterial members of the adult C. elegans microbiota were isolated by culture and identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Using pure cultures of bacterial isolates as food, we identified two, Bacillus megaterium and Pseudomonas mendocina, that enhanced resistance to a subsequent infection with the Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Whereas protection by B. megaterium was linked to impaired egg laying, corresponding to a known trade-off between fecundity and resistance, the mechanism underlying protection conferred by P. mendocina depended on weak induction of immune genes regulated by the p38 MAPK pathway. Disruption of the p38 ortholog, pmk-1, abolished protection. P. mendocina enhanced resistance to P. aeruginosa but not to the Gram-positive pathogen Enterococcus faecalis. Furthermore, protection from P. aeruginosa was similarly induced by a P. aeruginosa gacA mutant with attenuated virulence but not by a different C. elegans-associated Pseudomonas sp. isolate. Our results support a pivotal role for the conserved p38 pathway in microbiota-initiated immune protection and suggest that similarity between microbiota members and pathogens may play a role in such protection. PMID:23230286

  8. A high-throughput method for assessing chemical toxicity using a Caenorhabditis elegans reproduction assay

    SciTech Connect

    Boyd, Windy A.; McBride, Sandra J.; Rice, Julie R.; Snyder, Daniel W.; Freedman, Jonathan H.

    2010-06-01

    The National Research Council has outlined the need for non-mammalian toxicological models to test the potential health effects of a large number of chemicals while also reducing the use of traditional animal models. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive alternative model because of its well-characterized and evolutionarily conserved biology, low cost, and ability to be used in high-throughput screening. A high-throughput method is described for quantifying the reproductive capacity of C. elegans exposed to chemicals for 48 h from the last larval stage (L4) to adulthood using a COPAS Biosort. Initially, the effects of exposure conditions that could influence reproduction were defined. Concentrations of DMSO vehicle {<=} 1% did not affect reproduction. Previous studies indicated that C. elegans may be influenced by exposure to low pH conditions. At pHs greater than 4.5, C. elegans reproduction was not affected; however below this pH there was a significant decrease in the number of offspring. Cadmium chloride was chosen as a model toxicant to verify that automated measurements were comparable to those of traditional observational studies. EC{sub 50} values for cadmium for automated measurements (176-192 {mu}M) were comparable to those previously reported for a 72-h exposure using manual counting (151 {mu}M). The toxicity of seven test toxicants on C. elegans reproduction was highly correlative with rodent lethality suggesting that this assay may be useful in predicting the potential toxicity of chemicals in other organisms.

  9. Association with soil bacteria enhances p38-dependent infection resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Montalvo-Katz, Sirena; Huang, Hao; Appel, Michael David; Berg, Maureen; Shapira, Michael

    2013-02-01

    The importance of our inner microbial communities for proper immune responses against invading pathogens is now well accepted, but the mechanisms underlying this protection are largely unknown. In this study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate such mechanisms. Since very little is known about the microbes interacting with C. elegans in its natural environment, we began by taking the first steps to characterize the C. elegans microbiota. We established a natural-like environment in which initially germfree, wild-type larvae were grown on enriched soil. Bacterial members of the adult C. elegans microbiota were isolated by culture and identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Using pure cultures of bacterial isolates as food, we identified two, Bacillus megaterium and Pseudomonas mendocina, that enhanced resistance to a subsequent infection with the Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Whereas protection by B. megaterium was linked to impaired egg laying, corresponding to a known trade-off between fecundity and resistance, the mechanism underlying protection conferred by P. mendocina depended on weak induction of immune genes regulated by the p38 MAPK pathway. Disruption of the p38 ortholog, pmk-1, abolished protection. P. mendocina enhanced resistance to P. aeruginosa but not to the Gram-positive pathogen Enterococcus faecalis. Furthermore, protection from P. aeruginosa was similarly induced by a P. aeruginosa gacA mutant with attenuated virulence but not by a different C. elegans-associated Pseudomonas sp. isolate. Our results support a pivotal role for the conserved p38 pathway in microbiota-initiated immune protection and suggest that similarity between microbiota members and pathogens may play a role in such protection. PMID:23230286

  10. The evolution of plasticity of dauer larva developmental arrest in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Diaz, S Anaid; Viney, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Organisms can end up in unfavourable conditions and to survive this they have evolved various strategies. Some organisms, including nematodes, survive unfavourable conditions by undergoing developmental arrest. The model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has a developmental choice between two larval forms, and it chooses to develop into the arrested dauer larva form in unfavourable conditions (specifically, a lack of food and high population density, indicated by the concentration of a pheromone). Wild C. elegans isolates vary extensively in their dauer larva arrest phenotypes, and this prompts the question of what selective pressures maintain such phenotypic diversity? To investigate this we grew C. elegans in four different environments, consisting of different combinations of cues that can induce dauer larva development: two combinations of food concentration (high and low) in the presence or absence of a dauer larva-inducing pheromone. Five generations of artificial selection of dauer larvae resulted in an overall increase in dauer larva formation in most selection regimes. The presence of pheromone in the environment selected for twice the number of dauer larvae, compared with environments not containing pheromone. Further, only a high food concentration environment containing pheromone increased the plasticity of dauer larva formation. These evolutionary responses also affected the timing of the worms’ reproduction. Overall, these results give an insight into the environments that can select for different plasticities of C. elegans dauer larva arrest phenotypes, suggesting that different combinations of environmental cues can select for the diversity of phenotypically plastic responses seen in C. elegans. PMID:25859338

  11. Understanding the molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease using a Caenorhabditis elegans model system

    PubMed Central

    Ewald, Collin Y.; Li, Chris

    2013-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the major cause of dementia in the United States. At the cellular level, the brains of AD patients are characterized by extracellular dense plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles whose major components are the β-amyloid peptide and tau, respectively. The β-amyloid peptide is a cleavage product of the amyloid precursor protein (APP); mutations in APP have been correlated with a small number of cases of familial Alzheimer’s disease. APP is the canonical member of the APP family, whose functions remain unclear. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, one of the premier genetic workhorses, is being used in a variety of ways to address the functions of APP and determine how the β-amyloid peptide and tau can induce toxicity. First, the function of the C. elegans APP-related gene, apl-1, is being examined. Although different organisms may use APP and related proteins, such as APL-1, in different functional contexts, the pathways in which they function and the molecules with which they interact are usually conserved. Second, components of the γ-secretase complex and their respective functions are being revealed through genetic analyses in C. elegans. Third, to address questions of toxicity, onset of degeneration, and protective mechanisms, different human β-amyloid peptide and tau variants are being introduced into C. elegans and the resultant transgenic lines examined. Here, we summarize how a simple system such as C. elegans can be used as a model to understand APP function and suppression of β-amyloid peptide and tau toxicity in higher organisms. PMID:20012092

  12. Feeding behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans is an indicator of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 virulence

    PubMed Central

    Charron-Mazenod, Laetitia; Giroux, Lauriane; Zamponi, Alexandra D.

    2014-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is commonly used as an infection model for pathogenesis studies in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The standard virulence assays rely on the slow and fast killing or paralysis of nematodes but here we developed a behaviour assay to monitor the preferred bacterial food sources of C. elegans. We monitored the food preferences of nematodes fed the wild type PAO1 and mutants in the type III secretion (T3S) system, which is a conserved mechanism to inject secreted effectors into the host cell cytosol. A ΔexsEΔpscD mutant defective for type III secretion served as a preferred food source, while an ΔexsE mutant that overexpresses the T3S effectors was avoided. Both food sources were ingested and observed in the gastrointestinal tract. Using the slow killing assay, we showed that the ΔexsEΔpscD had reduced virulence and thus confirmed that preferred food sources are less virulent than the wild type. Next we developed a high throughput feeding behaviour assay with 48 possible food colonies in order to screen a transposon mutant library and identify potential virulence genes. C. elegans identified and consumed preferred food colonies from a grid of 48 choices. The mutants identified as preferred food sources included known virulence genes, as well as novel genes not identified in previous C. elegans infection studies. Slow killing assays were performed and confirmed that several preferred food sources also showed reduced virulence. We propose that C. elegans feeding behaviour can be used as a sensitive indicator of virulence for P. aeruginosa PAO1. PMID:25165631

  13. Effects of lithium on growth, maturation, reproduction and gene expression in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Inokuchi, Ayako; Yamamoto, Ryoko; Morita, Fumiyo; Takumi, Shota; Matsusaki, Hiromi; Ishibashi, Hiroshi; Tominaga, Nobuaki; Arizono, Koji

    2015-09-01

    Lithium (Li) has been widely used to treat bipolar disorder, and industrial use of Li has been increasing; thus, environmental pollution and ecological impacts of Li have become a concern. This study was conducted to clarify the potential biological effects of LiCl and Li(2)CO(3) on a nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system for evaluating soil contaminated with Li. Exposure of C. elegans to LiCl and Li(2)CO(3) decreased growth/maturation and reproduction. The lowest observed effect concentrations for growth, maturation and reproduction were 1250, 313 and 10 000 µm, respectively, for LiCl and 750, 750 and 3000 µm, respectively, for Li(2)CO(3). We also investigated the physiological function of LiCl and LiCO(3) in C. elegans using DNA microarray analysis as an eco-toxicogenomic approach. Among approximately 300 unique genes, including metabolic genes, the exposure to 78 µm LiCl downregulated the expression of 36 cytochrome P450, 16 ABC transporter, 10 glutathione S-transferase, 16 lipid metabolism and two vitellogenin genes. On the other hand, exposure to 375 µm Li(2)CO(3) downregulated the expression of 11 cytochrome P450, 13 ABC transporter, 13 lipid metabolism and one vitellogenin genes. No gene was upregulated by LiCl or Li(2)CO(3). These results suggest that LiCl and Li(2)CO(3) potentially affect the biological and physiological function in C. elegans associated with alteration of the gene expression such as metabolic genes. Our data also provide experimental support for the utility of toxicogenomics by integrating gene expression profiling into a toxicological study of an environmentally important organism such as C. elegans.

  14. Trans-Cellular Introduction of HIV-1 Protein Nef Induces Pathogenic Response in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Nazir, Aamir; Sammi, Shreesh Raj; Singh, Pankaj; Tripathi, Raj Kamal

    2010-01-01

    Background Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a very powerful model for studying the host pathogen interactions. Despite the absence of a naturally occurring viral infection for C. elegans, the model is now being exploited experimentally to study the basic aspects of virus-host interplay. The data generated from recent studies suggests that the virus that infects mammalian cells does infect, replicate and accumulate in C. elegans. Methodology/Principal Findings We took advantage of the easy-to-achieve protein introduction in C. elegans and employing the methodology, we administered HIV-1 protein Nef into live worms. Nef is known to be an important protein for exacerbating HIV-1 pathogenesis in host by enhancing viral replication. The deletion of nef from the viral genome has been reported to inhibit its replication in the host, thereby leading to delayed pathogenesis. Our studies, employing Nef introduction into C. elegans, led to creation of an in-vivo model that allowed us to study, whether or not, the protein induces effect in the whole organism. We observed a marked lipodystrophy, effect on neuromuscular function, impaired fertility and reduced longevity in the worms exposed to Nef. The observed effects resemble to those observed in Nef transgenic mice and most interestingly the effects also relate to some of the pathogenic aspects exhibited by human AIDS patients. Conclusions/Significance Our studies underline the importance of this in vivo model for studying the interactions of Nef with host proteins, which could further be used for identifying possible inhibitors of such interactions. PMID:21179446

  15. Shigella flexneri Infection in Caenorhabditis elegans: Cytopathological Examination and Identification of Host Responses

    PubMed Central

    George, Divya T.; Behm, Carolyn A.; Hall, David H.; Mathesius, Ulrike; Rug, Melanie; Nguyen, Ken C. Q.; Verma, Naresh K.

    2014-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Shigella flexneri is the causative agent of shigellosis, a diarrhoeal disease also known as bacillary dysentery. S. flexneri infects the colonic and rectal epithelia of its primate host and induces a cascade of inflammatory responses that culminates in the destruction of the host intestinal lining. Molecular characterization of host-pathogen interactions in this infection has been challenging due to the host specificity of S. flexneri strains, as it strictly infects humans and non-human primates. Recent studies have shown that S. flexneri infects the soil dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, however, the interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans at the cellular level and the cause of nematode death are unknown. Here we attempt to gain insight into the complex host-pathogen interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans. Using transmission electron microscopy, we show that live S. flexneri cells accumulate in the nematode intestinal lumen, produce outer membrane vesicles and invade nematode intestinal cells. Using two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis we identified host proteins that are differentially expressed in response to S. flexneri infection. Four of the identified genes, aco-1, cct-2, daf-19 and hsp-60, were knocked down using RNAi and ACO-1, CCT-2 and DAF-19, which were identified as up-regulated in response to S. flexneri infection, were found to be involved in the infection process. aco-1 RNAi worms were more resistant to S. flexneri infection, suggesting S. flexneri-mediated disruption of host iron homeostasis. cct-2 and daf-19 RNAi worms were more susceptible to infection, suggesting that these genes are induced as a protective mechanism by C. elegans. These observations further our understanding of the processes involved in S. flexneri infection of C. elegans, which is immensely beneficial to the routine use of this new in vivo model to study S. flexneri pathogenesis. PMID:25187942

  16. Inhibition of Fat Accumulation by Hesperidin in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Peng, Huimin; Wei, Zhaohan; Luo, Hujie; Yang, Yiting; Wu, Zhengxing; Gan, Lu; Yang, Xiangliang

    2016-06-29

    Hesperidin, abundant in citrus fruits, has a wide range of pharmacological effects, including anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, radioprotective, and antiviral activities. However, relatively few studies on the effects of hesperidin on lipid metabolism have been reported. Here, using Caenorhaditis elegans as a model animal, we found that 100 μM hesperidin significantly decreased fat accumulation in both high-fat worms cultured in nematode growth medium containing 10 mM glucose (83.5 ± 1.2% versus control by Sudan Black B staining and 87.6 ± 2.0% versus control by Oil Red O staining; p < 0.001) and daf-2 mutant worms (87.8 ± 1.4% versus control by Oil Red O staining; p < 0.001). Furthermore, 50 μM hesperidin decreased the ratio of oleic acid/stearic acid (C18:1Δ9/C18:0) (p < 0.05), and supplementation of oleic acid could restore the inhibitory effect of hesperidin on fat accumulation. Hesperidin significantly downregulated the expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase, fat-6, and fat-7 (p < 0.05), and mutation of fat-6 and fat-7 reversed fat accumulation inhibited by hesperidin. In addition, hesperidin decreased the expression of other genes involved in lipid metabolism, including pod-2, mdt-15, acs-2, and kat-1 (p < 0.05). These results suggested that hesperidin reduced fat accumulation by affecting several lipid metabolism pathways, such as fat-6 and fat-7. This study provided new insights into elucidating the mechanism underlying the regulation of lipid metabolism by hesperidin. PMID:27267939

  17. Vulnerability-Based Critical Neurons, Synapses, and Pathways in the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seongkyun; Kim, Hyoungkyu; Kralik, Jerald D.; Jeong, Jaeseung

    2016-01-01

    Determining the fundamental architectural design of complex nervous systems will lead to significant medical and technological advances. Yet it remains unclear how nervous systems evolved highly efficient networks with near optimal sharing of pathways that yet produce multiple distinct behaviors to reach the organism’s goals. To determine this, the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model system. Progress has been made in delineating the behavioral circuits of the C. elegans, however, many details are unclear, including the specific functions of every neuron and synapse, as well as the extent the behavioral circuits are separate and parallel versus integrative and serial. Network analysis provides a normative approach to help specify the network design. We investigated the vulnerability of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome by performing computational experiments that (a) “attacked” 279 individual neurons and 2,990 weighted synaptic connections (composed of 6,393 chemical synapses and 890 electrical junctions) and (b) quantified the effects of each removal on global network properties that influence information processing. The analysis identified 12 critical neurons and 29 critical synapses for establishing fundamental network properties. These critical constituents were found to be control elements—i.e., those with the most influence over multiple underlying pathways. Additionally, the critical synapses formed into circuit-level pathways. These emergent pathways provide evidence for (a) the importance of backward locomotion, avoidance behavior, and social feeding behavior to the organism; (b) the potential roles of specific neurons whose functions have been unclear; and (c) both parallel and serial design elements in the connectome—i.e., specific evidence for a mixed architectural design. PMID:27540747

  18. Distinct Mechanisms Underlie Quiescence during Two Caenorhabditis elegans Sleep-Like States

    PubMed Central

    Trojanowski, Nicholas F.; Nelson, Matthew D.; Flavell, Steven W.

    2015-01-01

    Electrophysiological recordings have enabled identification of physiologically distinct yet behaviorally similar states of mammalian sleep. In contrast, sleep in nonmammals has generally been identified behaviorally and therefore regarded as a physiologically uniform state characterized by quiescence of feeding and locomotion, reduced responsiveness, and rapid reversibility. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans displays sleep-like quiescent behavior under two conditions: developmentally timed quiescence (DTQ) occurs during larval transitions, and stress-induced quiescence (SIQ) occurs in response to exposure to cellular stressors. Behaviorally, DTQ and SIQ appear identical. Here, we use optogenetic manipulations of neuronal and muscular activity, pharmacology, and genetic perturbations to uncover circuit and molecular mechanisms of DTQ and SIQ. We find that locomotion quiescence induced by DTQ- and SIQ-associated neuropeptides occurs via their action on the nervous system, although their neuronal target(s) and/or molecular mechanisms likely differ. Feeding quiescence during DTQ results from a loss of pharyngeal muscle excitability, whereas feeding quiescence during SIQ results from a loss of excitability in the nervous system. Together these results indicate that, as in mammals, quiescence is subserved by different mechanisms during distinct sleep-like states in C. elegans. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sleep behavior is characterized by cessation of feeding and locomotion, reduced responsiveness, and rapid reversibility. In mammals and birds, there are sleep states that have fundamentally different electrophysiology despite outwardly similar behavior. However, it is not clear whether behavioral sleep is a uniform state in animals in which electrophysiology is not readily possible. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans displays sleep-like behavior under two conditions: during development and after exposure to environmental stressors. Here, we show that feeding and locomotion

  19. Rendering the Intractable More Tractable: Tools from Caenorhabditis elegans Ripe for Import into Parasitic Nematodes.

    PubMed

    Ward, Jordan D

    2015-12-01

    Recent and rapid advances in genetic and molecular tools have brought spectacular tractability to Caenorhabditis elegans, a model that was initially prized because of its simple design and ease of imaging. C. elegans has long been a powerful model in biomedical research, and tools such as RNAi and the CRISPR/Cas9 system allow facile knockdown of genes and genome editing, respectively. These developments have created an additional opportunity to tackle one of the most debilitating burdens on global health and food security: parasitic nematodes. I review how development of nonparasitic nematodes as genetic models informs efforts to import tools into parasitic nematodes. Current tools in three commonly studied parasites (Strongyloides spp., Brugia malayi, and Ascaris suum) are described, as are tools from C. elegans that are ripe for adaptation and the benefits and barriers to doing so. These tools will enable dissection of a huge array of questions that have been all but completely impenetrable to date, allowing investigation into host-parasite and parasite-vector interactions, and the genetic basis of parasitism. PMID:26644478

  20. XRN2 Autoregulation and Control of Polycistronic Gene Expresssion in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Miki, Takashi S; Carl, Sarah H; Stadler, Michael B; Großhans, Helge

    2016-09-01

    XRN2 is a conserved 5'→3' exoribonuclease that complexes with proteins that contain XRN2-binding domains (XTBDs). In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the XTBD-protein PAXT-1 stabilizes XRN2 to retain its activity. XRN2 activity is also promoted by 3'(2'),5'-bisphosphate nucleotidase 1 (BPNT1) through hydrolysis of an endogenous XRN inhibitor 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate (PAP). Here, we find through unbiased screening that loss of bpnt-1 function suppresses lethality caused by paxt-1 deletion. This unexpected finding is explained by XRN2 autoregulation, which occurs through repression of a cryptic promoter activity and destabilization of the xrn-2 transcript. De-repression appears to be triggered such that more robust XRN2 perturbation, by elimination of both PAXT-1 and BPNT1, is less detrimental to worm viability than absence of PAXT-1 alone. Indeed, we find that two distinct XRN2 repression mechanisms are alleviated at different thresholds of XRN2 inactivation. Like more than 15% of C. elegans genes, xrn-2 occurs in an operon, and we identify additional operons under its control, consistent with a broader function of XRN2 in polycistronic gene regulation. Regulation occurs through intercistronic regions that link genes in an operon, but a part of the mechanisms may allow XRN2 to operate on monocistronic genes in organisms lacking operons.

  1. Passive Dosing in Chronic Toxicity Tests with the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Fabian; Böhm, Leonard; Höss, Sebastian; Möhlenkamp, Christel; Claus, Evelyn; Düring, Rolf-Alexander; Schäfer, Sabine

    2016-09-01

    In chronic toxicity tests with Caenorhabditis elegans, it is necessary to feed the nematode with bacteria, which reduces the freely dissolved concentration (Cfree) of hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOCs), leading to poorly defined exposure with conventional dosing procedures. We examined the efficacy of passive dosing of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using silicone O-rings to control exposure during C. elegans toxicity testing and compared the results to those obtained with solvent spiking. Solid-phase microextraction and liquid-liquid extraction were used to measure Cfree and the chemicals taken up via ingestion. During toxicity testing, Cfree decreased by up to 89% after solvent spiking but remained constant with passive dosing. This led to a higher apparent toxicity on C. elegans exposed by passive dosing than by solvent spiking. With increasing bacterial cell densities, Cfree of solvent-spiked PAHs decreased while being maintained constant with passive dosing. This resulted in lower apparent toxicity under solvent spiking but an increased apparent toxicity with passive dosing, probably as a result of the higher chemical uptake rate via food (CUfood). Our results demonstrate the utility of passive dosing to control Cfree in routine chronic toxicity testing of HOCs. Moreover, both chemical uptake from water or via food ingestion can be controlled, thus enabling the discrimination of different uptake routes in chronic toxicity studies.

  2. Third-harmonic generation for the study of Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aviles-Espinosa, Rodrigo; Santos, Susana I. C. O.; Brodschelm, Andreas; Kaenders, Wilhelm G.; Alonso-Ortega, Cesar; Artigas, David; Loza-Alvarez, Pablo

    2010-07-01

    Live microscopy techniques (i.e., differential interference contrast, confocal microscopy, etc.) have enabled the understanding of the mechanisms involved in cells and tissue formation. In long-term studies, special care must be taken in order to avoid sample damage, restricting the applicability of the different microscopy techniques. We demonstrate the potential of using third-harmonic generation (THG) microscopy for morphogenesis/embryogenesis studies in living Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Moreover, we show that the THG signal is obtained in all the embryo development stages, showing different tissue/structure information. For this research, we employ a 1550-nm femtosecond fiber laser and demonstrate that the expected water absorption at this wavelength does not severely compromise sample viability. Additionally, this has the important advantage that the THG signal is emitted at visible wavelengths (516 nm). Therefore, standard collection optics and detectors operating near maximum efficiency enable an optimal signal reconstruction. All this, to the best of our knowledge, demonstrates for the first time the noninvasiveness and strong potential of this particular wavelength to be used for high-resolution four-dimensional imaging of embryogenesis using unstained C. elegans in vivo samples.

  3. Caenorhabditis elegans Survives Atmospheric Breakup of STS-107, Space Shuttle Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.; McLamb, William; Reed, David; Blumberg, Baruch S.; Conley, Catharine A.

    2005-12-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a popular organism for biological studies, is being developed as a model system for space biology. The chemically defined liquid medium, C. elegans Maintenance Medium (CeMM), allows axenic cultivation and automation of experiments that are critical for spaceflight research. To validate CeMM for use during spaceflight, we grew animals using CeMM and standard laboratory conditions onboard STS-107, space shuttle Columbia. Tragically, the Columbia was destroyed while reentering the Earth's atmosphere. During the massive recovery effort, hardware that contained our experiment was found. Live animals were observed in four of the five recovered canisters, which had survived on both types of media. These data demonstrate that CeMM is capable of supporting C. elegans during spaceflight. They also demonstrate that animals can survive a relatively unprotected reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, which has implications with regard to the packaging of living material during space flight, planetary protection, and the interplanetary transfer of life.

  4. Biosafety assessment of Gd@C82(OH)22 nanoparticles on Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wendi; Sun, Baoyun; Zhang, Longze; Zhao, Baolu; Nie, Guangjun; Zhao, Yuliang

    2011-06-01

    Gd@C82(OH)22, a water-soluble endohedral metallofullerene derivative, has been proven to possess significant antineoplastic activity in mice. Toxicity studies of the nanoparticle have shown some evidence of low or non toxicity in mice and cell models. Here we employed Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model organism to further evaluate the short- and long-term toxicity of Gd@C82(OH)22 and possible behavior changes under normal and stress culture conditions. With treatment of Gd@C82(OH)22 at 0.01, 0.1, 1.0 and 10 μg ml-1 within one generation (short-term), C. elegans showed no significant decrease in longevity or thermotolerance compared to the controls. Furthermore, when Gd@C82(OH)22 treatment was extended up to six generations (long-term), non-toxic effects to the nematodes were found. In addition, data from body length measurement, feeding rate and egg-laying assays with short-term treatment demonstrated that the nanoparticles have no significant impact on the individual growth, feeding behavior and reproductive ability, respectively. In summary, this work has shown that Gd@C82(OH)22 is tolerated well by worms and it has no apparent toxic effects on longevity, stress resistance, growth and behaviors that were observed in both adult and young worms. Our work lays the foundations for further developments of this anti-neoplastic agent for clinical applications.

  5. NGT-3D: a simple nematode cultivation system to study Caenorhabditis elegans biology in 3D

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tong Young; Yoon, Kyoung-hye; Lee, Jin Il

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the premier experimental model organisms today. In the laboratory, they display characteristic development, fertility, and behaviors in a two dimensional habitat. In nature, however, C. elegans is found in three dimensional environments such as rotting fruit. To investigate the biology of C. elegans in a 3D controlled environment we designed a nematode cultivation habitat which we term the nematode growth tube or NGT-3D. NGT-3D allows for the growth of both nematodes and the bacteria they consume. Worms show comparable rates of growth, reproduction and lifespan when bacterial colonies in the 3D matrix are abundant. However, when bacteria are sparse, growth and brood size fail to reach levels observed in standard 2D plates. Using NGT-3D we observe drastic deficits in fertility in a sensory mutant in 3D compared to 2D, and this defect was likely due to an inability to locate bacteria. Overall, NGT-3D will sharpen our understanding of nematode biology and allow scientists to investigate questions of nematode ecology and evolutionary fitness in the laboratory. PMID:26962047

  6. Fatty acids composition of Caenorhabditis elegans using accurate mass GCMS-QTOF.

    PubMed

    Henry, Parise; Owopetu, Olufunmilayo; Adisa, Demilade; Nguyen, Thao; Anthony, Kevin; Ijoni-Animadu, David; Jamadar, Sakha; Abdel-Rahman, Fawzia; Saleh, Mahmoud A

    2016-08-01

    The free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a proven model organism for lipid metabolism research. Total lipids of C. elegans were extracted using chloroform and methanol in 2:1 ratio (v/v). Fatty acids composition of the extracted total lipids was converted to their corresponding fatty acids methyl esters (FAMEs) and analyzed by gas chromatography/accurate mass quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry using both electron ionization and chemical ionization techniques. Twenty-eight fatty acids consisting of 12 to 22 carbon atoms were identified, 65% of them were unsaturated. Fatty acids containing 12 to17 carbons were mostly saturated with stearic acid (18:0) as the major constituent. Several branched-chain fatty acids were identified. Methyl-14-methylhexadecanoate (iso- 17:0) was the major identified branched fatty acid. This is the first report to detect the intact molecular parent ions of the identified fatty acids in C. elegans using chemical ionization compared to electron ionization which produced fragmentations of the FAMEs.

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

    PubMed

    Joo, Hyoe-Jin; Yim, Yong-Hyeon; Jeong, Pan-Young; Jin, You-Xun; Lee, Jeong-Eui; Kim, Heekyeong; Jeong, Seul-Ki; Chitwood, David J; Paik, Young-Ki

    2009-07-29

    Caenorhabditis elegans excretes a dauer pheromone or daumone composed of ascarylose and a fatty acid side chain, the perception of which enables worms to enter the dauer state for long-term survival in an adverse environment. During the course of elucidation of the daumone biosynthetic pathway in which DHS-28 and DAF-22 are involved in peroxisomal beta-oxidation of VLCFAs (very long-chain fatty acids), we sought to investigate the physiological consequences of a deficiency in daumone biosynthesis in C. elegans. Our results revealed that two mutants, dhs-28(tm2581) and daf-22(ok693), lacked daumones and thus were dauer defective; this coincided with massive accumulation of fatty acyl-CoAs (up to 100-fold) inside worm bodies compared with levels in wild-type N2 worms. Furthermore, the deficiency in daumone biosynthesis and the massive accumulation of fatty acids and their acyl-CoAs caused severe developmental defects with reduced life spans (up to 30%), suggesting that daumone biosynthesis is be an essential part of C. elegans homoeostasis, affecting survival and maintenance of optimal physiological conditions by metabolizing some of the toxic non-permissible peroxisomal VLCFAs from the worm body in the form of readily excretable daumones.

  8. Rendering the Intractable More Tractable: Tools from Caenorhabditis elegans Ripe for Import into Parasitic Nematodes.

    PubMed

    Ward, Jordan D

    2015-12-01

    Recent and rapid advances in genetic and molecular tools have brought spectacular tractability to Caenorhabditis elegans, a model that was initially prized because of its simple design and ease of imaging. C. elegans has long been a powerful model in biomedical research, and tools such as RNAi and the CRISPR/Cas9 system allow facile knockdown of genes and genome editing, respectively. These developments have created an additional opportunity to tackle one of the most debilitating burdens on global health and food security: parasitic nematodes. I review how development of nonparasitic nematodes as genetic models informs efforts to import tools into parasitic nematodes. Current tools in three commonly studied parasites (Strongyloides spp., Brugia malayi, and Ascaris suum) are described, as are tools from C. elegans that are ripe for adaptation and the benefits and barriers to doing so. These tools will enable dissection of a huge array of questions that have been all but completely impenetrable to date, allowing investigation into host-parasite and parasite-vector interactions, and the genetic basis of parasitism.

  9. Nematicidal effect of plumbagin on Caenorhabditis elegans: a model for testing a nematicidal drug.

    PubMed

    Chaweeborisuit, Phantip; Suriyonplengsaeng, Chinnawut; Suphamungmee, Worawit; Sobhon, Prasert; Meemon, Krai

    2016-01-01

    Plumbagin, (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone), a natural substance found in the roots of plant species in the genus Plumbago, has been used as a traditional medicine against many diseases. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans was used as a model for testing the anthelmintic effect of plumbagin. The compound exhibited a nematicidal effect against all stages of C. elegans: L4 was least susceptible, while L1 was most susceptible to plumbagin with an LC(50) of 220 and 156 μM, respectively. Plumbagin inhibited C. elegans development from L1 to adult stages with an IC(50) of 235 μM, and body length was also reduced at concentrations of 25 and 50 μg/ml. Brood sizes decreased from 203±6 to 43±6 and 18±3 eggs per hatch in plumbagin-treated worms at 10, 25, 50 μg/ml, respectively. Furthermore, plumbagin was lethal to strains resistant to the nematicides levamisole, albendazole, and ivermectin, indicating that it possesses a strong and unique nematicidal action. Plumbagin decreased the number of mitochondria in hypodermal and intestinal cells and body wall muscles and damaged the ultrastructure of these tissues. Taken together, plumbagin may be a new drug against parasitic nematodes. PMID:27140303

  10. The neural network for chemotaxis to tastants in Caenorhabditis elegans is specialized for temporal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Thiele, Tod R; Faumont, Serge; Lockery, Shawn R

    2009-09-23

    Chemotaxis in Caenorhabditis elegans depends critically on the rate of change of attractant concentration computed as the worm moves through its environment. This computation depends, in turn, on the neuron class ASE, a left-right pair of pair of chemosensory neurons that is functionally asymmetric such that the left neuron is an on-cell, whereas the right neuron is an off-cell. To determine whether this coding strategy is a general feature of chemosensation in C. elegans, we imaged calcium responses in all chemosensory neurons known or in a position to contribute to chemotaxis to tastants in this organism. This survey revealed one new class of on-cells (ADF) and one new class of off-cells (ASH). Thus, the ASE class is unique in having both an on-cell and an off-cell. We also found that the newly characterized on-cells and off-cells promote runs and turns, respectively, mirroring the pattern reported previously for ASEL and ASER. Our results suggest that the C. elegans chemotaxis network is specialized for the temporal differentiation of chemosensory inputs, as required for chemotaxis. PMID:19776276

  11. Using Caenorhabditis elegans to Uncover Conserved Functions of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

    PubMed Central

    Watts, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism to study functions of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The ability to alter fatty acid composition with genetic manipulation and dietary supplementation permits the dissection of the roles of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in many biological process including reproduction, aging and neurobiology. Studies in C. elegans to date have mostly identified overlapping functions of 20-carbon omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in reproduction and in neurons, however, specific roles for either omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids are beginning to emerge. Recent findings with importance to human health include the identification of a conserved Cox-independent prostaglandin synthesis pathway, critical functions for cytochrome P450 derivatives of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the requirements for omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in sensory neurons, and the importance of fatty acid desaturation for long lifespan. Furthermore, the ability of C. elegans to interconvert omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids using the FAT-1 omega-3 desaturase has been exploited in mammalian studies and biotechnology approaches to generate mammals capable of exogenous generation of omega-3 fatty acids. PMID:26848697

  12. Identification of vacuoles containing extraintestinal differentiated forms of Legionella pneumophila in colonized Caenorhabditis elegans soil nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Hellinga, Jacqueline R; Garduño, Rafael A; Kormish, Jay D; Tanner, Jennifer R; Khan, Deirdre; Buchko, Kristyn; Jimenez, Celine; Pinette, Mathieu M; Brassinga, Ann Karen C

    2015-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila, a causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease, is a facultative intracellular parasite of freshwater protozoa. Legionella pneumophila features a unique developmental network that involves several developmental forms including the infectious cyst forms. Reservoirs of L. pneumophila include natural and man-made freshwater systems; however, recent studies have shown that isolates of L. pneumophila can also be obtained directly from garden potting soil suggesting the presence of an additional reservoir. A previous study employing the metazoan Caenorhabditis elegans, a member of the Rhabditidae family of free-living soil nematodes, demonstrated that the intestinal lumen can be colonized with L. pneumophila. While both replicative forms and differentiated forms were observed in C. elegans, these morphologically distinct forms were initially observed to be restricted to the intestinal lumen. Using live DIC imaging coupled with focused transmission electron microscopy analyses, we report here that L. pneumophila is able to invade and establish Legionella-containing vacuoles (LCVs) in the intestinal cells. In addition, LCVs containing replicative and differentiated cyst forms were observed in the pseudocoelomic cavity and gonadal tissue of nematodes colonized with L. pneumophila. Furthermore, establishment of LCVs in the gonadal tissue was Dot/Icm dependent and required the presence of the endocytic factor RME-1 to gain access to maturing oocytes. Our findings are novel as this is the first report, to our knowledge, of extraintestinal LCVs containing L. pneumophila cyst forms in C. elegans tissues, highlighting the potential of soil-dwelling nematodes as an alternate environmental reservoir for L. pneumophila. PMID:26131925

  13. Prowashonupana barley dietary fibre reduces body fat and increases insulin sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans model

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Chenfei; King, Michael L.; Fitzpatrick, Zachary L.; Wei, Wenqian; King, Jason F.; Wang, Mingming; Greenway, Frank L.; Finley, John W.; Johnson, William D.; Keenan, Michael J.; Enright, Frederick M.; Martin, Roy J.; Zheng, Jolene

    2016-01-01

    Prowashonupana barley (PWB) is high in β-glucan with moderate content of resistant starch. PWB reduced intestinal fat deposition (IFD) in wild type Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, N2), and in sir-2.1 or daf-16 null mutants, and sustained a surrogate marker of lifespan, pharyngeal pumping rate (PPR), in N2, sir-2.1, daf-16, or daf-16/daf-2 mutants. Hyperglycaemia (2% glucose) reversed or reduced the PWB effect on IFD in N2 or daf-16/daf-2 mutants with a sustained PPR. mRNA expression of cpt-1, cpt-2, ckr-1, and gcy-8 were dose-dependently reduced in N2 or daf-16 mutants, elevated in daf-16/daf-2 mutants with reduction in cpt-1, and unchanged in sir-2.1 mutants. mRNA expressions were increased by hyperglycaemia in N2 or daf-16/daf-2 mutants, while reduced in sir-2.1 or daf-16 mutants. The effects of PWB in the C. elegans model appeared to be primarily mediated via sir-2.1, daf-16, and daf-16/daf-2. These data suggest that PWB and β-glucans may benefit hyperglycaemia-impaired lipid metabolism.

  14. XRN2 Autoregulation and Control of Polycistronic Gene Expresssion in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Miki, Takashi S; Carl, Sarah H; Stadler, Michael B; Großhans, Helge

    2016-09-01

    XRN2 is a conserved 5'→3' exoribonuclease that complexes with proteins that contain XRN2-binding domains (XTBDs). In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the XTBD-protein PAXT-1 stabilizes XRN2 to retain its activity. XRN2 activity is also promoted by 3'(2'),5'-bisphosphate nucleotidase 1 (BPNT1) through hydrolysis of an endogenous XRN inhibitor 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate (PAP). Here, we find through unbiased screening that loss of bpnt-1 function suppresses lethality caused by paxt-1 deletion. This unexpected finding is explained by XRN2 autoregulation, which occurs through repression of a cryptic promoter activity and destabilization of the xrn-2 transcript. De-repression appears to be triggered such that more robust XRN2 perturbation, by elimination of both PAXT-1 and BPNT1, is less detrimental to worm viability than absence of PAXT-1 alone. Indeed, we find that two distinct XRN2 repression mechanisms are alleviated at different thresholds of XRN2 inactivation. Like more than 15% of C. elegans genes, xrn-2 occurs in an operon, and we identify additional operons under its control, consistent with a broader function of XRN2 in polycistronic gene regulation. Regulation occurs through intercistronic regions that link genes in an operon, but a part of the mechanisms may allow XRN2 to operate on monocistronic genes in organisms lacking operons. PMID:27631780

  15. Distributed Effects of Biological Sex Define Sex-Typical Motor Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Mowrey, William R.; Bennett, Jessica R.

    2014-01-01

    Sex differences in shared behaviors (for example, locomotion and feeding) are a nearly universal feature of animal biology. Though these behaviors may share underlying neural programs, their kinematics can exhibit robust differences between males and females. The neural underpinnings of these differences are poorly understood because of the often-untested assumption that they are determined by sex-specific body morphology. Here, we address this issue in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which features two sexes with distinct body morphologies but similar locomotor circuitry and body muscle. Quantitative behavioral analysis shows that C. elegans and related nematodes exhibit significant sex differences in the dynamics and geometry of locomotor body waves, such that the male is generally faster. Using a recently proposed model of locomotor wave propagation, we show that sex differences in both body mechanics and the intrinsic dynamics of the motor system can contribute to kinematic differences in distinct mechanical contexts. By genetically sex-reversing the properties of specific tissues and cells, however, we find that sex-specific locomotor frequency in C. elegans is determined primarily by the functional modification of shared sensory neurons. Further, we find that sexual modification of body wall muscle together with the nervous system is required to alter body wave speed. Thus, rather than relying on a single focus of modification, sex differences in motor dynamics require independent modifications to multiple tissue types. Our results suggest shared motor behaviors may be sex-specifically optimized though distributed modifications to several aspects of morphology and physiology. PMID:24478342

  16. An assay for measuring the effects of ethanol on the locomotion speed of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Andrew G.; Blackwell, GinaMari G.; Raabe, Richard C.; Bettinger, Jill C.

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol use disorders are a significant public health concern, for which there are few effective treatment strategies. One difficulty that has delayed the development of more effective treatments is the relative lack of understanding of the molecular underpinnings of the effects of ethanol on behavior. The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), provides a useful model in which to generate and test hypotheses about the molecular effects of ethanol. Here, we describe an assay that has been developed and used to examine the roles of particular genes and environmental factors in behavioral responses to ethanol, in which locomotion is the behavioral output. Ethanol dose-dependently causes an acute depression of crawling on an agar surface. The effects are dynamic; animals exposed to a high concentration demonstrate an initial strong depression of crawling, referred to here as initial sensitivity, and then partially recover locomotion speed despite the continued presence of the drug. This ethanol-induced behavioral plasticity is referred to here as the development of acute functional tolerance. This assay has been used to demonstrate that these two phenotypes are distinct and genetically separable. The straightforward locomotion assay described here is suitable for examining the effects of both genetic and environmental manipulations on these acute behavioral responses to ethanol in C. elegans. PMID:25938273

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans survives atmospheric breakup of STS-107, space shuttle Columbia.

    PubMed

    Szewczyk, Nathaniel J; Mancinelli, Rocco L; McLamb, William; Reed, David; Blumberg, Baruch S; Conley, Catharine A

    2005-12-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a popular organism for biological studies, is being developed as a model system for space biology. The chemically defined liquid medium, C. elegans Maintenance Medium (CeMM), allows axenic cultivation and automation of experiments that are critical for spaceflight research. To validate CeMM for use during spaceflight, we grew animals using CeMM and standard laboratory conditions onboard STS-107, space shuttle Columbia. Tragically, the Columbia was destroyed while reentering the Earth's atmosphere. During the massive recovery effort, hardware that contained our experiment was found. Live animals were observed in four of the five recovered canisters, which had survived on both types of media. These data demonstrate that CeMM is capable of supporting C. elegans during spaceflight. They also demonstrate that animals can survive a relatively unprotected reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, which has implications with regard to the packaging of living material during space flight, planetary protection, and the interplanetary transfer of life.

  18. Passive Dosing in Chronic Toxicity Tests with the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Fabian; Böhm, Leonard; Höss, Sebastian; Möhlenkamp, Christel; Claus, Evelyn; Düring, Rolf-Alexander; Schäfer, Sabine

    2016-09-01

    In chronic toxicity tests with Caenorhabditis elegans, it is necessary to feed the nematode with bacteria, which reduces the freely dissolved concentration (Cfree) of hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOCs), leading to poorly defined exposure with conventional dosing procedures. We examined the efficacy of passive dosing of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using silicone O-rings to control exposure during C. elegans toxicity testing and compared the results to those obtained with solvent spiking. Solid-phase microextraction and liquid-liquid extraction were used to measure Cfree and the chemicals taken up via ingestion. During toxicity testing, Cfree decreased by up to 89% after solvent spiking but remained constant with passive dosing. This led to a higher apparent toxicity on C. elegans exposed by passive dosing than by solvent spiking. With increasing bacterial cell densities, Cfree of solvent-spiked PAHs decreased while being maintained constant with passive dosing. This resulted in lower apparent toxicity under solvent spiking but an increased apparent toxicity with passive dosing, probably as a result of the higher chemical uptake rate via food (CUfood). Our results demonstrate the utility of passive dosing to control Cfree in routine chronic toxicity testing of HOCs. Moreover, both chemical uptake from water or via food ingestion can be controlled, thus enabling the discrimination of different uptake routes in chronic toxicity studies. PMID:27494096

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans: a model to investigate oxidative stress and metal dyshomeostasis in Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Chege, Patricia M.; McColl, Gawain

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by progressive motor impairment attributed to progressive loss of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Additional clinical manifestations include non-motor symptoms such as insomnia, depression, psychosis, and cognitive impairment. PD patients with mild cognitive impairment have an increased risk of developing dementia. The affected brain regions also show perturbed metal ion levels, primarily iron. These observations have led to speculation that metal ion dyshomeostasis plays a key role in the neuronal death of this disease. However, the mechanisms underlying this metal-associated neurodegeneration have yet to be completely elucidated. Mammalian models have traditionally been used to investigate PD pathogenesis. However, alternate animal models are also being adopted, bringing to bear their respective experimental advantage. The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, is one such system that has well-developed genetics, is amenable to transgenesis and has relatively low associated experimental costs. C. elegans has a well characterized neuronal network that includes a simple DAergic system. In this review we will discuss mechanisms thought to underlie PD and the use of C. elegans to investigate these processes. PMID:24904406

  20. Mechanism of Different Stereoisomeric Astaxanthin in Resistance to Oxidative Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaojuan; Luo, Qingxin; Cao, Yong; Goulette, Timothy; Liu, Xin; Xiao, Hang

    2016-09-01

    As a potent antioxidant in human diet, astaxanthin (AST) may play important roles in alleviating oxidative stress-driven adverse physiological effects. This study examined the effects of different stereoisomers of AST in protecting Caenorhabditis elegans from chemically induced oxidative stress. Three stereoisomers of AST investigated herein included 3S,3´S (S) AST, 3R,3´R (R) AST, and a statistical mixture (S: meso: R = 1:2:1) (M) AST. Under paraquat-induced oxidative conditions, all three types of AST significantly enhanced survival rate of C. elegans. The accumulation levels of ROS in the worms were reduced by 40.12%, 30.05%, and 22.04% by S, R, and M AST, respectively (P < 0.05). Compared with R and M AST, S significantly enhanced the expression levels of SOD-3. The results of RNA-Seq analysis demonstrated that AST protected C. elegans from oxidative damage potentially by modulating genes involved in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling (IIS) pathway and the oxidoreductase system. It is noteworthy that different stereoisomers of AST showed different effects on the expression levels of various genes related with oxidative stress. This study revealed important information on the in vivo antioxidative effects of AST stereoisomers, which might provide useful information for better utilization of AST.

  1. Staphylococcus saprophyticus surface-associated protein (Ssp) is associated with lifespan reduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Szabados, Florian; Mohner, Amelie; Kleine, Britta; Gatermann, Sören G

    2013-10-01

    Staphylococcal lipases have been proposed as pathogenicity factors. In Staphylococcus saprophyticus the surface-associated protein (Ssp) has been previously characterized as a cell wall-associated true lipase. A S. saprophyticus Δssp::ermB mutant has been described as less virulent in an in vivo model of urinary tract infection compared with its wild-type. This is the first report showing that S. saprophyticus induced a lifespan reduction in Caenorhabditis elegans similar to that of S. aureus RN4220. In two S. saprophyticus Δssp::ermB mutants lifespan reduction in C. elegans was partly abolished. In order to attribute virulence to the lipase activity itself and distinguish this phenomenon from the presence of the Ssp-protein, the conserved active site of the lipase was modified by site-directed ligase-independent mutagenesis and lipase activity-deficient mutants were constructed. These results indicate that the Ssp is associated with pathogenicity in C. elegans and one could speculate that the lipase activity itself is responsible for this virulence.

  2. Radiation-induced bystander signaling from somatic cells to germ cells in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaoying; Sun, Jie; Bian, Po; Chen, Lianyun; Zhan, Furu; Wang, Jun; Xu, An; Wang, Yugang; Hei, Tom K; Wu, Lijun

    2013-09-01

    Recently, radiation-induced bystander effects (RIBE) have been studied in mouse models in vivo, which clearly demonstrated bystander effects among somatic cells. However, there is currently no evidence for RIBE between somatic cells and germ cells in animal models in vivo. In the current study, the model animal Caenorhabditis elegans was used to investigate the bystander signaling from somatic cells to germ cells, as well as underlying mechanisms. C. elegans body size allows for precise microbeam irradiation and the abundant mutant strains for genetic dissection relative to currently adopted mouse models make it ideal for such analysis. Our results showed that irradiation of posterior pharynx bulbs and tails of C. elegans enhanced the level of germ cell apoptosis in bystander gonads. The irradiation of posterior pharynx bulbs also increased the level of DNA damage in bystander germ cells and genomic instability in the F1 progeny of irradiated worms, suggesting a potential carcinogenic risk in progeny even only somatic cells of parents are exposed to ionizing radiation (IR). It was also shown that DNA damage-induced germ cell death machinery and MAPK signaling pathways were both involved in the induction of germ cell apoptosis by microbeam induced bystander signaling, indicating a complex cooperation among multiple signaling pathways for bystander effects from somatic cells to germ cells.

  3. Myricetin-mediated lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans is modulated by DAF-16.

    PubMed

    Büchter, Christian; Ackermann, Daniela; Havermann, Susannah; Honnen, Sebastian; Chovolou, Yvonni; Fritz, Gerhard; Kampkötter, Andreas; Wätjen, Wim

    2013-06-04

    Myricetin is a naturally occurring flavonol found in many plant based food sources. It increases the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans, but the molecular mechanisms are not yet fully understood. We have investigated the impact of this flavonoid on the transcription factors DAF-16 (C. elegans FoxO homologue) and SKN-1 (Nrf2 homologue), which have crucial functions in the regulation of ageing. Myricetin is rapidly assimilated by the nematode, causes a nuclear translocation of DAF-16 but not of SKN-1, and finally prolongs the mean adult lifespan of C. elegans by 32.9%. The lifespan prolongation was associated with a decrease in the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) detected by DCF. Myricetin also decreases the formation of lipofuscin, a pigment consisting of highly oxidized and cross-linked proteins that is considered as a biomarker of ageing in diverse species. The lifespan extension was completely abolished in a daf-16 loss-of-function mutant strain (CF1038). Consistently with this result, myricetin was also not able to diminish stress-induced ROS accumulation in the mutant. These results strongly indicate that the pro-longevity effect of myricetin is dependent on DAF-16 and not on direct anti-oxidative effects of the flavonoid.

  4. Zinc Levels Modulate Lifespan through Multiple Longevity Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Jitendra; Barhydt, Tracy; Awasthi, Anjali; Lithgow, Gordon J.; Killilea, David W.; Kapahi, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Zinc is an essential trace metal that has integral roles in numerous biological processes, including enzymatic function, protein structure, and cell signaling pathways. Both excess and deficiency of zinc can lead to detrimental effects on development and metabolism, resulting in abnormalities and disease. We altered the zinc balance within Caenorhabditis elegans to examine how changes in zinc burden affect longevity and healthspan in an invertebrate animal model. We found that increasing zinc levels in vivo with excess dietary zinc supplementation decreased the mean and maximum lifespan, whereas reducing zinc levels in vivo with a zinc-selective chelator increased the mean and maximum lifespan in C. elegans. We determined that the lifespan shortening effects of excess zinc required expression of DAF-16, HSF-1 and SKN-1 proteins, whereas the lifespan lengthening effects of the reduced zinc may be partially dependent upon this set of proteins. Furthermore, reducing zinc levels led to greater nuclear localization of DAF-16 and enhanced dauer formation compared to controls, suggesting that the lifespan effects of zinc are mediated in part by the insulin/IGF-1 pathway. Additionally, zinc status correlated with several markers of healthspan in worms, including proteostasis, locomotion and thermotolerance, with reduced zinc levels always associated with improvements in function. Taken together, these data support a role for zinc in regulating both development and lifespan in C. elegans, and that suggest that regulation of zinc homeostasis in the worm may be an example of antagonistic pleiotropy. PMID:27078872

  5. Zinc Levels Modulate Lifespan through Multiple Longevity Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Jitendra; Barhydt, Tracy; Awasthi, Anjali; Lithgow, Gordon J; Killilea, David W; Kapahi, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Zinc is an essential trace metal that has integral roles in numerous biological processes, including enzymatic function, protein structure, and cell signaling pathways. Both excess and deficiency of zinc can lead to detrimental effects on development and metabolism, resulting in abnormalities and disease. We altered the zinc balance within Caenorhabditis elegans to examine how changes in zinc burden affect longevity and healthspan in an invertebrate animal model. We found that increasing zinc levels in vivo with excess dietary zinc supplementation decreased the mean and maximum lifespan, whereas reducing zinc levels in vivo with a zinc-selective chelator increased the mean and maximum lifespan in C. elegans. We determined that the lifespan shortening effects of excess zinc required expression of DAF-16, HSF-1 and SKN-1 proteins, whereas the lifespan lengthening effects of the reduced zinc may be partially dependent upon this set of proteins. Furthermore, reducing zinc levels led to greater nuclear localization of DAF-16 and enhanced dauer formation compared to controls, suggesting that the lifespan effects of zinc are mediated in part by the insulin/IGF-1 pathway. Additionally, zinc status correlated with several markers of healthspan in worms, including proteostasis, locomotion and thermotolerance, with reduced zinc levels always associated with improvements in function. Taken together, these data support a role for zinc in regulating both development and lifespan in C. elegans, and that suggest that regulation of zinc homeostasis in the worm may be an example of antagonistic pleiotropy.

  6. Impact of a Complex Food Microbiota on Energy Metabolism in the Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zanni, Elena; Laudenzi, Chiara; Schifano, Emily; Palleschi, Claudio; Perozzi, Giuditta; Uccelletti, Daniela; Devirgiliis, Chiara

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model system for research on aging, development, and host-pathogen interactions. Little is currently known about the mechanisms underlying the effects exerted by foodborne microbes. We took advantage of C. elegans to evaluate the impact of foodborne microbiota on well characterized physiological features of the worms. Foodborne lactic acid bacteria (LAB) consortium was used to feed nematodes and its composition was evaluated by 16S rDNA analysis and strain typing before and after colonization of the nematode gut. Lactobacillus delbrueckii, L. fermentum, and Leuconostoc lactis were identified as the main species and shown to display different worm gut colonization capacities. LAB supplementation appeared to decrease nematode lifespan compared to the animals fed with the conventional Escherichia coli nutrient source or a probiotic bacterial strain. Reduced brood size was also observed in microbiota-fed nematodes. Moreover, massive accumulation of lipid droplets was revealed by BODIPY staining. Altered expression of nhr-49, pept-1, and tub-1 genes, associated with obesity phenotypes, was demonstrated by RT-qPCR. Since several pathways are evolutionarily conserved in C. elegans, our results highlight the nematode as a valuable model system to investigate the effects of a complex microbial consortium on host energy metabolism.

  7. Oleanolic acid activates daf-16 to increase lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-12-25

    Oleanolic acid (OA) is an active ingredient in natural plants. It has been reported to possess a variety of pharmacological activities, but very little is known about its effects of anti-aging. We investigate here whether OA has an impact on longevity in vivo, and more specifically, we have examined effects of OA on the lifespan and stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results showed that OA could extend the lifespan, increase its stress resistance and reduce the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in wild-type worms. Moreover, we have found that OA-induced longevity may not be associated with the calorie restriction (CR) mechanism. Our mechanistic studies using daf-16 loss-of-function mutant strains (GR1307) indicated that the extension of lifespan by OA requires daf-16. In addition, OA treatment could also modulate the nuclear localization, and the quantitative real-time PCR results revealed that up-regulation of daf-16 target genes such as sod-3, hsp-16.2 and ctl-1 could prolong lifespan and increase stress response in C. elegans. This study overall uncovers the longevity effect of OA and its underpinning mechanisms.

  8. Effect of vitamin E on lifespan and reproduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Harrington, L A; Harley, C B

    1988-04-01

    Vitamin E extends the lifespan of many animals, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Our results confirm previous studies that 200 micrograms/ml vitamin E significantly prolonged C. elegans survival (17-23%, P less than 0.05) when added from hatching to day 3, while continuous exposure, either at hatching or from 4 days prior to hatching, had little additional effect. Treatment with 100 or 400 micrograms/ml vitamin E, or with other antioxidants (80 micrograms/ml vitamin C, either alone or in combination with vitamin E, or 120 micrograms/ml N,N'-diphenyl-1,4-diphenylenediamine (DPPD] did not significantly affect lifespan. All treatments with 200 micrograms/ml vitamin E moderately reduced fecundity (total progeny) and increased the mean day of reproduction. At 400 micrograms/ml, vitamin E had severe effects, while DPPD, vitamin C, and 100 micrograms/ml vitamin E had slight effects on both these parameters of reproduction. These data suggest that vitamin E increases lifespan in C. elegans in part by slowing development in the same manner that metabolic-depressant or mildly cytotoxic drugs increase lifespan, decrease fecundity, and delay the timing of reproduction.

  9. Procyanidins from apples (Malus pumila Mill.) extend the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sunagawa, Tadahiro; Shimizu, Takahiko; Kanda, Tomomasa; Tagashira, Motoyuki; Sami, Manabu; Shirasawa, Takuji

    2011-01-01

    Apple polyphenols (AP) mainly consist of procyanidins (PC), which are composed of (-)-epicatechins and (+)-catechins. In order to investigate the antiageing effects of PC, we measured the lifespan of CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS worms treated with PC. Treatment with 65 µg/mL PC extended the mean lifespan of wild-type N2 and FEM-1 worms by 12.1 % and 8.4 %, respectively, i.e., to a similar extent as resveratrol. In addition, treatment with 100 µg/mL AP also significantly prolonged the mean lifespan of the same worms by 12.0 % and 5.3 %, respectively, i.e., to a similar extent as PC. In contrast, treatment with (-)-epicatechin did not extend the lifespan of the worms. PC did not modify the growth, food intake, or fecundity of C. elegans. Treatment with PC did not extend the lifespan of MEV-1 worms, which show excessive oxidative stress, indicating that PC had no antioxidant ability in the MEV-1 mutant. Moreover, treatment with PC had no effect on the longevity of SIR-2.1 worms, which lack the activity of SIR-2, a member of the sirtuin family of NAD (+)-dependent protein deacetylases. These results indicated that PC has SIR-2.1-dependent antiageing effects on C. elegans.

  10. Identification of vacuoles containing extraintestinal differentiated forms of Legionella pneumophila in colonized Caenorhabditis elegans soil nematodes.

    PubMed

    Hellinga, Jacqueline R; Garduño, Rafael A; Kormish, Jay D; Tanner, Jennifer R; Khan, Deirdre; Buchko, Kristyn; Jimenez, Celine; Pinette, Mathieu M; Brassinga, Ann Karen C

    2015-08-01

    Legionella pneumophila, a causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, is a facultative intracellular parasite of freshwater protozoa. Legionella pneumophila features a unique developmental network that involves several developmental forms including the infectious cyst forms. Reservoirs of L. pneumophila include natural and man-made freshwater systems; however, recent studies have shown that isolates of L. pneumophila can also be obtained directly from garden potting soil suggesting the presence of an additional reservoir. A previous study employing the metazoan Caenorhabditis elegans, a member of the Rhabditidae family of free-living soil nematodes, demonstrated that the intestinal lumen can be colonized with L. pneumophila. While both replicative forms and differentiated forms were observed in C. elegans, these morphologically distinct forms were initially observed to be restricted to the intestinal lumen. Using live DIC imaging coupled with focused transmission electron microscopy analyses, we report here that L. pneumophila is able to invade and establish Legionella-containing vacuoles (LCVs) in the intestinal cells. In addition, LCVs containing replicative and differentiated cyst forms were observed in the pseudocoelomic cavity and gonadal tissue of nematodes colonized with L. pneumophila. Furthermore, establishment of LCVs in the gonadal tissue was Dot/Icm dependent and required the presence of the endocytic factor RME-1 to gain access to maturing oocytes. Our findings are novel as this is the first report, to our knowledge, of extraintestinal LCVs containing L. pneumophila cyst forms in C. elegans tissues, highlighting the potential of soil-dwelling nematodes as an alternate environmental reservoir for L. pneumophila.

  11. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin susceptibility and isolation of resistance mutants in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Marroquin, L D; Elyassnia, D; Griffitts, J S; Feitelson, J S; Aroian, R V

    2000-01-01

    The protein toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are the most widely used natural insecticides in agriculture. Despite successful and extensive use of these toxins in transgenic crops, little is known about toxicity and resistance pathways in target insects since these organisms are not ideal for molecular genetic studies. To address this limitation and to investigate the potential use of these toxins to control parasitic nematodes, we are studying Bt toxin action and resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. We demonstrate for the first time that a single Bt toxin can target a nematode. When fed Bt toxin, C. elegans hermaphrodites undergo extensive damage to the gut, a decrease in fertility, and death, consistent with toxin effects in insects. We have screened for and isolated 10 recessive mutants that resist the toxin's effects on the intestine, on fertility, and on viability. These mutants define five genes, indicating that more components are required for Bt toxicity than previously known. We find that a second, unrelated nematicidal Bt toxin may utilize a different toxicity pathway. Our data indicate that C. elegans can be used to undertake detailed molecular genetic analysis of Bt toxin pathways and that Bt toxins hold promise as nematicides. PMID:10924467

  12. Using Caenorhabditis elegans to Uncover Conserved Functions of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids.

    PubMed

    Watts, Jennifer L

    2016-02-02

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism to study functions of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The ability to alter fatty acid composition with genetic manipulation and dietary supplementation permits the dissection of the roles of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in many biological process including reproduction, aging and neurobiology. Studies in C. elegans to date have mostly identified overlapping functions of 20-carbon omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in reproduction and in neurons, however, specific roles for either omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids are beginning to emerge. Recent findings with importance to human health include the identification of a conserved Cox-independent prostaglandin synthesis pathway, critical functions for cytochrome P450 derivatives of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the requirements for omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in sensory neurons, and the importance of fatty acid desaturation for long lifespan. Furthermore, the ability of C. elegans to interconvert omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids using the FAT-1 omega-3 desaturase has been exploited in mammalian studies and biotechnology approaches to generate mammals capable of exogenous generation of omega-3 fatty acids.

  13. Activated and inactivated immune responses in Caenorhabditis elegans against Photorhabdus luminescens TT01.

    PubMed

    Sato, Kazuki; Yoshiga, Toyoshi; Hasegawa, Koichi

    2014-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens which symbiotically associates with the entomopathogenic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, has a broad insecticidal and nematicidal activity. The virulence of P. luminescens toward the non-mutualistic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has not been described. We showed that when fed on P. luminescens, the intestinal cells of C. elegans worms become delicate and some crystal-like structure was developed within the intestinal lumen. Next, we examined the requirement of the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway against P. luminescens. Depletion of pmk-1 by RNAi enhances susceptibility to P. luminescens, and numerous downstream targets regulated by the p38 MAPK pathway were induced when fed on P. luminescens. On the other hand, knockdown of daf-16 has no effects on C. elegans lifespan, but knockdown of daf-2 dramatically increased resistance to P. luminescens in a daf-16-dependent manner. We also revealed one of the daf-2 ligands ins-7 was induced and ins-7 deletion mutant survived longer when fed on P. luminescens. These results suggest the p38 MAPK pathway is activated and required for the host defense against P. luminescens. Insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway is inactivated by P. luminescens through the overexpression of insulin-like gene. PMID:25279274

  14. Identification of vacuoles containing extraintestinal differentiated forms of Legionella pneumophila in colonized Caenorhabditis elegans soil nematodes.

    PubMed

    Hellinga, Jacqueline R; Garduño, Rafael A; Kormish, Jay D; Tanner, Jennifer R; Khan, Deirdre; Buchko, Kristyn; Jimenez, Celine; Pinette, Mathieu M; Brassinga, Ann Karen C

    2015-08-01

    Legionella pneumophila, a causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, is a facultative intracellular parasite of freshwater protozoa. Legionella pneumophila features a unique developmental network that involves several developmental forms including the infectious cyst forms. Reservoirs of L. pneumophila include natural and man-made freshwater systems; however, recent studies have shown that isolates of L. pneumophila can also be obtained directly from garden potting soil suggesting the presence of an additional reservoir. A previous study employing the metazoan Caenorhabditis elegans, a member of the Rhabditidae family of free-living soil nematodes, demonstrated that the intestinal lumen can be colonized with L. pneumophila. While both replicative forms and differentiated forms were observed in C. elegans, these morphologically distinct forms were initially observed to be restricted to the intestinal lumen. Using live DIC imaging coupled with focused transmission electron microscopy analyses, we report here that L. pneumophila is able to invade and establish Legionella-containing vacuoles (LCVs) in the intestinal cells. In addition, LCVs containing replicative and differentiated cyst forms were observed in the pseudocoelomic cavity and gonadal tissue of nematodes colonized with L. pneumophila. Furthermore, establishment of LCVs in the gonadal tissue was Dot/Icm dependent and required the presence of the endocytic factor RME-1 to gain access to maturing oocytes. Our findings are novel as this is the first report, to our knowledge, of extraintestinal LCVs containing L. pneumophila cyst forms in C. elegans tissues, highlighting the potential of soil-dwelling nematodes as an alternate environmental reservoir for L. pneumophila. PMID:26131925

  15. Legionella-protozoa-nematode interactions in aquatic biofilms and influence of Mip on Caenorhabditis elegans colonization.

    PubMed

    Rasch, Janine; Krüger, Stefanie; Fontvieille, Dominique; Ünal, Can M; Michel, Rolf; Labrosse, Aurélie; Steinert, Michael

    2016-09-01

    Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaireś disease, is naturally found in aquatic habitats. The intracellular life cycle within protozoa pre-adapted the "accidental" human pathogen to also infect human professional phagocytes like alveolar macrophages. Previous studies employing the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that also nematodes might serve as a natural host for L. pneumophila. Here, we report for the first time from a natural co-habitation of L. pneumophila and environmental nematode species within biofilms of a warm water spring. In addition, we identified the protozoan species Oxytricha bifaria, Stylonychia mytilus, Ciliophrya sp. which have never been described as potential interaction partners of L. pneumophila before. Modeling and dissection of the Legionella-protozoa-nematode interaction revealed that C. elegans ruptures Legionella-infected amoebal cells and by this means incorporate the pathogen. Further infection studies revealed that the macrophage infectivity potentiator (Mip) protein of L. pneumophila, which is known to bind collagen IV during human lung infection, promotes the colonization of the intestinal tract of L4 larvae of C. elegans and negatively influences the life span of the worms. The Mip-negative L. pneumophila mutant exhibited a 32-fold reduced colonization rate of the nematodes after 48h when compared to the wild-type strain. Taken together, these studies suggest that nematodes may serve as natural hosts for L. pneumophila, promote their persistence and dissemination in the environment, and co-evolutionarily pre-adapt the pathogen for interactions with extracellular constituents of human lung tissue.

  16. Getting to the core of cadherin complex function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hardin, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    The classic cadherin-catenin complex (CCC) mediates cell-cell adhesion in metazoans. Although substantial insights have been gained by studying the CCC in vertebrate tissue culture, analyzing requirements for and regulation of the CCC in vertebrates remains challenging. Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful system for connecting the molecular details of CCC function with functional requirements in a living organism. Recent data, using an “angstroms to embryos” approach, have elucidated functions for key residues, conserved across all metazoans, that mediate cadherin/β-catenin binding. Other recent work reveals a novel, potentially ancestral, role for the C. elegans p120ctn homologue in regulating polarization of blastomeres in the early embryo via Cdc42 and the partitioning-defective (PAR)/atypical protein kinase C (aPKC) complex. Finally, recent work suggests that the CCC is trafficked to the cell surface via the clathrin adaptor protein complex 1 (AP-1) in surprising ways. These studies continue to underscore the value of C. elegans as a model system for identifying conserved molecular mechanisms involving the CCC. PMID:26918136

  17. Integrative assessment of benzene exposure to Caenorhabditis elegans using computational behavior and toxicogenomic analyses.

    PubMed

    Eom, Hyun-Jeong; Kim, Hungsoo; Kim, Bo-Moon; Chon, Tae-Soo; Choi, Jinhee

    2014-07-15

    In this study, we investigated the toxic effects of benzene to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in an integrative manner, using computational behavior and toxicogenomics analyses, along with survival and reproduction. Benzene exposure led to changes in locomotive behavior and reproduction decline in C. elegans. Microarray followed by pathway analysis revealed that 228 genes were differentially expressed by benzene exposure, and cyp-35a2, pmk-1, and cep-1 were selected for further reproduction and multiparametric behavior analysis. Mutant analysis showed that benzene induced reproduction decline was rescued in cyp-35a2(gk317) mutant, whereas it was significantly exacerbated in pmk-1(km25) mutant, compared with the wildtype. The multiparametric behavior analysis on the mutants of selected genes revealed that each strain exhibits different response patterns, particularly, enhanced linear movement in the cyp-35a2(gk317) mutant, whereas the changes in partial body movement were observed in the pmk-1(km25) mutant by benzene exposure. A self-organizing map revealed that the pmk-1(km25) mutant group was the most densely clustered and located on the opposite side of the map of the cyp-35a2(gk317) mutant, each crossing that of the wildtype. Overall results suggest distinct roles of cyp-35a2 and pmk-1 genes in benzene-induced alterations in behavior and reproduction in C. elegans. This study also suggests computational behavior analysis is a suitable tool for addressing the integrative impact of chemical stress alongside with toxicogenomic approach.

  18. The Caenorhabditis elegans NR4A nuclear receptor is required for spermatheca morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gissendanner, Chris R.; Kelley, Kristopher; Nguyen, Tri Q.; Hoener, Marius C.; Sluder, Ann E.; Maina, Claude V.

    2013-01-01

    The gene nhr-6 encodes the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of the NR4A nuclear receptor. We determined the biological functions of NHR-6 through the isolation and characterization of a deletion allele of nhr-6, lg6001. We demonstrate that nhr-6 has an essential role in the development of the C. elegans somatic gonad. Specifically, nhr-6 is required for the development of the hermaphrodite spermatheca, a somatic gonad organ that serves as the site of sperm storage and oocyte fertilization. Using a variety of spermatheca cell markers, we have determined that loss of nhr-6 function causes severe morphological defects in the spermatheca and associated spermathecal valves. This appears to be due to specific requirements for nhr-6 in regulating cell proliferation and cell differentiation during development of these structures. The improper development of these structures in nhr-6(lg6001) mutants leads to defects in ovulation and significantly reduced fecundity of C. elegans hermaphrodites. The phenotypes of nhr-6(lg6001) mutants are consistent with a role for nhr-6 in organogenesis, similar to the functions of its mammalian homologs. PMID:18096150

  19. Proteomic Analysis Reveals CACN-1 Is a Component of the Spliceosome in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Doherty, Michael F.; Adelmant, Guillaume; Cecchetelli, Alyssa D.; Marto, Jarrod A.; Cram, Erin J.

    2014-01-01

    Cell migration is essential for embryonic development and tissue formation in all animals. cacn-1 is a conserved gene of unknown molecular function identified in a genome-wide screen for genes that regulate distal tip cell migration in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study we take a proteomics approach to understand CACN-1 function. To isolate CACN-1−interacting proteins, we used an in vivo tandem-affinity purification strategy. Tandem-affinity purification−tagged CACN-1 complexes were isolated from C. elegans lysate, analyzed by mass spectrometry, and characterized bioinformatically. Results suggest significant interaction of CACN-1 with the C. elegans spliceosome. All of the identified interactors were screened for distal tip cell migration phenotypes using RNAi. Depletion of many of these factors led to distal tip cell migration defects, particularly a failure to stop migrating, a phenotype commonly seen in cacn-1 deficient animals. The results of this screen identify eight novel regulators of cell migration and suggest CACN-1 may participate in a protein network dedicated to high-fidelity gonad development. The composition of proteins comprising the CACN-1 network suggests that this critical developmental module may exert its influence through alternative splicing or other post-transcriptional gene regulation. PMID:24948787

  20. Imaging ectopic fat deposition in Caenorhabditis elegans muscles using nonlinear microscopy.

    PubMed

    Mari, Meropi; Filippidis, George; Palikaras, Konstantinos; Petanidou, Barbara; Fotakis, Costas; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2015-06-01

    The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of metabolic syndrome, a complex of pathological conditions including type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases, is an important issue with high biological significance and requires accurate methods capable of monitoring lipid storage distribution and dynamics in vivo. In this study, the nonlinear phenomena of second and third harmonic generation (SHG, THG) have been employed simultaneously as label-free, nondestructive diagnostic techniques, for the monitoring and the complementary three-dimensional (3D) imaging and analysis of the muscular areas and the lipid content localization. THG microscopy was used as a quantitative tool in order to record the accumulation of lipids in nonadipose tissues in the pharyngeal muscles of 18 Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) specimens, while the SHG imaging provided the detailed anatomical information about the structure of the muscles. The ectopic accumulation of fat on the pharyngeal muscles increases in wild-type (N2) C. elegans between 1 and 9 days of adulthood. This suggests a correlation of ectopic fat accumulation with the process of aging. Our results can contribute to the unraveling of the link between the deposition of ectopic fat and aging, but mainly to the validation of SHG and THG microscopy modalities as new, noninvasive tools to localize and quantify selectively lipid formation and distribution.

  1. Flexibility and constraint in the nucleosome core landscape of Caenorhabditis elegans chromatin

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Steven M.; Tan, Frederick J.; McCullough, Heather L.; Riordan, Daniel P.; Fire, Andrew Z.

    2006-01-01

    Nucleosome positions within the chromatin landscape are known to serve as a major determinant of DNA accessibility to transcription factors and other interacting components. To delineate nucleosomal patterns in a model genetic organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, we have carried out a genome-wide analysis in which DNA fragments corresponding to nucleosome cores were liberated using an enzyme (micrococcal nuclease) with a strong preference for cleavage in non-nucleosomal regions. Sequence analysis of 284,091 putative nucleosome cores obtained in this manner from a mixed-stage population of C. elegans reveals a combined picture of flexibility and constraint in nucleosome positioning. As has previously been observed in studies of individual loci in diverse biological systems, we observe areas in the genome where nucleosomes can adopt a wide variety of positions in a given region, areas with little or no nucleosome coverage, and areas where nucleosomes reproducibly adopt a specific positional pattern. In addition to illuminating numerous aspects of chromatin structure for C. elegans, this analysis provides a reference from which to begin an investigation of relationships between the nucleosomal pattern, chromosomal architecture, and lineage-based gene activity on a genome-wide scale. PMID:17038564

  2. Mechanism of Different Stereoisomeric Astaxanthin in Resistance to Oxidative Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaojuan; Luo, Qingxin; Cao, Yong; Goulette, Timothy; Liu, Xin; Xiao, Hang

    2016-09-01

    As a potent antioxidant in human diet, astaxanthin (AST) may play important roles in alleviating oxidative stress-driven adverse physiological effects. This study examined the effects of different stereoisomers of AST in protecting Caenorhabditis elegans from chemically induced oxidative stress. Three stereoisomers of AST investigated herein included 3S,3´S (S) AST, 3R,3´R (R) AST, and a statistical mixture (S: meso: R = 1:2:1) (M) AST. Under paraquat-induced oxidative conditions, all three types of AST significantly enhanced survival rate of C. elegans. The accumulation levels of ROS in the worms were reduced by 40.12%, 30.05%, and 22.04% by S, R, and M AST, respectively (P < 0.05). Compared with R and M AST, S significantly enhanced the expression levels of SOD-3. The results of RNA-Seq analysis demonstrated that AST protected C. elegans from oxidative damage potentially by modulating genes involved in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling (IIS) pathway and the oxidoreductase system. It is noteworthy that different stereoisomers of AST showed different effects on the expression levels of various genes related with oxidative stress. This study revealed important information on the in vivo antioxidative effects of AST stereoisomers, which might provide useful information for better utilization of AST. PMID:27527357

  3. XRN2 Autoregulation and Control of Polycistronic Gene Expresssion in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    XRN2 is a conserved 5’→3’ exoribonuclease that complexes with proteins that contain XRN2-binding domains (XTBDs). In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the XTBD-protein PAXT-1 stabilizes XRN2 to retain its activity. XRN2 activity is also promoted by 3'(2'),5'-bisphosphate nucleotidase 1 (BPNT1) through hydrolysis of an endogenous XRN inhibitor 3’-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate (PAP). Here, we find through unbiased screening that loss of bpnt-1 function suppresses lethality caused by paxt-1 deletion. This unexpected finding is explained by XRN2 autoregulation, which occurs through repression of a cryptic promoter activity and destabilization of the xrn-2 transcript. De-repression appears to be triggered such that more robust XRN2 perturbation, by elimination of both PAXT-1 and BPNT1, is less detrimental to worm viability than absence of PAXT-1 alone. Indeed, we find that two distinct XRN2 repression mechanisms are alleviated at different thresholds of XRN2 inactivation. Like more than 15% of C. elegans genes, xrn-2 occurs in an operon, and we identify additional operons under its control, consistent with a broader function of XRN2 in polycistronic gene regulation. Regulation occurs through intercistronic regions that link genes in an operon, but a part of the mechanisms may allow XRN2 to operate on monocistronic genes in organisms lacking operons. PMID:27631780

  4. Elemental bioimaging of Cisplatin in Caenorhabditis elegans by LA-ICP-MS

    PubMed Central

    Crone, Barbara; Aschner, Michael; Schwerdtle, Tanja; Karst, Uwe; Bornhorst, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (Cisplatin) is one of the most important and frequently used cytostatic drugs for the treatment of various solid tumors. Herein, a laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) method incorporating a fast and simple sample preparation protocol was developed for the elemental mapping of Cisplatin in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The method allows imaging of the spatially-resolved elemental distribution of platinum in the whole organism with respect to the anatomic structure in L4 stage worms at a lateral resolution of 5 µm. In addition, a dose- and time-dependent Cisplatin uptake was corroborated quantitatively by a total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (TXRF) method, and the elemental mapping indicated that Cisplatin is located in the intestine and in the head of the worms. Better understanding of the distribution of Cisplatin in this well-established model organism will be instrumental in deciphering Cisplatin toxicity and pharmacokinetics. Since the cytostatic effect of Cisplatin is based on binding the DNA by forming intra- and interstrand crosslinks, the response of poly(ADP-ribose)metabolism enzyme 1 (pme-1) deletion mutants to Cisplatin was also examined. Loss of pme-1, which is the C. elegans ortholog of human poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) led to disturbed DNA damage response. With respect to survival and brood size, pme-1 deletion mutants were more sensitive to Cisplatin as compared to wildtype worms, while Cisplatin uptake was indistinguishable. PMID:25996669

  5. Dynamic energy-based modeling of uranium and cadmium joint toxicity to Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Margerit, Adrien; Gomez, Elena; Gilbin, Rodolphe

    2016-03-01

    Toxicokinetic - toxicodynamic energy-based models offer new alternatives to the commonly used approaches for the analysis of mixture toxicity data. Based on the Dynamic Energy Budget theory, DEBtox models enable the description of several endpoints over time simultaneously under the same framework. However, such model still has to be faced with experimental data in a multi-contamination context. In this study, the predictive capacities of a DEBtox model to describe the uranium and cadmium joint toxicity over the entire growth and reproduction period of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was examined. The two reference additivity approaches, Concentration Addition and Response addition, implemented in the DEBtox model were tested. Assuming no interaction between the two toxicants through Response addition, the DEBtox model allowed a rather accurate fit of the U and Cd joint effects on the growth and reproduction of C. elegans: an interaction between the two metals at the toxicokinetic or toxicodynamic level seems thus unlikely or has only minor consequences. Interestingly, this study underlines that even if the compounds of a mixture share the same DEBtox physiological mode of action (in this case a decrease in assimilation), the Response addition approach may provide a better fit of joint toxicity data than the Concentration addition approach. Moreover, the present work highlighted limitations in the model predictions which are related to the simplifications of the DEBtox framework and its adaptations to the physiology of C. elegans and which lead to an overestimation of the U and Cd joint toxicity in some cases.

  6. A whole-mount in situ hybridization method for microRNA detection in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Andachi, Yoshiki; Kohara, Yuji

    2016-07-01

    Whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH) is an outstanding method to decipher the spatiotemporal expression patterns of microRNAs (miRNAs) and provides important clues for elucidating their functions. The first WISH method for miRNA detection was developed in zebrafish. Although this method was quickly adapted for other vertebrates and fruit flies, WISH analysis has not been successfully used to detect miRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans Here, we show a novel WISH method for miRNA detection in C. elegans Using this method, mir-1 miRNA was detected in the body-wall muscle where the expression and roles of mir-1 miRNA have been previously elucidated. Application of the method to let-7 family miRNAs, let-7, mir-48, mir-84, and mir-241, revealed their distinct but partially overlapping expression patterns, indicating that miRNAs sharing a short common sequence were distinguishably detected. In pash-1 mutants that were depleted of mature miRNAs, signals of mir-48 miRNA were greatly reduced, suggesting that mature miRNAs were detected by the method. These results demonstrate the validity of WISH to detect mature miRNAs in C. elegans. PMID:27154969

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans-based screen identifies Salmonella virulence factors required for conserved host-pathogen interactions.

    PubMed

    Tenor, Jennifer L; McCormick, Beth A; Ausubel, Frederick M; Aballay, Alejandro

    2004-06-01

    A Caenorhabditis elegans-Salmonella enterica host-pathogen model was used to identify both novel and previously known S. enterica virulence factors (HilA, HilD, InvH, SptP, RhuM, Spi4-F, PipA, VsdA, RepC, Sb25, RfaL, GmhA, LeuO, CstA, and RecC), including several related to the type III secretion system (TTSS) encoded in Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1). Mutants corresponding to presumptive novel virulence-related genes exhibited diminished ability to invade epithelial cells and/or to induce polymorphonuclear leukocyte migration in a tissue culture model of mammalian enteropathogenesis. When expressed in C. elegans intestinal cells, the S. enterica TTSS-exported effector protein SptP inhibited a conserved p38 MAPK signaling pathway and suppressed the diminished pathogenicity phenotype of an S. enterica sptP mutant. These results show that C. elegans is an attractive model to study the interaction between Salmonella effector proteins and components of the innate immune response, in part because there is a remarkable overlap between Salmonella virulence factors required for human and nematode pathogenesis.

  8. Using Expression Profiles of Caenorhabditis elegans Neurons To Identify Genes That Mediate Synaptic Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Baruch, Leehod; Itzkovitz, Shalev; Golan-Mashiach, Michal; Shapiro, Ehud; Segal, Eran

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic wiring of neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans is largely invariable between animals. It has been suggested that this feature stems from genetically encoded molecular markers that guide the neurons in the final stage of synaptic formation. Identifying these markers and unraveling the logic by which they direct synapse formation is a key challenge. Here, we address this task by constructing a probabilistic model that attempts to explain the neuronal connectivity diagram of C. elegans as a function of the expression patterns of its neurons. By only considering neuron pairs that are known to be connected by chemical or electrical synapses, we focus on the final stage of synapse formation, in which neurons identify their designated partners. Our results show that for many neurons the neuronal expression map of C. elegans can be used to accurately predict the subset of adjacent neurons that will be chosen as its postsynaptic partners. Notably, these predictions can be achieved using the expression patterns of only a small number of specific genes that interact in a combinatorial fashion. PMID:18711638

  9. Fatty acids composition of Caenorhabditis elegans using accurate mass GCMS-QTOF.

    PubMed

    Henry, Parise; Owopetu, Olufunmilayo; Adisa, Demilade; Nguyen, Thao; Anthony, Kevin; Ijoni-Animadu, David; Jamadar, Sakha; Abdel-Rahman, Fawzia; Saleh, Mahmoud A

    2016-08-01

    The free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a proven model organism for lipid metabolism research. Total lipids of C. elegans were extracted using chloroform and methanol in 2:1 ratio (v/v). Fatty acids composition of the extracted total lipids was converted to their corresponding fatty acids methyl esters (FAMEs) and analyzed by gas chromatography/accurate mass quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry using both electron ionization and chemical ionization techniques. Twenty-eight fatty acids consisting of 12 to 22 carbon atoms were identified, 65% of them were unsaturated. Fatty acids containing 12 to17 carbons were mostly saturated with stearic acid (18:0) as the major constituent. Several branched-chain fatty acids were identified. Methyl-14-methylhexadecanoate (iso- 17:0) was the major identified branched fatty acid. This is the first report to detect the intact molecular parent ions of the identified fatty acids in C. elegans using chemical ionization compared to electron ionization which produced fragmentations of the FAMEs. PMID:27166662

  10. Simplified method for cell-specific gene expression analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sugi, Takuma; Ohtani, Yasuko

    2014-07-18

    In the neural circuit functional identities of individual neurons are mainly specified by their differential gene expression patterns. Unveiling functional roles of each neuron requires cell-specific interrogation of neural circuitry in the context of gene expressions. The mRNA tagging strategy in Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful technique, in which cell-specific transcripts can be isolated by co-immunoprecipitating the complexes of mRNAs and epitope-tagged poly(A) binding protein (3× FLAG-PAB-1), expressed in target neurons. However, the conventional protocol requires laborious and time-consuming procedures; chromosomal integration of gene encoding 3× FLAG-PAB-1 and bleaching of obtained integrant animals for the isolation of huge amounts of synchronized animals. In this paper, we have presented a simplified methodology for cell-specific mRNA tagging analysis in C. elegans. We show that mRNA tagging was achieved using transgenic animals expressing 3× FLAG-PAB-1 as an extrachromosomal array under the control of the flp-18 promoter, without the chromosomal integration procedure. Furthermore, we successfully isolated cell-specific mRNAs from adult transgenic animals synchronously grown from eggs laid by gravid adults during a time window of 3h. This simplification facilitates the implementation of cell-specific gene expression analysis of C. elegans, which contributes to the understanding of neural circuitry at a cell-specific resolution.

  11. Rendering the Intractable More Tractable: Tools from Caenorhabditis elegans Ripe for Import into Parasitic Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Jordan D.

    2015-01-01

    Recent and rapid advances in genetic and molecular tools have brought spectacular tractability to Caenorhabditis elegans, a model that was initially prized because of its simple design and ease of imaging. C. elegans has long been a powerful model in biomedical research, and tools such as RNAi and the CRISPR/Cas9 system allow facile knockdown of genes and genome editing, respectively. These developments have created an additional opportunity to tackle one of the most debilitating burdens on global health and food security: parasitic nematodes. I review how development of nonparasitic nematodes as genetic models informs efforts to import tools into parasitic nematodes. Current tools in three commonly studied parasites (Strongyloides spp., Brugia malayi, and Ascaris suum) are described, as are tools from C. elegans that are ripe for adaptation and the benefits and barriers to doing so. These tools will enable dissection of a huge array of questions that have been all but completely impenetrable to date, allowing investigation into host–parasite and parasite–vector interactions, and the genetic basis of parasitism. PMID:26644478

  12. The Glutathione Reductase GSR-1 Determines Stress Tolerance and Longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Daniel, Jens; Drescher, Mike; Ajonina, Irene; Ajonina, Caroline; Hertel, Patrick; Woltersdorf, Christian; Liebau, Eva

    2013-01-01

    Glutathione (GSH) and GSH-dependent enzymes play a key role in cellular detoxification processes that enable organism to cope with various internal and environmental stressors. However, it is often not clear, which components of the complex GSH-metabolism are required for tolerance towards a certain stressor. To address this question, a small scale RNAi-screen was carried out in Caenorhabditis elegans where GSH-related genes were systematically knocked down and worms were subsequently analysed for their survival rate under sub-lethal concentrations of arsenite and the redox cycler juglone. While the knockdown of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase led to a diminished survival rate under arsenite stress conditions, GSR-1 (glutathione reductase) was shown to be essential for survival under juglone stress conditions. gsr-1 is the sole GSR encoding gene found in C. elegans. Knockdown of GSR-1 hardly affected total glutathione levels nor reduced glutathione/glutathione disulphide (GSH/GSSG) ratio under normal laboratory conditions. Nevertheless, when GSSG recycling was impaired by gsr-1(RNAi), GSH synthesis was induced, but not vice versa. Moreover, the impact of GSSG recycling was potentiated under oxidative stress conditions, explaining the enormous effect gsr-1(RNAi) knockdown had on juglone tolerance. Accordingly, overexpression of GSR-1 was capable of increasing stress tolerance. Furthermore, expression levels of SKN-1-regulated GSR-1 also affected life span of C. elegans, emphasising the crucial role the GSH redox state plays in both processes. PMID:23593298

  13. Ameliorative effect of aspalathin from rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) on acute oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei; Sudji, Ikhwan Resmala; Wang, Erjia; Joubert, Elizabeth; van Wyk, Ben-Erik; Wink, Michael

    2013-02-15

    Rooibos leaves and fine stems (Aspalathus linearis; Fabaceae) are increasingly enjoyed as herbal tea, largely in fermented (oxidised) red-brown form, but also in unfermented (unoxidised) green form. Rooibos is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, with the dihydrochalcone, aspalathin, as a major active ingredient. We used Caenorhabditis elegans as model organism to investigate the effect of rooibos extracts against oxidative stress in vivo. In a high glucose environment, C. elegans treated with rooibos extract exhibited an extended lifespan. Furthermore, green rooibos was a more potent antioxidant than red rooibos, probably due to its substantially higher aspalathin content. In addition, rooibos decreased acute oxidative damage caused by the superoxide anion radical generator, juglone, with aspalathin playing a major role in improving the survival rate of C. elegans. Quantitative real-time PCR results demonstrated that aspalathin targets stress and ageing related genes, reducing the endogenous intracellular level of ROS. These findings suggest that rooibos increases stress resistance and promotes longevity under stress, probably mediated via a regulation of the DAF-16/FOXO insulin-like signalling pathway, supporting some of the health claims put forward for rooibos tea. PMID:23218401

  14. Carqueja (Baccharis trimera) Protects against Oxidative Stress and β-Amyloid-Induced Toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Aparecida Paiva, Franciny; de Freitas Bonomo, Larissa; Ferreira Boasquivis, Patrícia; Borges Raposo de Paula, Igor Thadeu; Guerra, Joyce Ferreira da Costa; Mendes Leal, Wagney; Silva, Marcelo Eustáquio; Pedrosa, Maria Lúcia; Oliveira, Riva de Paula

    2015-01-01

    Carqueja (Baccharis trimera) is a native plant found throughout South America. Several studies have shown that Carqueja has antioxidant activity in vitro, as well as anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, analgesic, antihepatotoxic, and antimutagenic properties. However, studies regarding its antioxidant potential in vivo are limited. In this study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to examine the antioxidant effects of a Carqueja hydroalcoholic extract (CHE) on stress resistance and lifespan and to investigate whether CHE has a protective effect in a C. elegans model for Alzheimer's disease. Here, we show for the first time, using in vivo assays, that CHE treatment improved oxidative stress resistance by increasing survival rate and by reducing ROS levels under oxidative stress conditions independently of the stress-related signaling pathways (p38, JNK, and ERK) and transcription factors (SKN-1/Nrf and DAF-16/Foxo) tested here. CHE treatment also increased the defenses against β-amyloid toxicity in C. elegans, in part by increasing proteasome activity and the expression of two heat shock protein genes. Our findings suggest a potential neuroprotective use for Carqueja, supporting the idea that dietary antioxidants are a promising approach to boost the defensive systems against stress and neurodegeneration. PMID:26236426

  15. Egg-Laying Defective Mutants of the Nematode CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    PubMed Central

    Trent, Carol; Tsung, Nancy; Horvitz, H. Robert

    1983-01-01

    We have isolated 145 fertile mutants of C. elegans that are defective in egg laying and have characterized 59 of them genetically, behaviorally and pharmacologically. These 59 mutants define 40 new genes called egl, for egg-laying abnormal. Most of the other mutants are defective in previously identified genes. The egl mutants differ with respect to the severity of their egg-laying defects and the presence of behavioral or morphological pleiotropies. We have defined four distinct categories of mutants based on their responses to the pharmacological agents serotonin and imipramine, which stimulate egg laying by wild-type hermaphrodites. These drugs test the functioning of the vulva, the vulval and uterine muscles and the hermaphrodite-specific neurons (HSNs), which innervate the vulval muscles. Mutants representing 14 egl genes fail to respond to serotonin and to imipramine and are likely to be defective in the functioning of the vulva or the vulval and uterine muscles. Four mutants (representing four different genes) lay eggs in response to serotonin but not to imipramine and appear to be egg-laying defective because of defects in the HSNs; three of these four were selected specifically for these drug responses. Mutants representing seven egl genes lay eggs in response to serotonin and to imipramine. One egl mutant responds to imipramine but not to serotonin. The remaining egl mutants show variable or intermediate responses to the drugs. Two of the HSN-defective mutants, egl-1 and her-1(n695), lack HSN cell bodies and are likely to be expressing the normally male-specific program of HSN cell death. Whereas egl-1 animals appear to be defective specifically in HSN development, her-1(n695) animals exhibit multiple morphological pleiotropies, displaying partial transformation of the sexual phenotype of many cells and tissues. At least two of the egl mutants appear to be defective in the processing of environmental signals that modulate egg laying and may define new

  16. Protective effects of novel organic selenium compounds against oxidative stress in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Stefanello, Sílvio Terra; Gubert, Priscila; Puntel, Bruna; Mizdal, Caren Rigon; de Campos, Marli Matiko Anraku; Salman, Syed M.; Dornelles, Luciano; Avila, Daiana Silva; Aschner, Michael; Soares, Félix Alexandre Antunes

    2015-01-01

    Organic selenium compounds possess numerous biological properties, including antioxidant activity. Yet, the high toxicity of some of them, such as diphenyl diselenide (DPDS), is a limiting factor in their current usage. Accordingly, we tested four novel organic selenium compounds in the non-parasite nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and compared their efficacy to DPDS. The novel organic selenium compounds are β-selenoamines (1-phenyl-3-(p-tolylselanyl)propan-2-amine (C1) and 1-(2-methoxyphenylselanyl)-3-phenylpropan-2-amine (C2) and analogs of DPDS (1,2-bis (2-methoxyphenyl) diselenide (C3) and 1,2-bisp-tolyldiselenide (C4). Synchronized worms at the L4 larval stage were exposed for one hour in M9 buffer to these compounds. Oxidative stress conditions were induced by juglone (200 μM) and heat shock (35 °C). Moreover, we evaluated Caenorhabditis elegans behavior, GST-4::GFP (glutathione S-transferase) expression and the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). All tested compounds efficiently restored viability in juglone stressed worms. However, DPDS, C2, C3 and C4 significantly decreased the defecation cycle time. Juglone-induced GST-4::GFP expression was not attenuated in worms pretreated with the novel compounds, except with C2. Finally, AChE activity was reduced by DPDS, C2, C3 and C4. To our knowledge, this is study firstly showed the effects of C1, C2, C3 and C4 selenium-derived compounds in Caenorhabditis elegans. Low toxic effects were noted, except for reduction in the defecation cycle, which is likely associated with AChE inhibition. The juglone-induced stress (reduced viability) was fully reversed by compounds to control animal levels. C2 was also efficient in reducing the juglone-induced GST-4::GFP expression, suggesting the latter may mediate the stress induced by this compound. Future studies could be profitably directed at addressing additional molecular mechanisms that mediate the protective effects of these novel organic selenium compounds. PMID

  17. Green Tea Extract Induces the Resistance of Caenorhabditis elegans against Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Abbas, Sami; Wink, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Epidemiological studies on the effects of green tea consumption (Camellia sinensis) have demonstrated a reduction for the risk of age-related diseases. The investigation of the in vivo and in vitro antioxidant properties of an aqueous extract of green tea (GTE) was the aim of the current study. 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH•) and superoxide anion radical (O2•−) assays were used to estimate the GTE antioxidant activity. To investigate the protective effects of GTE against oxidative stress, wild-type N2 and transgenic strains (TJ374, hsp-16.2/GFP) of the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), were chosen. In the current study, the following catechins were identified by LC/ESI-MS: catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, gallocatechin, epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin gallate. GTE exhibited a free radical scavenging activity of DPPH• and O2•− with IC50 8.37 and 91.34 µg/mL, respectively. In the C. elegans strain (TJ374, hsp-16.2/GFP), the expression of hsp-16.2/GFP was induced by a nonlethal dose of juglone, and the fluorescence density of hsp-16.2/GFP was measured. The hsp-16.2/GFP was reduced by 68.43% in the worms pretreated with 100 µg/mL GTE. N2 worms pretreated with 100 µg/mL GTE exhibited an increased survival rate of 48.31% after a lethal dose application of juglone. The results suggest that some green tea constituents are absorbed by the worms and play a substantial role to enhance oxidative stress resistance in C. elegans. PMID:26784668

  18. A Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Strain Evades a Major Caenorhabditis elegans Defense Pathway

    PubMed Central

    White, Corin V.; Darby, Brian J.; Breeden, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a ubiquitous bacterium and an emerging nosocomial pathogen. This bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics, associated with a number of infections, and a significant health risk, especially for immunocompromised patients. Given that Caenorhabditis elegans shares many conserved genetic pathways and pathway components with higher organisms, the study of its interaction with bacterial pathogens has biomedical implications. S. maltophilia has been isolated in association with nematodes from grassland soils, and it is likely that C. elegans encounters this bacterium in nature. We found that a local S. maltophilia isolate, JCMS, is more virulent than the other S. maltophilia isolates (R551-3 and K279a) tested. JCMS virulence correlates with intestinal distension and bacterial accumulation and requires the bacteria to be alive. Many of the conserved innate immune pathways that serve to protect C. elegans from various pathogenic bacteria also play a role in combating S. maltophilia JCMS. However, S. maltophilia JCMS is virulent to normally pathogen-resistant DAF-2/16 insulin-like signaling pathway mutants. Furthermore, several insulin-like signaling effector genes were not significantly differentially expressed between S. maltophilia JCMS and avirulent bacteria (Escherichia coli OP50). Taken together, these findings suggest that S. maltophilia JCMS evades the pathogen resistance conferred by the loss of DAF-2/16 pathway components. In summary, we have discovered a novel host-pathogen interaction between C. elegans and S. maltophilia and established a new animal model with which to study the mode of action of this emerging nosocomial pathogen. PMID:26644380

  19. A systems toxicology approach on the mechanism of uptake and toxicity of MWCNT in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Eom, Hyun-Jeong; Roca, Carlos P; Roh, Ji-Yeon; Chatterjee, Nivedita; Jeong, Jae-Seong; Shim, Ilseob; Kim, Hyun-Mi; Kim, Phil-Je; Choi, Kyunghee; Giralt, Francesc; Choi, Jinhee

    2015-09-01

    The increased volumes of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) being utilized in industrial and biomedical processes carries with it an increased risk of unintentional release into the environment, requiring a thorough hazard and risk assessment. In this study, the toxicity of pristine and hydroxylated (OH-) multiwall CNTs (MWCNTs) was investigated in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using an integrated systems toxicology approach. To gain an insight into the toxic mechanism of MWCNTs, microarray and proteomics were conducted for C. elegans followed by pathway analyses. The results of pathway analyses suggested endocytosis, phagocytosis, oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, as potential mechanisms of uptake and toxicity, which were subsequently investigated using loss-of-function mutants of genes of those pathways. The expression of phagocytosis related genes (i.e. ced-10 and rab-7) were significantly increased upon exposure to OH-MWCNT, concomitantly with the rescued toxicity by loss-of-function mutants of those genes, such as ced-10(n3246) and rab-7(ok511). An increased sensitivity of the hsp-4(gk514) mutant by OH-MWCNT, along with a decreased expression of hsp-4 at both gene and protein level suggests that MWCNTs may affect ER stress response in C. elegans. Collectively, the results implied phagocytosis to be a potential mechanism of uptake of MWCNTs, and ER and oxidative stress as potential mechanisms of toxicity. The integrated systems toxicology approach applied in this study provided a comprehensive insight into the toxic mechanism of MWCNTs in C. elegans, which may eventually be used to develop an "Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP)", a recently introduced concept as a conceptual framework to link molecular level responses to higher level effects.

  20. Developmental abnormality induced by strong static magnetic field in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lei; Du, Hua; Guo, Xiaoying; Wang, Xinan; Wang, Meimei; Wang, Yichen; Wang, Min; Chen, Shaopeng; Wu, Lijun; Xu, An

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the effects of strong static magnetic fields (SMFs) on living organisms is significant in health risk assessment, but underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. In the present study, we determined developmental abnormalities induced by 8.5Tesla (T) SMFs in a well-established in vivo model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Exposure of C. elegans eggs to 8.5 T SMF resulted in a time-dependent lifespan decrease, whereas only slight changes were observed upon exposure to 5 T SMF. Although SMF exposure did not alter brood size, development rate and stages were significantly modified by 8.5 T SMF. Germ cell apoptosis dramatically increased upon exposure to 8.5 T SMF in adult worms, as confirmed by ced-3 and ced-4 mutants, and could be prevented by concurrent treatment with a free radical scavenger, dimethyl sulfoxide. Compared to wild-type worms, shorter lifespan and greater numbers of apoptotic cells were observed in abnormal methyl viologen sensitivity-1 (mev-1(kn1)) nematodes with increased sensitivity to oxidative damage. Furthermore, exposure to 8.5 T SMF increased expression of superoxide dismutase-3 (sod-3), which is thought to protect against oxidative stress. However, 8.5 T SMF had minimal effects on lifespans of daf-2 and daf-16 mutants, which have compromised insulin/IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factors-1) mediated signaling pathways; this finding was consistent with the expression of these genes in wild-type worms. Our results indicate that developmental toxicity induced by strong SMF in C. elegans is mediated by oxidative stress and may be regulated by the insulin-like receptor pathway.

  1. A Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Strain Evades a Major Caenorhabditis elegans Defense Pathway.

    PubMed

    White, Corin V; Darby, Brian J; Breeden, Robert J; Herman, Michael A

    2015-12-07

    Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a ubiquitous bacterium and an emerging nosocomial pathogen. This bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics, associated with a number of infections, and a significant health risk, especially for immunocompromised patients. Given that Caenorhabditis elegans shares many conserved genetic pathways and pathway components with higher organisms, the study of its interaction with bacterial pathogens has biomedical implications. S. maltophilia has been isolated in association with nematodes from grassland soils, and it is likely that C. elegans encounters this bacterium in nature. We found that a local S. maltophilia isolate, JCMS, is more virulent than the other S. maltophilia isolates (R551-3 and K279a) tested. JCMS virulence correlates with intestinal distension and bacterial accumulation and requires the bacteria to be alive. Many of the conserved innate immune pathways that serve to protect C. elegans from various pathogenic bacteria also play a role in combating S. maltophilia JCMS. However, S. maltophilia JCMS is virulent to normally pathogen-resistant DAF-2/16 insulin-like signaling pathway mutants. Furthermore, several insulin-like signaling effector genes were not significantly differentially expressed between S. maltophilia JCMS and avirulent bacteria (Escherichia coli OP50). Taken together, these findings suggest that S. maltophilia JCMS evades the pathogen resistance conferred by the loss of DAF-2/16 pathway components. In summary, we have discovered a novel host-pathogen interaction between C. elegans and S. maltophilia and established a new animal model with which to study the mode of action of this emerging nosocomial pathogen.

  2. A Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Strain Evades a Major Caenorhabditis elegans Defense Pathway.

    PubMed

    White, Corin V; Darby, Brian J; Breeden, Robert J; Herman, Michael A

    2016-02-01

    Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a ubiquitous bacterium and an emerging nosocomial pathogen. This bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics, associated with a number of infections, and a significant health risk, especially for immunocompromised patients. Given that Caenorhabditis elegans shares many conserved genetic pathways and pathway components with higher organisms, the study of its interaction with bacterial pathogens has biomedical implications. S. maltophilia has been isolated in association with nematodes from grassland soils, and it is likely that C. elegans encounters this bacterium in nature. We found that a local S. maltophilia isolate, JCMS, is more virulent than the other S. maltophilia isolates (R551-3 and K279a) tested. JCMS virulence correlates with intestinal distension and bacterial accumulation and requires the bacteria to be alive. Many of the conserved innate immune pathways that serve to protect C. elegans from various pathogenic bacteria also play a role in combating S. maltophilia JCMS. However, S. maltophilia JCMS is virulent to normally pathogen-resistant DAF-2/16 insulin-like signaling pathway mutants. Furthermore, several insulin-like signaling effector genes were not significantly differentially expressed between S. maltophilia JCMS and avirulent bacteria (Escherichia coli OP50). Taken together, these findings suggest that S. maltophilia JCMS evades the pathogen resistance conferred by the loss of DAF-2/16 pathway components. In summary, we have discovered a novel host-pathogen interaction between C. elegans and S. maltophilia and established a new animal model with which to study the mode of action of this emerging nosocomial pathogen. PMID:26644380

  3. Bacterial Respiration and Growth Rates Affect the Feeding Preferences, Brood Size and Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Li; Yan, Xiaomei; Ye, Chenglong; Zhao, Haiyan; Chen, Xiaoyun; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria serve as live food and nutrients for bacterial-feeding nematodes (BFNs) in soils, and influence nematodes behavior and physiology through their metabolism. Five bacterial taxa (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens JX1, Variovorax sp. JX14, Bacillus megaterium JX15, Pseudomonas fluorescens Y1 and Escherichia coli OP50) and the typical BFN Caenorhabditis elegans were selected to study the effects of bacterial respiration and growth rates on the feeding preferences, brood size and lifespan of nematodes. P. fluorescens Y1 and E. coli OP50 were found to be more active, with high respiration and rapid growth, whereas B. amyloliquefaciens JX1 and B. megaterium JX15 were inactive. The nematode C. elegans preferred active P. fluorescens Y1 and E. coli OP50 obviously. Furthermore, worms that fed on these two active bacteria produced more offspring but had shorter lifespan, while inactive and less preferred bacteria had increased nematodes lifespan and decreased the brood size. Based on these results, we propose that the bacterial activity may influence the behavior and life traits of C. elegans in the following ways: (1) active bacteria reproduce rapidly and emit high levels of CO2 attracting C. elegans; (2) these active bacteria use more resources in the nematodes’ gut to sustain their survival and reproduction, thereby reducing the worm's lifespan; (3) inactive bacteria may provide less food for worms than active bacteria, thus increasing nematodes lifespan but decreasing their fertility. Nematodes generally require a balance between their preferred foods and beneficial foods, only preferred food may not be beneficial for nematodes. PMID:26222828

  4. Sublethal Toxicity Endpoints of Heavy Metals to the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yue; Wang, Qiang; Li, Huixin

    2016-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living nematode, is commonly used as a model organism in ecotoxicological studies. The current literatures have provided useful insight into the relative sensitivity of several endpoints, but few direct comparisons of multiple endpoints under a common set of experimental conditions. The objective of this study was to determine appropriate sublethal endpoints to develop an ecotoxicity screening and monitoring system. C. elegans was applied to explore the sublethal toxicity of four heavy metals (copper, zinc, cadmium and chromium). Two physiological endpoints (growth and reproduction), three behavioral endpoints (head thrash frequency, body bend frequency and feeding) and two enzymatic endpoints (acetylcholine esterase [AChE] and superoxide dismutase [SOD]) were selected for the assessment of heavy metal toxicity. The squared correlation coefficients (R2) between the responses observed and fitted by Logit function were higher than 0.90 and the RMSE were lower than 0.10, indicating a good significance statistically. There was no significant difference among the half effect concentration (EC50) endpoints in physiological and behavioral effects of the four heavy metals, indicating similar sensitivity of physiological and behavioral effects. AChE enzyme was more sensitive to copper, zinc, and cadmium than to other physiological and behavioral effects, and SOD enzyme was most sensitive to chromium. The EC50 of copper, zinc, and cadmium, to the AChE enzyme in the nematodes were 0.68 mg/L, 2.76 mg/L, and 0.92 mg/L respectively and the EC50 of chromium to the SOD enzyme in the nematode was 1.58 mg/L. The results of this study showed that there was a good concentration-response relationship between all four heavy metals and the sublethal toxicity effects to C. elegans. Considering these sublethal endpoints in terms of simplicity, accuracy, repeatability and costs of the experiments, feeding is the relatively ideal sublethal toxicity endpoint of

  5. Carlina acaulis Exhibits Antioxidant Activity and Counteracts Aβ Toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Link, Pille; Roth, Kevin; Sporer, Frank; Wink, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Carlina acaulis is a medicinal plant that has shown antioxidant activity in in vitro studies, but to date no corresponding in vivo data is available. Therefore, in the present study the antioxidant activity and its impact in counteracting Aβ toxicity were studied in the Caenorhabditis elegans model. A dichloromethane extract of the roots of C. acaulis was prepared and characterised via gas-liquid-chromatography/mass-spectrometry (GLC-MS). The in vitro antioxidant activity was confirmed via 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydracyl assay. The extract was further separated by thin layer chromatography into two fractions, one of which was a fraction of the dichloromethane extract of C. acaulis containing mostly Carlina oxide (CarOx). Different strains of C. elegans were employed to study the expression of hsp-16.2p::GFP as a marker for oxidative stress, delocalisation of the transcription factor DAF-16 as a possible mechanism of antioxidant activity, the effect of the drug under lethal oxidative stress, and the effect against beta-amyloid (Aβ) toxicity in a paralysis assay. The C. acaulis extract and CarOx showed high antioxidant activity (stress reduction by 47% and 64%, respectively) in C. elegans and could activate the transcription factor DAF-16 which directs the expression of anti-stress genes. In paralysis assay, only the total extract was significantly active, delaying paralysis by 1.6 h. In conclusion, in vivo antioxidant activity was shown for C. acaulis for the first time in the C. elegans model. The active antioxidant compound is Carlina oxide. This activity, however, is not sufficient to counteract Aβ toxicity. Other mechanisms and possibly other active compounds are involved in this effect. PMID:27384550

  6. Sublethal Toxicity Endpoints of Heavy Metals to the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ying; Chen, Jiandong; Wu, Yue; Wang, Qiang; Li, Huixin

    2016-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living nematode, is commonly used as a model organism in ecotoxicological studies. The current literatures have provided useful insight into the relative sensitivity of several endpoints, but few direct comparisons of multiple endpoints under a common set of experimental conditions. The objective of this study was to determine appropriate sublethal endpoints to develop an ecotoxicity screening and monitoring system. C. elegans was applied to explore the sublethal toxicity of four heavy metals (copper, zinc, cadmium and chromium). Two physiological endpoints (growth and reproduction), three behavioral endpoints (head thrash frequency, body bend frequency and feeding) and two enzymatic endpoints (acetylcholine esterase [AChE] and superoxide dismutase [SOD]) were selected for the assessment of heavy metal toxicity. The squared correlation coefficients (R2) between the responses observed and fitted by Logit function were higher than 0.90 and the RMSE were lower than 0.10, indicating a good significance statistically. There was no significant difference among the half effect concentration (EC50) endpoints in physiological and behavioral effects of the four heavy metals, indicating similar sensitivity of physiological and behavioral effects. AChE enzyme was more sensitive to copper, zinc, and cadmium than to other physiological and behavioral effects, and SOD enzyme was most sensitive to chromium. The EC50 of copper, zinc, and cadmium, to the AChE enzyme in the nematodes were 0.68 mg/L, 2.76 mg/L, and 0.92 mg/L respectively and the EC50 of chromium to the SOD enzyme in the nematode was 1.58 mg/L. The results of this study showed that there was a good concentration-response relationship between all four heavy metals and the sublethal toxicity effects to C. elegans. Considering these sublethal endpoints in terms of simplicity, accuracy, repeatability and costs of the experiments, feeding is the relatively ideal sublethal toxicity endpoint of

  7. The broad-spectrum antibiotic, zeamine, kills the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hellberg, Josephine E. E. U.; Matilla, Miguel A.; Salmond, George P. C.

    2015-01-01

    Soil bacteria can be prolific producers of secondary metabolites and other biologically active compounds of economic and clinical importance. These natural products are often synthesized by large multi-enzyme complexes such as polyketide synthases (PKSs) or non-ribosomal peptide synthases (NRPSs). The plant-associated Gram-negative bacterium, Serratia plymuthica A153, produces several secondary metabolites and is capable of killing the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans; a commonly used model for the study of bacterial virulence. In this study, we show that disruption of the hybrid PKS/NRPS zeamine (zmn) gene cluster results in the attenuation of “fast-killing” of C. elegans, indicating that zeamine has nematicidal activity. C. elegans also exhibits age-dependent susceptibility to zeamine, with younger worms being most sensitive to the bioactive molecule. The zmn gene cluster is widely distributed within Serratia and phytopathogenic Dickeya species and investigation of strains harboring the zmn gene cluster showed that several of them are highly virulent in C. elegans. Zeamine was described previously as a phytotoxin and broad-spectrum antibacterial compound. In addition to its nematicidal properties, we show here that zeamine can also kill Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The expression of the zmn gene cluster and regulation of zeamine production were also investigated. Transcription of the cluster was growth phase-dependent, and was modulated by the post-transcriptional RNA chaperone, Hfq. The results of this study show that zeamine is a highly toxic molecule with little, or no, apparent host specificity in very diverse biological systems. In its current form, zeamine(s) may be useful as a lead compound suitable for chemical modification and structure-activity assays. However, because of widespread non-selective toxicity in multiple bioassays, unmodified zeamine(s) is unlikely to be suitable as a therapeutic antibiotic. PMID:25767467

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans SWI/SNF subunits control sequential developmental stages in the somatic gonad.

    PubMed

    Large, Edward E; Mathies, Laura D

    2014-03-20

    The Caenorhabditis elegans somatic gonadal precursors (SGPs) are multipotent progenitors that give rise to all somatic tissues of the adult reproductive system. The hunchback and Ikaros-like gene ehn-3 is expressed specifically in SGPs and is required for their development into differentiated tissues of the somatic gonad. To find novel genes involved in SGP development, we used a weak allele of ehn-3 as the basis for a reverse genetic screen. Feeding RNAi was used to screen ∼2400 clones consisting of transcription factors, signaling components, and chromatin factors. The screen identified five members of the C. elegans SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex as genetic enhancers of ehn-3. We characterized alleles of 10 SWI/SNF genes and found that SWI/SNF subunits are required for viability and gonadogenesis. Two conserved SWI/SNF complexes, PBAF and BAF, are defined by their unique array of accessory subunits around a common enzymatic core that includes a catalytic Swi2/Snf2-type ATPase. Tissue-specific RNAi experiments suggest that C. elegans PBAF and BAF complexes control different processes during somatic gonadal development: PBRM-1, a signature subunit of PBAF, is important for normal SGP development, whereas LET-526, the distinguishing subunit of BAF, is required for development of a differentiated cell type, the distal tip cell (DTC). We found that the SWSN-4 ATPase subunit is required for SGP and DTC development. Finally, we provide evidence that C. elegans PBAF subunits and hnd-1/dHand are important for the cell fate decision between SGPs and their differentiated sisters, the head mesodermal cells.

  9. Investigating the biological impacts of nanoengineered materials in Caenorhabditis elegans and in vitro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Contreras, Elizabeth Quevedo

    In nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the chronic and multi-generational toxicological effects of commercially relevant engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), such as quantum dots (QDs) and silver (AgNP) caused significant changes in a number of physiological endpoints. The increased water-solubility of ENPs in commercial products, for example, makes them increasingly bioavailable to terrestrial organisms exposed to pollution and waste in the soil. Since 2008, attention to the toxicology of nanomaterials in C. elegans continues to grow. Quantitative data on multiple physiological endpoints paired with metal analysis show the uptake of QDs and AgNPs, and their effects on nematode fitness. First, C. elegans were exposed for four generations through feeding to amphiphilic polymer coated CdSe/ZnS (core-shell QDs), CdSe (core QDs), and different sizes of AgNPs. These ENPs were readily ingested. QDs were qualitatively imaged in the digestive tract using a fluorescence microscopy and their and AgNP uptake quantitatively measured using ICP-MS. Each generation was analyzed for changes in lifespan, reproduction, growth and motility using an automated computer vision system. Core-shell QDs had little impact on C. elegans due to its metal shell coating. In contrast, core QDs lacked a metal shell coating, which caused significant changes to nematode physiology. iii In the same way, at high concentrations of 100 ppm, AgNP caused the most adverse effect to lifespan and reproduction related to particle size, but its adverse effect to motility had no correlation to particle size. Using C. elegans as an animal model allowed for a better understanding of the negative impacts of ENPs than with cytotoxicity tests. Lastly, to test the toxicity of water-dispersed fullerene (nanoC60) using human dermal fibroblast cells, this thesis investigated a suite of assays and methods in order to establish a standard set of cytotoxicity tests. Ten assays and methods assessed nanoC60 samples of different

  10. FGT-1-mediated glucose uptake is defective in insulin/IGF-like signaling mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kitaoka, Shun; Morielli, Anthony D; Zhao, Feng-Qi

    2016-06-01

    Insulin signaling plays a central role in the regulation of facilitative glucose transporters (GLUTs) in humans. To establish Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model to study the mechanism underlying insulin regulation of GLUT, we identified that FGT-1 is most likely the only functional GLUT homolog in C. elegans and is ubiquitously expressed. The FGT-1-mediated glucose uptake was almost completely defective in insulin/IGF-like signaling (IIS) mutants daf-2 and age-1, and this defect mainly resulted from the down-regulated FGT-1 protein expression. However, glycosylation may also be involved because OGA-1, an O-GlcNAcase, was essential for the function of FGT-1. Thus, our study showed that C. elegans can be a new powerful model system to study insulin regulation of GLUT. PMID:27419060

  11. The Caenorhabditis elegans protein SAS-5 forms large oligomeric assemblies critical for centriole formation.

    PubMed

    Rogala, Kacper B; Dynes, Nicola J; Hatzopoulos, Georgios N; Yan, Jun; Pong, Sheng Kai; Robinson, Carol V; Deane, Charlotte M; Gönczy, Pierre; Vakonakis, Ioannis

    2015-05-29

    Centrioles are microtubule-based organelles crucial for cell division, sensing and motility. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the onset of centriole formation requires notably the proteins SAS-5 and SAS-6, which have functional equivalents across eukaryotic evolution. Whereas the molecular architecture of SAS-6 and its role in initiating centriole formation are well understood, the mechanisms by which SAS-5 and its relatives function is unclear. Here, we combine biophysical and structural analysis to uncover the architecture of SAS-5 and examine its functional implications in vivo. Our work reveals that two distinct self-associating domains are necessary to form higher-order oligomers of SAS-5: a trimeric coiled coil and a novel globular dimeric Implico domain. Disruption of either domain leads to centriole duplication failure in worm embryos, indicating that large SAS-5 assemblies are necessary for function in vivo.

  12. Identification of potential anti-infectives against Staphylococcus aureus using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Cin; Rahman, Noorsaadah Abd; Nathan, Sheila

    2014-09-01

    The alarming increase of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and a delay in antibiotics development point to the need for novel therapeutic approaches to combat infection. To discover novel anti-infective agents, we screened a number of synthetic compounds comprising mainly of chalcone derivatives to explore their potential in promoting the survival of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans upon infection by S. aureus. Screening of seven chalcone derivatives using both agar- and liquid-based assays revealed three positive hits that significantly prolonged the survival of S. aureus-infected nematodes. All the hits did not interfere with bacterial growth in vitro, proposing that the three compounds identified most probably act through mechanisms distinct from conventional antibiotics that target bacterial replication.

  13. Undulatory swimming in shear-thinning fluids: experiments with Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gagnon, D. A.; Keim, N. C.; Arratia, P. E.

    2014-11-01

    The swimming behaviour of microorganisms can be strongly influenced by the rheology of their fluid environment. In this manuscript, we experimentally investigate the effects of shear-thinning viscosity on the swimming behaviour of an undulatory swimmer, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Tracking methods are used to measure the swimmer's kinematic data (including propulsion speed) and velocity fields. We find that shear-thinning viscosity modifies the velocity fields produced by the swimming nematode but does not modify the nematode's speed and beating kinematics. Velocimetry data show significant enhancement in local vorticity and circulation and an increase in fluid velocity near the nematode's tail compared to Newtonian fluids of similar effective viscosity. These findings are compared to recent theoretical and numerical results.

  14. Differential Effects of TRPA and TRPV Channels on Behaviors of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Thies, Jennifer; Neutzler, Vanessa; O’Leary, Fidelma; Liu, He

    2016-01-01

    TRPA and TRPV ion channels are members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channel superfamily, which mediates various sensory transductions. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the TRPV channels are known to affect chemosensation, while the TRPA-1 channel is associated with thermosensation and mechanosensation. We examined thermosensation, chemosensation, and osmosensation in strains lacking TRPA-1 or TRPV channels. We found that TRPV channel knockout worms exhibited similar behavioral deficits associated with thermotaxis as the TRPA-1 channel knockout, suggesting a dual role for TRPV channels. In contrast, chemosensation responses, assessed by both avoidance reversal behavior and NaCl osmosensation, were dependent on TRPV channels but seemed independent of TRPA-1 channel. Our findings suggest that, in addition to TRPA-1 channel, TRPV channels are necessary for thermotaxis and may activate, or modulate, the function of TRPA-1 channels. In contrast, TRPA-1 channels do not have a dual responsibility, as they have no functional role in odorant avoidance or osmosensation. PMID:27168724

  15. Phase-contrast x-ray imaging and tomography of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olendrowitz, C.; Bartels, M.; Krenkel, M.; Beerlink, A.; Mokso, R.; Sprung, M.; Salditt, T.

    2012-08-01

    We have analyzed the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans with the help of phase-contrast x-ray tomography. This work combines techniques from x-ray imaging studies of single biological cells by in-line holography with three-dimensional reconstruction and furthermore extends these studies to the multicellular level. To preserve the sub-cellular ultrastructure of the nematodes, we used the near-native sample preparation of high-pressure freezing as commonly used in the field of electron microscopy. For the presented samples, a standard, non-magnifying parallel-beam setting, as well as a magnifying, divergent-beam setting using nanofocusing optics is evaluated based on their tomographic reconstruction potential. In this paper, we address difficulties in sample preparation and issues of image processing. By experimental refinement and through optimized reconstruction procedures, we were able to perform x-ray imaging studies on a living specimen.

  16. Neuropeptidergic Signaling and Active Feeding State Inhibit Nociception in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Ezcurra, Marina; Walker, Denise S.; Beets, Isabel; Swoboda, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Food availability and nutritional status are important cues affecting behavioral states. Here we report that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, a cascade of dopamine and neuropeptide signaling acts to inhibit nociception in food-poor environments. In the absence of food, animals show decreased sensitivity and increased adaptation to soluble repellents sensed by the polymodal ASH nociceptors. The effects of food on adaptation are affected by dopamine and neuropeptide signaling; dopamine acts via the DOP-1 receptor to decrease adaptation on food, whereas the neuropeptide receptors NPR-1 and NPR-2 act to increase adaptation off food. NPR-1 and NPR-2 function cell autonomously in the ASH neurons to increase adaptation off food, whereas the DOP-1 receptor controls neuropeptide release from interneurons that modulate ASH activity indirectly. These results indicate that feeding state modulates nociception through the interaction of monoamine and neuropeptide signaling pathways. PMID:26985027

  17. Protein Kinase A Subunit Balance Regulates Lipid Metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans and Mammalian Adipocytes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung Hyun; Han, Ji Seul; Kong, Jinuk; Ji, Yul; Lv, Xuchao; Lee, Junho; Li, Peng; Kim, Jae Bum

    2016-09-23

    Protein kinase A (PKA) is a cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase composed of catalytic and regulatory subunits and involved in various physiological phenomena, including lipid metabolism. Here we demonstrated that the stoichiometric balance between catalytic and regulatory subunits is crucial for maintaining basal PKA activity and lipid homeostasis. To uncover the potential roles of each PKA subunit, Caenorhabditis elegans was used to investigate the effects of PKA subunit deficiency. In worms, suppression of PKA via RNAi resulted in severe phenotypes, including shortened life span, decreased egg laying, reduced locomotion, and altered lipid distribution. Similarly, in mammalian adipocytes, suppression of PKA regulatory subunits RIα and RIIβ via siRNAs potently stimulated PKA activity, leading to potentiated lipolysis without increasing cAMP levels. Nevertheless, insulin exerted anti-lipolytic effects and restored lipid droplet integrity by antagonizing PKA action. Together, these data implicate the importance of subunit stoichiometry as another regulatory mechanism of PKA activity and lipid metabolism.

  18. Chemotaxis behavior toward an odor is regulated by constant sodium chloride stimulus in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Shingai, Ryuzo; Ichijo, Hiroshi; Wakabayashi, Tokumitsu; Tanaka, Hidetoshi; Ogurusu, Tarou

    2014-01-01

    We studied the chemotaxis behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans toward a chemoattractant in the presence of background sensory stimulus. Chemotaxis toward an odor butanone was greater in the presence of sodium chloride (NaCl) than that without NaCl. By contrast, chemotaxis toward NaCl was not affected by a butanone background. The salt-sensing ASE neuron-deficient che-1(p674) mutants and worms with ASE genetically ablated showed high chemotaxis toward butanone, regardless of the presence of a NaCl background. Therefore, in wild-type worms, information from ASE in the absence of NaCl suppresses butanone chemotaxis, while the suppression is removed in the presence of NaCl.

  19. The SynMuv genes of Caenorhabditis elegans in vulval development and beyond

    PubMed Central

    Fay, David S.; Yochem, John

    2007-01-01

    For a nonessential diminutive organ comprised of only 22 nuclei, the Caenorhabditis elegans vulva has done very well for itself. The status of the vulva as an overachiever is in part due to its inherent structural simplicity as well as to the intricate regulation of its induction and development. Studies over the past twenty years have shown the vulva to be a microcosm for organogenesis and a model for the integration of complex signaling pathways. Furthermore, many of these signaling molecules are themselves associated with cancer in mammals. This review focuses on what is perhaps the most intriguing and complex story to emerge from these studies thus far, the role of the Synthetic Multivulval (SynMuv) genes in controlling vulval cell-fate adoption. Recent advances have led to a greater mechanistic understanding of how these genes function during vulval development and have also identified roles for these genes in diverse developmental processes. PMID:17434473

  20. Collective effects of SNPs on transgenerational inheritance in Caenorhabditis elegans and budding yeast.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zuobin; Man, Xian; Xia, Mengying; Huang, Yimin; Yuan, Dejian; Huang, Shi

    2015-07-01

    We studied the collective effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on transgenerational inheritance in Caenorhabditis elegans recombinant inbred advanced intercross lines (RIAILs) and yeast segregants. We divided the RIAILs and segregants into two groups of high and low minor allele content (MAC). RIAILs with higher MAC needed less generations of benzaldehyde training to gain a stable olfactory imprint and showed a greater change from normal after benzaldehyde training. Yeast segregants with higher MAC showed a more dramatic shortening of the lag phase length after ethanol exposure. The short lag phase as acquired by ethanol training was more dramatically lost after recovery in ethanol free medium for the high MAC group. We also found a preferential association between MAC and traits linked with higher number of additive QTLs. These results suggest a role for the collective effects of SNPs in transgenerational inheritance, and may help explain human variations in disease susceptibility.