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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

    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 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

  8. Biomechanical analysis of gait adaptation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Fang-Yen, Christopher; Wyart, Matthieu; Xie, Julie; Kawai, Risa; Kodger, Tom; Chen, Sway; Wen, Quan; Samuel, Aravinthan D. T.

    2010-01-01

    To navigate different environments, an animal must be able to adapt its locomotory gait to its physical surroundings. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, between swimming in water and crawling on surfaces, adapts its locomotory gait to surroundings that impose approximately 10,000-fold differences in mechanical resistance. Here we investigate this feat by studying the undulatory movements of C. elegans in Newtonian fluids spanning nearly five orders of magnitude in viscosity. In these fluids, the worm undulatory gait varies continuously with changes in external load: As load increases, both wavelength and frequency of undulation decrease. We also quantify the internal viscoelastic properties of the worm’s body and their role in locomotory dynamics. We incorporate muscle activity, internal load, and external load into a biomechanical model of locomotion and show that (i) muscle power is nearly constant across changes in locomotory gait, and (ii) the onset of gait adaptation occurs as external load becomes comparable to internal load. During the swimming gait, which is evoked by small external loads, muscle power is primarily devoted to bending the worm’s elastic body. During the crawling gait, evoked by large external loads, comparable muscle power is used to drive the external load and the elastic body. Our results suggest that C. elegans locomotory gait continuously adapts to external mechanical load in order to maintain propulsive thrust. PMID:21048086

  9. Biomechanical analysis of gait adaptation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Fang-Yen, Christopher; Wyart, Matthieu; Xie, Julie; Kawai, Risa; Kodger, Tom; Chen, Sway; Wen, Quan; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2010-11-23

    To navigate different environments, an animal must be able to adapt its locomotory gait to its physical surroundings. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, between swimming in water and crawling on surfaces, adapts its locomotory gait to surroundings that impose approximately 10,000-fold differences in mechanical resistance. Here we investigate this feat by studying the undulatory movements of C. elegans in Newtonian fluids spanning nearly five orders of magnitude in viscosity. In these fluids, the worm undulatory gait varies continuously with changes in external load: As load increases, both wavelength and frequency of undulation decrease. We also quantify the internal viscoelastic properties of the worm's body and their role in locomotory dynamics. We incorporate muscle activity, internal load, and external load into a biomechanical model of locomotion and show that (i) muscle power is nearly constant across changes in locomotory gait, and (ii) the onset of gait adaptation occurs as external load becomes comparable to internal load. During the swimming gait, which is evoked by small external loads, muscle power is primarily devoted to bending the worm's elastic body. During the crawling gait, evoked by large external loads, comparable muscle power is used to drive the external load and the elastic body. Our results suggest that C. elegans locomotory gait continuously adapts to external mechanical load in order to maintain propulsive thrust.

  10. Globins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Tilleman, Lesley; Germani, Francesca; De Henau, Sasha; Geuens, Eva; Hoogewijs, David; Braeckman, Bart P; Vanfleteren, Jacques R; Moens, Luc; Dewilde, Sylvia

    2011-03-01

    Extensive in silico search of the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans revealed the presence of 33 genes coding for globins that are all transcribed. These globins are very diverse in gene and protein structure and are localized in a variety of cells, mostly neurons. The large number of C. elegans globin genes is assumed to be the result of multiple evolutionary duplication and radiation events. Processes of subfunctionalization and diversification probably led to their cell-specific expression patterns and fixation into the genome. To date, four globins (GLB-1, GLB-5, GLB-6, and GLB-26) have been partially characterized physicochemically, and the crystallographic structure of two of them (GLB-1 and GLB-6) was solved. In this article, a three-dimensional model was designed for the other two globins (GLB-5 and GLB-26), and overlays of the globins were constructed to highlight the structural diversity among them. It is clear that although they all share the globin fold, small variations in the three-dimensional structure have major implications on their ligand-binding properties and possibly their function. We also review here all the information available so far on the globin family of C. elegans and suggest potential functions. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. 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

  12. Proteomic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  13. Automated imaging of neuronal activity in freely behaving Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ben Arous, Juliette; Tanizawa, Yoshinori; Rabinowitch, Ithai; Chatenay, Didier; Schafer, William R

    2010-03-30

    In order to understand how neuronal circuits control locomotory patterns it is necessary to record neuronal activity of freely behaving animals. Here, using a new automated system for simultaneous recording of behavior and neuronal activity in freely moving Caenorhabditis elegans on standard agar plates, we show that spontaneous reversals from forward to backward locomotion reflect precisely the activity of the AVA command interneurons. We also witness spontaneous activity transients in the PLM sensory neurons during free behavior of the worm in standard conditions. We show that these activity transients are coupled to short spontaneous forward accelerations of the worm. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Toxicity testing using Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  15. 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

  16. Intermediate Filaments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zuela, Noam; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2016-01-01

    More than 70 different genes in humans and 12 different genes in Caenorhabditis elegans encode the superfamily of intermediate filament (IF) proteins. In C. elegans, similar to humans, these proteins are expressed in a cell- and tissue-specific manner, can assemble into heteropolymers and into 5-10nm wide filaments that account for the principal structural elements at the nuclear periphery, nucleoplasm, and cytoplasm. At least 5 of the 11 cytoplasmic IFs, as well as the nuclear IF, lamin, are essential. In this chapter, we will include a short review of our current knowledge of both cytoplasmic and nuclear IFs in C. elegans and will describe techniques used for their analyses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Cancer models in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kirienko, Natalia V; Mani, Kumaran; Fay, David S

    2010-05-01

    Although now dogma, the idea that nonvertebrate organisms such as yeast, worms, and flies could inform, and in some cases even revolutionize, our understanding of oncogenesis in humans was not immediately obvious. Aided by the conservative nature of evolution and the persistence of a cohort of devoted researchers, the role of model organisms as a key tool in solving the cancer problem has, however, become widely accepted. In this review, we focus on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its diverse and sometimes surprising contributions to our understanding of the tumorigenic process. Specifically, we discuss findings in the worm that address a well-defined set of processes known to be deregulated in cancer cells including cell cycle progression, growth factor signaling, terminal differentiation, apoptosis, the maintenance of genome stability, and developmental mechanisms relevant to invasion and metastasis. Copyright (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Undulatory locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans on wet surfaces.

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-20

    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. Copyright © 2012 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Biomechanical Profiling of Caenorhabditis elegans Motility

    PubMed Central

    Krajacic, Predrag; Shen, Xiaoning; Purohit, Prashant K.; Arratia, Paulo; Lamitina, Todd

    2012-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans locomotion is a stereotyped behavior that is ideal for genetic analysis. We integrated video microscopy, image analysis algorithms, and fluid mechanics principles to describe the C. elegans swim gait. Quantification of body shapes and external hydrodynamics and model-based estimates of biomechanics reveal that mutants affecting similar biological processes exhibit related patterns of biomechanical differences. Therefore, biomechanical profiling could be useful for predicting the function of previously unstudied motility genes. PMID:22554893

  8. Cytological Analysis of Meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Genistein from Vigna angularis Extends Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Laser Microsurgery in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution.

    PubMed

    Gray, Jeremy C; Cutter, Asher D

    2014-03-07

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research.

    PubMed

    Muthaiyan Shanmugam, Muniesh; Subhra Santra, Tuhin

    2016-08-02

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

  19. Cell Biology of the Caenorhabditis elegans Nucleus.

    PubMed

    Cohen-Fix, Orna; Askjaer, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Studies on the Caenorhabditis elegans nucleus have provided fascinating insight to the organization and activities of eukaryotic cells. Being the organelle that holds the genetic blueprint of the cell, the nucleus is critical for basically every aspect of cell biology. The stereotypical development of C. elegans from a one cell-stage embryo to a fertile hermaphrodite with 959 somatic nuclei has allowed the identification of mutants with specific alterations in gene expression programs, nuclear morphology, or nuclear positioning. Moreover, the early C. elegans embryo is an excellent model to dissect the mitotic processes of nuclear disassembly and reformation with high spatiotemporal resolution. We review here several features of the C. elegans nucleus, including its composition, structure, and dynamics. We also discuss the spatial organization of chromatin and regulation of gene expression and how this depends on tight control of nucleocytoplasmic transport. Finally, the extensive connections of the nucleus with the cytoskeleton and their implications during development are described. Most processes of the C. elegans nucleus are evolutionarily conserved, highlighting the relevance of this powerful and versatile model organism to human biology. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The laboratory domestication of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. TRPM channel function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Baylis, H A; Goyal, K

    2007-02-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans contains over 20 genes for TRP (transient receptor potential) channels which include members of all of the subclasses identified in mammalian cells. These proteins include three members of the TRPM (TRP melastatin) family: gon-2 (abnormal gonad development), gtl-1 (gon-2-like 1) and gtl-2. Although studies of these genes are at an early stage, we are beginning to understand their functions in the life of C. elegans. Mutations in gon-2 have defective gonad formation because of failures in the cell division of the somatic gonad precursor cells. gon-2 and gtl-1 are both expressed in the intestine of the animal. Experiments on gon-2,gtl-1 double mutants show that they have a severe growth defect that is ameliorated by the addition of high levels of Mg(2+) to the growth medium. gon-2,gtl-1 double mutants have defective magnesium homoeostasis and also have altered sensitivity to toxic levels of Ni(2+). Furthermore gon-2 mutants have reduced levels of I(ORCa) (outwardly rectifying calcium current) in the intestinal cells. Thus these two channels appear to play an important role in cation homoeostasis in C. elegans. In addition, perturbing the function of gon-2 and gtl-1 disrupts the ultradian defecation rhythm in C. elegans, suggesting that these channels play an important role in regulating this calcium-dependent rhythmic process. The tractability of C. elegans as an experimental animal and its amenability to techniques such as RNAi (RNA interference) and in vivo imaging make it an excellent system for an integrative analysis of TRPM function.

  10. Toxicological Effects of Fullerenes on Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schomaker, Justin; Snook, Renee; Howell, Carina

    2014-03-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hallem, Elissa A; Sternberg, Paul W

    2008-06-10

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  14. A Caenorhabditis elegans Nutritional-status Based Copper Aversion Assay.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Jason C; Chin-Sang, Ian D; Bendena, William G

    2017-07-26

    To ensure survival, organisms must be capable of avoiding unfavorable habitats while ensuring a consistent food source. Caenorhabditis elegans alter their locomotory patterns upon detection of diverse environmental stimuli and can modulate their suite of behavioral responses in response to starvation conditions. Nematodes typically exhibit a decreased aversive response when removed from a food source for over 30 min. Observation of behavioral changes in response to a changing nutritional status can provide insight into the mechanisms that regulate the transition from a well-fed to starved state. We have developed an assay that measures a nematode's ability to cross an aversive barrier (i.e. copper) then reach a food source over a prolonged period of time. This protocol builds upon previous work by integrating multiple variables in a manner that allows for continued data collection as the organisms shift towards an increasingly starved condition. Moreover, this assay permits an increased sample size so that larger populations of nematodes can be simultaneously evaluated. Organisms defective for the ability to detect or respond to copper immediately cross the chemical barrier, while wild type nematodes are initially repelled. As wild type worms are increasingly starved, they begin to cross the barrier and reach the food source. We designed this assay to evaluate a mutant that is incapable of responding to diverse environmental cues, including food sensation or detection of aversive chemicals. When evaluated via this protocol, the defective organisms immediately crossed the barrier, but were also incapable of detecting a food source. Hence, these mutants repeatedly cross the chemical barrier despite temporarily reaching a food source. This assay can straightforwardly test populations of worms to evaluate potential pathway defects related to aversion and starvation.

  15. The Natural Biotic Environment of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Schulenburg, Hinrich; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2017-05-01

    Organisms evolve in response to their natural environment. Consideration of natural ecological parameters are thus of key importance for our understanding of an organism's biology. Curiously, the natural ecology of the model species Caenorhabditis elegans has long been neglected, even though this nematode has become one of the most intensively studied models in biological research. This lack of interest changed ∼10 yr ago. Since then, an increasing number of studies have focused on the nematode's natural ecology. Yet many unknowns still remain. Here, we provide an overview of the currently available information on the natural environment of C. elegans We focus on the biotic environment, which is usually less predictable and thus can create high selective constraints that are likely to have had a strong impact on C. elegans evolution. This nematode is particularly abundant in microbe-rich environments, especially rotting plant matter such as decomposing fruits and stems. In this environment, it is part of a complex interaction network, which is particularly shaped by a species-rich microbial community. These microbes can be food, part of a beneficial gut microbiome, parasites and pathogens, and possibly competitors. C. elegans is additionally confronted with predators; it interacts with vector organisms that facilitate dispersal to new habitats, and also with competitors for similar food environments, including competitors from congeneric and also the same species. Full appreciation of this nematode's biology warrants further exploration of its natural environment and subsequent integration of this information into the well-established laboratory-based research approaches. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  16. The Natural Biotic Environment of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Schulenburg, Hinrich; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2017-01-01

    Organisms evolve in response to their natural environment. Consideration of natural ecological parameters are thus of key importance for our understanding of an organism’s biology. Curiously, the natural ecology of the model species Caenorhabditis elegans has long been neglected, even though this nematode has become one of the most intensively studied models in biological research. This lack of interest changed ∼10 yr ago. Since then, an increasing number of studies have focused on the nematode’s natural ecology. Yet many unknowns still remain. Here, we provide an overview of the currently available information on the natural environment of C. elegans. We focus on the biotic environment, which is usually less predictable and thus can create high selective constraints that are likely to have had a strong impact on C. elegans evolution. This nematode is particularly abundant in microbe-rich environments, especially rotting plant matter such as decomposing fruits and stems. In this environment, it is part of a complex interaction network, which is particularly shaped by a species-rich microbial community. These microbes can be food, part of a beneficial gut microbiome, parasites and pathogens, and possibly competitors. C. elegans is additionally confronted with predators; it interacts with vector organisms that facilitate dispersal to new habitats, and also with competitors for similar food environments, including competitors from congeneric and also the same species. Full appreciation of this nematode’s biology warrants further exploration of its natural environment and subsequent integration of this information into the well-established laboratory-based research approaches. PMID:28476862

  17. 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

  18. Neurite sprouting and synapse deterioration in the aging Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system.

    PubMed

    Toth, Marton Lorant; Melentijevic, Ilija; Shah, Leena; Bhatia, Aatish; Lu, Kevin; Talwar, Amish; Naji, Haaris; Ibanez-Ventoso, Carolina; Ghose, Piya; Jevince, Angela; Xue, Jian; Herndon, Laura A; Bhanot, Gyan; Rongo, Chris; Hall, David H; Driscoll, Monica

    2012-06-27

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model for analysis of the conserved mechanisms that modulate healthy aging. In the aging nematode nervous system, neuronal death and/or detectable loss of processes are not readily apparent, but because dendrite restructuring and loss of synaptic integrity are hypothesized to contribute to human brain decline and dysfunction, we combined fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy (EM) to screen at high resolution for nervous system changes. We report two major components of morphological change in the aging C. elegans nervous system: (1) accumulation of novel outgrowths from specific neurons, and (2) physical decline in synaptic integrity. Novel outgrowth phenotypes, including branching from the main dendrite or new growth from somata, appear at a high frequency in some aging neurons, but not all. Mitochondria are often associated with age-associated branch sites. Lowered insulin signaling confers some maintenance of ALM and PLM neuron structural integrity into old age, and both DAF-16/FOXO and heat shock factor transcription factor HSF-1 exert neuroprotective functions. hsf-1 can act cell autonomously in this capacity. EM evaluation in synapse-rich regions reveals a striking decline in synaptic vesicle numbers and a diminution of presynaptic density size. Interestingly, old animals that maintain locomotory prowess exhibit less synaptic decline than same-age decrepit animals, suggesting that synaptic integrity correlates with locomotory healthspan. Our data reveal similarities between the aging C. elegans nervous system and mammalian brain, suggesting conserved neuronal responses to age. Dissection of neuronal aging mechanisms in C. elegans may thus influence the development of brain healthspan-extending therapies.

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. Early transcription in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    PubMed

    Edgar, L G; Wolf, N; Wood, W B

    1994-02-01

    We have analysed early transcription in devitellinized, cultured embryos of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by two methods: measurement of [32P]UTP uptake into TCA-precipitable material and autoradiographic detection of [3H]UTP labelling both in the presence and absence of alpha-amanitin. RNA synthesis was first detected at the 8- to 12-cell stage, and alpha-amanitin sensitivity also appeared at this time, during the cleavages establishing the major founder cell lineages. The requirements for maternally supplied versus embryonically produced gene products in early embryogenesis were examined in the same culture system by observing the effects of alpha-amanitin on cell division and the early stereotyped lineage patterns. In the presence of high levels of alpha-amanitin added at varying times from two cells onward, cell division continued until approximately the 100-cell stage and then stopped during a single round of cell division. The characteristic unequal early cleavages, orientation of cleavage planes and lineage-specific timing of early divisions were unaffected by alpha-amanitin in embryos up to 87 cells. These results indicate that embryonic transcription starts well before gastrulation in C. elegans embryos, but that although embryonic transcripts may have important early functions, maternal products can support at least the mechanics of the first 6 to 7 cell cycles.

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

    PubMed

    Witting, Michael; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Lipids play important roles in biology, ranging from building blocks of membranes to signaling lipids. The nematode and model organism Caenorhabditis elegans has been used to explore lipid metabolism and several techniques for their analysis have been employed. These techniques include different possibilities ranging from visualization of lipid droplets, analysis of total fatty acids to analysis of complex lipids using lipidomics approaches. Lipidomics evolved from metabolomics, the latest off-spring of the "omics"-technologies and aims to characterize the lipid content of a given organism or system. Although being an extensively studied model organism, only a few applications of lipidomics to C. elegans have been reported to far, but the number is steadily increasing with more applications expected in the near future. This review gives an overview on the C. elegans lipidome, lipid classes it contains and ways to analyze them. It serves as primer for scientists interested in studying lipids in this model organism and list methods used so far and what information can be derived from them. Lastly, challenges and future (methodological) research directions, together with new methods potentially useful for C. elegans lipid research are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  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. 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. © 2015 Hutter and Moerman. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  8. A Conserved Dopamine-Cholecystokinin Signaling Pathway Shapes Context–Dependent Caenorhabditis elegans Behavior

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:25167143

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Assessing behavioral toxicity with Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Gary L; Cole, Russell D; Williams, Phillip L

    2004-05-01

    Behavior, even in simple metazoans, depends upon integrated processes at the subcellular, cellular, and organismal level, and thus is susceptible to disruption by a broad spectrum of chemicals. Locomotor behavior (movement) of the small free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has proven to be useful in assessing toxicity. Recently reported observations suggest that behavioral change (reduced movement) occurs after 4 h of exposure to heavy metals, and that with abbreviated exposure, the concentration-response relationship for Pb (a known neurotoxic metal) differs from that for Cu. In this study, movement was evaluated after 4-h exposures for nine compounds from three chemical classes: organic pesticides, organic solvents, and heavy metals. Concentration-dependent reduction of movement was observed for all test compounds with the exception of mebendazole, for which test concentrations were limited by solubility. Within each chemical class, movement was more sensitive to the neurotoxic compounds than to substances not believed to be neurotoxic, as evidenced by behavioral effective concentration to reduce average worm movement to 50% of the control movement values (e.g., levamisole and chlorpyrifos < mebendazole, ethanol and acetone < dimethylsulfoxide, and Pb and Al < Cu). These observations are discussed as they relate to the use of acute behavioral tests in assessing general chemical toxicity, and the enhanced value of 4-h testing for the detection of neural toxicants.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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. © 2014 The Authors. WIREs Developmental Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Receptor-mediated Endocytosis in the Caenorhabditis elegans Oocyte

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Barth; Hirsh, David

    1999-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans oocyte is a highly amenable system for forward and reverse genetic analysis of receptor-mediated endocytosis. We describe the use of transgenic strains expressing a vitellogenin::green fluorescent protein (YP170::GFP) fusion to monitor yolk endocytosis by the C. elegans oocyte in vivo. This YP170::GFP reporter was used to assay the functions of C. elegans predicted proteins homologous to vertebrate endocytosis factors using RNA-mediated interference. We show that the basic components and pathways of endocytic trafficking are conserved between C. elegans and vertebrates, and that this system can be used to test the endocytic functions of any new gene. We also used the YP170::GFP assay to identify rme (receptor-mediated endocytosis) mutants. We describe a new member of the low-density lipoprotein receptor superfamily, RME-2, identified in our screens for endocytosis defective mutants. We show that RME-2 is the C. elegans yolk receptor. PMID:10588660

  7. Nematicidal activity of Annona crassiflora leaf extract on Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Machado, Alan Rodrigues Teixeira; Ferreira, Sebastião Rodrigo; da Silva Medeiros, Felipe; Fujiwara, Ricardo Toshio; de Souza Filho, José Dias; Pimenta, Lúcia Pinheiro Santos

    2015-02-19

    The aim of this work was to investigate the potential nematicidal activity of Annona crassiflora leaf extract against Caenorhabditis elegans. The hydroalcoholic leaf extract and its fractions (dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, methanol and water) were submitted to mobility assay against the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. GC-MS and NMR analysis were performed in order to identify metabolites. The dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions showed to be the most active among the hydroalcoholic leaf extracts and its four fractions. The percentages of C. elegans larvae immobility were 98.13 and 89.66%, respectively, at a concentration of 1000 μg.mL(-1). Besides some amino acids, palmitic acid methyl ester, 2-isopropyl-5-methylcyclohexanol, oleic acid methyl esther, stearic acid methyl ester, quercetin and kaempferol were also identified in these fractions. The results indicated that of A. crassiflora leaf ethanolic extract has a good potential as a source for natural nematicide.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Action potentials drive body wall muscle contractions in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Gao, Shangbang; Zhen, Mei

    2011-02-08

    The sinusoidal locomotion exhibited by Caenorhabditis elegans predicts a tight regulation of contractions and relaxations of its body wall muscles. Vertebrate skeletal muscle contractions are driven by voltage-gated sodium channel-dependent action potentials. How coordinated motor outputs are regulated in C. elegans, which does not have voltage-gated sodium channels, remains unknown. Here, we show that C. elegans body wall muscles fire all-or-none, calcium-dependent action potentials that are driven by the L-type voltage-gated calcium and Kv1 voltage-dependent potassium channels. We further demonstrate that the excitatory and inhibitory motoneuron activities regulate the frequency of action potentials to coordinate muscle contraction and relaxation, respectively. This study provides direct evidence for the dual-modulatory model of the C. elegans motor circuit; moreover, it reveals a mode of motor control in which muscle cells integrate graded inputs of the nervous system and respond with all-or-none electrical signals.

  12. Genomic response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to spaceflight

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    On Earth, it is common to employ laboratory animals such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to help understand human health concerns. Similar studies in Earth orbit should help understand and address the concerns associated with spaceflight. The “International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment FIRST” (ICE FIRST), was carried out onboard the Dutch Taxiflight in April of 2004 by an international collaboration of laboratories in France, Canada, Japan and the United States. With the exception of a slight movement defect upon return to Earth, the result of altered muscle development, no significant abnormalities were detected in spaceflown C. elegans. Work from Japan revealed apoptosis proceeds normally and work from Canada revealed no significant increase in the rate of mutation. These results suggest that C. elegans can be used to study non-lethal responses to spaceflight and can possibly be developed as a biological sensor. To further our understanding of C. elegans response to spaceflight, we examined the gene transcription response to the 10 days in space using a near full genome microarray analysis. The transcriptional response is consistent with the observed normal developmental timing, apoptosis, DNA repair, and altered muscle development. The genes identified as altered in response to spaceflight are enriched for genes known to be regulated, in C. elegans, in response to altered environmental conditions (Insulin and TGF-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. PMID:18392117

  13. Genomic response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to spaceflight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  15. Regulation of the X Chromosomes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Chemically defined medium and Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. High-Throughput Gene Mapping in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

    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. [The sequence data described in this paper have been submitted to the NCBI dbSNP data library under accession nos. 4388625–4389689 and GenBank dbSTS under accession nos. 973810–974874. The following individuals and institutions kindly provided reagents, samples, or unpublished information as indicated in the paper: The C. elegans Sequencing Consortium and The Caenorhabditis Genetics Center.] PMID:12097347

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. In Vivo Inhibition of Lipid Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulistiyani; Purwakusumah, E. P.; Andrianto, D.

    2017-03-01

    This is a preliminary research report on the use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to establish anti-obesity screening assay of the natural plant resources. Nematode C. elegans has been used as experimental animal model for understanding lipid accumulation. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of selected plant extracts on lipid accumulation in C. elegans. Currently no report could be found regarding lipid accumulation in C.elegans treated with ethanolic leaf extracts of jabon merah (Anthocephalus macrophyllus), jati belanda (Guazuma ulmifolia), and Mindi (Melia Azedarach) plants. Lipid accumulation was determined qualitatively using lipid staining method and quantitatively by colorimetry using sulpho-phospho-vanillin reagent. Data showed that lipid accumulation was inhibited up to 72% by extract of M. azedarach, about 35% by both of A. macrophyllus and G. ulmifolia extracts, and up to 25% by orlistat (a synthetic slimming drug). Ethanolic extract of A. macrophyllus, G. ulmifolia, and M. azedarach leaves were shown to inhibit lipid accumulation in C. elegans and M. azedarach leaves extracts was the most effective inhibitor. C.elegans were shown to be an effective model for in vivo lipid accumulation mechanism and potential to be used as a rapid screening assay for bioactive compounds with lipid accumulation inhibitory activity.

  7. 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

  8. 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. Copyright © 2015 Corsi, Wightman, and Chalfie.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. [Biological toxicity of heavy metals to Caenorhabditis elegans].

    PubMed

    Huang, Yue-e; Zhang, Nan; Jiang, Yu-xin; Guo, Wei; Li, Chao-pin

    2015-06-01

    To evaluate the biological toxicity of heavy metals by using Caenorhabditis elegans. The C. elegans at L4 stage were exposed to CdCl, CrCl3, As2O3, PbCh2, HgCl2 with low concentrations and M9 buffer (the control group) for 72 h, respectively, and the effects of heavy metals with different concentrations on the survival time and reproduction of C. elegans were evaluated. After exposure to 2.5, 10 µmol/L HgCl2 and PbCl2, 10 µmol/L CdCl2, and 50 µmol/L CrCl3 for 72 h, respectively, the life spans and survival curves of the C. elegans were different from those in the control group, the differences were statistically significant (all P < 0.05). After exposure to CdCl2, CrCl3, As2O3, PbCl2 and HgCl2 with the con- centrations of 2.5, 50, 100 µmol/L for 72 h, respectively, the generational time and brood size of C. elegans were all different from those in the control group (all P < 0.01). Among the 5 heavy metals at low concentrations, the reproduction toxicity of Hg was bigger than Pb, Cd, Cr, and the toxicity of As was the weakest. Heavy metal exposure can affect the life span and reproductive toxicity of C. elegans.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Live-cell imaging of mitosis in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    PubMed

    Powers, James A

    2010-06-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a wonderful model system for live imaging studies of mitosis. A huge collection of research tools is readily available to facilitate experimentation. For imaging, C. elegans embryos provide large clear cells, an invariant pattern of cell division, only six chromosomes, a very short cell cycle, and remain healthy and happy at room temperature. Mitosis is a complicated process and the types of research questions being asked about the mechanisms involved are continuously expanding. For each experiment, the details of imaging methods need to be tailored to the question. Specific imaging methods will depend on the microscopy hardware and software available to each researcher. This article presents points to consider when choosing a microscope, designing an imaging experiment, or selecting appropriate worm strains for imaging. A method for mounting C. elegans embryos and guidelines for fluorescence and differential interference contrast imaging of mitosis in live embryos are presented.

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

    PubMed

    Bird, D M; Opperman, C H

    1998-09-01

    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.

  20. Solid plate-based dietary restriction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Ching, Tsui-Ting; Hsu, Ao-Lin

    2011-05-28

    Reduction of food intake without malnutrition or starvation is known to increase lifespan and delay the onset of various age-related diseases in a wide range of species, including mammals. It also causes a decrease in body weight and fertility, as well as lower levels of plasma glucose, insulin, and IGF-1 in these animals. This treatment is often referred to as dietary restriction (DR) or caloric restriction (CR). The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as an important model organism for studying the biology of aging. Both environmental and genetic manipulations have been used to model DR and have shown to extend lifespan in C. elegans. However, many of the reported DR studies in C. elegans were done by propagating animals in liquid media, while most of the genetic studies in the aging field were done on the standard solid agar in petri plates. Here we present a DR protocol using standard solid NGM agar-based plate with killed bacteria.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Monoamines and neuropeptides interact to inhibit aversive behaviour in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Mills, Holly; Wragg, Rachel; Hapiak, Vera; Castelletto, Michelle; Zahratka, Jeffrey; Harris, Gareth; Summers, Philip; Korchnak, Amanda; Law, Wenjing; Bamber, Bruce; Komuniecki, Richard

    2012-02-01

    Pain modulation is complex, but noradrenergic signalling promotes anti-nociception, with α(2)-adrenergic agonists used clinically. To better understand the noradrenergic/peptidergic modulation of nociception, we examined the octopaminergic inhibition of aversive behaviour initiated by the Caenorhabditis elegans nociceptive ASH sensory neurons. Octopamine (OA), the invertebrate counterpart of norepinephrine, modulates sensory-mediated reversal through three α-adrenergic-like OA receptors. OCTR-1 and SER-3 antagonistically modulate ASH signalling directly, with OCTR-1 signalling mediated by Gα(o). In contrast, SER-6 inhibits aversive responses by stimulating the release of an array of 'inhibitory' neuropeptides that activate receptors on sensory neurons mediating attraction or repulsion, suggesting that peptidergic signalling may integrate multiple sensory inputs to modulate locomotory transitions. These studies highlight the complexity of octopaminergic/peptidergic interactions, the role of OA in activating global peptidergic signalling cascades and the similarities of this modulatory network to the noradrenergic inhibition of nociception in mammals, where norepinephrine suppresses chronic pain through inhibitory α(2)-adrenoreceptors on afferent nociceptors and stimulatory α(1)-receptors on inhibitory peptidergic interneurons.

  4. Monoamines and neuropeptides interact to inhibit aversive behaviour in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Mills, Holly; Wragg, Rachel; Hapiak, Vera; Castelletto, Michelle; Zahratka, Jeffrey; Harris, Gareth; Summers, Philip; Korchnak, Amanda; Law, Wenjing; Bamber, Bruce; Komuniecki, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Pain modulation is complex, but noradrenergic signalling promotes anti-nociception, with α2-adrenergic agonists used clinically. To better understand the noradrenergic/peptidergic modulation of nociception, we examined the octopaminergic inhibition of aversive behaviour initiated by the Caenorhabditis elegans nociceptive ASH sensory neurons. Octopamine (OA), the invertebrate counterpart of norepinephrine, modulates sensory-mediated reversal through three α-adrenergic-like OA receptors. OCTR-1 and SER-3 antagonistically modulate ASH signalling directly, with OCTR-1 signalling mediated by Gαo. In contrast, SER-6 inhibits aversive responses by stimulating the release of an array of ‘inhibitory' neuropeptides that activate receptors on sensory neurons mediating attraction or repulsion, suggesting that peptidergic signalling may integrate multiple sensory inputs to modulate locomotory transitions. These studies highlight the complexity of octopaminergic/peptidergic interactions, the role of OA in activating global peptidergic signalling cascades and the similarities of this modulatory network to the noradrenergic inhibition of nociception in mammals, where norepinephrine suppresses chronic pain through inhibitory α2-adrenoreceptors on afferent nociceptors and stimulatory α1-receptors on inhibitory peptidergic interneurons. PMID:22124329

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2009-08-01

    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 interact chemically with its environment or as defense. C. elegans exudates were analyzed by using several analytical methods and found to contain 36 common metabolites that include 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 Escherichia coli (OP50), a non-motile bacterium tested as a control. The C. elegans exudates attracted the two Pseudomonas 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, thus 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Radiation-induced genomic instability in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-09

    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.

  15. L-Theanine extends lifespan of adult Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zarse, Kim; Jabin, Saskia; Ristow, Michael

    2012-09-01

    Compounds that delay aging in model organisms may be of significant interest to anti-aging medicine, since these substances potentially provide pharmaceutical approaches to promote healthy lifespan in humans. We here aimed to test whether pharmaceutical concentrations of L-theanine, a putative anti-cancer, anti-obesity, blood pressure-lowering, and neuroprotective compound contained in green tea (Camellia sinensis), are capable of extending lifespan in a nematodal model organism for aging processes, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Adult C. elegans roundworms were maintained on agar plates, were fed E. coli strain OP50 bacteria, and L-theanine was applied to agar to test (1) whether it may increase survival upon paraquat exposure and (2) whether it may promote longevity by quantifying survival in the presence and absence of the compound. L-Theanine increases survival of C. elegans in the presence of paraquat at a concentration of 1 micromolar. L-theanine extends C. elegans lifespan when applied at concentrations of 100 nM, as well as 1 and 10 micromolar. In the model organism C. elegans, L-theanine is capable of promoting paraquat resistance and longevity suggesting that this compound may as well promote healthy lifespan in mammals and possibly humans.

  16. Anthelmintic activity of KSI-4088 against Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Kaewintajuk, Kusuma; Cho, Pyo Yun; Kim, Sung Yeon; Lee, Eun Sil; Lee, Hyeon-Kyu; Choi, Eun Bok; Park, Hyun

    2010-06-01

    Anthelmintic resistance is a serious global problem because of the worldwide spread of resistant nematodes in animals and humans. This has triggered increasing investment in research for new anthelmintics. Over the past decade, Caenorhabditis elegans has become a popular model organism for parasitic nematode research, and many examples have been published to illustrate its use. In this study, we investigated the effect of KSI-4088 on the egg hatching, larval development, and migration of the nematode worm C. elegans compared with ivermectin and levamisole (well-known anthelmintic drugs). KSI-4088 demonstrated anthelmintic activity on all assays of C. elegans. The anthelmintic activity of KSI-4088 on egg hatching and larval development showed especially strong activity, but assays showed that ivermectin and levamisole had no effects on C. elegans. In addition, KSI-4088 was capable of producing a change in the timing of the development of the worms at the L1-L3 and L4 stage. Also, we demonstrate that C. elegans L3-4 are more sensitive than adults to KSI-4088 in assay of migration. Our results indicate that KSI-4088 is an active anthelmintic compound that should be further investigated with the aim of developing a potent drug against nematodes.

  17. 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.

  18. Neurodegeneration Induced by Metals in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Soares, Felix Antunes; Fagundez, Daiandra Almeida; Avila, Daiana Silva

    2017-01-01

    Metals are a component of a variety of ecosystems and organisms. They can generally be divided into essential and nonessential metals. The essential metals are involved in physiological processes once the deficiency of these metals has been associated with diseases. Although iron, manganese, copper, and zinc are important for life, it has been evidenced that they are also involved in neuronal damage in many neurodegenerative disorders. Nonessential metals, which are metals without physiological functions, are present in trace or higher levels in living organisms. Occupational, environmental, or deliberate exposures to lead, mercury, aluminum, and cadmium are clearly correlated with the increase of toxicity and varied kinds of pathological situations. Actually, the field of neurotoxicology needs to satisfy two opposing demands: the testing of a growing list of chemicals and resource limitations and ethical concerns associated with testing using traditional mammalian species. Toxicological assays using alternative animal models may relieve some of this pressure by allowing testing of more compounds while reducing expenses and using fewer mammals. The nervous system is by far the more complex system in C. elegans. Almost a third of their cells are neurons (302 neurons versus 959 cells in adult hermaphrodite). It initially underwent extensive development as a model organism in order to study the nervous system, and its neuronal lineage and the complete wiring diagram of its nervous system are stereotyped and fully described. The neurotransmission systems are phylogenetically conserved from nematodes to vertebrates, which allows for findings from C. elegans to be extrapolated and further confirmed in vertebrate systems. Different strains of C. elegans offer a new perspective on neurodegenerative processes. Some genes have been found to be related to neurodegeneration induced by metals. Studying these interactions may be an effective tool to slow neuronal loss and

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Cell lineage and cell death: Caenorhabditis elegans and cancer research.

    PubMed

    Potts, Malia B; Cameron, Scott

    2011-01-01

    Cancer is a complex disease in which cells have circumvented normal restraints on tissue growth and have acquired complex abnormalities in their genomes, posing a considerable challenge to identifying the pathways and mechanisms that drive fundamental aspects of the malignant phenotype. Genetic analyses of the normal development of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have revealed evolutionarily conserved mechanisms through which individual cells establish their fates, and how they make and execute the decision to survive or undergo programmed cell death. The pathways identified through these studies have mammalian counterparts that are co-opted by malignant cells. Effective cancer drugs now target some of these pathways, and more are likely to be discovered.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-19

    The development of optogenetics, a family of methods for using light to control neural activity via light-sensitive proteins, has provided a powerful new set of tools for neurobiology. These techniques have been particularly fruitful for dissecting neural circuits and behaviour in the compact and transparent roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Researchers have used optogenetic reagents to manipulate numerous excitable cell types in the worm, from sensory neurons, to interneurons, to motor neurons and muscles. Here, we show how optogenetics applied to this transparent roundworm has contributed to our understanding of neural circuits. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Behavioral avoidance of pathogenic bacteria by Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Meisel, Joshua D; Kim, Dennis H

    2014-10-01

    The simple animal host Caenorhabditis elegans utilizes its nervous system to respond to diverse microbial cues, and can engage in a protective behavioral avoidance response to environmental pathogens. This behavior bears hallmarks of an immune response, with sensors and recognition systems that trigger a protective response following a learning experience. Neuronal circuits required for aversive learning have been defined, revealing conserved signaling modules with dual roles in immunity and neuronal responses to pathogenic bacteria. Identification of natural polymorphisms that modulate avoidance behavior has enabled an improved understanding of host-microbe interactions at the molecular level. We review here these findings and discuss how the microbial cues and host responses defined in C. elegans may provide insight into evolutionarily diverse host-microbe interactions. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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'.

  1. 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

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Microbiome Research.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. Measuring Food Intake and Nutrient Absorption in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  5. Action potentials drive body wall muscle contractions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Shangbang; Zhen, Mei

    2011-01-01

    The sinusoidal locomotion exhibited by Caenorhabditis elegans predicts a tight regulation of contractions and relaxations of its body wall muscles. Vertebrate skeletal muscle contractions are driven by voltage-gated sodium channel–dependent action potentials. How coordinated motor outputs are regulated in C. elegans, which does not have voltage-gated sodium channels, remains unknown. Here, we show that C. elegans body wall muscles fire all-or-none, calcium-dependent action potentials that are driven by the L-type voltage-gated calcium and Kv1 voltage-dependent potassium channels. We further demonstrate that the excitatory and inhibitory motoneuron activities regulate the frequency of action potentials to coordinate muscle contraction and relaxation, respectively. This study provides direct evidence for the dual-modulatory model of the C. elegans motor circuit; moreover, it reveals a mode of motor control in which muscle cells integrate graded inputs of the nervous system and respond with all-or-none electrical signals. PMID:21248227

  6. Material properties of Caenorhabditis elegans swimming at low Reynolds number.

    PubMed

    Sznitman, J; Purohit, Prashant K; Krajacic, P; Lamitina, T; Arratia, P E

    2010-02-17

    Undulatory locomotion, as seen in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, is a common swimming gait of organisms in the low Reynolds number regime, where viscous forces are dominant. Although the nematode's motility is expected to be a strong function of its material properties, measurements remain scarce. Here, the swimming behavior of C. elegans is investigated in experiments and in a simple model. Experiments reveal that nematodes swim in a periodic fashion and generate traveling waves that decay from head to tail. The model is able to capture the experiments' main features and is used to estimate the nematode's Young's modulus E and tissue viscosity eta. For wild-type C. elegans, we find E approximately 3.77 kPa and eta approximately -860 Pa.s; values of eta for live C. elegans are negative because the tissue is generating rather than dissipating energy. Results show that material properties are sensitive to changes in muscle functional properties, and are useful quantitative tools with which to more accurately describe new and existing muscle mutants. Copyright 2010 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Blueberry polyphenols increase lifespan and thermotolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Molecular profiling of mitochondrial dysfunction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Polyak, Erzsebet; Zhang, Zhe; Falk, Marni J

    2012-01-01

    Cellular effects of primary mitochondrial dysfunction, as well as potential mitochondrial disease therapies, can be modeled in living animals such as the microscopic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. In particular, molecular analyses can provide substantial insight into the mechanism by which genetic and/or pharmacologic manipulations alter mitochondrial function. The relative expression of individual genes across both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, as well as relative quantitation of mitochondrial DNA content, can be readily performed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis of C. elegans. Additionally, microarray expression profiling offers a powerful tool by which to survey the global genetic consequences of various causes of primary mitochondrial dysfunction and potential therapeutic interventions at both the single gene and integrated pathway level. Here, we describe detailed protocols for RNA and DNA isolation from whole animal populations in C. elegans, qRT-PCR analysis of both nuclear and mitochondrial genes, and global nuclear genome expression profiling using the Affymetrix GeneChip C. elegans Genome Array.

  11. 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

  12. Small-molecule mechanism of action studies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zlotkowski, Katherine; Eliasen, Anders M; Mitra, Aurpon; Siegel, Dionicio

    2013-11-25

    A general protocol for exogenous small-molecule pull-down experiments with Caenorhabditis elegans is described; it provides a link between small-molecule screens in worms and existing mutant and RNAi technologies, thereby enabling organismal mechanism of action studies for the natural product clovanemagnolol. Forward chemical genetic screens followed by mechanism of action studies with C. elegans, when coupled with genetic validation of identified targets to reproduce the small molecule's phenotypic effects, provide a unique platform for discovering the biological targets of compounds that affect multicellular processes. First, the use of an immobilized FK506 derivative and soluble competition experiments with optimally prepared soluble C. elegans proteome successfully identified interactions with FK506 binding proteins 1 to 6. This approach was used to determine an unknown mechanism of action for clovanemagnolol, a small molecule that promotes axonal branching in both primary neuronal cultures and in vivo in C. elegans. Following the synthesis of an appropriately functionalized solid-phase reagent bearing a clovanemagnolol analogue pull-down experiments employing soluble competition identified kinesin light chain-1 (KLC-1), a protein involved in axonal cargo transport, as a putative target. This was corroborated through the use of mutant worms lacking klc-1 and possessing GFP neuronal labeling, reproducing the axonal branching phenotype induced by the small molecule clovanemagnolol. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. 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

  14. Dietary Supplementation of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Deline, Marshall L.; Vrablik, Tracy L.; Watts, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    Fatty acids are essential for numerous cellular functions. They serve as efficient energy storage molecules, make up the hydrophobic core of membranes, and participate in various signaling pathways. Caenorhabditis elegans synthesizes all of the enzymes necessary to produce a range of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This, combined with the simple anatomy and range of available genetic tools, make it an attractive model to study fatty acid function. In order to investigate the genetic pathways that mediate the physiological effects of dietary fatty acids, we have developed a method to supplement the C. elegans diet with unsaturated fatty acids. Supplementation is an effective means to alter the fatty acid composition of worms and can also be used to rescue defects in fatty acid-deficient mutants. Our method uses nematode growth medium agar (NGM) supplemented with fatty acidsodium salts. The fatty acids in the supplemented plates become incorporated into the membranes of the bacterial food source, which is then taken up by the C. elegans that feed on the supplemented bacteria. We also describe a gas chromatography protocol to monitor the changes in fatty acid composition that occur in supplemented worms. This is an efficient way to supplement the diets of both large and small populations of C. elegans, allowing for a range of applications for this method. PMID:24326396

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Ecotoxicological evaluation of chlorpyrifos exposure on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Roh, Ji-Yeon; Choi, Jinhee

    2008-10-01

    To investigate the effects of chlorpyrifos (CP), an organophosphorus insecticide, on the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the toxicity of the insecticide on the molecular, biochemical, and physiological levels were investigated upon sublethal exposure, and an acute toxicity test was conducted using lethality as an endpoint. To assess the molecular-level effect, stress-related gene expression was investigated, and the neurotoxicity indicator, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity was assessed as the biochemical-level response. Growth, reproduction and development were also studied as physiological-level responses. The overall results indicate that CP exposure leads to the alteration of the expression of some stress genes, such as of heat shock protein, metallothionein, vitellogenin and C. elegans p53-like protein genes; the inhibition of AChE activity; and the retardation of development. These data suggest that the toxicity of CP on C. elegans occurred in multiple biological organizations; nevertheless this is not sufficient to conclude that there is a casual relationship between them. Thus, direct experimental demonstrations of the wider relationships between the molecular/biochemical effects of CP exposure and their consequences at higher levels of biological organization are needed to fully understand the effects of this compound on C. elegans.

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans glia modulate neuronal activity and behavior

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans: An important tool for dissecting microRNA functions

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Ziwen; Zhang, Duo; Lee, Heedoo; Jin, Yang

    2016-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a member of the phylum Nematoda, carries the evolutionarily conserved genes comparing to mammals. Due to its short lifespan and completely sequenced genome, C. elegans becomes a potentially powerful model for mechanistic studies in human diseases. In this mini review, we will outline the current understandings on C. elegans as a model organism for microRNA (miRNA)-related research in the pathogenesis of human diseases. PMID:28529981

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Sorbus alnifolia protects dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Cheon, Se-Myeong; Jang, Insoo; Lee, Myon-Hee; Kim, Dae Keun; Jeon, Hoon; Cha, Dong Seok

    2017-12-01

    The twigs of Sorbus alnifolia (Sieb. et Zucc.) K. Koch (Rosaceae) have been used to treat neurological disorders as a traditional medicine in Korea. However, there are limited data describing the efficacy of S. alnifolia in Parkinson's disease (PD). This study was conducted to identify the protective effects of the methanol extracts of S. alnifolia (MESA) on the dopaminergic (DA) neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans. To test the neuroprotective action of MESA, viability assay was performed after 48 h exposure to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MMP(+)) in PC12 cells and C. elegans (400 μM and 2 mM of MMP(+), respectively). Fluorescence intensity was quantified using transgenic mutants such as BZ555 (Pdat-1::GFP) and and UA57 (Pdat-1::GFP and Pdat-1::CAT-2) to determine MESA's effects on DA neurodegeneration in C. elegans. Aggregation of α-synuclein was observed using NL5901 strain (unc-54p::α-synuclein::YFP). MESA's protective effects on the DA neuronal functions were examined by food-sensing assay. Lifespan assay was conducted to test the effects of MESA on the longevity. MESA restored MPP(+)-induced loss of viability in both PC12 cells and C. elegans (85.8% and 54.9%, respectively). In C. elegans, MESA provided protection against chemically and genetically-induced DA neurodegeneration, respectively. Moreover, food-sensing functions were increased 58.4% by MESA in the DA neuron degraded worms. MESA also prolonged the average lifespan by 25.6%. However, MESA failed to alter α-synuclein aggregation. These results revealed that MESA protects DA neurodegeneration and recovers diminished DA neuronal functions, thereby can be a valuable candidate for the treatment of PD.

  6. Together or alone?: foraging strategies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Boender, Arjen J; Roubos, Eric W; van der Velde, Gerard

    2011-11-01

    A central goal in Life Sciences is to understand how genes encode behaviour and how environmental factors influence the expression of the genes concerned. To reach this goal a combined ecological, molecular biological and physiological approach is required in combination with a suitable model organism. Such an approach allows the elucidation of all parts of the complicated chain of events that lead from induction of gene expression to behaviour, i.e. from environmental stimulus, sensory organs and extracellular and intracellular neuronal signal processing to activation of effector organs. A particularly good model species with which to take this approach is the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, as it has been described in great detail at the genomic, cellular and behavioural levels. Different strains of C. elegans display prominent behavioural variation in foraging behaviour. Some strains will form social feeding groups when subjected to certain environmental stimuli, while others do not. This variation is due to the existence of just two isoforms of the gene npr-1, namely 215F and 215V. Here, we describe these behavioural variations at the molecular and cellular levels to attempt to determine the environmental inputs that cause aggregation of these small nematodes. As many different stimuli affect aggregation either positively or negatively, aggregation behaviour seems to be displayed when it improves survival chances. However, not much is known about the ecological context in which C. elegans lives. Investigation of the habitats of different strains of C. elegans would help us to understand why and how a specific foraging strategy enhances survival. The relatively well-understood molecular pathways that direct its social feeding behaviour make C. elegans a highly suitable model organism to test ecological and behavioural hypotheses about the mechanisms that differentiate between aggregation and solitary behaviours. © 2011 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2011

  7. Behavioral response of Caenorhabditis elegans to localized thermal stimuli

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Genetic control of temperature preference in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Mohri, Akiko; Kodama, Eiji; Kimura, Koutarou D; Koike, Mizuho; Mizuno, Takafumi; Mori, Ikue

    2005-03-01

    Animals modify behavioral outputs in response to environmental changes. C. elegans exhibits thermotaxis, where well-fed animals show attraction to their cultivation temperature on a thermal gradient without food. We show here that feeding-state-dependent modulation of thermotaxis is a powerful behavioral paradigm for elucidating the mechanism underlying neural plasticity, learning, and memory in higher animals. Starved experience alone could induce aversive response to cultivation temperature. Changing both cultivation temperature and feeding state simultaneously evoked transient attraction to or aversion to the previous cultivation temperature: recultivation of starved animals with food immediately induced attraction to the temperature associated with starvation, although the animals eventually exhibited thermotaxis to the new temperature associated with food. These results suggest that the change in feeding state quickly stimulates the switch between attraction and aversion for the temperature in memory and that the acquisition of new temperature memory establishes more slowly. We isolated aho (abnormal hunger orientation) mutants that are defective in starvation-induced cultivation-temperature avoidance. Some aho mutants responded normally to changes in feeding state with respect to locomotory activity, implying that the primary thermosensation followed by temperature memory formation remains normal and the modulatory aspect of thermotaxis is specifically impaired in these mutants.

  9. Genetic Control of Temperature Preference in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Mohri, Akiko; Kodama, Eiji; Kimura, Koutarou D.; Koike, Mizuho; Mizuno, Takafumi; Mori, Ikue

    2005-01-01

    Animals modify behavioral outputs in response to environmental changes. C. elegans exhibits thermotaxis, where well-fed animals show attraction to their cultivation temperature on a thermal gradient without food. We show here that feeding-state-dependent modulation of thermotaxis is a powerful behavioral paradigm for elucidating the mechanism underlying neural plasticity, learning, and memory in higher animals. Starved experience alone could induce aversive response to cultivation temperature. Changing both cultivation temperature and feeding state simultaneously evoked transient attraction to or aversion to the previous cultivation temperature: recultivation of starved animals with food immediately induced attraction to the temperature associated with starvation, although the animals eventually exhibited thermotaxis to the new temperature associated with food. These results suggest that the change in feeding state quickly stimulates the switch between attraction and aversion for the temperature in memory and that the acquisition of new temperature memory establishes more slowly. We isolated aho (abnormal hunger orientation) mutants that are defective in starvation-induced cultivation-temperature avoidance. Some aho mutants responded normally to changes in feeding state with respect to locomotory activity, implying that the primary thermosensation followed by temperature memory formation remains normal and the modulatory aspect of thermotaxis is specifically impaired in these mutants. PMID:15654086

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-17

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

  16. 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

  17. Live imaging of cellular dynamics during Caenorhabditis elegans postembryonic development.

    PubMed

    Chai, Yongping; Li, Wei; Feng, Guoxin; Yang, Yihong; Wang, Xiangming; Ou, Guangshuo

    2012-12-01

    Postembryonic development is an important process of organismal maturation after embryonic growth. Despite key progress in recent years in understanding embryonic development via fluorescence time-lapse microscopy, comparatively less live-cell imaging of postembryonic development has been done. Here we describe a protocol to image larval development in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Our protocol describes the construction of fluorescent transgenic C. elegans, immobilization of worm larvae and time-lapse microscopy analysis. To improve the throughput of imaging, we developed a C. elegans triple-fluorescence imaging approach with a worm-optimized blue fluorescent protein (TagBFP), green fluorescent protein (GFP) and mCherry. This protocol has been previously applied to time-lapse imaging analysis of Q neuroblast asymmetric division, migration and apoptosis, and we show here that it can also be used to image neuritogenesis in the L1 larvae. Other applications are also possible. The protocol can be completed within 3 h and may provide insights into understanding postembryonic development.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-19

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

  20. 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

  1. Effects of nonimmobilizers and halothane on Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Morgan, P G; Radke, G W; Sedensky, M M

    2000-10-01

    We studied the effects of two nonimmobilizers, a transitional compound, and halothane on the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, by using reversible immobility as an end point. By themselves, the nonimmobilizers did not immobilize any of the four strains of animals tested. Toluene appears to be a transitional compound for all strains tested. The additive effects of the nonimmobilizers with halothane were also studied. Similar to results seen in studies of mice, the nonimmobilizers were antagonistic to halothane in the wild type nematode. However, the nonimmobilizers did not affect the 50% effective concentrations of halothane for two other mutant strains. For halothane, the slopes of the dose response curves were smaller in more sensitive strains compared with the wild type. As in mammals, nonimmobilizers antagonize the effects of halothane on the nematode, C. elegans. The variation in slopes in the response to halothane in different strains is consistent with multiple sites of action. These results support the use of C. elegans as a model for the study of anesthetics.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-05

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

  4. An Aversive Response to Osmotic Upshift in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jingyi; Yang, Wenxing; Liu, He; Hao, Yingsong; Zhang, Yun

    2017-01-01

    Environmental osmolarity presents a common type of sensory stimulus to animals. While behavioral responses to osmotic changes are important for maintaining a stable intracellular osmolarity, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. In the natural habitat of Caenorhabditis elegans, changes in environmental osmolarity are commonplace. It is known that the nematode acutely avoids shocks of extremely high osmolarity. Here, we show that C. elegans also generates gradually increased aversion of mild upshifts in environmental osmolarity. Different from an acute avoidance of osmotic shocks that depends on the function of a transient receptor potential vanilloid channel, the slow aversion to osmotic upshifts requires the cGMP-gated sensory channel subunit TAX-2. TAX-2 acts in several sensory neurons that are exposed to body fluid to generate the aversive response through a motor network that underlies navigation. Osmotic upshifts activate the body cavity sensory neuron URX, which is known to induce aversion upon activation. Together, our results characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying a novel sensorimotor response to osmotic stimuli and reveal that C. elegans engages different behaviors and the underlying mechanisms to regulate responses to extracellular osmolarity.

  5. An Aversive Response to Osmotic Upshift in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Jingyi; Liu, He

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Environmental osmolarity presents a common type of sensory stimulus to animals. While behavioral responses to osmotic changes are important for maintaining a stable intracellular osmolarity, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. In the natural habitat of Caenorhabditis elegans, changes in environmental osmolarity are commonplace. It is known that the nematode acutely avoids shocks of extremely high osmolarity. Here, we show that C. elegans also generates gradually increased aversion of mild upshifts in environmental osmolarity. Different from an acute avoidance of osmotic shocks that depends on the function of a transient receptor potential vanilloid channel, the slow aversion to osmotic upshifts requires the cGMP-gated sensory channel subunit TAX-2. TAX-2 acts in several sensory neurons that are exposed to body fluid to generate the aversive response through a motor network that underlies navigation. Osmotic upshifts activate the body cavity sensory neuron URX, which is known to induce aversion upon activation. Together, our results characterize the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying a novel sensorimotor response to osmotic stimuli and reveal that C. elegans engages different behaviors and the underlying mechanisms to regulate responses to extracellular osmolarity. PMID:28451641

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. A soil bioassay using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-07-01

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

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans Neuromuscular Junction: GABA Receptors and Ivermectin Action

    PubMed Central

    Hernando, Guillermina; Bouzat, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    The prevalence of human and animal helminth infections remains staggeringly high, thus urging the need for concerted efforts towards this area of research. GABA receptors, encoded by the unc-49 gene, mediate body muscle inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans and parasitic nematodes and are targets of anthelmintic drugs. Thus, the characterization of nematode GABA receptors provides a foundation for rational anti-parasitic drug design. We therefore explored UNC-49 channels from C. elegans muscle cultured cells of the first larval stage at the electrophysiological and behavioral levels. Whole-cell recordings reveal that GABA, muscimol and the anthelmintic piperazine elicit macroscopic currents from UNC-49 receptors that decay in their sustained presence, indicating full desensitization. Single-channel recordings show that all drugs elicit openings of ∼2.5 pA (+100 mV), which appear either as brief isolated events or in short bursts. The comparison of the lowest concentration required for detectable channel opening, the frequency of openings and the amplitude of macroscopic currents suggest that piperazine is the least efficacious of the three drugs. Macroscopic and single-channel GABA-activated currents are profoundly and apparently irreversibly inhibited by ivermectin. To gain further insight into ivermectin action at C. elegans muscle, we analyzed its effect on single-channel activity of the levamisol-sensitive nicotinic receptor (L-AChR), the excitatory receptor involved in neuromuscular transmission. Ivermectin produces a profound inhibition of the frequency of channel opening without significant changes in channel properties. By revealing that ivermectin inhibits C. elegans muscle GABA and L-AChR receptors, our study adds two receptors to the already known ivermectin targets, thus contributing to the elucidation of its pleiotropic effects. Behavioral assays in worms show that ivermectin potentiates piperazine-induced paralysis, thus suggesting that their

  12. Allyl isothiocyanate induced stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular junction: GABA receptors and ivermectin action.

    PubMed

    Hernando, Guillermina; Bouzat, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    The prevalence of human and animal helminth infections remains staggeringly high, thus urging the need for concerted efforts towards this area of research. GABA receptors, encoded by the unc-49 gene, mediate body muscle inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans and parasitic nematodes and are targets of anthelmintic drugs. Thus, the characterization of nematode GABA receptors provides a foundation for rational anti-parasitic drug design. We therefore explored UNC-49 channels from C. elegans muscle cultured cells of the first larval stage at the electrophysiological and behavioral levels. Whole-cell recordings reveal that GABA, muscimol and the anthelmintic piperazine elicit macroscopic currents from UNC-49 receptors that decay in their sustained presence, indicating full desensitization. Single-channel recordings show that all drugs elicit openings of ∼2.5 pA (+100 mV), which appear either as brief isolated events or in short bursts. The comparison of the lowest concentration required for detectable channel opening, the frequency of openings and the amplitude of macroscopic currents suggest that piperazine is the least efficacious of the three drugs. Macroscopic and single-channel GABA-activated currents are profoundly and apparently irreversibly inhibited by ivermectin. To gain further insight into ivermectin action at C. elegans muscle, we analyzed its effect on single-channel activity of the levamisol-sensitive nicotinic receptor (L-AChR), the excitatory receptor involved in neuromuscular transmission. Ivermectin produces a profound inhibition of the frequency of channel opening without significant changes in channel properties. By revealing that ivermectin inhibits C. elegans muscle GABA and L-AChR receptors, our study adds two receptors to the already known ivermectin targets, thus contributing to the elucidation of its pleiotropic effects. Behavioral assays in worms show that ivermectin potentiates piperazine-induced paralysis, thus suggesting that their

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Longevity and heat stress regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Manuel J

    2003-01-01

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

  19. A P-glycoprotein protects Caenorhabditis elegans against natural toxins.

    PubMed Central

    Broeks, A; Janssen, H W; Calafat, J; Plasterk, R H

    1995-01-01

    P-glycoproteins can cause resistance of mammalian tumor cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. They belong to an evolutionarily well-conserved family of ATP binding membrane transporters. Four P-glycoprotein gene homologs have been found in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans; this report describes the functional analysis of two. We found that PGP-3 is expressed in both the apical membrane of the excretory cell and in the apical membrane of intestinal cells, whereas PGP-1 is expressed only in the apical membrane of the intestinal cells and the intestinal valve. By transposon-mediated deletion mutagenesis we generated nematode strains with deleted P-glycoprotein genes and found that the pgp-3 deletion mutant, but not the pgp-1 mutant, is sensitive to both colchicine and chloroquine. Our results suggest that soil nematodes have P-glycoproteins to protect themselves against toxic compounds made by plants and microbes in the rhizosphere. Images PMID:7743993

  20. 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

  1. The avermectin receptors of Haemonchus contortus and Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Yates, Darran M; Portillo, Virginia; Wolstenholme, Adrian J

    2003-09-30

    Most of the recent evidence suggests that the avermectin/milbemycin family of anthelmintics act via specific interactions with glutamate-gated chloride channels. These channels are encoded by a small family of genes in nematodes, though the composition of the gene family and the function of the individual members of the family may vary between species. We review our current knowledge concerning the properties of the glutamate-gated chloride channels from Caenorhabditis elegans and the related parasite, Haemonchus contortus. We conclude that the biological effects of the avermectins/milbemycins can be largely explained by the known pharmacology and distribution of the glutamate-gated chloride channels and that differences between the glutamate-gated chloride channels from different nematodes may underlie species-specific variations in anthelmintic action.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  3. Neural mechanisms for evaluating environmental variability in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zevian, Shannin C; Yanowitz, Judith L

    2014-08-01

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

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. Paternal RNA contributions in the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote

    PubMed Central

    Stoeckius, Marlon; Grün, Dominic; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Paternal RNA contributions in the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote.

    PubMed

    Stoeckius, Marlon; Grün, Dominic; Rajewsky, Nikolaus

    2014-08-18

    Development of the early embryo is thought to be mainly driven by maternal gene products and post-transcriptional gene regulation. Here, we used metabolic labeling to show that RNA can be transferred by sperm into the oocyte upon fertilization. To identify genes with paternal expression in the embryo, we performed crosses of males and females from divergent Caenorhabditis elegans strains. RNA sequencing of mRNAs and small RNAs in the 1-cell hybrid embryo revealed that about one hundred sixty paternal mRNAs are reproducibly expressed in the embryo and that about half of all assayed endogenous siRNAs and piRNAs are also of paternal origin. Together, our results suggest an unexplored paternal contribution to early development. © 2014 The Authors.

  10. Genetic Analysis of Lysosomal Trafficking in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Hermann, Greg J.; Schroeder, Lena K.; Hieb, Caroline A.; Kershner, Aaron M.; Rabbitts, Beverley M.; Fonarev, Paul; Grant, Barth D.; Priess, James R.

    2005-01-01

    The intestinal cells of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos contain prominent, birefringent gut granules that we show are lysosome-related organelles. Gut granules are labeled by lysosomal markers, and their formation is disrupted in embryos depleted of AP-3 subunits, VPS-16, and VPS-41. We define a class of gut granule loss (glo) mutants that are defective in gut granule biogenesis. We show that the glo-1 gene encodes a predicted Rab GTPase that localizes to lysosome-related gut granules in the intestine and that glo-4 encodes a possible GLO-1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor. These and other glo genes are homologous to genes implicated in the biogenesis of specialized, lysosome-related organelles such as melanosomes in mammals and pigment granules in Drosophila. The glo mutants thus provide a simple model system for the analysis of lysosome-related organelle biogenesis in animal cells. PMID:15843430

  11. Genetic analysis of lysosomal trafficking in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hermann, Greg J; Schroeder, Lena K; Hieb, Caroline A; Kershner, Aaron M; Rabbitts, Beverley M; Fonarev, Paul; Grant, Barth D; Priess, James R

    2005-07-01

    The intestinal cells of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos contain prominent, birefringent gut granules that we show are lysosome-related organelles. Gut granules are labeled by lysosomal markers, and their formation is disrupted in embryos depleted of AP-3 subunits, VPS-16, and VPS-41. We define a class of gut granule loss (glo) mutants that are defective in gut granule biogenesis. We show that the glo-1 gene encodes a predicted Rab GTPase that localizes to lysosome-related gut granules in the intestine and that glo-4 encodes a possible GLO-1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor. These and other glo genes are homologous to genes implicated in the biogenesis of specialized, lysosome-related organelles such as melanosomes in mammals and pigment granules in Drosophila. The glo mutants thus provide a simple model system for the analysis of lysosome-related organelle biogenesis in animal cells.

  12. 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.

  13. Neural Mechanisms for Evaluating Environmental Variability in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-22

    The ability to evaluate variability in the environment is vital for making optimal behavioral decisions. Here we show that Caenorhabditis elegans evaluates variability in its food environment and modifies its future behavior accordingly. We derive a behavioral model that reveals a critical period over which information about the food environment is acquired and predicts future search behavior. We also identify a pair of high-threshold sensory neurons that encode variability in food concentration and the downstream dopamine-dependent circuit that generates appropriate search behavior upon removal from food. Further, we show that CREB is required in a subset of interneurons and determines the timescale over which the variability is integrated. Interestingly, the variability circuit is a subset of a larger circuit driving search behavior, showing that learning directly modifies the very same neurons driving behavior. Our study reveals how a neural circuit decodes environmental variability to generate contextually appropriate decisions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. A size threshold governs Caenorhabditis elegans developmental progression

    PubMed Central

    Uppaluri, Sravanti; Brangwynne, Clifford P.

    2015-01-01

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

  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. Potential Nematode Alarm Pheromone Induces Acute Avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ying; Loeza-Cabrera, Mario; Liu, Zheng; Aleman-Meza, Boanerges; Nguyen, Julie K; Jung, Sang-Kyu; Choi, Yuna; Shou, Qingyao; Butcher, Rebecca A; Zhong, Weiwei

    2017-07-01

    It is crucial for animal survival to detect dangers such as predators. A good indicator of dangers is injury of conspecifics. Here we show that fluids released from injured conspecifics invoke acute avoidance in both free-living and parasitic nematodes. Caenorhabditis elegans avoids extracts from closely related nematode species but not fruit fly larvae. The worm extracts have no impact on animal lifespan, suggesting that the worm extract may function as an alarm instead of inflicting physical harm. Avoidance of the worm extract requires the function of a cGMP signaling pathway that includes the cGMP-gated channel TAX-2/TAX-4 in the amphid sensory neurons ASI and ASK. Genetic evidence indicates that the avoidance behavior is modulated by the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin, two common targets of anxiolytic drugs. Together, these data support a model that nematodes use a nematode-specific alarm pheromone to detect conspecific injury. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  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. Heritable Custom Genomic Modifications in Caenorhabditis elegans via a CRISPR–Cas9 System

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Papaevgeniou, Nikoletta; Chondrogianni, Niki

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Glycogen controls Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan and resistance to oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Gusarov, Ivan; Pani, Bibhusita; Gautier, Laurent; Smolentseva, Olga; Eremina, Svetlana; Shamovsky, Ilya; Katkova-Zhukotskaya, Olga; Mironov, Alexander; Nudler, Evgeny

    2017-01-01

    A high-sugar diet has been associated with reduced lifespan in organisms ranging from worms to mammals. However, the mechanisms underlying the harmful effects of glucose are poorly understood. Here we establish a causative relationship between endogenous glucose storage in the form of glycogen, resistance to oxidative stress and organismal aging in Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that glycogen accumulated on high dietary glucose limits C. elegans longevity. Glucose released from glycogen and used for NADPH/glutathione reduction renders nematodes and human hepatocytes more resistant against oxidative stress. Exposure to low levels of oxidants or genetic inhibition of glycogen synthase depletes glycogen stores and extends the lifespan of animals fed a high glucose diet in an AMPK-dependent manner. Moreover, glycogen interferes with low insulin signalling and accelerates aging of long-lived daf-2 worms fed a high glucose diet. Considering its extensive evolutionary conservation, our results suggest that glycogen metabolism might also have a role in mammalian aging. PMID:28627510

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    Lipids play a pivotal role in embryogenesis as structural components of cellular membranes, as a source of energy, and as signaling molecules. On the basis of a collection of temperature-sensitive embryonic lethal mutants, a systematic database search, and a subsequent microscopic analysis of >300 interference RNA (RNAi)-treated/mutant worms, we identified a couple of evolutionary conserved genes associated with lipid storage in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. The genes include cpl-1 (cathepsin L-like cysteine protease), ccz-1 (guanine nucleotide exchange factor subunit), and asm-3 (acid sphingomyelinase), which is closely related to the human Niemann-Pick disease-causing gene SMPD1. The respective mutant embryos accumulate enlarged droplets of neutral lipids (cpl-1) and yolk-containing lipid droplets (ccz-1) or have larger genuine lipid droplets (asm-3). The asm-3 mutant embryos additionally showed an enhanced resistance against C band ultraviolet (UV-C) light. Herein we propose that cpl-1, ccz-1, and asm-3 are genes required for the processing of lipid-containing droplets in C. elegans embryos. Owing to the high levels of conservation, the identified genes are also useful in studies of embryonic lipid storage in other organisms. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Haspel, Gal; O'Donovan, Michael J

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Haspel, Gal; O’Donovan, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Delaying aging in Caenorhabditis elegans with protein aggregation inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Cuanalo-Contreras, Karina; Park, Kyung-Won; Mukherjee, Abhisek; Millán-Pérez Peña, Lourdes; Soto, Claudio

    2017-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that during aging there is widespread accumulation of aggregated insoluble proteins, even in the absence of pathological conditions. Pharmacological manipulation of protein aggregation might be helpful to unveil the involvement of protein aggregates during aging, as well as to develop novel strategies to delay aging. Here we investigated the effect of known protein aggregation inhibitors on the lifespan and health-span of Caenorhabditis elegans. For this purpose, we selected various structurally diverse anti-aggregation compounds and screened them in liquid and solid medium for their ability to alter the rate of aging in vivo. Our results show that treatment of C. elegans with diverse aggregation inhibitors significantly increases the animal lifespan and health-span. These findings indicate that protein misfolding and aggregation may play an important role in cellular dysfunction during aging, opening a novel approach to increase longevity and enhance the quality of life during aging. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Distribution and movement of Caenorhabditis elegans on a thermal gradient.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Yohko; Ohshima, Yasumi

    2003-08-01

    To analyze thermal responses of Caenorhabditis elegans in detail, distribution of a worm population and movement of individual worms were examined on a linear, reproducible and broad temperature gradient. Assay methods were improved compared with those reported previously to ensure good motility and dispersion of worms. Well-fed, wild-type worms distributed over a wide temperature range of up to 10 degrees C, and, within this range, worms migrated in both directions of the gradient at similar frequencies without any specific response to the growth temperature in most cases. By contrast, worms migrated down the gradient if put in a region warmer than the warm boundary of distribution. The distribution range changed depending on the growth temperature and starvation, but active avoidance of a starvation temperature was not detected. These findings contradict previous hypotheses of taxis or migration to the growth temperature in association with food and instead indicate avoidance of a warm temperature. Our results favor a model for thermal response of C. elegans that postulates a single drive based on warm sensation rather than downward and upward drives in the physiological temperature range. Mutants in ttx-3, tax-2, tax-4 or egl-4 genes showed abnormal thermal responses, suggesting that these genes are involved in warm avoidance. Laser ablation and gene expression studies suggest that AFD neurons are not important, and tax-4 expression in neurons other than AFD is required, for warm avoidance.

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

    PubMed

    Tejeda-Benitez, Lesly; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Cas9 Variants Expand the Target Repertoire in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Lower Doses of Fructose Extend Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jolene; Gao, Chenfei; Wang, Mingming; Tran, Phuongmai; Mai, Nancy; Finley, John W; Heymsfield, Steven B; Greenway, Frank L; Li, Zhaoping; Heber, David; Burton, Jeffrey H; Johnson, William D; Laine, Roger A

    2017-05-04

    Epidemiological studies indicate that the increased consumption of sugars including sucrose and fructose in beverages correlate with the prevalence of obesity, type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and hypertension in humans. A few reports suggest that fructose extends lifespan in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In Anopheles gambiae, fructose, glucose, or glucose plus fructose also extended lifespan. New results presented here suggest that fructose extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) wild type (N2). C. elegans were fed standard laboratory food source (E. coli OP50), maintained in liquid culture. Experimental groups received additional glucose (111 mM), fructose (55 mM, 111 mM, or 555 mM), sucrose (55 mM, 111 mM, or 555 mM), glucose (167 mM) plus fructose (167 mM) (G&F), or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS, 333 mM). In four replicate experiments, fructose dose-dependently increased mean lifespan at 55 mM or 111 m Min N2, but decreased lifespan at 555 mM (P < 0.001). Sucrose did not affect the lifespan. Glucose reduced lifespan (P < 0.001). Equal amount of G&F or HFCS reduced lifespan (P < 0.0001). Intestinal fat deposition (IFD) was increased at a higher dose of fructose (555 mM), glucose (111 mM), and sucrose (55 mM, 111 mM, and 555 mM). Here we report a biphasic effect of fructose increasing lifespan at lower doses and shortening lifespan at higher doses with an inverse effect on IFD. In view of reports that fructose increases lifespan in yeast, mosquitoes and now nematodes, while decreasing fat deposition (in nematodes) at lower concentrations, further research into the relationship of fructose to lifespan and fat accumulation in vertebrates and mammals is indicated.

  12. Forces applied during classical touch assays for Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Mazzochette, Eileen A.; Goodman, Miriam B.; Pruitt, Beth L.

    2017-01-01

    For decades, Caenorhabditis elegans roundworms have been used to study the sense of touch, and this work has been facilitated by a simple behavioral assay for touch sensation. To perform this classical assay, an experimenter uses an eyebrow hair to gently touch a moving worm and observes whether or not the worm reverses direction. We used two experimental approaches to determine the manner and moment of contact between the eyebrow hair tool and freely moving animals and the forces delivered by the classical assay. Using high-speed video (2500 frames/second), we found that typical stimulus delivery events include a brief moment when the hair is contact with the worm’s body and not the agar substrate. To measure the applied forces, we measured forces generated by volunteers mimicking the classical touch assay by touching a calibrated microcantilever. The mean (61 μN) and median forces (26 μN) were more than ten times higher than the 2-μN force known to saturate the probability of evoking a reversal in adult C. elegans. We also considered the eyebrow hairs as an additional source of variation. The stiffness of the sampled eyebrow hairs varied between 0.07 and 0.41 N/m and was correlated with the free length of hair. Collectively, this work establishes that the classical touch assay applies enough force to saturate the probability of evoking reversals in adult C. elegans in spite of its variability among trials and experimenters and that increasing the free length of the hair can decrease the applied force. PMID:28542494

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Sensory control of dauer larva formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Albert, P S; Brown, S J; Riddle, D L

    1981-05-20

    As a sensory response to starvation or overcrowding, Caenorhabditis elegans second-stage larvae may molt into a developmentally arrested state called the dauer larva. When environmental conditions become favorable for growth, dauer larvae mold and resume development. Some mutants unable to form dauer larvae are simultaneously affected in a number of sensory functions, including chemotaxis and mating. The behavior and sensory neuroanatomy of three such mutants, representing three distinct genetic loci, have been determined and compared with wild-type strain. Morphological abnormalities in afferent nerve endings were detected in each mutant. Both amphid and outer labial sensilla are affected in the mutant CB1377 (daf-6)X, while another mutant, CB1387 (daf-10)IV, is abnormal in amphidial cells and in the tips of the cephalic neurons. The most pleitropic mutant, CB1379 (che-3)I, exhibits gross abnormalities in the tips of virtually all anterior and posterior sensory neurons. The primary structural defect in CB1377 appears to be in the nonneuronal amphidial sheath cells. The disruption of neural organization in CB1377 is much greater in the adult than in the L2 stage. Of all the anterior sense organs examined, only the amphids are morphologically affected in all three mutants. Thus, one or more of the amphidial neurons may mediate the sensory signals for entry into the dauer larva stage in normal animals. Using temperature-sensitive mutants we determined that the same defects which block entry into the dauer stage also prevent recovery of dauer larvae.

  7. 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

  8. Genetic Regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans Lysosome Related Organelle Function

    PubMed Central

    Soukas, Alexander A.; Carr, Christopher E.; Ruvkun, Gary

    2013-01-01

    Lysosomes are membrane-bound organelles that contain acid hydrolases that degrade cellular proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and oligosaccharides, and are important for cellular maintenance and protection against age-related decline. Lysosome related organelles (LROs) are specialized lysosomes found in organisms from humans to worms, and share many of the features of classic lysosomes. Defective LROs are associated with human immune disorders and neurological disease. Caenorhabditis elegans LROs are the site of concentration of vital dyes such as Nile red as well as age-associated autofluorescence. Even though certain short-lived mutants have high LRO Nile red and high autofluorescence, and other long-lived mutants have low LRO Nile red and low autofluorescence, these two biologies are distinct. We identified a genetic pathway that modulates aging-related LRO phenotypes via serotonin signaling and the gene kat-1, which encodes a mitochondrial ketothiolase. Regulation of LRO phenotypes by serotonin and kat-1 in turn depend on the proton-coupled, transmembrane transporter SKAT-1. skat-1 loss of function mutations strongly suppress the high LRO Nile red accumulation phenotype of kat-1 mutation. Using a systems approach, we further analyzed the role of 571 genes in LRO biology. These results highlight a gene network that modulates LRO biology in a manner dependent upon the conserved protein kinase TOR complex 2. The results implicate new genetic pathways involved in LRO biology, aging related physiology, and potentially human diseases of the LRO. PMID:24204312

  9. 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.

  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. Challenging muscle homeostasis uncovers novel chaperone interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Frumkin, Anna; Dror, Shiran; Pokrzywa, Wojciech; Bar-Lavan, Yael; Karady, Ido; Hoppe, Thorsten; Ben-Zvi, Anat

    2014-01-01

    Proteome stability is central to cellular function and the lifespan of an organism. This is apparent in muscle cells, where incorrect folding and assembly of the sarcomere contributes to disease and aging. Apart from the myosin-assembly factor UNC-45, the complete network of chaperones involved in assembly and maintenance of muscle tissue is currently unknown. To identify additional factors required for sarcomere quality control, we performed genetic screens based on suppressed or synthetic motility defects in Caenorhabditis elegans. In addition to ethyl methyl sulfonate-based mutagenesis, we employed RNAi-mediated knockdown of candidate chaperones in unc-45 temperature-sensitive mutants and screened for impaired movement at permissive conditions. This approach confirmed the cooperation between UNC-45 and Hsp90. Moreover, the screens identified three novel co-chaperones, CeHop (STI-1), CeAha1 (C01G10.8) and Cep23 (ZC395.10), required for muscle integrity. The specific identification of Hsp90 and Hsp90 co-chaperones highlights the physiological role of Hsp90 in myosin folding. Our work thus provides a clear example of how a combination of mild perturbations to the proteostasis network can uncover specific quality control modules. PMID:25988162

  12. 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.

  13. Response of Caenorhabditis elegans to wireless devices radiation exposure.

    PubMed

    Fasseas, Michael K; Fragopoulou, Adamantia F; Manta, Areti K; Skouroliakou, Aikaterini; Vekrellis, Konstantinos; Margaritis, Lukas H; Syntichaki, Popi

    2015-03-01

    To examine the impact of electromagnetic radiation, produced by GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) mobile phones, Wi-Fi (Wireless-Fidelity) routers and wireless DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) phones, on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We exposed synchronized populations, of different developmental stages, to these wireless devices at E-field levels below ICNIRP's (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) guidelines for various lengths of time. WT (wild-type) and aging- or stress-sensitive mutant worms were examined for changes in growth, fertility, lifespan, chemotaxis, short-term memory, increased ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) production and apoptosis by using fluorescent marker genes or qRT-PCR (quantitative Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction). No statistically significant differences were found between the exposed and the sham/control animals in any of the experiments concerning lifespan, fertility, growth, memory, ROS, apoptosis or gene expression. The worm appears to be robust to this form of (pulsed) radiation, at least under the exposure conditions used.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Apoptosis Maintains Oocyte Quality in Aging Caenorhabditis elegans Females

    PubMed Central

    Andux, Sara; Ellis, Ronald E.

    2008-01-01

    In women, oocytes arrest development at the end of prophase of meiosis I and remain quiescent for years. Over time, the quality and quantity of these oocytes decreases, resulting in fewer pregnancies and an increased occurrence of birth defects. We used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study how oocyte quality is regulated during aging. To assay quality, we determine the fraction of oocytes that produce viable eggs after fertilization. Our results show that oocyte quality declines in aging nematodes, as in humans. This decline affects oocytes arrested in late prophase, waiting for a signal to mature, and also oocytes that develop later in life. Furthermore, mutations that block all cell deaths result in a severe, early decline in oocyte quality, and this effect increases with age. However, mutations that block only somatic cell deaths or DNA-damage–induced deaths do not lower oocyte quality. Two lines of evidence imply that most developmentally programmed germ cell deaths promote the proper allocation of resources among oocytes, rather than eliminate oocytes with damaged chromosomes. First, oocyte quality is lowered by mutations that do not prevent germ cell deaths but do block the engulfment and recycling of cell corpses. Second, the decrease in quality caused by apoptosis mutants is mirrored by a decrease in the size of many mature oocytes. We conclude that competition for resources is a serious problem in aging germ lines, and that apoptosis helps alleviate this problem. PMID:19057674

  20. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-04-01

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

  2. Sphingolipid metabolism regulates development and lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Regulation of DAF-16-mediated Innate Immunity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Singh, Varsha; Aballay, Alejandro

    2009-12-18

    Activation of the innate immune system results in a rapid microbicidal response against microorganisms, which needs to be fine-tuned because uncontrolled immune responses can lead to infection and cancer, as well as conditions such as Crohn disease, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer disease. Here we report that excessive activity of the conserved FOXO transcription factor DAF-16 enhances susceptibility to bacterial infections in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that increased temperature activates not only DAF-16 nuclear import but also a control mechanism involved in DAF-16 nuclear export. The nuclear export of DAF-16 requires heat shock transcription factor HSF-1 and Hsp70/HSP-1. Furthermore, we show that increased expression of the water channel Aquoporin-1 is responsible for the deleterious consequences of excessive DAF-16-mediated immune response. These studies reveal a stress-inducible mechanism involved in the regulation of DAF-16 and indicate that uncontrolled DAF-16 activity and water homeostasis are a cause of the deleterious effects of excessive immune responses.

  5. 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

  6. Uncoupling lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans longevity mutants

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Epidermal Wound Healing in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chisholm, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Calcineurin Antagonizes AMPK to Regulate Lipolysis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanli; Xie, Cangsang; Diao, Zhiqing; Liang, Bin

    2017-06-26

    Calcineurin is a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase, and the target of immunosuppressive agent tacrolimus (TAC). The dysfunction of calcineurin, or clinical applications of tacrolimus, have been reported to be associated with dyslipidemia. The underlying mechanisms of calcineurin and tacrolimus in lipid metabolism are largely unknown. Here, we showed that mutations of tax-6 and cnb-1, which respectively encode the catalytic subunit and the regulatory subunit of calcineurin, together with tacrolimus treatment, consistently led to decreased fat accumulation and delayed growth in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In contrast, disruption of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) encoded by aak-1 and aak-2 reversed the above effects in worms. Moreover, calcineurin deficiency and tacrolimus treatment consistently activated the transcriptional expression of the lipolytic gene atgl-1, encoding triglyceride lipase. Furthermore, RNAi knockdown of atgl-1 recovered the decreased fat accumulation in both calcineurin deficient and tacrolimus treated worms. Collectively, our results reveal that immunosuppressive agent tacrolimus and their target calcineurin may antagonize AMPK to regulate ATGL and lipolysis, thereby providing potential therapy for the application of immunosuppressive agents.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sonneville, Remi; Querenet, Matthieu; Craig, Ashley

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Identification of DVA interneuron regulatory sequences in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Identification of DVA Interneuron Regulatory Sequences in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Wadsworth, W.G.

    1989-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Implicating SCF Complexes in Organogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Polley, Stanley R. G.; Kuzmanov, Aleksandra; Kuang, Jujiao; Karpel, Jonathan; Lažetić, Vladimir; Karina, Evguenia I.; Veo, Bethany L.; Fay, David S.

    2014-01-01

    Development of the Caenorhabditis elegans foregut (pharynx) is regulated by a network of proteins that includes the Retinoblastoma protein (pRb) ortholog LIN-35; the ubiquitin pathway components UBC-18 and ARI-1; and PHA-1, a cytoplasmic protein. Loss of pha-1 activity impairs pharyngeal development and body morphogenesis, leading to embryonic arrest. We have used a genetic suppressor approach to dissect this complex pathway. The lethality of pha-1 mutants is suppressed by loss-of-function mutations in sup-35/ztf-21 and sup-37/ztf-12, which encode Zn-finger proteins, and by mutations in sup-36. Here we show that sup-36 encodes a divergent Skp1 family member that binds to several F-box proteins and the microtubule-associated protein PLT-1/τ. Like SUP-35, SUP-36 levels were negatively regulated by UBC-18–ARI-1. We also found that SUP-35 and SUP-37 physically associated and that SUP-35 could bind microtubules. Thus, SUP-35, SUP-36, and SUP-37 may function within a pathway or complex that includes cytoskeletal components. Additionally, SUP-36 may regulate the subcellular localization of SUP-35 during embryogenesis. We carried out a genome-wide RNAi screen to identify additional regulators of this network and identified 39 genes, most of which are associated with transcriptional regulation. Twenty-three of these genes acted via the LIN-35 pathway. In addition, several S-phase kinase-associated protein (Skp)1–Cullin–F-Box (SCF) components were identified, further implicating SCF complexes as part of the greater network controlling pharyngeal development. PMID:24214340

  6. Aging Uncouples Heritability and Expression-QTL in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Viñuela, Ana; Snoek, L. Basten; Riksen, Joost A. G.; Kammenga, Jan E.

    2012-01-01

    The number and distribution of gene expression QTL (eQTL) represent the genetic architecture of many complex traits, including common human diseases. We previously reported that the heritable eQTL patterns are highly dynamic with age in an N2 × CB4856 recombinant inbred population of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In particular, we showed that the number of eQTL decreased with age. Here, we investigated the reason for this decrease by combining gene expression profiles at three ages in the wild types N2 and CB4856 with the reported expression profiles of the RIL population. We determined heritability and transgression (when gene expression levels in the RILs are more extreme than the parents) and investigated their relation with eQTL changes with age. Transgressive segregation was widespread but depended on physiological age. The percentage of genes with an eQTL increased with a higher heritability in young worms. However, for old worms this percentage hardly increased. Using a single marker approach, we found that almost 20% of genes with heritability >0.9 had an eQTL in developing worms. Surprisingly, only 10% was found in old worms. Using a multimarker approach, this percentage increased to almost 30% for both age groups. Comparison of the single marker to a multiple marker eQTL mapping indicated that heritable regulation of gene expression becomes more polygenic in aging worms due to multiple loci and possible epistatic interactions. We conclude that linkage studies should account for the relation between increased polygenic regulation and diminished effects at older ages. PMID:22670229

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans DNA does not contain 5-methylcytosine at any time during development or aging.

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, V J; Johnson, T E; Hammen, R F

    1986-01-01

    DNA, isolated from age-synchronous senescent populations of Caenorhabditis elegans has been quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed for the presence of 5-methylcytosine. High performance liquid chromatography on two wild-type and several mutant strains of C. elegans failed to detect any 5-methylcytosine. The restriction endonuclease isoschizomers, HpaII and MspI, were used to digest genomic DNA after CsCl purification and failed to detect any 5' cytosine methylation at any age. We conclude that C. elegans does not contain detectable (0.01 mole percent) levels of 5-methylcytosine. Images PMID:3748820

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Rogers, Steven; Rice, Kevin M; Manne, Nandini Dpk; Shokuhfar, Tolou; He, Kun; Selvaraj, Vellaisamy; Blough, Eric R

    2015-01-01

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

  10. High-resolution complementary chemical imaging of bio-elements in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Hare, Dominic J; Jones, Michael W M; Wimmer, Verena C; Jenkins, Nicole L; de Jonge, Martin D; Bush, Ashley I; McColl, Gawain

    2016-02-01

    Here, we present a sub-μm multimodal approach to image essential elements in Caenorhabditis elegans. A combination of chemical imaging technologies reveals total metal concentration, chemical state and the protein to which an element is associated. This application of distinct yet complementary chemical imaging techniques provided unique insight into essential and trace elements at the subcellular level.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  13. 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…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  18. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-01-10

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

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

    PubMed

    Félix, Marie-Anne; Duveau, Fabien

    2012-06-25

    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. 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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Oleanolic acid activates daf-16 to increase lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-12-25

    Oleanolic acid (OA) is an active ingredient in natural plants. It has been reported to possess a variety of pharmacological activities, but very little is known about its effects of anti-aging. We investigate here whether OA has an impact on longevity in vivo, and more specifically, we have examined effects of OA on the lifespan and stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results showed that OA could extend the lifespan, increase its stress resistance and reduce the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in wild-type worms. Moreover, we have found that OA-induced longevity may not be associated with the calorie restriction (CR) mechanism. Our mechanistic studies using daf-16 loss-of-function mutant strains (GR1307) indicated that the extension of lifespan by OA requires daf-16. In addition, OA treatment could also modulate the nuclear localization, and the quantitative real-time PCR results revealed that up-regulation of daf-16 target genes such as sod-3, hsp-16.2 and ctl-1 could prolong lifespan and increase stress response in C. elegans. This study overall uncovers the longevity effect of OA and its underpinning mechanisms. - Graphical abstract: Oleanolic acid modulates the activity of DAF-16 to promote longevity and increase stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. - Highlights: • OA extends the lifespan of wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans. • OA improves the stress resistance and reduces the intracellular ROS level in C. elegans. • OA induces lifespan extension may not proceed through the CR mechanism. • OA extends the lifespan in C. elegans is modulated by daf-16.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans has become a useful model for studying innate immunity. ELT-2, which is homologous to human GATA-4, -5 and -6, is considered the primary GATA transcription factor controlling intestinal immunity in C. elegans. In this study, we characterize the timeline of intestinal distension in nematodes where ELT-2 and another intestinal GATA transcription factor, ELT-7, are abrogated by RNAi using two different models: colonization and toxin-based infections by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show that both ELT-2 and ELT-7 are important for survival of C. elegans exposed to P. aeruginosa. Intestinal distension is accelerated in elt-2 RNAi nematodes, and is observed in colonization but not toxin-based Pseudomonas infection. Upon onset of intestinal distension, nematodes die within 24 h, regardless of experimental treatment. These data provide new insight into the role of ELT-2 and ELT-7 in protecting C. elegans against P. aeruginosa infection. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Identification of virulence properties in Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 using Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. A deuterohemin peptide extends lifespan and increases stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Guan, Shuwen; Li, Pengfei; Luo, Jing; Li, Yuanyuan; Huang, Lei; Wang, Guan; Zhu, Limin; Fan, Hongkuan; Li, Wei; Wang, Liping

    2010-07-01

    This group has invented a novel deuterohemin containing peptide deuterohemin-AlaHisThrValGluLys (DhHP-6), which has various biological activities including protection of murine ischemia reperfusion injury, improving cell survival and preventing apoptosis. It was hypothesized that DhHP-6 is beneficial on the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and increases their resistance to heat and oxidative stress. C. elegans were treated with different concentrations of DhHP-6. Survival time and sensitivity to heat and paraquat were investigated. The data demonstrated that the mean survival time of C. elegans was significantly increased (p < 0.05) in the DhHP-6 treated group compared with the control group. The maximum lifespan was not affected by DhHP-6 treatment. DhHP-6 improved the survival rate of C. elegans in the acute heat stress (35 degrees C) and rescued the C. elegans' sensitivity to paraquat in acute oxidative stress. Superoxide dismutase 3 (SOD-3) protein was up-regulated by DhHP-6 treatment. It was further demonstrated that stress resistance genes such as hsp-16.1, hsp-16.49 and sir-2.1 were regulated by DhHP-6. DAF-16 and SIR-2.1 genes are essential for the beneficial effect of DhHP-6. Therefore, the investigation into the beneficial effect of DhHP-6 on C. elegans' lifespan has the potential to develop novel drugs to prevent ageing.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

    DNA repair is an important mechanism by which cells maintain genomic integrity. Decline in DNA repair capacity or defects in repair factors are thought to contribute to premature aging in mammals. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model for studying longevity and DNA repair because of key advances in understanding the genetics of aging in this organism. Long-lived C. elegans mutants have been identified and shown to be resistant to oxidizing agents and UV irradiation, suggesting a genetically determined correlation between DNA repair capacity and life span. In this report, gene-specific DNA repair is compared in wild-type C. elegans and stress-resistant C. elegans mutants for the first time. DNA repair capacity is higher in long-lived C. elegans mutants than in wild-type animals. In addition, RNAi knockdown of the nucleotide excision repair gene xpa-1 increased sensitivity to UV and reduced the life span of long-lived C. elegans mutants. These findings support that DNA repair capacity correlates with longevity in C. elegans. PMID:18203746

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-02-19

    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 Ca(2+) 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of ivermectin on Caenorhabditis elegans larvae previously exposed to alcoholic immobilization.

    PubMed

    Smith, H; Campbell, W C

    1996-02-01

    First-stage larvae of Caenorhabditis elegans were immersed in 0.15% 1-phenoxy-2-propanol to induce temporary paralysis, including the suppression of pharyngeal pumping. Subsequent addition of ivermectin (to give 50 micrograms/ml) induced coiling and prolonged immobilization of such larvae, as also of control larvae (previously immersed only in water). The results suggest that ingestion of drug by means of pharyngeal pumping is not a prerequisite for the uptake of ivermectin at levels sufficient for antinematodal action.

  7. 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. PMID:28405595

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

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, MD; Trojanowski, NF; George-Raizen, JB; Smith, CJ; Yu, C-C; Fang-Yen, C; Raizen, DM

    2013-01-01

    Neuropeptides play central roles in the regulation of homeostatic behaviors such as sleep and feeding. Caenorhabditis elegans displays sleep-like quiescence of locomotion and feeding during a larval transition stage called lethargus and feeds during active larval and adult stages. Here we show that the neuropeptide NLP-22 is a regulator of Caenorhabditis elegans sleep-like quiescence observed during lethargus. nlp-22 shows cyclical mRNA expression in synchrony with lethargus; it is regulated by LIN-42, an orthologue of the core circadian protein PERIOD; and it is expressed solely in the two RIA interneurons. nlp-22 and the RIA interneurons are required for normal lethargus quiescence, and forced expression of nlp-22 during active stages causes anachronistic locomotion and feeding quiescence. Optogenetic stimulation of RIA interneurons has a movement-promoting effect, demonstrating functional complexity in a single neuron type. Our work defines a quiescence-regulating role for NLP-22 and expands our knowledge of the neural circuitry controlling Caenorhabditis elegans behavioral quiescence. PMID:24301180

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-03

    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.

  13. unc-3-dependent repression of specific motor neuron fates in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Prasad, Brinda; Karakuzu, Ozgur; Reed, Randall R.; Cameron, Scott

    2008-01-01

    unc-3 encodes the C. elegans ortholog of the Olf-1/Early B cell factor family of transcription factors, which in vertebrates regulate development and differentiation of B lymphocytes, adipocytes, and cells of the nervous system. unc-3 mutants are uncoordinated in locomotion. Here we show that unc-3 represses a VC-like motor neuron program in the VA and VB motor neurons, which in wild-type animals control backwards and forwards locomotion, respectively. We identify a physical interaction between UNC-3 and the C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor PAG-3, the mammalian homologs of which are coexpressed in olfactory epithelium and hematopoietic cells. Our data explain the locomotory defects of unc-3 mutants and suggest that interactions between unc-3 and pag-3 orthologs in other species may be functionally important. PMID:18817768

  14. Killing of Caenorhabditis elegans by Cryptococcus neoformans as a model of yeast pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Ausubel, Frederick M.; Perfect, John R.; Heitman, Joseph; Calderwood, Stephen B.

    2002-01-01

    We found that the well-studied nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can use various yeasts, including Cryptococcus laurentii and Cryptococcus kuetzingii, as a sole source of food, producing similar brood sizes compared with growth on its usual laboratory food source Escherichia coli OP50. C. elegans grown on these yeasts had a life span similar to (C. laurentii) or longer than (C. kuetzingii) those fed on E. coli. However, the human pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans killed C. elegans, and the C. neoformans polysaccharide capsule as well as several C. neoformans genes previously shown to be involved in mammalian virulence were also shown to play a role in C. elegans killing. These included genes associated with signal transduction pathways (GPA1, PKA1, PKR1, and RAS1), laccase production (LAC1), and the α mating type. C. neoformans adenine auxotrophs, which are less virulent in mammals, were also less virulent in C. elegans. These results support the model that mammalian pathogenesis of C. neoformans may be a consequence of adaptations that have evolved during the interaction of C. neoformans with environmental predators such as free-living nematodes and amoebae and suggest that C. elegans can be used as a simple model host in which C. neoformans pathogenesis can be readily studied. PMID:12438649

  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. Yersinia pestis kills Caenorhabditis elegans by a biofilm-independent process that involves novel virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Styer, Katie L; Hopkins, Gregory W; Bartra, Sara Schesser; Plano, Gregory V; Frothingham, Richard; Aballay, Alejandro

    2005-01-01

    It is known that Yersinia pestis kills Caenorhabditis elegans by a biofilm-dependent mechanism that is similar to the mechanism used by the pathogen to block food intake in the flea vector. Using Y. pestis KIM5, which lacks the genes that are required for biofilm formation, we show that Y. pestis can kill C. elegans by a biofilm-independent mechanism that correlates with the accumulation of the pathogen in the intestine. We used this novel Y. pestis–C. elegans pathogenesis system to show that previously known and unknown virulence-related genes are required for full virulence in C. elegans. Six Y. pestis mutants with insertions in genes that are not related to virulence before were isolated using C. elegans. One of the six mutants carried an insertion in a novel virulence gene and showed significantly reduced virulence in a mouse model of Y. pestis pathogenesis. Our results indicate that the Y. pestis–C. elegans pathogenesis system that is described here can be used to identify and study previously uncharacterized Y. pestis gene products required for virulence in mammalian systems. PMID:16170309

  17. 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.

  18. A genome-wide view of Caenorhabditis elegans base-substitution mutation processes

    PubMed Central

    Denver, Dee R.; Dolan, Peter C.; Wilhelm, Larry J.; Sung, Way; Lucas-Lledó, J. Ignacio; Howe, Dana K.; Lewis, Samantha C.; Okamoto, Kazu; Thomas, W. Kelley; Lynch, Michael; Baer, Charles F.

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of mutation processes is central to understanding virtually all evolutionary phenomena and the underlying nature of genetic disorders and cancers. However, the limitations of standard molecular mutation detection methods have historically precluded a genome-wide understanding of mutation rates and spectra in the nuclear genomes of multicellular organisms. We applied two high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies to identify and characterize hundreds of spontaneously arising base-substitution mutations in 10 Caenorhabditis elegans mutation-accumulation (MA)-line nuclear genomes. C. elegans mutation rate estimates were similar to previous calculations based on smaller numbers of mutations. Mutations were distributed uniformly within and among chromosomes and were not associated with recombination rate variation in the MA lines, suggesting that intragenomic variation in genetic hitchhiking and/or background selection are primarily responsible for the chromosomal distribution patterns of polymorphic nucleotides in C. elegans natural populations. A strong mutational bias from G/C to A/T nucleotides was detected in the MA lines, implicating oxidative DNA damage as a major endogenous mutagenic force in C. elegans. The observed mutational bias also suggests that the C. elegans nuclear genome cannot be at equilibrium because of mutation alone. Transversions dominate the spectrum of spontaneous mutations observed here, whereas transitions dominate patterns of allegedly neutral polymorphism in natural populations of C. elegans and many other animal species; this observation challenges the assumption that natural patterns of molecular variation in noncoding regions of the nuclear genome accurately reflect underlying mutation processes. PMID:19805298

  19. Anti-aging effect of polysaccharide from Bletilla striata on nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yusi; Lv, Ting; Li, Min; Xue, Ting; Liu, Hui; Zhang, Weiming; Ding, Xiaoyu; Zhuang, Ziheng

    2015-01-01

    Polysaccharide isolated from Bletilla striata, a well-known traditional Chinese medicine (Bletilla striata polysaccharide [BSP]) has been found to play important roles in endothelial cells proliferation, inducible nitric oxide stimulation, wound healing acceleration and other processes. Recent studies found that B. striata has anti-oxidative properties, however, potential anti-aging effects of BSP in whole organisms has not been characterized. To investigate whether BSP has anti-aging effects on Caenorhabditis elegans. After treatment with BSP, the lifespan, locomotion ability, and stress resistance of C. elegans was determined. To provide insight into the underlying mechanism for the anti-aging effect of BSP, we measured its effect on bacterial growth, brood size of C. elegans, and the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathway. After BSP treatment, the lifespan of C. elegans was extended, and its locomotion ability and stress resistance were increased. BSP was found to have no effect on bacterial growth or on reproduction of C. elegans, However, mRNA levels of age-1 and hcf-1 were reduced after BSP treatment. Additionally, we observed that BSP did not extend the lifespan of daf-16 mutant animals. BSP produces an anti-aging effect on C. elegans through the insulin/IGF signaling pathway and holds promise for future development as a functional food.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Anti-aging effect of polysaccharide from Bletilla striata on nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yusi; Lv, Ting; Li, Min; Xue, Ting; Liu, Hui; Zhang, Weiming; Ding, Xiaoyu; Zhuang, Ziheng

    2015-01-01

    Background: Polysaccharide isolated from Bletilla striata, a well-known traditional Chinese medicine (Bletilla striata polysaccharide [BSP]) has been found to play important roles in endothelial cells proliferation, inducible nitric oxide stimulation, wound healing acceleration and other processes. Recent studies found that B. striata has anti-oxidative properties, however, potential anti-aging effects of BSP in whole organisms has not been characterized. Objective: To investigate whether BSP has anti-aging effects on Caenorhabditis elegans. Materials and Methods: After treatment with BSP, the lifespan, locomotion ability, and stress resistance of C. elegans was determined. To provide insight into the underlying mechanism for the anti-aging effect of BSP, we measured its effect on bacterial growth, brood size of C. elegans, and the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathway. Results: After BSP treatment, the lifespan of C. elegans was extended, and its locomotion ability and stress resistance were increased. BSP was found to have no effect on bacterial growth or on reproduction of C. elegans, However, mRNA levels of age-1 and hcf-1 were reduced after BSP treatment. Additionally, we observed that BSP did not extend the lifespan of daf-16 mutant animals. Conclusion: BSP produces an anti-aging effect on C. elegans through the insulin/IGF signaling pathway and holds promise for future development as a functional food. PMID:26246718

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Forward and reverse genetics approaches to uncover metabolic aging pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Gao, Arwen W; Uit de Bos, Jelmi; Sterken, Mark G; Kammenga, Jan E; Smith, Reuben L; Houtkooper, Riekelt H

    2017-09-15

    The biological mechanisms of aging have been studied in depth and prominent findings in this field promote the development of new therapies for age-associated disorders. Various model organisms are used for research on aging; among these, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been widely used and has provided valuable knowledge in determining the regulatory mechanisms driving the aging process. Many genes involved in lifespan regulation are associated with metabolic pathways and are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. In line with this, C. elegans provides a promising platform to study such gene by environment interactions, in either a reverse or forward genetics approach. In this review, we discuss longevity mechanisms related to metabolic networks that have been discovered in C. elegans. We also highlight the use of wild populations to study the complex genetic basis of natural variation for quantitative traits that mediate longevity. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. Modern tools to study nuclear pore complexes and nucleocytoplasmic transport in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Askjaer, Peter; Galy, Vincent; Meister, Peter

    2014-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is characterized by many features that make it highly attractive to study nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) and nucleocytoplasmic transport. NPC composition and structure are highly conserved in nematodes and being amenable to a variety of genetic manipulations, key aspects of nuclear envelope dynamics can be observed in great details during breakdown, reassembly, and interphase. In this chapter, we provide an overview of some of the most relevant modern techniques that allow researchers unfamiliar with C. elegans to embark on studies of nucleoporins in an intact organism through its development from zygote to aging adult. We focus on methods relevant to generate loss-of-function phenotypes and their analysis by advanced microscopy. Extensive references to available reagents, such as mutants, transgenic strains, and antibodies are equally useful to scientists with or without prior C. elegans or nucleoporin experience. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Engineering the Caenorhabditis elegans Genome Using Cas9-Triggered Homologous Recombination

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Study of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has provided important insights in a wide range of fields in biology. The ability to precisely modify genomes is critical to fully realize the utility of model organisms. Here, we report a method to edit the C. elegans genome using the Clustered Regularly Interspersed Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease followed by homologous recombination. We demonstrate that Cas9 is able to induce DNA double-strand breaks with specificity for targeted sites, and that these breaks can be efficiently repaired by homologous recombination. By supplying engineered homologous repair templates, we generated GFP knock-ins and targeted mutations. Together, our results outline a flexible methodology to produce essentially any desired modification in the C. elegans genome quickly and at low cost. This technology is an important addition to the array of genetic techniques already available in this experimentally tractable model organism. PMID:23995389

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-09-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. The rise and fall of basal bodies in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Nechipurenko, Inna V; Sengupta, Piali

    2017-01-01

    The free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, is a widely used genetic model organism for investigations into centriole and cilia biology. Only sensory neurons are ciliated in C. elegans; morphologically diverse cilia in these neurons are nucleated by basal bodies located at the dendritic endings. C. elegans centrioles comprise a central tube with a symmetric array of nine singlet microtubules. These singlet microtubules remodel in a subset of sensory neurons to form the doublet microtubules of the basal bodies. Following initiation of ciliogenesis, the central tube, but not the outer centriole wall, of the basal body degenerates. Recent ultrastructural characterization of basal body architecture and remodeling have laid the foundation for future studies into mechanisms underlying different aspects of basal body genesis, remodeling, and intracellular positioning.

  3. 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.

  4. Single-Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy in Living Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    van Krugten, Jaap; Peterman, Erwin J G

    2018-01-01

    Transportation of organelles and biomolecules is vital for many cellular processes. Single-molecule (SM) fluorescence microscopy can expose molecular aspects of the dynamics that remain unresolved in ensemble experiments. For example, trajectories of individual, moving biomolecules can reveal velocity and changes therein, including pauses. We use SM imaging to study the dynamics of motor proteins and their cargo in the cilia of living C. elegans. To this end, we employ standard fluorescent proteins, an epi-illuminated, wide-field fluorescence microscope and mostly open-source software. This chapter describes the setup we use, the preparation of samples, a protocol for single-molecule imaging in C. elegans and data analysis.

  5. 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.

  6. Regulatory elements of Caenorhabditis elegans ribosomal protein genes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Ribosomal protein genes (RPGs) are essential, tightly regulated, and highly expressed during embryonic development and cell growth. Even though their protein sequences are strongly conserved, their mechanism of regulation is not conserved across yeast, Drosophila, and vertebrates. A recent investigation of genomic sequences conserved across both nematode species and associated with different gene groups indicated the existence of several elements in the upstream regions of C. elegans RPGs, providing a new insight regarding the regulation of these genes in C. elegans. Results In this study, we performed an in-depth examination of C. elegans RPG regulation and found nine highly conserved motifs in the upstream regions of C. elegans RPGs using the motif discovery algorithm DME. Four motifs were partially similar to transcription factor binding sites from C. elegans, Drosophila, yeast, and human. One pair of these motifs was found to co-occur in the upstream regions of 250 transcripts including 22 RPGs. The distance between the two motifs displayed a complex frequency pattern that was related to their relative orientation. We tested the impact of three of these motifs on the expression of rpl-2 using a series of reporter gene constructs and showed that all three motifs are necessary to maintain the high natural expression level of this gene. One of the motifs was similar to the binding site of an orthologue of POP-1, and we showed that RNAi knockdown of pop-1 impacts the expression of rpl-2. We further determined the transcription start site of rpl-2 by 5’ RACE and found that the motifs lie 40–90 bases upstream of the start site. We also found evidence that a noncoding RNA, contained within the outron of rpl-2, is co-transcribed with rpl-2 and cleaved during trans-splicing. Conclusions Our results indicate that C. elegans RPGs are regulated by a complex novel series of regulatory elements that is evolutionarily distinct from those of all other species

  7. 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

  8. Aging in the nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Chew, Yee Lian; Fan, Xiaochen; Götz, Jürgen; Nicholas, Hannah R.

    2013-01-01

    It has recently been described that aging in C. elegans is accompanied by the progressive development of morphological changes in the nervous system. These include novel outgrowths from the cell body or axonal process, as well as blebbing and beading along the length of the axon. The formation of these structures is regulated by numerous molecular players including members of the well-conserved insulin/insulin growth factor-like (IGF)-1 signaling and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathways. This review summarizes the recent literature on neuronal aging in C. elegans, including our own findings, which indicate a role for protein with tau-like repeats (PTL-1), the homolog of mammalian tau and MAP2/4, in maintaining neuronal integrity during aging. PMID:24255742

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  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. 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

  14. A highly accurate inclusive cancer screening test using Caenorhabditis elegans scent detection.

    PubMed

    Hirotsu, Takaaki; Sonoda, Hideto; Uozumi, Takayuki; Shinden, Yoshiaki; Mimori, Koshi; Maehara, Yoshihiko; Ueda, Naoko; Hamakawa, Masayuki

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Drugs capable of specifically recognizing and killing cancer cells while sparing healthy cells are of great interest in anti-cancer therapy. An example of such a drug is edelfosine, the prototype molecule of a family of synthetic lipids collectively known as antitumor lipids (ATLs). A better understanding of the selectivity and the mechanism of action of these compounds would lead to better anticancer treatments. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, we modeled key features of the ATL selectivity against cancer cells. Edelfosine induced a selective and direct killing action on C. elegans embryos, which was dependent on cholesterol, without affecting adult worms and larvae. Distinct ATLs ranked differently in their embryonic lethal effect with edelfosine > perifosine > erucylphosphocholine >> miltefosine. Following a biased screening of 57 C. elegans mutants we found that inactivation of components of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway led to resistance against the ATL edelfosine in both C. elegans and human tumor cells. This paper shows that C. elegans can be used as a rapid platform to facilitate ATL research and to further understand the mechanism of action of edelfosine and other synthetic ATLs. PMID:25485582

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans gcs-1 confers resistance to arsenic-induced oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan; Yu, Chan-Wei

    2005-10-01

    Gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS) catalyzes the first, rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of glutathione (GSH). To evaluate the protective role of cellular GSH against arsenic-induced oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), we examined the effect of the C. elegans ortholog of GCS(h), gcs-1, in response to inorganic arsenic exposure. We have evaluated the responses of wild-type and gcs-1 mutant nematodes to both inorganic arsenite (As(III)) and arsenate (As(V)) ions and found that gcs-1 mutant nematodes are more sensitive to arsenic toxicity than that of wild-type animals. The amount of metal ion required to kill half of the population of worms falls in the order of wild-type/As(V)>gcs-1/As(V)> wild-type/As(III)>gcs-1/As(III). gcs-1 mutant nematodes also showed an earlier response to the exposure of As(III) and As(V) than that of wild-type animals. Pretreatment with GSH significantly raised the survival rate of gcs-1 mutant worms compared to As(III)- or As(V)-treated worms alone. These results indicate that GCS-1 is essential for the synthesis of intracellular GSH in C. elegans and consequently that the intracellular GSH status plays a critical role in protection of C. elegans from arsenic-induced oxidative stress.

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

    PubMed Central

    Park, Sojin; Choi, Seoyun; Ahn, Byungchan

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-17

    Dairy Propionibacterium freudenreichii is a candidate non-lactic acid probiotic. However, little information is available on the effect of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension and to elucidate the mechanism of P. freudenreichii-dependent lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that P. freudenreichii significantly (p < 0.05) extended the lifespan of C. elegans compared with Escherichia coli OP50, a standard food for the worm. Analysis of age-related biomarkers showed that P. freudenreichii retards ageing. Moreover, P. freudenreichii increased resistance against a human pathogen, Salmonella typhimurium, through the activation of skn-1, which is involved in pathogen resistance in C. elegans. Furthermore, P. freudenreichii-fed daf-16, jnk-1, skn-1 or daf-7 loss-of-function mutants showed an extended mean lifespan compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. However, the increase in lifespan was not observed in pmk-1, sek-1, mek-1, dbl-1, daf-12 or daf-2 mutants, which suggests potential roles for these genes in P. freudenreichii-induced longevity in C. elegans. In conclusion, P. freudenreichii extends the lifespan of C. elegans via the p38 MAPK pathway involved in stress response and the TGF-β pathways associated with anti-inflammation processes in the immune system.

  1. Sesamin extends lifespan through pathways related to dietary restriction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Nakatani, Yumiko; Yaguchi, Yukie; Komura, Tomomi; Nakadai, Masakazu; Terao, Kenji; Kage-Nakadai, Eriko; Nishikawa, Yoshikazu

    2017-02-26

    Sesamin, a polyphenolic compound found in sesame seeds, has been reported to exert a variety of beneficial health effects. We have previously reported that sesamin increases the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the longevity effect of sesamin in C. elegans. Starting from three days of age, Caenorhabditis elegans animals were fed a standard diet alone or supplemented with sesamin. A C. elegans genome array was used to perform a comprehensive expression analysis. Genes that showed differential expression were validated using real-time PCR. Mutant or RNAi-treated animals were fed sesamin, and the lifespan was determined to identify the genes involved in the longevity effects of sesamin. The microarray analysis revealed that endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response-related genes, which have been reported to show decreased expression under conditions of SIR-2.1/Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) overexpression, were downregulated in animals supplemented with sesamin. Sesamin failed to extend the lifespan of sir-2.1 knockdown animals and of sir-2.1 loss-of-function mutants. Sesamin was also ineffective in bec-1 RNAi-treated animals; bec-1 is a key regulator of autophagy, and is necessary for longevity induced by sir-2.1 overexpression. Furthermore, the heterozygotic mutation of daf-15, which encodes the target of rapamycin (TOR)-binding partner Raptor, abolished lifespan extension by sesamin. Moreover, sesamin did not prolong the lifespan of loss-of-function mutants of aak-2, which encodes the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Sesamin extends the lifespan of C. elegans through several dietary restriction-related signaling pathways, including processes requiring SIRT1, TOR, and AMPK.

  2. 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).

  3. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans: a model to monitor bacterial air quality

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Low environmental air quality is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity and this question is now emerging as a main concern of governmental authorities. Airborne pollution results from the combination of chemicals, fine particles, and micro-organisms quantitatively or qualitatively dangerous for health or for the environment. Increasing regulations and limitations for outdoor air quality have been decreed in regards to chemicals and particles contrary to micro-organisms. Indeed, pertinent and reliable tests to evaluate this biohazard are scarce. In this work, our purpose was to evaluate the Caenorhaditis elegans killing test, a model considered as an equivalent to the mouse acute toxicity test in pharmaceutical industry, in order to monitor air bacterial quality. Findings The present study investigates the bacterial population in dust clouds generated during crop ship loading in harbor installations (Rouen harbor, Normandy, France). With a biocollector, airborne bacteria were impacted onto the surface of agar medium. After incubation, a replicate of the colonies on a fresh agar medium was done using a velvet. All the replicated colonies were pooled creating the "Total Air Sample". Meanwhile, all the colonies on the original plate were isolated. Among which, five representative bacterial strains were chosen. The virulence of these representatives was compared to that of the "Total Air Sample" using the Caenorhaditis elegans killing test. The survival kinetic of nematodes fed with the "Total Air Sample" is consistent with the kinetics obtained using the five different representatives strains. Conclusions Bacterial air quality can now be monitored in a one shot test using the Caenorhaditis elegans killing test. PMID:22099854

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Effect of ambient salinity on immobilization of Caenorhabditis elegans by nematocidal agents.

    PubMed

    Gabriel, Emmanuel M; Campbell, William C

    2003-08-01

    The ability of three antinematodal agents to induce paralysis of Caenorhabditis elegans was examined in an aqueous medium with and without the addition of salts. The basic medium was deionized water supplemented, for control purposes, with the phosphate mixture used as a buffering agent in M9 solution. This medium was further supplemented with magnesium sulfate or sodium chloride, or both salts, at the concentrations used in M9. We report that the paralyzing property of ivermectin was enhanced by the presence of salt, while the efficacy of levamisole and chlorpromazine was reduced.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-06-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. A Genetic Mosaic Screen of Essential Zygotic Genes in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    PubMed Central

    Bucher, E. A.; Greenwald, I.

    1991-01-01

    We have devised a simple genetic mosaic screen, which circumvents the difficulties posed by phenotypic analysis of early lethal mutants, to analyze essential zygotic genes in Caenorhabditis elegans. The screen attempts to distinguish genes involved in cell type and/or lineage specific processes such as determination, differentiation or morphogenesis from genes involved in general processes such as intermediary metabolism by using the pattern of gene function to classify genes: genes required in one or a subset of early blastomeres may have specific functions, whereas genes required in all early blastomeres may have general functions. We found that 12 of 17 genes examined function in specific early blastomeres, suggesting that many zygotic genes contribute to specific early processes. We discuss the advantages and limitations of this screen, which is applicable to other regions of the C. elegans genome. PMID:2071016

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. High-content behavioral analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in precise spatiotemporal chemical environments.

    PubMed

    Albrecht, Dirk R; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2011-06-12

    To quantitatively understand chemosensory behaviors, it is desirable to present many animals with repeatable, well-defined chemical stimuli. To that end, we describe a microfluidic system to analyze Caenorhabditis elegans behavior in defined temporal and spatial stimulus patterns. A 2 cm × 2 cm structured arena allowed C. elegans to perform crawling locomotion in a controlled liquid environment. We characterized behavioral responses to attractive odors with three stimulus patterns: temporal pulses, spatial stripes and a linear concentration gradient, all delivered in the fluid phase to eliminate variability associated with air-fluid transitions. Different stimulus configurations preferentially revealed turning dynamics in a biased random walk, directed orientation into an odor stripe and speed regulation by odor. We identified both expected and unexpected responses in wild-type worms and sensory mutants by quantifying dozens of behavioral parameters. The devices are inexpensive, easy to fabricate, reusable and suitable for delivering any liquid-borne stimulus.

  4. The transcriptional consequences of mutation and natural selection in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Denver, Dee R; Morris, Krystalynne; Streelman, J Todd; Kim, Stuart K; Lynch, Michael; Thomas, W Kelley

    2005-05-01

    The evolutionary importance of gene-expression divergence is unclear: some studies suggest that it is an important mechanism for evolution by natural selection, whereas others claim that most between-species regulatory changes are neutral or nearly neutral. We examined global transcriptional divergence patterns in a set of Caenorhabditis elegans mutation-accumulation lines and natural isolate lines to provide insights into the evolutionary importance of transcriptional variation and to discriminate between the forces of mutation and natural selection in shaping the evolution of gene expression. We detected the effects of selection on transcriptional divergence patterns and characterized them with respect to coexpressed gene sets, chromosomal clustering of expression changes and functional gene categories. We directly compared observed transcriptional variation patterns in the mutation-accumulation and natural isolate lines to a neutral model of transcriptome evolution to show that strong stabilizing selection dominates the evolution of transcriptional change for thousands of C. elegans expressed sequences.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Heat-killed Lactobacillus spp. cells enhance survivals of Caenorhabditis elegans against Salmonella and Yersinia infections.

    PubMed

    Lee, J; Choe, J; Kim, J; Oh, S; Park, S; Kim, S; Kim, Y

    2015-12-01

    This study examined the effect of feeding heat-killed Lactobacillus cells on the survival of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes after Salmonella Typhimurium and Yersinia enterocolitica infection. The feeding of heat-killed Lactobacillus plantarum 133 (LP133) and Lactobacillus fermentum 21 (LP21) cells to nematodes was shown to significantly increase the survival rate as well as stimulate the expression of pmk-1 gene that key factor for C. elegans immunity upon infection compared with control nematodes that were only fed Escherichia coli OP50 (OP50) cells. These results suggest that heat-killed LP133 and LF21 cells exert preventive or protective effects against the Gram-negative bacteria Salm. Typhimurium and Y. enterocolitica. To better understand the mechanisms underlying the LF21-mediated and LP133-mediated protection against bacterial infection in nematodes, transcriptional profiling was performed for each experimental group. These experiments showed that genes related to energy generation and ageing, regulators of insulin/IGF-1-like signalling, DAF genes, oxidation and reduction processes, the defence response and/or the innate immune response, and neurological processes were upregulated in nematodes that had been fed heat-killed Lactobacillus cells compared with nematodes that had been fed E. coli cells. In this study, the feeding of heat-killed Lactobacillus bacteria to Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes was shown to decrease infection by Gram-negative bacteria and increase the host lifespan. C. elegans has a small, well-organized genome and is an excellent in vivo model organism; thus, these results will potentially shed light on important Lactobacillus-host interactions. © 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  12. 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.

  13. In Vivo Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species and Redox Status in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Smolders, Arne; Back, Patricia; De Henau, Sasha

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Due to its large families of redox-active enzymes, genetic amenability, and complete transparency, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has the potential to become an important model for the in vivo study of redox biology. Recent Advances: The recent development of several genetically encoded ratiometric reactive oxygen species (ROS) and redox sensors has revolutionized the quantification and precise localization of ROS and redox signals in living organisms. Only few exploratory studies have applied these sensors in C. elegans and undoubtedly much remains to be discovered in this model. As a follow-up to our recent findings that the C. elegans somatic gonad uses superoxide and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) signals to communicate with the germline, we here analyze the patterns of H2O2 inside the C. elegans germline. Critical Issues: Despite the advantages of genetically encoded ROS and redox sensors over classic chemical sensors, still several general as well as C. elegans-specific issues need to be addressed. The major concerns for the application of these sensors in C. elegans are (i) decreased vitality of some reporter strains, (ii) interference of autofluorescent compartments with the sensor signal, and (iii) the use of immobilization methods that do not influence the worm's redox physiology. Future Directions: We propose that several of the current issues may be solved by designing reporter strains carrying single copies of codon-optimized sensors. Preferably, these sensors should have their emission wavelengths in the red region, where autofluorescence is absent. Worm analysis could be optimized using four-dimensional ratiometric fluorescence microscopy of worms immobilized in microfluidic chips. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 25, 577–592. PMID:27306519

  14. 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.

  15. Glutamate-Gated Chloride Channels of Haemonchus contortus Restore Drug Sensitivity to Ivermectin Resistant Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Glendinning, Susan K.; Buckingham, Steven D.; Sattelle, David B.; Wonnacott, Susan; Wolstenholme, Adrian J.

    2011-01-01

    Anthelmintic resistance is a major problem in livestock farming, especially of small ruminants, but our understanding of it has been limited by the difficulty in carrying out functional genetic studies on parasitic nematodes. An important nematode infecting sheep and goats is Haemonchus contortus; in many parts of the world this species is resistant to almost all the currently available drugs, including ivermectin. It is extremely polymorphic and to date it has proved impossible to relate any sequence polymorphisms to its ivermectin resistance status. Expression of candidate drug-resistance genes in Caenorhabditis elegans could provide a convenient means to study the effects of polymorphisms found in resistant parasites, but may be complicated by differences between the gene families of target and model organisms. We tested this using the glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) gene family, which forms the ivermectin drug target and are candidate resistance genes. We expressed GluCl subunits from C. elegans and H. contortus in a highly resistant triple mutant C. elegans strain (DA1316) under the control of the avr-14 promoter; expression of GFP behind this promoter recapitulated the pattern previously reported for avr-14. Expression of ivermectin-sensitive subunits from both species restored drug sensitivity to transgenic worms, though some quantitative differences were noted between lines. Expression of an ivermectin-insensitive subunit, Hco-GLC-2, had no effect on drug sensitivity. Expression of a previously uncharacterised parasite-specific subunit, Hco-GLC-6, caused the transgenic worms to become ivermectin sensitive, suggesting that this subunit also encodes a GluCl that responds to the drug. These results demonstrate that both orthologous and paralogous subunits from C. elegans and H. contortus are able to rescue the ivermectin sensitivity of mutant C. elegans, though some quantitative differences were observed between transgenic lines in some assays. C

  16. In Vivo Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species and Redox Status in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Braeckman, Bart P; Smolders, Arne; Back, Patricia; De Henau, Sasha

    2016-10-01

    Due to its large families of redox-active enzymes, genetic amenability, and complete transparency, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has the potential to become an important model for the in vivo study of redox biology. The recent development of several genetically encoded ratiometric reactive oxygen species (ROS) and redox sensors has revolutionized the quantification and precise localization of ROS and redox signals in living organisms. Only few exploratory studies have applied these sensors in C. elegans and undoubtedly much remains to be discovered in this model. As a follow-up to our recent findings that the C. elegans somatic gonad uses superoxide and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) signals to communicate with the germline, we here analyze the patterns of H2O2 inside the C. elegans germline. Despite the advantages of genetically encoded ROS and redox sensors over classic chemical sensors, still several general as well as C. elegans-specific issues need to be addressed. The major concerns for the application of these sensors in C. elegans are (i) decreased vitality of some reporter strains, (ii) interference of autofluorescent compartments with the sensor signal, and (iii) the use of immobilization methods that do not influence the worm's redox physiology. We propose that several of the current issues may be solved by designing reporter strains carrying single copies of codon-optimized sensors. Preferably, these sensors should have their emission wavelengths in the red region, where autofluorescence is absent. Worm analysis could be optimized using four-dimensional ratiometric fluorescence microscopy of worms immobilized in microfluidic chips. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 25, 577-592.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-01

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

  18. Avermectin binding in Caenorhabditis elegans. A two-state model for the avermectin binding site.

    PubMed

    Schaeffer, J M; Haines, H W

    1989-07-15

    Specific binding sites for ivermectin (IVM; 22,23-dihydroavermectin-B1) were identified and characterized in a crude membrane fraction prepared from the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Specific [3H]IVM binding was saturable with an apparent dissociation constant, Kd, of 0.26 nM and a receptor concentration of 3.53 pmol/mg protein. [3H]IVM binding in C. elegans was linear with tissue protein concentration, and optimal binding occurred within a pH range of 7.3 to 7.6. Kinetic analysis of the binding showed that the reaction proceeded by a two-step mechanism. Initially, a rapidly reversible complex was formed and, after additional incubation, this complex was transformed to a much more slowly reversible complex. Stereospecificity of [3H]IVM binding to C. elegans membranes was demonstrated by competition with a series of avermectin derivatives. The in vivo effects of IVM and its derivatives on C. elegans motility were concentration dependent and correlated well with their relative binding affinities. Several putative neurotransmitters including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), carbamyl choline, taurine, glutamate and dopamine were tested and found to have no effect on IVM binding. Specific IVM binding sites were also identified in rat brain; however, the affinity was approximately 100-fold lower than that observed in C. elegans and stereospecificity studies demonstrated structural differences in the two binding sites. These results are the first direct demonstration of a specific IVM binding site in nematodes and thus are important in furthering our understanding of its mode of action.

  19. Glutamate-gated chloride channels of Haemonchus contortus restore drug sensitivity to ivermectin resistant Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Glendinning, Susan K; Buckingham, Steven D; Sattelle, David B; Wonnacott, Susan; Wolstenholme, Adrian J

    2011-01-01

    Anthelmintic resistance is a major problem in livestock farming, especially of small ruminants, but our understanding of it has been limited by the difficulty in carrying out functional genetic studies on parasitic nematodes. An important nematode infecting sheep and goats is Haemonchus contortus; in many parts of the world this species is resistant to almost all the currently available drugs, including ivermectin. It is extremely polymorphic and to date it has proved impossible to relate any sequence polymorphisms to its ivermectin resistance status. Expression of candidate drug-resistance genes in Caenorhabditis elegans could provide a convenient means to study the effects of polymorphisms found in resistant parasites, but may be complicated by differences between the gene families of target and model organisms. We tested this using the glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) gene family, which forms the ivermectin drug target and are candidate resistance genes. We expressed GluCl subunits from C. elegans and H. contortus in a highly resistant triple mutant C. elegans strain (DA1316) under the control of the avr-14 promoter; expression of GFP behind this promoter recapitulated the pattern previously reported for avr-14. Expression of ivermectin-sensitive subunits from both species restored drug sensitivity to transgenic worms, though some quantitative differences were noted between lines. Expression of an ivermectin-insensitive subunit, Hco-GLC-2, had no effect on drug sensitivity. Expression of a previously uncharacterised parasite-specific subunit, Hco-GLC-6, caused the transgenic worms to become ivermectin sensitive, suggesting that this subunit also encodes a GluCl that responds to the drug. These results demonstrate that both orthologous and paralogous subunits from C. elegans and H. contortus are able to rescue the ivermectin sensitivity of mutant C. elegans, though some quantitative differences were observed between transgenic lines in some assays. C

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans: A Model System for Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery and Therapeutic Target Identification

    PubMed Central

    Kobet, Robert A.; Pan, Xiaoping; Zhang, Baohong; Pak, Stephen C.; Asch, Adam S.; Lee, Myon-Hee

    2014-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers a unique opportunity for biological and basic medical researches due to its genetic tractability and well-defined developmental lineage. It also provides an exceptional model for genetic, molecular, and cellular analysis of human disease-related genes. Recently, C. elegans has been used as an ideal model for the identification and functional analysis of drugs (or small-molecules) in vivo. In this review, we describe conserved oncogenic signaling pathways (Wnt, Notch, and Ras) and their potential roles in the development of cancer stem cells. During C. elegans germline development, these signaling pathways regulate multiple cellular processes such as germline stem cell niche specification, germline stem cell maintenance, and germ cell fate specification. Therefore, the aberrant regulations of these signaling pathways can cause either loss of germline stem cells or overproliferation of a specific cell type, resulting in sterility. This sterility phenotype allows us to identify drugs that can modulate the oncogenic signaling pathways directly or indirectly through a high-throughput screening. Current in vivo or in vitro screening methods are largely focused on the specific core signaling components. However, this phenotype-based screening will identify drugs that possibly target upstream or downstream of core signaling pathways as well as exclude toxic effects. Although phenotype-based drug screening is ideal, the identification of drug targets is a major challenge. We here introduce a new technique, called Drug Affinity Responsive Target Stability (DARTS). This innovative method is able to identify the target of the identified drug. Importantly, signaling pathways and their regulators in C. elegans are highly conserved in most vertebrates, including humans. Therefore, C. elegans will provide a great opportunity to identify therapeutic drugs and their targets, as well as to understand mechanisms underlying the

  3. 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.

  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. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Studying human disease genes in Caenorhabditis elegans: a molecular genetics laboratory project.

    PubMed

    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 associated with human disease. In a large-enrollment, sophomore-level laboratory course, groups of three to four students were assigned a gene associated with either breast cancer (brc-1), Wilson disease (cua-1), ovarian dysgenesis (fshr-1), or colon cancer (mlh-1). Students compared observable phenotypes of wild-type C. elegans and C. elegans with a homozygous deletion in the assigned gene. They confirmed the genetic deletion with nested polymerase chain reaction and performed a bioinformatics analysis to predict how the deletion would affect the encoded mRNA and protein. Students also performed RNA interference (RNAi) against their assigned gene and evaluated whether RNAi caused a phenotype similar to that of the genetic deletion. As a capstone activity, students prepared scientific posters in which they presented their data, evaluated whether C. elegans was a useful model system for studying their assigned genes, and proposed future directions. Assessment showed gains in understanding genotype versus phenotype, RNAi, common bioinformatics tools, and the utility of model organisms.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Approaches to identify endogenous peptides in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Husson, Steven J; Clynen, Elke; Boonen, Kurt; Janssen, Tom; Lindemans, Marleen; Baggerman, Geert; Schoofs, Liliane

    2010-01-01

    The transparent soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can be considered an important model organism due to its ease of cultivation, suitability for high-throughput genetic screens, and extremely well-defined anatomy. C. elegans contains exactly 959 cells that are ordered in defined differentiated tissues. Although C. elegans only possesses 302 neurons, a large number of similarities among the neuropeptidergic signaling pathways can be observed with other metazoans. Neuropeptides are important messenger molecules that regulate a wide variety of physiological processes. These peptidergic signaling molecules can therefore be considered important drug targets or biomarkers. Neuropeptide signaling is in the nanomolar range, and biochemical elucidation of individual peptide sequences in the past without the genomic information was challenging. Since the rise of many genome-sequencing projects and the significant boost of mass spectrometry instrumentation, many hyphenated techniques can be used to explore the "peptidome" of individual species, organs, or even cell cultures. The peptidomic approach aims to identify endogenously present (neuro)peptides by using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry in a high-throughput way. Here we outline the basic procedures for the maintenance of C. elegans nematodes and describe in detail the peptide extraction procedures. Two peptidomics strategies (off-line HPLC-MALDI-TOF MS and on-line 2D-nanoLC-Q-TOF MS/MS) and the necessary instrumentation are described.

  13. 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

  14. 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