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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans locomotory

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

  2. Interactions between innexins UNC-7 and UNC-9 mediate electrical synapse specificity in the Caenorhabditis elegans locomotory nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Starich, Todd A; Xu, Ji; Skerrett, I Martha; Nicholson, Bruce J; Shaw, Jocelyn E

    2009-01-01

    Background Approximately 10% of Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system synapses are electrical, that is, gap junctions composed of innexins. The locomotory nervous system consists of several pairs of interneurons and three major classes of motor neurons, all with stereotypical patterns of connectivity that include gap junctions. Mutations in the two innexin genes unc-7 and unc-9 result in identical uncoordinated movement phenotypes, and their respective gene products were investigated for their contribution to electrical synapse connectivity. Results unc-7 encodes three innexin isoforms. Two of these, UNC-7S and UNC-7SR, are functionally equivalent and play an essential role in coordinated locomotion. UNC-7S and UNC-7SR are widely expressed and co-localize extensively with green fluorescent protein-tagged innexin UNC-9 in the ventral and dorsal nerve cords. A subset of UNC-7S/SR expression visualizes gap junctions formed between the AVB forward command interneurons and their B class motor neuron partners. Experiments indicate that expression of UNC-7S/SR in AVB and expression of UNC-9 in B motor neurons is necessary for these gap junctions to form. In Xenopus oocyte pairs, both UNC-7S and UNC-9 form homomeric gap junctions, and together they form heterotypic channels. Xenopus oocyte studies and co-localization studies in C. elegans suggest that UNC-7S and UNC-9 do not heteromerize in the same hemichannel, leading to the model that hemichannels in AVB:B motor neuron gap junctions are homomeric and heterotypic. Conclusion UNC-7S and UNC-9 are widely expressed and contribute to a large number of the gap junctions identified in the locomotory nervous system. Proper AVB:B gap junction formation requires UNC-7S expression in AVB interneurons and UNC-9 expression in B motor neurons. More broadly, this illustrates that innexin identity is critical for electrical synapse specificity, but differential (compartmentalized) innexin expression cannot account for all of the

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocabas, Askin; Guo, Zengcai; Ramanathan, Sharad

    2011-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Survival assays using Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. Proteomic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Species differentiation in Caenorhabditis briggsae and Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    1977-01-01

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

  11. Meiotic Development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lui, Doris Y.

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Sensory Transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Undulatory Locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans on Wet Surfaces

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Electrophysiological methods for Caenorhabditis elegans neurobiology.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Analysis of aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vidal-Gadea, Andrés; Topper, Stephen; Young, Layla; Crisp, Ashley; Kressin, Leah; Elbel, Erin; Maples, Thomas; Brauner, Martin; Erbguth, Karen; Axelrod, Abram; Gottschalk, Alexander; Siegel, Dionicio; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T

    2011-10-18

    Many animals, including humans, select alternate forms of motion (gaits) to move efficiently in different environments. However, it is unclear whether primitive animals, such as nematodes, also use this strategy. We used a multifaceted approach to study how the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans freely moves into and out of water. We demonstrate that C. elegans uses biogenic amines to switch between distinct crawling and swimming gaits. Dopamine is necessary and sufficient to initiate and maintain crawling after swimming. Serotonin is necessary and sufficient to transition from crawling to swimming and to inhibit a set of crawl-specific behaviors. Further study of locomotory switching in C. elegans and its dependence on biogenic amines may provide insight into how gait transitions are performed in other animals.

  2. A database of Caenorhabditis elegans behavioral phenotypes.

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  3. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Jeremy C.; Cutter, Asher D.

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Detection of Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Palmisano, Nicholas J; Meléndez, Alicia

    2016-02-01

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

  6. Proteomic analysis of mitochondria from Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2009-10-01

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

  7. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its genome.

    PubMed

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

    1995-10-20

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

  8. Measuring Oxygen Consumption Rate in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Palikaras, Konstantinos; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2017-01-01

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

  9. The laboratory domestication of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  10. Caenorhabditis elegans pheromones regulate multiple complex behaviors.

    PubMed

    Edison, Arthur S

    2009-08-01

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

  11. Dietary choice behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Shtonda, Boris Borisovich; Avery, Leon

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Proteome of the Caenorhabditis elegans oocyte.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-06

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

  13. 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.

  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. Targeted genome engineering in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiangyang; Feng, Xuezhu; Guang, Shouhong

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Toxicological Effects of Fullerenes on Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schomaker, Justin; Snook, Renee; Howell, Carina

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hallem, Elissa A.; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. End Joining at Caenorhabditis elegans Telomeres

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Macrorestriction Analysis of Caenorhabditis Elegans Genomic DNA

    PubMed Central

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

    1996-01-01

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

  3. Chemical detoxification of small molecules by Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Big Data in Caenorhabditis elegans: quo vadis?

    PubMed

    Hutter, Harald; Moerman, Donald

    2015-11-05

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

  6. 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

  7. A conserved dopamine-cholecystokinin signaling pathway shapes context-dependent Caenorhabditis elegans behavior.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Raja; Touroutine, Denis; Barbagallo, Belinda; Climer, Jason; Lambert, Christopher M; Clark, Christopher M; Alkema, Mark J; Francis, Michael M

    2014-08-01

    An organism's ability to thrive in changing environmental conditions requires the capacity for making flexible behavioral responses. Here we show that, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, foraging responses to changes in food availability require nlp-12, a homolog of the mammalian neuropeptide cholecystokinin (CCK). nlp-12 expression is limited to a single interneuron (DVA) that is postsynaptic to dopaminergic neurons involved in food-sensing, and presynaptic to locomotory control neurons. NLP-12 release from DVA is regulated through the D1-like dopamine receptor DOP-1, and both nlp-12 and dop-1 are required for normal local food searching responses. nlp-12/CCK overexpression recapitulates characteristics of local food searching, and DVA ablation or mutations disrupting muscle acetylcholine receptor function attenuate these effects. Conversely, nlp-12 deletion reverses behavioral and functional changes associated with genetically enhanced muscle acetylcholine receptor activity. Thus, our data suggest that dopamine-mediated sensory information about food availability shapes foraging in a context-dependent manner through peptide modulation of locomotory output.

  8. The Caenorhabditis elegans septin complex is nonpolar

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Developmental genetics of the Caenorhabditis elegans pharynx

    PubMed Central

    Pilon, Marc

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Biosynthesis of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer pheromone.

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-10

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Chromosome I Duplications in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    1990-01-01

    We have isolated and characterized 76 duplications of chromosome I in the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans. The region studied is the 20 map unit left half of the chromosome. Sixty-two duplications were induced with gamma radiation and 14 arose spontaneously. The latter class was apparently the result of spontaneous breaks within the parental duplication. The majority of duplications behave as if they are free. Three duplications are attached to identifiable sequences from other chromosomes. The duplication breakpoints have been mapped by complementation analysis relative to genes on chromosome I. Nineteen duplication breakpoints and seven deficiency breakpoints divide the left half of the chromosome into 24 regions. We have studied the relationship between duplication size and segregational stability. While size is an important determinant of mitotic stability, it is not the only one. We observed clear exceptions to a size-stability correlation. In addition to size, duplication stability may be influenced by specific sequences or chromosome structure. The majority of the duplications were stable enough to be powerful tools for gene mapping. Therefore the duplications described here will be useful in the genetic characterization of chromosome I and the techniques we have developed can be adapted to other regions of the genome. PMID:2307351

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-04

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. 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…

  19. Ecdysteroids in Axenically Propagated Caenorhabditis elegans and Culture Medium

    PubMed Central

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

    1990-01-01

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

  20. Neurodegenerative disorders: insights from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Dimitriadi, Maria; Hart, Anne C.

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Genomic response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to spaceflight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. The sensory cilia of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-08

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

  7. 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.

  8. CLHM-1 is a Functionally Conserved and Conditionally Toxic Ca2+-Permeable Ion Channel in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Tanis, Jessica E.; Ma, Zhongming; Krajacic, Predrag; He, Liping; Foskett, J. Kevin

    2013-01-01

    Disruption of neuronal Ca2+ homeostasis contributes to neurodegenerative diseases through mechanisms that are not fully understood. A polymorphism in CALHM1, a recently described ion channel that regulates intracellular Ca2+ levels, is a possible risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer's disease. Since there are six potentially redundant CALHM family members in humans, the physiological and pathophysiological consequences of CALHM1 function in vivo remain unclear. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans expresses a single CALHM1 homolog, CLHM-1. Here we find that CLHM-1 is expressed at the plasma membrane of sensory neurons and muscles. Like human CALHM1, C. elegans CLHM-1 is a Ca2+-permeable ion channel regulated by voltage and extracellular Ca2+. Loss of clhm-1 in the body-wall muscles disrupts locomotory kinematics and biomechanics, demonstrating that CLHM-1 has a physiologically significant role in vivo. The motility defects observed in clhm-1 mutant animals can be rescued by muscle-specific expression of either C. elegans CLHM-1 or human CALHM1, suggesting that the function of these proteins is conserved in vivo. Overexpression of either C. elegans CLHM-1 or human CALHM1 in neurons is toxic, causing degeneration through a necrotic-like mechanism that is partially Ca2+ dependent. Our data show that CLHM-1 is a functionally conserved ion channel that plays an important but potentially toxic role in excitable cell function. PMID:23884934

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-20

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

  11. Discovery of Novel microRNAs in Aging Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    de Lencastre, Alexandre; Slack, Frank

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. CeNDR, the Caenorhabditis elegans natural diversity resource.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-04

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

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans responses to bacteria from its natural habitats

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. CeNDR, the Caenorhabditis elegans natural diversity resource

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. A Transparent window into biology: A primer on Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    A little over 50 years ago, Sydney Brenner had the foresight to develop the nematode (round worm) Caenorhabditis elegans as a genetic model for understanding questions of developmental biology and neurobiology. Over time, research on C. elegans has expanded to explore a wealth of diverse areas in modern biology including studies of the basic functions and interactions of eukaryotic cells, host-parasite interactions, and evolution. C. elegans has also become an important organism in which to study processes that go awry in human diseases. This primer introduces the organism and the many features that make it an outstanding experimental system, including its small size, rapid life cycle, transparency, and well-annotated genome. We survey the basic anatomical features, common technical approaches, and important discoveries in C. elegans research. Key to studying C. elegans has been the ability to address biological problems genetically, using both forward and reverse genetics, both at the level of the entire organism and at the level of the single, identified cell. These possibilities make C. elegans useful not only in research laboratories, but also in the classroom where it can be used to excite students who actually can see what is happening inside live cells and tissues. PMID:26087236

  20. Mechanisms of aging-related proteinopathies in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Detection of Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Palmisano, Nicholas J.; Meléndez, Alicia

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Familial Parkinson mutant alpha-synuclein causes dopamine neuron dysfunction in transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kuwahara, Tomoki; Koyama, Akihiko; Gengyo-Ando, Keiko; Masuda, Mayumi; Kowa, Hisatomo; Tsunoda, Makoto; Mitani, Shohei; Iwatsubo, Takeshi

    2006-01-06

    Mutations in alpha-synuclein gene cause familial form of Parkinson disease, and deposition of wild-type alpha-synuclein as Lewy bodies occurs as a hallmark lesion of sporadic Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, implicating alpha-synuclein in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease and related neurodegenerative diseases. Dopamine neurons in substantia nigra are the major site of neurodegeneration associated with alpha-synuclein deposition in Parkinson disease. Here we establish transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans (TG worms) that overexpresses wild-type or familial Parkinson mutant human alpha-synuclein in dopamine neurons. The TG worms exhibit accumulation of alpha-synuclein in the cell bodies and neurites of dopamine neurons, and EGFP labeling of dendrites is often diminished in TG worms expressing familial Parkinson disease-linked A30P or A53T mutant alpha-synuclein, without overt loss of neuronal cell bodies. Notably, TG worms expressing A30P or A53T mutant alpha-synuclein show failure in modulation of locomotory rate in response to food, which has been attributed to the function of dopamine neurons. This behavioral abnormality was accompanied by a reduction in neuronal dopamine content and was treatable by administration of dopamine. These phenotypes were not seen upon expression of beta-synuclein. The present TG worms exhibit dopamine neuron-specific dysfunction caused by accumulation of alpha-synuclein, which would be relevant to the genetic and compound screenings aiming at the elucidation of pathological cascade and therapeutic strategies for Parkinson disease.

  5. 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.

  6. Guidelines for monitoring autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Glycosylation Genes Expressed in Seam Cells Determine Complex Surface Properties and Bacterial Adhesion to the Cuticle of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Gravato-Nobre, Maria J.; Stroud, Dave; O'Rourke, Delia; Darby, Creg; Hodgkin, Jonathan

    2011-01-01

    The surface of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is poorly understood but critical for its interactions with the environment and with pathogens. We show here that six genes (bus-2, bus-4, and bus-12, together with the previously cloned srf-3, bus-8, and bus-17) encode proteins predicted to act in surface glycosylation, thereby affecting disease susceptibility, locomotory competence, and sexual recognition. Mutations in all six genes cause resistance to the bacterial pathogen Microbacterium nematophilum, and most of these mutations also affect bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation by Yersinia species, demonstrating that both infection and biofilm formation depend on interaction with complex surface carbohydrates. A new bacterial interaction, involving locomotory inhibition by a strain of Bacillus pumilus, reveals diversity in the surface properties of these mutants. Another biological property—contact recognition of hermaphrodites by males during mating—was also found to be impaired in mutants of all six genes. An important common feature is that all are expressed most strongly in seam cells, rather than in the main hypodermal syncytium, indicating that seam cells play the major role in secreting surface coat and consequently in determining environmental interactions. To test for possible redundancies in gene action, the 15 double mutants for this set of genes were constructed and examined, but no synthetic phenotypes were observed. Comparison of the six genes shows that each has distinctive properties, suggesting that they do not act in a linear pathway. PMID:20980242

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Radiation-induced genomic instability in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-09

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

  11. Using transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans in soil toxicity testing.

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Holden-Dye, Lindy; Walker, Robert J

    2014-12-16

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

  13. Cranberry Product Decreases Fat Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Joint Toxicity of Arsenic, Copper and Glyphosate on Behavior, Reproduction and Heat Shock Protein Response in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yunbiao; Ezemaduka, Anastasia N; Li, Zhuheng; Chen, Zhanyan; Song, Chuantao

    2017-04-01

    The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was used in 24-h acute exposures to arsenic (As), copper (Cu) and glyphosate (GPS) and to mixtures of As/Cu and As/GPS to investigate the effects of mixture exposures in the worms. A synergistic type of interaction was observed for acute toxicity with the As/Cu and As/GPS mixtures. Sublethal 24-h exposures of 1/1000, 1/100 and 1/10 of the LC50 concentrations for As, Cu and GPS individually and for As/Cu and As/GPS mixtures were conducted to observe responses in locomotory behavior (head thrashing), reproduction, and heat shock protein expression. Head thrash frequency and reproduction exhibited concentration dependent decreases in both individual and combined exposures to the tested chemical stressors, and showed synergistic interactions even at micromolar concentrations. Furthermore, the HSP70 protein level was significantly increased following exposure to individual and combined chemical stressors in wild-type C. elegans. Our findings establish for the first time the effects of exposure to As/GPS and As/Cu mixtures in C. elegans.

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Sijie Jason; Wang, Zhao-Wen

    2013-01-01

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

  16. The Multilayer Connectome of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Intracellular Assessment of ATP Levels in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Palikaras, Konstantinos; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Chromosome pairing and synapsis during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis.

    PubMed

    Rog, Ofer; Dernburg, Abby F

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Johnson, T E; Nelson, G A

    1991-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Houthoofd, Koen; Vanfleteren, Jacques R

    2007-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Watson, Emma; Walhout, Albertha J M

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vega, Nicole M.; Gore, Jeff

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Organization of neuronal microtubules in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    1979-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Kaplan, J M; Horvitz, H R

    1993-01-01

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

  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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Magnetosensitive neurons mediate geomagnetic orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Variable Pathogenicity Determines Individual Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Blanco, Adolfo; Kim, Stuart K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Microbiome Research

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Toxicity testing of neurotoxic pesticides in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Dean; Williams, Phillip L

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. A pharmacological network for lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cummins, C; Anderson, P

    1988-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Tyramine and octopamine independently inhibit serotonin-stimulated aversive behaviors in Caenorhabditis elegans through two novel amine receptors.

    PubMed

    Wragg, Rachel T; Hapiak, Vera; Miller, Sarah B; Harris, Gareth P; Gray, John; Komuniecki, Patricia R; Komuniecki, Richard W

    2007-12-05

    Biogenic amines modulate key behaviors in both vertebrates and invertebrates. In Caenorhabditis elegans, tyramine (TA) and octopamine (OA) inhibit aversive responses to 100%, but not dilute (30%) octanol. TA and OA also abolish food- and serotonin-dependent increases in responses to dilute octanol in wild-type but not tyra-3(ok325) and f14d12.6(ok371) null animals, respectively, suggesting that TA and OA modulated responses to dilute octanol are mediated by separate, previously uncharacterized, G-protein-coupled receptors. TA and OA are high-affinity ligands for TYRA-3 and F14D12.6, respectively, based on their pharmacological characterization after heterologous expression. f14d12.6::gfp is expressed in the ASHs, the neurons responsible for sensitivity to dilute octanol, and the sra-6-dependent expression of F14D12.6 in the ASHs is sufficient to rescue OA sensitivity in f14d12.6(ok371) null animals. In contrast, tyra-3::gfp appears not to be expressed in the ASHs, but instead in other neurons, including the dopaminergic CEP/ADEs. However, although dopamine (DA) also inhibits 5-HT-dependent responses to dilute octanol, TA still inhibits in dop-2; dop-1; dop-3 animals that do not respond to DA and cat-2(tm346) and Pdat-1::ICE animals that lack significant dopaminergic signaling, suggesting that DA is not an intermediate in TA inhibition. Finally, responses to TA and OA selectively desensitize after preexposure to the amines. Our data suggest that although tyraminergic and octopaminergic signaling yield identical phenotypes in these olfactory assays, they act independently through distinct receptors to modulate the ASH-mediated locomotory circuit and that C. elegans is a useful model to study the aminergic modulation of sensory-mediated locomotory behaviors.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-02-27

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

  6. Behavioral response of Caenorhabditis elegans to localized thermal stimuli

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-05

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Nicole Shangming; Taubert, Stefan

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Cell-specific proteomic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. High-throughput gene mapping in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-17

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

  18. Isotopic Ratio Outlier Analysis Global Metabolomics of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Katic, Iskra; Großhans, Helge

    2013-11-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-02-23

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

  3. 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

  4. Allyl isothiocyanate induced stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-02-01

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

  7. Regulators of Lysosome Function and Dynamics in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Gjorgjieva, Julijana; Biron, David; Haspel, Gal

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-12

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

  11. 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

  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. Genetic interactions affecting touch sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    1996-06-25

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

  14. 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

  15. 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Beale, Elmus G

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrushin, Alexey; Ferrara, Lorenzo; Blau, Axel

    2016-12-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Caenorhabditis elegans Intersectin: A Synaptic Protein Regulating Neurotransmission

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Metabolism and aging in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Van Voorhies, Wayne A

    2002-09-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Haspel, Gal; O'Donovan, Michael J

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Haspel, Gal; O’Donovan, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Analysis of meiotic sister chromatid cohesion in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Severson, Aaron F.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Blaxter, M L

    1993-03-25

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bowerman, B

    1998-01-01

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

  17. Structural Properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans Neuronal Network

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Characterisation of Caenorhabditis elegans sperm transcriptome and proteome

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Mechanisms of plasticity in a Caenorhabditis elegans mechanosensory circuit

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Regulators of AWC-Mediated Olfactory Plasticity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    O'Halloran, Damien M.; L'Etoile, Noelle D.

    2009-01-01

    While most sensory neurons will adapt to prolonged stimulation by down-regulating their responsiveness to the signal, it is not clear which events initiate long-lasting sensory adaptation. Likewise, we are just beginning to understand how the physiology of the adapted cell is altered. Caenorhabditis elegans is inherently attracted to specific odors that are sensed by the paired AWC olfactory sensory neurons. The attraction diminishes if the animal experiences these odors for a prolonged period of time in the absence of food. The AWC neuron responds acutely to odor-exposure by closing calcium channels. While odortaxis requires a Gα subunit protein, cGMP-gated channels, and guanylyl cyclases, adaptation to prolonged odor exposure requires nuclear entry of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase, EGL-4. We asked which candidate members of the olfactory signal transduction pathway promote nuclear entry of EGL-4 and which molecules might induce long-term adaptation downstream of EGL-4 nuclear entry. We found that initiation of long-term adaptation, as assessed by nuclear entry of EGL-4, is dependent on G-protein mediated signaling but is independent of fluxes in calcium levels. We show that long-term adaptation requires polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that may act on the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel type V OSM-9 downstream of EGL-4 nuclear entry. We also present evidence that high diacylglycerol (DAG) levels block long-term adaptation without affecting EGL-4 nuclear entry. Our analysis provides a model for the process of long-term adaptation that occurs within the AWC neuron of C. elegans: G-protein signaling initiates long-lasting olfactory adaptation by promoting the nuclear entry of EGL-4, and once EGL-4 has entered the nucleus, processes such as PUFA activation of the TRP channel OSM-9 may dampen the output of the AWC neuron. PMID:20011101

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Rapid phenotypic changes in Caenorhabditis elegans under uranium exposure.

    PubMed

    Dutilleul, Morgan; Lemaire, Laurie; Réale, Denis; Lecomte, Catherine; Galas, Simon; Bonzom, Jean-Marc

    2013-07-01

    Pollutants can induce selection pressures on populations, and the effects may be concentration-dependant. The main ways to respond to the stress are acclimation (i.e. plastic changes) and adaptation (i.e. genetic changes). Acclimation provides a short-term response to environmental changes and adaptation can have longer-term implications on the future of the population. One way of studying these responses is to conduct studies on the phenotypic changes occurring across generations in populations experimentally subjected to a selective factor (i.e. multigenerational test). To our knowledge, such studies have not been performed with uranium (U). Here, the phenotypic changes were explored across three generations in experimental Caenorhabditis elegans populations exposed to different U-concentrations. Significant negative effects of U were detected on survival, generation time, brood size, body length and body bend. At lower U-concentrations, the negative effects were reduced in the second or the third generation, indicating an improvement by acclimation. In contrast, at higher U-concentrations, the negative effects on brood size were amplified across generations. Consequently, under high U-concentrations acclimation may not be sufficient, and adaptation of individuals would be required, to permit the population to avoid extinction. The results highlight the need to consider changes across generations to enhance environmental risk assessment related to U pollution.

  12. Family of FLP Peptides in Caenorhabditis elegans and Related Nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chris; Kim, Kyuhyung

    2014-01-01

    Neuropeptides regulate all aspects of behavior in multicellular organisms. Because of their ability to act at long distances, neuropeptides can exert their effects beyond the conventional synaptic connections, thereby adding an intricate layer of complexity to the activity of neural networks. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a large number of neuropeptide genes that are expressed throughout the nervous system have been identified. The actions of these peptides supplement the synaptic connections of the 302 neurons, allowing for fine tuning of neural networks and increasing the ways in which behaviors can be regulated. In this review, we focus on a large family of genes encoding FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs). These genes, the flp genes, have been used as a starting point to identifying flp genes throughout Nematoda. Nematodes have the largest family of FaRPs described thus far. The challenges in the future are the elucidation of their functions and the identification of the receptors and signaling pathways through which they function. PMID:25352828

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ailion, M; Thomas, J H

    2000-01-01

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

  15. P-body and Stress Granule Quantification in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Rieckher, Matthias; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2017-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells contain various types of cytoplasmic, non-membrane bound ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules that consist of non-translating mRNAs and a versatile set of associated proteins. One prominent type of RNP granules are Processing bodies (P bodies), which majorly harbors translationally inactive mRNAs and an array of proteins mediating mRNA degradation, translational repression and cellular mRNA transport (Sheth and Parker, 2003). Another type of RNP granules, the stress granules (SGs), majorly contain mRNAs associated with translation initiation factors and are formed upon stress-induced translational stalling (Kedersha et al., 2000 and 1999). Multiple evidence obtained from studies in unicellular organisms supports a model in which P bodies and SGs physically interact during cellular stress to direct mRNAs for transport, decay, temporal storage or reentry into translation (Anderson and Kedersha, 2008; Decker and Parker, 2012). The quantification, distribution and colocalization of P bodies and/or SGs are essential tools to study the composition of RNP granules and their contribution to fundamental cellular processes, such as stress response and translational regulation. In this protocol we describe a method to quantify P bodies and SGs in somatic tissues of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:28239624

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Sperm status regulates sexual attraction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Morsci, Natalia S; Haas, Leonard A; Barr, Maureen M

    2011-12-01

    Mating behavior of animals is regulated by the sensory stimuli provided by the other sex. Sexually receptive females emit mating signals that can be inhibited by male ejaculate. The genetic mechanisms controlling the release of mating signals and encoding behavioral responses remain enigmatic. Here we present evidence of a Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite-derived cue that stimulates male mating-response behavior and is dynamically regulated by her reproductive status. Wild-type males preferentially mated with older hermaphrodites. Increased sex appeal of older hermaphrodites was potent enough to stimulate robust response from mating-deficient pkd-2 and lov-1 polycystin mutant males. This enhanced response of pkd-2 males toward older hermaphrodites was independent of short-chain ascaroside pheromones, but was contingent on the absence of active sperm in the hermaphrodites. The improved pkd-2 male response toward spermless hermaphrodites was blocked by prior insemination or by genetic ablation of the ceh-18-dependent sperm-sensing pathway of the hermaphrodite somatic gonad. Our work suggests an interaction between sperm and the soma that has a negative but reversible effect on a hermaphrodite-derived mating cue that regulates male mating response, a phenomenon to date attributed to gonochoristic species only.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans flamingo cadherin fmi-1 regulates GABAergic neuronal development.

    PubMed

    Najarro, Elvis Huarcaya; Wong, Lianna; Zhen, Mei; Carpio, Edgar Pinedo; Goncharov, Alexandr; Garriga, Gian; Lundquist, Erik A; Jin, Yishi; Ackley, Brian D

    2012-03-21

    In a genetic screen for regulators of synaptic morphology, we identified the single Caenorhabditis elegans flamingo-like cadherin fmi-1. The fmi-1 mutants exhibit defective axon pathfinding, reduced synapse number, aberrant synapse size and morphology, as well as an abnormal accumulation of synaptic vesicles at nonsynaptic regions. Although FMI-1 is primarily expressed in the nervous system, it is not expressed in the ventral D-type (VD) GABAergic motorneurons, which are defective in fmi-1 mutants. The axon and synaptic defects of VD neurons could be rescued when fmi-1 was expressed exclusively in non-VD neighboring neurons, suggesting a cell nonautonomous action of FMI-1. FMI-1 protein that lacked its intracellular domain still retained its ability to rescue the vesicle accumulation defects of GABAergic motorneurons, indicating that the extracellular domain was sufficient for this function of FMI-1 in GABAergic neuromuscular junction development. Mutations in cdh-4, a Fat-like cadherin, cause similar defects in GABAergic motorneurons. The cdh-4 is expressed by the VD neurons and seems to function in the same genetic pathway as fmi-1 to regulate GABAergic neuron development. Thus, fmi-1 and cdh-4 cadherins might act together to regulate synapse development and axon pathfinding.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 the 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

  2. Safety assessment of nanopesticides using the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Jacques, Mauricio T; Oliveira, Jhones L; Campos, Estefânia V R; Fraceto, Leonardo F; Ávila, Daiana Silva

    2017-05-01

    The extensive use of pesticides is causing environmental pollution, affecting animal organisms in different habitats and also leading human health at risk. In this study, we present as an alternative the use of nanoparticles loaded with pesticides and report their toxicological assessment to a soil organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. Three nanoparticle formulations were analyzed: solid lipid nanoparticles loaded or not with atrazine and simazine, SLN; polymeric nanoparticles, NC_PCL loaded with atrazine; and chitosan/tripolyphosphate, CS/TPP, loaded or not with paraquat. All formulations, loaded or not with pesticides, increased lethality in a dose- dependent manner with similar LC50. Both loaded and unloaded NC_PCL were the most toxic formulations to developmental rate, significantly reducing worms length, even at low concentrations. In contrast, both CS/TPP nanoparticles were the least toxic, not affecting reproduction and body length at higher concentrations, probably due to the biocompatibility of chitosan. The physico-chemical characterization of nanoparticles after incubation in saline solution (used in exposure of organisms) has shown that these colloidal systems are stable and remain with the same initial characteristics, even in the presence of saline environment. Notably, our results indicate that the observed effects were caused by the nanoparticles per se. These results suggest that the development of nanoparticles aiming agriculture applications needs more studies in order to optimize the composition and then reduce their toxicity to non-target organisms.

  3. IL-17 is a neuromodulator of Caenorhabditis elegans sensory responses.

    PubMed

    Chen, Changchun; Itakura, Eisuke; Nelson, Geoffrey M; Sheng, Ming; Laurent, Patrick; Fenk, Lorenz A; Butcher, Rebecca A; Hegde, Ramanujan S; de Bono, Mario

    2017-02-02

    Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is a major pro-inflammatory cytokine: it mediates responses to pathogens or tissue damage, and drives autoimmune diseases. Little is known about its role in the nervous system. Here we show that IL-17 has neuromodulator-like properties in Caenorhabditis elegans. IL-17 can act directly on neurons to alter their response properties and contribution to behaviour. Using unbiased genetic screens, we delineate an IL-17 signalling pathway and show that it acts in the RMG hub interneurons. Disrupting IL-17 signalling reduces RMG responsiveness to input from oxygen sensors, and renders sustained escape from 21% oxygen transient and contingent on additional stimuli. Over-activating IL-17 receptors abnormally heightens responses to 21% oxygen in RMG neurons and whole animals. IL-17 deficiency can be bypassed by optogenetic stimulation of RMG. Inducing IL-17 expression in adults can rescue mutant defects within 6 h. These findings reveal a non-immunological role of IL-17 modulating circuit function and behaviour.

  4. Genotypic-specific variance in Caenorhabditis elegans lifetime fecundity

    PubMed Central

    Diaz, S Anaid; Viney, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Organisms live in heterogeneous environments, so strategies that maximze fitness in such environments will evolve. Variation in traits is important because it is the raw material on which natural selection acts during evolution. Phenotypic variation is usually thought to be due to genetic variation and/or environmentally induced effects. Therefore, genetically identical individuals in a constant environment should have invariant traits. Clearly, genetically identical individuals do differ phenotypically, usually thought to be due to stochastic processes. It is now becoming clear, especially from studies of unicellular species, that phenotypic variance among genetically identical individuals in a constant environment can be genetically controlled and that therefore, in principle, this can be subject to selection. However, there has been little investigation of these phenomena in multicellular species. Here, we have studied the mean lifetime fecundity (thus a trait likely to be relevant to reproductive success), and variance in lifetime fecundity, in recently-wild isolates of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that these genotypes differed in their variance in lifetime fecundity: some had high variance in fecundity, others very low variance. We find that this variance in lifetime fecundity was negatively related to the mean lifetime fecundity of the lines, and that the variance of the lines was positively correlated between environments. We suggest that the variance in lifetime fecundity may be a bet-hedging strategy used by this species. PMID:25360248

  5. Sex-Related Differences in Crossing over in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Zetka, M. C.; Rose, A. M.

    1990-01-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, hermaphrodite recombination has been characterized and is the basis of the genetic map used in this organism. In this study we have examined male recombination on linkage group I and have found it to be approximately one-third less than that observed in the hermaphrodite. This decrease was interval-dependent and nonuniform. We observed less recombination in the male in 5 out of 6 intervals examined, and no observable difference in one interval on the right end of LG I. Hermaphrodite recombination frequencies are the result of recombination in two germlines; oocyte and hermaphrodite spermatocytes. We have measured recombination in the oocyte and have found it to be approximately twofold lower than that calculated for hermaphrodite spermatocytes and not significantly different from the male spermatocyte frequency. Thus, recombination frequencies appear to be a function of gonad physiology rather than the sex of the germline. Evidence from experiments examining the effect of karyotype on recombination in males sexually transformed by the her-1 mutation into XO hermaphrodites (normally XX), suggests the sexual phenotype rather than genotype determines the recombination frequency characteristic of a particular sex. Hermaphrodite recombination is known to be affected by temperature, maternal age, and the rec-1 mutation. We have examined the effect of these parameters on recombination in the male and have found male recombination frequency increased with elevated temperatures and in the presence of Rec-1, and decreased with paternal age. PMID:2245915

  6. More Sex-Determination Mutants of CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    PubMed Central

    Hodgkin, Jonathan

    1980-01-01

    Sex determination in Caenorhabditis elegans is controlled by the X chromosome: autosome ratio, i.e. 2A;XX animals are hermaphrodite, and 2A;XO animals are male. A procedure for isolating 2A;XO animals that are transformed into hermaphrodites has been developed. Nine mutations causing this transformation have been obtained: eight are recessive, and all of these fall into a new autosomal complementation group, her-1 V. The remaining mutation (her-2) is dominant and has a genetic map location similar to that of tra-1 III. Recessive mutations of tra-1 cause the reverse transformation, transforming 2A;XX animals into males. Therefore, the her-2 mutation may result in constitutive expression of tra-1. Mutations in her-1 are without effect on XX animals, but the her-2 mutation prevents sperm production in both XX and XO animals, in addition to its effect on the sexual phenotype of XO animals. The epistatic relationships between tra and her genes are used to deduce a model for the action of these genes in controlling sex determination. PMID:7262542

  7. Characterization of Caenorhabditis Elegans Lectin-Binding Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Link, C. D.; Silverman, M. A.; Breen, M.; Watt, K. E.; Dames, S. A.

    1992-01-01

    We have identified 45 mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans that show ectopic surface binding of the lectins wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) and soybean agglutinin (SBA). These mutations are all recessive and define six genes: srf-2, srf-3, srf-4, srf-5, srf-8 and srf-9. Mutations in these genes fall into two phenotypic classes: srf-2, -3, -5 mutants are grossly wild-type, except for their lectin-binding phenotype; srf-4, -8, -9 mutants have a suite of defects, including uncoordinated movement, abnormal egg laying, and defective copulatory bursae morphogenesis. Characterization of these pleiotropic mutants at the cellular level reveals defects in the migration of the gonadal distal tip cell and in axon morphology. Unexpectedly, the pleiotropic mutations also interact with mutations in the lin-12 gene, which encodes a putative cell surface receptor involved in the control of cell fate. We propose that the underlying defect in the pleiotropic mutations may be in the general processing or secretion of extracellular proteins. PMID:1516818

  8. Functional transcriptomics of a migrating cell in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Erich M; Kato, Mihoko; Sternberg, Paul W

    2012-10-02

    In both metazoan development and metastatic cancer, migrating cells must carry out a detailed, complex program of sensing cues, binding substrates, and moving their cytoskeletons. The linker cell in Caenorhabditis elegans males undergoes a stereotyped migration that guides gonad organogenesis, occurs with precise timing, and requires the nuclear hormone receptor NHR-67. To better understand how this occurs, we performed RNA-seq of individually staged and dissected linker cells, comparing transcriptomes from linker cells of third-stage (L3) larvae, fourth-stage (L4) larvae, and nhr-67-RNAi-treated L4 larvae. We observed expression of 8,000-10,000 genes in the linker cell, 22-25% of which were up- or down-regulated 20-fold during development by NHR-67. Of genes that we tested by RNAi, 22% (45 of 204) were required for normal shape and migration, suggesting that many NHR-67-dependent, linker cell-enriched genes play roles in this migration. One unexpected class of genes up-regulated by NHR-67 was tandem pore potassium channels, which are required for normal linker-cell migration. We also found phenotypes for genes with human orthologs but no previously described migratory function. Our results provide an extensive catalog of genes that act in a migrating cell, identify unique molecular functions involved in nematode cell migration, and suggest similar functions in humans.

  9. Expression pattern analysis of microRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Isik, Meltem; Berezikov, Eugene

    2013-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ∼22 nucleotide single-stranded RNA molecules that originate from hairpin precursors and regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level by basepairing with target messenger RNA and blocking its translation or inducing its degradation. miRNAs play important roles in a variety of biological processes, including development, proliferation, differentiation, cell fate determination, apoptosis, signal transduction, host-viral interactions, and tumorigenesis. Methodological advances in miRNA studies allowed identification of biological roles for many miRNAs, and establishing the spatiotemporal expression patterns of miRNAs is one of the approaches to elucidate their biological functions. Expression pattern analysis of miRNAs helps to identify potential genetic interactors that exhibit similar expression patterns and this, combined with further supporting experiments, helps to identify the genetic pathways in which the specific miRNAs are involved. In this chapter, we describe a detailed protocol for the analysis of miRNA expression patterns in Caenorhabditis elegans.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Developmental genetics of secretory vesicle acidification during Caenorhabditis elegans spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    Gleason, Elizabeth J; Hartley, Paul D; Henderson, Melissa; Hill-Harfe, Katherine L; Price, Paul W; Weimer, Robby M; Kroft, Tim L; Zhu, Guang-Dan; Cordovado, Suzanne; L'Hernault, Steven W

    2012-06-01

    Secretory vesicles are used during spermatogenesis to deliver proteins to the cell surface. In Caenorhabditis elegans, secretory membranous organelles (MO) fuse with the plasma membrane to transform spermatids into fertilization-competent spermatozoa. We show that, like the acrosomal vesicle of mammalian sperm, MOs undergo acidification during development. Treatment of spermatids with the V-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin blocks both MO acidification and formation of functional spermatozoa. There are several spermatogenesis-defective mutants that cause defects in MO morphogenesis, including spe-5. We determined that spe-5, which is on chromosome I, encodes one of two V-ATPase B paralogous subunits. The spe-5 null mutant is viable but sterile because it forms arrested, multi-nucleate spermatocytes. Immunofluorescence with a SPE-5-specific monoclonal antibody shows that SPE-5 expression begins in spermatocytes and is found in all subsequent stages of spermatogenesis. Most SPE-5 is discarded into the residual body during spermatid budding, but a small amount remains in budded spermatids where it localizes to MOs as a discrete dot. The other V-ATPase B subunit is encoded by vha-12, which is located on the X chromosome. Usually, spe-5 mutants are self-sterile in a wild-type vha-12 background. However, an extrachromosomal transgene containing wild-type vha-12 driven by its own promoter allows spe-5 mutant hermaphrodites to produce progeny, indicating that VHA-12 can at least partially substitute for SPE-5. Others have shown that the X chromosome is transcriptionally silent in the male germline, so expression of the autosomally located spe-5 gene ensures that a V-ATPase B subunit is present during spermatogenesis.

  13. The effects of translocations on recombination frequency in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    McKim, K S; Howell, A M; Rose, A M

    1988-12-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, recombination suppression in translocation heterozygotes is severe and extensive. We have examined the meiotic properties of two translocations involving chromosome I, szT1(I;X) and hT1(I;V). No recombination was observed in either of these translocation heterozygotes along the left (let-362-unc-13) 17 map units of chromosome I. Using half-translocations as free duplications, we mapped the breakpoints of szT1 and hT1. The boundaries of crossover suppression coincided with the physical breakpoints. We propose that DNA sequences at the right end of chromosome I facilitate pairing and recombination. We use the data from translocations of other chromosomes to map the location of pairing sites on four other chromosomes. hT1 and szT1 differed markedly in their effect on recombination adjacent to the crossover suppressed region. hT1 had no effect on recombination in the adjacent interval. In contrast, the 0.8 map unit interval immediately adjacent to the szT1(I;X) breakpoint on chromosome I increased to 2.5 map units in translocation heterozygotes. This increase occurs in a chromosomal interval which can be expanded by treatment with radiation. These results are consistent with the suggestion that the szT1(I) breakpoint is in a region of DNA in which meiotic recombination is suppressed relative to the genomic average. We propose that DNA sequences disrupted by the szT1 translocation are responsible for determining the frequency of meiotic recombination in the vicinity of the breakpoint.

  14. Hypergravity hinders axonal development of motor neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kalichamy, Saraswathi Subbammal; Yoon, Kyoung-hye

    2016-01-01

    As space flight becomes more accessible in the future, humans will be exposed to gravity conditions other than our 1G environment on Earth. Our bodies and physiology, however, are adapted for life at 1G gravity. Altering gravity can have profound effects on the body, particularly the development of muscles, but the reasons and biology behind gravity’s effect are not fully known. We asked whether increasing gravity had effects on the development of motor neurons that innervate and control muscle, a relatively unexplored area of gravity biology. Using the nematode model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, we examined changes in response to hypergravity in the development of the 19 GABAergic DD/VD motor neurons that innervate body muscle. We found that a high gravity force above 10G significantly increases the number of animals with defects in the development of axonal projections from the DD/VD neurons. We showed that a critical period of hypergravity exposure during the embryonic/early larval stage was sufficient to induce defects. While characterizing the nature of the axonal defects, we found that in normal 1G gravity conditions, DD/VD axonal defects occasionally occurred, with the majority of defects occurring on the dorsal side of the animal and in the mid-body region, and a significantly higher rate of error in the 13 VD axons than the 6 DD axons. Hypergravity exposure increased the rate of DD/VD axonal defects, but did not change the distribution or the characteristics of the defects. Our study demonstrates that altering gravity can impact motor neuron development. PMID:27833821

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans as an alternative model host for legionella pneumophila, and protective effects of Bifidobacterium infantis.

    PubMed

    Komura, Tomomi; Yasui, Chikako; Miyamoto, Hiroshi; Nishikawa, Yoshikazu

    2010-06-01

    The survival times of Caenorhabditis elegans worms infected with Legionella pneumophila from day 7.5 or later after hatching were shorter than those of uninfected worms. However, nematodes fed bifidobacteria prior to Legionella infection were resistant to Legionella. These nematodes may act as a unique alternative host for Legionella research.

  3. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Ochoa, D; Gautama, S; Philips, W

    2010-05-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Zhou, Kang; Hanna-Rose, Wendy

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-16

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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. The Caenorhabditis elegans Ldb/NLI/Clim orthologue ldb-1 is required for neuronal function.

    PubMed

    Cassata, G; Röhrig, S; Kuhn, F; Hauri, H P; Baumeister, R; Bürglin, T R

    2000-10-01

    LIM homeodomain (LIM-HD) and nuclear LIM-only proteins play important roles in a variety of developmental processes in animals. In some cases their activities are modulated by a nuclear LIM binding protein family called Ldb/NLI/Clim. Here we characterize the Ldb/NLI/Clim orthologue ldb-1 of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Two alternatively spliced variants exist, which differ in their amino-termini. The ldb-1 orthologue of Caenorhabditis briggsae has the same structure as that of C. elegans and is highly conserved throughout the open reading frame, while conservation to fly and vertebrate proteins is restricted to specific domains: the dimerization domain, the nuclear localization sequence, and the LIM interaction domain. C. elegans ldb-1 is expressed in neurogenic tissues in embryos, in all neurons in larval and adult stages, and in vulval cells, gonadal sheath cells, and some body muscle cells. C. elegans LDB-1 is able to specifically bind LIM domains in yeast two-hybrid assays. RNA inactivation studies suggest that C. elegans ldb-1 is not required for the differentiation of neurons that express the respective LIM-HD genes or for LIM-HD gene autoregulation. In contrast, ldb-1 is necessary for several neuronal functions mediated by LIM-HD proteins, including the transcriptional activation of mec-2, the mechanosensory neuron-specific stomatin.

  19. Identification of Virulence Properties in Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 Using Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sahu, Surasri N.; Anriany, Yuda; Grim, Christopher J.; Kim, Sungji; Chang, Zenas; Joseph, Sam W.; Cinar, Hediye N.

    2013-01-01

    Salmonella enterica serover Typhimurium definitive phage type DT104, resistant to multiple antibiotics, is one of the most widespread Salmonella species in human infection worldwide. Although several cohort studies indicate that DT104 carrying the multidrug resistance (MDR) locus on salmonella genomic island 1 is a possible hyper-virulent strain compared to DT104 strains without MDR, or other Salmonella enterica serotypes, existing experimental evidence regarding virulence properties associated with the MDR region is controversial. To address this question, we constructed an isogenic MDR deletion (∆MDR) mutant strain of DT104, SNS12, by allelic exchange and used Caenorhabditis elegans as a host model to assess differences in virulence between these two strains. SNS12 exhibited decreased virulence in C. elegans, and we observed increased colonization and proliferation of the intestine of C. elegans by DT104. The immune response against MDR-carrying DT104 appears to function through a non-canonical Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) pathway, namely prion-like-(QN-rich)-domain-bearing protein pathway (PQN), in a ced-1 dependent manner in C. elegans. Further, we also demonstrate that genes of the PQN pathway and antimicrobial peptide gene abf-2, are expressed at higher transcriptional levels in worms immediately following exposure to DT104, in comparison with worms exposed to SNS12. Altogether, our results suggest that the MDR region of Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 has a direct role in virulence against Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:24124587

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Song, Pengfei; Dong, Xianke; Liu, Xinyu

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Single and compound effects of radiation and microgravity responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei; Sun, Yeqing; Xu, Dan; Yang, Jun; Luo, Yajing

    2016-07-01

    Space radiation and microgravity are main factors of spaceflight which could cause effects on organism. However, studies on the combined effects of microgravity and radiation have had conflicting results. For further elucidate the single factor effects of radiation or microgravity and the compound factor effects of them, the wild-type strain (Bristol N2) and muscle repair defective strain (dys-1) of Caenorhabditis elegansin dauer larvae were treated by ground simulated radiation in different doses (0.2Gy,2Gy) and/or 16.5-day simulated microgravity. The locomotory capacity assay and proteomic analysis were processed after the recovery of dauer larvae to adult. Locomotory capacity assay showed that the N2 nematodes were susceptible to simulated microgravity while dys-1 nematodes were susceptible to simulation radiation especially in high dose radiation (2Gy). The compound factor of microgravity and radiation has different influences to different strains. Proteomic results indicated that a wide range but different biological processes were involved in responding to radiation and/or microgravity.

  5. In vivo Mitophagy Monitoring in Caenorhabditis elegans to Determine Mitochondrial Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Palikaras, Konstantinos; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2017-01-01

    Perturbation of mitochondrial function is a major hallmark of several pathological conditions and ageing, underlining the essential role of fine-tuned mitochondrial activity (Lopez-Otin et al., 2013). Mitochondrial selective autophagy, known as mitophagy, mediates the removal of dysfunctional and/or superfluous organelles, preserving cellular and organismal homeostasis (Palikaras and Tavernarakis, 2014; Pickrell and Youle, 2015; Scheibye-Knudsen et al., 2015). In this protocol, we describe a method for assessing mitophagy in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

  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. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Okkema, P G

    2017-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  17. Soma-Germline Interactions That Influence Germline Proliferation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Korta, Dorota Z.; Hubbard, E. Jane Albert

    2011-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans boasts a short lifecycle and high fecundity, two features that make it an attractive and powerful genetic model organism. Several recent studies indicate that germline proliferation, a prerequisite to optimal fecundity, is tightly controlled over the course of development. Cell proliferation control includes regulation of competence to proliferate, a poorly understood aspect of cell fate specification, as well as cell-cycle control. Furthermore, dynamic regulation of cell proliferation occurs in response to multiple external signals. The C. elegans germ line is proving a valuable model for linking genetic, developmental, systemic, and environmental control of cell proliferation. Here, we consider recent studies that contribute to our understanding of germ cell proliferation in C. elegans. We focus primarily on somatic control of germline proliferation, how it differs at different life stages, and how it can be altered in the context of the life cycle and changes in environmental status. PMID:20225254

  18. Latrophilin is required for toxicity of black widow spider venom in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Mee, Christopher J; Tomlinson, Simon R; Perestenko, Pavel V; De Pomerai, David; Duce, Ian R; Usherwood, Peter N R; Bell, David R

    2004-01-01

    Black widow spider venom (BWSV) kills Caenorhabditis elegans after injection owing to the presence of heat- and detergent-sensitive components, which are high-molecular-mass latrotoxins. A C. elegans homologue of latrophilin/CIRL (calcium-independent receptor for latrotoxin), B0457.1, was identified and shown to have five conserved domains. RNAi (RNA interference) of this gene rendered C. elegans resistant to BWSV, whereas RNAi for CYP37A1 or a neurexin I homologue, and a deletion mutant of the related B0286.2 gene, had no effect on BWSV toxicity. The latrophilin RNAi mutants exhibit changes in defaecation cycle and alterations in drug sensitivity. These results demonstrate that latrophilin mediates the toxicity of BWSV and provide evidence for a physiological function of this receptor. PMID:14594448

  19. Detecting apoptotic cells and monitoring their clearance in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lu, Nan; Yu, Xiaomeng; He, Xiangwei; Zhou, Zheng

    2009-01-01

    Apoptosis is a genetically controlled process of cell suicide that plays an important role in animal development and in maintaining homeostasis. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has proven to be an excellent model organism for studying the mechanisms controlling apoptosis and the subsequent clearance of apoptotic cells, aided with cell-biological and genetic tools. In particular, the transparent nature of worm bodies and eggshells makes C. elegans particularly amiable for live cell microscopy. Here we describe a few methods for identifying apoptotic cells in living C. elegans embryos and adults and for monitoring their clearance during embryonic development. These methods are based on Differential Interference Contrast microscopy and on fluorescence microscopy using GFP-based reporters.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2016-08-12

    Defects in cilia cause a spectrum of diseases known as ciliopathies. Nephronophthisis, a ciliopathy, is the most common genetic cause of renal disease. Here, I cloned and analysed a nephronophthisis-related gene ift-139 in Caenorhabditis elegans. ift-139 was exclusively expressed in ciliated neurons in C. elegans. Genetic and cellular analyses suggest that ift-139 plays a role in retrograde intraflagellar transport and is required for cilia formation. A homologous point mutation that causes ciliopathy disrupted the function of ift-139 in C. elegans. ift-139 is an orthologue of human TTC21B, mutations in which are known to cause nephronophthisis 12 and short-rib thoracic dysplasia 4. These results suggest that ift-139 is evolutionarily conserved and fundamental to the formation of cilia.

  2. Information content of Caenorhabditis elegans splice site sequences varies with intron length.

    PubMed Central

    Fields, C

    1990-01-01

    A database of sequences of 139 introns from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was analyzed using the information measure of Schneider et al. (1986) J. Mol. Biol. 128: 415-431. Statistically significant information is encoded by at least the first 30 nt and last 20 nt of C. elegans introns. Both the quantity and the distribution of information in the 5' splice site sequences differs between the typical short (length less than 75 nt) and rarer long (length greater than 75 nt) introns, with the 5 sites of long introns containing approximately one bit more information. 3' splice site sequences of long and short C. elegans introns differ significantly in the region between -20 and -10 nt. PMID:2326191

  3. Bacillus subtilis biofilm extends Caenorhabditis elegans longevity through downregulation of the insulin-like signalling pathway

    PubMed Central

    Donato, Verónica; Ayala, Facundo Rodríguez; Cogliati, Sebastián; Bauman, Carlos; Costa, Juan Gabriel; Leñini, Cecilia; Grau, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    Beneficial bacteria have been shown to affect host longevity, but the molecular mechanisms mediating such effects remain largely unclear. Here we show that formation of Bacillus subtilis biofilms increases Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan. Biofilm-proficient B. subtilis colonizes the C. elegans gut and extends worm lifespan more than biofilm-deficient isogenic strains. Two molecules produced by B. subtilis — the quorum-sensing pentapeptide CSF and nitric oxide (NO) — are sufficient to extend C. elegans longevity. When B. subtilis is cultured under biofilm-supporting conditions, the synthesis of NO and CSF is increased in comparison with their production under planktonic growth conditions. We further show that the prolongevity effect of B. subtilis biofilms depends on the DAF-2/DAF-16/HSF-1 signalling axis and the downregulation of the insulin-like signalling (ILS) pathway. PMID:28134244

  4. Baccoside A suppresses epileptic-like seizure/convulsion in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Rakesh; Gupta, Shipra; Tandon, Sudeep; Wolkenhauer, Olaf; Vera, Julio; Gupta, Shailendra K

    2010-09-01

    The 1 mm long Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the prime research tools to study different human neurodegenerative diseases. We have considered the case in which increase in the surrounding temperature of this multicellular model leads to abnormal bursts of neuronal cells that can be linked to seizure or convulsion. The induction of such seizure/convulsion mechanism was done by gradually increasing the temperature with 1x buffer (100 mM NaCl, 50 mM MgCl(2)) in adult C. elegans. In the present experiment it is demonstrated that Baccoside A can significantly reduce the seizure/convulsion in C. elegans at higher temperatures (26-28+/-1 degrees C). Furthermore, in T-type Ca(2+) channel cca-1 mutant worms, no convulsion was recorded. Our experimental results suggest that plant molecules from Bacopa monnieri may be useful in suppressing the seizure/convulsion in worms.

  5. Different genes govern Yersinia pestis pathogenicity in Caenorhabditis elegans and human lice.

    PubMed

    Houhamdi, Linda; Raoult, Didier

    2008-05-01

    To assess the role of virulence factors identified in Caenorhabditis elegans in the transmission of plague by lice, we infected 100 lice by feeding them on rabbits and made them bacteremic; the rabbits had been intravenously inoculated with 10(9) CFU of six different mutant Yersinia pestis strains of lower pathogenicity for C. elegans, obtained from the KIM5 strain. This strain lacks genes used for biofilm formation. High mortality rates were observed in all lice, which excreted viable bacteria in their feces. Mutants killed rabbits when infected intravenously, but mutants were not transmitted to rabbits by infected lice. We conclude that the genes governing pathogenicity in C. elegans and louse are not identical.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. The Caenorhabditis elegans GATA factor elt-1 is essential for differentiation and maintenance of hypodermal seam cells and for normal locomotion.

    PubMed

    Smith, Judith A; McGarr, Pamela; Gilleard, John S

    2005-12-15

    The Caenorhabditis elegans GATA transcription factor elt-1 has previously been shown to have a central role in the specification of hypodermal (epidermal) cell fates and acts several cell divisions before the birth of hypodermal cells. Here we report that elt-1 also has essential functions during subsequent development. Reporter gene studies show that elt-1 expression is maintained in lateral seam cells throughout development and elt-1 RNA interference experiments support an essential role for elt-1 in the differentiation of lateral seam cells in the embryo. The maintenance of seam-cell fates in all larval stages including L2d and dauer also requires elt-1. The elt-1 RNAi phenotype shows that seam cells are essential for the structural integrity of adult hermaphrodites in the vulval region and for diametric shrinkage during dauer larval formation. By contrast, severe seam-cell loss in the larval stages has little effect on moulting, indicating that the presence of these cells is not essential for this process. The elt-1 reporter gene is also expressed in neurones of the locomotory circuit. Loss of elt-1 function during postembryonic development results in a hypermotility phenotype whereas overexpression of elt-1 leads to a reciprocal phenotype of reduced motility and paralysis. These results suggest that elt-1 is a key regulator of neuronal function in larvae and adult worms.

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaodong; Chamberlin, Helen M

    2004-03-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-10

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

  12. 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.

  13. Inducible and titratable silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in vivo with histamine-gated chloride channels.

    PubMed

    Pokala, Navin; Liu, Qiang; Gordus, Andrew; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2014-02-18

    Recent progress in neuroscience has been facilitated by tools for neuronal activation and inactivation that are orthogonal to endogenous signaling systems. We describe here a chemical-genetic approach for inducible silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in intact animals, using the histamine-gated chloride channel HisCl1 from Drosophila and exogenous histamine. Administering histamine to freely moving C. elegans that express HisCl1 transgenes in neurons leads to rapid and potent inhibition of neural activity within minutes, as assessed by behavior, functional calcium imaging, and electrophysiology of neurons expressing HisCl1. C. elegans does not use histamine as an endogenous neurotransmitter, and exogenous histamine has little apparent effect on wild-type C. elegans behavior. HisCl1-histamine silencing of sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons leads to behavioral effects matching their known functions. In addition, the HisCl1-histamine system can be used to titrate the level of neural activity, revealing quantitative relationships between neural activity and behavioral output. We use these methods to dissect escape circuits, define interneurons that regulate locomotion speed (AVA, AIB) and escape-related omega turns (AIB), and demonstrate graded control of reversal length by AVA interneurons and DA/VA motor neurons. The histamine-HisCl1 system is effective, robust, compatible with standard behavioral assays, and easily combined with optogenetic tools, properties that should make it a useful addition to C. elegans neurotechnology.

  14. The ETS-5 transcription factor regulates activity states in Caenorhabditis elegans by controlling satiety

    PubMed Central

    Juozaityte, Vaida; Pladevall-Morera, David; Podolska, Agnieszka; Nørgaard, Steffen; Pocock, Roger

    2017-01-01

    Animal behavior is shaped through interplay among genes, the environment, and previous experience. As in mammals, satiety signals induce quiescence in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we report that the C. elegans transcription factor ETS-5, an ortholog of mammalian FEV/Pet1, controls satiety-induced quiescence. Nutritional status has a major influence on C. elegans behavior. When foraging, food availability controls behavioral state switching between active (roaming) and sedentary (dwelling) states; however, when provided with high-quality food, C. elegans become sated and enter quiescence. We show that ETS-5 acts to promote roaming and inhibit quiescence by setting the internal “satiety quotient” through fat regulation. Acting from the ASG and BAG sensory neurons, we show that ETS-5 functions in a complex network with serotonergic and neuropeptide signaling pathways to control food-regulated behavioral state switching. Taken together, our results identify a neuronal mechanism for controlling intestinal fat stores and organismal behavioral states in C. elegans, and establish a paradigm for the elucidation of obesity-relevant mechanisms. PMID:28193866

  15. Inducible and titratable silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in vivo with histamine-gated chloride channels

    PubMed Central

    Pokala, Navin; Liu, Qiang; Gordus, Andrew; Bargmann, Cornelia I.

    2014-01-01

    Recent progress in neuroscience has been facilitated by tools for neuronal activation and inactivation that are orthogonal to endogenous signaling systems. We describe here a chemical-genetic approach for inducible silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in intact animals, using the histamine-gated chloride channel HisCl1 from Drosophila and exogenous histamine. Administering histamine to freely moving C. elegans that express HisCl1 transgenes in neurons leads to rapid and potent inhibition of neural activity within minutes, as assessed by behavior, functional calcium imaging, and electrophysiology of neurons expressing HisCl1. C. elegans does not use histamine as an endogenous neurotransmitter, and exogenous histamine has little apparent effect on wild-type C. elegans behavior. HisCl1-histamine silencing of sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons leads to behavioral effects matching their known functions. In addition, the HisCl1-histamine system can be used to titrate the level of neural activity, revealing quantitative relationships between neural activity and behavioral output. We use these methods to dissect escape circuits, define interneurons that regulate locomotion speed (AVA, AIB) and escape-related omega turns (AIB), and demonstrate graded control of reversal length by AVA interneurons and DA/VA motor neurons. The histamine-HisCl1 system is effective, robust, compatible with standard behavioral assays, and easily combined with optogenetic tools, properties that should make it a useful addition to C. elegans neurotechnology. PMID:24550306

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Blanco, Adolfo; Rodríguez-Matellán, Alberto G; Reis-Sobreiro, Mariana; Sáenz-Narciso, Beatriz; Cabello, Juan; Mohler, William A; Mollinedo, Faustino

    2014-01-01

    Drugs capable of specifically recognizing and killing cancer cells while sparing healthy cells are of great interest in anti-cancer therapy. An example of such a drug is edelfosine, the prototype molecule of a family of synthetic lipids collectively known as antitumor lipids (ATLs). A better understanding of the selectivity and the mechanism of action of these compounds would lead to better anticancer treatments. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, we modeled key features of the ATL selectivity against cancer cells. Edelfosine induced a selective and direct killing action on C. elegans embryos, which was dependent on cholesterol, without affecting adult worms and larvae. Distinct ATLs ranked differently in their embryonic lethal effect with edelfosine > perifosine > erucylphosphocholine > miltefosine. Following a biased screening of 57 C. elegans mutants we found that inactivation of components of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway led to resistance against the ATL edelfosine in both C. elegans and human tumor cells. This paper shows that C. elegans can be used as a rapid platform to facilitate ATL research and to further understand the mechanism of action of edelfosine and other synthetic ATLs.

  18. 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).

  19. Editor's Highlight: Comparative Toxicity of Organophosphate Flame Retardants and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers to Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Behl, Mamta; Rice, Julie R; Smith, Marjo V; Co, Caroll A; Bridge, Matthew F; Hsieh, Jui-Hua; Freedman, Jonathan H; Boyd, Windy A

    2016-12-01

    With the phasing-out of the polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants due to concerns regarding their potential developmental toxicity, the use of replacement compounds such as organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) has increased. Limited toxicity data are currently available to estimate the potential adverse health effects of the OPFRs. The toxicological effects of 4 brominated flame retardants, including 3 PBDEs and 3,3',5,5'-tetrabromobisphenol A, were compared with 6 aromatic OPFRs and 2 aliphatic OPFRs. The effects of these chemicals were determined using 3 biological endpoints in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (feeding, larval development, and reproduction). Because C. elegans development was previously reported to be sensitive to mitochondrial function, results were compared with those from an in vitro mitochondrial membrane permeabilization (MMP) assay. Overall 11 of the 12 flame retardants were active in 1 or more C. elegans biological endpoints, with only tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate inactive across all endpoints including the in vitro MMP assay. For 2 of the C. elegans endpoints, at least 1 OPFR had similar toxicity to the PBDEs: triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) inhibited larval development at levels comparable to the 3 PBDEs; whereas TPHP and isopropylated phenol phosphate (IPP) affected C. elegans reproduction at levels similar to the PBDE commercial mixture, DE-71. The PBDEs reduced C. elegans feeding at lower concentrations than any OPFR. In addition, 9 of the 11 chemicals that inhibited C. elegans larval development also caused significant mitochondrial toxicity. These results suggest that some of the replacement aromatic OPFRs may have levels of toxicity comparable to PBDEs.

  20. The influence of metabolic rate on longevity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Van Voorhies, Wayne A

    2002-12-01

    Much of the recent interest in aging research is due to the discovery of genes in a variety of model organisms that appear to modulate aging. A large amount of research has focused on the use of such long-lived mutants to examine the fundamental causes of aging. While model organisms do offer many advantages for studying aging, it also critical to consider the limitations of these systems. In particular, ectothermic (poikilothermic) organisms can tolerate a much larger metabolic depression than humans. Thus, considering only chronological longevity when assaying for long-lived mutants provides a limited perspective on the mechanisms by which longevity is increased. In order to provide true insight into the aging process additional physiological processes, such as metabolic rate, must also be assayed. This is especially true in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which can naturally enter into a metabolically reduced state in which it survives many times longer than its usual lifetime. Currently it is seen as controversial if long-lived C. elegans mutants retain normal metabolic function. Resolving this issue requires accurately measuring the metabolic rate of C. elegans under conditions that minimize environmental stress. Additionally, the relatively small size of C. elegans requires the use of sensitive methodologies when determining metabolic rates. Several studies indicating that long-lived C. elegans mutants have normal metabolic rates may be flawed due to the use of inappropriate measurement conditions and techniques. Comparisons of metabolic rate between long-lived and wild-type C. elegans under more optimized conditions indicate that the extended longevity of at least some long-lived C. elegans mutants may be due to a reduction in metabolic rate, rather than an alteration of a metabolically independent genetic mechanism specific to aging.

  1. Burkholderia pseudomallei kills Caenorhabditis elegans through virulence mechanisms distinct from intestinal lumen colonization

    PubMed Central

    Ooi, Soon-Keat; Lim, Tian-Yeh; Lee, Song-Hua; Nathan, Sheila

    2012-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is hypersusceptible to Burkholderia pseudomallei infection. However, the virulence mechanisms underlying rapid lethality of C. elegans upon B. pseudomallei infection remain poorly defined. To probe the host-pathogen interaction, we constructed GFP-tagged B. pseudomallei and followed bacterial accumulation within the C. elegans intestinal lumen. Contrary to slow-killing by most bacterial pathogens, B. pseudomallei caused fairly limited intestinal lumen colonization throughout the period of observation. Using grinder-defective mutant worms that allow the entry of intact bacteria also did not result in full intestinal lumen colonization. In addition, we observed a significant decline in C. elegans defecation and pharyngeal pumping rates upon B. pseudomallei infection. The decline in defecation rates ruled out the contribution of defecation to the limited B. pseudomallei colonization. We also demonstrated that the limited intestinal lumen colonization was not attributed to slowed host feeding as bacterial loads did not change significantly when feeding was stimulated by exogenous serotonin. Both these observations confirm that B. pseudomallei is a poor colonizer of the C. elegans intestine. To explore the possibility of toxin-mediated killing, we examined the transcription of the C. elegans ABC transporter gene, pgp-5, upon B. pseudomallei infection of the ppgp-5::gfp reporter strain. Expression of pgp-5 was highly induced, notably in the pharynx and intestine, compared with Escherichia coli-fed worms, suggesting that the host actively thwarted the pathogenic assaults during infection. Collectively, our findings propose that B. pseudomallei specifically and continuously secretes toxins to overcome C. elegans immune responses. PMID:23076282

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-06-01

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

  4. The diverse functions of germline P-granules in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Voronina, Ekaterina

    2013-08-01

    P-granules are conserved cytoplasmic organelles, similar to nuage, that are present in Caenorhabditis elegans germ cells. Based on the prevailing sterility phenotype of the component mutants, P-granules have been seen as regulators of germ cell development and function. Yet, specific germline defects resulting from P-granule failure vary, depending on which component(s) are inactivated, at which stage of development, as well as on the presence of stress factors during animal culture. This review discusses the unifying themes in many P-granule functions, with the main focus on their role as organizing centers nucleating RNA regulation in the germ cell cytoplasm.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21886270

  6. Gonad morphogenesis and distal tip cell migration in the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Ming-Ching; Schwarzbauer, Jean E.

    2013-01-01

    Cell migration and morphogenesis are key events in tissue development and organogenesis. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the migratory path of the distal tip cells determines the morphology of the hermaphroditic gonad. The distal tip cells undergo a series of migratory phases interspersed with turns to form the gonad. A wide variety of genes have been identified as crucial to this process, from genes that encode components and modifiers of the extracellular matrix to signaling proteins and transcriptional regulators. The connections between extracellular and transmembrane protein functions and intracellular pathways are essential for distal tip cell migration, and the integration of this information governs gonad morphogenesis and determines gonad size and shape. PMID:23559979

  7. The Caenorhabditis elegans THO Complex Is Required for the Mitotic Cell Cycle and Development

    PubMed Central

    Castellano-Pozo, Maikel; García-Muse, Tatiana; Aguilera, Andrés

    2012-01-01

    THO is a conserved eukaryotic complex involved in mRNP biogenesis and RNA export that plays an important role in preventing transcription- and RNA-mediated genome instability in mitosis and meiosis. In mammals THO is essential for embryogenesis, which limits our capacity to analyze the physiological relevance of THO during development and in adult organisms. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system we show that the THO complex is essential for mitotic genome integrity and the developmentally regulated mitotic cell cycles occurring during late postembryonic stages. PMID:23285047

  8. Loss of RAB-3/A in Caenorhabditis elegans and the mouse affects behavioral response to ethanol.

    PubMed

    Kapfhamer, D; Bettinger, J C; Davies, A G; Eastman, C L; Smail, E A; Heberlein, U; McIntire, S L

    2008-08-01

    The mechanisms by which ethanol induces changes in behavior are not well understood. Here, we show that Caenorhabditis elegans loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic vesicle-associated RAB-3 protein and its guanosine triphosphate exchange factor AEX-3 confer resistance to the acute locomotor effects of ethanol. Similarly, mice lacking one or both copies of Rab3A are resistant to the ataxic and sedative effects of ethanol, and Rab3A haploinsufficiency increases voluntary ethanol consumption. These data suggest a conserved role of RAB-3-/RAB3A-regulated neurotransmitter release in ethanol-related behaviors.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ferris, Howard; Hieb, W F

    2015-08-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Developmental defects in a Caenorhabditis elegans model for type III galactosemia.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

    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.

  14. Context-dependent regulation of feeding behaviour by the insulin receptor, DAF-2, in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Dillon, James; Holden-Dye, Lindy; O'Connor, Vincent; Hopper, Neil A

    2016-06-01

    Insulin signalling plays a significant role in both developmental programmes and pathways modulating the neuronal signalling that controls adult behaviour. Here, we have investigated insulin signalling in food-associated behaviour in adult C. elegans by scoring locomotion and feeding on and off bacteria, the worm's food. This analysis used mutants (daf-2, daf-18) of the insulin signalling pathway, and we provide evidence for an acute role for insulin signalling in the adult nervous system distinct from its impact on developmental programmes. Insulin receptor daf-2 mutants move slower than wild type both on and off food and showed impaired locomotory responses to food deprivation. This latter behaviour is manifest as a failure to instigate dispersal following prolonged food deprivation and suggests a role for insulin signalling in this adaptive response. Insulin receptor daf-2 mutants are also deficient in pharyngeal pumping on food and off food. Pharmacological analysis showed the pharynx of daf-2 is selectively compromised in its response to 5-HT compared to the excitatory neuropeptide FLP-17. By comparing the adaptive pharyngeal behaviour in intact worms and isolated pharyngeal preparations, we determined that an insulin-dependent signal extrinsic to the pharyngeal system is involved in feeding adaptation. Hence, we suggest that reactive insulin signalling modulates both locomotory foraging and pharyngeal pumping as the animal adapts to the absence of food. We discuss this in the context of insulin signalling directing a shift in the sensitivity of neurotransmitter systems to regulate the worm's response to changes in food availability in the environment.

  15. 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.

  16. Engineering the Caenorhabditis elegans genome by Mos1-induced transgene-instructed gene conversion.

    PubMed

    Robert, Valérie J P

    2012-01-01

    Mos1-induced transgene-instructed gene conversion (MosTIC) is a technique of choice to engineer the genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. MosTIC is initiated by the excision of Mos1, a DNA transposon of the Tc1/Mariner super family that can be mobilized in the germ line of C. elegans. Mos1 excision creates a DNA double-strand break that is repaired by several cellular mechanisms, including transgene-instructed gene conversion. For MosTIC, the transgenic repair template used by the gene conversion machinery is made of sequences that share DNA homologies with the genomic region to engineer and carries the modifications to be introduced in the genome. In this chapter, we present two MosTIC protocols routinely used.

  17. 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

  18. NAD+ Is a Food Component That Promotes Exit from Dauer Diapause in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Mylenko, Mykola; Boland, Sebastian; Penkov, Sider; Sampaio, Julio L.; Lombardot, Benoit; Vorkel, Daniela; Verbavatz, Jean-Marc; Kurzchalia, Teymuras V.

    2016-01-01

    The free-living soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans adapts its development to the availability of food. When food is scarce and population density is high, worms enter a developmentally arrested non-feeding diapause stage specialized for long-term survival called the dauer larva. When food becomes available, they exit from the dauer stage, resume growth and reproduction. It has been postulated that compound(s) present in food, referred to as the “food signal”, promote exit from the dauer stage. In this study, we have identified NAD+ as a component of bacterial extract that promotes dauer exit. NAD+, when dissolved in alkaline medium, causes opening of the mouth and ingestion of food. We also show that to initiate exit from the dauer stage in response to NAD+ worms require production of serotonin. Thus, C. elegans can use redox cofactors produced by dietary organisms to sense food. PMID:27907064

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Bito, Tomohiro

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27486161

  1. Small-molecule pheromones that control dauer development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Butcher, Rebecca A; Fujita, Masaki; Schroeder, Frank C; Clardy, Jon

    2007-07-01

    In response to high population density or low food supply, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans enters an alternative larval stage, known as the dauer, that can withstand adverse conditions for prolonged periods. C. elegans senses its population density through a small-molecule signal, traditionally called the dauer pheromone, that it secretes into its surroundings. Here we show that the dauer pheromone consists of several structurally related ascarosides-derivatives of the dideoxysugar ascarylose-and that two of these ascarosides (1 and 2) are roughly two orders of magnitude more potent at inducing dauer formation than a previously reported dauer pheromone component (3) and constitute a physiologically relevant signal. The identification of dauer pheromone components 1 and 2 will facilitate the identification of target receptors and downstream signaling proteins.

  2. 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

    2016-05-04

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Multiple Phenotypes Resulting from a Mutagenesis Screen for Pharynx Muscle Mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:22073173

  5. 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

  6. Two size-selective mechanisms specifically trap bacteria-sized food particles in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Fang-Yen, Christopher; Avery, Leon; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2009-11-24

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a filter feeder: it draws bacteria suspended in liquid into its pharynx, traps the bacteria, and ejects the liquid. How pharyngeal pumping simultaneously transports and filters food particles has been poorly understood. Here, we use high-speed video microscopy to define the detailed workings of pharyngeal mechanics. The buccal cavity and metastomal flaps regulate the flow of dense bacterial suspensions and exclude excessively large particles from entering the pharynx. A complex sequence of contractions and relaxations transports food particles in two successive trap stages before passage into the terminal bulb and intestine. Filtering occurs at each trap as bacteria are concentrated in the central lumen while fluids are expelled radially through three apical channels. Experiments with microspheres show that the C. elegans pharynx, in combination with the buccal cavity, is tuned to specifically catch and transport particles of a size range corresponding to most soil bacteria.

  7. A steep thermal gradient thermotaxis assay for the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Cassata, G; Kuhn, F; Witmer, A; Kirchhofer, R; Bürglin, T R

    2000-08-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans with its well-described nervous system is one of the multicellular organisms of choice to study thermotaxis. The neuronal circuitry for thermosensation has been analyzed at the level of individual cells. Two methods have previously been described to study the behavior of C. elegans with respect to temperature: 1) isothermal tracking assays and 2) linear thermal gradients (Hedgecock and Russell, 1975). Here we present a short linear thermal gradient assay which is faster and which allows statistical evaluation of different populations using a thermotaxis index. Thin agar plates are used on which a temperature gradient from about 10 degrees to 30 degrees is induced over the distance of about 5 cm. The short linear thermal gradient uses inexpensive materials so that multiple tests can be performed in parallel in a short period of time.

  8. The longevity effect of echinacoside in Caenorhabditis elegans mediated through daf-16.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xue; Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-01-01

    Echinacoside (ECH), a natural polyphenolic compound, has been reported to possess important pharmacological activities. However, very little is known about whether or how ECH affects longevity in vivo. We have examined the effects of ECH on the life span and stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Our studies demonstrate that the life span of wild-type worms could be extended in the presence of ECH. Furthermore, ECH was found to increase tolerance of worms to heat shock and oxidative stress, while not exerting any influence on pharyngeal pumping rate and progeny production. Our mechanistic studies indicate that supplementation of ECH increases the transcript level of daf-16. ECH treatment also modulates the nuclear localization and transcriptional activities of daf-16, thus fine tunes the expression of daf-16 target genes to promote longevity and increases stress response in C. elegans. Overall, this work reveals the longevity effect of ECH and elucidates the underpinning mechanisms.

  9. 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.

  10. Specific RNA Interference in Caenorhabditis elegans by Ingested dsRNA Expressed in Bacillus subtilis

    PubMed Central

    Lezzerini, Marco; van de Ven, Koen; Veerman, Martijn; Brul, Stanley; Budovskaya, Yelena V.

    2015-01-01

    In nematodes, genome-wide RNAi-screening has been widely used as a rapid and efficient method to identify genes involved in the aging processes. By far the easiest way of inducing RNA interference (RNAi) in Caenorhabditis elegans is by feeding Escherichia coli that expresses specific double stranded RNA (dsRNA) to knockdown translation of targeted mRNAs. However, it has been shown that E. coli is mildly pathogenic to C. elegans and this pathogenicity might influence aging and the accuracy of the RNAi-screening during aging may as well be affected. Here, we describe a novel system that utilizes the non-pathogenic bacterium Bacillus subtilis, to express dsRNA and therefore eliminates the effects of bacterial pathogenicity from the genetic analysis of aging. PMID:25928543

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. OpenWorm: an open-science approach to modeling Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Szigeti, Balázs; Gleeson, Padraig; Vella, Michael; Khayrulin, Sergey; Palyanov, Andrey; Hokanson, Jim; Currie, Michael; Cantarelli, Matteo; Idili, Giovanni; Larson, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    OpenWorm is an international collaboration with the aim of understanding how the behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) emerges from its underlying physiological processes. The project has developed a modular simulation engine to create computational models of the worm. The modularity of the engine makes it possible to easily modify the model, incorporate new experimental data and test hypotheses. The modeling framework incorporates both biophysical neuronal simulations and a novel fluid-dynamics-based soft-tissue simulation for physical environment-body interactions. The project's open-science approach is aimed at overcoming the difficulties of integrative modeling within a traditional academic environment. In this article the rationale is presented for creating the OpenWorm collaboration, the tools and resources developed thus far are outlined and the unique challenges associated with the project are discussed. PMID:25404913

  14. A Novel Dominant Transformer Allele of the Sex-Determining Gene Her-1 of Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Trent, C.; Wood, W. B.; Horvitz, H. R.

    1988-01-01

    We have characterized a novel dominant allele of the sex-determining gene her-1 of Caenorhabditis elegans. This allele, called n695, results in the incomplete transformation of XX animals into phenotypic males. Previously characterized recessive her-1 alleles transform XO animals into phenotypic hermaphrodites. We have identified five new recessive her-1 mutations as intragenic suppressors of n695. Three of these suppressors are weak, temperature-sensitive alleles. We show that the recessive her-1 mutations are loss-of-function alleles, and that the her-1(n695) mutation results in a gain-of-function at the her-1 locus. The existence of dominant and recessive alleles that cause opposite phenotypic transformations demonstrates that the her-1 gene acts to control sexual identity in C. elegans. PMID:3220248

  15. Engineering bacteria to form a biofilm and induce clumping in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Dorado-Morales, Pedro; Iglesias, Alba; Zafrilla, Guillermo; Valero, Alejandro; Torres, Alejandro; Miravet-Verde, Samuel; de Loma, Jessica; Mañas, Marina; Ruiz, Antonio; Corman, Alba; Morales, Lucas J; Peretó, Juli; Vilanova, Cristina; Porcar, Manuel

    2014-12-19

    Bacteria are needed for a vast range of biotechnological processes, which they carry out either as pure cultures or in association with other bacteria and/or fungi. The potential of bacteria as biofactories is hampered, though, by their limited mobility in solid or semisolid media such as agricultural or domestic waste. This work represents an attempt toward overcoming this limitation by associating bacterial biotechnological properties with the transport ability of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We report here biofilm formation on C. elegans by engineered Escherichia coli expressing a Xhenorhabdus nematophila adhesion operon and induction of nematode social feeding behavior (clumping) through an E. coli-mediated iRNA blocking on the expression of FLP-21, a neuropeptide involved in worm solitary behavior.

  16. 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.

  17. Next-Generation Sequencing for Identification of EMS-Induced Mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lehrbach, Nicolas J; Ji, Fei; Sadreyev, Ruslan

    2017-01-05

    Forward genetic analysis using chemical mutagenesis in model organisms is a powerful tool for investigation of molecular mechanisms in biological systems. In the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, mutagenesis screens using ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) have led to important insights into genetic control of animal development and physiology. A major bottleneck to this approach is identification of the causative mutation underlying a phenotype of interest. In the past, this has required time-consuming genetic mapping experiments. More recently, next-generation sequencing technologies have allowed development of new methods for rapid mapping and identification of EMS-induced lesions. In this unit we describe a protocol to map and identify EMS-induced mutations in C. elegans. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  18. crm-1 facilitates BMP signaling to control body size in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Fung, Wong Yan; Fat, Ko Frankie Chi; Eng, Cheah Kathryn Song; Lau, Chow King

    2007-11-01

    We have identified in Caenorhabditis elegans a homologue of the vertebrate Crim1, crm-1, which encodes a putative transmembrane protein with multiple cysteine-rich (CR) domains known to have bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) binding activity. Using the body morphology of C. elegans as an indicator, we showed that attenuation of crm-1 activity leads to a small body phenotype reminiscent of that of BMP pathway mutants. We showed that the crm-1 loss-of-function phenotype can be rescued by constitutive supply of sma-4 activity. crm-1 can enhance BMP signaling and this activity is dependent on the presence of the DBL-1 ligand and its receptors. crm-1 is expressed in neurons at the ventral nerve cord, where the DBL-1 ligand is produced. However, ectopic expression experiments reveal that crm-1 gene products act outside the DBL-1 producing cells and function non-autonomously to facilitate dbl/sma pathway signaling to control body size.

  19. Effects of Aldicarb and Fenamiphos on Acetycholinesterase and Motility of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Opperman, C. H.; Chang, S.

    1991-01-01

    The ability of Caenorhabditis elegans to recover from exposure to high doses of aldicarb and fenamiphos was examined at the organismal and biochemical levels by determination of movement and acetylcholinesterase activity. Nematodes recovered rapidly from a 24-hour exposure to both compounds at concentrations that caused complete paralysis. Acetylcholinesterase regained nearly full activity after a 24-hour exposure to aldicarb but only 10% activity after exposure to fenamiphos. The nematodes were able to move normally, however, on the limited activity that was regained after fenamiphos treatment. Mutant C. elegans strains deficient in various molecular forms of acetylcholinesterase were utilized to demonstrate that the mechanism of recovery did not involve new synthesis of enzyme. This result was confirmed by experiments on acetylcholinesterase reactivation from live versus dead nematodes. PMID:19283090

  20. Beyond Traditional Antimicrobials: A Caenorhabditis elegans Model for Discovery of Novel Anti-infectives

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Cin; Eng, Su-Anne; Lim, Mei-Perng; Nathan, Sheila

    2016-01-01

    The spread of antibiotic resistance amongst bacterial pathogens has led to an urgent need for new antimicrobial compounds with novel modes of action that minimize the potential for drug resistance. To date, the development of new antimicrobial drugs is still lagging far behind the rising demand, partly owing to the absence of an effective screening platform. Over the last decade, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been incorporated as a whole animal screening platform for antimicrobials. This development is taking advantage of the vast knowledge on worm physiology and how it interacts with bacterial and fungal pathogens. In addition to allowing for in vivo selection of compounds with promising anti-microbial properties, the whole animal C. elegans screening system has also permitted the discovery of novel compounds targeting infection processes that only manifest during the course of pathogen infection of the host. Another advantage of using C. elegans in the search for new antimicrobials is that the worm itself is a source of potential antimicrobial effectors which constitute part of its immune defense response to thwart infections. This has led to the evaluation of effector molecules, particularly antimicrobial proteins and peptides (APPs), as candidates for further development as therapeutic agents. In this review, we provide an overview on use of the C. elegans model for identification of novel anti-infectives. We highlight some highly potential lead compounds obtained from C. elegans-based screens, particularly those that target bacterial virulence or host defense to eradicate infections, a mechanism distinct from the action of conventional antibiotics. We also review the prospect of using C. elegans APPs as an antimicrobial strategy to treat infections. PMID:27994583

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26434722

  2. 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.

  3. Competition between virus-derived and endogenous small RNAs regulates gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Sarkies, Peter; Ashe, Alyson; Le Pen, Jérémie; McKie, Mikel A; Miska, Eric A

    2013-08-01

    Positive-strand RNA viruses encompass more than one-third of known virus genera and include many medically and agriculturally relevant human, animal, and plant pathogens. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its natural pathogen, the positive-strand RNA virus Orsay, have recently emerged as a new animal model to understand the mechanisms and evolution of innate immune responses. In particular, the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway is required for C. elegans resistance to viral infection. Here we report the first genome-wide analyses of gene expression upon viral infection in C. elegans. Using the laboratory strain N2, we identify a novel C. elegans innate immune response specific to viral infection. A subset of these changes is driven by the RNAi response to the virus, which redirects the Argonaute protein RDE-1 from its endogenous small RNA cofactors, leading to loss of repression of endogenous RDE-1 targets. Additionally, we show that a C. elegans wild isolate, JU1580, has a distinct gene expression signature in response to viral infection. This is associated with a reduction in microRNA (miRNA) levels and an up-regulation of their target genes. Intriguingly, alterations in miRNA levels upon JU1580 infection are associated with a transformation of the antiviral transcriptional response into an antibacterial-like response. Together our data support a model whereby antiviral RNAi competes with endogenous small RNA pathways, causing widespread transcriptional changes. This provides an elegant mechanism for C. elegans to orchestrate its antiviral response, which may have significance for the relationship between small RNA pathways and immune regulation in other organisms.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2016-06-16

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Vita-More, Natasha; Barranco, Daniel

    2015-10-01

    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.

  7. 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

    2014-06-03

    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.

  8. Chemosensory cue conditioning with stimulants in a Caenorhabditis elegans animal model of addiction.

    PubMed

    Musselman, Heather N; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany; Nass, Richard; Engleman, Eric A

    2012-06-01

    The underlying molecular mechanisms of drug abuse and addiction behaviors are poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) provide a simple, whole animal model with conserved molecular pathways well suited for studying the foundations of complex diseases. Historically, chemotaxis has been a measure used to examine sensory approach and avoidance behavior in worms. Chemotaxis can be modulated by previous experience, and cue-dependent conditioned learning has been demonstrated in C. elegans, but such conditioning with drugs of abuse has not been reported. Here we show that pairing a distinctive salt cue with a drug (cocaine or methamphetamine) results in a concentration-dependent change in preference for the cue that was paired with the drug during conditioning. Further, we demonstrate that pairing of either drug with a distinctive food type can also increase preference for the drug-paired food in the absence of the drug. Dopamine-deficient mutants did not develop drug-paired, cue-conditioned responses. The findings suggest that, like vertebrates, C. elegans display a conditioned preference for environments containing cues previously associated with drugs of abuse, and this response is dependent on dopamine neurotransmission. This model provides a new and powerful method to study the genetic and molecular mechanisms that mediate drug preference.

  9. Meeting report: 2012 Caenorhabditis elegans Neurobiology meeting, EMBL Advanced Training Centre, Germany.

    PubMed

    Kearn, James; Dallière, Nicolas; Dillon, James

    2013-06-01

    Some of the finest minds in the field of Caenorhabditis elegans neurobiology were brought together from 14 June to 17 June 2012 in the small, quaint and picturesque German city of Heidelberg for the biannual C. elegans neurobiology conference. Held at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre and wonderfully organised by Diah Yulianti, Jean-Louis Bessereau, Gert Jansen and William Schafer, the meeting contained 62 verbal presentations and hundreds of posters that were displayed around the double-helical walkways that looped throughout the conference centre. Presentations on recent advances in microfluidics, cell ablation and targeted gene expression exemplified the strengths of C. elegans as a model organism, with these advances allowing detailed high-throughput analysis and study. Interesting behaviours that were previously poorly characterised were widely discussed, as were the advantages of C. elegans as a model for neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration and the investigation of neuropeptide function. The examples discussed in this meeting report seek to illustrate the breadth and depth of presentations given on these recurring topics.

  10. Variations on a theme: Imaging cytokinetic and stable rings in situ using Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Rehain, K; Green, R A; Bourdages, K G; Maddox, A S

    2017-01-01

    Cytokinesis is an essential event in canonical cell division. In multicellular organisms, cells must divide in the context of neighboring cells in intact tissues. Recent studies have shown that tissue architecture can regulate the dynamics of and molecular requirements for cytokinesis. On the other hand, regulated cytokinesis failure occurs in, and is required for the proper function of, certain cell types and tissues including cardiomyocytes, hepatocytes, and germ lines. One way to build our understanding of cytokinesis in diverse cell types is to visualize cytokinesis in intact tissues. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful system for such inquiries due to the well-characterized, invariant lineage of each of its cells, the ease of genomic modifications including tagging proteins, and many more advantages. The clear cuticle of C. elegans allows for live imaging of intact tissues; however, the worm's motility can confound imaging. Here we introduce two C. elegans tissues, an epithelial tissue and the germ line, both excellent systems for the study of cytokinesis in the context of an intact animal. Additionally, we present three protocols for overcoming the challenges of live imaging in C. elegans.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26392051

  14. Analysis of Ascarosides from Caenorhabditis elegans Using Mass Spectrometry and NMR Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xinxing; Noguez, Jaime H.; Zhou, Yue; Butcher, Rebecca A.

    2014-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans secretes a family of water-soluble small molecules, known as the ascarosides, into its environment and uses these ascarosides in chemical communication. The ascarosides are derivatives of the 3,6-dideoxysugar ascarylose, modified with different fatty acid-derived side chains. C. elegans uses specific ascarosides, which are together known as the dauer pheromone, to trigger entry into the stress-resistant dauer larval stage. In addition, C. elegans uses specific ascarosides to control certain behaviors, including mating attraction, aggregation, and avoidance. Although in general the concentration of the ascarosides in the environment increases with population density, C. elegans can vary the types and amounts of ascarosides that it secretes depending on the culture conditions under which it has been grown and its developmental history. Here, we describe how to grow high-density worm cultures and the bacterial food for those cultures, as well as how to extract the culture medium to generate a crude pheromone extract. Then, we discuss how to analyze the types and amounts of ascarosides in that extract using mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy. PMID:24014355

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Metabolomic signature associated with reproduction-regulated aging in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Qin-Li; Shi, Xiaohuo; Liu, Jiangxin; Ding, Ai-Jun; Pu, Yuan-Zhu; Li, Zhigang; Wu, Gui-Sheng; Luo, Huai-Rong

    2017-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), ablation of germline stem cells (GSCs) leads to infertility, which extends lifespan. It has been reported that aging and reproduction are both inextricably associated with metabolism. However, few studies have investigated the roles of polar small molecules metabolism in regulating longevity by reproduction. In this work, we combined the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) to profile the water-soluble metabolome in C. elegans. Comparing the metabolic fingerprint between two physiological ages among different mutants, our results demonstrate that aging is characterized by metabolome remodeling and metabolic decline. In addition, by analyzing the metabolic profiles of long-lived germline-less glp-1 mutants, we discovered that glp-1 mutants regulate the levels of many age-variant metabolites to attenuate aging, including elevated concentrations of the pyrimidine and purine metabolism intermediates and decreased concentrations of the citric acid cycle intermediates. Interestingly, by analyzing the metabolome of daf-16;glp-1 double mutants, our results revealed that some metabolic exchange contributing to germline-mediated longevity was mediated by transcription factor FOXO/DAF-16, including pyrimidine metabolism and the TCA cycle. Based on a comprehensive metabolic analysis, we provide novel insight into the relationship between longevity and metabolism regulated by germline signals in C. elegans PMID:28177875

  18. 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'.

  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. 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

  1. Specific α- and β-Tubulin Isotypes Optimize the Functions of Sensory Cilia in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hurd, Daryl D.; Miller, Renee M.; Núñez, Lizbeth; Portman, Douglas S.

    2010-01-01

    Primary cilia have essential roles in transducing signals in eukaryotes. At their core is the ciliary axoneme, a microtubule-based structure that defines cilium morphology and provides a substrate for intraflagellar transport. However, the extent to which axonemal microtubules are specialized for sensory cilium function is unknown. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, primary cilia are present at the dendritic ends of most sensory neurons, where they provide a specialized environment for the transduction of particular stimuli. Here, we find that three tubulin isotypes—the α-tubulins TBA-6 and TBA-9 and the β-tubulin TBB-4—are specifically expressed in overlapping sets of C. elegans sensory neurons and localize to the sensory cilia of these cells. Although cilia still form in mutants lacking tba-6, tba-9, and tbb-4, ciliary function is often compromised: these mutants exhibit a variety of sensory deficits as well as the mislocalization of signaling components. In at least one case, that of the CEM cephalic sensory neurons, cilium architecture is disrupted in mutants lacking specific ciliary tubulins. While there is likely to be some functional redundancy among C. elegans tubulin genes, our results indicate that specific tubulins optimize the functional properties of C. elegans sensory cilia. PMID:20421600

  2. Toxicity of the dithiocarbamate fungicide mancozeb to the nontarget soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Easton, A; Guven, K; de Pomerai, D I

    2001-01-01

    We have previously shown that the dithiocarbamate fungicide, Mancozeb, strongly induces lacZ reporter expression from an endogenous heat-shock promoter (hsp16) in the PC72 transgenic strain of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Such evidence of organismal stress, in a nontarget species at subapplication concentrations, was much less apparent for the related fungicide, Maneb, which only weakly induced reporter expression. We now show that reporter induction by Mancozeb is marginal (<60%) after a few hours' exposure, but increases substantially (to almost 10-fold) after overnight exposure. In conjunction with our previous results using intermediate exposure periods, this suggests that the factor limiting reporter responses is likely to be a slow rate of uptake and/or metabolism of the fungicide. We confirm that a potentially toxic metabolite of dithiocarbamate fungicides, namely ethylenethiourea (ETU), has minimal toxicity toward C. elegans, even after prolonged exposure at high concentrations. We demonstrate that exposure to Mancozeb (but not ETU) significantly inhibits larval growth in C. elegans, although this parameter is not markedly more sensitive than reporter induction as a toxicological endpoint. Finally, we have used two-dimensional electrophoresis to show that high concentrations of both Maneb and Mancozeb drastically simplify the protein spot profile compared with controls. However, only in the latter case is there evidence of novel proteins being induced. Both fungicides appear toxic to C. elegans, but only Mancozeb induces a strong heat-shock response.

  3. Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans innate immune response to Coxiella burnetii

    PubMed Central

    Battisti, James M; Watson, Lance A; Naung, Myo T; Drobish, Adam M; Voronina, Ekaterina; Minnick, Michael F

    2016-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is well established as a system for characterization and discovery of molecular mechanisms mediating microbe-specific inducible innate immune responses to human pathogens. Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes a flu-like syndrome in humans (Q fever), as well as abortions in domesticated livestock, worldwide. Initially, when wild type C. elegans (N2 strain) was exposed to mCherry-expressing C. burnetii (CCB) a number of overt pathological manifestations resulted, including intestinal distension, deformed anal region and a decreased lifespan. However, nematodes fed autoclave-killed CCB did not exhibit these symptoms. Although vertebrates detect C. burnetii via TLRs, pathologies in tol-1(−) mutant nematodes were indistinguishable from N2, and indicate nematodes do not employ this orthologue for detection of C. burnetii. sek-1(−) MAP kinase mutant nematodes succumbed to infection faster, suggesting that this signaling pathway plays a role in immune activation, as previously shown for orthologues in vertebrates during a C. burnetii infection. C. elegans daf-2(−) mutants are hyper-immune and exhibited significantly reduced pathological consequences during challenge. Collectively, these results demonstrate the utility of C. elegans for studying the innate immune response against C. burnetii and could lead to discovery of novel methods for prevention and treatment of disease in humans and livestock. PMID:27884946

  4. 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

  5. Genome-Wide Analyses of Metal Responsive Genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Caito, Samuel; Fretham, Stephanie; Martinez-Finley, Ebany; Chakraborty, Sudipta; Avila, Daiana; Chen, Pan; Aschner, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Metals are major contaminants that influence human health. Many metals have physiologic roles, but excessive levels can be harmful. Advances in technology have made toxicogenomic analyses possible to characterize the effects of metal exposure on the entire genome. Much of what is known about cellular responses to metals has come from mammalian systems; however the use of non-mammalian species is gaining wider attention. Caenorhabditis elegans is a small round worm whose genome has been fully sequenced and its development from egg to adult is well characterized. It is an attractive model for high throughput screens due to its short lifespan, ease of genetic mutability, low cost, and high homology with humans. Research performed in C. elegans has led to insights in apoptosis, gene expression, and neurodegeneration, all of which can be altered by metal exposure. Additionally, by using worms one can potentially study mechanisms that underline differential responses to metals in nematodes and humans, allowing for identification of novel pathways and therapeutic targets. In this review, toxicogenomic studies performed in C. elegans exposed to various metals will be discussed, highlighting how this non-mammalian system can be utilized to study cellular processes and pathways induced by metals. Recent work focusing on neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease will be discussed as an example of the usefulness of genetic screens in C. elegans and the novel findings that can be produced. PMID:22514555

  6. Aromatic amino acid transporter AAT-9 of Caenorhabditis elegans localizes to neurons and muscle cells.

    PubMed

    Veljkovic, Emilija; Bacconi, Andrea; Stetak, Attila; Hajnal, Alex; Stasiuk, Susan; Skelly, Patrick J; Forster, Ian; Shoemaker, Charles B; Verrey, Francois

    2004-11-19

    The Caenorhabditis elegans genome encodes nine homologues of mammalian glycoprotein-associated amino acid transporters. Two of these C. elegans proteins (AAT-1 and AAT-3) have been shown to function as catalytic subunits (light chains) of heteromeric amino acid transporters. These proteins need to associate with a glycoprotein heavy chain subunit (ATG-2) to reach the cell surface in a manner similar to that of their mammalian homologues. AAT-1 and AAT-3 contain a cysteine residue in the second putative extracellular loop through which a disulfide bridge can form with a heavy chain. In contrast, six C. elegans members of this family (AAT-4 to AAT-9) lack such a cysteine residue. We show here that one of these transporter proteins, AAT-9, reaches the cell surface in Xenopus oocytes without an exogenous heavy chain and that it functions as an exchanger of aromatic amino acids. Two-electrode voltage clamp experiments demonstrate that AAT-9 displays a substrate-activated conductance. Immunofluorescence shows that it is expressed close to the pharyngeal bulbs within C. elegans neurons. The selective expression of an aat-9 promoter-green fluorescent protein construct in several neurons of this region and in wall muscle cells around the mouth supports and extends these localization data. Taken together, the results show that AAT-9 is expressed in excitable cells of the nematode head and pharynx in which it may provide a pathway for aromatic amino acid transport.

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

    PubMed

    Turek, Michal; Besseling, Judith; Bringmann, Henrik

    2015-06-24

    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.

  8. Modulation of Caenorhabditis elegans immune response and modification of Shigella endotoxin upon interaction.

    PubMed

    Kesika, Periyanaina; Prasanth, Mani Iyer; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2015-04-01

    To analyze the pathogenesis at both physiological and molecular level using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans at different developmental stages in response to Shigella spp. and its pathogen associated molecular patterns such as lipopolysaccharide. The solid plate and liquid culture-based infection assays revealed that Shigella spp. infects C. elegans and had an impact on the brood size and pharyngeal pumping rate. LPS of Shigella spp. was toxic to C. elegans. qPCR analysis revealed that host innate immune genes have been modulated upon Shigella spp. infections and its LPS challenges. Non-destructive analysis was performed to kinetically assess the alterations in LPS during interaction of Shigella spp. with C. elegans. The modulation of innate immune genes attributed the surrendering of host immune system to Shigella spp. by favoring the infection. LPS appeared to have a major role in Shigella-mediated pathogenesis and Shigella employs a tactic behavior of modifying its LPS content to escape from the recognition of host immune system.

  9. 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.

  10. A predictable worm: application of Caenorhabditis elegans for mechanistic investigation of movement disorders.

    PubMed

    Dexter, Paige M; Caldwell, Kim A; Caldwell, Guy A

    2012-04-01

    Ongoing investigations into causes and cures for human movement disorders are important toward the elucidation of diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and dystonia. The use of animal model systems can provide links to susceptibility factors, as well as therapeutic interventions. In this regard, the nematode roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, is ideal for examining age-dependent neurodegenerative disease studies. It is genetically tractable, has a short lifespan, and a well-defined nervous system. Green fluorescent protein is readily visualized in C. elegans because it is a transparent organism, thus the nervous system and factors that alter the viability of neurons can be directly examined in vivo. Through expression of the human PD-associated protein (α-synuclein in the worm dopamine neurons), neurodegeneration is observed in an age-dependent manner. Furthermore, expression of the early-onset dystonia-related protein torsinA increases vulnerability to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in C. elegans, because torsinA is located in the ER. Here we provide an overview of collaborative studies we have conducted that collectively demonstrate the usefulness of the nematode model to discern functional effectors of dopaminergic neurodegeneration and ER stress that translate to mammalian data in the fields of PD and dystonia. Taken together, the application of C. elegans toward the evaluation of genetic modifiers for movement disorders research has predictive value and serves to accelerate the path forward for therapeutic interventions.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Biochemical characterization of the WRN-1 RecQ helicase of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hyun, Moonjung; Bohr, Vilhelm A; Ahn, Byungchan

    2008-07-15

    The highly conserved RecQ helicases are essential for the maintenance of genomic stability. Werner syndrome protein, WRN, is one of five human RecQ helicase homologues, and a deficiency of the protein causes a hereditary premature aging disorder that is characterized by genomic instability. A WRN orthologue, wrn-1 lacking the exonuclease domain, has been identified in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. wrn-1(RNAi) in C. elegans has a shortened life span, increased sensitivity to DNA damage, and accelerated aging phenotypes. However, little is known about its enzymatic activity. We purified the recombinant C. elegans WRN-1 protein (CeWRN-1) and then investigated its substrate specificity in vitro to improve our understanding of its function in vivo. We found that CeWRN-1 is an ATP-dependent 3'-5' helicase capable of unwinding a variety of DNA structures such as forked duplexes, Holliday junctions, bubble substrates, D-loops, and flap duplexes, and 3'-tailed duplex substrates. Distinctly, CeWRN-1 is able to unwind a long forked duplex compared to human WRN. Furthermore, CeWRN-1 helicase activity on a long DNA duplex is stimulated by C. elegans replication protein A (CeRPA) that is shown to interact with CeWRN-1 by a dot blot. The ability of CeWRN-1 to unwind these DNA structures may improve the access for DNA repair and replication proteins that are important for preventing the accumulation of abnormal structures, contributing to genomic stability.

  14. Crossover Suppressors and Balanced Recessive Lethals in CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Robert K.

    1978-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Waaijers, Selma; Boxem, Mike

    2014-08-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Identification of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor orthologue in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Vadakkadath Meethal, Sivan; Gallego, Miguel J; Haasl, Ryan J; Petras, Stephen J; Sgro, Jean-Yves; Atwood, Craig S

    2006-01-01

    Background The Caenorhabditis elegans genome is known to code for at least 1149 G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), but the GPCR(s) critical to the regulation of reproduction in this nematode are not yet known. This study examined whether GPCRs orthologous to human gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR) exist in C. elegans. Results Our sequence analyses indicated the presence of two proteins in C. elegans, one of 401 amino acids [GenBank: NP_491453; WormBase: F54D7.3] and another of 379 amino acids [GenBank: NP_506566; WormBase: C15H11.2] with 46.9% and 44.7% nucleotide similarity to human GnRHR1 and GnRHR2, respectively. Like human GnRHR1, structural analysis of the C. elegans GnRHR1 orthologue (Ce-GnRHR) predicted a rhodopsin family member with 7 transmembrane domains, G protein coupling sites and phosphorylation sites for protein kinase C. Of the functionally important amino acids in human GnRHR1, 56% were conserved in the C. elegans orthologue. Ce-GnRHR was actively transcribed in adult worms and immunoanalyses using antibodies generated against both human and C. elegans GnRHR indicated the presence of a 46-kDa protein, the calculated molecular mass of the immature Ce-GnRHR. Ce-GnRHR staining was specifically localized to the germline, intestine and pharynx. In the germline and intestine, Ce-GnRHR was localized specifically to nuclei as revealed by colocalization with a DNA nuclear stain. However in the pharynx, Ce-GnRHR was localized to the myofilament lattice of the pharyngeal musculature, suggesting a functional role for Ce-GnRHR signaling in the coupling of food intake with reproduction. Phylogenetic analyses support an early evolutionary origin of GnRH-like receptors, as evidenced by the hypothesized grouping of Ce-GnRHR, vertebrate GnRHRs, a molluscan GnRHR, and the adipokinetic hormone receptors (AKHRs) and corazonin receptors of arthropods. Conclusion This is the first report of a GnRHR orthologue in C. elegans, which shares significant

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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. ...

  3. A dual role of the Wnt signaling pathway during aging in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Lezzerini, Marco; Budovskaya, Yelena

    2014-01-01

    Wnt signaling is a major and highly conserved developmental pathway that guides many important events during embryonic and larval development. In adulthood, misregulation of Wnt signaling has been implicated in tumorigenesis and various age-related diseases. These effects occur through highly complicated cell-to-cell interactions mediated by multiple Wnt-secreted proteins. While they share a high degree of sequence similarity, their function is highly diversified. Although the role of Wnt ligands during development is well studied, very little is known about the possible actions of Wnt signaling in natural aging. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans serves, for the first time, as a model system to determine the role of Wnt ligands in aging. Caenorhabditis elegans has five Wnt proteins, mom-2, egl-20, lin-44, cwn-1, and cwn-2. We show that all five Wnt ligands are expressed and active past the development stages. The ligand mom-2/Wnt plays a major detrimental role in longevity, whereas the function of lin-44/Wnt is beneficial for long life. Interestingly, no evidence was found for Wnt signaling being involved in cellular or oxidative stress responses during aging. Our results suggest that Wnt signaling regulates aging-intrinsic genetic pathways, opening a new research direction on the role of Wnt signaling in aging and age-related diseases. PMID:23879250

  4. An Atlas of Network Topologies Reveals Design Principles for Caenorhabditis elegans Vulval Precursor Cell Fate Patterning.

    PubMed

    Ping, Xianfeng; Tang, Chao

    2015-01-01

    The vulval precursor cell (VPC) fate patterning in Caenorhabditis elegans is a classic model experimental system for cell fate determination and patterning in development. Despite its apparent simplicity (six neighboring cells arranged in one dimension) and many experimental and computational efforts, the patterning strategy and mechanism remain controversial due to incomplete knowledge of the complex biology. Here, we carry out a comprehensive computational analysis and obtain a reservoir of all possible network topologies that are capable of VPC fate patterning under the simulation of various biological environments and regulatory rules. We identify three patterning strategies: sequential induction, morphogen gradient and lateral antagonism, depending on the features of the signal secreted from the anchor cell. The strategy of lateral antagonism, which has not been reported in previous studies of VPC patterning, employs a mutual inhibition of the 2° cell fate in neighboring cells. Robust topologies are built upon minimal topologies with basic patterning strategies and have more flexible and redundant implementations of modular functions. By simulated mutation, we find that all three strategies can reproduce experimental error patterns of mutants. We show that the topology derived by mapping currently known biochemical pathways to our model matches one of our identified functional topologies. Furthermore, our robustness analysis predicts a possible missing link related to the lateral antagonism strategy. Overall, we provide a theoretical atlas of all possible functional networks in varying environments, which may guide novel discoveries of the biological interactions in vulval development of Caenorhabditis elegans and related species.

  5. Differential regulation of DNA damage response activation between somatic and germline cells in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Vermezovic, J; Stergiou, L; Hengartner, M O; d'Adda di Fagagna, F

    2012-01-01

    The germline of Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-established model for DNA damage response (DDR) studies. However, the molecular basis of the observed cell death resistance in the soma of these animals remains unknown. We established a set of techniques to study ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage generation and DDR activation in a whole intact worm. Our single-cell analyses reveal that, although germline and somatic cells show similar levels of inflicted DNA damage, somatic cells, differently from germline cells, do not activate the crucial apical DDR kinase ataxia-telengiectasia mutated (ATM). We also show that DDR signaling proteins are undetectable in all somatic cells and this is due to transcriptional repression. However, DNA repair genes are expressed and somatic cells retain the ability to efficiently repair DNA damage. Finally, we demonstrate that germline cells, when induced to transdifferentiate into somatic cells within the gonad, lose the ability to activate ATM. Overall, these observations provide a molecular mechanism for the known, but hitherto unexplained, resistance to DNA damage-induced cell death in C. elegans somatic cells. We propose that the observed lack of signaling and cell death but retention of DNA repair functions in the soma is a Caenorhabditis-specific evolutionary-selected strategy to cope with its lack of adult somatic stem cell pools and regenerative capacity. PMID:22705849

  6. Spatiotemporal Feedback and Network Structure Drive and Encode Caenorhabditis elegans Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Kunert, James M.; Proctor, Joshua L.; Kutz, J. Nathan

    2017-01-01

    Using a computational model of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome dynamics, we show that proprioceptive feedback is necessary for sustained dynamic responses to external input. This is consistent with the lack of biophysical evidence for a central pattern generator, and recent experimental evidence that proprioception drives locomotion. The low-dimensional functional response of the Caenorhabditis elegans network of neurons to proprioception-like feedback is optimized by input of specific spatial wavelengths which correspond to the spatial scale of real body shape dynamics. Furthermore, we find that the motor subcircuit of the network is responsible for regulating this response, in agreement with experimental expectations. To explore how the connectomic dynamics produces the observed two-mode, oscillatory limit cycle behavior from a static fixed point, we probe the fixed point’s low-dimensional structure using Dynamic Mode Decomposition. This reveals that the nonlinear network dynamics encode six clusters of dynamic modes, with timescales spanning three orders of magnitude. Two of these six dynamic mode clusters correspond to previously-discovered behavioral modes related to locomotion. These dynamic modes and their timescales are encoded by the network’s degree distribution and specific connectivity. This suggests that behavioral dynamics are partially encoded within the connectome itself, the connectivity of which facilitates proprioceptive control. PMID:28076347

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to study post-translational modifications of human transthyretin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henze, Andrea; Homann, Thomas; Rohn, Isabelle; Aschner, Michael; Link, Christopher D.; Kleuser, Burkhard; Schweigert, Florian J.; Schwerdtle, Tanja; Bornhorst, Julia

    2016-11-01

    The visceral protein transthyretin (TTR) is frequently affected by oxidative post-translational protein modifications (PTPMs) in various diseases. Thus, better insight into structure-function relationships due to oxidative PTPMs of TTR should contribute to the understanding of pathophysiologic mechanisms. While the in vivo analysis of TTR in mammalian models is complex, time- and resource-consuming, transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing hTTR provide an optimal model for the in vivo identification and characterization of drug-mediated oxidative PTPMs of hTTR by means of matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization – time of flight – mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Herein, we demonstrated that hTTR is expressed in all developmental stages of Caenorhabditis elegans, enabling the analysis of hTTR metabolism during the whole life-cycle. The suitability of the applied model was verified by exposing worms to D-penicillamine and menadione. Both drugs induced substantial changes in the oxidative PTPM pattern of hTTR. Additionally, for the first time a covalent binding of both drugs with hTTR was identified and verified by molecular modelling.

  8. A consistent muscle activation strategy underlies crawling and swimming in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Victoria J.; Branicky, Robyn; Yemini, Eviatar; Liewald, Jana F.; Gottschalk, Alexander; Kerr, Rex A.; Chklovskii, Dmitri B.; Schafer, William R.

    2015-01-01

    Although undulatory swimming is observed in many organisms, the neuromuscular basis for undulatory movement patterns is not well understood. To better understand the basis for the generation of these movement patterns, we studied muscle activity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits a range of locomotion patterns: in low viscosity fluids the undulation has a wavelength longer than the body and propagates rapidly, while in high viscosity fluids or on agar media the undulatory waves are shorter and slower. Theoretical treatment of observed behaviour has suggested a large change in force–posture relationships at different viscosities, but analysis of bend propagation suggests that short-range proprioceptive feedback is used to control and generate body bends. How muscles could be activated in a way consistent with both these results is unclear. We therefore combined automated worm tracking with calcium imaging to determine muscle activation strategy in a variety of external substrates. Remarkably, we observed that across locomotion patterns spanning a threefold change in wavelength, peak muscle activation occurs approximately 45° (1/8th of a cycle) ahead of peak midline curvature. Although the location of peak force is predicted to vary widely, the activation pattern is consistent with required force in a model incorporating putative length- and velocity-dependence of muscle strength. Furthermore, a linear combination of local curvature and velocity can match the pattern of activation. This suggests that proprioception can enable the worm to swim effectively while working within the limitations of muscle biomechanics and neural control. PMID:25551155

  9. 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.

  10. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to study post-translational modifications of human transthyretin

    PubMed Central

    Henze, Andrea; Homann, Thomas; Rohn, Isabelle; Aschner, Michael; Link, Christopher D.; Kleuser, Burkhard; Schweigert, Florian J.; Schwerdtle, Tanja; Bornhorst, Julia

    2016-01-01

    The visceral protein transthyretin (TTR) is frequently affected by oxidative post-translational protein modifications (PTPMs) in various diseases. Thus, better insight into structure-function relationships due to oxidative PTPMs of TTR should contribute to the understanding of pathophysiologic mechanisms. While the in vivo analysis of TTR in mammalian models is complex, time- and resource-consuming, transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing hTTR provide an optimal model for the in vivo identification and characterization of drug-mediated oxidative PTPMs of hTTR by means of matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization – time of flight – mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Herein, we demonstrated that hTTR is expressed in all developmental stages of Caenorhabditis elegans, enabling the analysis of hTTR metabolism during the whole life-cycle. The suitability of the applied model was verified by exposing worms to D-penicillamine and menadione. Both drugs induced substantial changes in the oxidative PTPM pattern of hTTR. Additionally, for the first time a covalent binding of both drugs with hTTR was identified and verified by molecular modelling. PMID:27869126

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans Expresses Three Functional Profilins in a Tissue-Specific Manner

    PubMed Central

    Polet, D.; Lambrechts, A.; Ono, K.; Mah, A.; Peelman, F.; Vandekerckhove, J.; Baillie, D. L.; Ampe, C.; Ono, S.

    2008-01-01

    Profilins are actin binding proteins, which also interact with polyphosphoinositides and proline-rich ligands. On the basis of the genome sequence, three diverse profilin homologues (PFN) are predicted to exist in Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that all three isoforms PFN-1, PFN-2, and PFN-3 are expressed in vivo and biochemical studies indicate they bind actin and influence actin dynamics in a similar manner. In addition, they bind poly(l-proline) and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate micelles. PFN-1 is essential whereas PFN-2 and PFN-3 are nonessential. Immunostainings revealed different expression patterns for the profilin isoforms. In embryos, PFN-1 localizes in the cytoplasm and to the cell–cell contacts at the early stages, and in the nerve ring during later stages. During late embryogenesis, expression of PFN-3 was specifically detected in body wall muscle cells. In adult worms, PFN-1 is expressed in the neurons, the vulva, and the somatic gonad, PFN-2 in the intestinal wall, the spermatheca, and the pharynx, and PFN-3 localizes in a striking dot-like fashion in body wall muscle. Thus the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans expresses three profilin isoforms and is the first invertebrate animal with tissue-specific profilin expression. PMID:16317718

  12. A consistent muscle activation strategy underlies crawling and swimming in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Butler, Victoria J; Branicky, Robyn; Yemini, Eviatar; Liewald, Jana F; Gottschalk, Alexander; Kerr, Rex A; Chklovskii, Dmitri B; Schafer, William R

    2015-01-06

    Although undulatory swimming is observed in many organisms, the neuromuscular basis for undulatory movement patterns is not well understood. To better understand the basis for the generation of these movement patterns, we studied muscle activity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits a range of locomotion patterns: in low viscosity fluids the undulation has a wavelength longer than the body and propagates rapidly, while in high viscosity fluids or on agar media the undulatory waves are shorter and slower. Theoretical treatment of observed behaviour has suggested a large change in force-posture relationships at different viscosities, but analysis of bend propagation suggests that short-range proprioceptive feedback is used to control and generate body bends. How muscles could be activated in a way consistent with both these results is unclear. We therefore combined automated worm tracking with calcium imaging to determine muscle activation strategy in a variety of external substrates. Remarkably, we observed that across locomotion patterns spanning a threefold change in wavelength, peak muscle activation occurs approximately 45° (1/8th of a cycle) ahead of peak midline curvature. Although the location of peak force is predicted to vary widely, the activation pattern is consistent with required force in a model incorporating putative length- and velocity-dependence of muscle strength. Furthermore, a linear combination of local curvature and velocity can match the pattern of activation. This suggests that proprioception can enable the worm to swim effectively while working within the limitations of muscle biomechanics and neural control.

  13. An Atlas of Network Topologies Reveals Design Principles for Caenorhabditis elegans Vulval Precursor Cell Fate Patterning

    PubMed Central

    Ping, Xianfeng; Tang, Chao

    2015-01-01

    The vulval precursor cell (VPC) fate patterning in Caenorhabditis elegans is a classic model experimental system for cell fate determination and patterning in development. Despite its apparent simplicity (six neighboring cells arranged in one dimension) and many experimental and computational efforts, the patterning strategy and mechanism remain controversial due to incomplete knowledge of the complex biology. Here, we carry out a comprehensive computational analysis and obtain a reservoir of all possible network topologies that are capable of VPC fate patterning under the simulation of various biological environments and regulatory rules. We identify three patterning strategies: sequential induction, morphogen gradient and lateral antagonism, depending on the features of the signal secreted from the anchor cell. The strategy of lateral antagonism, which has not been reported in previous studies of VPC patterning, employs a mutual inhibition of the 2° cell fate in neighboring cells. Robust topologies are built upon minimal topologies with basic patterning strategies and have more flexible and redundant implementations of modular functions. By simulated mutation, we find that all three strategies can reproduce experimental error patterns of mutants. We show that the topology derived by mapping currently known biochemical pathways to our model matches one of our identified functional topologies. Furthermore, our robustness analysis predicts a possible missing link related to the lateral antagonism strategy. Overall, we provide a theoretical atlas of all possible functional networks in varying environments, which may guide novel discoveries of the biological interactions in vulval development of Caenorhabditis elegans and related species. PMID:26114587

  14. 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

  15. Deep SAGE analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Ruzanov, Peter; Riddle, Donald L

    2010-06-01

    We employed the Tag-seq technique to generate global transcription profiles for different strains and life stages of the nematode C. elegans. Tag-seq generates cDNA tags as does Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE), but the method yields a much larger number of tags, generating much larger data sets than SAGE. We examined differences in the performance of SAGE and Tag-seq by comparing gene expression data for 13 pairs of libraries. We identified genes for which expression was consistently changed in long-lived worms. Additional genes emerged in the deeper Tag-seq profiles, including several 'signature' genes found among those zup-regulated in long-lived dauer larvae (cki-1, aak-2 and daf-16). Fifty to sixty percent of the genes differentially expressed in daf-2(-) versus daf-2(+) adults had fragmentary or no functional annotation, suggesting the involvement of as yet unstudied pathways in aging. We were able to distinguish between changes in gene expression associated with altered genotype or altered growth conditions. We found 62 cases of possible mRNA isoform switching in the 13 Tag-seq libraries, whereas the 13 SAGE libraries allowed detection of only 15 such occurrences. We observed strong expression of anti-sense transcripts for several mitochondrial genes, but nuclear anti-sense transcripts were neither abundant nor consistently expressed among the libraries.

  16. Analysis of Genetic Mosaics of the Nematode CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Robert K.

    1984-01-01

    A new method for producing genetic mosaics, which involves the spontaneous somatic loss of free chromosome fragments, is demonstrated. Four genes that affect the behavior of C. elegans were studied in mosaic animals. The analysis was greatly aided by the fact that the complete cell lineage of wild-type animals is known. Two of the mutant genes affect certain sensory responses and prevent uptake of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) by certain sensory neurons. Mosaic analysis indicated that one of these mutant genes is cell autonomous with respect to its effect on FITC uptake and the other is cell nonautonomous. In the latter case, the genotype of a non-neuronal supporting cell that surrounds the processes of the neurons that normally take up FITC probably is critical. The other two mutant genes affect animal movement. Mosaic analysis indicated that the expression of one of these genes is specific to certain neurons (motor neurons of the ventral and dorsal nerve cords are prime candidates) and the expression of the other gene is specific to muscle cells. PMID:6434374

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

    2013-05-02

    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

  19. 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

  20. Insight into transcription factor gene duplication from Caenorhabditis elegans Promoterome-driven expression patterns

    PubMed Central

    Reece-Hoyes, John S; Shingles, Jane; Dupuy, Denis; Grove, Christian A; Walhout, Albertha JM; Vidal, Marc; Hope, Ian A

    2007-01-01

    Background The C. elegans Promoterome is a powerful resource for revealing the regulatory mechanisms by which transcription is controlled pan-genomically. Transcription factors will form the core of any systems biology model of genome control and therefore the promoter activity of Promoterome inserts for C. elegans transcription factor genes was examined, in vivo, with a reporter gene approach. Results Transgenic C. elegans strains were generated for 366 transcription factor promoter/gfp reporter gene fusions. GFP distributions were determined, and then summarized with reference to developmental stage and cell type. Reliability of these data was demonstrated by comparison to previously described gene product distributions. A detailed consideration of the results for one C. elegans transcription factor gene family, the Six family, comprising ceh-32, ceh-33, ceh-34 and unc-39 illustrates the value of these analyses. The high proportion of Promoterome reporter fusions that drove GFP expression, compared to previous studies, led to the hypothesis that transcription factor genes might be involved in local gene duplication events less frequently than other genes. Comparison of transcription factor genes of C. elegans and Caenorhabditis briggsae was therefore carried out and revealed very few examples of functional gene duplication since the divergence of these species for most, but not all, transcription factor gene families. Conclusion Examining reporter expression patterns for hundreds of promoters informs, and thereby improves, interpretation of this data type. Genes encoding transcription factors involved in intrinsic developmental control processes appear acutely sensitive to changes in gene dosage through local gene duplication, on an evolutionary time scale. PMID:17244357

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. TRY-5 Is a Sperm-Activating Protease in Caenorhabditis elegans Seminal Fluid

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Joseph R.; Stanfield, Gillian M.

    2011-01-01

    Seminal fluid proteins have been shown to play important roles in male reproductive success, but the mechanisms for this regulation remain largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, sperm differentiate from immature spermatids into mature, motile spermatozoa during a process termed sperm activation. For C. elegans males, sperm activation occurs during insemination of the hermaphrodite and is thought to be mediated by seminal fluid, but the molecular nature of this activity has not been previously identified. Here we show that TRY-5 is a seminal fluid protease that is required in C. elegans for male-mediated sperm activation. We observed that TRY-5::GFP is expressed in the male somatic gonad and is transferred along with sperm to hermaphrodites during mating. In the absence of TRY-5, male seminal fluid loses its potency to transactivate hermaphrodite sperm. However, TRY-5 is not required for either hermaphrodite or male fertility, suggesting that hermaphrodite sperm are normally activated by a distinct hermaphrodite-specific activator to which male sperm are also competent to respond. Within males, TRY-5::GFP localization within the seminal vesicle is antagonized by the protease inhibitor SWM-1. Together, these data suggest that TRY-5 functions as an extracellular activator of C. elegans sperm. The presence of TRY-5 within the seminal fluid couples the timing of sperm activation to that of transfer of sperm into the hermaphrodite uterus, where motility must be rapidly acquired. Our results provide insight into how C. elegans has adopted sex-specific regulation of sperm motility to accommodate its male-hermaphrodite mode of reproduction. PMID:22125495

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. elt-2, a second GATA factor from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, M G; McGhee, J D

    1995-06-16

    We have previously shown that a tandem pair of (A/T)GATA(A/G) sequences in the promoter region of the Caenorhabditis elegans gut esterase gene (ges-1) controls the tissue specificity of ges-1 expression in vivo. The ges-1 GATA region was used as a probe to screen a C. elegans cDNA expression library, and a gene for a new C. elegans GATA-factor (named elt-2) was isolated. The longest open reading frame in the elt-2 cDNA codes for a protein of M(r) 47,000 with a single zinc finger domain, similar (approximately 75% amino acid identity) to the C-terminal fingers of all other two-fingered GATA factors isolated to date. A similar degree of relatedness is found with the single-finger DNA binding domains of GATA factors identified in invertebrates. An upstream region in the ELT-2 protein with the sequence C-X2-C-X16-C-X2-C has some of the characteristics of a zinc finger domain but is highly diverged from the zinc finger domains of other GATA factors. The elt-2 gene is expressed as an SL1 trans-spliced message, which can be detected at all stages of development except oocytes; however, elt-2 message levels are 5-10-fold higher in embryos than in other stages. The genomic clone for elt-2 has been characterized and mapped near the center of the C. elegans X chromosome, ELT-2 protein, produced by in vitro transcription-translation, binds to ges-1 GATA-containing oligonucleotides similar to a factor previously identified in C. elegans embryo extracts, both as assayed by electrophoretic migration and by competition with wild type and mutant oligonucleotides. However, there is as yet no direct evidence that elt-2 does or does not control ges-1.

  7. In vivo testing of gold nanoparticles using the Caenorhabditis elegans model organism.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Moragas, Laura; Berto, Pascal; Vilches, Clara; Quidant, Romain; Kolovou, Androniki; Santarella-Mellwig, Rachel; Schwab, Yannick; Stürzenbaum, Stephen; Roig, Anna; Laromaine, Anna

    2017-02-01

    Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are present in many man-made products and cosmetics and are also used by the food and medical industries. Tight regulations regarding the use of mammalian animals for product testing can hamper the study of the specific interactions between engineered nanoparticles and biological systems. Invertebrate models, such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), can offer alternative approaches during the early phases of nanoparticle discovery. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the biodistribution of 11-nm and 150-nm citrate-capped AuNPs in the model organism C. elegans at multiple scales, moving from micrometric to nanometric resolution and from the organismal to cellular level. We confirmed that the nanoparticles were not able to cross the intestinal and dermal barriers. We investigated the effect of AuNPs on the survival and reproductive performance of C. elegans, and correlated these effects with the uptake of AuNPs in terms of their number, surface area, and metal mass. In general, exposure to 11-nm AuNPs resulted in a higher toxicity than the larger 150-nm AuNPs. NP aggregation inside C. elegans was determined using absorbance microspectroscopy, which allowed the plasmonic properties of AuNPs to be correlated with their confinement inside the intestinal lumen, where anatomical traits, acidic pH and the presence of biomolecules play an essential role on NP aggregation. Finally, quantitative PCR of selected molecular markers indicated that exposure to AuNPs did not significantly affect endocytosis and intestinal barrier integrity.

  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. Caenorhabditis elegans, a pluricellular model organism to screen new genes involved in mitochondrial genome maintenance.

    PubMed

    Addo, Matthew Glover; Cossard, Raynald; Pichard, Damien; Obiri-Danso, Kwasi; Rötig, Agnès; Delahodde, Agnès

    2010-09-01

    The inheritance of functional mitochondria depends on faithful replication and transmission of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). A large and heterogeneous group of human disorders is associated with mitochondrial genome quantitative and qualitative anomalies. Several nuclear genes have been shown to account for these severe OXPHOS disorders. However, in several cases, the disease-causing mutations still remain unknown. Caenorhabditis elegans has been largely used for studying various biological functions because this multicellular organism has short life cycle and is easy to grow in the laboratory. Mitochondrial functions are relatively well conserved between human and C.elegans, and heteroplasmy exists in this organism as in human. C. elegans therefore represents a useful tool for studying mtDNA maintenance. Suppression by RNA interference of genes involved in mtDNA replication such as polg-1, encoding the mitochondrial DNA polymerase, results in reduced mtDNA copy number but in a normal phenotype of the F1 worms. By combining RNAi of genes involved in mtDNA maintenance and EtBr exposure, we were able to reveal a strong and specific phenotype (developmental larval arrest) associated to a severe decrease of mtDNA copy number. Moreover, we tested and validated the screen efficiency for human orthologous genes encoding mitochondrial nucleoid proteins. This allowed us to identify several genes that seem to be closely related to mtDNA maintenance in C. elegans. This work reports a first step in the further development of a large-scale screening in C. elegans that should allow to identify new genes of mtDNA maintenance whose human orthologs will obviously constitute new candidate genes for patients with quantitative or qualitative mtDNA anomalies.

  10. TRY-5 is a sperm-activating protease in Caenorhabditis elegans seminal fluid.

    PubMed

    Smith, Joseph R; Stanfield, Gillian M

    2011-11-01

    Seminal fluid proteins have been shown to play important roles in male reproductive success, but the mechanisms for this regulation remain largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, sperm differentiate from immature spermatids into mature, motile spermatozoa during a process termed sperm activation. For C. elegans males, sperm activation occurs during insemination of the hermaphrodite and is thought to be mediated by seminal fluid, but the molecular nature of this activity has not been previously identified. Here we show that TRY-5 is a seminal fluid protease that is required in C. elegans for male-mediated sperm activation. We observed that TRY-5::GFP is expressed in the male somatic gonad and is transferred along with sperm to hermaphrodites during mating. In the absence of TRY-5, male seminal fluid loses its potency to transactivate hermaphrodite sperm. However, TRY-5 is not required for either hermaphrodite or male fertility, suggesting that hermaphrodite sperm are normally activated by a distinct hermaphrodite-specific activator to which male sperm are also competent to respond. Within males, TRY-5::GFP localization within the seminal vesicle is antagonized by the protease inhibitor SWM-1. Together, these data suggest that TRY-5 functions as an extracellular activator of C. elegans sperm. The presence of TRY-5 within the seminal fluid couples the timing of sperm activation to that of transfer of sperm into the hermaphrodite uterus, where motility must be rapidly acquired. Our results provide insight into how C. elegans has adopted sex-specific regulation of sperm motility to accommodate its male-hermaphrodite mode of reproduction.

  11. Fine structure of the Caenorhabditis elegans secretory-excretory system.

    PubMed

    Nelson, F K; Albert, P S; Riddle, D L

    1983-02-01

    The secretory-excretory system of C. elegans, reconstructed from serial-section electron micrographs of larvae, is composed of four cells, the nuclei of which are located on the ventral side of the pharynx and adjacent intestine. (1) The pore cell encloses the terminal one-third of the excretory duct which leads to an excretory pore at the ventral midline. (2) The duct cell surrounds the excretory duct with a lamellar membrane from the origin of the duct at the excretory sinus to the pore cell boundary. (3) A large H-shaped excretory cell extends bilateral canals anteriorly and posteriorly nearly the entire length of the worm. The excretory sinus within the cell body joins the lumena of the canals with the origin of the duct. (4) A binucleate, A-shaped gland cell extends bilateral processes anteriorly from cell bodies located just behind the pharynx. These processes are fused at the anterior tip of the cell, where the cell enters the circumpharyngeal nerve ring. The processes are also joined at the anterior edge of the excretory cell body, where the excretory cell and gland are joined to the duct cell at the origin of the duct. Secretory granules may be concentrated in the gland near this secretory-excretory junction. Although the gland cells of all growing developmental stages stain positively with paraldehyde-fuchsin, the gland of the dauer larva stage (a developmentally arrested third-stage larva) does not stain, nor do glands of starved worms of other stages. Dauer larvae uniquely lack secretory granules, and the gland cytoplasm is displaced by a labyrinth of large, transparent spaces. Exit from the dauer stage results in the return of active secretory morphology in fourth-stage larvae.

  12. 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

  13. Virulence variations in Shigella and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli using the Caenorhabditis elegans model.

    PubMed

    Fung, Crystal Ching; Octavia, Sophie; Mooney, Anne-Marie; Lan, Ruiting

    2015-01-01

    Shigella species and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) belong to the same species genetically, with remarkable phenotypic and genomic similarities. Shigella is the main cause of bacillary dysentery with around 160 million annual cases, while EIEC generally induces a milder disease compared to Shigella. This study aimed to determine virulence variations between Shigella and EIEC using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model host. Caenorhabditis elegans killing- and bacterial colonization assays were performed to examine the potential difference in virulence between Shigella and EIEC strains. Statistically significant difference in the survival rates of nematodes was demonstrated, with Shigella causing death at 88.24 ± 1.20% and EIEC at 94.37 ± 0.70%. The intestinal load of bacteria in the nematodes was found to be 7.65 × 10(4) ± 8.83 × 10(3) and 2.92 × 10(4) ± 6.26 × 10(3) CFU ml(-1) per nematode for Shigella and EIEC, respectively. Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 which carries the Shiga toxin showed the lowest nematode survival rate at 82.6 ± 3.97% and highest bacterial colonization of 1.75 × 10(5) ± 8.17 × 10(4) CFU ml(-1), whereas a virulence plasmid-negative Shigella strain demonstrated 100 ± 0% nematode survival and lowest bacterial accumulation of 1.02 × 10(4) ± 7.23 × 10(2) CFU ml(-1). This study demonstrates C. elegans as an effective model for examining and comparing Shigella and EIEC virulence variation.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Infection and immune response in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans elicited by the phytopathogen Xanthomonas.

    PubMed

    Bai, Yanli; Zhi, Dejuan; Li, Chanhe; Liu, Dongling; Zhang, Juan; Tian, Jing; Wang, Xin; Ren, Hui; Li, Hongyu

    2014-09-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) strains are plant pathogenic bacteria that can cause serious blight of rice, and their virulence towards plant host is complex, making it difficult to be elucidated. Caenorhabditis elegans has been used as a powerful model organism to simplify the host and pathogen system. However, whether the C. elegans is feasible for studying plant pathogens such as Xoo has not been explored. In the present work, we report that Xoo strains PXO99 and JXOIII reduce the lifespan of worms not through acute toxicity, but in an infectious manner; pathogens proliferate and persist in the intestinal lumen to cause marked anterior intestine distension. In addition, Xoo triggers (i) the p38 MAPK signal pathway to upregulate its downstream C17H12.8 expression, and (ii) the DAF-2/DAF-16 pathway to upregulate its downstream gene expressions of mtl-1 and sod-3 under the condition of daf-2 mutation. Our findings suggest that C. elegans can be used as a model to evaluate the virulence of Xoo phytopathogens to host.

  17. Anterior organization of the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo by the labial-like Hox gene ceh-13.

    PubMed

    Brunschwig, K; Wittmann, C; Schnabel, R; Bürglin, T R; Tobler, H; Müller, F

    1999-04-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans lin-39, mab-5 and egl-5 Hox genes specify cell fates along the anterior-posterior body axis of the nematode during postembryonic development, but little is known about Hox gene functions during embryogenesis. Here, we show that the C. elegans labial-like gene ceh-13 is expressed in cells of many different tissues and lineages and that the rostral boundary of its expression domain is anterior to those of the other Hox genes. By transposon-mediated mutagenesis, we isolated a zygotic recessive ceh-13 loss-of-function allele, sw1, that exhibits an embryonic sublethal phenotype. Lineage analyses and immunostainings revealed defects in the organization of the anterior lateral epidermis and anterior body wall muscle cells. The epidermal and mesodermal identity of these cells, however, is correctly specified. ceh-13(sw1) mutant embryos also show fusion and adhesion defects in ectodermal cells. This suggests that ceh-13 plays a role in the anterior organization of the C. elegans embryo and is involved in the regulation of cell affinities.

  18. Using expression profiles of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons to identify genes that mediate synaptic connectivity.

    PubMed

    Baruch, Leehod; Itzkovitz, Shalev; Golan-Mashiach, Michal; Shapiro, Ehud; Segal, Eran

    2008-07-11

    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.

  19. Droplet microfluidics for characterizing the neurotoxin-induced responses in individual Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Shi, Weiwei; Wen, Hui; Lu, Yao; Shi, Yang; Lin, Bingcheng; Qin, Jianhua

    2010-11-07

    A droplet-based microfluidic device integrated with a novel floatage-based trap array and a tapered immobilization channel array was presented for characterizing the neurotoxin-induced multiple responses in individual Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) continuously. The established device enabled the evaluations of movement and fluorescence imaging analysis of individual C. elegans simultaneously. The utility of this device was demonstrated by the pharmacological evaluation of neurotoxin (6-hydroxydopamine, 6-OHDA) triggered mobility defects, neuron degeneration and oxidative stress in individual worms. Exposure of living worms to 6-OHDA could cause obvious mobility defects, selective degeneration of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons, and increased oxidative stress in a dose dependent manner. These results are important towards the understanding of mechanisms leading to DAergic toxicity by neurotoxin and will be of benefit for the screening of new therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. This device was simple, stable and easy to operate, with the potential to facilitate whole-animal assays and drug screening in a high throughput manner at single animal resolution.

  20. Isoamyl alcohol odor promotes longevity and stress tolerance via DAF-16 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kurino, Chiho; Furuhashi, Tsubasa; Sudoh, Kaori; Sakamoto, Kazuichi

    2017-02-14

    The possibility that odor plays a role in lifespan regulation through effects on the nervous system is indicated by research on Caenorhabditis elegans. In fact, ablation of AWA and AWC, which are suggested as olfactory neurons, has been shown to extend lifespan via DAF-16, a homolog of FoxO. However, the effects of odor stimuli on the lifespan still remain unclear. Thus, we here aimed to clarify the effect of attractive and repulsive odors on longevity and stress tolerance in C. elegans and to analyze the pathways thereof. We used isoamyl alcohol as an attractive odor, and acetic acid as a repellent component, as identified by chemotaxis assay. We found that isoamyl alcohol stimulus promoted longevity in a DAF-16-dependent manner. On the other hand, acetic acid stimulus promoted thermotolerance through mechanisms independent of DAF-16. Above all, our results indicate that odor stimuli affect the lifespan and stress tolerance of C. elegans, with attractive and repulsive odors exerting their effects through different mechanisms, and that longevity is induced by both activation and inactivation of olfactory neurons.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Cross-platform comparison of Caenorhabditis elegans tissue extraction strategies for comprehensive metabolome coverage.

    PubMed

    Geier, Florian M; Want, Elizabeth J; Leroi, Armand M; Bundy, Jacob G

    2011-05-15

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model organism in many areas of the life sciences. Metabolite profiling (metabolomics/metabonomics) is a powerful means of assigning phenotypes to experimentally perturbed C. elegans samples (e.g., mutants, RNAi, or chemical treatments). Tissue extraction is a key step, and high-quality and reproducible extractions are essential to the success of metabolomics studies. We have performed an extensive comparison of different tissue extraction techniques with C. elegans, comparing two different solvent systems (chloroform/methanol and aqueous methanol) and six different tissue disruption techniques (including manual grinding in a cooled mortar, homogenization, and various grinding media in both reciprocating and orbital tissue mills). All twelve combinations were then compared by GC/MS, (1)H NMR spectroscopy, and UPLC-MS, and the results were evaluated by both overall multivariate clustering approaches as well as distributions over individual metabolites/metabolite features of coefficient of variation and yield. The choice of solvent had more influence than the disruption method used, although the homogenizer results were clearly outliers. Overall, we concluded that bead-beating with 80% methanol solution was a good trade-off, although it is important to note that the definition of the apparent "best" method depended on which analytical platform was used to evaluate the results.

  5. Zinc availability during germline development impacts embryo viability in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Mendoza, Adelita D; Woodruff, Teresa K; Wignall, Sarah M; O'Halloran, Thomas V

    2017-01-01

    Zinc is an essential metal that serves as a cofactor in a variety of cellular processes, including meiotic maturation. Cellular control of zinc uptake, availability and efflux is closely linked to meiotic progression in rodent and primate reproduction where large fluctuations in zinc levels are critical at several steps in the oocyte-to-embryo transition. Despite these well-documented roles of zinc fluxes during meiosis, only a few of the genes encoding key zinc receptors, membrane-spanning transporters, and downstream signaling pathway factors have been identified to date. Furthermore, little is known about analogous roles for zinc fluxes in the context of a whole organism. Here, we evaluate whether zinc availability regulates germline development and oocyte viability in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, an experimentally flexible model organism. We find that similar to mammals, mild zinc limitation in C. elegans profoundly impacts the reproductive axis: the brood size is significantly reduced under conditions of zinc limitation where other physiological functions are not perturbed. Zinc limitation in this organism has a more pronounced impact on oocytes than sperm and this leads to the decrease in viable embryo production. Moreover, acute zinc limitation of isolated zygotes prevents extrusion of the second polar body during meiosis and leads to aneuploid embryos. Thus, the zinc-dependent steps in C. elegans gametogenesis roughly parallel those described in meiotic-to-mitotic transitions in mammals.

  6. From the research laboratory to the database: the Caenorhabditis elegans kinome in UniProtKB

    PubMed Central

    Magrane, Michele; O'Donovan, Claire

    2017-01-01

    Protein kinases form one of the largest protein families and are found in all species, from viruses to humans. They catalyze the reversible phosphorylation of proteins, often modifying their activity and localization. They are implicated in virtually all cellular processes and are one of the most intensively studied protein families. In recent years, they have become key therapeutic targets in drug development as natural mutations affecting kinase genes are the cause of many diseases. The vast amount of data contained in the primary literature and across a variety of biological data collections highlights the need for a repository where this information is stored in a concise and easily accessible manner. The UniProt Knowledgebase meets this need by providing the scientific community with a comprehensive, high-quality and freely accessible resource of protein sequence and functional information. Here, we describe the expert curation process for kinases, focusing on the Caenorhabditis elegans kinome. The C. elegans kinome is composed of 438 kinases and almost half of them have been functionally characterized, highlighting that C. elegans is a valuable and versatile model organism to understand the role of kinases in biological processes. PMID:28159896

  7. Specific Expression of Channelrhodopsin-2 in Single Neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, Cornelia; Schultheis, Christian; Husson, Steven J.; Liewald, Jana F.; Gottschalk, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Optogenetic approaches using light-activated proteins like Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) enable investigating the function of populations of neurons in live Caenorhabditis elegans (and other) animals, as ChR2 expression can be targeted to these cells using specific promoters. Sub-populations of these neurons, or even single cells, can be further addressed by restricting the illumination to the cell of interest. However, this is technically demanding, particularly in free moving animals. Thus, it would be helpful if expression of ChR2 could be restricted to single neurons or neuron pairs, as even wide-field illumination would photostimulate only this particular cell. To this end we adopted the use of Cre or FLP recombinases and conditional ChR2 expression at the intersection of two promoter expression domains, i.e. in the cell of interest only. Success of this method depends on precise knowledge of the individual promoters' expression patterns and on relative expression levels of recombinase and ChR2. A bicistronic expression cassette with GFP helps to identify the correct expression pattern. Here we show specific expression in the AVA reverse command neurons and the aversive polymodal sensory ASH neurons. This approach shall enable to generate strains for optogenetic manipulation of each of the 302 C. elegans neurons. This may eventually allow to model the C. elegans nervous system in its entirety, based on functional data for each neuron. PMID:22952643

  8. 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

    2016-08-02

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. A potent dauer pheromone component in Caenorhabditis elegans that acts synergistically with other components.

    PubMed

    Butcher, Rebecca A; Ragains, Justin R; Kim, Edward; Clardy, Jon

    2008-09-23

    In the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, the dauer pheromone is the primary cue for entry into the developmentally arrested, dauer larval stage. The dauer is specialized for survival under harsh environmental conditions and is considered "nonaging" because larvae that exit dauer have a normal life span. C. elegans constitutively secretes the dauer pheromone into its environment, enabling it to sense its population density. Several components of the dauer pheromone have been identified as derivatives of the dideoxy sugar ascarylose, but additional unidentified components of the dauer pheromone contribute to its activity. Here, we show that an ascaroside with a 3-hydroxypropionate side chain is a highly potent component of the dauer pheromone that acts synergistically with previously identified components. Furthermore, we show that the active dauer pheromone components that are produced by C. elegans vary depending on cultivation conditions. Identifying the active components of the dauer pheromone, the conditions under which they are produced, and their mechanisms of action will greatly extend our understanding of how chemosensory cues from the environment can influence such fundamental processes as development, metabolism, and aging in nematodes and in higher organisms.

  11. 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.

  12. Association with pathogenic bacteria affects life-history traits and population growth in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Diaz, S Anaid; Mooring, Eric Q; Rens, Elisabeth G; Restif, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    Determining the relationship between individual life-history traits and population dynamics is an essential step to understand and predict natural selection. Model organisms that can be conveniently studied experimentally at both levels are invaluable to test the rich body of theoretical literature in this area. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, despite being a well-established workhorse in genetics, has only recently received attention from ecologists and evolutionary biologists, especially with respect to its association with pathogenic bacteria. In order to start filling the gap between the two areas, we conducted a series of experiments aiming at measuring life-history traits as well as population growth of C. elegans in response to three different bacterial strains: Escherichia coli OP50, Salmonella enterica Typhimurium, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Whereas previous studies had established that the latter two reduced the survival of nematodes feeding on them compared to E. coli OP50, we report for the first time an enhancement in reproductive success and population growth for worms feeding on S. enterica Typhimurium. Furthermore, we used an age-specific population dynamic model, parameterized using individual life-history assays, to successfully predict the growth of populations over three generations. This study paves the way for more detailed and quantitative experimental investigation of the ecology and evolution of C. elegans and the bacteria it interacts with, which could improve our understanding of the fate of opportunistic pathogens in the environment.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Optical imaging of cell fusion and fusion proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ems, Star; Mohler, William A

    2008-01-01

    Cell fusion is a very dynamic process in which the entire membrane and cellular contents of two or more cells merge into one. Strategies developed to understand the component processes that make up a full fusion event require imaging to be performed over a range of space and time scales. These strategies must cover detection of nanometer-sized pores, monitoring cytoplasmic diffusion and the dynamic localization of proteins that induce fusion competence, and three-dimensional reconstruction of multinucleated cells. Caenorhabditis elegans' small size, predictable development, and transparent body make this organism optimal for microscopic investigations. In this chapter, focus is placed on light microscopy techniques that have been used thus far to study developmental fusion events in C. elegans and the insights that have been gained from them. There is also a general overview of the developmental timing of the cell fusion events. Additionally, several protocols are described for preparing both fixed and live specimens at various developmental stages of C. elegans for examination via optical microscopy.

  16. A conserved Toll-like receptor is required for Caenorhabditis elegans innate immunity

    PubMed Central

    Tenor, Jennifer L; Aballay, Alejandro

    2008-01-01

    Pathogen recognition through Toll-like receptors (TLRs) is crucial in order to mount an appropriate immune response against microorganisms. On the basis of a lack of evidence indicating that Caenorhabditis elegans uses TLRs to elicit an immune response and on the absence of genes encoding Rel-like transcription factors in its genome, it is believed that TLR-mediated immunity arose after coelomates split from pseudocoelomates and acoelomates. Here, we show that C. elegans tol-1(nr2033) mutants are killed by the human pathogen Salmonella enterica, which causes a significant pharyngeal invasion in the absence of TOL-1-mediated immunity. We also show that TOL-1 is required for the correct expression of ABF-2, which is a defensin-like molecule expressed in the pharynx, and heat-shock protein 16.41, which is also expressed in the pharynx and is part of a HSP family of proteins required for C. elegans immunity. The results indicate that TOL-1 has a direct role in defence response to certain Gram-negative bacteria and indicate that part of the TLR-mediated immunity might be evolutionarily conserved. PMID:17975555

  17. A conserved Toll-like receptor is required for Caenorhabditis elegans innate immunity.

    PubMed

    Tenor, Jennifer L; Aballay, Alejandro

    2008-01-01

    Pathogen recognition through Toll-like receptors (TLRs) is crucial in order to mount an appropriate immune response against microorganisms. On the basis of a lack of evidence indicating that Caenorhabditis elegans uses TLRs to elicit an immune response and on the absence of genes encoding Rel-like transcription factors in its genome, it is believed that TLR-mediated immunity arose after coelomates split from pseudocoelomates and acoelomates. Here, we show that C. elegans tol-1(nr2033) mutants are killed by the human pathogen Salmonella enterica, which causes a significant pharyngeal invasion in the absence of TOL-1-mediated immunity. We also show that TOL-1 is required for the correct expression of ABF-2, which is a defensin-like molecule expressed in the pharynx, and heat-shock protein 16.41, which is also expressed in the pharynx and is part of a HSP family of proteins required for C. elegans immunity. The results indicate that TOL-1 has a direct role in defence response to certain Gram-negative bacteria and indicate that part of the TLR-mediated immunity might be evolutionarily conserved.

  18. Splicing in Caenorhabditis elegans does not require an AG at the 3' splice acceptor site.

    PubMed Central

    Aroian, R V; Levy, A D; Koga, M; Ohshima, Y; Kramer, J M; Sternberg, P W

    1993-01-01

    The dinucleotide AG, found at the 3' end of virtually all eukaryotic pre-mRNA introns, is thought to be essential for splicing. Reduction-of-function mutations in two Caenorhabditis elegans genes, the receptor tyrosine kinase gene let-23 and the collagen gene dpy-10, both alter the AG at the end of a short (ca. 50-nucleotide) intron to AA. The in vivo effects of these mutations were studied by sequencing polymerase chain reaction-amplified reverse-transcribed RNA isolated from the two mutants. As expected, we find transcripts that splice to a cryptic AG, skip an exon, and retain an unspliced intron. However, we also find significant levels of splicing at the mutated 3' splice site (AA) and at nearby non-AG dinucleotides. Our results indicate that for short C. elegans introns an AG is not required for splicing at either the correct 3' splice site or incorrect sites. Analysis of a splice site mutant involving a longer, 316-nucleotide C. elegans intron indicates that an AG is also not required there for splicing. We hypothesize that elements besides the invariant AG, e.g., an A-U-rich region, a UUUC motif, and/or a potential branch point sequence, are directing the selection of the 3' splice site and that in wild-type genes these elements cooperate so that proper splicing occurs. Images PMID:8417357

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:27721901

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Aversive olfactory learning and associative long-term memory in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    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 4.0), as an unconditioned stimulus (US). Before the conditioning, worms were attracted to 1-propanol and avoided HCl in chemotaxis assay. In contrast, after massed or spaced training, worms were either not attracted at all to or repelled from 1-propanol on the assay plate. The memory after the spaced training was retained for 24 h, while the memory after the massed training was no longer observable within 3 h. Worms pretreated with transcription and translation inhibitors failed to form the memory by the spaced training, whereas the memory after the massed training was not significantly affected by the inhibitors and was sensitive to cold-shock anesthesia. Therefore, the memories after the spaced and massed trainings can be classified as long-term memory (LTM) and short-term/middle-term memory (STM/MTM), respectively. Consistently, like other organisms including Aplysia, Drosophila, and mice, C. elegans mutants defective in nmr-1 encoding an NMDA receptor subunit failed to form both LTM and STM/MTM, while mutations in crh-1 encoding the CREB transcription factor affected only the LTM. PMID:21960709

  5. In vivo imaging and toxicity assessments of fluorescent nanodiamonds in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Mohan, Nitin; Chen, Chao-Sheng; Hsieh, Hsiao-Han; Wu, Yi-Chun; Chang, Huan-Cheng

    2010-09-08

    Nanoscale carbon materials hold great promise for biotechnological and biomedical applications. Fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) is a recent new addition to members of the nanocarbon family. Here, we report long-term in vivo imaging of FNDs in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and explore the nano-biointeractions between this novel nanomaterial and the model organism. FNDs are introduced into wild-type C. elegans by either feeding them with colloidal FND solution or microinjecting FND suspension into the gonads of the worms. On feeding, bare FNDs stay in the intestinal lumen, while FNDs conjugated with biomolecules (such as dextran and bovine serum albumin) are absorbed into the intestinal cells. On microinjection, FNDs are dispersed in the gonad and delivered to the embryos and eventually into the hatched larvae in the next generation. The toxicity assessments, performed by employing longevity and reproductive potential as physiological indicators and measuring stress responses with use of reporter genes, show that FNDs are stable and nontoxic and do not cause any detectable stress to the worms. The high brightness, excellent photostability, and nontoxic nature of the nanomaterial have enabled continuous imaging of the whole digestive system and tracking of the cellular and developmental processes of the living organism for several days.

  6. Multi-Environment Model Estimation for Motility Analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Sznitman, Raphael; Gupta, Manaswi; Hager, Gregory D.; Arratia, Paulo E.; Sznitman, Josué

    2010-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-known model organism used to investigate fundamental questions in biology. Motility assays of this small roundworm are designed to study the relationships between genes and behavior. Commonly, motility analysis is used to classify nematode movements and characterize them quantitatively. Over the past years, C. elegans' motility has been studied across a wide range of environments, including crawling on substrates, swimming in fluids, and locomoting through microfluidic substrates. However, each environment often requires customized image processing tools relying on heuristic parameter tuning. In the present study, we propose a novel Multi-Environment Model Estimation (MEME) framework for automated image segmentation that is versatile across various environments. The MEME platform is constructed around the concept of Mixture of Gaussian (MOG) models, where statistical models for both the background environment and the nematode appearance are explicitly learned and used to accurately segment a target nematode. Our method is designed to simplify the burden often imposed on users; here, only a single image which includes a nematode in its environment must be provided for model learning. In addition, our platform enables the extraction of nematode ‘skeletons’ for straightforward motility quantification. We test our algorithm on various locomotive environments and compare performances with an intensity-based thresholding method. Overall, MEME outperforms the threshold-based approach for the overwhelming majority of cases examined. Ultimately, MEME provides researchers with an attractive platform for C. elegans' segmentation and ‘skeletonizing’ across a wide range of motility assays. PMID:20661478

  7. The application of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Xu, Suhong

    2015-08-20

    Genome editing using the Cas9 endonuclease of Streptococcus pyogenes has demonstrated unparalleled efficacy and facility for modifying genomes in a wide variety of organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most convenient multicellular organisms for genetic analysis, and the application of this novel genome editing technique to this organism promises to revolutionize analysis of gene function in the future. CRISPR-Cas9 has been successfully used to generate imprecise insertions and deletions via non-homologous end-joining mechanisms and to create precise mutations by homology-directed repair from donor templates. Key variables are the methods used to deliver the Cas9 endonuclease and the efficiency of the single guide RNAs. CRISPR-Cas9-mediated editing appears to be highly specific in C. elegans, with no reported off-target effects. In this review, I briefly summarize recent progress in CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing in C. elegans, highlighting technical improvements in mutagenesis and mutation detection, and discuss potential future applications of this technique.

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans as a powerful alternative model organism to promote research in genetic toxicology and biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Honnen, Sebastian

    2017-03-15

    In view of increased life expectancy the risk for disturbed integrity of genetic information increases. This inevitably holds the implication for higher incidence of age-related diseases leading to considerable cost increase in health care systems. To develop preventive strategies it is crucial to evaluate external and internal noxae as possible threats to our DNA. Especially the interplay of DNA damage response (DDR) and DNA repair (DR) mechanisms needs further deciphering. Moreover, there is a distinct need for alternative in vivo test systems for basic research and also risk assessment in toxicology. Especially the evaluation of combinational toxicity of environmentally present genotoxins and adverse effects of clinically used DNA damaging anticancer drugs is a major challenge for modern toxicology. This review focuses on the applicability of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism to unravel and tackle scientific questions related to the biological consequences of genotoxin exposure and highlights methods for studying DDR and DR. In this regard large-scale in vivo screens of mixtures of chemicals and extensive parallel sequencing are highlighted as unique advantages of C. elegans. In addition, concise information regarding evolutionary conserved molecular mechanisms of the DDR and DR as well as currently available data obtained from the use of prototypical genotoxins and preferential read-outs of genotoxin testing are discussed. The use of established protocols, which are already available in the community, is encouraged to facilitate and further improve the implementation of C. elegans as a powerful genetic model system in genetic toxicology and biomedicine.

  9. 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

  10. The 3-ureidopropionase of Caenorhabditis elegans, an enzyme involved in pyrimidine degradation.

    PubMed

    Janowitz, Tim; Ajonina, Irene; Perbandt, Markus; Woltersdorf, Christian; Hertel, Patrick; Liebau, Eva; Gigengack, Ulrike

    2010-10-01

    Pyrimidines are important metabolites in all cells. Levels of cellular pyrimidines are controlled by multiple mechanisms, with one of these comprising the reductive degradation pathway. In the model invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans, two of the three enzymes of reductive pyrimidine degradation have previously been characterized. The enzyme catalysing the final step of pyrimidine breakdown, 3-ureidopropionase (β-alanine synthase), had only been identified based on homology. We therefore cloned and functionally expressed the 3-ureidopropionase of C. elegans as hexahistidine fusion protein. The purified recombinant enzyme readily converted the two pyrimidine degradation products: 3-ureidopropionate and 2-methyl-3-ureidopropionate. The enzyme showed a broad pH optimum between pH 7.0 and 8.0. Activity was highest at approximately 40 °C, although the half-life of activity was only 65 s at that temperature. The enzyme showed clear Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with a K(m) of 147 ± 26 μM and a V(max) of 1.1 ± 0.1 U·mg protein(-1). The quaternary structure of the recombinant enzyme was shown to correspond to a dodecamer by 'blue native' gel electrophoresis and gel filtration. The organ specific and subcellular localization of the enzyme was determined using a translational fusion to green fluorescent protein and high expression was observed in striated muscle cells. With the characterization of the 3-ureidopropionase, the reductive pyrimidine degradation pathway in C. elegans has been functionally characterized.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Impact of a Complex Food Microbiota on Energy Metabolism in the Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25961031

  14. The application of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Suhong

    2015-01-01

    Genome editing using the Cas9 endonuclease of Streptococcus pyogenes has demonstrated unparalleled efficacy and facility for modifying genomes in a wide variety of organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most convenient multicellular organisms for genetic analysis, and application of this novel genome editing technique to this organism promises to revolutionize analysis of gene function in the future. CRISPR-Cas9 has been successfully used to generate imprecise insertions and deletions via non-homologous end-joining mechanisms and to create precise mutations by homology-directed repair from donor templates. Key variables are the methods by which the Cas9 endonuclease is delivered and the efficiency of the single guide RNAs. CRISPR-Cas9 mediated editing appears to be highly specific in C. elegans, with no reported off-target effects. This review briefly summarizes recent progress in CRISPR-Cas9 based genome editing in C. elegans, highlighting technical improvements in mutagenesis and mutation detection, and discussing potential future applications of this technique. PMID:26336798

  15. Pentamer vocabularies characterizing introns and intron-like intergenic tracts from Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Bultrini, Emanuele; Pizzi, Elisabetta; Del Giudice, Paolo; Frontali, Clara

    2003-01-30

    Overall compositional properties at the level of bases, dinucleotides and longer oligos characterize genomes of different species. In Caenorhabditis elegans, using recurrence analysis, we recognized the existence of a long-range correlation in the oligonucleotide usage of introns and intergenic regions. Through correlation analysis, this is confirmed here to be a genome-wide property of C. elegans non-coding portions. We then investigate the possibility of extracting a typical vocabulary through statistical analysis of experimentally confirmed introns of sufficient length (>1 kb), deprived of known splice signals, the focus being on distributed lexical features rather than on localized motifs. Lexical preferences typical of introns could be exposed using principal component analysis of pentanucleotide frequency distributions, both in C. elegans and in Drosophila melanogaster. In either species, the introns' pentamer preferences are largely shared by intergenic tracts. The pentamer vocabularies extracted for the two species exhibit interesting symmetry properties and overlap in part. A more extensive investigation of the interspecies relationship at the level of oligonucleotide preferences in non-coding regions, not related by sequence similarity, might form the basis of new approaches for the study of the evolutionary behaviour of these regions.

  16. 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

  17. Getting to the core of cadherin complex function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. Chemistry and the worm: Caenorhabditis elegans as a platform for integrating chemical and biological research.

    PubMed

    Hulme, S Elizabeth; Whitesides, George M

    2011-05-16

    This Review discusses the potential usefulness of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for chemists interested in studying living systems. C. elegans, a 1 mm long roundworm, is a popular model organism in almost all areas of modern biology. The worm has several features that make it attractive for biology: it is small (<1000 cells), transparent, and genetically tractable. Despite its simplicity, the worm exhibits complex phenotypes associated with multicellularity: the worm has differentiated cells and organs, it ages and has a well-defined lifespan, and it is capable of learning and remembering. This Review argues that the balance between simplicity and complexity in the worm will make it a useful tool in determining the relationship between molecular-scale phenomena and organism-level phenomena, such as aging, behavior, cognition, and disease. Following an introduction to worm biology, the Review provides examples of current research with C. elegans that is chemically relevant. It also describes tools-biological, chemical, and physical-that are available to researchers studying the worm.

  19. The effect of a selective octopamine antagonist, epinastine, on pharyngeal pumping in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Packham, Rachel; Walker, Robert J; Holden-Dye, Lindy

    2010-11-01

    This paper investigates the effect of epinastine, a selective octopamine antagonist in invertebrates, in Caenorhabditis elegans. Specifically, its ability to block the inhibitory action of octopamine on C. elegans-isolated pharynx was assayed. Isolated pharynxes were stimulated to pump by the addition of 500 nM 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) (113 ± 2 per 30 s, n = 15). Octopamine inhibited the 5-HT-induced pumping in a concentration-dependent manner (threshold 1-5 μM) with a 61 ± 11% inhibition with 50 μM (n = 5). Epinastine (0.1 μM) antagonized the inhibitory response to octopamine (P < 0.001; n = 15). Tyramine also inhibited pharyngeal pumping induced by 5-HT but was less potent than octopamine. Tyramine, 50 μM to 1 mM, gave a transient inhibition e.g. of 40 ± 5% at 50 μM (n = 5). A higher (10 μM) concentration of epinastine was required to block the tryamine response compared with octopamine. It is concluded that epinastine selectively antagonizes the effect of octopamine on C. elegans pharynx. Further studies are required to test its selectivity for octopamine in other tissues and other nematodes.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. A neuromedin-pyrokinin-like neuropeptide signaling system in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Lindemans, Marleen; Janssen, Tom; Husson, Steven J; Meelkop, Ellen; Temmerman, Liesbet; Clynen, Elke; Mertens, Inge; Schoofs, Liliane

    2009-02-13

    Neuromedin U (NMU) in vertebrates is a structurally highly conserved neuropeptide of which highest levels are found in the pituitary and gastrointestinal tract. In Drosophila, two neuropeptide genes encoding pyrokinins (PKs), capability (capa) and hugin, are possible insect homologs of vertebrate NMU. Here, the ligand for an orphan G protein-coupled receptor in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Ce-PK-R) was found using a bioinformatics approach. After cloning and expressing Ce-PK-R in HEK293T cells, we found that it was activated by a neuropeptide from the C. elegans NLP-44 precursor (EC(50)=18nM). This neuropeptide precursor is reminiscent of insect CAPA precursors since it encodes a PK-like peptide and two periviscerokinin-like peptides (PVKs). Analogous to CAPA peptides in insects and NMUs in vertebrates, whole mount immunostaining in C. elegans revealed that the CAPA precursor is expressed in the nervous system. The present data also suggest that the ancestral CAPA precursor was already present in the common ancestor of Protostomians and Deuterostomians and that it might have been duplicated into CAPA and HUGIN in insects. In vertebrates, NMU is the putative homolog of a protostomian CAPA-PK.

  4. Codon usage in Caenorhabditis elegans: delineation of translational selection and mutational biases.

    PubMed Central

    Stenico, M; Lloyd, A T; Sharp, P M

    1994-01-01

    Synonymous codon usage varies considerably among Caenorhabditis elegans genes. Multivariate statistical analyses reveal a single major trend among genes. At one end of the trend lie genes with relatively unbiased codon usage. These genes appear to be lowly expressed, and their patterns of codon usage are consistent with mutational biases influenced by the neighbouring nucleotide. At the other extreme lie genes with extremely biased codon usage. These genes appear to be highly expressed, and their codon usage seems to have been shaped by selection favouring a limited number of translationally optimal codons. Thus, the frequency of these optimal codons in a gene appears to be correlated with the level of gene expression, and may be a useful indicator in the case of genes (or open reading frames) whose expression levels (or even function) are unknown. A second, relatively minor trend among genes is correlated with the frequency of G at synonymously variable sites. It is not yet clear whether this trend reflects variation in base composition (or mutational biases) among regions of the C.elegans genome, or some other factor. Sequence divergence between C.elegans and C.briggsae has also been studied. PMID:8041603

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Myricetin-Mediated Lifespan Extension in Caenorhabditis elegans Is Modulated by DAF-16

    PubMed Central

    Büchter, Christian; Ackermann, Daniela; Havermann, Susannah; Honnen, Sebastian; Chovolou, Yvonni; Fritz, Gerhard; Kampkötter, Andreas; Wätjen, Wim

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23736695

  9. Control of Neuropeptide Expression by Parallel Activity-dependent Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Rojo Romanos, Teresa; Petersen, Jakob Gramstrup; Pocock, Roger

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring of neuronal activity within circuits facilitates integrated responses and rapid changes in behavior. We have identified a system in Caenorhabditis elegans where neuropeptide expression is dependent on the ability of the BAG neurons to sense carbon dioxide. In C. elegans, CO2 sensing is predominantly coordinated by the BAG-expressed receptor-type guanylate cyclase GCY-9. GCY-9 binding to CO2 causes accumulation of cyclic GMP and opening of the cGMP-gated TAX-2/TAX-4 cation channels; provoking an integrated downstream cascade that enables C. elegans to avoid high CO2. Here we show that cGMP regulation by GCY-9 and the PDE-1 phosphodiesterase controls BAG expression of a FMRFamide-related neuropeptide FLP-19 reporter (flp-19::GFP). This regulation is specific for CO2-sensing function of the BAG neurons, as loss of oxygen sensing function does not affect flp-19::GFP expression. We also found that expression of flp-19::GFP is controlled in parallel to GCY-9 by the activity-dependent transcription factor CREB (CRH-1) and the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (KIN-2) signaling pathway. We therefore show that two parallel pathways regulate neuropeptide gene expression in the BAG sensory neurons: the ability to sense changes in carbon dioxide and CREB transcription factor. Such regulation may be required in particular environmental conditions to enable sophisticated behavioral decisions to be performed. PMID:28139692

  10. Functional characterization in Caenorhabditis elegans of transmembrane worm-human orthologs

    PubMed Central

    Henricson, Anna; Sonnhammer, Erik LL; Baillie, David L; Gomes, Ana Vaz

    2004-01-01

    Background The complete genome sequences for human and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans offer an opportunity to learn more about human gene function through functional characterization of orthologs in the worm. Based on a previous genome-wide analysis of worm-human orthologous transmembrane proteins, we selected seventeen genes to explore experimentally in C. elegans. These genes were selected on the basis that they all have high confidence candidate human orthologs and that their function is unknown. We first analyzed their phylogeny, membrane topology and domain organization. Then gene functions were studied experimentally in the worm by using RNA interference and transcriptional gfp reporter gene fusions. Results The experiments gave functional insights for twelve of the genes studied. For example, C36B1.12, the worm ortholog of three presenilin-like genes, was almost exclusively expressed in head neurons, suggesting an ancient conserved role important to neuronal function. We propose a new transmembrane topology for the presenilin-like protein family. sft-4, the worm ortholog of surfeit locus gene Surf-4, proved to be an essential gene required for development during the larval stages of the worm. R155.1, whose human ortholog is entirely uncharacterized, was implicated in body size control and other developmental processes. Conclusions By combining bioinformatics and C. elegans experiments on orthologs, we provide functional insights on twelve previously uncharacterized human genes. PMID:15533247

  11. 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

  12. Protective effects of novel organic selenium compounds against oxidative stress in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    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

    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.

  13. Monomethyl Branched-Chain Fatty Acids Play an Essential Role in Caenorhabditis elegans Development

    PubMed Central

    Crawford, Quinn T; Seiber, Matt; Wang, Cun-Yu

    2004-01-01

    Monomethyl branched-chain fatty acids (mmBCFAs) are commonly found in many organisms from bacteria to mammals. In humans, they have been detected in skin, brain, blood, and cancer cells. Despite a broad distribution, mmBCFAs remain exotic in eukaryotes, where their origin and physiological roles are not understood. Here we report our study of the function and regulation of mmBCFAs in Caenorhabditis elegans, combining genetics, gas chromatography, and DNA microarray analysis. We show that C. elegans synthesizes mmBCFAs de novo and utilizes the long-chain fatty acid elongation enzymes ELO-5 and ELO-6 to produce two mmBCFAs, C15ISO and C17ISO. These mmBCFAs are essential for C. elegans growth and development, as suppression of their biosynthesis results in a growth arrest at the first larval stage. The arrest is reversible and can be overcome by feeding the arrested animals with mmBCFA supplements. We show not only that the levels of C15ISO and C17ISO affect the expression of several genes, but also that the activities of some of these genes affect biosynthesis of mmBCFAs, suggesting a potential feedback regulation. One of the genes, lpd-1, encodes a homolog of a mammalian sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP 1c). We present results suggesting that elo-5 and elo-6 may be transcriptional targets of LPD-1. This study exposes unexpected and crucial physiological functions of C15ISO and C17ISO in C. elegans and suggests a potentially important role for mmBCFAs in other eukaryotes. PMID:15340492

  14. 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

  15. Molecular Time-Course and the Metabolic Basis of Entry into Dauer in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Pan-Young; Kwon, Min-Seok; Joo, Hyoe-Jin; Paik, Young-Ki

    2009-01-01

    When Caenorhabditis elegans senses dauer pheromone (daumone), signaling inadequate growth conditions, it enters the dauer state, which is capable of long-term survival. However, the molecular pathway of dauer entry in C. elegans has remained elusive. To systematically monitor changes in gene expression in dauer paths, we used a DNA microarray containing 22,625 gene probes corresponding to 22,150 unique genes from C. elegans. We employed two different paths: direct exposure to daumone (Path 1) and normal growth media plus liquid culture (Path 2). Our data reveal that entry into dauer is accomplished through the multi-step process, which appears to be compartmentalized in time and according to metabolic flux. That is, a time-course of dauer entry in Path 1 shows that dauer larvae formation begins at post-embryonic stage S4 (48 h) and is complete at S6 (72 h). Our results also suggest the presence of a unique adaptive metabolic control mechanism that requires both stage-specific expression of specific genes and tight regulation of different modes of fuel metabolite utilization to sustain the energy balance in the context of prolonged survival under adverse growth conditions. It is apparent that worms entering dauer stage may rely heavily on carbohydrate-based energy reserves, whereas dauer larvae utilize fat or glyoxylate cycle-based energy sources. We created a comprehensive web-based dauer metabolic database for C. elegans (www.DauerDB.org) that makes it possible to search any gene and compare its relative expression at a specific stage, or evaluate overall patterns of gene expression in both paths. This database can be accessed by the research community and could be widely applicable to other related nematodes as a molecular atlas. PMID:19129915

  16. Natural Genetic Variation in the Caenorhabditis elegans Response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Natalia; Singh, Jogender; Aballay, Alejandro

    2017-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans responds to pathogenic microorganisms by activating its innate immune system, which consists of physical barriers, behavioral responses, and microbial killing mechanisms. We examined whether natural variation plays a role in the response of C. elegans to Pseudomonas aeruginosa using two C. elegans strains that carry the same allele of npr-1, a gene that encodes a G-protein-coupled receptor related to mammalian neuropeptide Y receptors, but that differ in their genetic backgrounds. Strains carrying an allele for the NPR-1 215F isoform have been shown to exhibit lack of pathogen avoidance behavior and deficient immune response toward P. aeruginosa relative to the wild-type (N2) strain. We found that the wild isolate from Germany RC301, which carries the allele for NPR-1 215F, shows an enhanced resistance to P. aeruginosa infection when compared with strain DA650, which also carries NPR-1 215F but in an N2 background. Using a whole-genome sequencing single-nucleotide polymorphism (WGS-SNP) mapping strategy, we determined that the resistance to P. aeruginosa infection maps to a region on chromosome V. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the mechanism for the enhanced resistance to P. aeruginosa infection relies exclusively on strong P. aeruginosa avoidance behavior, and does not involve the main immune, stress, and lifespan extension pathways in C. elegans. Our findings underscore the importance of pathogen-specific behavioral immune defense in the wild, which seems to be favored over the more energy-costly mechanism of activation of physiological cellular defenses. PMID:28179390

  17. Arsenite exposure accelerates aging process regulated by the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yu, Chan-Wei; How, Chun Ming; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan

    2016-05-01

    Arsenic is a known human carcinogen and high levels of arsenic contamination in food, soils, water, and air are of toxicology concerns. Nowadays, arsenic is still a contaminant of emerging interest, yet the effects of arsenic on aging process have received little attention. In this study, we investigated the effects and the underlying mechanisms of chronic arsenite exposure on the aging process in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that prolonged arsenite exposure caused significantly decreased lifespan compared to non-exposed ones. In addition, arsenite exposure (100 μM) caused significant changes of age-dependent biomarkers, including a decrease of defecation frequency, accumulations of intestinal lipofuscin and lipid peroxidation in an age-dependent manner in C. elegans. Further evidence revealed that intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level was significantly increased in an age-dependent manner upon 100 μM arsenite exposure. Moreover, the mRNA levels of transcriptional makers of aging (hsp-16.1, hsp-16.49, and hsp-70) were increased in aged worms under arsenite exposure (100 μM). Finally, we showed that daf-16 mutant worms were more sensitive to arsenite exposure (100 μM) on lifespan and failed to induce the expression of its target gene sod-3 in aged daf-16 mutant under arsenite exposure (100 μM). Our study demonstrated that chronic arsenite exposure resulted in accelerated aging process in C. elegans. The overproduction of intracellular ROS and the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO play roles in mediating the accelerated aging process by arsenite exposure in C. elegans. This study implicates a potential ecotoxicological and health risk of arsenic in the environment.

  18. Pheromone sensing regulates Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan and stress resistance via the deacetylase SIR-2.1

    PubMed Central

    Ludewig, Andreas H.; Izrayelit, Yevgeniy; Park, Donha; Malik, Rabia U.; Zimmermann, Anna; Mahanti, Parag; Fox, Bennett W.; Bethke, Axel; Doering, Frank; Riddle, Donald L.; Schroeder, Frank C.

    2013-01-01

    Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila, and mice is regulated by conserved signaling networks, including the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling cascade and pathways depending on sirtuins, a family of NAD+-dependent deacetylases. Small molecules such as resveratrol are of great interest because they increase lifespan in many species in a sirtuin-dependent manner. However, no endogenous small molecules that regulate lifespan via sirtuins have been identified, and the mechanisms underlying sirtuin-dependent longevity are not well understood. Here, we show that in C. elegans, two endogenously produced small molecules, the dauer-inducing ascarosides ascr#2 and ascr#3, regulate lifespan and stress resistance through chemosensory pathways and the sirtuin SIR-2.1. Ascarosides extend adult lifespan and stress resistance without reducing fecundity or feeding rate, and these effects are reduced or abolished when nutrients are restricted. We found that ascaroside-mediated longevity is fully abolished by loss of SIR-2.1 and that the effect of ascr#2 requires expression of the G protein-coupled receptor DAF-37 in specific chemosensory neurons. In contrast to many other lifespan-modulating factors, ascaroside-mediated lifespan increases do not require insulin signaling via the FOXO homolog DAF-16 or the insulin/IGF-1-receptor homolog DAF-2. Our study demonstrates that C. elegans produces specific small molecules to control adult lifespan in a sirtuin-dependent manner, supporting the hypothesis that endogenous regulation of metazoan lifespan functions, in part, via sirtuins. These findings strengthen the link between chemosensory inputs and conserved mechanisms of lifespan regulation in metazoans and suggest a model for communal lifespan regulation in C. elegans. PMID:23509272

  19. Pheromone sensing regulates Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan and stress resistance via the deacetylase SIR-2.1.

    PubMed

    Ludewig, Andreas H; Izrayelit, Yevgeniy; Park, Donha; Malik, Rabia U; Zimmermann, Anna; Mahanti, Parag; Fox, Bennett W; Bethke, Axel; Doering, Frank; Riddle, Donald L; Schroeder, Frank C

    2013-04-02

    Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila, and mice is regulated by conserved signaling networks, including the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling cascade and pathways depending on sirtuins, a family of NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases. Small molecules such as resveratrol are of great interest because they increase lifespan in many species in a sirtuin-dependent manner. However, no endogenous small molecules that regulate lifespan via sirtuins have been identified, and the mechanisms underlying sirtuin-dependent longevity are not well understood. Here, we show that in C. elegans, two endogenously produced small molecules, the dauer-inducing ascarosides ascr#2 and ascr#3, regulate lifespan and stress resistance through chemosensory pathways and the sirtuin SIR-2.1. Ascarosides extend adult lifespan and stress resistance without reducing fecundity or feeding rate, and these effects are reduced or abolished when nutrients are restricted. We found that ascaroside-mediated longevity is fully abolished by loss of SIR-2.1 and that the effect of ascr#2 requires expression of the G protein-coupled receptor DAF-37 in specific chemosensory neurons. In contrast to many other lifespan-modulating factors, ascaroside-mediated lifespan increases do not require insulin signaling via the FOXO homolog DAF-16 or the insulin/IGF-1-receptor homolog DAF-2. Our study demonstrates that C. elegans produces specific small molecules to control adult lifespan in a sirtuin-dependent manner, supporting the hypothesis that endogenous regulation of metazoan lifespan functions, in part, via sirtuins. These findings strengthen the link between chemosensory inputs and conserved mechanisms of lifespan regulation in metazoans and suggest a model for communal lifespan regulation in C. elegans.

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

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Jagan; Kaplan, Fatma; Ajredini, Ramadan; Zachariah, Cherian; Alborn, Hans T; Teal, Peter E A; Malik, Rabia U; Edison, Arthur S; Sternberg, Paul W; Schroeder, Frank C

    2008-08-28

    In many organisms, population-density sensing and sexual attraction rely on small-molecule-based signalling systems. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, population density is monitored through specific glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose (the 'ascarosides') that promote entry into an alternative larval stage, the non-feeding and highly persistent dauer stage. In addition, adult C. elegans males are attracted to hermaphrodites by a previously unidentified small-molecule signal. Here we show, by means of combinatorial activity-guided fractionation of the C. elegans metabolome, that the mating signal consists of a synergistic blend of three dauer-inducing ascarosides, which we call ascr#2, ascr#3 and ascr#4. This blend of ascarosides acts as a potent male attractant at very low concentrations, whereas at the higher concentrations required for dauer formation the compounds no longer attract males and instead deter hermaphrodites. The ascarosides ascr#2 and ascr#3 carry different, but overlapping, information, as ascr#3 is more potent as a male attractant than ascr#2, whereas ascr#2 is slightly more potent than ascr#3 in promoting dauer formation. We demonstrate that ascr#2, ascr#3 and ascr#4 are strongly synergistic, and that two types of neuron, the amphid single-ciliated sensory neuron type K (ASK) and the male-specific cephalic companion neuron (CEM), are required for male attraction by ascr#3. On the basis of these results, male attraction and dauer formation in C. elegans appear as alternative behavioural responses to a common set of signalling molecules. The ascaroside signalling system thus connects reproductive and developmental pathways and represents a unique example of structure- and concentration-dependent differential activity of signalling molecules.

  1. Cerium oxide nanoparticles are more toxic than equimolar bulk cerium oxide in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Arnold, M C; Badireddy, A R; Wiesner, M R; Di Giulio, R T; Meyer, J N

    2013-08-01

    Engineered cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeO2 NPs) are widely used in biomedical and engineering manufacturing industries. Previous research has shown the ability of CeO2 NPs to act as a redox catalyst, suggesting potential to both induce and alleviate oxidative stress in organisms. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans and zebrafish (Danio rerio) were dosed with commercially available CeO2 NPs. Non-nano cerium oxide powder (CeO2) was used as a positive control for cerium toxicity. CeO2 NPs suspended in standard United States Environmental Protection Agency reconstituted moderately hard water, used to culture the C. elegans, quickly formed large polydisperse aggregates. Dosing solutions were renewed daily for 3 days. Exposure of wild-type nematodes resulted in dose-dependent growth inhibition detected for all 3 days (p < 0.0001). Non-nano CeO2 also caused significant growth inhibition (p < 0.0001), but the scale of inhibition was less at equivalent mass exposures compared with CeO2 NP exposure. Some metal and oxidative stress-sensitive mutant nematode strains showed mildly altered growth relative to the wild-type when dosed with 5 mg/L CeO2 NPs on days 2 and 3, thus providing weak evidence for a role for oxidative stress or metal sensitivity in CeO2 NP toxicity. Zebrafish microinjected with CeO2 NPs or CeO2 did not exhibit increased gross developmental defects compared with controls. Hyperspectral imaging showed that CeO2 NPs were ingested but not detectable inside the cells of C. elegans. Growth inhibition observed in C. elegans may be explained at least in part by a non-specific inhibition of feeding caused by CeO2 NPs aggregating around bacterial food and/or inside the gut tract.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-2 as a Model for Human Insulin Receptoropathies

    PubMed Central

    Bulger, David A.; Fukushige, Tetsunari; Yun, Sijung; Semple, Robert K.; Hanover, John A.; Krause, Michael W.

    2016-01-01

    Human exome sequencing has dramatically increased the rate of identification of disease-associated polymorphisms. However, examining the functional consequences of those variants has created an analytic bottleneck. Insulin-like signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans has long provided a model to assess consequences of human insulin signaling mutations, but this has not been evaluated in the context of current genetic tools. We have exploited strains derived from the Million Mutation Project (MMP) and gene editing to explore further the evolutionary relationships and conservation between the human and C. elegans insulin receptors. Of 40 MMP alleles analyzed in the C. elegans insulin-like receptor gene DAF-2, 35 exhibited insulin-like signaling indistinguishable from wild-type animals, indicating tolerated mutations. Five MMP alleles proved to be novel dauer-enhancing mutations, including one new allele in the previously uncharacterized C-terminus of DAF-2. CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing was used to confirm the phenotypic consequence of six of these DAF-2 mutations and to replicate an allelic series of known human disease mutations in a highly conserved tyrosine kinase active site residue, demonstrating the utility of C. elegans for directly modeling human disease. Our results illustrate the challenges associated with prediction of the phenotypic consequences of amino acid substitutions, the value of assaying mutant isoform function in vivo, and how recently developed tools and resources afford the opportunity to expand our understanding even of highly conserved regulatory modules such as insulin signaling. This approach may prove generally useful for modeling phenotypic consequences of candidate human pathogenic mutations in conserved signaling and developmental pathways. PMID:27856697

  5. Effect of mutation mechanisms on variant composition and distribution in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiou

    2017-01-01

    Genetic diversity is maintained by continuing generation and removal of variants. While examining over 800,000 DNA variants in wild isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans, we made a discovery that the proportions of variant types are not constant across the C. elegans genome. The variant proportion is defined as the fraction of a specific variant type (e.g. single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) or indel) within a broader set of variants (e.g. all variants or all non-SNPs). The proportions of most variant types show a correlation with the recombination rate. These correlations can be explained as a result of a concerted action of two mutation mechanisms, which we named Morgan and Sanger mechanisms. The two proposed mechanisms act according to the distinct components of the recombination rate, specifically the genetic and physical distance. Regression analysis was used to explore the characteristics and contributions of the two mutation mechanisms. According to our model, ~20–40% of all mutations in C. elegans wild populations are derived from programmed meiotic double strand breaks, which precede chromosomal crossovers and thus may be the point of origin for the Morgan mechanism. A substantial part of the known correlation between the recombination rate and variant distribution appears to be caused by the mutations generated by the Morgan mechanism. Mathematically integrating the mutation model with background selection model gives a more complete depiction of how the variant landscape is shaped in C. elegans. Similar analysis should be possible in other species by examining the correlation between the recombination rate and variant landscape within the context of our mutation model. PMID:28135268

  6. Natural Genetic Variation in the Caenorhabditis elegans Response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Martin, Natalia; Singh, Jogender; Aballay, Alejandro

    2017-02-07

    Caenorhabditis elegans responds to pathogenic microorganisms by activating its innate immune system, which consists of physical barriers, behavioral responses, and microbial killing mechanisms. We examined whether natural variation plays a role in the response of C. elegans to Pseudomonas aeruginosa using two C. elegans strains that carry the same allele of npr-1, a gene that encodes a G-protein-coupled receptor related to mammalian neuropeptide Y receptors, but that differ in their genetic backgrounds. Strains carrying an allele for the NPR-1 215F isoform have been shown to exhibit lack of pathogen avoidance behavior and deficient immune response towards P. aeruginosa relative to the wild-type (N2) strain. We found that the wild isolate from Germany RC301, which carries the allele for NPR-1 215F, shows an enhanced resistance to P. aeruginosa infection when compared with strain DA650, which also carries NPR-1 215F but in an N2 background. Using a whole-genome sequencing single-nucleotide polymorphism (WGS-SNP) mapping strategy, we determined that the resistance to P. aeruginosa infection maps to a region on chromosome V. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the mechanism for the enhanced resistance to P. aeruginosa infection relies exclusively on strong P. aeruginosa avoidance behavior and does not involve the main immune, stress and lifespan extension pathways in C. elegans Our findings underscore the importance of pathogen-specific behavioral immune defense in the wild, which seems to be favored over the more energy-costly mechanism of activation of physiological cellular defenses.

  7. Red death in Caenorhabditis elegans caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1.

    PubMed

    Zaborin, Alexander; Romanowski, Kathleen; Gerdes, Svetlana; Holbrook, Christopher; Lepine, Francois; Long, Jason; Poroyko, Valeriy; Diggle, Stephen P; Wilke, Andreas; Righetti, Karima; Morozova, Irina; Babrowski, Trissa; Liu, Donald C; Zaborina, Olga; Alverdy, John C

    2009-04-14

    During host injury, Pseudomonas aeruginosa can be cued to express a lethal phenotype within the intestinal tract reservoir-a hostile, nutrient scarce environment depleted of inorganic phosphate. Here we determined if phosphate depletion activates a lethal phenotype in P. aeruginosa during intestinal colonization. To test this, we allowed Caenorhabditis elegans to feed on lawns of P. aeruginosa PAO1 grown on high and low phosphate media. Phosphate depletion caused PAO1 to kill 60% of nematodes whereas no worms died on high phosphate media. Unexpectedly, intense redness was observed in digestive tubes of worms before death. Using a combination of transcriptome analyses, mutants, and reporter constructs, we identified 3 global virulence systems that were involved in the "red death" response of P. aeruginosa during phosphate depletion; they included phosphate signaling (PhoB), the MvfR-PQS pathway of quorum sensing, and the pyoverdin iron acquisition system. Activation of all 3 systems was required to form a red colored PQS+Fe(3+) complex which conferred a lethal phenotype in this model. When pyoverdin production was inhibited in P. aeruginosa by providing excess iron, red death was attenuated in C. elegans and mortality was decreased in mice intestinally inoculated with P. aeruginosa. Introduction of the red colored PQS+Fe(3+) complex into the digestive tube of C. elegans or mouse intestine caused mortality associated with epithelial disruption and apoptosis. In summary, red death in C. elegans reveals a triangulated response between PhoB, MvfR-PQS, and pyoverdin in response to phosphate depletion that activates a lethal phenotype in P. aeruginosa.

  8. 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

  9. A comparison of the effects of ivermectin and moxidectin on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ardelli, Bernadette F; Stitt, Laurel E; Tompkins, Jeffrey B; Prichard, Roger K

    2009-10-28

    The avermectins and the milbemycins are structurally related classes of 16-membered macrocyclic lactones (ML) that have a broad spectrum of activity. Most studies on the mode of action of ML have used the avermectin, ivermectin (IVM). IVM activates glutamate-gated chloride channels that contain alpha-type subunits, resulting in a hyperpolarization of the neuronal membrane, leading to a flaccid paralysis. IVM kills Caenorhabditis elegans at therapeutic concentrations, making it a useful model to examine mechanisms of IVM toxicity and resistance. There have been suggestions that the milbemycins may exert effects that are different from the avermectins, however this hypothesis has been challenged. Using IVM and the milbemycin, moxidectin (MOX), we demonstrate that while the two drugs have some similar effects on C. elegans, there are also some differences in worm response. Following exogenous exposure to a gradient of IVM and MOX, ranging from 0 to 5000 nM, quantitative and qualitative differences in response to the two anthelmintic drugs were observed in the pharyngeal pump rate, larval development and motility of wild-type and glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) subunit knockout strains of C. elegans. After exposure to equimolar drug concentrations, differences between the anthelmintic effects were observed in the motility phenotype in the wild-type, GluCl subunit knockout strains and multi-gene knockout strain of C. elegans that exhibits a marked reduction in IVM sensitivity; and transcription profiles of genes coding for GluCl subunits in both the wild-type and glc-2 knockout strain. The glc-2 deletion strain showed increased motility in response to 2.5nM MOX in the first 1.5h of exposure, compared with wild-type nematodes, whereas this strain showed little change in motility in response to IVM. The pharyngeal pump rate in the glc-2 deletion strain was sensitive to equimolar concentrations of IVM and MOX. The triple avr-14/avr-15/glc-1 knockout caused a loss

  10. Life cycle and population growth rate of Caenorhabditis elegans studied by a new method

    PubMed Central

    Muschiol, Daniel; Schroeder, Fabian; Traunspurger, Walter

    2009-01-01

    Background The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is the predominant model organism in biological research, being used by a huge number of laboratories worldwide. Many researchers have evaluated life-history traits of C. elegans in investigations covering quite different aspects such as ecotoxicology, inbreeding depression and heterosis, dietary restriction/supplement, mutations, and ageing. Such traits include juvenile growth rates, age at sexual maturity, adult body size, age-specific fecundity/mortality, total reproduction, mean and maximum lifespan, and intrinsic population growth rates. However, we found that in life-cycle experiments care is needed regarding protocol design. Here, we test a recently developed method that overcomes some problems associated with traditional cultivation techniques. In this fast and yet precise approach, single individuals are maintained within hanging drops of semi-fluid culture medium, allowing the simultaneous investigation of various life-history traits at any desired degree of accuracy. Here, the life cycles of wild-type C. elegans strains N2 (Bristol, UK) and MY6 (Münster, Germany) were compared at 20°C with 5 × 109 Escherichia coli ml-1 as food source. Results High-resolution life tables and fecundity schedules of the two strains are presented. Though isolated 700 km and 60 years apart from each other, the two strains barely differed in life-cycle parameters. For strain N2 (n = 69), the intrinsic rate of natural increase (rmd-1), calculated according to the Lotka equation, was 1.375, the net reproductive rate (R0) 291, the mean generation time (T) 90 h, and the minimum generation time (Tmin) 73.0 h. The corresponding values for strain MY6 (n = 72) were rm = 1.460, R0 = 289, T = 84 h, and Tmin = 67.3 h. Peak egg-laying rates in both strains exceeded 140 eggs d-1. Juvenile and early adulthood mortality was negligible. Strain N2 lived, on average, for 16.7 d, while strain MY6 died 2 days earlier; however

  11. The LIM homeobox gene ceh-14 confers thermosensory function to the AFD neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Cassata, G; Kagoshima, H; Andachi, Y; Kohara, Y; Dürrenberger, M B; Hall, D H; Bürglin, T R

    2000-03-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans three pairs of neurons, AFD, AIY, and AIZ, play a key role in thermosensation. The LIM homeobox gene ceh-14 is expressed in the AFD thermosensory neurons. ceh-14 mutant animals display athermotactic behaviors, although the neurons are still present and differentiated. Two other LIM homeobox genes, ttx-3 and lin-11, function in the two interneurons AIY and AIZ, respectively. Thus, the three key thermosensory neurons are specified by three different LIM homeobox genes. ceh-14 ttx-3 lin-11 triple mutant animals have a basic cryophilic thermotaxis behavior indicative of a second thermotaxis pathway. Misexpression of ceh-14 in chemosensory neurons can restore thermotactic behavior without impairing the chemosensory function. Thus, ceh-14 confers thermosensory function to neurons.

  12. The Ubiquitin-fold Modifier 1 (Ufm1) Cascade of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hertel, Patrick; Daniel, Jens; Stegehake, Dirk; Vaupel, Hannah; Kailayangiri, Sareetha; Gruel, Clio; Woltersdorf, Christian; Liebau, Eva

    2013-01-01

    Ufm1 (ubiquitin-fold modifier 1) is the most recently identified member of the ubiquitin-like protein family. We characterized the Ufm1 cascade of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans in terms of function and analyzed interactions of the involved proteins in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we investigated the phenotypes of the deletion mutants uba5(ok3364) (activating enzyme of Ufm1) and ufc1(tm4888) (conjugating enzyme of Ufm1). The viable deletion mutants showed a decrease in reproduction, development, life span, and a reduced survival under heavy metal stress. However, an increased survival rate under pathogenic, oxidative, heat, and endoplasmic reticulum stress was observed. We propose that the Ufm1 cascade negatively regulates the IRE1-mediated unfolded protein response. PMID:23449979

  13. 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.

  14. Two Neuronal G Proteins Are Involved in Chemosensation of the Caenorhabditis Elegans Dauer-Inducing Pheromone

    PubMed Central

    Zwaal, R. R.; Mendel, J. E.; Sternberg, P. W.; Plasterk, RHA.

    1997-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans uses chemosensation to determine its course of development. Young larvae can arrest as dauer larvae in response to increasing population density, which they measure by a nematode-excreted pheromone, and decreasing food supply. Dauer larvae can resume development in response to a decrease in pheromone and increase in food concentration. We show here that two novel G protein alpha subunits (GPA-2 and GPA-3) show promoter activity in subsets of chemosensory neurons and are involved in the decision to form dauer larvae primarily through the response to dauer pheromone. Dominant activating mutations in these G proteins result in constitutive, pheromone-independent dauer formation, whereas inactivation results in reduced sensitivity to pheromone, and, under certain conditions, an alteration in the response to food. Interactions between gpa-2, gpa-3 and other genes controlling dauer formation suggest that these G proteins may act in parallel to regulate the neuronal decision making that precedes dauer formation. PMID:9055081

  15. Isolation and characterization of high-temperature-induced Dauer formation mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed Central

    Ailion, Michael; Thomas, James H

    2003-01-01

    Dauer formation in Caenorhabditis elegans is regulated by at least three signaling pathways, including an insulin receptor-signaling pathway. These pathways were defined by mutants that form dauers constitutively (Daf-c) at 25 degrees. Screens for Daf-c mutants at 25 degrees have probably been saturated, but failed to identify all the components involved in regulating dauer formation. Here we screen for Daf-c mutants at 27 degrees, a more strongly dauer-inducing condition. Mutations identified include novel classes of alleles for three known genes and alleles defining at least seven new genes, hid-1-hid-7. Many of the genes appear to act in the insulin branch of the dauer pathway, including pdk-1, akt-1, aex-6, and hid-1. We also molecularly identify hid-1 and show that it encodes a novel highly conserved putative transmembrane protein expressed in neurons. PMID:14504222

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-21

    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.

  17. The Caenorhabditis elegans protein SAS-5 forms large oligomeric assemblies critical for centriole formation

    PubMed Central

    Rogala, Kacper B; Dynes, Nicola J; Hatzopoulos, Georgios N; Yan, Jun; Pong, Sheng Kai; Robinson, Carol V; Deane, Charlotte M; Gönczy, Pierre; Vakonakis, Ioannis

    2015-01-01

    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. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07410.001 PMID:26023830

  18. Cell-cycle quiescence maintains Caenorhabditis elegans germline stem cells independent of GLP-1/Notch.

    PubMed

    Seidel, Hannah S; Kimble, Judith

    2015-11-09

    Many types of adult stem cells exist in a state of cell-cycle quiescence, yet it has remained unclear whether quiescence plays a role in maintaining the stem cell fate. Here we establish the adult germline of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for facultative stem cell quiescence. We find that mitotically dividing germ cells--including germline stem cells--become quiescent in the absence of food. This quiescence is characterized by a slowing of S phase, a block to M-phase entry, and the ability to re-enter M phase rapidly in response to re-feeding. Further, we demonstrate that cell-cycle quiescence alters the genetic requirements for stem cell maintenance: The signaling pathway required for stem cell maintenance under fed conditions--GLP-1/Notch signaling--becomes dispensable under conditions of quiescence. Thus, cell-cycle quiescence can itself maintain stem cells, independent of the signaling pathway otherwise essential for such maintenance.

  19. Asymmetric enrichment of PIE-1 in the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote mediated by binary counterdiffusion.

    PubMed

    Daniels, Brian R; Perkins, Edward M; Dobrowsky, Terrence M; Sun, Sean X; Wirtz, Denis

    2009-02-23

    To generate cellular diversity in developing organisms while simultaneously maintaining the developmental potential of the germline, germ cells must be able to preferentially endow germline daughter cells with a cytoplasmic portion containing specialized cell fate determinants not inherited by somatic cells. In Caenorhabditis elegans, germline inheritance of the protein PIE-1 is accomplished by first asymmetrically localizing the protein to the germplasm before cleavage and subsequently degrading residual levels of the protein in the somatic cytoplasm after cleavage. Despite its critical involvement in cell fate determination, the enrichment of germline determinants remains poorly understood. Here, combining live-cell fluorescence methods and kinetic modeling, we demonstrate that the enrichment process does not involve protein immobilization, intracellular compartmentalization, or localized protein degradation. Instead, our results support a heterogeneous reaction/diffusion model for PIE-1 enrichment in which the diffusion coefficient of PIE-1 is reversibly reduced in the posterior, resulting in a stable protein gradient across the zygote at steady state.

  20. A mutation in Caenorhabditis elegans that increases recombination frequency more than threefold.

    PubMed

    Rose, A M; Baillie, D L

    1979-10-18

    In higher organisms the rate of recombination between genetic loci is presumably responsive to selective pressure. Recently, selective pressures and mutational events that influence recombination have been reviewed. Mutational sites and chromosomal rearrangements that enhance or suppress recombination frequency in specific regions are known, but general mechanisms that enhance recombination have not yet been discovered. We describe here the isolation and characterisation of a strain of the hermaphroditic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, that has a recombination frequency at least threefold higher than that found in the wild type. In this strain, rec-1, the number of reciprocal recombination events between linked loci is increased. This is true for all pairs of linked loci studies so far. The high recombination strain behaves as if it carries a classical recessive mutation, although a second mutation exists which can alter the recessive behaviour of rec-1.

  1. Growth Inhibition of Caenorhabditis elegans and Panagrellus redivivus by Selected Mammalian and Insect Hormones

    PubMed Central

    Dropkin, V. H.; Lower, W. R.; Acedo, J.

    1971-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans and Panagrellus redivivus were cultured in axenic medium in microwells. The addition of selected steroids and terpenoids to the medium caused quantitative inhibition of numbers of offspring produced per well. Three out of 14 vertebrate sex hormones and analogs, and seven out of 10 insect juvenile hormones and analogs inhibited growth at 25 or 50 micrograms per ml. In addition, two insecticide synergists which mimic juvenile hormones, propyl 2-propynyl phenyl phosphonate and piperonyl butoxide, inhibited growth at 7 μg/ml. Total lipids from Panagrellus and from Nematospiroides dubius were inhibitory. Separation by silicic acid column chromatography yielded active and inactive portions. We concluded that the inhibition observed was non-specific. PMID:19322390

  2. 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.

  3. An ankyrin-related gene (unc-44) is necessary for proper axonal guidance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans unc-44 mutations result in aberrant axon guidance and fasciculation with inappropriate partners. The unc-44 gene was cloned by transposon tagging, and verified by genetic and molecular analyses of six transposon-induced alleles and their revertants. Nucleotide sequence analyses demonstrated that unc-44 encodes a series of putative ankyrin-related proteins, including AO49 ankyrin (1815 aa, 198.8 kD), AO66 ankyrin (1867 aa, 204 kD), and AO13 ankyrin (< or = 4700 aa, < or = 517 kD). In addition to the major set of approximately 6 kb alternatively spliced transcripts, minor transcripts were observed at approximately 3, 5, 7, and 14 kb. Evidence is provided that mutations in the approximately 14-kb AO13 ankyrin transcript are responsible for the neuronal defects. These molecular studies provide the first evidence that ankyrin-related molecules are required for axonal guidance. PMID:7744957

  4. A new way to visualize DNA's base succession: the Caenorhabditis elegans chromosome landscapes.

    PubMed

    Oueslati, Afef Elloumi; Messaoudi, Imen; Lachiri, Zied; Ellouze, Noureddine

    2015-11-01

    In the eukaryotic genomes, the genetic diseases are generally associated with the tandem repeats. These repeats seem to appear frequently. In this paper, we are describing a wavelet transform technique which provides a new way to represent the DNA succession bases as a DNA progression images. These images offer DNA landscapes, visualizing and following up periodicities through genomes. We investigated in a structural coding technique the Pnuc. Then, we illustrated, with time-frequency representation, the existence and the superposition of the periodicities in some biological features, their locations and the different ways in which they appear. The representations generated showed that one periodicity can sometimes be alone, but generally, it is incorporated to others. These periodicities associations create, in the Caenorhabditis elegans chromosome, a precise structural image of biological features, such as CeRep, Helitrons, repeats and satellites.

  5. Ascaroside activity in Caenorhabditis elegans is highly dependent on chemical structure.

    PubMed

    Hollister, Kyle A; Conner, Elizabeth S; Zhang, Xinxing; Spell, Mark; Bernard, Gary M; Patel, Pratik; de Carvalho, Ana Carolina G V; Butcher, Rebecca A; Ragains, Justin R

    2013-09-15

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans secretes ascarosides, structurally diverse derivatives of the 3,6-dideoxysugar ascarylose, and uses them in chemical communication. At high population densities, specific ascarosides, which are together known as the dauer pheromone, trigger entry into the stress-resistant dauer larval stage. In order to study the structure-activity relationships for the ascarosides, we synthesized a panel of ascarosides and tested them for dauer-inducing activity. This panel includes a number of natural ascarosides that were detected in crude pheromone extract, but as yet have no assigned function, as well as many unnatural ascaroside derivatives. Most of these ascarosides, some of which have significant structural similarity to the natural dauer pheromone components, have very little dauer-inducing activity. Our results provide a primer to ascaroside structure-activity relationships and suggest that slight modifications to ascaroside structure dramatically influence binding to the relevant G protein-coupled receptors that control dauer formation.

  6. Ascaroside activity in Caenorhabditis elegans is highly dependent on chemical structure

    PubMed Central

    Hollister, Kyle A.; Conner, Elizabeth S.; Zhang, Xinxing; Spell, Mark; Bernard, Gary M.; Patel, Pratik; de Carvalho, Ana Carolina G.V.; Butcher, Rebecca A.; Ragains, Justin R.

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans secretes ascarosides, structurally diverse derivatives of the 3,6-dideoxysugar ascarylose, and uses them in chemical communication. At high population densities, specific ascarosides, which are together known as the dauer pheromone, trigger entry into the stress-resistant dauer larval stage. In order to study the structure-activity relationships for the ascarosides, we synthesized a panel of ascarosides and tested them for dauer-inducing activity. This panel includes a number of natural ascarosides that were detected in crude pheromone extract, but as yet have no assigned function, as well as many unnatural ascaroside derivatives. Most of these ascarosides, some of which have significant structural similarity to the natural dauer pheromone components, have very little dauer-inducing activity. Our results provide a primer to ascaroside structure-activity relationships and suggest that slight modifications to ascaroside structure dramatically influence binding to the relevant G protein-coupled receptors that control dauer formation. PMID:23920482

  7. The cellular geometry of growth drives the amino acid economy of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Swire, Jonathan; Fuchs, Silke; Bundy, Jacob G; Leroi, Armand M

    2009-08-07

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans grows largely by increases in cell size. As a consequence of this, the surface: volume ratio of its cells must decline in the course of postembryonic growth. Here we use transcriptomic and metabolomic data to show that this change in geometry can explain a variety of phenomena during growth, including: (i) changes in the relative expression levels of cytoplasmic and membrane proteins; (ii) changes in the relative usage of the twenty amino acids in expressed proteins, as estimated by changes in the transcriptome; and (iii) changes in metabolite pools of free amino acids. We expect these relations to be universal in single cells and in whole multicellular organisms that grow largely by increases in cell size, but not those that grow by cell proliferation.

  8. Seahorse Xfe 24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer-Based Analysis of Cellular Respiration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Luz, Anthony L; Smith, Latasha L; Rooney, John P; Meyer, Joel N

    2015-11-02

    Mitochondria are critical for their role in ATP production as well as multiple nonenergetic functions, and mitochondrial dysfunction is causal in myriad human diseases. Less well appreciated is the fact that mitochondria integrate environmental and intercellular as well as intracellular signals to modulate function. Because mitochondria function in an organismal milieu, there is need for assays capable of rapidly assessing mitochondrial health in vivo. Here, using the Seahorse XF(e) 24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer and the pharmacological inhibitors dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD, ATP synthase inhibitor), carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP, mitochondrial uncoupler), and sodium azide (cytochrome c oxidase inhibitor), we describe how to obtain in vivo measurements of the fundamental parameters [basal oxygen consumption rate (OCR), ATP-linked respiration, maximal OCR, spare respiratory capacity, and proton leak] of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.

  9. Seahorse Xfe24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer-based analysis of cellular respiration in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Luz, Anthony L.; Smith, Latasha L.; Rooney, John P.

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are critical for their role in ATP production as well as multiple nonenergetic functions, and mitochondrial dysfunction is causal in myriad human diseases. Less well appreciated is the fact that mitochondria integrate environmental and inter- as well as intracellular signals to modulate function. Because mitochondria function in an organismal milieu, there is need for assays capable of rapidly assessing mitochondrial health in vivo. Here, using the Seahorse XFe24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer and the pharmacological inhibitors dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD, ATP synthase inhibitor), carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP, mitochondrial uncoupler) and sodium azide (cytochrome c oxidase inhibitor), we describe how to obtain in vivo measurements of the fundamental parameters (basal oxygen consumption rate (OCR), ATP-linked respiration, maximal OCR, spare respiratory capacity and proton leak) of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:26523474

  10. Multiple mild heat-shocks decrease the Gompertz component of mortality in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wu, Deqing; Cypser, James R; Yashin, Anatoli I; Johnson, Thomas E

    2009-09-01

    Exposure to mild heat-stress (heat-shock) can significantly increase the life expectancy of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A single heat-shock early in life extends longevity by 20% or more and affects life-long mortality by decreasing initial mortality only; the rate of increase in subsequent mortality (Gompertz component) is unchanged. Repeated mild heat-shocks throughout life have a larger effect on life span than does a single heat-shock early in life. Here, we ask how multiple heat-shocks affect the mortality trajectory in nematodes and find increases of life expectancy of close to 50% and of maximum longevity as well. We examined mortality using large numbers of animals and found that multiple heat-shocks not only decrease initial mortality, but also slow the Gompertz rate of increase in mortality. Thus, multiple heat-shocks have anti-aging hormetic effects and represent an effective approach for modulating aging.

  11. Lipocalin signaling controls unicellular tube development in the Caenorhabditis elegans excretory system.

    PubMed

    Stone, Craig E; Hall, David H; Sundaram, Meera V

    2009-05-15

    Unicellular tubes or capillaries composed of individual cells with a hollow lumen perform important physiological functions including fluid or gas transport and exchange. These tubes are thought to build intracellular lumina by polarized trafficking of apical membrane components, but the molecular signals that promote luminal growth and luminal connectivity between cells are poorly understood. Here we show that the lipocalin LPR-1 is required for luminal connectivity between two unicellular tubes in the Caenorhabditis elegans excretory (renal) system, the excretory duct cell and pore cell. Lipocalins are a large family of secreted proteins that transport lipophilic cargos and participate in intercellular signaling. lpr-1 is required at a time of rapid luminal growth, it is expressed by the duct, pore and surrounding cells, and it can function cell non-autonomously. These results reveal a novel signaling mechanism that controls unicellular tube formation, and provide a genetic model system for dissecting lipocalin signaling pathways.

  12. Diverse Regulation of Temperature Sensation by Trimeric G-Protein Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Ujisawa, Tomoyo; Ohta, Akane; Uda-Yagi, Misato

    2016-01-01

    Temperature sensation by the nervous system is essential for life and proliferation of animals. The molecular-physiological mechanisms underlying temperature signaling have not been fully elucidated. We show here that diverse regulatory machinery underlies temperature sensation through trimeric G-protein signaling in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Molecular-genetic studies demonstrated that cold tolerance is regulated by additive functions of three Gα proteins in a temperature-sensing neuron, ASJ, which is also known to be a light-sensing neuron. Optical recording of calcium concentration in ASJ upon temperature-changes demonstrated that three Gα proteins act in different aspects of temperature signaling. Calcium concentration changes in ASJ upon temperature change were unexpectedly decreased in a mutant defective in phosphodiesterase, which is well known as a negative regulator of calcium increase. Together, these data demonstrate commonalities and differences in the molecular components concerned with light and temperature signaling in a single sensory neuron. PMID:27788246

  13. Domain architecture of a Caenorhabditis elegans AKAP suggests a novel AKAP function.

    PubMed

    Herrgård, S; Jambeck, P; Taylor, S S; Subramaniam, S

    2000-12-08

    A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) are adapter proteins that are involved in directing cAMP-dependent protein kinase and some other signaling enzymes to certain intracellular locations. In this study, we investigate the domain architecture of an AKAP from Caenorhabditis elegans (AKAP(CE)). We show that AKAP(CE) shares two domains with the Smad anchor for receptor activation, a FYVE-finger and a transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) receptor binding domain, suggesting that AKAP(CE) may interact with a receptor belonging to the TGFbeta receptor family. This predicted novel AKAP function supports the recent view of AKAPs as adapter proteins that can be involved in various signaling pathways.

  14. Neuropeptidergic Signaling and Active Feeding State Inhibit Nociception in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ezcurra, Marina; Walker, Denise S; Beets, Isabel; Swoboda, Peter; Schafer, William R

    2016-03-16

    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.

  15. Slow Ca2+ dynamics in pharyngeal muscles in Caenorhabditis elegans during fast pumping.

    PubMed

    Shimozono, Satoshi; Fukano, Takashi; Kimura, Koutarou D; Mori, Ikue; Kirino, Yutaka; Miyawaki, Atsushi

    2004-05-01

    The pharyngeal muscles of Caenorhabditis elegans are composed of the corpus, isthmus and terminal bulb from anterior to posterior. These components are excited in a coordinated fashion to facilitate proper feeding through pumping and peristalsis. We analysed the spatiotemporal pattern of intracellular calcium dynamics in the pharyngeal muscles during feeding. We used a new ratiometric fluorescent calcium indicator and a new optical system that allows simultaneous illumination and detection at any two wavelengths. Pumping was observed with fast, repetitive and synchronous spikes in calcium concentrations in the corpus and terminal bulb, indicative of electrical coupling throughout the muscles. The posterior isthmus, however, responded to only one out of several pumping spikes to produce broad calcium transients, leading to peristalsis, the slow and gradual motion needed for efficient swallows. The excitation-calcium coupling may be uniquely modulated in this region at the level of calcium channels on the plasma membrane.

  16. SPDL-1 functions as a kinetochore receptor for MDF-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Takaharu G; Watanabe, Sonoko; Essex, Anthony; Kitagawa, Risa

    2008-10-20

    The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) ensures faithful chromosome segregation by delaying anaphase onset until all sister kinetochores are attached to bipolar spindles. An RNA interference screen for synthetic genetic interactors with a conserved SAC gene, san-1/MAD3, identified spdl-1, a Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of Spindly. SPDL-1 protein localizes to the kinetochore from prometaphase to metaphase, and this depends on KNL-1, a highly conserved kinetochore protein, and CZW-1/ZW10, a component of the ROD-ZW10-ZWILCH complex. In two-cell-stage embryos harboring abnormal monopolar spindles, SPDL-1 is required to induce the SAC-dependent mitotic delay and localizes the SAC protein MDF-1/MAD1 to the kinetochore facing away from the spindle pole. In addition, SPDL-1 coimmunoprecipitates with MDF-1/MAD1 in vivo. These results suggest that SPDL-1 functions in a kinetochore receptor of MDF-1/MAD1 to induce SAC function.

  17. Radiobiological studies with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic and developmental effects of high LET radiation.

    PubMed

    Nelson, G A; Schubert, W W; Marshall, T M

    1992-01-01

    The biological effects of heavy charged particle (HZE) radiation are of particular interest to travellers and planners for long-duration space flights where exposure levels represent a potential health hazard. The unique feature of HZE radiation is the structured pattern of its energy deposition in targets. There are many consequences of this feature to biological endpoints when compared with effects of ionizing photons. Dose vs response and dose-rate kinetics may be modified, DNA and cellular repair systems may be altered in their abilities to cope with damage, and the qualitative features of damage may be unique for different ions. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being used to address these and related questions associated with exposure to radiation. HZE-induced mutation, chromosome aberration, cell inactivation and altered organogenesis are discussed along with plans for radiobiological experiments in space.

  18. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: a versatile model for the study of proteotoxicity and aging.

    PubMed

    Volovik, Yuli; Marques, Filipa Carvalhal; Cohen, Ehud

    2014-08-01

    Toxicity arising from protein misfolding and aggregation (proteotoxicity) is tightly mechanistically linked to the emergence of late-onset neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Why these maladies manifest in late stages of life and what mechanisms protect the young organism from disease are key enigmas. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans offers key advantages that enable systematic exploration of many cell biological and functional aspects of neurodegeneration-linked proteotoxicity. Here we review the abundantly used nematode-based proteotoxicity models and delineate common techniques for the measurement of protein aggregation and rate of proteotoxicity. We also discuss the advantages offered by the worm for genetic screening, drug development and for the exploration of the links between proteotoxicity and the aging process.

  19. Radiobiological studies with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic and developmental effects of high LET radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, G. A.; Schubert, W. W.; Marshall, T. M.

    1992-01-01

    The biological effects of heavy charged particle (HZE) radiation are of particular interest to travellers and planners for long-duration space flights where exposure levels represent a potential health hazard. The unique feature of HZE radiation is the structured pattern of its energy deposition in targets. There are many consequences of this feature to biological endpoints when compared with effects of ionizing photons. Dose vs response and dose-rate kinetics may be modified, DNA and cellular repair systems may be altered in their abilities to cope with damage, and the qualitative features of damage may be unique for different ions. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being used to address these and related questions associated with exposure to radiation. HZE-induced mutation, chromosome aberration, cell inactivation and altered organogenesis are discussed along with plans for radiobiological experiments in space.

  20. Lysosome biogenesis mediated by vps-18 affects apoptotic cell degradation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Hui; Chen, Didi; Fang, Zhou; Xu, Jing; Sun, Xiaojuan; Song, Song; Liu, Jiajia; Yang, Chonglin

    2009-01-01

    Appropriate clearance of apoptotic cells (cell corpses) is an important step of programmed cell death. Although genetic and biochemical studies have identified several genes that regulate the engulfment of cell corpses, how these are degraded after being internalized in engulfing cell remains elusive. Here, we show that VPS-18, the Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of yeast Vps18p, is critical to cell corpse degradation. VPS-18 is expressed and functions in engulfing cells. Deletion of vps-18 leads to significant accumulation of cell corpses that are not degraded properly. Furthermore, vps-18 mutation causes strong defects in the biogenesis of endosomes and lysosomes, thus affecting endosomal/lysosomal protein degradation. Importantly, we demonstrate that phagosomes containing internalized cell corpses are unable to fuse with lysosomes in vps-18 mutants. Our findings thus provide direct evidence for the important role of endosomal/lysosomal degradation in proper clearance of apoptotic cells during programmed cell death.