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Sample records for elegans behavioral genetics

  1. Reproductive fitness and dietary choice behavior of the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans under semi-natural conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freyth, Katharina; Janowitz, Tim; Nunes, Frank; Voss, Melanie; Heinick, Alexander; Bertaux, Joanne; Scheu, Stefan; Paul, Rüdiger J

    2010-10-01

    Laboratory breeding conditions of the model organism C. elegans do not correspond with the conditions in its natural soil habitat. To assess the consequences of the differences in environmental conditions, the effects of air composition, medium and bacterial food on reproductive fitness and/or dietary-choice behavior of C. elegans were investigated. The reproductive fitness of C. elegans was maximal under oxygen deficiency and not influenced by a high fractional share of carbon dioxide. In media approximating natural soil structure, reproductive fitness was much lower than in standard laboratory media. In seminatural media, the reproductive fitness of C. elegans was low with the standard laboratory food bacterium E. coli (γ-Proteobacteria), but significantly higher with C. arvensicola (Bacteroidetes) and B. tropica (β-Proteobacteria) as food. Dietary-choice experiments in semi-natural media revealed a low preference of C. elegans for E. coli but significantly higher preferences for C. arvensicola and B. tropica (among other bacteria). Dietary-choice experiments under quasi-natural conditions, which were feasible by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of bacteria, showed a high preference of C. elegans for Cytophaga-Flexibacter-Bacteroides, Firmicutes, and β-Proteobacteria, but a low preference for γ-Proteobacteria. The results show that data on C. elegans under standard laboratory conditions have to be carefully interpreted with respect to their biological significance.

  2. Alcohol disinhibition of behaviors in C. elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen M Topper

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

  3. Genetic screens in Caenorhabditis elegans models for neurodegenerative diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alvarenga Fernandes Sin, Olga; Michels, Helen; Nollen, Ellen A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans comprises unique features that make it an attractive model organism in diverse fields of biology. Genetic screens are powerful to identify genes and C. elegans can be customized to forward or reverse genetic screens and to establish gene function. These genetic screens can be

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yinxia Li

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Serotonin Control of Thermotaxis Memory Behavior in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yuling; Wang, Daoyong; Li, Chaojun; Wang, Dayong

    2013-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is as an ideal model system for the study of mechanisms underlying learning and memory. In the present study, we employed C. elegans assay system of thermotaxis memory to investigate the possible role of serotonin neurotransmitter in memory control. Our data showed that both mutations of tph-1, bas-1, and cat-4 genes, required for serotonin synthesis, and mutations of mod-5 gene, encoding a serotonin reuptake transporter, resulted in deficits in thermotaxis memory behavior. Exogenous treatment with serotonin effectively recovered the deficits in thermotaxis memory of tph-1 and bas-1 mutants to the level of wild-type N2. Neuron-specific activity assay of TPH-1 suggests that serotonin might regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior by release from the ADF sensory neurons. Ablation of ADF sensory neurons by expressing a cell-death activator gene egl-1 decreased the thermotaxis memory, whereas activation of ADF neurons by expression of a constitutively active protein kinase C homologue (pkc-1(gf)) increased the thermotaxis memory and rescued the deficits in thermotaxis memory in tph-1 mutants. Moreover, serotonin released from the ADF sensory neurons might act through the G-protein-coupled serotonin receptors of SER-4 and SER-7 to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Genetic analysis implies that serotonin might further target the insulin signaling pathway to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Thus, our results suggest the possible crucial role of serotonin and ADF sensory neurons in thermotaxis memory control in C. elegans. PMID:24223727

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. A maternal-effect genetic incompatibility in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Burga, Alejandro; Ben-David, Eyal; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2017-01-01

    Selfish genetic elements spread in natural populations and have an important role in genome evolution. We discovered a selfish element causing a genetic incompatibility between strains of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans . The element is made up of sup-35 , a maternal-effect toxin that kills developing embryos, and pha-1 , its zygotically expressed antidote. pha-1 has long been considered essential for pharynx development based on its mutant phenotype, but this phenotype in fact arises fro...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Moy

    Full Text Available 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

  12. A maternal-effect selfish genetic element in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-David, Eyal; Burga, Alejandro; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2017-06-09

    Selfish genetic elements spread in natural populations and have an important role in genome evolution. We discovered a selfish element causing embryonic lethality in crosses between wild strains of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans The element is made up of sup-35 , a maternal-effect toxin that kills developing embryos, and pha-1 , its zygotically expressed antidote. pha-1 has long been considered essential for pharynx development on the basis of its mutant phenotype, but this phenotype arises from a loss of suppression of sup-35 toxicity. Inactive copies of the sup-35/pha-1 element show high sequence divergence from active copies, and phylogenetic reconstruction suggests that they represent ancestral stages in the evolution of the element. Our results suggest that other essential genes identified by genetic screens may turn out to be components of selfish elements. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  13. Advanced Behavioral Analyses Show that the Presence of Food Causes Subtle Changes in C. elegans Movement

    OpenAIRE

    Angstman, Nicholas B.; Frank, Hans-Georg; Schmitz, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    As a widely used and studied model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans worms offer the ability to investigate implications of behavioral change. Although, investigation of C. elegans behavioral traits has been shown, analysis is often narrowed down to measurements based off a single point, and thus cannot pick up on subtle behavioral and morphological changes. In the present study videos were captured of four different C. elegans strains grown in liquid cultures and transferred to NGM-agar plate...

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

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    Palm Megan

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Genetic analysis of the heparan modification network in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Townley, Robert A; Bülow, Hannes E

    2011-05-13

    Heparan sulfates (HS) are highly modified sugar polymers in multicellular organisms that function in cell adhesion and cellular responses to protein signaling. Functionally distinct, cell type-dependent HS modification patterns arise as the result of a conserved network of enzymes that catalyze deacetylations, sulfations, and epimerizations in specific positions of the sugar residues. To understand the genetic interactions of the enzymes during the HS modification process, we have measured the composition of HS purified from mutant strains of Caenorhabditis elegans. From these measurements we have developed a genetic network model of HS modification. We find the interactions to be highly recursive positive feed-forward and negative feedback loops. Our genetic analyses show that the HS C-5 epimerase hse-5, the HS 2-O-sulfotransferase hst-2, or the HS 6-O-sulfotransferase hst-6 inhibit N-sulfation. In contrast, hse-5 stimulates both 2-O- and 6-O-sulfation and, hst-2 and hst-6 inhibit 6-O- and 2-O-sulfation, respectively. The effects of hst-2 and hst-6 on N-sulfation, 6-O-sulfation, and 2-O-sulfation appear largely dependent on hse-5 function. This core of regulatory interactions is further modulated by 6-O-endosulfatase activity (sul-1). 47% of all 6-O-sulfates get removed from HS and this editing process is dependent on hst-2, thereby providing additional negative feedback between 2-O- and 6-O-sulfation. These findings suggest that the modification patterns are highly sensitive to the relative composition of the HS modification enzymes. Our comprehensive genetic analysis forms the basis of understanding the HS modification network in metazoans.

  16. Genetic Analysis of the Heparan Modification Network in Caenorhabditis elegans*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townley, Robert A.; Bülow, Hannes E.

    2011-01-01

    Heparan sulfates (HS) are highly modified sugar polymers in multicellular organisms that function in cell adhesion and cellular responses to protein signaling. Functionally distinct, cell type-dependent HS modification patterns arise as the result of a conserved network of enzymes that catalyze deacetylations, sulfations, and epimerizations in specific positions of the sugar residues. To understand the genetic interactions of the enzymes during the HS modification process, we have measured the composition of HS purified from mutant strains of Caenorhabditis elegans. From these measurements we have developed a genetic network model of HS modification. We find the interactions to be highly recursive positive feed-forward and negative feedback loops. Our genetic analyses show that the HS C-5 epimerase hse-5, the HS 2-O-sulfotransferase hst-2, or the HS 6-O-sulfotransferase hst-6 inhibit N-sulfation. In contrast, hse-5 stimulates both 2-O- and 6-O-sulfation and, hst-2 and hst-6 inhibit 6-O- and 2-O-sulfation, respectively. The effects of hst-2 and hst-6 on N-sulfation, 6-O-sulfation, and 2-O-sulfation appear largely dependent on hse-5 function. This core of regulatory interactions is further modulated by 6-O-endosulfatase activity (sul-1). 47% of all 6-O-sulfates get removed from HS and this editing process is dependent on hst-2, thereby providing additional negative feedback between 2-O- and 6-O-sulfation. These findings suggest that the modification patterns are highly sensitive to the relative composition of the HS modification enzymes. Our comprehensive genetic analysis forms the basis of understanding the HS modification network in metazoans. PMID:21454666

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoko Sakai

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

  18. Genetic mapping of variation in dauer larvae development in growing populations of Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Green, J.W.M.; Snoek, L.B.; Kammenga, J.E.; Harvey, S.C.

    2013-01-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the appropriate induction of dauer larvae development within growing populations is likely to be a primary determinant of genotypic fitness. The underlying genetic architecture of natural genetic variation in dauer formation has, however, not been thoroughly

  19. Stereotypical Escape Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans Allows Quantification of Effective Heat Stimulus Level.

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    Kawai Leung

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A goal of many sensorimotor studies is to quantify the stimulus-behavioral response relation for specific organisms and specific sensory stimuli. This is especially important to do in the context of painful stimuli since most animals in these studies cannot easily communicate to us their perceived levels of such noxious stimuli. Thus progress on studies of nociception and pain-like responses in animal models depends crucially on our ability to quantitatively and objectively infer the sensed levels of these stimuli from animal behaviors. Here we develop a quantitative model to infer the perceived level of heat stimulus from the stereotyped escape response of individual nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans stimulated by an IR laser. The model provides a method for quantification of analgesic-like effects of chemical stimuli or genetic mutations in C. elegans. We test ibuprofen-treated worms and a TRPV (transient receptor potential mutant, and we show that the perception of heat stimuli for the ibuprofen treated worms is lower than the wild-type. At the same time, our model shows that the mutant changes the worm's behavior beyond affecting the thermal sensory system. Finally, we determine the stimulus level that best distinguishes the analgesic-like effects and the minimum number of worms that allow for a statistically significant identification of these effects.

  20. Nanoscale mechanical stimulation method for quantifying C. elegans mechanosensory behavior and memory

    OpenAIRE

    Kiso, Kaori; Sugi, Takuma; Okumura, Etsuko; Igarashi, Ryuji

    2016-01-01

    Here, we establish a novel economic system to quantify C. elegans mechanosensory behavior and memory by a controllable nanoscale mechanical stimulation. Using piezoelectric sheet speaker, we can flexibly change the vibration properties at a nanoscale displacement level and quantify behavioral responses and memory under the control of each vibration property. This system will facilitate understanding of physiological aspects of C. elegans mechanosensory behavior and memory.

  1. Behavioral response and cell morphology changes of caenorhabditis elegans under high power millimeter wave irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ren Changhong; Gao Yan; Wu Yonghong; Xu Zhiwei; Zhang Chenggang; Yuan Guangjiang; Xu Shouxi; Su Yinong; Liu Pukun

    2010-01-01

    C. elegans were exposed to high power millimeter waves (MMWs) with different mean power densities, to investigate their behavioral response and cell morphology changes under MMW irradiation. The time-course photomicrography system was used to record the behavioral changes of C. elegans. The behavioral response and cell morphology changes were further observed by stereoscopic microscopes. The results show that freely moving C. elegans will escape from the MMW irradiation region quickly. After the exposure to MMWs with output mean power of 10 W and 12 W, the bending speed of C. elegans increases significantly at first, while the movement gradually slows down until the bodies get rigid. However, exposed to 5 W MMW, C. elegans show a distinctive tolerant reaction because of the thermal effect. In addition, cell morphological observations show that the nuclear structure of the eggs are abnormal after abnormal after MMW irradiation. High power MMW significantly affects the behaviors and cell morphology of C. elegans, which suggests the C. elegans could be used as a typical model species to study the biological effects of MMW irradiation. (authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  3. Daf-2, Daf-16 and Daf-23: Genetically Interacting Genes Controlling Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Gottlieb, S.; Ruvkun, G.

    1994-01-01

    Under conditions of high population density and low food, Caenorhabditis elegans forms an alternative third larval stage, called the dauer stage, which is resistant to desiccation and harsh environments. Genetic analysis of some dauer constitutive (Daf-c) and dauer defective (Daf-d) mutants has revealed a complex pathway that is likely to function in particular neurons and/or responding tissues. Here we analyze the genetic interactions between three genes which comprise a branch of the dauer ...

  4. Nanoscale Mechanical Stimulation Method for Quantifying C. elegans Mechanosensory Behavior and Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugi, Takuma; Okumura, Etsuko; Kiso, Kaori; Igarashi, Ryuji

    2016-01-01

    Withdrawal escape response of C. elegans to nonlocalized vibration is a useful behavioral paradigm to examine mechanisms underlying mechanosensory behavior and its memory-dependent change. However, there are very few methods for investigating the degree of vibration frequency, amplitude and duration needed to induce behavior and memory. Here, we establish a new system to quantify C. elegans mechanosensory behavior and memory using a piezoelectric sheet speaker. In the system, we can flexibly change the vibration properties at a nanoscale displacement level and quantify behavioral responses under each vibration property. This system is an economic setup and easily replicated in other laboratories. By using the system, we clearly detected withdrawal escape responses and confirmed habituation memory. This system will facilitate the understanding of physiological aspects of C. elegans mechanosensory behavior in the future.

  5. Advanced Behavioral Analyses Show that the Presence of Food Causes Subtle Changes in C. elegans Movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angstman, Nicholas B; Frank, Hans-Georg; Schmitz, Christoph

    2016-01-01

    As a widely used and studied model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans worms offer the ability to investigate implications of behavioral change. Although, investigation of C. elegans behavioral traits has been shown, analysis is often narrowed down to measurements based off a single point, and thus cannot pick up on subtle behavioral and morphological changes. In the present study videos were captured of four different C. elegans strains grown in liquid cultures and transferred to NGM-agar plates with an E. coli lawn or with no lawn. Using an advanced software, WormLab, the full skeleton and outline of worms were tracked to determine whether the presence of food affects behavioral traits. In all seven investigated parameters, statistically significant differences were found in worm behavior between those moving on NGM-agar plates with an E. coli lawn and NGM-agar plates with no lawn. Furthermore, multiple test groups showed differences in interaction between variables as the parameters that significantly correlated statistically with speed of locomotion varied. In the present study, we demonstrate the validity of a model to analyze C. elegans behavior beyond simple speed of locomotion. The need to account for a nested design while performing statistical analyses in similar studies is also demonstrated. With extended analyses, C. elegans behavioral change can be investigated with greater sensitivity, which could have wide utility in fields such as, but not limited to, toxicology, drug discovery, and RNAi screening.

  6. Advanced behavioral analyses show that the presence of food causes subtle changes in C. elegans movement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas eAngstman

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available As a widely used and studied model organism, C. elegans worms offer the ability to investigate implications of behavioral change. Although investigation of C. elegans behavioral traits has been shown, analysis is often narrowed down to measurements based off a single point, and thus cannot pick up on subtle behavioral and morphological changes. In the present study videos were captured of four different C. elegans strains grown in liquid cultures and transferred to NGM-agar plates with an E. coli lawn or with no lawn. Using an advanced software, WormLab, the full skeleton and outline of worms were tracked to determine whether the presence of food affects behavioral traits. In all seven investigated parameters, statistically significant differences were found in worm behavior between those moving on NGM-agar plates with an E. coli lawn and NGM-agar plates with no lawn. Furthermore, multiple test groups showed differences in interaction between variables as the parameters that significantly correlated statistically with speed of locomotion varied. In the present study, we demonstrate the validity of a model to analyze C. elegans behavior beyond simple speed of locomotion. The need to account for a nested design while performing statistical analyses in similar studies is also demonstrated. With extended analyses, C. elegans behavioral change can be investigated with greater sensitivity, which could have wide utility in fields such as, but not limited to, toxicology, drug discovery, and RNAi screening.

  7. Genetic dissection of memory for associative and non-associative learning in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, H L; Timbers, T A; Mahmoud, R; Rankin, C H

    2013-03-01

    The distinction between non-associative and associative forms of learning has historically been based on the behavioral training paradigm. Through discovering the molecular mechanisms that mediate learning, we can develop a deeper understanding of the relationships between different forms of learning. Here, we genetically dissect short- and long-term memory for a non-associative form of learning, habituation and an associative form of learning, context conditioning for habituation, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In short-term chemosensory context conditioning for habituation, worms trained and tested in the presence of either a taste (sodium acetate) or smell (diacetyl) context cue show greater retention of habituation to tap stimuli when compared with animals trained and tested without a salient cue. Long-term memory for olfactory context conditioning was observed 24 h after a training procedure that does not normally induce 24 h memory. Like long-term habituation, this long-term memory was dependent on the transcription factor cyclic AMP-response element-binding protein. Worms with mutations in glr-1 [a non-N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptor subunit] showed short-term but not long-term habituation or short- or long-term context conditioning. Worms with mutations in nmr-1 (an NMDA-receptor subunit) showed normal short- and long-term memory for habituation but did not show either short- or long-term context conditioning. Rescue of nmr-1 in the RIM interneurons rescued short- and long-term olfactory context conditioning leading to the hypothesis that these interneurons function to integrate information from chemosensory and mechanosensory systems for associative learning. © 2012 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  8. A Forward Genetic Screen for Molecules Involved in Pheromone-Induced Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Scott J. Neal

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Animals must constantly assess their surroundings and integrate sensory cues to make appropriate behavioral and developmental decisions. Pheromones produced by conspecific individuals provide critical information regarding environmental conditions. Ascaroside pheromone concentration and composition are instructive in the decision of Caenorhabditis elegans to either develop into a reproductive adult or enter into the stress-resistant alternate dauer developmental stage. Pheromones are sensed by a small set of sensory neurons, and integrated with additional environmental cues, to regulate neuroendocrine signaling and dauer formation. To identify molecules required for pheromone-induced dauer formation, we performed an unbiased forward genetic screen and identified phd (pheromone response-defective dauer mutants. Here, we describe new roles in dauer formation for previously identified neuronal molecules such as the WD40 domain protein QUI-1 and MACO-1 Macoilin, report new roles for nociceptive neurons in modulating pheromone-induced dauer formation, and identify tau tubulin kinases as new genes involved in dauer formation. Thus, phd mutants define loci required for the detection, transmission, or integration of pheromone signals in the regulation of dauer formation.

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

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    Honnen, Sebastian

    2017-05-01

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

  10. Pollution breaks down the genetic architecture of life history traits in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Morgan Dutilleul

    Full Text Available When pollution occurs in an environment, populations present suffer numerous negative and immediate effects on their life history traits. Their evolutionary potential to live in a highly stressful environment will depend on the selection pressure strengths and on the genetic structure, the trait heritability, and the genetic correlations between them. If expression of this structure changes in a stressful environment, it becomes necessary to quantify these changes to estimate the evolutionary potential of the population in this new environment. We studied the genetic structure for survival, fecundity, and early and late growth in isogenic lines of a Caenorhabditis elegans population subject to three different environments: a control environment, an environment polluted with uranium, and a high salt concentration environment. We found a heritability decrease in the polluted environments for fecundity and early growth, two traits that were the most heritable in the control environment. The genetic structure of the traits was particularly affected in the uranium polluted environment, probably due to generally low heritability in this environment. This could prevent selection from acting on traits despite the strong selection pressures exerted on them. Moreover, phenotypic traits were more strongly affected in the salt than in the uranium environment and the heritabilities were also lower in the latter environment. Consequently the decrease in heritability was not proportional to the population fitness reduction in the polluted environments. Our results suggest that pollution can alter the genetic structure of a C. elegans population, and thus modify its evolutionary potential.

  11. Dopamine modulation of avoidance behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans requires the NMDA receptor NMR-1.

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    Melvin Baidya

    Full Text Available The nematode C. elegans utilizes a relatively simple neural circuit to mediate avoidance responses to noxious stimuli such as the volatile odorant octanol. This avoidance behavior is modulated by dopamine. cat-2 mutant animals that are deficient in dopamine biosynthesis have an increased response latency to octanol compared to wild type animals, and this defect can be fully restored with the application of exogenous dopamine. Because this avoidance behavior is mediated by glutamatergic signaling between sensory neurons and premotor interneurons, we investigated the genetic interactions between dopaminergic signaling and ionotropic glutamate receptors. cat-2 mutant animals lacking either the GLR-1 or GLR-2 AMPA/kainate receptors displayed an increased response latency to octanol, which could be restored via exogenous dopamine. However, whereas cat-2 mutant animals lacking the NMR-1 NMDA receptor had increased response latency to octanol they were insensitive to exogenous dopamine. Mutants that lacked both AMPA/kainate and NMDA receptors were also insensitive to exogenous dopamine. Our results indicate that dopamine modulation of octanol avoidance requires NMR-1, consistent with NMR-1 as a potential downstream signaling target for dopamine.

  12. Behavioral and metabolic effects of the atypical antipsychotic ziprasidone on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Priscila Gubert

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

  13. Modeling the thermotaxis behavior of C.elegans based on the artificial neural network.

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    Li, Mingxu; Deng, Xin; Wang, Jin; Chen, Qiaosong; Tang, Yun

    2016-07-03

    ASBTRACT This research aims at modeling the thermotaxis behavior of C.elegans which is a kind of nematode with full clarified neuronal connections. Firstly, this work establishes the motion model which can perform the undulatory locomotion with turning behavior. Secondly, the thermotaxis behavior is modeled by nonlinear functions and the nonlinear functions are learned by artificial neural network. Once the artificial neural networks have been well trained, they can perform the desired thermotaxis behavior. Last, several testing simulations are carried out to verify the effectiveness of the model for thermotaxis behavior. This work also analyzes the different performances of the model under different environments. The testing results reveal the essence of the thermotaxis of C.elegans to some extent, and theoretically support the research on the navigation of the crawling robots.

  14. Long-Range Regulatory Polymorphisms Affecting a GABA Receptor Constitute a Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) for Social Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Bendesky, Andres; Pitts, Jason; Rockman, Matthew V.; Chen, William C.; Tan, Man-Wah; Kruglyak, Leonid; Bargmann, Cornelia I.

    2012-01-01

    Aggregation is a social behavior that varies between and within species, providing a model to study the genetic basis of behavioral diversity. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, aggregation is regulated by environmental context and by two neuromodulatory pathways, one dependent on the neuropeptide receptor NPR-1 and one dependent on the TGF-β family protein DAF-7. To gain further insight into the genetic regulation of aggregation, we characterize natural variation underlying behavioral differences between two wild-type C. elegans strains, N2 and CB4856. Using quantitative genetic techniques, including a survey of chromosome substitution strains and QTL analysis of recombinant inbred lines, we identify three new QTLs affecting aggregation in addition to the two known N2 mutations in npr-1 and glb-5. Fine-mapping with near-isogenic lines localized one QTL, accounting for 5%–8% of the behavioral variance between N2 and CB4856, 3′ to the transcript of the GABA neurotransmitter receptor gene exp-1. Quantitative complementation tests demonstrated that this QTL affects exp-1, identifying exp-1 and GABA signaling as new regulators of aggregation. exp-1 interacts genetically with the daf-7 TGF-β pathway, which integrates food availability and population density, and exp-1 mutations affect the level of daf-7 expression. Our results add to growing evidence that genetic variation affecting neurotransmitter receptor genes is a source of natural behavioral variation. PMID:23284308

  15. Long-range regulatory polymorphisms affecting a GABA receptor constitute a quantitative trait locus (QTL for social behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Andres Bendesky

    Full Text Available Aggregation is a social behavior that varies between and within species, providing a model to study the genetic basis of behavioral diversity. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, aggregation is regulated by environmental context and by two neuromodulatory pathways, one dependent on the neuropeptide receptor NPR-1 and one dependent on the TGF-β family protein DAF-7. To gain further insight into the genetic regulation of aggregation, we characterize natural variation underlying behavioral differences between two wild-type C. elegans strains, N2 and CB4856. Using quantitative genetic techniques, including a survey of chromosome substitution strains and QTL analysis of recombinant inbred lines, we identify three new QTLs affecting aggregation in addition to the two known N2 mutations in npr-1 and glb-5. Fine-mapping with near-isogenic lines localized one QTL, accounting for 5%-8% of the behavioral variance between N2 and CB4856, 3' to the transcript of the GABA neurotransmitter receptor gene exp-1. Quantitative complementation tests demonstrated that this QTL affects exp-1, identifying exp-1 and GABA signaling as new regulators of aggregation. exp-1 interacts genetically with the daf-7 TGF-β pathway, which integrates food availability and population density, and exp-1 mutations affect the level of daf-7 expression. Our results add to growing evidence that genetic variation affecting neurotransmitter receptor genes is a source of natural behavioral variation.

  16. Quantitative genetic analysis of life-history traits of Caenorhabditis elegans in stressful environments

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    Shorto Alison

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Organisms live in environments that vary. For life-history traits that vary across environments, fitness will be maximised when the phenotype is appropriately matched to the environmental conditions. For the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we have investigated how two major life-history traits, (i the development of environmentally resistant dauer larvae and (ii reproduction, respond to environmental stress (high population density and low food availability, and how these traits vary between lines and the genetic basis of this variation. Results We found that lines of C. elegans vary in their phenotypic plasticity of dauer larva development, i.e. there is variation in the likelihood of developing into a dauer larva for the same environmental change. There was also variation in how lifetime fecundity and the rate of reproduction changed under conditions of environmental stress. These traits were related, such that lines that are highly plastic for dauer larva development also maintain a high population growth rate when stressed. We identified quantitative trait loci (QTL on two chromosomes that control the dauer larva development and population size phenotypes. The QTLs affecting the dauer larva development and population size phenotypes on chromosome II are closely linked, but are genetically separable. This chromosome II QTL controlling dauer larva development does not encompass any loci previously identified to control dauer larva development. This chromosome II region contains many predicted 7-transmembrane receptors. Such proteins are often involved in information transduction, which is clearly relevant to the control of dauer larva development. Conclusion C. elegans alters both its larval development and adult reproductive strategy in response to environmental stress. Together the phenotypic and genotypic data suggest that these two major life-history traits are co-ordinated responses to environmental stress

  17. A Run-Length Encoding Approach for Path Analysis of C. elegans Search Behavior

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    Li Huang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans explores the environment using a combination of different movement patterns, which include straight movement, reversal, and turns. We propose to quantify C. elegans movement behavior using a computer vision approach based on run-length encoding of step-length data. In this approach, the path of C. elegans is encoded as a string of characters, where each character represents a path segment of a specific type of movement. With these encoded string data, we perform k-means cluster analysis to distinguish movement behaviors resulting from different genotypes and food availability. We found that shallow and sharp turns are the most critical factors in distinguishing the differences among the movement behaviors. To validate our approach, we examined the movement behavior of tph-1 mutants that lack an enzyme responsible for serotonin biosynthesis. A k-means cluster analysis with the path string-encoded data showed that tph-1 movement behavior on food is similar to that of wild-type animals off food. We suggest that this run-length encoding approach is applicable to trajectory data in animal or human mobility data.

  18. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans displays a chemotaxis behavior to tuberculosis-specific odorants

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    Mário F. Neto

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A simple, affordable diagnostic test for pulmonary tuberculosis (TB is urgently needed to improve detection of active Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Recently, it has been suggested that animal behavior can be used as a biosensor to signal the presence of human disease. For example, the giant African pouched rats can detect tuberculosis by sniffing sputum specimens while trained honeybees respond to three of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs detected in the breath of TB positive patients by proboscis extension. However, both rats and honeybees require animal housing facilities and professional trainers, which are outside the scope of most disease testing facilities. Here, we report that the innate olfactory behavioral response of the roundworm nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can be used to detect the TB-specific VOCs methyl p-anisate, methyl nicotinate, methyl phenylacetate and o-phenylanisole, in chemotaxis assays. Dauer larvae, a long-lived stress resistant alternative development state of C. elegans in which the animals can survive for extended periods of time in dry conditions with no food, were also demonstrated to detect the VOCs. We propose that exposing naive dauer larvae to TB-related VOCs and recording their response in this behavioral assay could lead to the development of a new method for TB diagnostics using breath as the sample type. Keywords: Tuberculosis, Caenorhabditis elegans, Chemotaxis, Volatile organic compounds, Diagnostics, Odorants

  19. Effects of ionizing radiation on locomotory behavior and mechanosensation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suzuki, Michiyo; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Kikuchi, Masahiro; Ohba, Hirofumi; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Funayama, Tomoo; Fukamoto, Kana; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Yanase, Sumino; Higashitani, Atsushi; Tsuji, Toshio

    2009-01-01

    Locomotory behavior (motility) and mechanosensation are of vital importance in animals. We examined the effects of ionizing radiation (IR) on locomotory behavior and mechanosensation using a model organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Bacterial mechanosensation in C. elegans induces the dopamine-mediated slowing of locomotion in the presence of bacteria (food), known as the basal slowing response. We previously reported an IR-induced reduction of locomotory rate in the absence of food. In the present study, we observed a similar IR-induced reduction of locomotory rate in the cat-2 mutant, which is defective in bacterial mechanosensation. The dose response pattern of the locomotory rate in the presence of food was relatively flat in wild-type animals, but not in cat-2 mutants. This suggests that the dopamine system, which is related to bacterial mechanosensation in C. elegans, might have a dominant effect on locomotory rate in the presence of food, which masks the effects of other stimuli. Moreover, we found that the behavioral responses of hydrogen peroxide-exposed wild-type animals are similar to those of IR-exposed animals. Our findings suggest that the IR-induced reduction of locomotory rate in the absence of food is mediated by a different pathway from that for bacterial mechanosensation, at least partially through IR-produced hydrogen peroxide. (author)

  20. Mapping determinants of gene expression plasticity by genetical genomics in C. elegans.

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    Yang Li

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent genetical genomics studies have provided intimate views on gene regulatory networks. Gene expression variations between genetically different individuals have been mapped to the causal regulatory regions, termed expression quantitative trait loci. Whether the environment-induced plastic response of gene expression also shows heritable difference has not yet been studied. Here we show that differential expression induced by temperatures of 16 degrees C and 24 degrees C has a strong genetic component in Caenorhabditis elegans recombinant inbred strains derived from a cross between strains CB4856 (Hawaii and N2 (Bristol. No less than 59% of 308 trans-acting genes showed a significant eQTL-by-environment interaction, here termed plasticity quantitative trait loci. In contrast, only 8% of an estimated 188 cis-acting genes showed such interaction. This indicates that heritable differences in plastic responses of gene expression are largely regulated in trans. This regulation is spread over many different regulators. However, for one group of trans-genes we found prominent evidence for a common master regulator: a transband of 66 coregulated genes appeared at 24 degrees C. Our results suggest widespread genetic variation of differential expression responses to environmental impacts and demonstrate the potential of genetical genomics for mapping the molecular determinants of phenotypic plasticity.

  1. Behavior genetics: Bees as model

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    Nates Parra, Guiomar

    2011-01-01

    The honeybee Apis mellifera (Apidae) is a model widely used in behavior because of its elaborate social life requiring coordinate actions among the members of the society. Within a colony, division of labor, the performance of tasks by different individuals, follows genetically determined physiological changes that go along with aging. Modern advances in tools of molecular biology and genomics, as well as the sequentiation of A. mellifera genome, have enabled a better understanding of honeybee behavior, in particular social behavior. Numerous studies show that aspects of worker behavior are genetically determined, including defensive, hygienic, reproductive and foraging behavior. For example, genetic diversity is associated with specialization to collect water, nectar and pollen. Also, control of worker reproduction is associated with genetic differences. In this paper, I review the methods and the main results from the study of the genetic and genomic basis of some behaviors in bees.

  2. Modeling Behavioral Experiment Interaction and Environmental Stimuli for a Synthetic C. elegans

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    Andoni Mujika

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper focusses on the simulation of the neural network of the Caenorhabditis elegans living organism, and more specifically in the modeling of the stimuli applied within behavioral experiments and the stimuli that is generated in the interaction of the C. elegans with the environment. To the best of our knowledge, all efforts regarding stimuli modeling for the C. elegansare focused on a single type of stimulus, which is usually tested with a limited subnetwork of the C. elegansneural system. In this paper, we follow a different approach where we model a wide-range of different stimuli, with more flexible neural network configurations and simulations in mind. Moreover, we focus on the stimuli sensation by different types of sensory organs or various sensory principles of the neurons. As part of this work, most common stimuli involved in behavioral assays have been modeled. It includes models for mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical and light stimuli, and for proprioception-related self-sensed information exchange with the neural network. The developed models have been implemented and tested with the hardware-based Si elegans simulation platform.

  3. Effects of insecticidal crystal proteins (Cry proteins) produced by genetically modified maize (Bt maize) on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Höss, Sebastian; Menzel, Ralph; Gessler, Frank; Nguyen, Hang T.; Jehle, Johannes A.; Traunspurger, Walter

    2013-01-01

    The genetically modified maize MON89034 × MON88017 expresses different crystal (Cry) proteins with pesticidal activity against the European corn borer (Cry1.105; Cry2Ab2) and the Western corn root worm (Cry3Bb1). Non-target organisms, such as soil nematodes, might be exposed to the Cry proteins that enter the soil in course of crop growing. Therefore, the risk of those proteins for nematodes was assessed by testing their toxic effects on Caenorhabditis elegans. All three insecticidal Cry proteins showed dose-dependent inhibitory effects on C. elegans reproduction (EC50: 0.12–0.38 μmol L −1 ), however, at concentrations that were far above the expected soil concentrations. Moreover, a reduced toxicity was observed when Cry proteins were added jointly. A C. elegans mutant strain deficient for receptors for the nematicidal Cry5B was also resistant against Cry1.105 and Cry2Ab2, suggesting that these Cry proteins bound to the same or similar receptors as nematicidal Cry proteins and thereby affect the reproduction of C. elegans. -- Highlights: •Insecticidal Cry proteins dose-dependently inhibited the reproduction of C. elegans. •Mixture toxicity was lower than expected from concentration-additive single effects. •Genes for MAPK-defense-pathway were up-regulated in presence of Cry protein mixture. •Knock-out strains deficient for Cry5B-receptors showed lower susceptibility to insecticidal Cry proteins. •Toxicity of insecticidal Cry-proteins on C. elegans occurred at concentrations far above expected field concentrations. -- Insecticidal Cry proteins expressed by genetically modified maize act on nematodes via a similar mode of action as nematicidal Cry proteins, however, at concentrations far above expected soil levels

  4. Local neuropeptide signaling modulates serotonergic transmission to shape the temporal organization of C. elegans egg-laying behavior.

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    Navonil Banerjee

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Animal behaviors are often composed of distinct alternating behavioral states. Neuromodulatory signals are thought to be critical for establishing stable behavioral states and for orchestrating transitions between them. However, we have only a limited understanding of how neuromodulatory systems act in vivo to alter circuit performance and shape behavior. To address these questions, we have investigated neuromodulatory signaling in the context of Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying. Egg-laying activity cycles between discrete states-short bursts of egg deposition (active phases that alternate with prolonged quiescent periods (inactive phases. Here using genetic, pharmacological and optogenetic approaches for cell-specific activation and inhibition, we show that a group of neurosecretory cells (uv1 located in close spatial proximity to the egg-laying neuromusculature direct the temporal organization of egg-laying by prolonging the duration of inactive phases. We demonstrate that the modulatory effects of the uv1 cells are mediated by peptides encoded by the nlp-7 and flp-11 genes that act locally to inhibit circuit activity, primarily by inhibiting vesicular release of serotonin from HSN motor neurons. This peptidergic inhibition is achieved, at least in part, by reducing synaptic vesicle abundance in the HSN motor neurons. By linking the in vivo actions of specific neuropeptide signaling systems with the generation of stable behavioral outcomes, our study reveals how cycles of neuromodulation emanating from non-neuronal cells can fundamentally shape the organization of a behavioral program.

  5. Initiation of male sperm-transfer behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans requires input from the ventral nerve cord

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    Gharib Shahla

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Caenorhabditis elegans male exhibits a stereotypic behavioral pattern when attempting to mate. This behavior has been divided into the following steps: response, backing, turning, vulva location, spicule insertion, and sperm transfer. We and others have begun in-depth analyses of all these steps in order to understand how complex behaviors are generated. Here we extend our understanding of the sperm-transfer step of male mating behavior. Results Based on observation of wild-type males and on genetic analysis, we have divided the sperm-transfer step of mating behavior into four sub-steps: initiation, release, continued transfer, and cessation. To begin to understand how these sub-steps of sperm transfer are regulated, we screened for ethylmethanesulfonate (EMS-induced mutations that cause males to transfer sperm aberrantly. We isolated an allele of unc-18, a previously reported member of the Sec1/Munc-18 (SM family of proteins that is necessary for regulated exocytosis in C. elegans motor neurons. Our allele, sy671, is defective in two distinct sub-steps of sperm transfer: initiation and continued transfer. By a series of transgenic site-of-action experiments, we found that motor neurons in the ventral nerve cord require UNC-18 for the initiation of sperm transfer, and that UNC-18 acts downstream or in parallel to the SPV sensory neurons in this process. In addition to this neuronal requirement, we found that non-neuronal expression of UNC-18, in the male gonad, is necessary for the continuation of sperm transfer. Conclusion Our division of sperm-transfer behavior into sub-steps has provided a framework for the further detailed analysis of sperm transfer and its integration with other aspects of mating behavior. By determining the site of action of UNC-18 in sperm-transfer behavior, and its relation to the SPV sensory neurons, we have further defined the cells and tissues involved in the generation of this behavior. We

  6. Initiation of male sperm-transfer behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans requires input from the ventral nerve cord.

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    Schindelman, Gary; Whittaker, Allyson J; Thum, Jian Yuan; Gharib, Shahla; Sternberg, Paul W

    2006-08-15

    The Caenorhabditis elegans male exhibits a stereotypic behavioral pattern when attempting to mate. This behavior has been divided into the following steps: response, backing, turning, vulva location, spicule insertion, and sperm transfer. We and others have begun in-depth analyses of all these steps in order to understand how complex behaviors are generated. Here we extend our understanding of the sperm-transfer step of male mating behavior. Based on observation of wild-type males and on genetic analysis, we have divided the sperm-transfer step of mating behavior into four sub-steps: initiation, release, continued transfer, and cessation. To begin to understand how these sub-steps of sperm transfer are regulated, we screened for ethylmethanesulfonate (EMS)-induced mutations that cause males to transfer sperm aberrantly. We isolated an allele of unc-18, a previously reported member of the Sec1/Munc-18 (SM) family of proteins that is necessary for regulated exocytosis in C. elegans motor neurons. Our allele, sy671, is defective in two distinct sub-steps of sperm transfer: initiation and continued transfer. By a series of transgenic site-of-action experiments, we found that motor neurons in the ventral nerve cord require UNC-18 for the initiation of sperm transfer, and that UNC-18 acts downstream or in parallel to the SPV sensory neurons in this process. In addition to this neuronal requirement, we found that non-neuronal expression of UNC-18, in the male gonad, is necessary for the continuation of sperm transfer. Our division of sperm-transfer behavior into sub-steps has provided a framework for the further detailed analysis of sperm transfer and its integration with other aspects of mating behavior. By determining the site of action of UNC-18 in sperm-transfer behavior, and its relation to the SPV sensory neurons, we have further defined the cells and tissues involved in the generation of this behavior. We have shown both a neuronal and non-neuronal requirement for

  7. Genetic organization of the unc-22 IV gene and the adjacent region in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Rogalski, T M; Baillie, D L

    1985-01-01

    The genetic organization of the region immediately adjacent to the unc-22 IV gene in Caenorhabditis elegans has been studied. We have identified twenty essential genes in this interval of approximately 1.5-map units on Linkage Group IV. The mutations that define these genes were positioned by recombination mapping and complementation with several deficiencies. With few exceptions, the positions obtained by these two methods agreed. Eight of the twenty essential genes identified are represented by more than one allele. Three possible internal deletions of the unc-22 gene have been located by intra-genic mapping. In addition, the right end point of a deficiency or an inversion affecting the adjacent genes let-56 and unc-22 has been positioned inside the unc-22 gene.

  8. Lactic Acid Bacteria Protects Caenorhabditis elegans from Toxicity of Graphene Oxide by Maintaining Normal Intestinal Permeability under different Genetic Backgrounds

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    Zhao, Yunli; Yu, Xiaoming; Jia, Ruhan; Yang, Ruilong; Rui, Qi; Wang, Dayong

    2015-11-01

    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) is safe and useful for food and feed fermentation. We employed Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the possible beneficial effect of LAB (Lactobacillus bulgaricus) pretreatment against toxicity of graphene oxide (GO) and the underlying mechanisms. LAB prevented GO toxicity on the functions of both primary and secondary targeted organs in wild-type nematodes. LAB blocked translocation of GO into secondary targeted organs through intestinal barrier by maintaining normal intestinal permeability in wild-type nematodes. Moreover, LAB prevented GO damage on the functions of both primary and secondary targeted organs in exposed nematodes with mutations of susceptible genes (sod-2, sod-3, gas-1, and aak-2) to GO toxicity by sustaining normal intestinal permeability. LAB also sustained the normal defecation behavior in both wild-type nematodes and nematodes with mutations of susceptible genes. Therefore, the beneficial role of LAB against GO toxicity under different genetic backgrounds may be due to the combinational effects on intestinal permeability and defecation behavior. Moreover, the beneficial effects of LAB against GO toxicity was dependent on the function of ACS-22, homologous to mammalian FATP4 to mammalian FATP4. Our study provides highlight on establishment of pharmacological strategy to protect intestinal barrier from toxicity of GO.

  9. Locomotion-learning behavior relationship in Caenorhabditis elegans following γ-ray irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Suzuki, Michiyo; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Ikeda, Daisuke D.; Yanase, Sumino; Ishii, Naoaki

    2008-01-01

    Learning impairment following ionizing radiation (IR) exposure is an important potential risk in manned space missions. We previously reported the modulatory effects of IR on salt chemotaxis learning in Caenorhabditis elegans. However, little is known about the effects of IR on the functional relationship in the nervous system. In the present study, we investigated the effects of γ-ray exposure on the relationship between locomotion and salt chemotaxis learning behavior. We found that effects of pre-learning irradiation on locomotion were significantly correlated with the salt chemotaxis learning performance, whereas locomotion was not directly related to chemotaxis to NaCl. On the other hand, locomotion was positively correlated with salt chemotaxis of animals which were irradiated during learning, and the correlation disappeared with increasing doses. These results suggest an indirect relationship between locomotion and salt chemotaxis learning in C. elegans, and that IR inhibits the innate relationship between locomotion and chemotaxis, which is related to salt chemotaxis learning conditioning of C. elegans. (author)

  10. Effects of genetic mutations and chemical exposures on Caenorhabditis elegans feeding: evaluation of a novel, high-throughput screening assay.

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    Windy A Boyd

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Government agencies have defined a need to reduce, refine or replace current mammalian-based bioassays with testing methods that use alternative species. Invertebrate species, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, provide an attractive option because of their short life cycles, inexpensive maintenance, and high degree of evolutionary conservation with higher eukaryotes. The C. elegans pharynx is a favorable model for studying neuromuscular function, and the effects of chemicals on neuromuscular activity, i.e., feeding. Current feeding methodologies, however, are labor intensive and only semi-quantitative.Here a high-throughput assay is described that uses flow cytometry to measure C. elegans feeding by determining the size and intestinal fluorescence of hundreds of nematodes after exposure to fluorescent-labeled microspheres. This assay was validated by quantifying fluorescence in feeding-defective C. elegans (eat mutants, and by exposing wild-type nematodes to the neuroactive compounds, serotonin and arecoline. The eat mutations previously determined to cause slow pumping rates exhibited the lowest feeding levels with our assay. Concentration-dependent increases in feeding levels after serotonin exposures were dependent on food availability, while feeding levels decreased in arecoline-exposed nematodes regardless of the presence of food. The effects of the environmental contaminants, cadmium chloride and chlorpyrifos, on wild-type C. elegans feeding were then used to demonstrate an application of the feeding assay. Cadmium exposures above 200 microM led to a sharp drop in feeding levels. Feeding of chlorpyrifos-exposed nematodes decreased in a concentration-dependent fashion with an EC(50 of 2 microM.The C. elegans fluorescence microsphere feeding assay is a rapid, reliable method for the assessment of neurotoxic effects of pharmaceutical drugs, industrial chemicals or environmental agents. This assay may also be applicable to large scale genetic or

  11. MPA-capped CdTe quantum dots exposure causes neurotoxic effects in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by affecting the transporters and receptors of glutamate, serotonin and dopamine at the genetic level, or by increasing ROS, or both

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Tianshu; He, Keyu; Zhan, Qinglin; Ang, Shengjun; Ying, Jiali; Zhang, Shihan; Zhang, Ting; Xue, Yuying; Tang, Meng

    2015-12-01

    As quantum dots (QDs) are widely used in biomedical applications, the number of studies focusing on their biological properties is increasing. While several studies have attempted to evaluate the toxicity of QDs towards neural cells, the in vivo toxic effects on the nervous system and the molecular mechanisms are unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the neurotoxic effects and the underlying mechanisms of water-soluble cadmium telluride (CdTe) QDs capped with 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results showed that exposure to MPA-capped CdTe QDs induced behavioral defects, including alterations to body bending, head thrashing, pharyngeal pumping and defecation intervals, as well as impaired learning and memory behavior plasticity, based on chemotaxis or thermotaxis, in a dose-, time- and size-dependent manner. Further investigations suggested that MPA-capped CdTe QDs exposure inhibited the transporters and receptors of glutamate, serotonin and dopamine in C. elegans at the genetic level within 24 h, while opposite results were observed after 72 h. Additionally, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was observed in the CdTe QD-treated worms, which confirmed the common nanotoxicity mechanism of oxidative stress damage, and might overcome the increased gene expression of neurotransmitter transporters and receptors in C. elegans induced by long-term QD exposure, resulting in more severe behavioral impairments.

  12. Environmental and genetic preconditioning for long-term anoxia responses requires AMPK in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Bobby L LaRue

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Preconditioning environments or therapeutics, to suppress the cellular damage associated with severe oxygen deprivation, is of interest to our understanding of diseases associated with oxygen deprivation. Wildtype C. elegans exposed to anoxia enter into a state of suspended animation in which energy-requiring processes reversibly arrest. C. elegans at all developmental stages survive 24-hours of anoxia exposure however, the ability of adult hermaphrodites to survive three days of anoxia significantly decreases. Mutations in the insulin-like signaling receptor (daf-2 and LIN-12/Notch (glp-1 lead to an enhanced long-term anoxia survival phenotype.In this study we show that the combined growth environment of 25°C and a diet of HT115 E. coli will precondition adult hermaphrodites to survive long-term anoxia; many of these survivors have normal movement after anoxia treatment. Animals fed the drug metformin, which induces a dietary-restriction like state in animals and activates AMPK in mammalian cell culture, have a higher survival rate when exposed to long-term anoxia. Mutations in genes encoding components of AMPK (aak-2, aakb-1, aakb-2, aakg-2 suppress the environmentally and genetically induced long-term anoxia survival phenotype. We further determine that there is a correlation between the animals that survive long-term anoxia and increased levels of carminic acid staining, which is a fluorescent dye that incorporates in with carbohydrates such as glycogen.We conclude that small changes in growth conditions such as increased temperature and food source can influence the physiology of the animal thus affecting the responses to stress such as anoxia. Furthermore, this supports the idea that metformin should be further investigated as a therapeutic tool for treatment of oxygen-deprived tissues. Finally, the capacity for an animal to survive long bouts of severe oxygen deprivation is likely dependent on specific subunits of the heterotrimeric

  13. Connecting a connectome to behavior: an ensemble of neuroanatomical models of C. elegans klinotaxis.

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    Eduardo J Izquierdo

    Full Text Available Increased efforts in the assembly and analysis of connectome data are providing new insights into the principles underlying the connectivity of neural circuits. However, despite these considerable advances in connectomics, neuroanatomical data must be integrated with neurophysiological and behavioral data in order to obtain a complete picture of neural function. Due to its nearly complete wiring diagram and large behavioral repertoire, the nematode worm Caenorhaditis elegans is an ideal organism in which to explore in detail this link between neural connectivity and behavior. In this paper, we develop a neuroanatomically-grounded model of salt klinotaxis, a form of chemotaxis in which changes in orientation are directed towards the source through gradual continual adjustments. We identify a minimal klinotaxis circuit by systematically searching the C. elegans connectome for pathways linking chemosensory neurons to neck motor neurons, and prune the resulting network based on both experimental considerations and several simplifying assumptions. We then use an evolutionary algorithm to find possible values for the unknown electrophsyiological parameters in the network such that the behavioral performance of the entire model is optimized to match that of the animal. Multiple runs of the evolutionary algorithm produce an ensemble of such models. We analyze in some detail the mechanisms by which one of the best evolved circuits operates and characterize the similarities and differences between this mechanism and other solutions in the ensemble. Finally, we propose a series of experiments to determine which of these alternatives the worm may be using.

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans ABCRNAi transporters interact genetically with rde-2 and mut-7.

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    Sundaram, Prema; Han, Wang; Cohen, Nancy; Echalier, Benjamin; Albin, John; Timmons, Lisa

    2008-02-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) mechanisms are conserved and consist of an interrelated network of activities that not only respond to exogenous dsRNA, but also perform endogenous functions required in the fine tuning of gene expression and in maintaining genome integrity. Not surprisingly, RNAi functions have widespread influences on cellular function and organismal development. Previously, we observed a reduced capacity to mount an RNAi response in nine Caenorhabditis elegans mutants that are defective in ABC transporter genes (ABC(RNAi) mutants). Here, we report an exhaustive study of mutants, collectively defective in 49 different ABC transporter genes, that allowed for the categorization of one additional transporter into the ABC(RNAi) gene class. Genetic complementation tests reveal functions for ABC(RNAi) transporters in the mut-7/rde-2 branch of the RNAi pathway. These second-site noncomplementation interactions suggest that ABC(RNAi) proteins and MUT-7/RDE-2 function together in parallel pathways and/or as multiprotein complexes. Like mut-7 and rde-2, some ABC(RNAi) mutants display transposon silencing defects. Finally, our analyses reveal a genetic interaction network of ABC(RNAi) gene function with respect to this part of the RNAi pathway. From our results, we speculate that the coordinated activities of ABC(RNAi) transporters, through their effects on endogenous RNAi-related mechanisms, ultimately affect chromosome function and integrity.

  15. Microfluidic devices for analysis of spatial orientation behaviors in semi-restrained Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Kathryn E McCormick

    Full Text Available This article describes the fabrication and use of microfluidic devices for investigating spatial orientation behaviors in nematode worms (Caenorhabditis elegans. Until now, spatial orientation has been studied in freely moving nematodes in which the frequency and nature of encounters with the gradient are uncontrolled experimental variables. In the new devices, the nematode is held in place by a restraint that aligns the longitudinal axis of the body with the border between two laminar fluid streams, leaving the animal's head and tail free to move. The content of the fluid streams can be manipulated to deliver step gradients in space or time. We demonstrate the utility of the device by identifying previously uncharacterized aspects of the behavioral mechanisms underlying chemotaxis, osmotic avoidance, and thermotaxis in this organism. The new devices are readily adaptable to behavioral and imaging studies involving fluid borne stimuli in a wide range of sensory modalities.

  16. A regulated response to impaired respiration slows behavioral rates and increases lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    David Cristina

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available When mitochondrial respiration or ubiquinone production is inhibited in Caenorhabditis elegans, behavioral rates are slowed and lifespan is extended. Here, we show that these perturbations increase the expression of cell-protective and metabolic genes and the abundance of mitochondrial DNA. This response is similar to the response triggered by inhibiting respiration in yeast and mammalian cells, termed the "retrograde response". As in yeast, genes switched on in C. elegans mitochondrial mutants extend lifespan, suggesting an underlying evolutionary conservation of mechanism. Inhibition of fstr-1, a potential signaling gene that is up-regulated in clk-1 (ubiquinone-defective mutants, and its close homolog fstr-2 prevents the expression of many retrograde-response genes and accelerates clk-1 behavioral and aging rates. Thus, clk-1 mutants live in "slow motion" because of a fstr-1/2-dependent pathway that responds to ubiquinone. Loss of fstr-1/2 does not suppress the phenotypes of all long-lived mitochondrial mutants. Thus, although different mitochondrial perturbations activate similar transcriptional and physiological responses, they do so in different ways.

  17. Uncovering buffered pleiotropy: a genome-scale screen for mel-28 genetic interactors in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Fernandez, Anita G; Mis, Emily K; Lai, Allison; Mauro, Michael; Quental, Angela; Bock, Carly; Piano, Fabio

    2014-01-10

    mel-28 (maternal-effect-lethal-28) encodes a conserved protein required for nuclear envelope function and chromosome segregation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Because mel-28 is a strict maternal-effect lethal gene, its function is required in the early embryo but appears to be dispensable for larval development. We wanted to test the idea that mel-28 has postembryonic roles that are buffered by the contributions of other genes. To find genes that act coordinately with mel-28, we did an RNA interference-based genetic interaction screen using mel-28 and wild-type larvae. We screened 18,364 clones and identified 65 genes that cause sterility in mel-28 but not wild-type worms. Some of these genes encode components of the nuclear pore. In addition we identified genes involved in dynein and dynactin function, vesicle transport, and cell-matrix attachments. By screening mel-28 larvae we have bypassed the requirement for mel-28 in the embryo, uncovering pleiotropic functions for mel-28 later in development that are normally provided by other genes. This work contributes toward revealing the gene networks that underlie cellular processes and reveals roles for a maternal-effect lethal gene later in development.

  18. The omega-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid is required for normal alcohol response behaviors in C. elegans.

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    Richard C Raabe

    Full Text Available Alcohol addiction is a widespread societal problem, for which there are few treatments. There are significant genetic and environmental influences on abuse liability, and understanding these factors will be important for the identification of susceptible individuals and the development of effective pharmacotherapies. In humans, the level of response to alcohol is strongly predictive of subsequent alcohol abuse. Level of response is a combination of counteracting responses to alcohol, the level of sensitivity to the drug and the degree to which tolerance develops during the drug exposure, called acute functional tolerance. We use the simple and well-characterized nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans to model the acute behavioral effects of ethanol to identify genetic and environmental factors that influence level of response to ethanol. Given the strong molecular conservation between the neurobiological machinery of worms and humans, cellular-level effects of ethanol are likely to be conserved. Increasingly, variation in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid levels has been implicated in complex neurobiological phenotypes in humans, and we recently found that fatty acid levels modify ethanol responses in worms. Here, we report that 1 eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, is required for the development of acute functional tolerance, 2 dietary supplementation of eicosapentaenoic acid is sufficient for acute tolerance, and 3 dietary eicosapentaenoic acid can alter the wild-type response to ethanol. These results suggest that genetic variation influencing long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid levels may be important abuse liability loci, and that dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids may be an important environmental modulator of the behavioral response to ethanol.

  19. Simulation of C. elegans thermotactic behavior in a linear thermal gradient using a simple phenomenological motility model.

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    Matsuoka, Tomohiro; Gomi, Sohei; Shingai, Ryuzo

    2008-01-21

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been reported to exhibit thermotaxis, a sophisticated behavioral response to temperature. However, there appears to be some inconsistency among previous reports. The results of population-level thermotaxis investigations suggest that C. elegans can navigate to the region of its cultivation temperature from nearby regions of higher or lower temperature. However, individual C. elegans nematodes appear to show only cryophilic tendencies above their cultivation temperature. A Monte-Carlo style simulation using a simple individual model of C. elegans provides insight into clarifying apparent inconsistencies among previous findings. The simulation using the thermotaxis model that includes the cryophilic tendencies, isothermal tracking and thermal adaptation was conducted. As a result of the random walk property of locomotion of C. elegans, only cryophilic tendencies above the cultivation temperature result in population-level thermophilic tendencies. Isothermal tracking, a period of active pursuit of an isotherm around regions of temperature near prior cultivation temperature, can strengthen the tendencies of these worms to gather around near-cultivation-temperature regions. A statistical index, the thermotaxis (TTX) L-skewness, was introduced and was useful in analyzing the population-level thermotaxis of model worms.

  20. Bilobalide modulates serotonin-controlled behaviors in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Luo Yuan

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Dysfunctions in the serotonergic system have been implicated in several neurological disorders such as depression. Elderly individuals who have been diagnosed with clinical depression show elevated cases of neurodegenerative diseases. This has led to suggestions that modulating the serotonin (5-HT system could provide an alternative method to current therapies for alleviating these pathologies. The neuroprotective effects of bilobalide in vitro have been documented. We aim to determine whether bilobalide affects the 5-HT system in the nematode C. elegans. The wild type worms, as well as well-characterized 5-HT mutants, were fed with bilobalide in a range of concentrations, and several 5-HT controlled behaviors were tested. Results We observed that bilobalide significantly inhibited 5-HT-controlled egg-laying behavior in a dose-dependent manner, which was blocked in the 5-HT receptor mutants (ser-4, mod-1, but not in the 5-HT transporter (mod-5 or synthesis (tph-1 mutants. Bilobalide also potentiated a 5-HT-controlled, experience-dependent locomotory behavior, termed the enhanced slowing response in the wild type animals. However, this effect was fully blocked in 5-HT receptor mod-1 and dopamine defective cat-2 mutants, but only partially blocked in ser-4 mutants. We also demonstrated that acetylcholine transmission was inhibited in a transgenic C. elegans strain that constitutively expresses Aβ, and bilobalide did not significantly affect this inhibition. Conclusion These results suggest that bilobalide may modulate specific 5-HT receptor subtypes, which involves interplay with dopamine transmission. Additional studies for the function of bilobalide in neurotransmitter systems could aid in our understanding of its neuroprotective properties.

  1. skn-1 is required for interneuron sensory integration and foraging behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wilson, Mark A; Iser, Wendy B; Son, Tae Gen; Logie, Anne; Cabral-Costa, Joao V; Mattson, Mark P; Camandola, Simonetta

    2017-01-01

    Nrf2/skn-1, a transcription factor known to mediate adaptive responses of cells to stress, also regulates energy metabolism in response to changes in nutrient availability. The ability to locate food sources depends upon chemosensation. Here we show that Nrf2/skn-1 is expressed in olfactory interneurons, and is required for proper integration of multiple food-related sensory cues in Caenorhabditis elegans. Compared to wild type worms, skn-1 mutants fail to perceive that food density is limiting, and display altered chemo- and thermotactic responses. These behavioral deficits are associated with aberrant AIY interneuron morphology and migration in skn-1 mutants. Both skn-1-dependent AIY autonomous and non-autonomous mechanisms regulate the neural circuitry underlying multisensory integration of environmental cues related to energy acquisition.

  2. skn-1 is required for interneuron sensory integration and foraging behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Mark A Wilson

    Full Text Available Nrf2/skn-1, a transcription factor known to mediate adaptive responses of cells to stress, also regulates energy metabolism in response to changes in nutrient availability. The ability to locate food sources depends upon chemosensation. Here we show that Nrf2/skn-1 is expressed in olfactory interneurons, and is required for proper integration of multiple food-related sensory cues in Caenorhabditis elegans. Compared to wild type worms, skn-1 mutants fail to perceive that food density is limiting, and display altered chemo- and thermotactic responses. These behavioral deficits are associated with aberrant AIY interneuron morphology and migration in skn-1 mutants. Both skn-1-dependent AIY autonomous and non-autonomous mechanisms regulate the neural circuitry underlying multisensory integration of environmental cues related to energy acquisition.

  3. Chronic exposure to graphene-based nanomaterials induces behavioral deficits and neural damage in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Li, Ping; Xu, Tiantian; Wu, Siyu; Lei, Lili; He, Defu

    2017-10-01

    Nanomaterials of graphene and its derivatives have been widely applied in recent years, but whose impacts on the environment and health are still not well understood. In the present study, the potential adverse effects of graphite (G), graphite oxide nanoplatelets (GO) and graphene quantum dots (GQDs) on the motor nervous system were investigated using nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as the assay system. After being characterized using TEM, SEM, XPS and PLE, three nanomaterials were chronically exposed to C. elegans for 6 days. In total, 50-100 mg l -1 GO caused a significant reduction in the survival rate, but G and GDDs showed low lethality on nematodes. After chronic exposure of sub-lethal dosages, three nanomaterials were observed to distribute primarily in the pharynx and intestine; but GQDs were widespread in nematode body. Three graphene-based nanomaterials resulted in significant declines in locomotor frequency of body bending, head thrashing and pharynx pumping. In addition, mean speed, bending angle-frequency and wavelength of the crawling movement were significantly reduced after exposure. Using transgenic nematodes, we found high concentrations of graphene-based nanomaterials induced down-expression of dat-1::GFP and eat-4::GFP, but no significant changes in unc-47::GFP. This indicates that graphene-based nanomaterials can lead to damages in the dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurons. The present data suggest that chronic exposure of graphene-based nanomaterials may cause neurotoxicity risks of inducing behavioral deficits and neural damage. These findings provide useful information to understand the toxicity and safe application of graphene-based nanomaterials. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Identification of novel protein functions and signaling mechanisms by genetics and quantitative phosphoproteomics in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredens, Julius; Engholm-Keller, Kasper; Møller-Jensen, Jakob

    2014-01-01

    knockdown by feeding the nematode on pre-labeled lysine auxotroph Escherichia coli. In this chapter, we describe in details the generation of the E. coli strain, incorporation of heavy isotope-labeled lysine in C. elegans, and the procedure for a comprehensive global phosphoproteomic experiment.......Stable isotope labeling by amino acids combined with mass spectrometry is a widely used methodology for measuring relative changes in protein and phosphorylation levels at a global level. We have applied this method to the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans in combination with RNAi-mediated gene...

  5. Longevity manipulations differentially affect serotonin/dopamine level and behavioral deterioration in aging Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Yin, Jiang-An; Liu, Xi-Juan; Yuan, Jie; Jiang, Jing; Cai, Shi-Qing

    2014-03-12

    Aging is accompanied with behavioral and cognitive decline. Changes in the neurotransmitter level are associated with the age-related behavioral deterioration, but whether well-known longevity manipulations affect the function of neurotransmitter system in aging animals is largely unclear. Here we report that serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine (DA) level decrease with age in C. elegans. The reduction results in downregulation of the activity of neurons controlled by 5-HT/DA signaling, and deterioration of some important behaviors, including pharyngeal pumping, food-induced slowing responses, and male mating. Longevity manipulations differentially affect the age-related decline in neuronal level of 5-HT/DA. The reduction and resultant behavioral deterioration occur in long-lived worms with defective insulin signaling [daf-2(e1370), age-1(hx546)] or mitochondria function [isp-1(qm150), tpk-1(qm162)], but not in long-lived worms with dietary restriction eat-2(ad1116). A reduced expression level of dopa decarboxylase BAS-1, the shared enzyme for 5-HT/DA synthesis, is responsible for the decline in 5-HT/DA levels. RNAi assay revealed that the sustained 5-HT/DA level in neurons of aged eat-2(ad1116) worms requires PHA-4 and its effectors superoxide dismutases and catalases, suggesting the involvement of reactive oxygen species in the 5-HT/DA decline. Furthermore, we found that elevating 5-HT/DA ameliorates age-related deterioration of pharyngeal pumping, food-induced slowing responses, and male mating in both wild-type and daf-2(e1370) worms. Together, dietary restriction preserves healthy behaviors in aged worms at least partially by sustaining a high 5-HT/DA level, and elevating the 5-HT/DA level in wild-type and daf-2(e1370) worms improves their behaviors during aging.

  6. EPIGENETIC EFFECT OF TESTOSTERONE IN THE BEHAVIOR OF C. ELEGANS. A CLUE TO EXPLAIN ANDROGEN-DEPENDENT AUTISTIC TRAITS?

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    M Mar eGámez-del-Estal

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Current research indicates that the causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs are multifactorial and include both genetic and environmental factors. To date, several works have associated ASDs with mutations in genes that encode proteins involved in neuronal synapses; however other factors and the way they can interact with the development of the nervous system remain largely unknown. Some studies have established a direct relationship between risk for ASDs and the exposure of the fetus to high testosterone levels during the prenatal stage. In this work, in order to explain possible mechanisms by which this androgenic hormone may interact with the nervous system, C. elegans was used as an experimental model. We observed that testosterone was able to alter the behavioral pattern of the worm, including the gentle touch response and the pharyngeal pumping rate. This impairment of the behavior was abolished using specific RNAi against genes orthologous to the human androgen receptor gene. The effect of testosterone was eliminated in the nhr-69 (ok1926 deficient mutant, a putative ortholog of human AR gene, suggesting that this gene encodes a receptor able to interact with the hormone. On the other hand the testosterone effect remained in the gentle touch response during four generations in the absence of the hormone, indicating that some epigenetic mechanisms could be involved. Sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, was able to abolish the effect of testosterone. In addition, the lasting effect of testosterone was eliminated after the dauer stage. These results suggest that testosterone may impair the nervous system function generating transgenerational epigenetic marks in the genome. This work may provide new paradigms for understanding biological mechanisms involved in ASDs.

  7. Differences in the genetic control of early egg development and reproduction between C. elegans and its parthenogenetic relative D. coronatus.

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    Kraus, Christopher; Schiffer, Philipp H; Kagoshima, Hiroshi; Hiraki, Hideaki; Vogt, Theresa; Kroiher, Michael; Kohara, Yuji; Schierenberg, Einhard

    2017-01-01

    The free-living nematode Diploscapter coronatus is the closest known relative of Caenorhabditis elegans with parthenogenetic reproduction. It shows several developmental idiosyncracies, for example concerning the mode of reproduction, embryonic axis formation and early cleavage pattern (Lahl et al. in Int J Dev Biol 50:393-397, 2006). Our recent genome analysis (Hiraki et al. in BMC Genomics 18:478, 2017) provides a solid foundation to better understand the molecular basis of developmental idiosyncrasies in this species in an evolutionary context by comparison with selected other nematodes. Our genomic data also yielded indications for the view that D. coronatus is a product of interspecies hybridization. In a genomic comparison between D. coronatus , C. elegans , other representatives of the genus Caenorhabditis and the more distantly related Pristionchus pacificus and Panagrellus redivivus , certain genes required for central developmental processes in C. elegans like control of meiosis and establishment of embryonic polarity were found to be restricted to the genus Caenorhabditis . The mRNA content of early D. coronatus embryos was sequenced and compared with similar stages in C. elegans and Ascaris suum . We identified 350 gene families transcribed in the early embryo of D. coronatus but not in the other two nematodes. Looking at individual genes transcribed early in D. coronatus but not in C. elegans and A. suum , we found that orthologs of most of these are present in the genomes of the latter species as well, suggesting heterochronic shifts with respect to expression behavior. Considerable genomic heterozygosity and allelic divergence lend further support to the view that D. coronatus may be the result of an interspecies hybridization. Expression analysis of early acting single-copy genes yields no indication for silencing of one parental genome. Our comparative cellular and molecular studies support the view that the genus Caenorhabditis differs

  8. Differences in the genetic control of early egg development and reproduction between C. elegans and its parthenogenetic relative D. coronatus

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    Christopher Kraus

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The free-living nematode Diploscapter coronatus is the closest known relative of Caenorhabditis elegans with parthenogenetic reproduction. It shows several developmental idiosyncracies, for example concerning the mode of reproduction, embryonic axis formation and early cleavage pattern (Lahl et al. in Int J Dev Biol 50:393–397, 2006. Our recent genome analysis (Hiraki et al. in BMC Genomics 18:478, 2017 provides a solid foundation to better understand the molecular basis of developmental idiosyncrasies in this species in an evolutionary context by comparison with selected other nematodes. Our genomic data also yielded indications for the view that D. coronatus is a product of interspecies hybridization. Results In a genomic comparison between D. coronatus, C. elegans, other representatives of the genus Caenorhabditis and the more distantly related Pristionchus pacificus and Panagrellus redivivus, certain genes required for central developmental processes in C. elegans like control of meiosis and establishment of embryonic polarity were found to be restricted to the genus Caenorhabditis. The mRNA content of early D. coronatus embryos was sequenced and compared with similar stages in C. elegans and Ascaris suum. We identified 350 gene families transcribed in the early embryo of D. coronatus but not in the other two nematodes. Looking at individual genes transcribed early in D. coronatus but not in C. elegans and A. suum, we found that orthologs of most of these are present in the genomes of the latter species as well, suggesting heterochronic shifts with respect to expression behavior. Considerable genomic heterozygosity and allelic divergence lend further support to the view that D. coronatus may be the result of an interspecies hybridization. Expression analysis of early acting single-copy genes yields no indication for silencing of one parental genome. Conclusions Our comparative cellular and molecular studies support the

  9. Monoaminergic orchestration of motor programs in a complex C. elegans behavior.

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    Jamie L Donnelly

    Full Text Available Monoamines provide chemical codes of behavioral states. However, the neural mechanisms of monoaminergic orchestration of behavior are poorly understood. Touch elicits an escape response in Caenorhabditis elegans where the animal moves backward and turns to change its direction of locomotion. We show that the tyramine receptor SER-2 acts through a Gαo pathway to inhibit neurotransmitter release from GABAergic motor neurons that synapse onto ventral body wall muscles. Extrasynaptic activation of SER-2 facilitates ventral body wall muscle contraction, contributing to the tight ventral turn that allows the animal to navigate away from a threatening stimulus. Tyramine temporally coordinates the different phases of the escape response through the synaptic activation of the fast-acting ionotropic receptor, LGC-55, and extrasynaptic activation of the slow-acting metabotropic receptor, SER-2. Our studies show, at the level of single cells, how a sensory input recruits the action of a monoamine to change neural circuit properties and orchestrate a compound motor sequence.

  10. A comparison of experience-dependent locomotory behaviors and biogenic amine neurons in nematode relatives of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Sternberg Paul W

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Survival of an animal depends on its ability to match its responses to environmental conditions. To generate an optimal behavioral output, the nervous system must process sensory information and generate a directed motor output in response to stimuli. The nervous system should also store information about experiences to use in the future. The diverse group of free-living nematodes provides an excellent system to study macro- and microevolution of molecular, morphological and behavioral character states associated with such nervous system function. We asked whether an adaptive behavior would vary among bacterivorous nematodes and whether differences in the neurotransmitter systems known to regulate the behavior in one species would reflect differences seen in the adaptive behavior among those species. Caenorhabditis elegans worms slow in the presence of food; this 'basal' slowing is triggered by dopaminergic mechanosensory neurons that detect bacteria. Starved worms slow more dramatically; this 'enhanced' slowing is regulated by serotonin. Results We examined seven nematode species with known phylogenetic relationship to C. elegans for locomotory behaviors modulated by food (E. coli, and by the worm's recent history of feeding (being well-fed or starved. We found that locomotory behavior in some species was modulated by food and recent feeding experience in a manner similar to C. elegans, but not all the species tested exhibited these food-modulated behaviors. We also found that some worms had different responses to bacteria other than E. coli. Using histochemical and immunological staining, we found that dopaminergic neurons were very similar among all species. For instance, we saw likely homologs of four bilateral pairs of dopaminergic cephalic and deirid neurons known from C. elegans in all seven species examined. In contrast, there was greater variation in the patterns of serotonergic neurons. The presence of presumptive

  11. NeuroChip: a microfluidic electrophysiological device for genetic and chemical biology screening of Caenorhabditis elegans adult and larvae.

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    Chunxiao Hu

    Full Text Available Genetic and chemical biology screens of C. elegans have been of enormous benefit in providing fundamental insight into neural function and neuroactive drugs. Recently the exploitation of microfluidic devices has added greater power to this experimental approach providing more discrete and higher throughput phenotypic analysis of neural systems. Here we make a significant addition to this repertoire through the design of a semi-automated microfluidic device, NeuroChip, which has been optimised for selecting worms based on the electrophysiological features of the pharyngeal neural network. We demonstrate this device has the capability to sort mutant from wild-type worms based on high definition extracellular electrophysiological recordings. NeuroChip resolves discrete differences in excitatory, inhibitory and neuromodulatory components of the neural network from individual animals. Worms may be fed into the device consecutively from a reservoir and recovered unharmed. It combines microfluidics with integrated electrode recording for sequential trapping, restraining, recording, releasing and recovering of C. elegans. Thus mutant worms may be selected, recovered and propagated enabling mutagenesis screens based on an electrophysiological phenotype. Drugs may be rapidly applied during the recording thus permitting compound screening. For toxicology, this analysis can provide a precise description of sub-lethal effects on neural function. The chamber has been modified to accommodate L2 larval stages showing applicability for small size nematodes including parasitic species which otherwise are not tractable to this experimental approach. We also combine NeuroChip with optogenetics for targeted interrogation of the function of the neural circuit. NeuroChip thus adds a new tool for exploitation of C. elegans and has applications in neurogenetics, drug discovery and neurotoxicology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Genetic and molecular analyses of UV radiation-induced mutations in the fem-3 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartman, P S; De Wilde, D; Dwarakanath, V N [Texas Christian Univ., Fort Worth, TX (United States). Dept. of Biology

    1995-06-01

    The utility of a new target gene (fem-3) is described for investigating the molecular nature of mutagenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. As a principal attribute, this system allows for the selection, maintenance and molecular analysis of any type of mutation that disrupts the gene, including deletions. In this study, 86 mutant strains were isolated, of which 79 proved to have mutations in fem-3. Twenty of these originally tested as homozygous inviable. Homozygous inviability was expected, as Stewart and coworkers had previously observed that, unlike in other organisms, most UV radiation-induced mutations in C. elegans are chromosomal rearrangements of deficiencies (Mutat. Res 249, 37-54, 1991). However, additional data, including Southern blot analyses on 49 of the strains, indicated that most of the UV radiation-induced fem-3 mutations were not deficiencies, as originally inferred from their homozygous inviability. Instead, the lethals were most likely ``coincident mutations`` in linked, essential genes that were concomitantly induced. As such, they were lost owing to genetic recombination during stock maintenance. As in mammalian cells, yeast and bacteria, the frequency of coincident mutations was much higher than would be predicted by chance. (Author).

  14. Genetic Determinants Associated With in Vivo Survival of Burkholderia cenocepacia in the Caenorhabditis elegans Model

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Yee-Chin

    2018-05-29

    A Burkholderia cenocepacia infection usually leads to reduced survival and fatal cepacia syndrome in cystic fibrosis patients. The identification of B. cenocepacia essential genes for in vivo survival is key to designing new anti-infectives therapies. We used the Transposon-Directed Insertion Sequencing (TraDIS) approach to identify genes required for B. cenocepacia survival in the model infection host, Caenorhabditis elegans. A B. cenocepacia J2315 transposon pool of ∼500,000 mutants was used to infect C. elegans. We identified 178 genes as crucial for B. cenocepacia survival in the infected nematode. The majority of these genes code for proteins of unknown function, many of which are encoded by the genomic island BcenGI13, while other gene products are involved in nutrient acquisition, general stress responses and LPS O-antigen biosynthesis. Deletion of the glycosyltransferase gene wbxB and a histone-like nucleoid structuring (H-NS) protein-encoding gene (BCAL0154) reduced bacterial accumulation and attenuated virulence in C. elegans. Further analysis using quantitative RT-PCR indicated that BCAL0154 modulates B. cenocepacia pathogenesis via transcriptional regulation of motility-associated genes including fliC, fliG, flhD, and cheB1. This screen has successfully identified genes required for B. cenocepacia survival within the host-associated environment, many of which are potential targets for developing new antimicrobials.

  15. Genetic Determinants Associated With in Vivo Survival of Burkholderia cenocepacia in the Caenorhabditis elegans Model

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Yee-Chin; Abd El Ghany, Moataz; Ghazzali, Raeece N. M.; Yap, Soon-Joo; Hoh, Chee-Choong; Pain, Arnab; Nathan, Sheila

    2018-01-01

    A Burkholderia cenocepacia infection usually leads to reduced survival and fatal cepacia syndrome in cystic fibrosis patients. The identification of B. cenocepacia essential genes for in vivo survival is key to designing new anti-infectives therapies. We used the Transposon-Directed Insertion Sequencing (TraDIS) approach to identify genes required for B. cenocepacia survival in the model infection host, Caenorhabditis elegans. A B. cenocepacia J2315 transposon pool of ∼500,000 mutants was used to infect C. elegans. We identified 178 genes as crucial for B. cenocepacia survival in the infected nematode. The majority of these genes code for proteins of unknown function, many of which are encoded by the genomic island BcenGI13, while other gene products are involved in nutrient acquisition, general stress responses and LPS O-antigen biosynthesis. Deletion of the glycosyltransferase gene wbxB and a histone-like nucleoid structuring (H-NS) protein-encoding gene (BCAL0154) reduced bacterial accumulation and attenuated virulence in C. elegans. Further analysis using quantitative RT-PCR indicated that BCAL0154 modulates B. cenocepacia pathogenesis via transcriptional regulation of motility-associated genes including fliC, fliG, flhD, and cheB1. This screen has successfully identified genes required for B. cenocepacia survival within the host-associated environment, many of which are potential targets for developing new antimicrobials.

  16. Caenorhabditis elegans response to salt

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O.O. Umuerri (Oluwatoroti Omowayewa)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractThis thesis describes my work, where I used genetic methods to identify new genes involved in salt taste in C. elegans. In addition, I used calcium imaging to characterize the cellular response of C. elegans to salt. The thesis is divided into five sections and each section is summarized

  17. nfi-1 affects behavior and life-span in C. elegans but is not essential for DNA replication or survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hirono Keiko

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Nuclear Factor I (one (NFI family of transcription/replication factors plays essential roles in mammalian gene expression and development and in adenovirus DNA replication. Because of its role in viral DNA replication NFI has long been suspected to function in host DNA synthesis. Determining the requirement for NFI proteins in mammalian DNA replication is complicated by the presence of 4 NFI genes in mice and humans. Loss of individual NFI genes in mice cause defects in brain, lung and tooth development, but the presence of 4 homologous NFI genes raises the issue of redundant roles for NFI genes in DNA replication. No NFI genes are present in bacteria, fungi or plants. However single NFI genes are present in several simple animals including Drosophila and C. elegans, making it possible to test for a requirement for NFI in multicellular eukaryotic DNA replication and development. Here we assess the functions of the single nfi-1 gene in C. elegans. Results C. elegans NFI protein (CeNFI binds specifically to the same NFI-binding site recognized by vertebrate NFIs. nfi-1 encodes alternatively-spliced, maternally-inherited transcripts that are expressed at the single cell stage, during embryogenesis, and in adult muscles, neurons and gut cells. Worms lacking nfi-1 survive but have defects in movement, pharyngeal pumping and egg-laying and have a reduced life-span. Expression of the muscle gene Ce titin is decreased in nfi-1 mutant worms. Conclusion NFI gene function is not needed for survival in C. elegans and thus NFI is likely not essential for DNA replication in multi-cellular eukaryotes. The multiple defects in motility, egg-laying, pharyngeal pumping, and reduced lifespan indicate that NFI is important for these processes. Reduction in Ce titin expression could affect muscle function in multiple tissues. The phenotype of nfi-1 null worms indicates that NFI functions in multiple developmental and behavioral systems in C

  18. Behavioral Genetics in Criminal and Civil Courts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabatello, Maya; Appelbaum, Paul S

    Although emerging findings in psychiatric and behavioral genetics create hope for improved prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders, the introduction of such data as evidence in criminal and civil proceedings raises a host of ethical, legal, and social issues. Should behavioral and psychiatric genetic data be admissible in judicial proceedings? If so, what are the various means for obtaining such evidence, and for what purposes should its admission be sought and permitted? How could-and should-such evidence affect judicial outcomes in criminal and civil proceedings? And what are the potential implications of using behavioral and psychiatric genetic evidence for individuals and communities, and for societal values of equality and justice? This article provides an overview of the historical and current developments in behavioral genetics. We then explore the extent to which behavioral genetic evidence has-and should-affect determinations of criminal responsibility and sentencing, as well as the possible ramifications of introducing such evidence in civil courts, with a focus on tort litigation and child custody disputes. We also consider two ways in which behavioral genetic evidence may come to court in the future-through genetic theft or the subpoena of a litigant's biospecimen data that was previously obtained for clinical or research purposes-and the concerns that these possibilities raise. Finally, we highlight the need for caution and for approaches to prevent the misuse of behavioral genetic evidence in courts.

  19. Radiobiological studies with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic and developmental effects of high LET radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, G.A.; Schubert, W.W.; Marshall, T.M.

    1992-01-01

    The biological effects of heavy charged particle (HZE) radiation are of particular interest to travellers and planners for long-duration space flights where exposure levels represents a potential health hazard. The unique feature of HZE radiation is the structured pattern of its energy deposition in targets. There are many consequences of this feature to biological endpoints when compared with effects of ionizing photons. Dose vs response and dose-rate kinetics may be modified, DNA and cellular repair systems may be altered in their abilities to cope with damage, and the qualitative features of damage may be unique for different ions. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being used to address these and related questions associated with exposure to radiation. HZE-induced mutation, chromosome aberration, cell inactivation and altered organogenesis are discussed along with plans for radiobiological experiments in space. (author)

  20. Challenging behavior: Behavioral phenotypes of some genetic syndromes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buha Nataša

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Challenging behavior in individuals with mental retardation (MR is relatively frequent, and represents a significant obstacle to adaptive skills. The frequency of specific forms and manifestations of challenging behavior can depend on a variety of personal and environmental factors. There are several prominent theoretical models regarding the etiology of challenging behavior and psychopathology in persons with MR: behavioral, developmental, socio-cultural and biological. The biological model emphasizes the physiological, biochemical and genetic factors as the potential source of challenging behavior. The progress in the field of genetics and neuroscience has opened the opportunity to study and discover the neurobiological basis of phenotypic characteristics. Genetic syndromes associated with MR can be followed by a specific set of problems and disorders which constitutes their behavioral phenotype. The aim of this paper was to present challenging behaviors that manifest in the most frequently studied syndromes: Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Williams syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome and Angelman syndrome. The concept of behavioral phenotype implies a higher probability of manifesting specific developmental characteristics and specific behaviors in individuals with a certain genetic syndrome. Although the specific set of (possible problems and disorders is distinctive for the described genetic syndromes, the connection between genetics and behavior should be viewed through probabilistic dimension. The probabilistic concept takes into consideration the possibility of intra-syndrome variability in the occurrence, intensity and time onset of behavioral characteristics, at which the higher variability the lower is the specificity of the genetic syndrome. Identifying the specific pattern of behavior can be most important for the process of early diagnosis and prognosis. In addition, having knowledge about behavioral phenotype can be a landmark in

  1. Mapping Determinants of Gene Expression Plasticity by Genetical Genomics in C. elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Y.; Alda Alvarez, O.; Gutteling, E.W.; Tijsterman, M.; Fu, J.; Riksen, J.A.G.; Hazendonk, E.; Prins, J.C.P.; Plasterk, R.H.A.; Jansen, R.C.; Breitling, R.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    Recent genetical genomics studies have provided intimate views on gene regulatory networks. Gene expression variations between genetically different individuals have been mapped to the causal regulatory regions, termed expression quantitative trait loci. Whether the environment-induced plastic

  2. Mapping determinants of gene expression plasticity by genetical genomics in C. elegans.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Li, Y.; Alvarez, O.A.; Gutteling, E.W.; Tijsterman, M.; Fu, J.; Riksen, J.A.; Hazendonk, M.G.A.; Prins, P.; Plasterk, R.H.A.; Jansen, R.C.; Breitling, R.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    Recent genetical genomics studies have provided intimate views on gene regulatory networks. Gene expression variations between genetically different individuals have been mapped to the causal regulatory regions, termed expression quantitative trait loci. Whether the environment-induced plastic

  3. cdc-25.4, a Caenorhabditis elegans Ortholog of cdc25, Is Required for Male Mating Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangmi Oh

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Cell division cycle 25 (cdc25 is an evolutionarily conserved phosphatase that promotes cell cycle progression. Among the four cdc25 orthologs in Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that cdc-25.4 mutant males failed to produce outcrossed progeny. This was not caused by defects in sperm development, but by defects in male mating behavior. The cdc-25.4 mutant males showed various defects during male mating, including contact response, backing, turning, and vulva location. Aberrant turning behavior was the most prominent defect in the cdc-25.4 mutant males. We also found that cdc-25.4 is expressed in many neuronal cells throughout development. The turning defect in cdc-25.4 mutant males was recovered by cdc-25.4 transgenic expression in neuronal cells, suggesting that cdc-25.4 functions in neurons for male mating. However, the neuronal morphology of cdc-25.4 mutant males appeared to be normal, as examined with several neuronal markers. Also, RNAi depletion of wee-1.3, a C. elegans ortholog of Wee1/Myt1 kinase, failed to suppress the mating defects of cdc-25.4 mutant males. These findings suggest that, for successful male mating, cdc-25.4 does not target cell cycles that are required for neuronal differentiation and development. Rather, cdc-25.4 likely regulates noncanonical substrates in neuronal cells.

  4. Human amyloid β peptide and tau co-expression impairs behavior and causes specific gene expression changes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chenyin; Saar, Valeria; Leung, Ka Lai; Chen, Liang; Wong, Garry

    2018-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the presence of extracellular amyloid plaques consisting of Amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) aggregates and neurofibrillary tangles formed by aggregation of hyperphosphorylated microtubule-associated protein tau. We generated a novel invertebrate model of AD by crossing Aβ1-42 (strain CL2355) with either pro-aggregating tau (strain BR5270) or anti-aggregating tau (strain BR5271) pan-neuronal expressing transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans. The lifespan and progeny viability of the double transgenic strains were significantly decreased compared with wild type N2 (P5E-21). RNA interference of 13 available top up-regulated genes in Aβ1-42+pro-aggregating tau animals revealed that F-box family genes and nep-4 could enhance life span deficits and chemotaxis deficits while Y39G8C.2 (TTBK2) could suppress these behaviors. Comparing the list of regulated genes from C. elegans to the top 60 genes related to human AD confirmed an overlap of 8 genes: patched homolog 1, PTCH1 (ptc-3), the Rab GTPase activating protein, TBC1D16 (tbc-16), the WD repeat and FYVE domain-containing protein 3, WDFY3 (wdfy-3), ADP-ribosylation factor guanine nucleotide exchange factor 2, ARFGEF2 (agef-1), Early B-cell Factor, EBF1 (unc-3), d-amino-acid oxidase, DAO (daao-1), glutamate receptor, metabotropic 1, GRM1 (mgl-2), prolyl 4-hydroxylase subunit alpha 2, P4HA2 (dpy-18 and phy-2). Taken together, our C. elegans double transgenic model provides insight on the fundamental neurobiologic processes underlying human AD and recapitulates selected transcriptomic changes observed in human AD brains. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Behavior genetic modeling of human fertility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rodgers, J L; Kohler, H P; Kyvik, K O

    2001-01-01

    Behavior genetic designs and analysis can be used to address issues of central importance to demography. We use this methodology to document genetic influence on human fertility. Our data come from Danish twin pairs born from 1953 to 1959, measured on age at first attempt to get pregnant (First......Try) and number of children (NumCh). Behavior genetic models were fitted using structural equation modeling and DF analysis. A consistent medium-level additive genetic influence was found for NumCh, equal across genders; a stronger genetic influence was identified for FirstTry, greater for females than for males....... A bivariate analysis indicated significant shared genetic variance between NumCh and FirstTry....

  6. C. elegans model identifies genetic modifiers of alpha-synuclein inclusion formation during aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tjakko J van Ham

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Inclusions in the brain containing alpha-synuclein are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease, but how these inclusions are formed and how this links to disease is poorly understood. We have developed a C. elegans model that makes it possible to monitor, in living animals, the formation of alpha-synuclein inclusions. In worms of old age, inclusions contain aggregated alpha- synuclein, resembling a critical pathological feature. We used genome-wide RNA interference to identify processes involved in inclusion formation, and identified 80 genes that, when knocked down, resulted in a premature increase in the number of inclusions. Quality control and vesicle-trafficking genes expressed in the ER/Golgi complex and vesicular compartments were overrepresented, indicating a specific role for these processes in alpha-synuclein inclusion formation. Suppressors include aging-associated genes, such as sir-2.1/SIRT1 and lagr-1/LASS2. Altogether, our data suggest a link between alpha-synuclein inclusion formation and cellular aging, likely through an endomembrane-related mechanism. The processes and genes identified here present a framework for further study of the disease mechanism and provide candidate susceptibility genes and drug targets for Parkinson's disease and other alpha-synuclein related disorders.

  7. Human genetics and sleep behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Guangsen; Wu, David; Ptáček, Louis J; Fu, Ying-Hui

    2017-06-01

    Why we sleep remains one of the greatest mysteries in science. In the past few years, great advances have been made to better understand this phenomenon. Human genetics has contributed significantly to this movement, as many features of sleep have been found to be heritable. Discoveries about these genetic variations that affect human sleep will aid us in understanding the underlying mechanism of sleep. Here we summarize recent discoveries about the genetic variations affecting the timing of sleep, duration of sleep and EEG patterns. To conclude, we also discuss some of the sleep-related neurological disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and the potential challenges and future directions of human genetics in sleep research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Meta-analysis of global transcriptomics reveals conserved genetic pathways of Quercetin and Tannic acid mediated longevity in C. elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin ePietsch

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has highlighted that the polyphenols Quercetin and Tannic acid are capable of extending the lifespan of C. elegans. To gain a deep understanding of the underlying molecular genetics, we analyzed the global transcriptional patterns of nematodes exposed to Quercetin or Tannic acid concentrations that are non-effective (in lifespan extension, lifespan extending or toxic. By means of an intricate meta-analysis it was possible to compare the transcriptomes of polyphenol exposure to recently published data sets derived from i longevity mutants or ii infection. This detailed comparative in silico analysis facilitated the identification of compound specific and overlapping transcriptional profiles and allowed the formulation of mechanistic models of Quercetin and Tannic acid mediated longevity. Lifespan extension due to Quercetin was predominantly driven by the metabolome, TGF-beta signaling, Insulin-like signaling and the p38 MAPK pathway and Tannic acid’s impact involved, in part, the amino acid metabolism and was modulated by the TGF-beta and the p38 MAPK pathways. DAF-12, which integrates TGF-beta and Insulin-like downstream signaling, therefore seems to be a crucial regulator for both polyphenols.

  9. Genetics of regular exercise and sedentary behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Geus, Eco J C; Bartels, Meike; Kaprio, Jaakko; Lightfoot, J Timothy; Thomis, Martine

    2014-08-01

    Studies on the determinants of physical activity have traditionally focused on social factors and environmental barriers, but recent research has shown the additional importance of biological factors, including genetic variation. Here we review the major tenets of this research to arrive at three major conclusions: First, individual differences in physical activity traits are significantly influenced by genetic factors, but genetic contribution varies strongly over age, with heritability of leisure time exercise behavior ranging from 27% to 84% and heritability of sedentary behaviors ranging from 9% to 48%. Second, candidate gene approaches based on animal or human QTLs or on biological relevance (e.g., dopaminergic or cannabinoid activity in the brain, or exercise performance influencing muscle physiology) have not yet yielded the necessary evidence to specify the genetic mechanisms underlying the heritability of physical activity traits. Third, there is significant genetic modulation of the beneficial effects of daily physical activity patterns on strength and endurance improvements and on health-related parameters like body mass index. Further increases in our understanding of the genetic determinants of sedentary and exercise behaviors as well as the genetic modulation of their effects on fitness and health will be key to meaningful future intervention on these behaviors.

  10. Experimental game theory and behavior genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesarini, David; Dawes, Christopher T; Johannesson, Magnus; Lichtenstein, Paul; Wallace, Björn

    2009-06-01

    We summarize the findings from a research program studying the heritability of behavior in a number of widely used economic games, including trust, dictator, and ultimatum games. Results from the standard behavior genetic variance decomposition suggest that strategies and fundamental economic preference parameters are moderately heritable, with estimates ranging from 18 to 42%. In addition, we also report new evidence on so-called "hyperfair" preferences in the ultimatum game. We discuss the implications of our findings with special reference to current efforts that seek to understand the molecular genetic architecture of complex social behaviors.

  11. The Anaphase-Promoting Complex (APC) ubiquitin ligase affects chemosensory behavior in C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Julia; Jennings, Alexandra K; Kowalski, Jennifer R

    2016-01-01

    The regulation of fundamental aspects of neurobiological function has been linked to the ubiquitin signaling system (USS), which regulates the degradation and activity of proteins and is catalyzed by E1, E2, and E3 enzymes. The Anaphase-Promoting Complex (APC) is a multi-subunit E3 ubiquitin ligase that controls diverse developmental and signaling processes in post-mitotic neurons; however, potential roles for the APC in sensory function have yet to be explored. In this study, we examined the effect of the APC ubiquitin ligase on chemosensation in Caenorhabditis elegans by testing chemotaxis to the volatile odorants, diacetyl, pyrazine, and isoamyl alcohol, to which wild-type worms are attracted. Animals with loss of function mutations in either of two alleles (g48 and ye143) of the gene encoding the APC subunit EMB-27 APC6 showed increased chemotaxis towards diacetyl and pyrazine, odorants sensed by AWA neurons, but exhibited normal chemotaxis to isoamyl alcohol, which is sensed by AWC neurons. The statistically significant increase in chemotaxis in the emb-27 APC6 mutants suggests that the APC inhibits AWA-mediated chemosensation in C. elegans. Increased chemotaxis to pyrazine was also seen with mutants lacking another essential APC subunit, MAT-2 APC1; however, mat-2 APC1 mutants exhibited wild type responses to diacetyl. The difference in responsiveness of these two APC subunit mutants may be due to differential strength of these hypomorphic alleles or may indicate the presence of functional sub-complexes of the APC at work in this process. These findings are the first evidence for APC-mediated regulation of chemosensation and lay the groundwork for further studies aimed at identifying the expression levels, function, and targets of the APC in specific sensory neurons. Because of the similarity between human and C. elegans nervous systems, the role of the APC in sensory neurons may also advance our understanding of human sensory function and disease.

  12. Effects of Genetic Mutations and Chemical Exposures on Caenorhabditis elegans Feeding: Evaluation of a Novel, High-Throughput Screening Assay

    OpenAIRE

    Boyd, Windy A.; McBride, Sandra J.; Freedman, Jonathan H.

    2007-01-01

    Background Government agencies have defined a need to reduce, refine or replace current mammalian-based bioassays with testing methods that use alternative species. Invertebrate species, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, provide an attractive option because of their short life cycles, inexpensive maintenance, and high degree of evolutionary conservation with higher eukaryotes. The C. elegans pharynx is a favorable model for studying neuromuscular function, and the effects of chemicals on neurom...

  13. Stressed-induced TMEM135 protein is part of a conserved genetic network involved in fat storage and longevity regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vernat J Exil

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Disorders of mitochondrial fat metabolism lead to sudden death in infants and children. Although survival is possible, the underlying molecular mechanisms which enable this outcome have not yet been clearly identified. Here we describe a conserved genetic network linking disorders of mitochondrial fat metabolism in mice to mechanisms of fat storage and survival in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans. We have previously documented a mouse model of mitochondrial very-long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD deficiency. We originally reported that the mice survived birth, but, upon exposure to cold and fasting stresses, these mice developed cardiac dysfunction, which greatly reduced survival. We used cDNA microarrays to outline the induction of several markers of lipid metabolism in the heart at birth in surviving mice. We hypothesized that the induction of fat metabolism genes in the heart at birth is part of a regulatory feedback circuit that plays a critical role in survival. The present study uses a dual approach employing both C57BL/6 mice and the nematode, C. elegans, to focus on TMEM135, a conserved protein which we have found to be upregulated 4.3 (±0.14-fold in VLCAD-deficient mice at birth. Our studies have demonstrated that TMEM135 is highly expressed in mitochondria and in fat-loaded tissues in the mouse. Further, when fasting and cold stresses were introduced to mice, we observed 3.25 (±0.03- and 8.2 (±0.31-fold increases in TMEM135 expression in the heart, respectively. Additionally, we found that deletion of the tmem135 orthologue in C. elegans caused a 41.8% (±2.8% reduction in fat stores, a reduction in mitochondrial action potential and decreased longevity of the worm. In stark contrast, C. elegans transgenic animals overexpressing TMEM-135 exhibited increased longevity upon exposure to cold stress. Based on these results, we propose that TMEM135 integrates biological processes involving fat metabolism and energy expenditure in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Behavior toxicity to Caenorhabditis elegans transferred to the progeny after exposure to sulfamethoxazole at environmentally relevant concentrations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhenyang Yu; Lei Jiang; Daqiang Yin

    2011-01-01

    Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) is one of the most common detected antibiotics in the environment. In order to study whether SMX can affect behavior and growth and whether these effects could be transferred to the progeny, Caenorhabditis elegans was exposed at environmentally relevant concentrations for 24, 48, 72 and 96 hr, respectively. After exposure, the exposed parent generation (Po) was measured for behavior and growth indicators, which were presented as percentage of controls (POC). Then their corresponding unexposed progeny (F1) was separated and measured for the same indicators. The lowest POC for Po after 96 hr-exposure at 100 mg/L were 37.8%, 12.7%, 45.8% and 70.1% for body bending frequency (BBF), reversal movement (RM), Omega turns (OT) and body length (BL), respectively. And F1 suffered defects with the lowest POC as 55.8%, 24.1%, 48.5% and 60.7% for BBF, RM, OT and BL, respectively. Defects in both Po and F1 showed a time- and concentration-dependent fashion and behavior indicators showed better sensitivity than growth indicator. The observed effects on F1 demonstrated the transferable properties of SMX. Defects of SMX at environmental concentrations suggested that it is necessary to perform further systematical studies on its ecological risk in actual conditions.

  17. FRPR-4 Is a G-Protein Coupled Neuropeptide Receptor That Regulates Behavioral Quiescence and Posture in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Nelson

    Full Text Available Neuropeptides signal through G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs to regulate a broad array of animal behaviors and physiological processes. The Caenorhabditis elegans genome encodes approximately 100 predicted neuropeptide receptor GPCRs, but in vivo roles for only a few have been identified. We describe here a role for the GPCR FRPR-4 in the regulation of behavioral quiescence and locomotive posture. FRPR-4 is activated in cell culture by several neuropeptides with an amidated isoleucine-arginine-phenylalanine (IRF motif or an amidated valine-arginine-phenylalanine (VRF motif at their carboxy termini, including those encoded by the gene flp-13. Loss of frpr-4 function results in a minor feeding quiescence defect after heat-induced cellular stress. Overexpression of frpr-4 induces quiescence of locomotion and feeding as well as an exaggerated body bend posture. The exaggerated body bend posture requires the gene flp-13. While frpr-4 is expressed broadly, selective overexpression of frpr-4 in the proprioceptive DVA neurons results in exaggerated body bends that require flp-13 in the ALA neuron. Our results suggest that FLP-13 and other neuropeptides signal through FRPR-4 and other receptors to regulate locomotion posture and behavioral quiescence.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  19. The Caenorhabditis elegans NF2/Merlin Molecule NFM-1 Nonautonomously Regulates Neuroblast Migration and Interacts Genetically with the Guidance Cue SLT-1/Slit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josephson, Matthew P; Aliani, Rana; Norris, Megan L; Ochs, Matthew E; Gujar, Mahekta; Lundquist, Erik A

    2017-02-01

    During nervous system development, neurons and their progenitors migrate to their final destinations. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the bilateral Q neuroblasts and their descendants migrate long distances in opposite directions, despite being born in the same posterior region. QR on the right migrates anteriorly and generates the AQR neuron positioned near the head, and QL on the left migrates posteriorly, giving rise to the PQR neuron positioned near the tail. In a screen for genes required for AQR and PQR migration, we identified an allele of nfm-1, which encodes a molecule similar to vertebrate NF2/Merlin, an important tumor suppressor in humans. Mutations in NF2 lead to neurofibromatosis type II, characterized by benign tumors of glial tissues. Here we demonstrate that in C. elegans, nfm-1 is required for the ability of Q cells and their descendants to extend protrusions and to migrate, but is not required for direction of migration. Using a combination of mosaic analysis and cell-specific expression, we show that NFM-1 is required nonautonomously, possibly in muscles, to promote Q lineage migrations. We also show a genetic interaction between nfm-1 and the C. elegans Slit homolog slt-1, which encodes a conserved secreted guidance cue. Our results suggest that NFM-1 might be involved in the generation of an extracellular cue that promotes Q neuroblast protrusion and migration that acts with or in parallel to SLT-1 In vertebrates, NF2 and Slit2 interact in axon pathfinding, suggesting a conserved interaction of NF2 and Slit2 in regulating migratory events. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  20. Making Sense of G Proteins: Genetic analysis of sensory G protein signaling in the nematode C. elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H. Lans (Hannes)

    2005-01-01

    textabstractAmong the key molecules involved in sensory perception are G proteins, which act in every cell to activate a cascade of signaling molecules in response to certain environmental cues. In this thesis, several studies on the role of G proteins in the sensory system of C. elegans are

  1. C. elegans FOG-3/Tob can either promote or inhibit germline proliferation, depending on gene dosage and genetic context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, J J; Lee, M-H; Verheyden, J; Kroll-Conner, P L; Kimble, J

    2013-05-23

    Vertebrate Tob/BTG proteins inhibit cell proliferation when overexpressed in tissue-culture cells, and they can function as tumor suppressors in mice. The single Caenorhabditis elegans Tob/BTG ortholog, FOG-3, by contrast, was identified from its loss-of-function phenotype as a regulator of sperm fate specification. Here we report that FOG-3 also regulates proliferation in the germline tissue. We first demonstrate that FOG-3 is a positive regulator of germline proliferation. Thus, fog-3 null mutants possess fewer germ cells than normal, a modest but reproducible decrease observed for each of two distinct fog-3 null alleles. A similar decrease also occurred in fog-3/+ heterozygotes, again for both fog-3 alleles, revealing a haplo-insufficient effect on proliferation. Therefore, FOG-3 normally promotes proliferation, and two copies of the fog-3 gene are required for this function. We next overexpressed FOG-3 by removal of FBF, the collective term for FBF-1 and FBF-2, two nearly identical PUF RNA-binding proteins. We find that overexpressed FOG-3 blocks proliferation in fbf-1 fbf-2 mutants; whereas germ cells stop dividing and instead differentiate in fbf-1 fbf-2 double mutants, they continue to proliferate in fog-3; fbf-1 fbf-2 triple mutants. Therefore, like its vertebrate Tob/BTG cousins, overexpressed FOG-3 is 'antiproliferative'. Indeed, some fog-3; fbf-1 fbf-2 mutants possess small tumors, suggesting that FOG-3 can act as a tumor suppressor. Finally, we show that FOG-3 and FBF work together to promote tumor formation in animals carrying oncogenic Notch mutations. A similar effect was not observed when germline tumors were induced by manipulation of other regulators; therefore, this FOG-3 tumor-promoting effect is context dependent. We conclude that FOG-3 can either promote or inhibit proliferation in a manner that is sensitive to both genetic context and gene dosage. The discovery of these FOG-3 effects on proliferation has implications for our understanding of

  2. Cognitive and behavioral heterogeneity in genetic syndromes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz F.L. Pegoraro

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: this study aimed to investigate the cognitive and behavioral profiles, as well as the psychiatric symptoms and disorders in children with three different genetic syndromes with similar sociocultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. METHODS: thirty-four children aged 6 to 16 years, with Williams-Beuren syndrome (n = 10, Prader-Willi syndrome (n = 11, and Fragile X syndrome (n = 13 from the outpatient clinics of Child Psychiatry and Medical Genetics Department were cognitively assessed through the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III. Afterwards, a full-scale intelligence quotient (IQ, verbal IQ, performance IQ, standard subtest scores, as well as frequency of psychiatric symptoms and disorders were compared among the three syndromes. RESULTS: significant differences were found among the syndromes concerning verbal IQ and verbal and performance subtests. Post-hoc analysis demonstrated that vocabulary and comprehension subtest scores were significantly higher in Williams-Beuren syndrome in comparison with Prader-Willi and Fragile X syndromes, and block design and object assembly scores were significantly higher in Prader-Willi syndrome compared with Williams-Beuren and Fragile X syndromes. Additionally, there were significant differences between the syndromes concerning behavioral features and psychiatric symptoms. The Prader-Willi syndrome group presented a higher frequency of hyperphagia and self-injurious behaviors. The Fragile X syndrome group showed a higher frequency of social interaction deficits; such difference nearly reached statistical significance. CONCLUSION: the three genetic syndromes exhibited distinctive cognitive, behavioral, and psychiatric patterns.

  3. The effects of maternal corticosterone levels on offspring behavior in fast- and slow-growth garter snakes (Thamnophis elegans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, Kylie A; Vleck, Carol; Bronikowski, Anne M

    2009-01-01

    During embryonic development, viviparous offspring are exposed to maternally circulating hormones. Maternal stress increases offspring exposure to corticosterone and this hormonal exposure has the potential to influence developmental, morphological and behavioral traits of the resulting offspring. We treated pregnant female garter snakes (Thamnophis elegans) with low levels of corticosterone after determining both natural corticosterone levels in the field and pre-treatment levels upon arrival in the lab. Additional measurements of plasma corticosterone were taken at days 1, 5, and 10 during the 10-day exposure, which occurred during the last third of gestation (of 4-month gestation). These pregnant snakes were from replicate populations of fast- and slow-growth ecotypes occurring in Northern California, with concomitant short and long lifespans. Field corticosterone levels of pregnant females of the slow-growth ecotype were an order of magnitude higher than fast-growth dams. In the laboratory, corticosterone levels increased over the 10 days of corticosterone manipulation for animals of both ecotypes, and reached similar plateaus for both control and treated dams. Despite similar plasma corticosterone levels in treated and control mothers, corticosterone-treated dams produced more stillborn offspring and exhibited higher total reproductive failure than control dams. At one month of age, offspring from fast-growth females had higher plasma corticosterone levels than offspring from slow-growth females, which is opposite the maternal pattern. Offspring from corticosterone-treated mothers, although unaffected in their slither speed, exhibited changes in escape behaviors and morphology that were dependent upon maternal ecotype. Offspring from corticosterone-treated fast-growth females exhibited less anti-predator reversal behavior; offspring from corticosterone-treated slow-growth females exhibited less anti-predator tail lashing behavior.

  4. The behavior-genetics debate in the United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yesley, M.S.

    1993-12-31

    This paper, submitted to the Third Bioethics Seminar in Fukai, Japan, presents information on program activities and discusses primary topics concerning genetic factors in behavior. Proponents and critics views on genetic explanations of antisocial behavior are discussed.

  5. Behavioral program synthesis with genetic programming

    CERN Document Server

    Krawiec, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

    Genetic programming (GP) is a popular heuristic methodology of program synthesis with origins in evolutionary computation. In this generate-and-test approach, candidate programs are iteratively produced and evaluated. The latter involves running programs on tests, where they exhibit complex behaviors reflected in changes of variables, registers, or memory. That behavior not only ultimately determines program output, but may also reveal its `hidden qualities' and important characteristics of the considered synthesis problem. However, the conventional GP is oblivious to most of that information and usually cares only about the number of tests passed by a program. This `evaluation bottleneck' leaves search algorithm underinformed about the actual and potential qualities of candidate programs. This book proposes behavioral program synthesis, a conceptual framework that opens GP to detailed information on program behavior in order to make program synthesis more efficient. Several existing and novel mechanisms subs...

  6. Uptake of TiO2 Nanoparticles into C. elegans Neurons Negatively Affects Axonal Growth and Worm Locomotion Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Chun-Chih; Wu, Gong-Her; Hua, Tzu-En; Wagner, Oliver I; Yen, Ta-Jen

    2018-03-14

    We employ model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to effectively study the toxicology of anatase and rutile phase titanium dioxide (TiO 2 ) nanoparticles (NPs). The experimental results show that nematode C. elegans can take up fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled TiO 2 NPs and that both anatase and rutile TiO 2 NPs can be detected in the cytoplasm of cultured primary neurons imaged by transmission electron microscopy. After TiO 2 NP exposure, these neurons also grow shorter axons, which may be related to the detected impeded worm locomotion behavior. Furthermore, anatase TiO 2 NPs did not affect the worm's body length; however, we determined that a concentration of 500 μg/mL of anatase TiO 2 NPs reduced the worm population by 50% within 72 h. Notably, rutile TiO 2 NPs negatively affect both the body size and worm population. Worms unable to enter the L4 larval stage explain a severe reduction in the worm population at TiO 2 NPs LC 50 /3d. To obtain a better understanding of the cellular mechanisms involved in TiO 2 NP intoxication, DNA microarray assays were employed to determine changes in gene expression in the presence or absence of TiO 2 NP exposure. Our data reveal that three genes (with significant changes in expression levels) were related to metal binding or metal detoxification (mtl-2, C45B2.2, and nhr-247), six genes were involved in fertility and reproduction (mtl-2, F26F2.3, ZK970.7, clec-70, K08C9.7, and C38C3.7), four genes were involved in worm growth and body morphogenesis (mtl-2, F26F2.3, C38C3.7, and nhr-247), and five genes were involved in neuronal function (C41G6.13, C45B2.2, srr-6, K08C9.7, and C38C3.7).

  7. Femtosecond Laser Ablation Reveals Antagonistic Sensory and Neuroendocrine Signaling that Underlie C. elegans Behavior and Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel H. Chung

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The specific roles of neuronal subcellular components in behavior and development remain largely unknown, even though advances in molecular biology and conventional whole-cell laser ablation have greatly accelerated the identification of contributors at the molecular and cellular levels. We systematically applied femtosecond laser ablation, which has submicrometer resolution in vivo, to dissect the cell bodies, dendrites, or axons of a sensory neuron (ASJ in Caenorhabditis elegans to determine their roles in modulating locomotion and the developmental decisions for dauer, a facultative, stress-resistant life stage. Our results indicate that the cell body sends out axonally mediated and hormonal signals in order to mediate these functions. Furthermore, our results suggest that antagonistic sensory dendritic signals primarily drive and switch polarity between the decisions to enter and exit dauer. Thus, the improved resolution of femtosecond laser ablation reveals a rich complexity of neuronal signaling at the subcellular level, including multiple neurite and hormonally mediated pathways dependent on life stage.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sijie Jason Wang

    Full Text Available 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

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans: nature and nurture gift to nematode parasitologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salinas, Gustavo; Risi, Gastón

    2017-12-06

    The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is the simplest animal model organism to work with. Substantial knowledge and tools have accumulated over 50 years of C. elegans research. The use of C. elegans relating to parasitic nematodes from a basic biology standpoint or an applied perspective has increased in recent years. The wealth of information gained on the model organism, the use of the powerful approaches and technologies that have advanced C. elegans research to parasitic nematodes and the enormous success of the omics fields have contributed to bridge the divide between C. elegans and parasite nematode researchers. We review key fields, such as genomics, drug discovery and genetics, where C. elegans and nematode parasite research have convened. We advocate the use of C. elegans as a model to study helminth metabolism, a neglected area ready to advance. How emerging technologies being used in C. elegans can pave the way for parasitic nematode research is discussed.

  10. Genetic Mechanisms of Coffee Extract Protection in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model of β-Amyloid Peptide Toxicity

    OpenAIRE

    Dostal, Vishantie; Roberts, Christine M.; Link, Christopher D.

    2010-01-01

    Epidemiological studies have reported that coffee and/or caffeine consumption may reduce Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. We found that coffee extracts can similarly protect against β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) toxicity in a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans Alzheimer's disease model. The primary protective component(s) in this model is not caffeine, although caffeine by itself can show moderate protection. Coffee exposure did not decrease Aβ transgene expression and did not need to be present during...

  11. Forward and reverse mutagenesis in C. elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutscher, Lena M.; Shaham, Shai

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Biological responsiveness to the phorbol esters and specific binding of [3H]phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a manipulable genetic system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lew, K.K.; Chritton, S.; Blumberg, P.M.

    1982-01-01

    Because of its suitability for genetic studies, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was examined for its responsiveness to the phorbol esters. Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate had three effects. It inhibited the increase in animal size during growth; it decreased the yield of progeny; and it caused uncoordinated movement of the adult. The effects on nematode size, progeny yield, and movement were quantitated. Concentrations of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate yielding half-maximal responses were 440, 460, and 170 nM, respectively. As was expected from the biological responsiveness of the nematodes, specific, saturable binding of phorbol ester to nematode extracts was found. [ 3 H]phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate bound with a dissociation constant of 26.8 +/- 3.9 nM. At saturation, 5.7 +/- 1.4 pmole/mg protein was bound

  13. A carbon dioxide avoidance behavior is integrated with responses to ambient oxygen and food in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretscher, Andrew Jonathan; Busch, Karl Emanuel; de Bono, Mario

    2008-06-10

    Homeostasis of internal carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) levels is fundamental to all animals. Here we examine the CO2 response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This species inhabits rotting material, which typically has a broad CO2 concentration range. We show that well fed C. elegans avoid CO2 levels above 0.5%. Animals can respond to both absolute CO2 concentrations and changes in CO2 levels within seconds. Responses to CO2 do not reflect avoidance of acid pH but appear to define a new sensory response. Sensation of CO2 is promoted by the cGMP-gated ion channel subunits TAX-2 and TAX-4, but other pathways are also important. Robust CO2 avoidance in well fed animals requires inhibition of the DAF-16 forkhead transcription factor by the insulin-like receptor DAF-2. Starvation, which activates DAF-16, strongly suppresses CO2 avoidance. Exposure to hypoxia (avoidance via activation of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor HIF-1. The npr-1 215V allele of the naturally polymorphic neuropeptide receptor npr-1, besides inhibiting avoidance of high ambient O2 in feeding C. elegans, also promotes avoidance of high CO2. C. elegans integrates competing O2 and CO2 sensory inputs so that one response dominates. Food and allelic variation at NPR-1 regulate which response prevails. Our results suggest that multiple sensory inputs are coordinated by C. elegans to generate different coherent foraging strategies.

  14. Gustatory Behaviour in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.K. Hukema (Renate)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractThe nematode C. elegans is an ideal model-organism to study the genetics of behaviour (Brenner, 1974). It is capable of sensing salts and we discriminate three different responses: it is attracted to low salt concentrations (Ward, 1973; Dusenbery et al., 1974), it avoids high salt

  15. Studies of radiation effects on the indicator of behavior and learning of the nematode caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya; Suzuki, Michiyo

    2011-01-01

    Radiation effects on the essential behavior and its higher level of learning are described mainly on authors' studies of the title nematode (N), a unique model of which, in a whole, genome is mapped, genealogy of cells is defined, and anatomical distribution and linkage of nervous cells are known. N exhibits various behaviors such as meandering on the culture agar/swimming in water responding to given stimuli like touch, temperature, and chemical. Authors have found that the locomotive activity of N is reduced by gamma-irradiation. Their subsequent irradiation study of 60 Co gamma ray at 300-900 Gy (32 Gy/sec) to wild type and cat-2 mutant lacking tyrosine hydroxylase in the presence/absence of N's food has revealed that dopaminergic nerves do not participate in the mechanism of the reduction unexpectedly. Rather, participation of an active oxygen species is suggested by their following study with H 2 O 2 , but exact nervous system responsible to the reduction is still to be elucidated in future. For radiation effect on N's associative learning, authors have used the reversal of salt preference, where Ns cultured on NaCl-containing agar covered by E. coli (food), being chemotactic to the salt, are conditioned by food removal: salt preference is reversed after learning. The gamma ray irradiation at the conditioning stage but neither before nor after learning, is found to lead to reduction of the chemotaxis (promotion of learning), and this radiation response is found to occur in N lacking gpc-1 gene coding G-protein gamma-subunit which is localized in a part of sensory nerves. Authors think this radiation effect is a modulation of nervous circuit for chemotaxis of N, but of which relation with the complicated nervous functions in higher animals is further to be elucidated in aspects of learning and memory. (T.T.)

  16. Estimating the actual subject-specific genetic correlations in behavior genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenaar, Peter C M

    2012-10-01

    Generalization of the standard behavior longitudinal genetic factor model for the analysis of interindividual phenotypic variation to a genetic state space model for the analysis of intraindividual variation enables the possibility to estimate subject-specific heritabilities.

  17. Genetic Dissection of Behavioral Phenotypes. Lost & Found in Translation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruining, H.

    2011-01-01

    This thesis shows that the exploration of human genetic disorders and animal genetic models can bring understanding of the causes and mechanisms of common psychiatric disorders. The first part of the thesis contains studies on genetic behavioral phenotypes in boys with Klinefelter syndrome, a human

  18. Identification of a genetic interaction between the tumor suppressor EAF2 and the retinoblastoma protein (Rb) signaling pathway in C. elegans and prostate cancer cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cai, Liquan; Wang, Dan [Department of Urology, The University of Pittsburgh, 5200 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15216 (United States); Fisher, Alfred L., E-mail: fishera2@uthscsa.edu [Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine, UTHSCSA, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); Center for Healthy Aging, UTHSCSA, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); GRECC, STVAHCS, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); Wang, Zhou, E-mail: wangz2@upmc.edu [Department of Urology, The University of Pittsburgh, 5200 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15216 (United States); GRECC, STVAHCS, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States)

    2014-05-02

    Highlights: • RNAi screen identified genetic enhancers for the C. elegans homolog of EAF2. • EAF2 and RBBP4 proteins physically bind to each other and alter transcription. • Overexpression of EAF2 and RBBP4 induces the cell death in prostate cancer cells. - Abstract: The tumor suppressor EAF2 is regulated by androgen signaling and associated with prostate cancer. While EAF2 and its partner ELL have been shown to be members of protein complexes involved in RNA polymerase II transcriptional elongation, the biologic roles for EAF2 especially with regards to the development of cancer remains poorly understood. We have previously identified the eaf-1 gene in Caenorhabditiselegans as the ortholog of EAF2, and shown that eaf-1 interacts with the ELL ortholog ell-1 to control development and fertility in worms. To identify genetic pathways that interact with eaf-1, we screened RNAi libraries consisting of transcription factors, phosphatases, and chromatin-modifying factors to identify genes which enhance the effects of eaf-1(tm3976) on fertility. From this screen, we identified lin-53, hmg-1.2, pha-4, ruvb-2 and set-6 as hits. LIN-53 is the C. elegans ortholog of human retinoblastoma binding protein 4/7 (RBBP 4/7), which binds to the retinoblastoma protein and inhibits the Ras signaling pathway. We find that lin-53 showed a synthetic interaction with eaf-1(tm3976) where knockdown of lin-53 in an eaf-1(tm3976) mutant resulted in sterile worms. This phenotype may be due to cell death as the treated worms contain degenerated embryos with increased expression of the ced-1:GFP cell death marker. Further we find that the interaction between eaf-1 and lin-53/RBBP4/7 also exists in vertebrates, which is reflected by the formation of a protein complex between EAF2 and RBBP4/7. Finally, overexpression of either human EAF2 or RBBP4 in LNCaP cells induced the cell death while knockdown of EAF2 in LNCaP enhanced cell proliferation, indicating an important role of EAF2 in

  19. Inference of pain stimulus level from stereotypical behavioral response of C.elegans allows quantification of effects of anesthesia and mutation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Kawai; Mohammadi, Aylia; Ryu, William; Nemenman, Ilya

    In animals, we must infer the pain level from experimental characterization of behavior. This is not trivial since behaviors are very complex and multidimensional. To establish C.elegans as a model for pain research, we propose for the first time a quantitative model that allows inference of a thermal nociceptive stimulus level from the behavior of an individual worm. We apply controlled levels of pain by locally heating worms with an infrared laser and capturing the subsequent behavior. We discover that the behavioral response is a product of stereotypical behavior and a nonlinear function of the strength of stimulus. The same stereotypical behavior is observed in normal, anesthetized and mutated worms. From this result we build a Bayesian model to infer the strength of laser stimulus from the behavior. This model allows us to measure the efficacy of anaesthetization and mutation by comparing the inferred strength of stimulus. Based on the measured nociceptive escape of over 200 worms, our model is able to significantly differentiate normal, anaesthetized and mutated worms with 40 worm samples. This work was partially supported by NSF Grant No. IOS/1208126 and HFSP Grant No. RGY0084/.

  20. A Genetic Epidemiological Study of Behavioral Traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    N. Amin (Najaf)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractHuman behavioural genetics aims to unravel the genetic and environmental contributions to variations in human behaviour. Behaviour is a complex trait, involving multiple genes that are affected by a variety of other factors. Genetic epidemiological research of behaviour goes back to

  1. Cognitive and behavioral heterogeneity in genetic syndromes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz F.L. Pegoraro

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: this study aimed to investigate the cognitive and behavioral profiles, as well as the psychiatric symptoms and disorders in children with three different genetic syndromes with similar sociocultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Methods: thirty-four children aged 6 to 16 years, with Williams-Beuren syndrome (n = 10, Prader-Willi syndrome (n = 11, and Fragile X syndrome (n = 13 from the outpatient clinics of Child Psychiatry and Medical Genetics Department were cognitively assessed through the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-III. Afterwards, a full-scale intelligence quotient (IQ, verbal IQ, performance IQ, standard subtest scores, as well as frequency of psychiatric symptoms and disorders were compared among the three syndromes. Results: significant differences were found among the syndromes concerning verbal IQ and verbal and performance subtests. Post-hoc analysis demonstrated that vocabulary and comprehension subtest scores were significantly higher in Williams-Beuren syndrome in comparison with Prader-Willi and Fragile X syndromes, and block design and object assembly scores were significantly higher in Prader-Willi syndrome compared with Williams-Beuren and Fragile X syndromes. Additionally, there were significant differences between the syndromes concerning behavioral features and psychiatric symptoms. The Prader-Willi syndrome group presented a higher frequency of hyperphagia and self-injurious behaviors. The Fragile X syndrome group showed a higher frequency of social interaction deficits; such difference nearly reached statistical significance. Conclusion: the three genetic syndromes exhibited distinctive cognitive, behavioral, and psychiatric patterns. Resumo: Objetivo: investigar o perfil cognitivo e comportamental, sintomas e transtornos psiquiátricos em crianças com três diferentes síndromes genéticas, com antecedentes socioculturais e socioeconômicos semelhantes. Métodos: trinta e quatro

  2. A Genetic Cascade of let-7-ncl-1-fib-1 Modulates Nucleolar Size and rRNA Pool in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yung-Hsiang Yi

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Ribosome biogenesis takes place in the nucleolus, the size of which is often coordinated with cell growth and development. However, how metazoans control nucleolar size remains largely unknown. Caenorhabditis elegans provides a good model to address this question owing to distinct tissue distribution of nucleolar sizes and a mutant, ncl-1, which exhibits larger nucleoli than wild-type worms. Here, through a series of loss-of-function analyses, we report that the nucleolar size is regulated by a circuitry composed of microRNA let-7, translation repressor NCL-1, and a major nucleolar pre-rRNA processing protein FIB-1/fibrillarin. In cooperation with RNA binding proteins PUF and NOS, NCL-1 suppressed the translation of FIB-1/fibrillarin, while let-7 targeted the 3'UTR of ncl-1 and inhibited its expression. Consequently, the abundance of FIB-1 is tightly controlled and correlated with the nucleolar size. Together, our findings highlight a novel genetic cascade by which post-transcriptional regulators interplay in developmental control of nucleolar size and function.

  3. The behavioral genetics of nonhuman primates: Status and prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Jeffrey

    2018-01-01

    The complexity and diversity of primate behavior have long attracted the attention of ethologists, psychologists, behavioral ecologists, and neuroscientists. Recent studies have advanced our understanding of the nature of genetic influences on differences in behavior among individuals within species. A number of analyses have focused on the genetic analysis of behavioral reactions to specific experimental tests, providing estimates of the degree of genetic control over reactivity, and beginning to identify the genes involved. Substantial progress is also being made in identifying genetic factors that influence the structure and function of the primate brain. Most of the published studies on these topics have examined either cercopithecines or chimpanzees, though a few studies have addressed these questions in other primate species. One potentially important line of research is beginning to identify the epigenetic processes that influence primate behavior, thus revealing specific cellular and molecular mechanisms by which environmental experiences can influence gene expression or gene function relevant to behavior. This review summarizes many of these studies of non-human primate behavioral genetics. The primary focus is on analyses that address the nature of the genes and genetic processes that affect differences in behavior among individuals within non-human primate species. Analyses of between species differences and potential avenues for future research are also discussed. © 2018 American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

  4. Developing robotic behavior using a genetic programming model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pryor, R.J.

    1998-01-01

    This report describes the methodology for using a genetic programming model to develop tracking behaviors for autonomous, microscale robotic vehicles. The use of such vehicles for surveillance and detection operations has become increasingly important in defense and humanitarian applications. Through an evolutionary process similar to that found in nature, the genetic programming model generates a computer program that when downloaded onto a robotic vehicle's on-board computer will guide the robot to successfully accomplish its task. Simulations of multiple robots engaged in problem-solving tasks have demonstrated cooperative behaviors. This report also discusses the behavior model produced by genetic programming and presents some results achieved during the study

  5. Some Conceptual Deficiencies in "Developmental" Behavior Genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottlieb, Gilbert

    1995-01-01

    Criticizes the application of the statistical procedures of the population-genetic approach within evolutionary biology to the study of psychological development. Argues that the application of the statistical methods of population genetics--primarily the analysis of variance--to the causes of psychological development is bound to result in a…

  6. Research progress in neuro-immune interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-ling CAI

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The innate immune response may be activated quickly once the organism is invaded by exotic pathogens. An excessive immune response may result in inflammation and tissue damage, whereas an insufficient immune response may result in infection. Nervous system may regulate the intensity of innate immune responses by releasing neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and hormones. Compared with the complicated neuro-immune system in mammals, it is much simpler in Caenorhabditis elegans. Besides, C. elegans is accessible to genetic, molecular biology and behavioral analyses, so it has been used in studies on neuro-immune interactions. It has been revealed recently in the studies with C. elegans that the neuronal pathways regulating innate immune responses primarily include a transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β pathway, an insulin/insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF pathway and dopaminergic neurotransmission. Since these pathways are evolutionally conservative, so it might be able to provide some new ideas for the research on neuro-immune interactions at molecular levels. The recent progress in this field has been reviewed in present paper.

  7. Genetic variation and effects on human eating behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Krom, Mariken; Bauer, Florianne; Collier, David; Adan, R. A. H.; la Fleur, Susanne E.

    2009-01-01

    Feeding is a physiological process, influenced by genetic factors and the environment. In recent years, many studies have been performed to unravel the involvement of genetics in both eating behavior and its pathological forms: eating disorders and obesity. In this review, we provide a condensed

  8. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Media Use and Communication Behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirzinger, Ashley E.; Weber, Christopher; Johnson, Martin

    2012-01-01

    A great deal of scholarly work has explored the motivations behind media consumption and other various communication traits. However, little research has investigated the sources of these motivations and virtually no research considers their potential genetic underpinnings. Drawing on the field of behavior genetics, we use a classical twin design…

  9. Functional analysis of neuronal microRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans dauer formation by combinational genetics and Neuronal miRISC immunoprecipitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minh T Than

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the physiological functions of microRNAs (miRNAs is often challenging because miRNAs commonly impact gene expression under specific physiological conditions through complex miRNA::mRNA interaction networks and in coordination with other means of gene regulation, such as transcriptional regulation and protein degradation. Such complexity creates difficulties in dissecting miRNA functions through traditional genetic methods using individual miRNA mutations. To investigate the physiological functions of miRNAs in neurons, we combined a genetic "enhancer" approach complemented by biochemical analysis of neuronal miRNA-induced silencing complexes (miRISCs in C. elegans. Total miRNA function can be compromised by mutating one of the two GW182 proteins (AIN-1, an important component of miRISC. We found that combining an ain-1 mutation with a mutation in unc-3, a neuronal transcription factor, resulted in an inappropriate entrance into the stress-induced, alternative larval stage known as dauer, indicating a role of miRNAs in preventing aberrant dauer formation. Analysis of this genetic interaction suggests that neuronal miRNAs perform such a role partly by regulating endogenous cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP signaling, potentially influencing two other dauer-regulating pathways. Through tissue-specific immunoprecipitations of miRISC, we identified miRNAs and their likely target mRNAs within neuronal tissue. We verified the biological relevance of several of these miRNAs and found that many miRNAs likely regulate dauer formation through multiple dauer-related targets. Further analysis of target mRNAs suggests potential miRNA involvement in various neuronal processes, but the importance of these miRNA::mRNA interactions remains unclear. Finally, we found that neuronal genes may be more highly regulated by miRNAs than intestinal genes. Overall, our study identifies miRNAs and their targets, and a physiological function of these miRNAs in

  10. Behavioral genetics and criminal responsibility at the courtroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatarelli, Roberto; Del Casale, Antonio; Tatarelli, Caterina; Serata, Daniele; Rapinesi, Chiara; Sani, Gabriele; Kotzalidis, Georgios D; Girardi, Paolo

    2014-04-01

    Several questions arise from the recent use of behavioral genetic research data in the courtroom. Ethical issues concerning the influence of biological factors on human free will, must be considered when specific gene patterns are advocated to constrain court's judgment, especially regarding violent crimes. Aggression genetics studies are both difficult to interpret and inconsistent, hence, in the absence of a psychiatric diagnosis, genetic data are currently difficult to prioritize in the courtroom. The judge's probabilistic considerations in formulating a sentence must take into account causality, and the latter cannot be currently ensured by genetic data. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. A cholinergic-regulated circuit coordinates the maintenance and bi-stable states of a sensory-motor behavior during Caenorhabditis elegans male copulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yishi Liu

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Penetration of a male copulatory organ into a suitable mate is a conserved and necessary behavioral step for most terrestrial matings; however, the detailed molecular and cellular mechanisms for this distinct social interaction have not been elucidated in any animal. During mating, the Caenorhabditis elegans male cloaca is maintained over the hermaphrodite's vulva as he attempts to insert his copulatory spicules. Rhythmic spicule thrusts cease when insertion is sensed. Circuit components consisting of sensory/motor neurons and sex muscles for these steps have been previously identified, but it was unclear how their outputs are integrated to generate a coordinated behavior pattern. Here, we show that cholinergic signaling between the cloacal sensory/motor neurons and the posterior sex muscles sustains genital contact between the sexes. Simultaneously, via gap junctions, signaling from these muscles is transmitted to the spicule muscles, thus coupling repeated spicule thrusts with vulval contact. To transit from rhythmic to sustained muscle contraction during penetration, the SPC sensory-motor neurons integrate the signal of spicule's position in the vulva with inputs from the hook and cloacal sensilla. The UNC-103 K(+ channel maintains a high excitability threshold in the circuit, so that sustained spicule muscle contraction is not stimulated by fewer inputs. We demonstrate that coordination of sensory inputs and motor outputs used to initiate, maintain, self-monitor, and complete an innate behavior is accomplished via the coupling of a few circuit components.

  12. Understanding Salesforce Behavior using Genetic Association Studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.E. van den Berg (Wouter)

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Using genetic association studies, this thesis aims to investigate the drivers of successful customer-salesperson interactions in a context where knowledge development has become crucial to the value creation process. Central to this thesis is the developing role of

  13. Genetics of Regular Exercise and Sedentary Behaviors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Geus, E.J.C.; Bartels, M.; Kaprio, J.; Lightfoot, J.T.; Thomis, M

    2014-01-01

    Studies on the determinants of physical activity have traditionally focused on social factors and environmental barriers, but recent research has shown the additional importance of biological factors, including genetic variation. Here we review the major tenets of this research to arrive at three

  14. Impact of behavioral genetic evidence on the adjudication of criminal behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Paul S; Scurich, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in behavioral genetics suggest a modest relationship among certain gene variants, early childhood experiences, and criminal behavior. Although scientific research examining this link is still at an early stage, genetic data are already being introduced in criminal trials. However, the extent to which such evidence is likely to affect jurors' decisions has not been explored. In the present study, a representative sample of the U.S. population (n = 250) received a vignette describing an apparently impulsive homicide, accompanied by one of four explanations of the defendant's impulsivity: childhood abuse, genetic predisposition, childhood abuse and genetic predisposition, or simple impulsive behavior. The participants were asked to identify the crime that the defendant had committed and to select an appropriate sentence range. Evidence of genetic predisposition did not affect the crime of which the defendant was convicted or the sentence. However, participants who received the abuse or genetic + abuse explanation imposed longer prison sentences. Paradoxically, the genetic and genetic + abuse conditions engendered the greatest fear of the defendant. These findings should allay concerns that genetic evidence in criminal adjudications will be overly persuasive to jurors, but should raise questions about the impact of genetic attributions on perceptions of dangerousness.

  15. Genetic background of extreme violent behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiihonen, J; Rautiainen, M-R; Ollila, H M; Repo-Tiihonen, E; Virkkunen, M; Palotie, A; Pietiläinen, O; Kristiansson, K; Joukamaa, M; Lauerma, H; Saarela, J; Tyni, S; Vartiainen, H; Paananen, J; Goldman, D; Paunio, T

    2015-06-01

    In developed countries, the majority of all violent crime is committed by a small group of antisocial recidivistic offenders, but no genes have been shown to contribute to recidivistic violent offending or severe violent behavior, such as homicide. Our results, from two independent cohorts of Finnish prisoners, revealed that a monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) low-activity genotype (contributing to low dopamine turnover rate) as well as the CDH13 gene (coding for neuronal membrane adhesion protein) are associated with extremely violent behavior (at least 10 committed homicides, attempted homicides or batteries). No substantial signal was observed for either MAOA or CDH13 among non-violent offenders, indicating that findings were specific for violent offending, and not largely attributable to substance abuse or antisocial personality disorder. These results indicate both low monoamine metabolism and neuronal membrane dysfunction as plausible factors in the etiology of extreme criminal violent behavior, and imply that at least about 5-10% of all severe violent crime in Finland is attributable to the aforementioned MAOA and CDH13 genotypes.

  16. Model-independent phenotyping of C. elegans locomotion using scale-invariant feature transform.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yelena Koren

    Full Text Available To uncover the genetic basis of behavioral traits in the model organism C. elegans, a common strategy is to study locomotion defects in mutants. Despite efforts to introduce (semi-automated phenotyping strategies, current methods overwhelmingly depend on worm-specific features that must be hand-crafted and as such are not generalizable for phenotyping motility in other animal models. Hence, there is an ongoing need for robust algorithms that can automatically analyze and classify motility phenotypes quantitatively. To this end, we have developed a fully-automated approach to characterize C. elegans' phenotypes that does not require the definition of nematode-specific features. Rather, we make use of the popular computer vision Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT from which we construct histograms of commonly-observed SIFT features to represent nematode motility. We first evaluated our method on a synthetic dataset simulating a range of nematode crawling gaits. Next, we evaluated our algorithm on two distinct datasets of crawling C. elegans with mutants affecting neuromuscular structure and function. Not only is our algorithm able to detect differences between strains, results capture similarities in locomotory phenotypes that lead to clustering that is consistent with expectations based on genetic relationships. Our proposed approach generalizes directly and should be applicable to other animal models. Such applicability holds promise for computational ethology as more groups collect high-resolution image data of animal behavior.

  17. Present-day genetic composition suggests contrasting demographic histories of two dominant chaetognaths of the Nort-East Atlantic, Sagitta elegans and S. setosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Peijnenburg, K.T.C.A.; van Haastrecht, E.K.; Fauvelot, C.Y.

    2005-01-01

    Sagitta elegans and S. setosa are the two dominant chaetognaths in the North-East (NE) Atlantic. They are closely related and have a similar ecology and life history, but differ in distributional ranges. Sagitta setosa is a typical neritic species occurring exclusively above shelf regions, whereas

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Impact of Behavioral Genetic Evidence on the Adjudication of Criminal Behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Appelbaum, Paul S.; Scurich, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in behavioral genetics suggest a modest relationship among certain gene variants, early childhood experiences, and criminal behavior. Although scientific research examining this link is still at an early stage, genetic data are already being introduced in criminal trials. However, the extent to which such evidence is likely to affect jurors’ decisions has not previously been explored. In the present study, a representative sample of the U.S. population (n=250) received a vigne...

  20. A conserved neuronal DAF-16/FoxO plays an important role in conveying pheromone signals to elicit repulsion behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Donha; Hahm, Jeong-Hoon; Park, Saeram; Ha, Go; Chang, Gyeong-Eon; Jeong, Haelim; Kim, Heekyeong; Kim, Sunhee; Cheong, Eunji; Paik, Young-Ki

    2017-08-03

    Animals use pheromones as a conspecific chemical language to respond appropriately to environmental changes. The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans secretes ascaroside pheromones throughout the lifecycle, which influences entry into dauer phase in early larvae, in addition to sexual attraction and aggregation. In adult hermaphrodites, pheromone sensory signals perceived by worms usually elicit repulsion as an initial behavioral signature. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal pheromone sensory process from perception to repulsion in adult hermaphrodites remain poorly understood. Here, we show that pheromone signals perceived by GPA-3 is conveyed through glutamatergic neurotransmission in which neuronal DAF-16/FoxO plays an important modulatory role by controlling glutaminase gene expression. We further provide evidence that this modulatory role for DAF-16/FoxO seems to be conserved evolutionarily by electro-physiological study in mouse primary hippocampal neurons that are responsible for glutamatergic neurotransmission. These findings provide the basis for understanding the nematode pheromone signaling, which seems crucial for adaptation of adult hermaphrodites to changes in environmental condition for survival.

  1. Genetic dissection of behavioral flexibility: reversal learning in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laughlin, Rick E; Grant, Tara L; Williams, Robert W; Jentsch, J David

    2011-06-01

    Behavioral inflexibility is a feature of schizophrenia, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and behavior addictions that likely results from heritable deficits in the inhibitory control over behavior. Here, we investigate the genetic basis of individual differences in flexibility, measured using an operant reversal learning task. We quantified discrimination acquisition and subsequent reversal learning in a cohort of 51 BXD strains of mice (2-5 mice/strain, n = 176) for which we have matched data on sequence, gene expression in key central nervous system regions, and neuroreceptor levels. Strain variation in trials to criterion on acquisition and reversal was high, with moderate heritability (∼.3). Acquisition and reversal learning phenotypes did not covary at the strain level, suggesting that these traits are effectively under independent genetic control. Reversal performance did covary with dopamine D2 receptor levels in the ventral midbrain, consistent with a similar observed relationship between impulsivity and D2 receptors in humans. Reversal, but not acquisition, is linked to a locus on mouse chromosome 10 with a peak likelihood ratio statistic at 86.2 megabase (p work demonstrates the clear trait independence between, and genetic control of, discrimination acquisition and reversal and illustrates how globally coherent data sets for a single panel of highly related strains can be interrogated and integrated to uncover genetic sources and molecular and neuropharmacological candidates of complex behavioral traits relevant to human psychopathology. Copyright © 2011 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Genetic analysis of feather pecking behavior in laying hens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buitenhuis, A.J.

    2003-01-01

    This thesis describes the genetic analysis of feather pecking behavior in laying hens. Feather pecking (FP) is a major welfare problem in laying hens.In the European

  3. Developmental imaging genetics: linking dopamine function to adolescent behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padmanabhan, Aarthi; Luna, Beatriz

    2014-08-01

    Adolescence is a period of development characterized by numerous neurobiological changes that significantly influence behavior and brain function. Adolescence is of particular interest due to the alarming statistics indicating that mortality rates increase two to three-fold during this time compared to childhood, due largely to a peak in risk-taking behaviors resulting from increased impulsivity and sensation seeking. Furthermore, there exists large unexplained variability in these behaviors that are in part mediated by biological factors. Recent advances in molecular genetics and functional neuroimaging have provided a unique and exciting opportunity to non-invasively study the influence of genetic factors on brain function in humans. While genes do not code for specific behaviors, they do determine the structure and function of proteins that are essential to the neuronal processes that underlie behavior. Therefore, studying the interaction of genotype with measures of brain function over development could shed light on critical time points when biologically mediated individual differences in complex behaviors emerge. Here we review animal and human literature examining the neurobiological basis of adolescent development related to dopamine neurotransmission. Dopamine is of critical importance because of (1) its role in cognitive and affective behaviors, (2) its role in the pathogenesis of major psychopathology, and (3) the protracted development of dopamine signaling pathways over adolescence. We will then focus on current research examining the role of dopamine-related genes on brain function. We propose the use of imaging genetics to examine the influence of genetically mediated dopamine variability on brain function during adolescence, keeping in mind the limitations of this approach. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Optogenetic mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noma, Kentaro; Jin, Yishi

    2015-12-03

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

  5. Ammonium-acetate is sensed by gustatory and olfactory neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Frøkjaer-Jensen

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans chemosensation has been successfully studied using behavioral assays that treat detection of volatile and water soluble chemicals as separate senses, analogous to smell and taste. However, considerable ambiguity has been associated with the attractive properties of the compound ammonium-acetate (NH(4Ac. NH(4Ac has been used in behavioral assays both as a chemosensory neutral compound and as an attractant.Here we show that over a range of concentrations NH(4Ac can be detected both as a water soluble attractant and as an odorant, and that ammonia and acetic acid individually act as olfactory attractants. We use genetic analysis to show that NaCl and NH(4Ac sensation are mediated by separate pathways and that ammonium sensation depends on the cyclic nucleotide gated ion channel TAX-2/TAX-4, but acetate sensation does not. Furthermore we show that sodium-acetate (NaAc and ammonium-chloride (NH(4Cl are not detected as Na(+ and Cl(- specific stimuli, respectively.These findings clarify the behavioral response of C. elegans to NH(4Ac. The results should have an impact on the design and interpretation of chemosensory experiments studying detection and adaptation to soluble compounds in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

  6. Common Genetic Risk for Melanoma Encourages Preventive Behavior Change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lori Diseati

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available There is currently great interest in using genetic risk estimates for common disease in personalized healthcare. Here we assess melanoma risk-related preventive behavioral change in the context of the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative (CPMC. As part of on-going reporting activities within the project, participants received a personalized risk assessment including information related to their own self-reported family history of melanoma and a genetic risk variant showing a moderate effect size (1.7, 3.0 respectively for heterozygous and homozygous individuals. Participants who opted to view their report were sent an optional outcome survey assessing risk perception and behavioral change in the months that followed. Participants that report family history risk, genetic risk, or both risk factors for melanoma were significantly more likely to increase skin cancer preventive behaviors when compared to participants with neither risk factor (ORs = 2.04, 2.79, 4.06 and p-values = 0.02, 2.86 × 10−5, 4.67 × 10−5, respectively, and we found the relationship between risk information and behavior to be partially mediated by anxiety. Genomic risk assessments appear to encourage positive behavioral change in a manner that is complementary to family history risk information and therefore may represent a useful addition to standard of care for melanoma prevention.

  7. Behavioral phenotypes of genetic mouse models of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazdoba, T M; Leach, P T; Crawley, J N

    2016-01-01

    More than a hundred de novo single gene mutations and copy-number variants have been implicated in autism, each occurring in a small subset of cases. Mutant mouse models with syntenic mutations offer research tools to gain an understanding of the role of each gene in modulating biological and behavioral phenotypes relevant to autism. Knockout, knockin and transgenic mice incorporating risk gene mutations detected in autism spectrum disorder and comorbid neurodevelopmental disorders are now widely available. At present, autism spectrum disorder is diagnosed solely by behavioral criteria. We developed a constellation of mouse behavioral assays designed to maximize face validity to the types of social deficits and repetitive behaviors that are central to an autism diagnosis. Mouse behavioral assays for associated symptoms of autism, which include cognitive inflexibility, anxiety, hyperactivity, and unusual reactivity to sensory stimuli, are frequently included in the phenotypic analyses. Over the past 10 years, we and many other laboratories around the world have employed these and additional behavioral tests to phenotype a large number of mutant mouse models of autism. In this review, we highlight mouse models with mutations in genes that have been identified as risk genes for autism, which work through synaptic mechanisms and through the mTOR signaling pathway. Robust, replicated autism-relevant behavioral outcomes in a genetic mouse model lend credence to a causal role for specific gene contributions and downstream biological mechanisms in the etiology of autism. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  8. Models of Caenorhabditis elegans infection by bacterial and fungal pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Jennifer R; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a simple model host for studying the relationship between the animal innate immune system and a variety of bacterial and fungal pathogens. Extensive genetic and molecular tools are available in C. elegans, facilitating an in-depth analysis of host defense factors and pathogen virulence factors. Many of these factors are conserved in insects and mammals, indicating the relevance of the nematode model to the vertebrate innate immune response. Here, we describe pathogen assays for a selection of the most commonly studied bacterial and fungal pathogens using the C. elegans model system.

  9. The Caenorhabditis elegans NF2/Merlin Molecule NFM-1 Nonautonomously Regulates Neuroblast Migration and Interacts Genetically with the Guidance Cue SLT-1/Slit

    OpenAIRE

    Josephson, Matthew P.; Aliani, Rana; Norris, Megan L.; Ochs, Matthew E.; Gujar, Mahekta; Lundquist, Erik A.

    2016-01-01

    During nervous system development, neurons and their progenitors migrate to their final destinations. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the bilateral Q neuroblasts and their descendants migrate long distances in opposite directions, despite being born in the same posterior region. QR on the right migrates anteriorly and generates the AQR neuron positioned near the head, and QL on the left migrates posteriorly, giving rise to the PQR neuron positioned near the tail. In a screen for genes required for...

  10. Worm Phenotype Ontology: Integrating phenotype data within and beyond the C. elegans community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yook Karen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Caenorhabditis elegans gene-based phenotype information dates back to the 1970's, beginning with Sydney Brenner and the characterization of behavioral and morphological mutant alleles via classical genetics in order to understand nervous system function. Since then C. elegans has become an important genetic model system for the study of basic biological and biomedical principles, largely through the use of phenotype analysis. Because of the growth of C. elegans as a genetically tractable model organism and the development of large-scale analyses, there has been a significant increase of phenotype data that needs to be managed and made accessible to the research community. To do so, a standardized vocabulary is necessary to integrate phenotype data from diverse sources, permit integration with other data types and render the data in a computable form. Results We describe a hierarchically structured, controlled vocabulary of terms that can be used to standardize phenotype descriptions in C. elegans, namely the Worm Phenotype Ontology (WPO. The WPO is currently comprised of 1,880 phenotype terms, 74% of which have been used in the annotation of phenotypes associated with greater than 18,000 C. elegans genes. The scope of the WPO is not exclusively limited to C. elegans biology, rather it is devised to also incorporate phenotypes observed in related nematode species. We have enriched the value of the WPO by integrating it with other ontologies, thereby increasing the accessibility of worm phenotypes to non-nematode biologists. We are actively developing the WPO to continue to fulfill the evolving needs of the scientific community and hope to engage researchers in this crucial endeavor. Conclusions We provide a phenotype ontology (WPO that will help to facilitate data retrieval, and cross-species comparisons within the nematode community. In the larger scientific community, the WPO will permit data integration, and

  11. Persistent effect of incubation temperature on stress-induced behavior in the Yucatan banded gecko (Coleonyx elegans)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Trnik, M.; Albrechtová, Jana; Kratochvíl, L.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 125, č. 1 (2011), s. 22-30 ISSN 0735-7036 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : behavioral syndrome * open-field test * antipredator behavior * personality * phenotypic plasticity Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.725, year: 2011

  12. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muniesh Muthaiyan Shanmugam

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. Contrasting invertebrate immune defense behaviors caused by a single gene, the Caenorhabditis elegans neuropeptide receptor gene npr-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nakad, Rania; Snoek, Basten; Yang, Wentao; Ellendt, S.; Schneider, Franziska; Mohr, T.G.; Rösingh, Lone; Masche, Anna C.; Rosenstiel, P.C.; Dierking, K.; Kammenga, Jan E.; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-01-01

    Background: The invertebrate immune system comprises physiological mechanisms, physical barriers and also behavioral responses. It is generally related to the vertebrate innate immune system and widely believed to provide
    nonspecific defense against pathogens, whereby the response to different

  14. Contrasting invertebrate immune defense behaviors caused by a single gene, the Caenorhabditis elegans neuropeptide receptor gene npr-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nakad, Rania; Snoek, L.B.; Yang, Wentao; Ellendt, S.; Schneider, Franziska; Mohr, T.G.; Rösingh, Lone; Masche, Anna C.; Rosenstiel, P.C.; Dierking, K.; Kammenga, J.E.; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-01-01

    Background The invertebrate immune system comprises physiological mechanisms, physical barriers and also behavioral responses. It is generally related to the vertebrate innate immune system and widely believed to provide nonspecific defense against pathogens, whereby the response to different

  15. Contrasting invertebrate immune defense behaviors caused by a single gene, the Caenorhabditis elegans neuropeptide receptor gene npr-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nakad, Rania; Snoek, L Basten; Yang, Wentao; Ellendt, Sunna; Schneider, Franziska; Mohr, Timm G; Rösingh, Lone; Masche, Anna C; Rosenstiel, Philip C; Dierking, Katja; Kammenga, Jan E; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The invertebrate immune system comprises physiological mechanisms, physical barriers and also behavioral responses. It is generally related to the vertebrate innate immune system and widely believed to provide nonspecific defense against pathogens, whereby the response to different

  16. Examining consumer behavior toward genetically modified (GM) food in Britain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spence, Alexa; Townsend, Ellen

    2006-06-01

    This study examined behavior toward genetically modified (GM) food in a British community-based sample. We used an equivalent gain task in which participants actually received the options they chose to encourage truthful responding. In conjunction with this, theory of planned behavior (TPB) components were evaluated so as to examine the relative importance of behavioral influences in this domain. Here, the TPB was extended to include additional components to measure self-identity, moral norms, and emotional involvement. Results indicated that the monetary amounts participants accepted in preference to GM food were significantly lower than those accepted in preference to non-GM food. However, the vast majority of participants were indifferent between GM and non-GM food options. All TPB components significantly predicted behavioral intentions to try GM food, with attitudes toward GM being the strongest predictor. Self-identity and emotional involvement were also found to be significant predictors of behavioral intentions but moral norms were not. In addition, behavioral intentions significantly predicted behavior; however, PBC did not. An additional measure of participants' propensity to respond in a socially desirable manner indicated that our results were not influenced by self-presentation issues, giving confidence to our findings. Overall, it appears that the majority of participants (74.5%) would purchase GM food at some price.

  17. Behavioral genetics in Polish print news media between 2000 and 2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domaradzki, Jan

    2016-12-23

    The aim of this paper is to describe how Polish print news media frame relations between genetics and human behaviors and what images of behavioral genetics dominate in press discourse. A content and frame analysis of 72 print news articles about behavioral genetics published between 2000 and 2014 in four major Polish weekly magazines: "Polityka", "Wprost", "Newsweek" and "Przekrój" was conducted. Twenty one different behaviors were mentioned in the sample and six major analytic frames were identified: essentialist, materialistic, deterministic, probabilistic, optimistic and pessimistic. The most common was the tendency to describe human behaviors in terms of genetic essentialism, reductionism and determinism, as almost one half of the articles was focused solely on genetic determinants of human behaviors and lacked any reference to polygenetic and/or environmental conditioning. Although most of the articles were balanced in tone, benefits were stressed more often than potential risks. Stories that confirmed existence of genetic determinants of human behavior were favored over those that did not. One third of the articles stressed the social or ethical consequences of the development of behavioral genetics. The complex and abstract character of genetic knowledge results in a simplistic portrayal of behavioral genetics in the press, which may lead to a misunderstood interpretation of the complicated interplay between behavior, genetics and environment by the public. Consequently, print news media contribute to geneticization of behaviors. It is important to improve the quality of science reporting on behavioral genetics and to educate researchers how to communicate with the media more effectively.

  18. insights from a linkage map of the damselfly Ischnura elegans

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    tion of achiasmiatic meiosis. Biochem. Genet. 19, 1237–. 1245. Cooper G., Miller P. L. and Holland P. W. H. 1994 Molecular genetic analysis of sperm competition in the damselfly Ischnura elegans (Vander Linden). Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 263,. 1343–1349. Huxley J. S. 1928 Sexual differences in linkage in Gammar-.

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Toxic Effects of Nanoparticles: Lethality, Growth, and Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Laura L; Ryde, Ian T; Yang, Xinyu; Meyer, Joel N

    2015-11-02

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is extensively utilized in toxicity studies. C. elegans offers a high degree of homology with higher organisms, and its ease of use and relatively inexpensive maintenance have made it an attractive complement to mammalian and ecotoxicological models. C. elegans provides multiple benefits, including the opportunity to perform relatively high-throughput assays on whole organisms, a wide range of genetic tools permitting investigation of mechanisms and genetic sensitivity, and transparent bodies that facilitate toxicokinetic studies. This unit describes protocols for three nanotoxicity assays in C. elegans: lethality, growth, and reproduction. This unit focuses on how to use these well-established assays with nanoparticles, which are being produced in ever-increasing volume and exhibit physicochemical properties that require alteration of standard toxicity assays. These assays permit a broad phenotypic assessment of nanotoxicity in C. elegans, and, when used in combination with genetic tools and other assays, also permit mechanistic insight. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  20. lin-12 Notch functions in the adult nervous system of C. elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tucey Tim M

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Notch signaling pathways are conserved across species and traditionally have been implicated in cell fate determination during embryonic development. Notch signaling components are also expressed postdevelopmentally in the brains of adult mice and Drosophila. Recent studies suggest that Notch signaling may play a role in the physiological, rather than developmental, regulation of neurons. Here, we investigate a new non-developmental role for Caenorhabditis elegans lin-12 Notch signaling in neurons regulating the spontaneous reversal rate during locomotion. Results The spontaneous reversal rate of C. elegans during normal locomotion is constant. Both lin-12 gain and loss of function mutant animals had significantly increased reversal rates compared to wild type controls. These defects were caused by lin-12 activity, because the loss of function defect could be rescued by a wild type lin-12 transgene. Furthermore, overexpression of lin-12 recapitulated the gain-of-function defect. Increasing or decreasing lin-12 activity in the postdevelopmental adult animal was sufficient to rapidly and reversibly increase reversals, thereby excluding a developmental role for lin-12. Although lin-12 is expressed in the vulval and somatic gonad lineages, we find that these tissues play no role in regulating reversal rates. In contrast, altering lin-12 activity specifically in the nervous system was sufficient to increase reversals. These behavioral changes require components of the canonical lin-12 signaling cascade, including the ligand lag-2 and the transcriptional effector lag-1. Finally, the C. elegans AMPA/kainate glutamate receptor homolog glr-1 shows strong genetic interactions with lin-12, suggesting that glr-1 and/or other glutamate gated channels may be targets of lin-12 regulation. Conclusion Our results demonstrate a neuronal role for lin-12 Notch in C. elegans and suggest that lin-12 acutely regulates neuronal physiology to

  1. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 pathogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirienko, Natalia V; Cezairliyan, Brent O; Ausubel, Frederick M; Powell, Jennifer R

    2014-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a simple model host for studying the interaction between bacterial pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the metazoan innate immune system. Powerful genetic and molecular tools in both C. elegans and P. aeruginosa facilitate the identification and analysis of bacterial virulence factors as well as host defense factors. Here we describe three different assays that use the C. elegans-P. aeruginosa strain PA14 host-pathogen system. Fast Killing is a toxin-mediated death that depends on a diffusible toxin produced by PA14 but not on live bacteria. Slow Killing is due to an active infection in which bacteria colonize the C. elegans intestinal lumen. Liquid Killing is designed for high-throughput screening of chemical libraries for anti-infective compounds. Each assay has unique features and, interestingly, the PA14 virulence factors involved in killing are different in each assay.

  2. In vivo visualization and quantification of mitochondrial morphology in C. elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, R.L.; De Vos, W.H.; de Boer, R.; Manders, E.M.M.; van der Spek, H.; Weissig, V.; Edeas, M.

    2015-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a highly malleable model system, intensively used for functional, genetic, cytometric, and integrative studies. Due to its simplicity and large muscle cell number, C. elegans has frequently been used to study mitochondrial deficiencies caused by disease or drug toxicity.

  3. The intersection of behavioral genetics and political science: introduction to the special issue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatemi, Peter K

    2012-02-01

    The collection of papers in this special edition of Twin Research and Human Genetics represents a major land-mark at the intersection of behavioral genetics and political science. This issue is the fruit of 20 political scientists attending the Behavioral Genetics Association Methods Workshop in Boulder and a hands-on training practicum at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, and includes results from the first wave of political science twin surveys.

  4. Stabilization of Electromagnetic Suspension System Behavior by Genetic Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abbas Najar Khoda Bakhsh

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Electromagnetic suspension system with a nonlinear and unstable behavior, is used in maglev trains. In this paper a linear mathematical model of system is achieved and the state feedback method is used to improve the system stability. The control coefficients are tuned by two different methods, Riccati and a new method based on Genetic algorithm. In this new proposed method, we use Genetic algorithm to achieve the optimum values of control coefficients. The results of the system simulation by Matlab indicate the effectiveness of new proposed system. When a new reference of air gap is needed or a new external force is added, the proposed system could omit the vibration and shake of the train coupe and so, passengers feel more comfortable.

  5. Social-emotional development through a behavior genetics lens: infancy through preschool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiLalla, Lisabeth Fisher; Mullineaux, Paula Y; Biebl, Sara J W

    2012-01-01

    The field of developmental behavior genetics has added significantly to the collective understanding of what factors influence human behavior and human development. Research in this area has helped to explain not only how genes and environment contribute to individual differences but also how the interplay between genes and environment influences behavior and human development. The current chapter provides a background of the theory and methodology behind behavior genetic research and the field of developmental behavior genetics. It also examines three specific developmental periods as they relate to behavior genetic research: infancy, toddlerhood, and early preschool. The behavior genetic literature is reviewed for key socioemotional developmental behaviors that fit under each of these time periods. Temperament, attachment, frustration, empathy, and aggression are behaviors that develop in early life that were examined here. Thus, the general purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of how genes and environment, as well as the interplay between them, relate to early socioemotional behaviors.

  6. The Genetic and Psychophysiolgical Basis of Antisocial Behavior: Implications for Counseling and Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, Adrian; Dunkin, Jennifer J.

    1990-01-01

    Argues that an understanding of the genetic and psychophysiological basis of crime and antisocial behavior has important implications for counselors dealing with antisocial behavior. Contends that psychophysiological factors interact with social factors in producing antisocial behaviors. (Author/ABL)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juozaityte, Vaida; Pladevall-Morera, David; Podolska, Agnieszka

    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......-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....

  8. Genetic evidence for patrilocal mating behavior among Neandertal groups

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Rosas, Antonio; Estalrrich, Almudena

    2011-01-01

    The remains of 12 Neandertal individuals have been found at the El Sidrón site (Asturias, Spain), consisting of six adults, three adolescents, two juveniles, and one infant. Archaeological, paleontological, and geological evidence indicates that these individuals represent all or part of a contem...... of the three adult females carried different mtDNA lineages. These findings provide evidence to indicate that Neandertal groups not only were small and characterized by low genetic diversity but also were likely to have practiced patrilocal mating behavior....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulme, S Elizabeth; Whitesides, George M

    2011-05-16

    This Review discusses the potential usefulness of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for chemists interested in studying living systems. C. elegans, a 1 mm long roundworm, is a popular model organism in almost all areas of modern biology. The worm has several features that make it attractive for biology: it is small (1000 cells), transparent, and genetically tractable. Despite its simplicity, the worm exhibits complex phenotypes associated with multicellularity: the worm has differentiated cells and organs, it ages and has a well-defined lifespan, and it is capable of learning and remembering. This Review argues that the balance between simplicity and complexity in the worm will make it a useful tool in determining the relationship between molecular-scale phenomena and organism-level phenomena, such as aging, behavior, cognition, and disease. Following an introduction to worm biology, the Review provides examples of current research with C. elegans that is chemically relevant. It also describes tools-biological, chemical, and physical-that are available to researchers studying the worm. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. C. elegans fmi-1/flamingo and Wnt pathway components interact genetically to control the anteroposterior neurite growth of the VD GABAergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huarcaya Najarro, Elvis; Ackley, Brian D

    2013-05-01

    Directed axonal growth is essential to establish neuronal networks. During the early development of the VD neurons, an anterior neurite that will become the VD axon extends along the anteroposterior (A/P) axis in the ventral nerve cord (VNC) in Caenorhabditis elegans. Little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms that are important for correct neurite growth in the VNC. In fmi-1/flamingo mutant animals, we observed that some postembryonically born VD neurons had a posterior neurite instead of a normal anterior neurite, which caused aberrant VD commissure patterning along the A/P axis. In addition, VD anterior neurites had underextension defects in the VNC in fmi-1 animals, whereas VD commissure growth along the dorsoventral (D/V) axis occurred normally in these animals, suggesting that fmi-1 is important for neurite growth along the A/P axis but not the D/V axis. We also uncovered unknown details of the early development of the VD neurons, indicating that the neurite defects arose during their early development. Interestingly, though fmi-1 is present at this time in the VNC, we did not observe FMI-1 in the VD neurons themselves, suggesting that fmi-1 might be working in a cell non-autonomous fashion. Furthermore, fmi-1 appears to be working in a novel pathway, independently from the planar cell polarity pathway and in parallel to lin-17/frizzled and dsh-1/dishevelled, to determine the direction of neurite growth. Our findings indicate that redundant developmental pathways regulate neurite growth in the VNC in C. elegans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. acn-1, a C. elegans homologue of ACE, genetically interacts with the let-7 microRNA and other heterochronic genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metheetrairut, Chanatip; Ahuja, Yuri; Slack, Frank J

    2017-10-02

    The heterochronic pathway in C. elegans controls the relative timing of cell fate decisions during post-embryonic development. It includes a network of microRNAs (miRNAs), such as let-7, and protein-coding genes, such as the stemness factors, LIN-28 and LIN-41. Here we identified the acn-1 gene, a homologue of mammalian angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), as a new suppressor of the stem cell developmental defects of let-7 mutants. Since acn-1 null mutants die during early larval development, we used RNAi to characterize the role of acn-1 in C. elegans seam cell development, and determined its interaction with heterochronic factors, including let-7 and its downstream interactors - lin-41, hbl-1, and apl-1. We demonstrate that although RNAi knockdown of acn-1 is insufficient to cause heterochronic defects on its own, loss of acn-1 suppresses the retarded phenotypes of let-7 mutants and enhances the precocious phenotypes of hbl-1, though not lin-41, mutants. Conversely, the pattern of acn-1 expression, which oscillates during larval development, is disrupted by lin-41 mutants but not by hbl-1 mutants. Finally, we show that acn-1(RNAi) enhances the let-7-suppressing phenotypes caused by loss of apl-1, a homologue of the Alzheimer's disease-causing amyloid precursor protein (APP), while significantly disrupting the expression of apl-1 during the L4 larval stage. In conclusion, acn-1 interacts with heterochronic genes and appears to function downstream of let-7 and its target genes, including lin-41 and apl-1.

  12. Isolating genes involved with genotoxic drug response in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using genome-wide RNAi screening

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schøler, Lone Vedel; Møller, Tine Hørning; Nørgaard, Steffen

    2012-01-01

    The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a popular genetic model organism used to study a broad range of complex biological processes, including development, aging, apoptosis, and DNA damage responses. Many genetic tools and tricks have been developed in C. elegans including knock down...... of gene expression via RNA interference (RNAi). In C. elegans RNAi can effectively be administrated via feeding the nematodes bacteria expressing double-stranded RNA targeting the gene of interest. Several commercial C. elegans RNAi libraries are available and hence gene inactivation using RNAi can...

  13. Reward deficiency syndrome: genetic aspects of behavioral disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comings, D E; Blum, K

    2000-01-01

    The dopaminergic and opioidergic reward pathways of the brain are critical for survival since they provide the pleasure drives for eating, love and reproduction; these are called 'natural rewards' and involve the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens and frontal lobes. However, the same release of dopamine and production of sensations of pleasure can be produced by 'unnatural rewards' such as alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, nicotine, marijuana, and other drugs, and by compulsive activities such as gambling, eating, and sex, and by risk taking behaviors. Since only a minority of individuals become addicted to these compounds or behaviors, it is reasonable to ask what factors distinguish those who do become addicted from those who do not. It has usually been assumed that these behaviors are entirely voluntary and that environmental factors play the major role; however, since all of these behaviors have a significant genetic component, the presence of one or more variant genes presumably act as risk factors for these behaviors. Since the primary neurotransmitter of the reward pathway is dopamine, genes for dopamine synthesis, degradation, receptors, and transporters are reasonable candidates. However, serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA, opioid, and cannabinoid neurons all modify dopamine metabolism and dopamine neurons. We have proposed that defects in various combinations of the genes for these neurotransmitters result in a Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) and that such individuals are at risk for abuse of the unnatural rewards. Because of its importance, the gene for the [figure: see text] dopamine D2 receptor was a major candidate gene. Studies in the past decade have shown that in various subject groups the Taq I A1 allele of the DRD2 gene is associated with alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, obesity, compulsive gambling, and several personality traits. A range of other dopamine, opioid, cannabinoid, norepinephrine, and related genes have since been

  14. Establishing a Twin Register : An Invaluable Resource for (Behavior) Genetic, Epidemiological, Biomarker, and 'Omics' Studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Odintsova, Veronika V; Willemsen, Gonneke; Dolan, Conor V; Hottenga, Jouke-Jan; Martin, Nicholas G; Slagboom, P Eline; Ordoñana, Juan R; Boomsma, Dorret I

    2018-01-01

    Twin registers are wonderful research resources for research applications in medical and behavioral genetics, epidemiology, psychology, molecular genetics, and other areas of research. New registers continue to be launched all over the world as researchers from different disciplines recognize the

  15. C. elegans model of neuronal aging

    OpenAIRE

    Peng, Chiu-Ying; Chen, Chun-Hao; Hsu, Jiun-Min; Pan, Chun-Liang

    2011-01-01

    Aging of the nervous system underlies the behavioral and cognitive decline associated with senescence. Understanding the molecular and cellular basis of neuronal aging will therefore contribute to the development of effective treatments for aging and age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. Despite this pressing need, there are surprisingly few animal models that aim at recapitulating neuronal aging in a physiological context. We recently developed a C. elegans model of neuronal aging, and...

  16. The mevalonate pathway in C. Elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rauthan Manish

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The mevalonate pathway in human is responsible for the synthesis of cholesterol and other important biomolecules such as coenzyme Q, dolichols and isoprenoids. These molecules are required in the cell for functions ranging from signaling to membrane integrity, protein prenylation and glycosylation, and energy homeostasis. The pathway consists of a main trunk followed by sub-branches that synthesize the different biomolecules. The majority of our knowledge about the mevalonate pathway is currently focused on the cholesterol synthesis branch, which is the target of the cholesterol-lowering statins; less is known about the function and regulation of the non-cholesterol-related branches. To study them, we need a biological system where it is possible to specifically modulate these metabolic branches individually or in groups. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans is a promising model to study these non-cholesterol branches since its mevalonate pathway seems very well conserved with that in human except that it has no cholesterol synthesis branch. The simple genetic makeup and tractability of C. elegans makes it relatively easy to identify and manipulate key genetic components of the mevalonate pathway, and to evaluate the consequences of tampering with their activity. This general experimental approach should lead to new insights into the physiological roles of the non-cholesterol part of the mevalonate pathway. This review will focus on the current knowledge related to the mevalonate pathway in C. elegans and its possible applications as a model organism to study the non-cholesterol functions of this pathway.

  17. Identification of Novel Candidate Tumor Suppressor Genes Using C. elegans as a Model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sternberg, Paul

    1999-01-01

    Molecular genetic analysis of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was used to identify and study mechanisms of action of negative regulators of tyrosine kinase/RAS mediated signal transduction...

  18. Identification of Novel Candidate Tumor Suppressor Genes Using C. elegans as a Model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sternberg, Paul

    1998-01-01

    Molecular genetic analysis of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was used to identify and study mechanisms of action of negative regulators of tyrosine kinase/RAS mediated signal transduction...

  19. Genetic analysis of the spindle checkpoint genes san-1, mdf-2, bub-3 and the CENP-F homologues hcp-1 and hcp-2 in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moore Landon L

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The spindle checkpoint delays the onset of anaphase until all sister chromatids are aligned properly at the metaphase plate. To investigate the role san-1, the MAD3 homologue, has in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos we used RNA interference (RNAi to identify genes synthetic lethal with the viable san-1(ok1580 deletion mutant. Results The san-1(ok1580 animal has low penetrating phenotypes including an increased incidence of males, larvae arrest, slow growth, protruding vulva, and defects in vulva morphogenesis. We found that the viability of san-1(ok1580 embryos is significantly reduced when HCP-1 (CENP-F homologue, MDF-1 (MAD-1 homologue, MDF-2 (MAD-2 homologue or BUB-3 (predicted BUB-3 homologue are reduced by RNAi. Interestingly, the viability of san-1(ok1580 embryos is not significantly reduced when the paralog of HCP-1, HCP-2, is reduced. The phenotype of san-1(ok1580;hcp-1(RNAi embryos includes embryonic and larval lethality, abnormal organ development, and an increase in abnormal chromosome segregation (aberrant mitotic nuclei, anaphase bridging. Several of the san-1(ok1580;hcp-1(RNAi animals displayed abnormal kinetochore (detected by MPM-2 and microtubule structure. The survival of mdf-2(RNAi;hcp-1(RNAi embryos but not bub-3(RNAi;hcp-1(RNAi embryos was also compromised. Finally, we found that san-1(ok1580 and bub-3(RNAi, but not hcp-1(RNAi embryos, were sensitive to anoxia, suggesting that like SAN-1, BUB-3 has a functional role as a spindle checkpoint protein. Conclusion Together, these data suggest that in the C. elegans embryo, HCP-1 interacts with a subset of the spindle checkpoint pathway. Furthermore, the fact that san-1(ok1580;hcp-1(RNAi animals had a severe viability defect whereas in the san-1(ok1580;hcp-2(RNAi and san-1(ok1580;hcp-2(ok1757 animals the viability defect was not as severe suggesting that hcp-1 and hcp-2 are not completely redundant.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Genome wide analyses of metal responsive genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eAschner

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 (C. 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 how the 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.

  2. Stable nuclear transformation of Eudorina elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lerche Kai

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A fundamental step in evolution was the transition from unicellular to differentiated, multicellular organisms. Volvocine algae have been used for several decades as a model lineage to investigate the evolutionary aspects of multicellularity and cellular differentiation. There are two well-studied volvocine species, a unicellular alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and a multicellular alga with differentiated cell types (Volvox carteri. Species with intermediate characteristics also exist, which blur the boundaries between unicellularity and differentiated multicellularity. These species include the globular alga Eudorina elegans, which is composed of 16–32 cells. However, detailed molecular analyses of E. elegans require genetic manipulation. Unfortunately, genetic engineering has not yet been established for Eudorina, and only limited DNA and/or protein sequence information is available. Results Here, we describe the stable nuclear transformation of E. elegans by particle bombardment using both a chimeric selectable marker and reporter genes from different heterologous sources. Transgenic algae resistant to paromomycin were achieved using the aminoglycoside 3′-phosphotransferase VIII (aphVIII gene of Streptomyces rimosus, an actinobacterium, under the control of an artificial promoter consisting of two V. carteri promoters in tandem. Transformants exhibited an increase in resistance to paromomycin by up to 333-fold. Co-transformation with non-selectable plasmids was achieved with a rate of 50 - 100%. The luciferase (gluc gene from the marine copepod Gaussia princeps, which previously was engineered to match the codon usage of C. reinhardtii, was used as a reporter gene. The expression of gluc was mediated by promoters from C. reinhardtii and V. carteri. Heterologous heat shock promoters induced an increase in luciferase activity (up to 600-fold at elevated temperatures. Long-term stability and both constitutive and

  3. Unique genetic loci identified for emotional behavior in control and chronic stress conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Carhuatanta, Kimberly A. K.; Shea, Chloe J. A.; Herman, James P.; Jankord, Ryan

    2014-01-01

    An individual's genetic background affects their emotional behavior and response to stress. Although studies have been conducted to identify genetic predictors for emotional behavior or stress response, it remains unknown how prior stress history alters the interaction between an individual's genome and their emotional behavior. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify chromosomal regions that affect emotional behavior and are sensitive to stress exposure. We utilized the BXD behav...

  4. View of environmental radiation effects from the study of radiation biology in C. elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya

    2011-01-01

    Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans is a non-parasitic soil nematode and is well-known as a unique model organism, because of its complete cell-lineage, nervous network and genome sequences. Also, C. elegans can be easily manipulated in the laboratory. These advantages make C. elegans as a good in vivo model system in the field of radiation biology. Radiation effects in C. elegans have been studied for three decades. Here, I briefly review the current knowledge of the biological effects of ionizing irradiation in C. elegans with a scope of environmental radiation effects. Firstly, basic information of C. elegans as a model organism is described. Secondly, historical view is reported on the study of radiation biology in C. elegans. Thirdly, our research on learning behavior is presented. Finally, an opinion of the use of C. elegans for environmental radiation protection is referred. I believe that C. elegans may be a good promising in vivo model system in the field of environmental radiation biology. (author)

  5. Inactivity periods and postural change speed can explain atypical postural change patterns of Caenorhabditis elegans mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukunaga, Tsukasa; Iwasaki, Wataru

    2017-01-19

    With rapid advances in genome sequencing and editing technologies, systematic and quantitative analysis of animal behavior is expected to be another key to facilitating data-driven behavioral genetics. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a model organism in this field. Several video-tracking systems are available for automatically recording behavioral data for the nematode, but computational methods for analyzing these data are still under development. In this study, we applied the Gaussian mixture model-based binning method to time-series postural data for 322 C. elegans strains. We revealed that the occurrence patterns of the postural states and the transition patterns among these states have a relationship as expected, and such a relationship must be taken into account to identify strains with atypical behaviors that are different from those of wild type. Based on this observation, we identified several strains that exhibit atypical transition patterns that cannot be fully explained by their occurrence patterns of postural states. Surprisingly, we found that two simple factors-overall acceleration of postural movement and elimination of inactivity periods-explained the behavioral characteristics of strains with very atypical transition patterns; therefore, computational analysis of animal behavior must be accompanied by evaluation of the effects of these simple factors. Finally, we found that the npr-1 and npr-3 mutants have similar behavioral patterns that were not predictable by sequence homology, proving that our data-driven approach can reveal the functions of genes that have not yet been characterized. We propose that elimination of inactivity periods and overall acceleration of postural change speed can explain behavioral phenotypes of strains with very atypical postural transition patterns. Our methods and results constitute guidelines for effectively finding strains that show "truly" interesting behaviors and systematically uncovering novel gene

  6. Genetics of callous-unemotional behavior in children.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Essi Viding

    Full Text Available Callous-unemotional behavior (CU is currently under consideration as a subtyping index for conduct disorder diagnosis. Twin studies routinely estimate the heritability of CU as greater than 50%. It is now possible to estimate genetic influence using DNA alone from samples of unrelated individuals, not relying on the assumptions of the twin method. Here we use this new DNA method (implemented in a software package called Genome-wide Complex Trait Analysis, GCTA for the first time to estimate genetic influence on CU. We also report the first genome-wide association (GWA study of CU as a quantitative trait. We compare these DNA results to those from twin analyses using the same measure and the same community sample of 2,930 children rated by their teachers at ages 7, 9 and 12. GCTA estimates of heritability were near zero, even though twin analysis of CU in this sample confirmed the high heritability of CU reported in the literature, and even though GCTA estimates of heritability were substantial for cognitive and anthropological traits in this sample. No significant associations were found in GWA analysis, which, like GCTA, only detects additive effects of common DNA variants. The phrase 'missing heritability' was coined to refer to the gap between variance associated with DNA variants identified in GWA studies versus twin study heritability. However, GCTA heritability, not twin study heritability, is the ceiling for GWA studies because both GCTA and GWA are limited to the overall additive effects of common DNA variants, whereas twin studies are not. This GCTA ceiling is very low for CU in our study, despite its high twin study heritability estimate. The gap between GCTA and twin study heritabilities will make it challenging to identify genes responsible for the heritability of CU.

  7. An Interpretation of Part of Gilbert Gottlieb's Legacy: Developmental Systems Theory Contra Developmental Behavior Genetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenaar, Peter C. M.

    2015-01-01

    The main theme of this paper concerns the persistent critique of Gilbert Gottlieb on developmental behavior genetics and my reactions to this critique, the latter changing from rejection to complete acceptation. Concise characterizations of developmental behavior genetics, developmental systems theory (to which Gottlieb made essential…

  8. Sex differences in the genetic and environmental influences on childhood conduct disorder and adult antisocial behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Madeline H; Slutske, Wendy S; Heath, Andrew C; Martin, Nicholas G

    2011-05-01

    Sex differences in the genetic and environmental influences on childhood conduct disorder and adult antisocial behavior were examined in a large community sample of 6,383 adult male, female, and opposite-sex twins. Retrospective reports of childhood conduct disorder (prior to 18 years of age) were obtained when participants were approximately 30 years old, and lifetime reports of adult antisocial behavior (antisocial behavior after 17 years of age) were obtained 8 years later. Results revealed that either the genetic or the shared environmental factors influencing childhood conduct disorder differed for males and females (i.e., a qualitative sex difference), but by adulthood, these sex-specific influences on antisocial behavior were no longer apparent. Further, genetic and environmental influences accounted for proportionally the same amount of variance in antisocial behavior for males and females in childhood and adulthood (i.e., there were no quantitative sex differences). Additionally, the stability of antisocial behavior from childhood to adulthood was slightly greater for males than females. Though familial factors accounted for more of the stability of antisocial behavior for males than females, genetic factors accounted for the majority of the covariation between childhood conduct disorder and adult antisocial behavior for both sexes. The genetic influences on adult antisocial behavior overlapped completely with the genetic influences on childhood conduct disorder for both males and females. Implications for future twin and molecular genetic studies are discussed.

  9. Handedness of a motor program in C. elegans is independent of left-right body asymmetry.

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    Joanna C Downes

    Full Text Available Complex animals display bilaterally asymmetric motor behavior, or "motor handedness," often revealed by preferential use of limbs on one side. For example, use of right limbs is dominant in a strong majority of humans. While the mechanisms that establish bilateral asymmetry in motor function are unknown in humans, they appear to be distinct from those for other handedness asymmetries, including bilateral visceral organ asymmetry, brain laterality, and ocular dominance. We report here that a simple, genetically homogeneous animal comprised of only ~1000 somatic cells, the nematode C. elegans, also shows a distinct motor handedness preference: on a population basis, males show a pronounced right-hand turning bias during mating. The handedness bias persists through much of adult lifespan, suggesting that, as in more complex animals, it is an intrinsic trait of each individual, which can differ from the population mean. Our observations imply that the laterality of motor handedness preference in C. elegans is driven by epigenetic factors rather than by genetic variation. The preference for right-hand turns is also seen in animals with mirror-reversed anatomical handedness and is not attributable to stochastic asymmetric loss of male sensory rays that occurs by programmed cell death. As with C. elegans, we also observed a substantial handedness bias, though not necessarily the same preference in direction, in several gonochoristic Caenorhabditis species. These findings indicate that the independence of bilaterally asymmetric motor dominance from overall anatomical asymmetry, and a population-level tendency away from ambidexterity, occur even in simple invertebrates, suggesting that these may be common features of bilaterian metazoans.

  10. Visible light reduces C. elegans longevity.

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    De Magalhaes Filho, C Daniel; Henriquez, Brian; Seah, Nicole E; Evans, Ronald M; Lapierre, Louis R; Dillin, Andrew

    2018-03-02

    The transparent nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can sense UV and blue-violet light to alter behavior. Because high-dose UV and blue-violet light are not a common feature outside of the laboratory setting, we asked what role, if any, could low-intensity visible light play in C. elegans physiology and longevity. Here, we show that C. elegans lifespan is inversely correlated to the time worms were exposed to visible light. While circadian control, lite-1 and tax-2 do not contribute to the lifespan reduction, we demonstrate that visible light creates photooxidative stress along with a general unfolded-protein response that decreases the lifespan. Finally, we find that long-lived mutants are more resistant to light stress, as well as wild-type worms supplemented pharmacologically with antioxidants. This study reveals that transparent nematodes are sensitive to visible light radiation and highlights the need to standardize methods for controlling the unrecognized biased effect of light during lifespan studies in laboratory conditions.

  11. Identification and characterization of a novel allele of Caenorhabditis elegans bbs-7.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara Braunreiter

    Full Text Available Primary cilia play a role in the sensation of and response to the surrounding environment. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans have primary cilia only on the distal tips of some dendrites. In order to better understand the relationship between receptor localization to cilia, cilia structure and cilia function, we have characterized a mutation originally identified in a forward genetic screen for mutants with defective PKD-2 ciliary localization. Through behavioral assays and examination of the structure of cilia in the cil-5 (my13 mutant animals, we have found that my13 disrupts not only receptor localization, but also some cilia-mediated sensory behaviors and cilia structural integrity. We have identified the my13 lesion and found that it is a missense mutation in bbs-7, an ortholog of human BBS-7, a gene known to affect human cilia and to be involved in Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Finally, we show that bbs-7(my13 also affects the glia cells which support the cilia.

  12. Complex Genetics of Behavior: BXDs in the Automated Home-Cage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loos, Maarten; Verhage, Matthijs; Spijker, Sabine; Smit, August B

    2017-01-01

    This chapter describes a use case for the genetic dissection and automated analysis of complex behavioral traits using the genetically diverse panel of BXD mouse recombinant inbred strains. Strains of the BXD resource differ widely in terms of gene and protein expression in the brain, as well as in their behavioral repertoire. A large mouse resource opens the possibility for gene finding studies underlying distinct behavioral phenotypes, however, such a resource poses a challenge in behavioral phenotyping. To address the specifics of large-scale screening we describe how to investigate: (1) how to assess mouse behavior systematically in addressing a large genetic cohort, (2) how to dissect automation-derived longitudinal mouse behavior into quantitative parameters, and (3) how to map these quantitative traits to the genome, deriving loci underlying aspects of behavior.

  13. Genetic vulnerability interacts with parenting and early care education to predict increasing externalizing behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipscomb, Shannon T; Laurent, Heidemarie; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; Shaw, Daniel S; Natsuaki, Misaki N; Reiss, David; Leve, Leslie D

    2014-01-01

    The current study examined interactions among genetic influences and children's early environments on the development of externalizing behaviors from 18 months to 6 years of age. Participants included 233 families linked through adoption (birth parents and adoptive families). Genetic influences were assessed by birth parent temperamental regulation. Early environments included both family (overreactive parenting) and out-of-home factors (center-based Early Care and Education; ECE). Overreactive parenting predicted more child externalizing behaviors. Attending center-based ECE was associated with increasing externalizing behaviors only for children with genetic liability for dysregulation. Additionally, children who were at risk for externalizing behaviors due to both genetic variability and exposure to center-based ECE were more sensitive to the effects of overreactive parenting on externalizing behavior than other children.

  14. The Essential Role of Behavioral Genetics in Developmental Psychology: Reply to Partridge (2005) and Greenberg (2005)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGue, Matt; Elkins, Irene; Walden, Brent; Iacono, William G.

    2005-01-01

    The authors address the methodological, theoretical, and ideological criticisms of their article on adolescent perceptions of parenting behavior made by G. Greenberg and T. Partridge. Behavioral genetic methods have provided unique insights on the origins of individual differences in behavior and, when applied to parenting and other putative…

  15. Evolution of host innate defence: insights from Caenorhabditis elegans and primitive invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. On-Demand Isolation and Manipulation of C. elegans by In Vitro Maskless Photopatterning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C Ryan Oliver

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans is a model organism for understanding aging and studying animal behavior. Microfluidic assay techniques have brought widespread advances in C. elegans research; however, traditional microfluidic assays such as those based on soft lithography require time-consuming design and fabrication cycles and offer limited flexibility in changing the geometric environment during experimentation. We present a technique for maskless photopatterning of a biocompatible hydrogel on an NGM (Agar substrate, enabling dynamic manipulation of the C. elegans culture environment in vitro. Maskless photopatterning is performed using a projector-based microscope system largely built from off-the-shelf components. We demonstrate the capabilities of this technique by building micropillar arrays during C. elegans observation, by fabricating free-floating mechanisms that can be actuated by C. elegans motion, by using freehand drawing to isolate individual C. elegans in real time, and by patterning arrays of mazes for isolation and fitness testing of C. elegans populations. In vitro photopatterning enables rapid and flexible design of experiment geometry as well as real-time interaction between the researcher and the assay such as by sequential isolation of individual organisms. Future adoption of image analysis and machine learning techniques could be used to acquire large datasets and automatically adapt the assay geometry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Maureen M

    2005-02-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suda, Hitoshi

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suda, Hitoshi, E-mail: suda@tsc.u-tokai.ac.jp

    2014-09-12

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

  1. The RNAi Inheritance Machinery of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spracklin, George; Fields, Brandon; Wan, Gang; Becker, Diveena; Wallig, Ashley; Shukla, Aditi; Kennedy, Scott

    2017-07-01

    Gene silencing mediated by dsRNA (RNAi) can persist for multiple generations in Caenorhabditis elegans (termed RNAi inheritance). Here we describe the results of a forward genetic screen in C. elegans that has identified six factors required for RNAi inheritance: GLH-1/VASA, PUP-1/CDE-1, MORC-1, SET-32, and two novel nematode-specific factors that we term here (heritable RNAi defective) HRDE-2 and HRDE-4 The new RNAi inheritance factors exhibit mortal germline (Mrt) phenotypes, which we show is likely caused by epigenetic deregulation in germ cells. We also show that HRDE-2 contributes to RNAi inheritance by facilitating the binding of small RNAs to the inheritance Argonaute (Ago) HRDE-1 Together, our results identify additional components of the RNAi inheritance machinery whose conservation provides insights into the molecular mechanism of RNAi inheritance, further our understanding of how the RNAi inheritance machinery promotes germline immortality, and show that HRDE-2 couples the inheritance Ago HRDE-1 with the small RNAs it needs to direct RNAi inheritance and germline immortality. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  2. Precision Electrophile Tagging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Marcus J C; Urul, Daniel A; Chawla, Shivansh; Lin, Hong-Yu; Zhao, Yi; Haegele, Joseph A; Wang, Yiran; Aye, Yimon

    2018-01-16

    Adduction of an electrophile to privileged sensor proteins and the resulting phenotypically dominant responses are increasingly appreciated as being essential for metazoan health. Functional similarities between the biological electrophiles and electrophilic pharmacophores commonly found in covalent drugs further fortify the translational relevance of these small-molecule signals. Genetically encodable or small-molecule-based fluorescent reporters and redox proteomics have revolutionized the observation and profiling of cellular redox states and electrophile-sensor proteins, respectively. However, precision mapping between specific redox-modified targets and specific responses has only recently begun to be addressed, and systems tractable to both genetic manipulation and on-target redox signaling in vivo remain largely limited. Here we engineer transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing functional HaloTagged fusion proteins and use this system to develop a generalizable light-controlled approach to tagging a prototypical electrophile-sensor protein with native electrophiles in vivo. The method circumvents issues associated with low uptake/distribution and toxicity/promiscuity. Given the validated success of C. elegans in aging studies, this optimized platform offers a new lens with which to scrutinize how on-target electrophile signaling influences redox-dependent life span regulation.

  3. Gene-environment and protein degradation signatures characterize genomic and phenotypic diversity in wild Caenorhabditis elegans populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volkers, J.M.; Snoek, L.B.; Hellenberg Hubar, van C.J.; Coopman, R.; Chen, W.; Yang, Wentao; Sterken, M.G.; Schulenburg, H.; Braeckman, B.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Analyzing and understanding the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes is at the heart of genetics. Research on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been instrumental for unraveling genotype-phenotype relations, and has important implications for understanding the biology of

  4. Test- and behavior-specific genetic factors affect WKY hypoactivity in tests of emotionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baum, Amber E; Solberg, Leah C; Churchill, Gary A; Ahmadiyeh, Nasim; Takahashi, Joseph S; Redei, Eva E

    2006-05-15

    Inbred Wistar-Kyoto rats consistently display hypoactivity in tests of emotional behavior. We used them to test the hypothesis that the genetic factors underlying the behavioral decision-making process will vary in different environmental contexts. The contexts used were the open-field test (OFT), a novel environment with no explicit threats present, and the defensive-burying test (DB), a habituated environment into which a threat has been introduced. Rearing, a voluntary behavior was measured in both tests, and our study was the first to look for genetic loci affecting grooming, a relatively automatic, stress-responsive stereotyped behavior. Quantitative trait locus analysis was performed on a population of 486 F2 animals bred from reciprocal inter-crosses. The genetic architectures of DB and OFT rearing, and of DB and OFT grooming, were compared. There were no common loci affecting grooming behavior in both tests. These different contexts produced the stereotyped behavior via different pathways, and genetic factors seem to influence the decision-making pathways and not the expression of the behavior. Three loci were found that affected rearing behavior in both tests. However, in both contexts, other loci had greater effects on the behavior. Our results imply that environmental context's effects on decision-making vary depending on the category of behavior.

  5. Genetic Vulnerability Interacts with Parenting and Early Care and Education to Predict Increasing Externalizing Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipscomb, Shannon T.; Laurent, Heidemarie; Neiderhiser, Jenae M.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Natsuaki, Misaki N.; Reiss, David; Leve, Leslie D.

    2014-01-01

    The current study examined interactions among genetic influences and children's early environments on the development of externalizing behaviors from 18 months to 6 years of age. Participants included 233 families linked through adoption (birth parents and adoptive families). Genetic influences were assessed by birth parent temperamental…

  6. Toxicity evaluation of boron nitride nanospheres and water-soluble boron nitride in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang N

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ning Wang,1 Hui Wang,2 Chengchun Tang,3 Shijun Lei,1 Wanqing Shen,1 Cong Wang,1 Guobin Wang,4 Zheng Wang,1,4 Lin Wang1,5 1Research Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Union Hospital, 2Department of Medical Genetics, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 3Boron Nitride Research Center, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, 4Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, 5Department of Clinical Laboratory, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China Abstract: Boron nitride (BN nanomaterials have been increasingly explored for potential biological applications. However, their toxicity remains poorly understood. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a whole-animal model for toxicity analysis of two representative types of BN nanomaterials – BN nanospheres (BNNSs and highly water-soluble BN nanomaterial (named BN-800-2 – we found that BNNSs overall toxicity was less than soluble BN-800-2 with irregular shapes. The concentration thresholds for BNNSs and BN-800-2 were 100 µg·mL-1 and 10 µg·mL-1, respectively. Above this concentration, both delayed growth, decreased life span, reduced progeny, retarded locomotion behavior, and changed the expression of phenotype-related genes to various extents. BNNSs and BN-800-2 increased oxidative stress levels in C. elegans by promoting reactive oxygen species production. Our results further showed that oxidative stress response and MAPK signaling-related genes, such as GAS1, SOD2, SOD3, MEK1, and PMK1, might be key factors for reactive oxygen species production and toxic responses to BNNSs and BN-800-2 exposure. Together, our results suggest that when concentrations are lower than 10 µg·mL-1, BNNSs are more biocompatible than BN-800-2 and are potentially biocompatible material. Keywords: boron nitride nanomaterials, Caenorhabditis elegans, nanotoxicology

  7. Formation of longitudinal axon pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutter, Harald

    2017-11-18

    The small number of neurons and the simple architecture of the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) nervous system enables researchers to study axonal pathfinding at the level of individually identified axons. Axons in C. elegans extend predominantly along one of the two major body axes, the anterior-posterior axis and the dorso-ventral axis. This review will focus on axon navigation along the anterior-posterior axis, leading to the establishment of the longitudinal axon tracts, with a focus on the largest longitudinal axon tract, the ventral nerve cord (VNC). In the VNC, axons grow out in a stereotypic order, with early outgrowing axons (pioneers) playing an important role in guiding later outgrowing (follower) axons. Genetic screens have identified a number of genes specifically affecting the formation of longitudinal axon tracts. These genes include secreted proteins, putative receptors and adhesion molecules, as well as intracellular proteins regulating the cell's response to guidance cues. In contrast to dorso-ventral navigation, no major general guidance cues required for the establishment of longitudinal pathways have been identified so far. The limited penetrance of defects found in many mutants affecting longitudinal navigation suggests that guidance cues act redundantly in this process. The majority of the axon guidance genes identified in C. elegans are evolutionary conserved, i.e. have homologs in other animals, including vertebrates. For a number of these genes, a role in axon guidance has not been described outside C. elegans. Taken together, studies in C. elegans contribute to a fundamental understanding of the molecular basis of axonal navigation that can be extended to other animals, including vertebrates and probably humans as well. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Impact of literacy and numeracy on motivation for behavior change after diabetes genetic risk testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vassy, Jason L; O'Brien, Kelsey E; Waxler, Jessica L; Park, Elyse R; Delahanty, Linda M; Florez, Jose C; Meigs, James B; Grant, Richard W

    2012-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes genetic risk testing might motivate at-risk patients to adopt diabetes prevention behaviors. However, the influence of literacy and numeracy on patient response to diabetes genetic risk is unknown. The authors investigated the association of health literacy, genetic literacy, and health numeracy with patient responses to diabetes genetic risk. and Measurements Overweight patients at high phenotypic risk for type 2 diabetes were recruited for a clinical trial of diabetes genetic risk testing. At baseline, participants predicted how their motivation for lifestyle modification to prevent diabetes might change in response to hypothetical scenarios of receiving "high" and "low" genetic risk results. Responses were analyzed according to participants' health literacy, genetic literacy, and health numeracy. Two-thirds (67%) of participants (n = 175) reported very high motivation to prevent diabetes. Despite high health literacy (92% at high school level), many participants had limited health numeracy (30%) and genetic literacy (38%). Almost all (98%) reported that high-risk genetic results would increase their motivation for lifestyle modification. In contrast, response to low-risk genetic results varied. Higher levels of health literacy (P = 0.04), genetic literacy (P = 0.02), and health numeracy (P = 0.02) were associated with an anticipated decrease in motivation for lifestyle modification in response to low-risk results. While patients reported that high-risk genetic results would motivate them to adopt healthy lifestyle changes, response to low-risk results varied by patient numeracy and literacy. However, anticipated responses may not correlate with true behavior change. If future research justifies the clinical use of genetic testing to motivate behavior change, it may be important to assess how patient characteristics modify that motivational effect.

  9. The inclination to evil and the punishment of crime - from the bible to behavioral genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gold, Azgad; S Appelbaum, Paul

    2014-01-01

    The evolving field of behavioral genetics is gradually elucidating the complex interplay between genes and environment. Scientific data pertaining to the behavioral genetics of violent behavior provides a new context for an old dilemma regarding criminal responsibility and punishment: if the inclination to violent behavior is inherent in someone's nature, how should it affect punishment for crime? Should it be considered as a mitigating or an aggravating factor? Given psychiatrists' increasing involvement in providing testimony on behavioral genetics in the criminal justice system, this paper first provides the necessary background required for understanding how this question arises and reviews the relevant literature. Then, we address this question from the perspective of the Bible and its commentators, in the belief that their insights may enrich the contemporary discussion of this question.

  10. A Molecular Genetic Basis Explaining Altered Bacterial Behavior in Space

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Bacterial behavior has been observed to change during spaceflight. Higher final cell counts enhanced biofilm formation increased virulence and reduced susceptibility...

  11. Unique genetic loci identified for emotional behavior in control and chronic stress conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly AK Carhuatanta

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available An individual’s genetic background affects their emotional behavior and response to stress. Although studies have been conducted to identify genetic predictors for emotional behavior or stress response, it remains unknown how prior stress history alters the interaction between an individual’s genome and their emotional behavior. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify chromosomal regions that affect emotional behavior and are sensitive to stress exposure. We utilized the BXD behavioral genetics mouse model to identify chromosomal regions that predict fear learning and emotional behavior following exposure to a control or chronic stress environment. 62 BXD recombinant inbred strains and C57BL/6 and DBA/2 parental strains underwent behavioral testing including a classical fear conditioning paradigm and the elevated plus maze. Distinct quantitative trait loci (QTLs were identified for emotional learning, anxiety and locomotion in control and chronic stress populations. Candidate genes, including those with already known functions in learning and stress were found to reside within the identified QTLs. Our data suggest that chronic stress history reveals novel genetic predictors of emotional behavior.

  12. Genetically heterogeneous and selected lines of rats: behavioral and reproductive comparison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satinder, K P

    1980-03-01

    Avoidance learning, open-field, and reproductive behaviors of a genetically heterogeneous stock (derived from a four-way cross of selected lines) were compared with the corresponding behaviors of the parental lines. The heterogeneous stock showed heterosis on the body development, fertility rate, litter size at birth and at weaning, and directional dominance on the avoidance learning and open-field measures.

  13. Unraveling the genetic etiology of adult antisocial behavior: A genome-wide association study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tielbeek, J.J.; Medland, S.E.; Benyamin, B.; Byrne, E.M.; Heath, A.C.; Madden, P.A.F.; Martin, N.G.; Wray, N.R.; Verweij, K.J.H.

    2012-01-01

    Crime poses a major burden for society. The heterogeneous nature of criminal behavior makes it difficult to unravel its causes. Relatively little research has been conducted on the genetic influences of criminal behavior. The few twin and adoption studies that have been undertaken suggest that about

  14. Genetic and Environmental Contributions to the Relationship between Violent Victimization and Criminal Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaske, Jamie; Boisvert, Danielle; Wright, John Paul

    2012-01-01

    Studies have shown that there is a significant association between violent victimization and criminal behavior. One potential explanation for this association is that genetically mediated processes contribute to both violent victimization and criminal behavior. The current study uses data from the twin sample of the National Longitudinal Study of…

  15. Unraveling the genetic etiology of adult antisocial behavior: a genome-wide association study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorim J Tielbeek

    Full Text Available Crime poses a major burden for society. The heterogeneous nature of criminal behavior makes it difficult to unravel its causes. Relatively little research has been conducted on the genetic influences of criminal behavior. The few twin and adoption studies that have been undertaken suggest that about half of the variance in antisocial behavior can be explained by genetic factors. In order to identify the specific common genetic variants underlying this behavior, we conduct the first genome-wide association study (GWAS on adult antisocial behavior. Our sample comprised a community sample of 4816 individuals who had completed a self-report questionnaire. No genetic polymorphisms reached genome-wide significance for association with adult antisocial behavior. In addition, none of the traditional candidate genes can be confirmed in our study. While not genome-wide significant, the gene with the strongest association (p-value = 8.7×10(-5 was DYRK1A, a gene previously related to abnormal brain development and mental retardation. Future studies should use larger, more homogeneous samples to disentangle the etiology of antisocial behavior. Biosocial criminological research allows a more empirically grounded understanding of criminal behavior, which could ultimately inform and improve current treatment strategies.

  16. Forward Genetic Screening Using Behavioral Tests in Zebrafish: A Proof of Concept Analysis of Mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerlai, Robert; Poshusta, Tanya L; Rampersad, Mindy; Fernandes, Yohaan; Greenwood, Tammy M; Cousin, Margot A; Klee, Eric W; Clark, Karl J

    2017-01-01

    The zebrafish enjoys several advantages over other model organisms. It is small, easy to maintain, prolific, and numerous genetic tools are available for it. For example, forward genetic screens have allowed investigators to identify important genes potentially involved in a variety of functions from embryogenesis to cancer. However, despite its sophisticated behavioral repertoire, behavioral methods have rarely been utilized in forward genetic screens. Here, we employ a two-tiered strategy, a proof of concept study, to explore the feasibility of behavioral screens. We generated mutant lines using transposon-based insertional mutagenesis, allowing us to bias mutant selection with target genes expressed within the brain. Furthermore, we employed an efficient and fast behavioral pre-selection in which we investigated the locomotory response of 5-day post-fertilization old larval fish to hyperosmotic shock. Based on this assay, we selected five lines for our lower throughput secondary adult behavioral screen. The latter screen utilized tests in which computer animated image presentation and video-tracking-based automated quantification of behavior allowed us to compare heterozygous zebrafish with their wild-type siblings on their responses to a variety of stimuli. We found significant mutation induced adult behavioral alterations in 4 out of the 5 lines analyzed, including changes in response to social or fear inducing stimuli, to handling and novelty, or in habituation to novelty. We discuss the pros and cons of behavioral phenotyping and of the use of different forward genetic methods in biomedical research with zebrafish.

  17. Dietary exposure of BDE-47 and BDE-99 and effects on behavior, bioenergetics, and thyroid function in juvenile red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenreich, Karen M; Rowe, Christopher L

    2014-12-01

    Juvenile red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) were fed food dosed with brominated diphenyl ether-47 (BDE-47) or BDE-99 for 6 mo beginning approximately 9 mo posthatch. During the exposure period, measurements of growth, bioenergetics, and behavior were made; thyroid function and accumulation were quantified postexposure. Whole-body concentrations of both congeners were lower in red-eared sliders compared with snapping turtles after 6 mo of exposure. Snapping turtles receiving BDE-47 had significantly elevated standard metabolic rates after 3 mo and 4 mo of exposure (p = 0.014 and p = 0.019, respectively). When exposed to BDE-99, red-eared sliders were slower to right themselves after having been inverted (p < 0.0001). Total glandular thyroxine concentrations were significantly reduced in red-eared sliders exposed to BDE-47 (mean control, 8080 ng/g; mean BDE-47, 5126 ng/g; p = 0.034). These results demonstrate that dietary exposure to BDE-47 and BDE-99 can elicit a suite of responses in 2 species of turtles, but that the red-eared slider appears to be a more sensitive species to the measured end points. © 2014 SETAC.

  18. Genetic Influences on Adolescent Sexual Behavior: Why Genes Matter for Environmentally-Oriented Researchers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harden, K. Paige

    2013-01-01

    There are dramatic individual differences among adolescents in how and when they become sexually active adults, and “early” sexual activity is frequently cited as a cause of concern for scientists, policymakers, and the general public. Understanding the causes and developmental impact of adolescent sexual activity can be furthered by considering genes as a source of individual differences. Quantitative behavioral genetics (i.e., twin and family studies) and candidate gene association studies now provide clear evidence for the genetic underpinnings of individual differences in adolescent sexual behavior and related phenotypes. Genetic influences on sexual behavior may operate through a variety of direct and indirect mechanisms, including pubertal development, testosterone levels, and dopaminergic systems. Genetic differences may be systematically associated with exposure to environments that are commonly treated as causes of sexual behavior (gene-environment correlation). Possible gene-environment correlations pose a serious challenge for interpreting the results of much behavioral research. Multivariate, genetically-informed research on adolescent sexual behavior compares twins and family members as a form of “quasi-experiment”: How do twins who differ in their sexual experiences differ in their later development? The small but growing body of genetically-informed research has already challenged dominant assumptions regarding the etiology and sequelae of adolescent sexual behavior, with some studies indicating possible positive effects of teenage sexuality. Studies of gene × environment interaction may further elucidate the mechanisms by which genes and environments combine to shape the development of sexual behavior and its psychosocial consequences. Overall, the existence of heritable variation in adolescent sexual behavior has profound implications for environmentally-oriented theory and research. PMID:23855958

  19. The double pedigree: a method for studying culturally and genetically inherited behavior in tandem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etienne Danchin

    Full Text Available Transgenerational sources of biological variation have been at the center of evolutionary studies ever since Darwin and Wallace identified natural selection. This is because evolution can only operate on traits whose variation is transmitted, i.e. traits that are heritable. The discovery of genetic inheritance has led to a semantic shift, resulting in the tendency to consider that only genes are inherited across generations. Today, however, concepts of heredity are being broadened again to integrate the accruing evidence of non-genetic inheritance, and many evolutionary biologists are calling for the inclusion of non-genetic inheritance into an inclusive evolutionary synthesis. Here, we focus on social heredity and its role in the inheritance of behavioral traits. We discuss quantitative genetics methods that might allow us to disentangle genetic and non-genetic transmission in natural populations with known pedigrees. We then propose an experimental design based on cross-fostering among animal cultures, environments and families that has the potential to partition inherited phenotypic variation into socially (i.e. culturally and genetically inherited components. This approach builds towards a new conceptual framework based on the use of an extended version of the animal model of quantitative genetics to integrate genetic and cultural components of behavioral inheritance.

  20. Movement behavior explains genetic differentiation in American black bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel A Cushman; Jesse S. Lewis

    2010-01-01

    Individual-based landscape genetic analyses provide empirically based models of gene flow. It would be valuable to verify the predictions of these models using independent data of a different type. Analyses using different data sources that produce consistent results provide strong support for the generality of the findings. Mating and dispersal movements are the...

  1. A Targeted Review of the Neurobiology and Genetics of Behavioral Addictions: An Emerging Area of Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leeman, Robert F.; Potenza, Marc N.

    2013-01-01

    This review summarizes neurobiological and genetic findings in behavioral addictions, draws parallels with findings pertaining to substance use disorders and offers suggestions for future research. Articles concerning brain function, neurotransmitter activity and family history/genetics findings for behavioral addictions involving gambling, internet use, video game playing, shopping, kleptomania and sexual activity were reviewed. Behavioral addictions involve dysfunction in several brain regions, particularly the frontal cortex and striatum. Findings from imaging studies incorporating cognitive tasks have arguably been more consistent than cue-induction studies. Early results suggest white and gray matter differences. Neurochemical findings suggest roles for dopaminergic and serotonergic systems, but results from clinical trials seem more equivocal. While limited, family history/genetic data support heritability for pathological gambling and that those with behavioral addictions are more likely to have a close family member with some form of psychopathology. Parallels exist between neurobiological and genetic/family history findings in substance and non-substance addictions, suggesting that compulsive engagement in these behaviors may constitute addictions. Findings to date are limited, particularly for shopping, kleptomania and sexual behavior. Genetic understandings are at an early stage. Future research directions are offered. PMID:23756286

  2. Genetic and environmental influences on the relationship between flow proneness, locus of control and behavioral inhibition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam A Mosing

    Full Text Available Flow is a psychological state of high but subjectively effortless attention that typically occurs during active performance of challenging tasks and is accompanied by a sense of automaticity, high control, low self-awareness, and enjoyment. Flow proneness is associated with traits and behaviors related to low neuroticism such as emotional stability, conscientiousness, active coping, self-esteem and life satisfaction. Little is known about the genetic architecture of flow proneness, behavioral inhibition and locus of control--traits also associated with neuroticism--and their interrelation. Here, we hypothesized that individuals low in behavioral inhibition and with an internal locus of control would be more likely to experience flow and explored the genetic and environmental architecture of the relationship between the three variables. Behavioral inhibition and locus of control was measured in a large population sample of 3,375 full twin pairs and 4,527 single twins, about 26% of whom also scored the flow proneness questionnaire. Findings revealed significant but relatively low correlations between the three traits and moderate heritability estimates of .41, .45, and .30 for flow proneness, behavioral inhibition, and locus of control, respectively, with some indication of non-additive genetic influences. For behavioral inhibition we found significant sex differences in heritability, with females showing a higher estimate including significant non-additive genetic influences, while in males the entire heritability was due to additive genetic variance. We also found a mainly genetically mediated relationship between the three traits, suggesting that individuals who are genetically predisposed to experience flow, show less behavioral inhibition (less anxious and feel that they are in control of their own destiny (internal locus of control. We discuss that some of the genes underlying this relationship may include those influencing the function of

  3. Genetic and environmental influences on the relationship between flow proneness, locus of control and behavioral inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosing, Miriam A; Pedersen, Nancy L; Cesarini, David; Johannesson, Magnus; Magnusson, Patrik K E; Nakamura, Jeanne; Madison, Guy; Ullén, Fredrik

    2012-01-01

    Flow is a psychological state of high but subjectively effortless attention that typically occurs during active performance of challenging tasks and is accompanied by a sense of automaticity, high control, low self-awareness, and enjoyment. Flow proneness is associated with traits and behaviors related to low neuroticism such as emotional stability, conscientiousness, active coping, self-esteem and life satisfaction. Little is known about the genetic architecture of flow proneness, behavioral inhibition and locus of control--traits also associated with neuroticism--and their interrelation. Here, we hypothesized that individuals low in behavioral inhibition and with an internal locus of control would be more likely to experience flow and explored the genetic and environmental architecture of the relationship between the three variables. Behavioral inhibition and locus of control was measured in a large population sample of 3,375 full twin pairs and 4,527 single twins, about 26% of whom also scored the flow proneness questionnaire. Findings revealed significant but relatively low correlations between the three traits and moderate heritability estimates of .41, .45, and .30 for flow proneness, behavioral inhibition, and locus of control, respectively, with some indication of non-additive genetic influences. For behavioral inhibition we found significant sex differences in heritability, with females showing a higher estimate including significant non-additive genetic influences, while in males the entire heritability was due to additive genetic variance. We also found a mainly genetically mediated relationship between the three traits, suggesting that individuals who are genetically predisposed to experience flow, show less behavioral inhibition (less anxious) and feel that they are in control of their own destiny (internal locus of control). We discuss that some of the genes underlying this relationship may include those influencing the function of dopaminergic neural

  4. Histidine protects against zinc and nickel toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Murphy

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Cellular stress induces a protective sleep-like state in C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Andrew J; Mansfield, Richard; Lopez, Jessie M N G; Raizen, David M; Van Buskirk, Cheryl

    2014-10-20

    Sleep is recognized to be ancient in origin, with vertebrates and invertebrates experiencing behaviorally quiescent states that are regulated by conserved genetic mechanisms. Despite its conservation throughout phylogeny, the function of sleep remains debated. Hypotheses for the purpose of sleep include nervous-system-specific functions such as modulation of synaptic strength and clearance of metabolites from the brain, as well as more generalized cellular functions such as energy conservation and macromolecule biosynthesis. These models are supported by the identification of synaptic and metabolic processes that are perturbed during prolonged wakefulness. It remains to be seen whether perturbations of cellular homeostasis in turn drive sleep. Here we show that under conditions of cellular stress, including noxious heat, cold, hypertonicity, and tissue damage, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans engages a behavioral quiescence program. The stress-induced quiescent state displays properties of sleep and is dependent on the ALA neuron, which mediates the conserved soporific effect of epidermal growth factor (EGF) ligand overexpression. We characterize heat-induced quiescence in detail and show that it is indeed dependent on components of EGF signaling, providing physiological relevance to the behavioral effects of EGF family ligands. We find that after noxious heat exposure, quiescence-defective animals show elevated expression of cellular stress reporter genes and are impaired for survival, demonstrating the benefit of stress-induced behavioral quiescence. These data provide evidence that cellular stress can induce a protective sleep-like state in C. elegans and suggest that a deeply conserved function of sleep is to mitigate disruptions of cellular homeostasis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Neuronal and non-neuronal signals regulate Caernorhabditis elegans avoidance of contaminated food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Alexandra; McMullan, Rachel

    2018-07-19

    One way in which animals minimize the risk of infection is to reduce their contact with contaminated food. Here, we establish a model of pathogen-contaminated food avoidance using the nematode worm Caernorhabditis elegans We find that avoidance of pathogen-contaminated food protects C. elegans from the deleterious effects of infection and, using genetic approaches, demonstrate that multiple sensory neurons are required for this avoidance behaviour. In addition, our results reveal that the avoidance of contaminated food requires bacterial adherence to non-neuronal cells in the tail of C. elegans that are also required for the cellular immune response. Previous studies in C. elegans have contributed significantly to our understanding of molecular and cellular basis of host-pathogen interactions and our model provides a unique opportunity to gain basic insights into how animals avoid contaminated food.This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue 'Evolution of pathogen and parasite avoidance behaviours'. © 2018 The Authors.

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 thru...

  8. Optically Highlighting Basement Membrane Components in C. elegans

    OpenAIRE

    sprotocols

    2015-01-01

    Authors: Elliott Hagedorn & David Sherwood ### Abstract Green fluorescent protein (GFP) and other genetically encoded fluorescent proteins provide a means to study gene expression pattern and protein localization in living tissues. Recently discovered GFP-like fluorophores and engineered variants have further expanded the fluorescent protein toolkit for in vivo imaging. Here we describe a technique using transgenic C. elegans that contain laminin or type IV collagen fused to the green...

  9. Impact of Behavior Genetics on Medicine and Society

    OpenAIRE

    Dean Hamer

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the role of genes in human behavior will impact both medicine and society, but not always in the manner expected. Knowledge about behavioral genes can be used for the good, for example by improving psychiatric diagnoses, developing new drugs to treat mental illnesses, and dispelling harmful myths about certain types of human variation. However, the same sort of information could be used to discriminate against people, to provide quick fixes for social problems, or to support eug...

  10. Genetic basis of triatomine behavior: lessons from available insect genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Manuel Latorre-Estivalis

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Triatomines have been important model organisms for behavioural research. Diverse reports about triatomine host search, pheromone communication in the sexual, shelter and alarm contexts, daily cycles of activity, refuge choice and behavioural plasticity have been published in the last two decades. In recent times, a variety of molecular genetics techniques has allowed researchers to investigate elaborate and complex questions about the genetic bases of the physiology of insects. This, together with the current characterisation of the genome sequence of Rhodnius prolixus allows the resurgence of this excellent insect physiology model in the omics era. In the present revision, we suggest that studying the molecular basis of behaviour and sensory ecology in triatomines will promote a deeper understanding of fundamental aspects of insect and, particularly, vector biology. This will allow uncovering unknown features of essential insect physiology questions for a hemimetabolous model organism, promoting more robust comparative studies of insect sensory function and cognition.

  11. Effects of Behavioral Genetic Evidence on Perceptions of Criminal Responsibility and Appropriate Punishment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Paul S.; Scurich, Nicholas; Raad, Raymond

    2015-01-01

    Demonstrations of a link between genetic variants and criminal behavior have stimulated increasing use of genetic evidence to reduce perceptions of defendants’ responsibility for criminal behavior and to mitigate punishment. However, because only limited data exist regarding the impact of such evidence on decision makers and the public at large, we recruited a representative sample of the U.S. adult population (n=960) for a web-based survey. Participants were presented with descriptions of three legal cases and were asked to: determine the length of incarceration for a convicted murderer; adjudicate an insanity defense; and decide whether a defendant should receive the death penalty. A fully crossed, between-participants, factorial design was used, varying the type of evidence (none, genetic, neuroimaging, both), heinousness of the crime, and past criminal record, with sentence or verdict as the primary outcome. Also assessed were participants’ apprehension of the defendant, belief in free will, political ideology, and genetic knowledge. Across all three cases, genetic evidence had no significant effects on outcomes. Neuroimaging data showed an inconsistent effect in one of the two cases in which it was introduced. In contrast, heinousness of the offense and past criminal record were strongly related to participants’ decisions. Moreover, participants’ beliefs about the controllability of criminal behavior and political orientations were significantly associated with their choices. Our findings suggest that neither hopes that genetic evidence will modify judgments of culpability and punishment nor fears about the impact of genetic evidence on decision makers are likely to come to fruition. PMID:26240516

  12. Effects of Behavioral Genetic Evidence on Perceptions of Criminal Responsibility and Appropriate Punishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appelbaum, Paul S; Scurich, Nicholas; Raad, Raymond

    2015-05-01

    Demonstrations of a link between genetic variants and criminal behavior have stimulated increasing use of genetic evidence to reduce perceptions of defendants' responsibility for criminal behavior and to mitigate punishment. However, because only limited data exist regarding the impact of such evidence on decision makers and the public at large, we recruited a representative sample of the U.S. adult population (n=960) for a web-based survey. Participants were presented with descriptions of three legal cases and were asked to: determine the length of incarceration for a convicted murderer; adjudicate an insanity defense; and decide whether a defendant should receive the death penalty. A fully crossed, between-participants, factorial design was used, varying the type of evidence (none, genetic, neuroimaging, both), heinousness of the crime, and past criminal record, with sentence or verdict as the primary outcome. Also assessed were participants' apprehension of the defendant, belief in free will, political ideology, and genetic knowledge. Across all three cases, genetic evidence had no significant effects on outcomes. Neuroimaging data showed an inconsistent effect in one of the two cases in which it was introduced. In contrast, heinousness of the offense and past criminal record were strongly related to participants' decisions. Moreover, participants' beliefs about the controllability of criminal behavior and political orientations were significantly associated with their choices. Our findings suggest that neither hopes that genetic evidence will modify judgments of culpability and punishment nor fears about the impact of genetic evidence on decision makers are likely to come to fruition.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatma Kaplan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The ascarosides form a family of small molecules that have been isolated from cultures of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. They are often referred to as "dauer pheromones" because most of them induce formation of long-lived and highly stress resistant dauer larvae. More recent studies have shown that ascarosides serve additional functions as social signals and mating pheromones. Thus, ascarosides have multiple functions. Until now, it has been generally assumed that ascarosides are constitutively expressed during nematode development.Cultures of C. elegans were developmentally synchronized on controlled diets. Ascarosides released into the media, as well as stored internally, were quantified by LC/MS. We found that ascaroside biosynthesis and release were strongly dependent on developmental stage and diet. The male attracting pheromone was verified to be a blend of at least four ascarosides, and peak production of the two most potent mating pheromone components, ascr#3 and asc#8 immediately preceded or coincided with the temporal window for mating. The concentration of ascr#2 increased under starvation conditions and peaked during dauer formation, strongly supporting ascr#2 as the main population density signal (dauer pheromone. After dauer formation, ascaroside production largely ceased and dauer larvae did not release any ascarosides. These findings show that both total ascaroside production and the relative proportions of individual ascarosides strongly correlate with these compounds' stage-specific biological functions.Ascaroside expression changes with development and environmental conditions. This is consistent with multiple functions of these signaling molecules. Knowledge of such differential regulation will make it possible to associate ascaroside production to gene expression profiles (transcript, protein or enzyme activity and help to determine genetic pathways that control ascaroside biosynthesis. In conjunction with findings

  14. Neuropeptide receptors NPR-1 and NPR-2 regulate Caenorhabditis elegans avoidance response to the plant stress hormone methyl salicylate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Jintao; Xu, Zhaofa; Tan, Zhiping; Zhang, Zhuohua; Ma, Long

    2015-02-01

    Methyl salicylate (MeSa) is a stress hormone released by plants under attack by pathogens or herbivores . MeSa has been shown to attract predatory insects of herbivores and repel pests. The molecules and neurons underlying animal response to MeSa are not known. Here we found that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits a strong avoidance response to MeSa, which requires the activities of two closely related neuropeptide receptors NPR-1 and NPR-2. Molecular analyses suggest that NPR-1 expressed in the RMG inter/motor neurons is required for MeSa avoidance. An NPR-1 ligand FLP-18 is also required. Using a rescuing npr-2 promoter to drive a GFP transgene, we identified that NPR-2 is expressed in multiple sensory and interneurons. Genetic rescue experiments suggest that NPR-2 expressed in the AIZ interneurons is required for MeSa avoidance. We also provide evidence that the AWB sensory neurons might act upstream of RMGs and AIZs to detect MeSa. Our results suggest that NPR-2 has an important role in regulating animal behavior and that NPR-1 and NPR-2 act on distinct interneurons to affect C. elegans avoidance response to MeSa. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  15. [A twin study on genetic and environmental factors of adolescents violence behaviors].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wenfen; Fu, Yixiao; Hu, Xiaomei; Wang, Yingcheng; Deng, Wei; Li, Tao; Ma, Xingshun

    2015-11-01

    To explore the influence of genetic and environmental factors on adolescents violence behaviors. The violence behaviors of 111 twin pairs from Chongqing (aged from 11 to 18 years) were investigated with risk behavior questionnaire-adolescent (RBQ-A). The Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire (PSDQ) and Stressful Life Event (SLE) and the General Functioning Scale of the MacMaster Family Activity Device (FAD-GFS) were applied to assess their environment factors. Structural equation modeling was performed to evaluate the effects of the additive genetic factors (A), shared environment factors (C) and individual specific environmental factors (E) on the adolescents violence behaviors. The effects of A and E on adolescents violence behaviors were 0.41 (95% CI 0.19-0.58) and 0.59 (95% CI 0.42-0.81) respectively. There were significantly negative correlation between violence behaviors and authoritative-parenting-style (r = -0.140, P parenting-style score (r = 0.133, P parenting education level and occupation. Adolescents violence behaviors were influenced by additive genetic factors and individual specific environmental factors. Environmental plays an important role. It should not been ignored that parental rearing pattern play a role in adolescents violence behaviors.

  16. Working Memory and Parent-Rated Components of Attention in Middle Childhood: A Behavioral Genetic Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Cutting, Laurie; Thompson, Lee A.; Petrill, Stephen A.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the current study was to investigate potential genetic and environmental correlations between working memory and three behavioral aspects of the attention network (i.e., executive, alerting, and orienting) using a twin design. Data were from 90 monozygotic (39% male) and 112 same-sex dizygotic (41% male) twins. Individual differences in working memory performance (digit span) and parent-rated measures of executive, alerting, and orienting attention included modest to moderate genetic variance, modest shared environmental variance, and modest to moderate nonshared environmental variance. As hypothesized, working memory performance was correlated with executive and alerting attention, but not orienting attention. The correlation between working memory, executive attention, and alerting attention was completely accounted for by overlapping genetic covariance, suggesting a common genetic mechanism or mechanisms underlying the links between working memory and certain parent-rated indicators of attentive behavior. PMID:21948215

  17. Developing close combat behaviors for simulated soldiers using genetic programming techniques.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pryor, Richard J.; Schaller, Mark J.

    2003-10-01

    Genetic programming is a powerful methodology for automatically producing solutions to problems in a variety of domains. It has been used successfully to develop behaviors for RoboCup soccer players and simple combat agents. We will attempt to use genetic programming to solve a problem in the domain of strategic combat, keeping in mind the end goal of developing sophisticated behaviors for compound defense and infiltration. The simplified problem at hand is that of two armed agents in a small room, containing obstacles, fighting against each other for survival. The base case and three changes are considered: a memory of positions using stacks, context-dependent genetic programming, and strongly typed genetic programming. Our work demonstrates slight improvements from the first two techniques, and no significant improvement from the last.

  18. Genes that act downstream of sensory neurons to influence longevity, dauer formation, and pathogen responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta M Gaglia

    Full Text Available The sensory systems of multicellular organisms are designed to provide information about the environment and thus elicit appropriate changes in physiology and behavior. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, sensory neurons affect the decision to arrest during development in a diapause state, the dauer larva, and modulate the lifespan of the animals in adulthood. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are incompletely understood. Using whole-genome microarray analysis, we identified transcripts whose levels are altered by mutations in the intraflagellar transport protein daf-10, which result in impaired development and function of many sensory neurons in C. elegans. In agreement with existing genetic data, the expression of genes regulated by the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO was affected by daf-10 mutations. In addition, we found altered expression of transcriptional targets of the DAF-12/nuclear hormone receptor in the daf-10 mutants and showed that this pathway influences specifically the dauer formation phenotype of these animals. Unexpectedly, pathogen-responsive genes were repressed in daf-10 mutant animals, and these sensory mutants exhibited altered susceptibility to and behavioral avoidance of bacterial pathogens. Moreover, we found that a solute transporter gene mct-1/2, which was induced by daf-10 mutations, was necessary and sufficient for longevity. Thus, sensory input seems to influence an extensive transcriptional network that modulates basic biological processes in C. elegans. This situation is reminiscent of the complex regulation of physiology by the mammalian hypothalamus, which also receives innervations from sensory systems, most notably the visual and olfactory systems.

  19. Beliefs about genetic influences on eating behaviors: Characteristics and associations with weight management confidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persky, Susan; Bouhlal, Sofia; Goldring, Megan R; McBride, Colleen M

    2017-08-01

    The development of precision approaches for customized health interventions is a promising application of genomic discovery. To optimize such weight management interventions, target audiences will need to be engaged in research and implementation efforts. Investigation into approaches that engage these audiences will be required to ensure that genomic information, particularly with respect to genomic influences on endophenotypes like eating behavior, is understood and accepted, and not associated with unintended adverse outcomes. We took steps to characterize healthy individuals' beliefs about genetic influences on eating behavior. Data were collected via online survey from 261 participants selected at random from a database. Respondents infrequently spontaneously identified eating behavior-related factors as running in families. However, those who perceived themselves as overweight and perceived a family history of overweight were more likely to attribute eating behavior to genetics on closed-ended assessments, β=0.252, p=0.039. Genetic attributions for eating behaviors were associated with lower confidence in ability to control eating and weight, β=-0.119, p=0.035. These exploratory findings shed light on beliefs about genetic influences on eating, a behavioral trait (rather than a disease). This investigation can inform future health intervention efforts. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Genetic parameters for fitness and neonatal behavior traits in sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matheson, S M; Bünger, L; Dwyer, C M

    2012-11-01

    Poor neonatal survival constrains productivity and good welfare. The heritability of survival in sheep is very low, suggesting that genetic progress will be slow. Previously we have shown that a difficult birth and low neonatal lamb vigor are important predictors of future survival. In this study we investigated the heritability of these traits, and their relationship to production traits, as an alternative indirect route to improve lamb survival. Neonatal lamb data from 11,092 animals were collected over 2 years from 290 commercial sheep flocks, using previously developed methods to rapidly assess three traits (birth assistance, lamb vigor, sucking ability) on farm. Heritabilities for neonatal traits were moderate: birth assistance (mean ± standard error; 0.26 ± 0.03), lamb vigor (0.40 ± 0.04) and sucking ability (0.32 ± 0.03). Genetic correlations between neonatal traits were moderate to high, and positive. Heritabilities for production traits were also moderate: 8-week weight (0.27 ± 0.06), 20-week weight (0.39 ± 0.07), ultrasound muscle depth (0.37 ± 0.06). Genetic and phenotypic correlations between the neonatal traits and production traits were not significantly different from zero. However, lambs that were scored as of poor vigor at birth were less likely to be recorded at 8 or 20 weeks, indicating that they may have died. The data demonstrate that the neonatal survival traits of birth assistance, lamb vigor and sucking assistance are moderately heritable when treated as a lamb trait, indicating that selection to target these lamb traits would successfully, and efficiently, improve survival without influencing productivity.

  1. A Genetic Study of Problem Behaviors in Children

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.J.C.G. van den Oord (Edwin)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractBehavioral/emotional problems are common among children of preschool and school age. Verhulst, and Koot (1992, p. 130) reviewed prevalence studies published since 1965. They reported a median prevalence rate for general psychiatric dysfunction in children and adolescents of l3%. This

  2. Genetic variation in anti-parasite behavior in oysters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behavioral avoidance of disease-causing parasites provides a first line of defense against the threat of infection, particularly when hosts are exposed to free-living parasite stages in the external environment. We report that suspension-feeding oysters (Crassostrea virginica) respond to the presenc...

  3. Serotonin regulates C. elegans fat and feeding through independent molecular mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Srinivasan, Supriya; Sadegh, Leila; Elle, Ida C

    2008-01-01

    We investigated serotonin signaling in C. elegans as a paradigm for neural regulation of energy balance and found that serotonergic regulation of fat is molecularly distinct from feeding regulation. Serotonergic feeding regulation is mediated by receptors whose functions are not required for fat...... feeding behavior. These findings suggest that, as in mammals, C. elegans feeding behavior is regulated by extrinsic and intrinsic cues. Moreover, obesity and thinness are not solely determined by feeding behavior. Rather, feeding behavior and fat metabolism are coordinated but independent responses...

  4. A behavioral genetic analysis of callous-unemotional traits and Big Five personality in adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Frank D; Briley, Daniel A; Tucker-Drob, Elliot M; Harden, K Paige

    2015-11-01

    Callous-unemotional (CU) traits, such as lacking empathy and emotional insensitivity, predict the onset, severity, and persistence of antisocial behavior. CU traits are heritable, and genetic influences on CU traits contribute to antisocial behavior. This study examines genetic overlap between CU traits and general domains of personality. We measured CU traits using the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU) and Big Five personality using the Big Five Inventory in a sample of adolescent twins from the Texas Twin Project. Genetic influences on the Big Five personality dimensions could account for the entirety of genetic influences on CU traits. Item Response Theory results indicate that the Inventory of Callous and Unemotional Traits is better at detecting clinically relevant personality variation at lower extremes of personality trait continua, particularly low agreeableness and low conscientiousness. The proximate biological mechanisms that mediate genetic liabilities for CU traits remain an open question. The results of the current study suggest that understanding the development of normal personality may inform understanding of the genetic underpinnings of callous and unemotional behavior. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. Lipid droplets as ubiquitous fat storage organelles in C. elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo Fengli

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Lipid droplets are a class of eukaryotic cell organelles for storage of neutral fat such as triacylglycerol (TAG and cholesterol ester (CE. We and others have recently reported that lysosome-related organelles (LROs are not fat storage structures in the nematode C. elegans. We also reported the formation of enlarged lipid droplets in a class of peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation mutants. In the present study, we seek to provide further evidence on the organelle nature and biophysical properties of fat storage structures in wild-type and mutant C. elegans. Results In this study, we provide biochemical, histological and ultrastructural evidence of lipid droplets in wild-type and mutant C. elegans that lack lysosome related organelles (LROs. The formation of lipid droplets and the targeting of BODIPY fatty acid analogs to lipid droplets in live animals are not dependent on lysosomal trafficking or peroxisome dysfunction. However, the targeting of Nile Red to lipid droplets in live animals occurs only in mutants with defective peroxisomes. Nile Red labelled-lipid droplets are characterized by a fluorescence emission spectrum distinct from that of Nile Red labelled-LROs. Moreover, we show that the recently developed post-fix Nile Red staining method labels lipid droplets exclusively. Conclusions Our results demonstrate lipid droplets as ubiquitous fat storage organelles and provide a unified explanation for previous studies on fat labelling methods in C. elegans. These results have important applications to the studies of fat storage and lipid droplet regulation in the powerful genetic system, C. elegans.

  6. Genetic architecture underlying convergent evolution of egg-laying behavior in a seed-feeding beetle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Charles W; Wagner, James D; Cline, Sara; Thomas, Frances Ann; Messina, Frank J

    2009-05-01

    Independent populations subjected to similar environments often exhibit convergent evolution. An unresolved question is the frequency with which such convergence reflects parallel genetic mechanisms. We examined the convergent evolution of egg-laying behavior in the seed-feeding beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. Females avoid ovipositing on seeds bearing conspecific eggs, but the degree of host discrimination varies among geographic populations. In a previous experiment, replicate lines switched from a small host to a large one evolved reduced discrimination after 40 generations. We used line crosses to determine the genetic architecture underlying this rapid response. The most parsimonious genetic models included dominance and/or epistasis for all crosses. The genetic architecture underlying reduced discrimination in two lines was not significantly different from the architecture underlying differences between geographic populations, but the architecture underlying the divergence of a third line differed from all others. We conclude that convergence of this complex trait may in some cases involve parallel genetic mechanisms.

  7. C. elegans microRNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vella, Monica C; Slack, Frank J

    2005-09-21

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding regulatory RNAs found in many phyla that control such diverse events as development, metabolism, cell fate and cell death. They have also been implicated in human cancers. The C. elegans genome encodes hundreds of miRNAs, including the founding members of the miRNA family lin-4 and let-7. Despite the abundance of C. elegans miRNAs, few miRNA targets are known and little is known about the mechanism by which they function. However, C. elegans research continues to push the boundaries of discovery in this area. lin-4 and let-7 are the best understood miRNAs. They control the timing of adult cell fate determination in hypodermal cells by binding to partially complementary sites in the mRNA of key developmental regulators to repress protein expression. For example, lin-4 is predicted to bind to seven sites in the lin-14 3' untranslated region (UTR) to repress LIN-14, while let-7 is predicted to bind two let-7 complementary sites in the lin-41 3' UTR to down-regulate LIN-41. Two other miRNAs, lsy-6 and mir-273, control left-right asymmetry in neural development, and also target key developmental regulators for repression. Approximately one third of the C. elegans miRNAs are differentially expressed during development indicating a major role for miRNAs in C. elegans development. Given the remarkable conservation of developmental mechanism across phylogeny, many of the principles of miRNAs discovered in C. elegans are likely to be applicable to higher animals.

  8. Identification of an estrogenic hormone receptor in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mimoto, Ai; Fujii, Madoka; Usami, Makoto; Shimamura, Maki; Hirabayashi, Naoko; Kaneko, Takako; Sasagawa, Noboru; Ishiura, Shoichi

    2007-01-01

    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

  9. Adoptive parent hostility and children's peer behavior problems: examining the role of genetically informed child attributes on adoptive parent behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elam, Kit K; Harold, Gordon T; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; Reiss, David; Shaw, Daniel S; Natsuaki, Misaki N; Gaysina, Darya; Barrett, Doug; Leve, Leslie D

    2014-05-01

    Socially disruptive behavior during peer interactions in early childhood is detrimental to children's social, emotional, and academic development. Few studies have investigated the developmental underpinnings of children's socially disruptive behavior using genetically sensitive research designs that allow examination of parent-on-child and child-on-parent (evocative genotype-environment correlation [rGE]) effects when examining family process and child outcome associations. Using an adoption-at-birth design, the present study controlled for passive genotype-environment correlation and directly examined evocative rGE while examining the associations between family processes and children's peer behavior. Specifically, the present study examined the evocative effect of genetic influences underlying toddler low social motivation on mother-child and father-child hostility and the subsequent influence of parent hostility on disruptive peer behavior during the preschool period. Participants were 316 linked triads of birth mothers, adoptive parents, and adopted children. Path analysis showed that birth mother low behavioral motivation predicted toddler low social motivation, which predicted both adoptive mother-child and father-child hostility, suggesting the presence of an evocative genotype-environment association. In addition, both mother-child and father-child hostility predicted children's later disruptive peer behavior. Results highlight the importance of considering genetically influenced child attributes on parental hostility that in turn links to later child social behavior. Implications for intervention programs focusing on early family processes and the precursors of disrupted child social development are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).

  10. Temporal genetic population structure and interannual variation in migration behavior of Pacific Lamprey Entosphenus tridentatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemens, Benjamin J.; Wyss, Lance A.; McCoun, Rebecca; Courter, Ian; Schwabe, Lawrence; Peery, Christopher; Schreck, Carl B.; Spice, Erin K.; Docker, Margaret F.

    2017-01-01

    Studies using neutral loci suggest that Pacific lamprey, Entosphenus tridentatus, lack strong spatial genetic population structure. However, it is unknown whether temporal genetic population structure exists. We tested whether adult Pacific lamprey: (1) show temporal genetic population structure; and (2) migrate different distances between years. We non-lethally sampled lamprey for DNA in 2009 and 2010 and used eight microsatellite loci to test for genetic population structure. We used telemetry to record the migration behaviors of these fish. Lamprey were assignable to three moderately differentiated genetic clusters (FST = 0.16–0.24 for all pairwise comparisons): one cluster was composed of individuals from 2009, and the other two contained individuals from 2010. The FST value between years was 0.13 and between genetic clusters within 2010 was 0.20. A total of 372 (72.5%) fish were detected multiple times during their migrations. Most fish (69.9%) remained in the mainstem Willamette River; the remaining 30.1% migrated into tributaries. Eighty-two lamprey exhibited multiple back-and-forth movements among tributaries and the mainstem, which may indicate searching behaviors. All migration distances were significantly greater in 2010, when the amplitude of river discharge was greater. Our data suggest genetic structuring between and within years that may reflect different cohorts.

  11. Genetics of Human Sexual Behavior: Where We Are, Where We Are Going.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannini, Emmanuele A; Burri, Andrea; Jern, Patrick; Novelli, Giuseppe

    2015-04-01

    One of the never-ending debates in the developing field of sexual medicine is the extent to which genetics and experiences (i.e., "nature and nurture") contribute to sexuality. The debate continues despite the fact that these two sides have different abilities to create a scientific environment to support their cause. Contemporary genetics has produced plenty of recent evidence, however, not always confirmed or sufficiently robust. On the other hand, the more traditional social theorists, frequently without direct evidence confirming their positions, criticize, sometimes with good arguments, the methods and results of the other side. The aim of this article is to critically evaluate existent evidence that used genetic approaches to understand human sexuality. An expert in sexual medicine (E.A.J.), an expert in medical genetics (G.N.), and two experts in genetic epidemiology and quantitative genetics, with particular scientific experience in female sexual dysfunction (A.B.) and in premature ejaculation (P.J.), contributed to this review. Expert opinion supported by critical review of the currently available literature. The existing literature on human sexuality provides evidence that many sexuality-related behaviors previously considered to be the result of cultural influences (such as mating strategies, attractiveness and sex appeal, propensity to fidelity or infidelity, and sexual orientation) or dysfunctions (such as premature ejaculation or female sexual dysfunction) seem to have a genetic component. Current evidence from genetic epidemiologic studies underlines the existence of biological and congenital factors regulating male and female sexuality. However, these relatively recent findings ask for replication in methodologically more elaborated studies. Clearly, increased research efforts are needed to further improve understanding the genetics of human sexuality. Jannini EA, Burri A, Jern P, and Novelli G. Genetics of human sexual behavior: Where we are, where

  12. A Molecular Genetic Basis Explaining Altered Bacterial Behavior in Space.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Zea

    Full Text Available Bacteria behave differently in space, as indicated by reports of reduced lag phase, higher final cell counts, enhanced biofilm formation, increased virulence, and reduced susceptibility to antibiotics. These phenomena are theorized, at least in part, to result from reduced mass transport in the local extracellular environment, where movement of molecules consumed and excreted by the cell is limited to diffusion in the absence of gravity-dependent convection. However, to date neither empirical nor computational approaches have been able to provide sufficient evidence to confirm this explanation. Molecular genetic analysis findings, conducted as part of a recent spaceflight investigation, support the proposed model. This investigation indicated an overexpression of genes associated with starvation, the search for alternative energy sources, increased metabolism, enhanced acetate production, and other systematic responses to acidity-all of which can be associated with reduced extracellular mass transport.

  13. A Molecular Genetic Basis Explaining Altered Bacterial Behavior in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Nripesh; Levy, Shawn E.; Stodieck, Louis; Jones, Angela; Shrestha, Shristi; Klaus, David

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria behave differently in space, as indicated by reports of reduced lag phase, higher final cell counts, enhanced biofilm formation, increased virulence, and reduced susceptibility to antibiotics. These phenomena are theorized, at least in part, to result from reduced mass transport in the local extracellular environment, where movement of molecules consumed and excreted by the cell is limited to diffusion in the absence of gravity-dependent convection. However, to date neither empirical nor computational approaches have been able to provide sufficient evidence to confirm this explanation. Molecular genetic analysis findings, conducted as part of a recent spaceflight investigation, support the proposed model. This investigation indicated an overexpression of genes associated with starvation, the search for alternative energy sources, increased metabolism, enhanced acetate production, and other systematic responses to acidity—all of which can be associated with reduced extracellular mass transport. PMID:27806055

  14. Addictive behaviors and addiction-prone personality traits: associations with a dopamine multilocus genetic profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Caroline; Loxton, Natalie J

    2013-07-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine reward-related genetic risk for addictive behaviors in a healthy community sample (n=217) of men and women. We tested a mediation model predicting that a quantitative multilocus genetic profile score - reflecting the additive effects of alleles known to confer relatively increased dopamine signaling in the ventral striatum - would relate positively to a composite measure of addictive behaviors, and that this association would be mediated by personality traits consistently associated with addiction disorders. Our model was strongly supported by the data, and accounted for 24% of the variance in addictive behaviors. These data suggest that brain reward processes tend to exert their influence on addiction risk by their role in the development of relatively stable personality traits associated with addictive behaviors. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. The Mouse Lemur, a Genetic Model Organism for Primate Biology, Behavior, and Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezran, Camille; Karanewsky, Caitlin J; Pendleton, Jozeph L; Sholtz, Alex; Krasnow, Maya R; Willick, Jason; Razafindrakoto, Andriamahery; Zohdy, Sarah; Albertelli, Megan A; Krasnow, Mark A

    2017-06-01

    Systematic genetic studies of a handful of diverse organisms over the past 50 years have transformed our understanding of biology. However, many aspects of primate biology, behavior, and disease are absent or poorly modeled in any of the current genetic model organisms including mice. We surveyed the animal kingdom to find other animals with advantages similar to mice that might better exemplify primate biology, and identified mouse lemurs ( Microcebus spp.) as the outstanding candidate. Mouse lemurs are prosimian primates, roughly half the genetic distance between mice and humans. They are the smallest, fastest developing, and among the most prolific and abundant primates in the world, distributed throughout the island of Madagascar, many in separate breeding populations due to habitat destruction. Their physiology, behavior, and phylogeny have been studied for decades in laboratory colonies in Europe and in field studies in Malagasy rainforests, and a high quality reference genome sequence has recently been completed. To initiate a classical genetic approach, we developed a deep phenotyping protocol and have screened hundreds of laboratory and wild mouse lemurs for interesting phenotypes and begun mapping the underlying mutations, in collaboration with leading mouse lemur biologists. We also seek to establish a mouse lemur gene "knockout" library by sequencing the genomes of thousands of mouse lemurs to identify null alleles in most genes from the large pool of natural genetic variants. As part of this effort, we have begun a citizen science project in which students across Madagascar explore the remarkable biology around their schools, including longitudinal studies of the local mouse lemurs. We hope this work spawns a new model organism and cultivates a deep genetic understanding of primate biology and health. We also hope it establishes a new and ethical method of genetics that bridges biological, behavioral, medical, and conservation disciplines, while

  16. Function and regulation of lipid biology in Caenorhabditis elegans aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 benefitting 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.

  17. Both live and dead Enterococci activate Caenorhabditis elegans host defense via immune and stress pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, Grace J; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2018-12-31

    The innate immune response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been extensively studied and a variety of Toll-independent immune response pathways have been identified. Surprisingly little, however, is known about how pathogens activate the C. elegans immune response. Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium are closely related enterococcal species that exhibit significantly different levels of virulence in C. elegans infection models. Previous work has shown that activation of the C. elegans immune response by Pseudomonas aeruginosa involves P. aeruginosa-mediated host damage. Through ultrastructural imaging, we report that infection with either E. faecalis or E. faecium causes the worm intestine to become distended with proliferating bacteria in the absence of extensive morphological changes and apparent physical damage. Genetic analysis, whole-genome transcriptional profiling, and multiplexed gene expression analysis demonstrate that both enterococcal species, whether live or dead, induce a rapid and similar transcriptional defense response dependent upon previously described immune signaling pathways. The host response to E. faecium shows a stricter dependence upon stress response signaling pathways than the response to E. faecalis. Unexpectedly, we find that E. faecium is a C. elegans pathogen and that an active wild-type host defense response is required to keep an E. faecium infection at bay. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying the C. elegans immune response to pathogen infection.

  18. Genetic variation in GABRA2 moderates peer influence on externalizing behavior in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villafuerte, Sandra; Trucco, Elisa M; Heitzeg, Mary M; Burmeister, Margit; Zucker, Robert A

    2014-01-01

    Genetic predisposition and environmental influences are both important factors in the development of problematic behavior leading to substance use in adolescence. Involvement with delinquent peers also strongly predicts adolescent externalizing behavior. Several lines of evidence support a role of GABRA2 on externalizing behavior related to disinhibition. However, whether this genetic association is influenced by the environment such as peer behavior remains unknown. We examined the moderating role of GABRA2 genetic variation on the socialization model of delinquent peer affiliation (at ages 12-14 years) on externalizing behavior (at ages 15-17 years) in the Michigan Longitudinal Study (MLS) adolescent sample. The sample consisted of 244 adolescents (75 females and 152 with at least one parent with a DSM-IV lifetime alcohol dependence/abuse diagnosis). Peer delinquent activity reported by the participant and teacher-reported adolescent externalizing behavior (Teacher Report Form (TRF) were assessed. No main effect of the GABRA2 SNP rs279826, which tags a large haplotype, on externalizing behavior was observed. However, there was a statistically reliable GABRA2 × peer delinquency interaction. The effect of peer delinquent involvement on externalizing scores and the rule breaking subscale is significantly stronger for those with the GG genotype compared to A-carriers, whereas there was no effect of genotype on externalizing in the absence of peer delinquent involvement. No interaction was observed for the aggression subscale. Our results suggest that the genetic effect of GABRA2 on externalizing behavior, more specifically on rule breaking is, at least in part, due to its effect on susceptibility to environmental exposure (i.e., peer delinquency).

  19. Genetics of addictive behavior: the example of nicotine dependence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorwood, Philip; Le Strat, Yann; Ramoz, Nicolas

    2017-09-01

    The majority of addictive disorders have a significant heritability-roughly around 50%. Surprisingly, the most convincing association (a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor CHRNA5-A3-B4 gene cluster in nicotine dependence), with a unique attributable risk of 14%, was detected through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on lung cancer, although lung cancer has a low heritability. We propose some explanations of this finding, potentially helping to understand how a GWAS strategy can be successful. Many endophenotypes were also assessed as potentially modulating the effect of nicotine, indirectly facilitating the development of nicotine dependence. Challenging the involved phenotype led to the demonstration that other potentially overlapping disorders, such as schizophrenia and Parkinson disease, could also be involved, and further modulated by parent monitoring or the existence of a smoking partner. Such a complex mechanism of action is compatible with a gene-environment interaction, most clearly explained by epigenetic factors, especially as such factors were shown to be, at least partly, genetically driven.

  20. Associations between self-referral and health behavior responses to genetic risk information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Kurt D; Roberts, J Scott; Zikmund-Fisher, Brian J; Kardia, Sharon Lr; McBride, Colleen M; Linnenbringer, Erin; Green, Robert C

    2015-01-01

    Studies examining whether genetic risk information about common, complex diseases can motivate individuals to improve health behaviors and advance planning have shown mixed results. Examining the influence of different study recruitment strategies may help reconcile inconsistencies. Secondary analyses were conducted on data from the REVEAL study, a series of randomized clinical trials examining the impact of genetic susceptibility testing for Alzheimer's disease (AD). We tested whether self-referred participants (SRPs) were more likely than actively recruited participants (ARPs) to report health behavior and advance planning changes after AD risk and APOE genotype disclosure. Of 795 participants with known recruitment status, 546 (69%) were self-referred and 249 (31%) had been actively recruited. SRPs were younger, less likely to identify as African American, had higher household incomes, and were more attentive to AD than ARPs (all P change to at least one health behavior 6 weeks and 12 months after genetic risk disclosure, nor in intentions to change at least one behavior in the future. However, interaction effects were observed where ε4-positive SRPs were more likely than ε4-negative SRPs to report changes specifically to mental activities (38% vs 19%, p change long-term care insurance among SRPs (20% vs 5%, p behavior changes than those who respond to genetic testing offers. These results demonstrate how the behavioral impact of genetic risk information may vary according to the models by which services are provided, and suggest that how participants are recruited into translational genomics research can influence findings. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00089882 and NCT00462917.

  1. Distinct pathogenesis and host responses during infection of C. elegans by P. aeruginosa and S. aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irazoqui, Javier E; Troemel, Emily R; Feinbaum, Rhonda L; Luhachack, Lyly G; Cezairliyan, Brent O; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2010-07-01

    The genetically tractable model host Caenorhabditis elegans provides a valuable tool to dissect host-microbe interactions in vivo. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus utilize virulence factors involved in human disease to infect and kill C. elegans. Despite much progress, virtually nothing is known regarding the cytopathology of infection and the proximate causes of nematode death. Using light and electron microscopy, we found that P. aeruginosa infection entails intestinal distention, accumulation of an unidentified extracellular matrix and P. aeruginosa-synthesized outer membrane vesicles in the gut lumen and on the apical surface of intestinal cells, the appearance of abnormal autophagosomes inside intestinal cells, and P. aeruginosa intracellular invasion of C. elegans. Importantly, heat-killed P. aeruginosa fails to elicit a significant host response, suggesting that the C. elegans response to P. aeruginosa is activated either by heat-labile signals or pathogen-induced damage. In contrast, S. aureus infection causes enterocyte effacement, intestinal epithelium destruction, and complete degradation of internal organs. S. aureus activates a strong transcriptional response in C. elegans intestinal epithelial cells, which aids host survival during infection and shares elements with human innate responses. The C. elegans genes induced in response to S. aureus are mostly distinct from those induced by P. aeruginosa. In contrast to P. aeruginosa, heat-killed S. aureus activates a similar response as live S. aureus, which appears to be independent of the single C. elegans Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) protein. These data suggest that the host response to S. aureus is possibly mediated by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Because our data suggest that neither the P. aeruginosa nor the S. aureus-triggered response requires canonical TLR signaling, they imply the existence of unidentified mechanisms for pathogen detection in C. elegans, with

  2. Distinct pathogenesis and host responses during infection of C. elegans by P. aeruginosa and S. aureus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier E Irazoqui

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The genetically tractable model host Caenorhabditis elegans provides a valuable tool to dissect host-microbe interactions in vivo. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus utilize virulence factors involved in human disease to infect and kill C. elegans. Despite much progress, virtually nothing is known regarding the cytopathology of infection and the proximate causes of nematode death. Using light and electron microscopy, we found that P. aeruginosa infection entails intestinal distention, accumulation of an unidentified extracellular matrix and P. aeruginosa-synthesized outer membrane vesicles in the gut lumen and on the apical surface of intestinal cells, the appearance of abnormal autophagosomes inside intestinal cells, and P. aeruginosa intracellular invasion of C. elegans. Importantly, heat-killed P. aeruginosa fails to elicit a significant host response, suggesting that the C. elegans response to P. aeruginosa is activated either by heat-labile signals or pathogen-induced damage. In contrast, S. aureus infection causes enterocyte effacement, intestinal epithelium destruction, and complete degradation of internal organs. S. aureus activates a strong transcriptional response in C. elegans intestinal epithelial cells, which aids host survival during infection and shares elements with human innate responses. The C. elegans genes induced in response to S. aureus are mostly distinct from those induced by P. aeruginosa. In contrast to P. aeruginosa, heat-killed S. aureus activates a similar response as live S. aureus, which appears to be independent of the single C. elegans Toll-Like Receptor (TLR protein. These data suggest that the host response to S. aureus is possibly mediated by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs. Because our data suggest that neither the P. aeruginosa nor the S. aureus-triggered response requires canonical TLR signaling, they imply the existence of unidentified mechanisms for pathogen detection in C

  3. Loss of C. elegans BBS-7 and BBS-8 protein function results in cilia defects and compromised intraflagellar transport

    OpenAIRE

    Blacque, Oliver E.; Reardon, Michael J.; Li, Chunmei; McCarthy, Jonathan; Mahjoub, Moe R.; Ansley, Stephen J.; Badano, Jose L.; Mah, Allan K.; Beales, Philip L.; Davidson, William S.; Johnsen, Robert C.; Audeh, Mark; Plasterk, Ronald H.A.; Baillie, David L.; Katsanis, Nicholas

    2004-01-01

    Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a genetically heterogeneous developmental disorder whose molecular basis is largely unknown. Here, we show that mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans bbs-7 and bbs-8 genes cause structural and functional defects in cilia. C. elegans BBS proteins localize predominantly at the base of cilia, and like proteins involved in intraflagellar transport (IFT), a process necessary for cilia biogenesis and maintenance, move bidirectionally along the ciliary axoneme. Impor...

  4. On the genetic modification of psychology, personality, and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neitzke, Alex B

    2012-12-01

    I argue that the use of heritable modifications for psychology, personality, and behavior should be limited to the reversal or prevention of relatively unambiguous instances of pathology or likely harm (e.g. sociopathy). Most of the likely modifications of psychological personality would not be of this nature, however, and parents therefore should not have the freedom to make such modifications to future children. I argue by examining the viewpoints of both the individual and society. For individuals, modifications would interfere with their capacity for self-determination in a way that undermines the very concept of self-determination. I argue that modification of psychology and personality is unlike present parenting in morally significant ways. For society, modification offers a medium for power to manipulate the makeup of persons and populations, possibly causing biological harm to the species and altering our conceptions of social responsibility.

  5. Genetic susceptibility testing for chronic disease and intention for behavior change in healthy young adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vassy, Jason L; Donelan, Karen; Hivert, Marie-France; Green, Robert C; Grant, Richard W

    2013-04-01

    Genetic testing for chronic disease susceptibility may motivate young adults for preventive behavior change. This nationally representative survey gave 521 young adults hypothetical scenarios of receiving genetic susceptibility results for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke and asked their (1) interest in such testing, (2) anticipated likelihood of improving diet and physical activity with high- and low-risk test results, and (3) readiness to make behavior change. Responses were analyzed by presence of established disease-risk factors. Respondents with high phenotypic diabetes risk reported increased likelihood of improving their diet and physical activity in response to high-risk results compared with those with low diabetes risk (odds ratio (OR), 1.82 (1.03, 3.21) for diet and OR, 2.64 (1.24, 5.64) for physical activity). In contrast, poor baseline diet (OR, 0.51 (0.27, 0.99)) and poor physical activity (OR, 0.53 (0.29, 0.99)) were associated with decreased likelihood of improving diet. Knowledge of genetic susceptibility may motivate young adults with higher personal diabetes risk for improvement in diet and exercise, but poor baseline behaviors are associated with decreased intention to make these changes. To be effective, genetic risk testing in young adults may need to be coupled with other strategies to enable behavior change.

  6. A mutational analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  7. A mutational analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in space

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao Yang [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Lai, Kenneth [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Cheung, Iris [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Youds, Jillian [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Tarailo, Maja [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Tarailo, Sanja [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Rose, Ann [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada)]. E-mail: arose@gene.nce.ubc.ca

    2006-10-10

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

  8. The Limitations of Behavior-Genetic Analyses: Comment on McGue, Elkins, Walden, and Iacono (2005)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, Gary

    2005-01-01

    This article takes issue with the behavior-genetic analysis of parenting style presented by M. McGue, I. Elkins, B. Walden, and W. G. Iacono. The author argues that the attribution of their findings to inherited genetic effects was without basis because McGue et al. never indicated how those genetic effects manifested themselves. Instead, McGue et…

  9. The importance of shared environment in infant-father attachment: A behavioral genetic study of the Attachment Q-Sort

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J.; van IJzendoorn, M.H.; Bokhorst, C.L.; Schuengel, C.

    2004-01-01

    In this first behavior genetic study on infant-father attachment, we estimated genetic and environmental influences on infant-father attachment behaviors and on temperamental dependency, both assessed with the Attachment Q-Sort (AQS; B. E.Vaughn & E. Waters, 1990; E. Waters, 1995). Mothers of mono-

  10. Design of a randomized trial of diabetes genetic risk testing to motivate behavior change: the Genetic Counseling/lifestyle Change (GC/LC) Study for Diabetes Prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Richard W; Meigs, James B; Florez, Jose C; Park, Elyse R; Green, Robert C; Waxler, Jessica L; Delahanty, Linda M; O'Brien, Kelsey E

    2011-10-01

    The efficacy of diabetes genetic risk testing to motivate behavior change for diabetes prevention is currently unknown. This paper presents key issues in the design and implementation of one of the first randomized trials (The Genetic Counseling/Lifestyle Change (GC/LC) Study for Diabetes Prevention) to test whether knowledge of diabetes genetic risk can motivate patients to adopt healthier behaviors. Because individuals may react differently to receiving 'higher' vs 'lower' genetic risk results, we designed a 3-arm parallel group study to separately test the hypotheses that: (1) patients receiving 'higher' diabetes genetic risk results will increase healthy behaviors compared to untested controls, and (2) patients receiving 'lower' diabetes genetic risk results will decrease healthy behaviors compared to untested controls. In this paper we describe several challenges to implementing this study, including: (1) the application of a novel diabetes risk score derived from genetic epidemiology studies to a clinical population, (2) the use of the principle of Mendelian randomization to efficiently exclude 'average' diabetes genetic risk patients from the intervention, and (3) the development of a diabetes genetic risk counseling intervention that maintained the ethical need to motivate behavior change in both 'higher' and 'lower' diabetes genetic risk result recipients. Diabetes genetic risk scores were developed by aggregating the results of 36 diabetes-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms. Relative risk for type 2 diabetes was calculated using Framingham Offspring Study outcomes, grouped by quartiles into 'higher', 'average' (middle two quartiles) and 'lower' genetic risk. From these relative risks, revised absolute risks were estimated using the overall absolute risk for the study group. For study efficiency, we excluded all patients receiving 'average' diabetes risk results from the subsequent intervention. This post-randomization allocation strategy was

  11. Mediation and modification of genetic susceptibility to obesity by eating behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lauzon-Guillain, Blandine; Clifton, Emma Ad; Day, Felix R; Clément, Karine; Brage, Soren; Forouhi, Nita G; Griffin, Simon J; Koudou, Yves Akoli; Pelloux, Véronique; Wareham, Nicholas J; Charles, Marie-Aline; Heude, Barbara; Ong, Ken K

    2017-10-01

    Background: Many genetic variants show highly robust associations with body mass index (BMI). However, the mechanisms through which genetic susceptibility to obesity operates are not well understood. Potentially modifiable mechanisms, including eating behaviors, are of particular interest to public health. Objective: Here we explore whether eating behaviors mediate or modify genetic susceptibility to obesity. Design: Genetic risk scores for BMI (BMI-GRSs) were calculated for 3515 and 2154 adults in the Fenland and EDEN (Etude des déterminants pré et postnatals de la santé et du développement de l'enfant) population-based cohort studies, respectively. The eating behaviors-emotional eating, uncontrolled eating, and cognitive restraint-were measured through the use of a validated questionnaire. The mediating effect of each eating behavior on the association between the BMI-GRS and measured BMI was assessed by using the Sobel test. In addition, we tested for interactions between each eating behavior and the BMI-GRS on BMI. Results: The association between the BMI-GRS and BMI was mediated by both emotional eating (EDEN: P- Sobel = 0.01; Fenland: P- Sobel = 0.02) and uncontrolled eating (EDEN: P- Sobel = 0.04; Fenland: P -Sobel = 0.0006) in both sexes combined. Cognitive restraint did not mediate this association ( P -Sobel > 0.10), except among EDEN women ( P -Sobel = 0.0009). Cognitive restraint modified the relation between the BMI-GRS and BMI among men (EDEN: P -interaction = 0.0001; Fenland: P -interaction = 0.04) and Fenland women ( P -interaction = 0.0004). By tertiles of cognitive restraint, the association between the BMI-GRS and BMI was strongest in the lowest tertile of cognitive restraint, and weakest in the highest tertile. Conclusions: Genetic susceptibility to obesity was partially mediated by the "appetitive" eating behavior traits (uncontrolled and emotional eating) and, in 3 of the 4 population groups studied, was modified by cognitive restraint

  12. Genetic variations in taste perception modify alcohol drinking behavior in Koreans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jeong-Hwa; Lee, Jeonghee; Yang, Sarah; Kim, Jeongseon

    2017-06-01

    The sensory components of alcohol affect the onset of individual's drinking. Therefore, variations in taste receptor genes may lead to differential sensitivity for alcohol taste, which may modify an individual's drinking behavior. This study examined the influence of genetic variants in the taste-sensing mechanism on alcohol drinking behavior and the choice of alcoholic beverages. A total of 1829 Koreans were analyzed for their alcohol drinking status (drinker/non-drinker), total alcohol consumption (g/day), heavy drinking (≥30 g/day) and type of regularly consumed alcoholic beverages. Twenty-one genetic variations in bitterness, sweetness, umami and fatty acid sensing were also genotyped. Our findings suggested that multiple genetic variants modified individuals' alcohol drinking behavior. Genetic variations in the T2R bitterness receptor family were associated with overall drinking behavior. Subjects with the TAS2R38 AVI haplotype were less likely to be a drinker [odds ratio (OR): 0.75, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.59-0.95], and TAS2R5 rs2227264 predicted the level of total alcohol consumption (p = 0.01). In contrast, the T1R sweet and umami receptor family was associated with heavy drinking. TAS1R3 rs307355 CT carriers were more likely to be heavy drinkers (OR: 1.53, 95% CI: 1.06-2.19). The genetic variants were also associated with the choice of alcoholic beverages. The homo-recessive type of TAS2R4 rs2233998 (OR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.11-2.37) and TAS2R5 rs2227264 (OR: 1.72, 95% CI: 1.14-2.58) were associated with consumption of rice wine. However, TAS1R2 rs35874116 was associated with wine drinking (OR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.43-0.98) and the consumption level (p = 0.04). These findings suggest that multiple genetic variations in taste receptors influence drinking behavior in Koreans. Genetic variations are also responsible for the preference of particular alcoholic beverages, which may contribute to an individual's alcohol drinking behavior. Copyright © 2017

  13. High-precision genetic mapping of behavioral traits in the diversity outbred mouse population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logan, R W; Robledo, R F; Recla, J M; Philip, V M; Bubier, J A; Jay, J J; Harwood, C; Wilcox, T; Gatti, D M; Bult, C J; Churchill, G A; Chesler, E J

    2013-01-01

    Historically our ability to identify genetic variants underlying complex behavioral traits in mice has been limited by low mapping resolution of conventional mouse crosses. The newly developed Diversity Outbred (DO) population promises to deliver improved resolution that will circumvent costly fine-mapping studies. The DO is derived from the same founder strains as the Collaborative Cross (CC), including three wild-derived strains. Thus the DO provides more allelic diversity and greater potential for discovery compared to crosses involving standard mouse strains. We have characterized 283 male and female DO mice using open-field, light–dark box, tail-suspension and visual-cliff avoidance tests to generate 38 behavioral measures. We identified several quantitative trait loci (QTL) for these traits with support intervals ranging from 1 to 3 Mb in size. These intervals contain relatively few genes (ranging from 5 to 96). For a majority of QTL, using the founder allelic effects together with whole genome sequence data, we could further narrow the positional candidates. Several QTL replicate previously published loci. Novel loci were also identified for anxiety- and activity-related traits. Half of the QTLs are associated with wild-derived alleles, confirming the value to behavioral genetics of added genetic diversity in the DO. In the presence of wild-alleles we sometimes observe behaviors that are qualitatively different from the expected response. Our results demonstrate that high-precision mapping of behavioral traits can be achieved with moderate numbers of DO animals, representing a significant advance in our ability to leverage the mouse as a tool for behavioral genetics PMID:23433259

  14. Genetic and environmental influences on externalizing behavior and alcohol problems in adolescence: A female twin study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knopik, Valerie S.; Heath, Andrew C.; Bucholz, Kathleen K.; Madden, Pamela A.F.; Waldron, Mary

    2009-01-01

    Genetic and environmental contributions to the observed correlations among DSM-IV ADHD problems [inattentive (INATT) and hyperactive/impulsive (HYP/IMP) behaviors], conduct problems (CDP) and alcohol problems (AlcProb) were examined by fitting multivariate structural equation models to data from the Missouri Adolescent Female Twin Study [N=2892 twins (831 monozygotic pairs, 615 dizygotic pairs)]. Based on results of preliminary regression models, we modified the structural model to jointly estimate (i) the regression of each phenotype on significant familial/prenatal predictors, and (ii) genetic and environmental contributions to the residual variance and covariance. Results suggested that (i) parental risk factors, such as parental alcohol dependence and regular smoking, increase risk for externalizing behavior; (ii) prenatal exposures predicted increased symptomatology for HYP/IMP (smoking during pregnancy), INATT and CDP (prenatal alcohol exposure); (iii) after adjusting for measured familial/prenatal risk factors, genetic influences were significant for HYP/IMP, INATT, and CDP; however, similar to earlier reports, genetic effects on alcohol dependence symptoms were negligible; and (iv) in adolescence, correlated liabilities for conduct and alcohol problems are found in environmental factors common to both phenotypes, while covariation among impulsivity, inattention, and conduct problems is primarily due to genetic influences common to these three behaviors. Thus, while a variety of adolescent problem behaviors are significantly correlated, the structure of that association may differ as a function of phenotype (e.g., comorbid HYP/IMP and CDP vs. comorbid CDP and AlcProb), a finding that could inform different approaches to treatment and prevention. PMID:19341765

  15. The heritability and genetic correlates of mobile phone use: a twin study of consumer behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Geoffrey; Zhu, Gu; Wright, Margaret J; Hansell, Narelle K; Martin, Nicholas G

    2012-02-01

    There has been almost no overlap between behavior genetics and consumer behavior research, despite each field's importance in understanding society. In particular, both have neglected to study genetic influences on consumer adoption and usage of new technologies -- even technologies as important as the mobile phone, now used by 5.8 out of 7.0 billion people on earth. To start filling this gap, we analyzed self-reported mobile phone use, intelligence, and personality traits in two samples of Australian teenaged twins (mean ages 14.2 and 15.6 years), totaling 1,036 individuals. ACE modeling using Mx software showed substantial heritabilities for how often teens make voice calls (.60 and .34 in samples 1 and 2, respectively) and for how often they send text messages (.53 and. 50). Shared family environment - including neighborhood, social class, parental education, and parental income (i.e., the generosity of calling plans that parents can afford for their teens) -- had much weaker effects. Multivariate modeling based on cross-twin, cross-trait correlations showed negative genetic correlations between talking/texting frequency and intelligence (around -.17), and positive genetic correlations between talking/texting frequency and extraversion (about .20 to .40). Our results have implications for assessing the risks of mobile phone use such as radiofrequency field (RF) exposure and driving accidents, for studying adoption and use of other emerging technologies, for understanding the genetic architecture of the cognitive and personality traits that predict consumer behavior, and for challenging the common assumption that consumer behavior is shaped entirely by culture, media, and family environment.

  16. Behavioral phenotypes of genetic syndromes with intellectual disability: comparison of adaptive profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Nuovo, Santo; Buono, Serafino

    2011-10-30

    The study of distinctive and consistent behaviors in the most common genetic syndromes with intellectual disability is useful to explain abnormalities or associated psychiatric disorders. The behavioral phenotypes revealed outcomes totally or partially specific for each syndrome. The aim of our study was to compare similarities and differences in the adaptive profiles of the five most frequent genetic syndromes, i.e. Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Fragile-X syndrome (fully mutated), taking into account the relation with chronological age and the overall IQ level. The research was carried out using the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale (beside the Wechsler Intelligence scales to obtain IQ) with a sample of 181 persons (107 males and 74 females) showing genetic syndromes and mental retardation. Syndrome-based groups were matched for chronological age and mental age (excluding the Angelman group, presenting with severe mental retardation). Similarities and differences in the adaptive profiles are described, relating them to IQs and maladaptive behaviors. The results might be useful in obtaining a global index of adjustment for the assessment of intellectual disability level as well as for educational guidance and rehabilitative plans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The genetic basis of behavioral isolation between Drosophila mauritiana and D. sechellia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNabney, Daniel R

    2012-07-01

    Understanding how species form is a fundamental question in evolutionary biology. Identifying the genetic bases of barriers that prevent gene flow between species provides insight into how speciation occurs. Here, I analyze a poorly understood reproductive isolating barrier, prezygotic reproductive isolation. I perform a genetic analysis of prezygotic isolation between two closely related species of Drosophila, D. mauritiana and D. sechellia. I first confirm the existence of strong behavioral isolation between D. mauritiana females and D. sechellia males. Next, I examine the genetic basis of behavioral isolation by (1) scanning an existing set of introgression lines for chromosomal regions that have a large effect on isolation; and (2) mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) that underlie behavioral isolation via backcross analysis. In particular, I map QTL that determine whether a hybrid backcross female and a D. sechellia male will mate. I identify a single significant QTL, on the X chromosome, suggesting that few major-effect loci contribute to behavioral isolation between these species. In further work, I refine the map position of the QTL to a small region of the X chromosome. © 2012 The Author(s).

  18. Genetic dissection of pheromone processing reveals main olfactory system-mediated social behaviors in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuo, Tomohiko; Hattori, Tatsuya; Asaba, Akari; Inoue, Naokazu; Kanomata, Nobuhiro; Kikusui, Takefumi; Kobayakawa, Reiko; Kobayakawa, Ko

    2015-01-20

    Most mammals have two major olfactory subsystems: the main olfactory system (MOS) and vomeronasal system (VNS). It is now widely accepted that the range of pheromones that control social behaviors are processed by both the VNS and the MOS. However, the functional contributions of each subsystem in social behavior remain unclear. To genetically dissociate the MOS and VNS functions, we established two conditional knockout mouse lines that led to either loss-of-function in the entire MOS or in the dorsal MOS. Mice with whole-MOS loss-of-function displayed severe defects in active sniffing and poor survival through the neonatal period. In contrast, when loss-of-function was confined to the dorsal MOB, sniffing behavior, pheromone recognition, and VNS activity were maintained. However, defects in a wide spectrum of social behaviors were observed: attraction to female urine and the accompanying ultrasonic vocalizations, chemoinvestigatory preference, aggression, maternal behaviors, and risk-assessment behaviors in response to an alarm pheromone. Functional dissociation of pheromone detection and pheromonal induction of behaviors showed the anterior olfactory nucleus (AON)-regulated social behaviors downstream from the MOS. Lesion analysis and neural activation mapping showed pheromonal activation in multiple amygdaloid and hypothalamic nuclei, important regions for the expression of social behavior, was dependent on MOS and AON functions. Identification of the MOS-AON-mediated pheromone pathway may provide insights into pheromone signaling in animals that do not possess a functional VNS, including humans.

  19. Sumoylated NHR-25/NR5A regulates cell fate during C. elegans vulval development

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ward, J.D.; Bojanala, Nagagireesh; Bernal, T.; Ashrafi, K.; Asahina, Masako; Yamamoto, K.R.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 12 (2013), e1003992 ISSN 1553-7404 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GD204/09/H058 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : transcription factors (TFs) * C. elegans * nuclear hormone receptor Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 8.167, year: 2013

  20. Microsporidia in aquatic microcrustacea: the copepod microsporidium Marssoniella elegans Lemmermann, 1900 revisited

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vávra, Jiří; Hyliš, M.; Oborník, Miroslav; Vossbrinck, C. R.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 52, 1/2 (2005), s. 163-172 ISSN 0015-5683 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Microsporidia * Marssoniella elegans * phylogeny Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.138, year: 2005

  1. Requirement of the Caenorhabditis elegans RapGEF pxf-1 and rap-1 for epithelial integrity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pellis-van Berkel, W.; Verheijen, M. H. G.; Cuppen, E.; Asahina, Masako; de Rooij, J.; Jansen, G.; Plasterk, R. H. A.; Bos, J. L.; Zwartkruis, F. J. T.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 1 (2005), s. 106-116 ISSN 1059-1524 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB5022303 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Rap signaling pathway * epidermis * Caenorhabditis elegans Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 6.520, year: 2005

  2. Natural plant hormones cytokinins increase stress resistance and longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kadlecová, Alena; Jirsa, Tomáš; Novák, Ondřej; Kammenga, J.; Strnad, Miroslav; Voller, J.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 19, č. 2 (2018), s. 109-120 ISSN 1389-5729 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1304 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Aging * Caenorhabditis elegans * Cytokinin * Kinetin * Phytohormones * Topolin * Zeatin Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 3.231, year: 2016

  3. The genetic basis of individual differences in reward processing and the link to addictive behavior and social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yacubian, J; Büchel, C

    2009-11-24

    Dopaminergic neurotransmission is widely recognized to be critical to the neurobiology of reward, motivation and addiction. Interestingly, social interactions and related behavior also activate the same neuronal system. Consequently, genetic variations of dopamine neurotransmission are thought influence reward processing that in turn may affect distinctive social behavior and susceptibility to addiction. This review focuses on advances made to date in an effort to link genetic individual variations and reward processing as a possible basis for addictive behaviors.

  4. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model of organophosphate-induced mammalian neurotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

    Fifteen organic phosphate pesticides were tested by computer tracking for their acute behavioral toxicity with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Thirteen of these 15 chemicals are used as insecticides and are anticholesterase agents. The other two chemicals are used as herbicides. EC50 values for each chemical were compared to the corresponding LD50 acute lethality value in rats and mice. Order of toxicity was found to be significantly correlated in comparisons of C. elegans to both rats and mice. Mechanistic investigations were conducted by assaying 8 of the 15 chemicals for anticholinesterase activity in C. elegans. Significant cholinesterase inhibition was confirmed for five chemicals that had displayed high behavioral toxicity, while three chemicals of low behavioral toxicity showed no significant decrease in cholinesterase activity. Toxicity for two chemicals that do not inhibit cholinesterase in mammals was linked to pH effects. Detailed comparison of individual chemicals and metabolic issues are discussed. These results have positive implications for the use of C. elegans as a mammalian neurological model and support the use of C. elegans in early rounds of chemical toxicity screening

  5. Mesoscopic organization reveals the constraints governing Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raj Kumar Pan

    Full Text Available One of the biggest challenges in biology is to understand how activity at the cellular level of neurons, as a result of their mutual interactions, leads to the observed behavior of an organism responding to a variety of environmental stimuli. Investigating the intermediate or mesoscopic level of organization in the nervous system is a vital step towards understanding how the integration of micro-level dynamics results in macro-level functioning. The coordination of many different co-occurring processes at this level underlies the command and control of overall network activity. In this paper, we have considered the somatic nervous system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, for which the entire neuronal connectivity diagram is known. We focus on the organization of the system into modules, i.e., neuronal groups having relatively higher connection density compared to that of the overall network. We show that this mesoscopic feature cannot be explained exclusively in terms of considerations such as, optimizing for resource constraints (viz., total wiring cost and communication efficiency (i.e., network path length. Even including information about the genetic relatedness of the cells cannot account for the observed modular structure. Comparison with other complex networks designed for efficient transport (of signals or resources implies that neuronal networks form a distinct class. This suggests that the principal function of the network, viz., processing of sensory information resulting in appropriate motor response, may be playing a vital role in determining the connection topology. Using modular spectral analysis we make explicit the intimate relation between function and structure in the nervous system. This is further brought out by identifying functionally critical neurons purely on the basis of patterns of intra- and inter-modular connections. Our study reveals how the design of the nervous system reflects several constraints, including

  6. The Nucleolus of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li-Wei Lee

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Nucleolar size and appearance correlate with ribosome biogenesis and cellular activity. The mechanisms underlying changes in nucleolar appearance and regulation of nucleolar size that occur during differentiation and cell cycle progression are not well understood. Caenorhabditis elegans provides a good model for studying these processes because of its small size and transparent body, well-characterized cell types and lineages, and because its cells display various sizes of nucleoli. This paper details the advantages of using C. elegans to investigate features of the nucleolus during the organism's development by following dynamic changes in fibrillarin (FIB-1 in the cells of early embryos and aged worms. This paper also illustrates the involvement of the ncl-1 gene and other possible candidate genes in nucleolar-size control. Lastly, we summarize the ribosomal proteins involved in life span and innate immunity, and those homologous genes that correspond to human disorders of ribosomopathy.

  7. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo

    OpenAIRE

    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; Col?n-Ramos, Daniel A

    2015-01-01

    eLife digest Understanding how the brain and nervous system develops from a few cells into complex, interconnected networks is a key goal for neuroscientists. Although researchers have identified many of the genes involved in this process, how these work together to form an entire brain remains unknown. A simple worm called Caenorhabiditis elegans is commonly used to study brain development because it has only about 300 neurons, simplifying the study of its nervous system. The worms are easy ...

  8. Postzygotic incompatibilities between the pupfishes, Cyprinodon elegans and Cyprinodon variegatus: hybrid male sterility and sex ratio bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tech, C

    2006-11-01

    I examined the intrinsic postzygotic incompatibilities between two pupfishes, Cyprinodon elegans and Cyprinodon variegatus. Laboratory hybridization experiments revealed evidence of strong postzygotic isolation. Male hybrids have very low fertility, and the survival of backcrosses into C. elegans was substantially reduced. In addition, several crosses produced female-biased sex ratios. Crosses involving C. elegans females and C. variegatus males produced only females, and in backcrosses involving hybrid females and C. elegans males, males made up approximately 25% of the offspring. All other crosses produced approximately 50% males. These sex ratios could be explained by genetic incompatibilities that occur, at least in part, on sex chromosomes. Thus, these results provide strong albeit indirect evidence that pupfish have XY chromosomal sex determination. The results of this study provide insight on the evolution of reproductive isolating mechanisms, particularly the role of Haldane's rule and the 'faster-male' theory in taxa lacking well-differentiated sex chromosomes.

  9. Evolutionary perspectives on innate immunity from the study of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Genetic and functional genomic approaches have begun to define the molecular determinants of pathogen resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Conserved signal transduction components are required for pathogen resistance, including a Toll/IL-1 receptor domain adaptor protein that functions upstream of a conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway. We suggest that this pathway is an ancestral innate immune signaling pathway present in the common ancestor of nematodes, arthropods and vertebrates, which is likely to predate the involvement of canonical Toll signaling pathways in innate immunity. We anticipate that the study of pathogen resistance in C. elegans will continue to provide evolutionary and mechanistic insights into the signal transduction and physiology of innate immunity.

  10. Regulation of Axonal Midline Guidance by Prolyl 4-Hydroxylation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torpe, Nanna; Pocock, Roger David John

    2014-01-01

    , little is known of its importance in the control of axon guidance. In a screen of prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H) mutants, we found that genetic removal of a specific P4H subunit, DPY-18, causes dramatic defects in C. elegans neuroanatomy. In dpy-18 mutant animals, the axons of specific ventral nerve cord......Neuronal wiring during development requires that the growth cones of axons and dendrites are correctly guided to their appropriate targets. As in other animals, axon growth cones in Caenorhabditis elegans integrate information in their extracellular environment via interactions among transiently...

  11. Genetics of reproduction and regulation of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Robert E; Rueppell, Olav; Amdam, Gro V

    2012-01-01

    Honeybees form complex societies with a division of labor for reproduction, nutrition, nest construction and maintenance, and defense. How does it evolve? Tasks performed by worker honeybees are distributed in time and space. There is no central control over behavior and there is no central genome on which selection can act and effect adaptive change. For 22 years, we have been addressing these questions by selecting on a single social trait associated with nutrition: the amount of surplus pollen (a source of protein) that is stored in the combs of the nest. Forty-two generations of selection have revealed changes at biological levels extending from the society down to the level of the gene. We show how we constructed this vertical understanding of social evolution using behavioral and anatomical analyses, physiology, genetic mapping, and gene knockdowns. We map out the phenotypic and genetic architectures of food storage and foraging behavior and show how they are linked through broad epistasis and pleiotropy affecting a reproductive regulatory network that influences foraging behavior. This is remarkable because worker honeybees have reduced reproductive organs and are normally sterile; however, the reproductive regulatory network has been co-opted for behavioral division of labor.

  12. Neuroscientific and behavioral genetic information in criminal cases in the Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Kogel, C H; Westgeest, E J M C

    2015-11-01

    In this contribution an empirical approach is used to gain more insight into the relationship between neuroscience and criminal law. The focus is on case law in the Netherlands. Neuroscientific information and techniques have found their way into the courts of the Netherlands. Furthermore, following an Italian case in which a mentally ill offender received a penalty reduction in part because of a 'genetic vulnerability for impulsive aggression', the expectation was expressed that such 'genetic defenses' would appear in the Netherlands too. To assess how neuroscientific and behavioral genetic information are used in criminal justice practice in the Netherlands, we systematically collect Dutch criminal cases in which neuroscientific or behavioral genetic information is introduced. Data and case law examples are presented and discussed. Although cases are diverse, several themes appear, such as prefrontal brain damage in relation to criminal responsibility and recidivism risk, and divergent views of the implications of neurobiological knowledge about addiction for judging criminal responsibility. Whereas in the international 'neurolaw literature' the emphasis is often on imaging techniques, the Dutch findings also illustrate the role of neuropsychological methods in criminal cases. Finally, there appears to be a clear need of practice oriented instruments and guidelines.

  13. Loss of Sphingosine Kinase Alters Life History Traits and Locomotor Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason P. Chan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Sphingolipid metabolism is important to balance the abundance of bioactive lipid molecules involved in cell signaling, neuronal function, and survival. Specifically, the sphingolipid sphingosine mediates cell death signaling, whereas its phosphorylated form, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P, mediates cell survival signaling. The enzyme sphingosine kinase produces S1P, and the activity of sphingosine kinase impacts the ability of cells to survive under stress and challenges. To examine the influence of sphingolipid metabolism, particularly enzymes regulating sphingosine and S1P, in mediating aging, neuronal function and stress response, we examined life history traits, locomotor capacities and heat stress responses of young and old animals using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that C. elegans sphk-1 mutants, which lack sphingosine kinase, had shorter lifespans, reduced brood sizes, and smaller body sizes compared to wild type animals. By analyzing a panel of young and old animals with genetic mutations in the sphingolipid signaling pathway, we showed that aged sphk-1 mutants exhibited a greater decline in neuromuscular function and locomotor behavior. In addition, aged animals lacking sphk-1 were more susceptible to death induced by acute and prolonged heat exposure. On the other hand, older animals with loss of function mutations in ceramide synthase (hyl-1, which converts sphingosine to ceramide, showed improved neuromuscular function and stress response with age. This phenotype was dependent on sphk-1. Together, our data show that loss of sphingosine kinase contributes to poor animal health span, suggesting that sphingolipid signaling may be important for healthy neuronal function and animal stress response during aging.

  14. Behavioral and environmental modification of the genetic influence on body mass index: A twin study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Erin E.; Turkheimer, Eric; Strachan, Eric; Duncan, Glen E.

    2015-01-01

    Body mass index (BMI) has a strong genetic basis, with a heritability around 0.75, but is also influenced by numerous behavioral and environmental factors. Aspects of the built environment (e.g., environmental walkability) are hypothesized to influence obesity by directly affecting BMI, by facilitating or inhibiting behaviors such as physical activity that are related to BMI, or by suppressing genetic tendencies toward higher BMI. The present study investigated relative influences of physical activity and walkability on variance in BMI using 5,079 same-sex adult twin pairs (70% monozygotic, 65% female). High activity and walkability levels independently suppressed genetic variance in BMI. Estimating their effects simultaneously, however, suggested that the walkability effect was mediated by activity. The suppressive effect of activity on variance in BMI was present even with a tendency for low-BMI individuals to select into environments that require higher activity levels. Overall, our results point to community- or macro-level interventions that facilitate individual-level behaviors as a plausible approach to addressing the obesity epidemic among U.S. adults. PMID:25894925

  15. Genetics and crime: Integrating new genomic discoveries into psychological research about antisocial behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertz, J.; Caspi, A.; Belsky, D. W.; Beckley, A. L.; Arseneault, L.; Barnes, J. C.; Corcoran, D. L.; Hogan, S.; Houts, R. M.; Morgan, N.; Odgers, C. L.; Prinz, J. A.; Sugden, K.; Williams, B. S.; Poulton, R.; Moffitt, T. E.

    2018-01-01

    Drawing on psychological and sociological theories of crime causation, we tested the hypothesis that genetic risk for low educational attainment (assessed via a genome-wide polygenic score) is associated with offending. We further tested hypotheses of how polygenic risk relates to the development of antisocial behavior from childhood through adulthood. Across the Dunedin and E-Risk birth cohorts of individuals growing up 20 years and 20,000 kilometres apart, education polygenic scores predicted risk of a criminal record, with modest effects. Polygenic risk manifested during primary schooling, in lower cognitive abilities, lower self-control, academic difficulties, and truancy, and predicted a life-course persistent pattern of antisocial behavior that onsets in childhood and persists into adulthood. Crime is central in the nature/nurture debate, and findings reported here demonstrate how molecular-genetic discoveries can be incorporated into established theories of antisocial behavior. They also suggest the hypothesis that improving school experiences might prevent genetic influences on crime from unfolding. PMID:29513605

  16. Genetics and Crime: Integrating New Genomic Discoveries Into Psychological Research About Antisocial Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wertz, J; Caspi, A; Belsky, D W; Beckley, A L; Arseneault, L; Barnes, J C; Corcoran, D L; Hogan, S; Houts, R M; Morgan, N; Odgers, C L; Prinz, J A; Sugden, K; Williams, B S; Poulton, R; Moffitt, T E

    2018-05-01

    Drawing on psychological and sociological theories of crime causation, we tested the hypothesis that genetic risk for low educational attainment (assessed via a genome-wide polygenic score) is associated with criminal offending. We further tested hypotheses of how polygenic risk relates to the development of antisocial behavior from childhood through adulthood. Across the Dunedin and Environmental Risk (E-Risk) birth cohorts of individuals growing up 20 years and 20,000 kilometers apart, education polygenic scores predicted risk of a criminal record with modest effects. Polygenic risk manifested during primary schooling in lower cognitive abilities, lower self-control, academic difficulties, and truancy, and it was associated with a life-course-persistent pattern of antisocial behavior that onsets in childhood and persists into adulthood. Crime is central in the nature-nurture debate, and findings reported here demonstrate how molecular-genetic discoveries can be incorporated into established theories of antisocial behavior. They also suggest that improving school experiences might prevent genetic influences on crime from unfolding.

  17. The genetic and environmental foundations of political, psychological, social, and economic behaviors: a panel study of twins and families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatemi, Peter K; Smith, Kevin; Alford, John R; Martin, Nicholas G; Hibbing, John R

    2015-06-01

    Here we introduce the Genetic and Environmental Foundations of Political and Economic Behaviors: A Panel Study of Twins and Families (PIs Alford, Hatemi, Hibbing, Martin, and Smith). This study was designed to explore the genetic and environmental influences on social, economic, and political behaviors and attitudes. It involves identifying the psychological mechanisms that operate on these traits, the heritability of complex economic and political traits under varying conditions, and specific genetic correlates of attitudes and behaviors. In addition to describing the study, we conduct novel analyses on the data, estimating the heritability of two traits so far unexplored in the extant literature: Machiavellianism and Baron-Cohen's Empathizing Quotient.

  18. Identification of genetic modifiers of behavioral phenotypes in serotonin transporter knockout rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nijman Isaäc J

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetic variation in the regulatory region of the human serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4 has been shown to affect brain functionality and personality. However, large heterogeneity in its biological effects is observed, which is at least partially due to genetic modifiers. To gain insight into serotonin transporter (SERT-specific genetic modifiers, we studied an intercross between the Wistar SERT-/- rat and the behaviorally and genetically divergent Brown Norway rat, and performed a QTL analysis. Results In a cohort of >150 intercross SERT-/- and control (SERT+/+ rats we characterized 12 traits that were previously associated with SERT deficiency, including activity, exploratory pattern, cocaine-induced locomotor activity, and abdominal and subcutaneous fat. Using 325 genetic markers, 10 SERT-/--specific quantitative trait loci (QTLs for parameters related to activity and exploratory pattern (Chr.1,9,11,14, and cocaine-induced anxiety and locomotor activity (Chr.5,8 were identified. No significant QTLs were found for fat parameters. Using in silico approaches we explored potential causal genes within modifier QTL regions and found interesting candidates, amongst others, the 5-HT1D receptor (Chr. 5, dopamine D2 receptor (Chr. 8, cannabinoid receptor 2 (Chr. 5, and genes involved in fetal development and plasticity (across chromosomes. Conclusions We anticipate that the SERT-/--specific QTLs may lead to the identification of new modulators of serotonergic signaling, which may be targets for pharmacogenetic and therapeutic approaches.

  19. Genetic origin of the relationship between parental negativity and behavior problems from early childhood to adolescence: A longitudinal genetically sensitive study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alemany, Silvia; Rijsdijk, Frühling V.; Haworth, Claire Margaret Alison; Fañanás, Lourdes; Plomin, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Little is known about how genetic and environmental factors contribute to the association between parental negativity and behavior problems from early childhood to adolescence. The current study fitted a cross-lagged model in a sample consisting of 4,075 twin pairs to explore (a) the role of genetic and environmental factors in the relationship between parental negativity and behavior problems from age 4 to age 12, (b) whether parent-driven and child-driven processes independently explain the association, and (c) whether there are sex differences in this relationship. Both phenotypes showed substantial genetic influence at both ages. The concurrent overlap between them was mainly accounted for by genetic factors. Causal pathways representing stability of the phenotypes and parent-driven and child-driven effects significantly and independently account for the association. Significant but slight differences were found between males and females for parent-driven effects. These results were highly similar when general cognitive ability was added asa covariate. In summary, the longitudinal association between parental negativity and behavior problems seems to be bidirectional and mainly accounted for by genetic factors. Furthermore, child-driven effects were mainly genetically mediated, and parent-driven effects were a function of both genetic and shared-environmental factors. PMID:23627958

  20. The worm has turned--microbial virulence modeled in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sifri, Costi D; Begun, Jakob; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-03-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is emerging as a facile and economical model host for the study of evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and innate immunity. A rapidly growing number of human and animal microbial pathogens have been shown to injure and kill nematodes. In many cases, microbial genes known to be important for full virulence in mammalian models have been shown to be similarly required for maximum pathogenicity in nematodes. C. elegans has been used in mutation-based screening systems to identify novel virulence-related microbial genes and immune-related host genes, many of which have been validated in mammalian models of disease. C. elegans-based pathogenesis systems hold the potential to simultaneously explore the molecular genetic determinants of both pathogen virulence and host defense.

  1. Selective visualization of fluorescent sterols in Caenorhabditis elegans by bleach-rate-based image segmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wüstner, Daniel; Landt Larsen, Ane; Færgeman, Nils J.

    2010-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a genetically tractable model organism to investigate sterol transport. In vivo imaging of the fluorescent sterol, dehydroergosterol (DHE), is challenged by C. elegans' high autofluorescence in the same spectral region as emission of DHE. We present a method....... Bleach-rate constants were determined for DHE in vivo and confirmed in model membranes. Using this method, we could detect enrichment of DHE in specific tissues like the nerve ring, the spermateca and oocytes. We confirm these results in C. elegans gut-granule-loss (glo) mutants with reduced...... homologues of Niemann-Pick C disease proteins. Our approach is generally useful for identifying fluorescent probes in the presence of high cellular autofluorescence....

  2. Explaining behavior change after genetic testing: the problem of collinearity between test results and risk estimates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanshawe, Thomas R; Prevost, A Toby; Roberts, J Scott; Green, Robert C; Armstrong, David; Marteau, Theresa M

    2008-09-01

    This paper explores whether and how the behavioral impact of genotype disclosure can be disentangled from the impact of numerical risk estimates generated by genetic tests. Secondary data analyses are presented from a randomized controlled trial of 162 first-degree relatives of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Each participant received a lifetime risk estimate of AD. Control group estimates were based on age, gender, family history, and assumed epsilon4-negative apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype; intervention group estimates were based upon the first three variables plus true APOE genotype, which was also disclosed. AD-specific self-reported behavior change (diet, exercise, and medication use) was assessed at 12 months. Behavior change was significantly more likely with increasing risk estimates, and also more likely, but not significantly so, in epsilon4-positive intervention group participants (53% changed behavior) than in control group participants (31%). Intervention group participants receiving epsilon4-negative genotype feedback (24% changed behavior) and control group participants had similar rates of behavior change and risk estimates, the latter allowing assessment of the independent effects of genotype disclosure. However, collinearity between risk estimates and epsilon4-positive genotypes, which engender high-risk estimates, prevented assessment of the independent effect of the disclosure of an epsilon4 genotype. Novel study designs are proposed to determine whether genotype disclosure has an impact upon behavior beyond that of numerical risk estimates.

  3. Oxytocin and vasopressin are dysregulated in Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder affecting social behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Dai

    Full Text Available The molecular and neural mechanisms regulating human social-emotional behaviors are fundamentally important but largely unknown; unraveling these requires a genetic systems neuroscience analysis of human models. Williams Syndrome (WS, a condition caused by deletion of ~28 genes, is associated with a gregarious personality, strong drive to approach strangers, difficult peer interactions, and attraction to music. WS provides a unique opportunity to identify endogenous human gene-behavior mechanisms. Social neuropeptides including oxytocin (OT and arginine vasopressin (AVP regulate reproductive and social behaviors in mammals, and we reasoned that these might mediate the features of WS. Here we established blood levels of OT and AVP in WS and controls at baseline, and at multiple timepoints following a positive emotional intervention (music, and a negative physical stressor (cold. We also related these levels to standardized indices of social behavior. Results revealed significantly higher median levels of OT in WS versus controls at baseline, with a less marked increase in AVP. Further, in WS, OT and AVP increased in response to music and to cold, with greater variability and an amplified peak release compared to controls. In WS, baseline OT but not AVP, was correlated positively with approach, but negatively with adaptive social behaviors. These results indicate that WS deleted genes perturb hypothalamic-pituitary release not only of OT but also of AVP, implicating more complex neuropeptide circuitry for WS features and providing evidence for their roles in endogenous regulation of human social behavior. The data suggest a possible biological basis for amygdalar involvement, for increased anxiety, and for the paradox of increased approach but poor social relationships in WS. They also offer insight for translating genetic and neuroendocrine knowledge into treatments for disorders of social behavior.

  4. PKA/KIN-1 mediates innate immune responses to bacterial pathogens in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Yi; Liu, Fang; Zhao, Pei-Ji; Zou, Cheng-Gang; Zhang, Ke-Qin

    2017-11-01

    The genetically tractable organism Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model animal for the study of host innate immunity. Although the intestine and the epidermis of C. elegans that is in contact with pathogens are likely to function as sites for the immune function, recent studies indicate that the nervous system could control innate immunity in C. elegans. In this report, we demonstrated that protein kinase A (PKA)/KIN-1 in the neurons contributes to resistance against Salmonella enterica infection in C. elegans. Microarray analysis revealed that PKA/KIN-1 regulates the expression of a set of antimicrobial effectors in the non-neuron tissues, which are required for innate immune responses to S. enterica. Furthermore, PKA/KIN-1 regulated the expression of lysosomal genes during S. enterica infection. Our results suggest that the lysosomal signaling molecules are involved in autophagy by controlling autophagic flux, rather than formation of autophagosomes. As autophagy is crucial for host defense against S. enterica infection in a metazoan, the lysosomal pathway also acts as a downstream effector of the PKA/KIN-1 signaling for innate immunity. Our data indicate that the PKA pathway contributes to innate immunity in C. elegans by signaling from the nervous system to periphery tissues to protect the host against pathogens.

  5. The nongenotoxic carcinogens naphthalene and para-dichlorobenzene suppress apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokel, David; Li, Yehua; Qin, Jun; Xue, Ding

    2006-06-01

    Naphthalene (1) and para-dichlorobenzene (PDCB, 2), which are widely used as moth repellents and air fresheners, cause cancer in rodents and are potential human carcinogens. However, their mechanisms of action remain unclear. Here we describe a novel method for delivering and screening hydrophobic chemicals in C. elegans and apply this technique to investigate the ways in which naphthalene and PDCB may promote tumorigenesis in mammals. We show that naphthalene and PDCB inhibit apoptosis in C. elegans, a result that suggests a cellular mechanism by which these chemicals may promote the survival and proliferation of latent tumor cells. In addition, we find that a naphthalene metabolite directly inactivates caspases by oxidizing the active site cysteine residue; this suggests a molecular mechanism by which these chemicals suppress apoptosis. Naphthalene and PDCB are the first small-molecule apoptosis inhibitors identified in C. elegans. The power of C. elegans molecular genetics, in combination with the possibility of carrying out large-scale chemical screens in this organism, makes C. elegans an attractive and economic animal model for both toxicological studies and drug screens.

  6. Extension of lifespan in C. elegans by naphthoquinones that act through stress hormesis mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piper R Hunt

    Full Text Available Hormesis occurs when a low level stress elicits adaptive beneficial responses that protect against subsequent exposure to severe stress. Recent findings suggest that mild oxidative and thermal stress can extend lifespan by hormetic mechanisms. Here we show that the botanical pesticide plumbagin, while toxic to C. elegans nematodes at high doses, extends lifespan at low doses. Because plumbagin is a naphthoquinone that can generate free radicals in vivo, we investigated whether it extends lifespan by activating an adaptive cellular stress response pathway. The C. elegans cap'n'collar (CNC transcription factor, SKN-1, mediates protective responses to oxidative stress. Genetic analysis showed that skn-1 activity is required for lifespan extension by low-dose plumbagin in C. elegans. Further screening of a series of plumbagin analogs identified three additional naphthoquinones that could induce SKN-1 targets in C. elegans. Naphthazarin showed skn-1dependent lifespan extension, over an extended dose range compared to plumbagin, while the other naphthoquinones, oxoline and menadione, had differing effects on C. elegans survival and failed to activate ARE reporter expression in cultured mammalian cells. Our findings reveal the potential for low doses of naturally occurring naphthoquinones to extend lifespan by engaging a specific adaptive cellular stress response pathway.

  7. Deletion of thioredoxin reductase and effects of selenite and selenate toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Boehler

    Full Text Available Thioredoxin reductase-1 (TRXR-1 is the sole selenoprotein in C. elegans, and selenite is a substrate for thioredoxin reductase, so TRXR-1 may play a role in metabolism of selenium (Se to toxic forms. To study the role of TRXR in Se toxicity, we cultured C. elegans with deletions of trxr-1, trxr-2, and both in axenic media with increasing concentrations of inorganic Se. Wild-type C. elegans cultured for 12 days in Se-deficient axenic media grow and reproduce equivalent to Se-supplemented media. Supplementation with 0-2 mM Se as selenite results in inverse, sigmoidal response curves with an LC50 of 0.20 mM Se, due to impaired growth rather than reproduction. Deletion of trxr-1, trxr-2 or both does not modulate growth or Se toxicity in C. elegans grown axenically, and (75Se labeling showed that TRXR-1 arises from the trxr-1 gene and not from bacterial genes. Se response curves for selenide (LC50 0.23 mM Se were identical to selenite, but selenate was 1/4(th as toxic (LC50 0.95 mM Se as selenite and not modulated by TRXR deletion. These nutritional and genetic studies in axenic media show that Se and TRXR are not essential for C. elegans, and that TRXR alone is not essential for metabolism of inorganic Se to toxic species.

  8. Pharmacological profiling of zebrafish behavior using chemical and genetic classification of sleep-wake modifiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Yuhei; Okabe, Shiko; Sasagawa, Shota; Murakami, Soichiro; Ashikawa, Yoshifumi; Yuge, Mizuki; Kawaguchi, Koki; Kawase, Reiko; Tanaka, Toshio

    2015-01-01

    Sleep-wake states are impaired in various neurological disorders. Impairment of sleep-wake states can be an early condition that exacerbates these disorders. Therefore, treating sleep-wake dysfunction may prevent or slow the development of these diseases. Although many gene products are likely to be involved in the sleep-wake disturbance, hypnotics and psychostimulants clinically used are limited in terms of their mode of action and are not without side effects. Therefore, there is a growing demand for developing new hypnotics and psychostimulants with high efficacy and few side effects. Toward this end, animal models are indispensable for use in genetic and chemical screens to identify sleep-wake modifiers. As a proof-of-concept study, we performed behavioral profiling of zebrafish treated with chemical and genetic sleep-wake modifiers. We were able to demonstrate that behavioral profiling of zebrafish treated with hypnotics or psychostimulants from 9 to 10 days post-fertilization was sufficient to identify drugs with specific modes of action. We were also able to identify behavioral endpoints distinguishing GABA-A modulators and hypocretin (hcrt) receptor antagonists and between sympathomimetic and non-sympathomimetic psychostimulants. This behavioral profiling can serve to identify genes related to sleep-wake disturbance associated with various neuropsychiatric diseases and novel therapeutic compounds for insomnia and excessive daytime sleep with fewer adverse side effects.

  9. Linking movement behavior and fine-scale genetic structure to model landscape connectivity for bobcats (Lynx rufus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawn M. Reding; Samuel A. Cushman; Todd E. Gosselink; William R. Clark

    2013-01-01

    Spatial heterogeneity can constrain the movement of individuals and consequently genes across a landscape, influencing demographic and genetic processes. In this study, we linked information on landscape composition, movement behavior, and genetic differentiation to gain a mechanistic understanding of how spatial heterogeneity may influence movement and gene flow of...

  10. The effect of direct-to-consumer genetic tests on anticipated affect and health-seeking behaviors: a pilot survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bansback, Nick; Sizto, Sonia; Guh, Daphne; Anis, Aslam H

    2012-10-01

    Numerous websites offer direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing, yet it is unknown how individuals will react to genetic risk profiles online. The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of using a web-based survey and conjoint methods to elicit individuals' interpretations of genetic risk profiles by their anticipated worry/anxiousness and health-seeking behaviors. A web-based survey was developed using conjoint methods. Each survey presented 12 hypothetical genetic risk profiles describing genetic test results for four diseases. Test results were characterized by the type of disease (eight diseases), individual risk (five levels), and research confidence (three levels). After each profile, four questions were asked regarding anticipated worry and health-seeking behaviors. Probabilities of response outcomes based on attribute levels were estimated from logistic regression models, adjusting for covariates. Overall, 319 participants (69%) completed 3828 unique genetic risk profiles. Across all profiles, most participants anticipated making doctor's appointments (63%), lifestyle changes (57%), and accessing screening (57%); 40% anticipated feeling more worried and anxious. Higher levels of disease risk were significantly associated with affirmative responses. Conjoint methods may be used to elicit reactions to genetic information online. Preliminary results suggest that genetic information may increase worry/anxiousness and health-seeking behaviors among consumers of DTC tests. Further research is planned to determine the appropriateness of these affects and behaviors.

  11. Unstructured Socializing with Peers and Delinquent Behavior: A Genetically Informed Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meldrum, Ryan C; Barnes, J C

    2017-09-01

    A large body of research finds that unstructured socializing with peers is positively associated with delinquency during adolescence. Yet, existing research has not ruled out the potential for confounding due to genetic factors and factors that can be traced to environments shared between siblings. To fill this void, the current study examines whether the association between unstructured socializing with peers and delinquent behavior remains when accounting for genetic factors, shared environmental influences, and a variety of non-shared environmental covariates. We do so by using data from the twin subsample of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (n = 1200 at wave 1 and 1103 at wave 2; 51% male; mean age at wave 1 = 15.63). Results from both cross-sectional and lagged models indicate the association between unstructured socializing with peers and delinquent behavior remains when controlling for both genetic and environmental influences. Supplementary analyses examining the association under different specifications offer additional, albeit qualified, evidence supportive of this finding. The study concludes with a discussion highlighting the importance of limiting free time with friends in the absence of authority figures as a strategy for reducing delinquency during adolescence.

  12. Non invasive methods for genetic analysis applied to ecological and behavioral studies in Latino-America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susana González

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Documenting the presence and abundance of the neotropical mammals is the first step for understanding their population ecology, behavior and genetic dynamics in designing conservation plans. The combination of field research with molecular genetics techniques are new tools that provide valuable biological information avoiding the disturbance in the ecosystems, trying to minimize the human impact in the process to gather biological information. The objective of this paper is to review the available non invasive sampling techniques that have been used in Neotropical mammal studies to apply to determine the presence and abundance, population structure, sex ratio, taxonomic diagnostic using mitochondrial markers, and assessing genetic variability using nuclear markers. There are a wide range of non invasive sampling techniques used to determine the species identification that inhabit an area such as searching for tracks, feces, and carcasses. Other useful equipment is the camera traps that can generate an image bank that can be valuable to assess species presence and abundance by morphology. With recent advances in molecular biology, it is now possible to use the trace amounts of DNA in feces and amplify it to analyze the species diversity in an area, and the genetic variability at intraspecific level. This is particularly helpful in cases of sympatric and cryptic species in which morphology failed to diagnose the taxonomic status of several species of brocket deer of the genus Mazama.

  13. Nature vs nurture: are leaders born or made? A behavior genetic investigation of leadership style.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, A M; Vernon, P A; McCarthy, J M; Molson, M; Harris, J A; Jang, K L

    1998-12-01

    With the recent resurgence in popularity of trait theories of leadership, it is timely to consider the genetic determination of the multiple factors comprising the leadership construct. Individual differences in personality traits have been found to be moderately to highly heritable, and so it follows that if there are reliable personality trait differences between leaders and non-leaders, then there may be a heritable component to these individual differences. Despite this connection between leadership and personality traits, however, there are no studies of the genetic basis of leadership using modern behavior genetic methodology. The present study proposes to address the lack of research in this area by examining the heritability of leadership style, as measured by self-report psychometric inventories. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), the Leadership Ability Evaluation, and the Adjective Checklist were completed by 247 adult twin pairs (183 monozygotic and 64 same-sex dizygotic). Results indicated that most of the leadership dimensions examined in this study are heritable, as are two higher level factors (resembling transactional and transformational leadership) derived from an obliquely rotated principal components factors analysis of the MLQ. Univariate analyses suggested that 48% of the variance in transactional leadership may be explained by additive heritability, and 59% of the variance in transformational leadership may be explained by non-additive (dominance) heritability. Multivariate analyses indicated that most of the variables studied shared substantial genetic covariance, suggesting a large overlap in the underlying genes responsible for the leadership dimensions.

  14. Chemical constituents and biological activities of Dianthus elegans var. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutlu, Kiymet; Sarikahya, Nazli Boke; Nalbantsoy, Ayse; Kirmizigul, Suheyla

    2018-06-01

    Chemical investigation of the aerial parts of Dianthus elegans var. elegans afforded two previously undescribed saponins, named dianosides M-N (1-2), together with four oleanane-type triterpenoid glycosides (3-6). Their structures were elucidated as 3-O-α-L-arabinofuranosyl-16α-hydroxyolean-12-ene-23α, 28β-dioic acid (1) and 3-O-α-L-arabinofuranosyl-(1 → 3)-β-D-glucopyranosyl 16α-hydroxyolean-12-ene-23α-oic acid, 28-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-(1 → 6)-β-D-glycosyl ester (2) by chemical and extensive spectroscopic methods including IR, 1D, 2D NMR and HRESIMS. Both of the saponins were evaluated for their cytotoxicities against HEK-293, A-549 and HeLa human cancer cells using the MTT method. All compounds showed no substantial cytotoxic activity against tested cell lines. However, dianosides M-N and the n-butanol fraction exhibited considerable haemolysis in human erythrocyte cells. The immunomodulatory properties of dianosides M-N were also evaluated in activated whole blood cells by PMA plus ionomycin. Dianosides M-N increased IL-1β concentration significantly whereas the n-butanol fraction slightly augmented IL-1β secretion. All compounds did not change IL-2 and IFN-γ levels considerably.

  15. C. elegans ciliated sensory neurons release extracellular vesicles that function in animal communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Juan; Silva, Malan; Haas, Leonard A; Morsci, Natalia S; Nguyen, Ken C Q; Hall, David H; Barr, Maureen M

    2014-03-03

    Cells release extracellular vesicles (ECVs) that play important roles in intercellular communication and may mediate a broad range of physiological and pathological processes. Many fundamental aspects of ECV biogenesis and signaling have yet to be determined, with ECV detection being a challenge and obstacle due to the small size (100 nm) of the ECVs. We developed an in vivo system to visualize the dynamic release of GFP-labeled ECVs. We show here that specific Caenorhabdidits elegans ciliated sensory neurons shed and release ECVs containing GFP-tagged polycystins LOV-1 and PKD-2. These ECVs are also abundant in the lumen surrounding the cilium. Electron tomography and genetic analysis indicate that ECV biogenesis occurs via budding from the plasma membrane at the ciliary base and not via fusion of multivesicular bodies. Intraflagellar transport and kinesin-3 KLP-6 are required for environmental release of PKD-2::GFP-containing ECVs. ECVs isolated from wild-type animals induce male tail-chasing behavior, while ECVs isolated from klp-6 animals and lacking PKD-2::GFP do not. We conclude that environmentally released ECVs play a role in animal communication and mating-related behaviors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The RFamide receptor DMSR-1 regulates stress-induced sleep in C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iannacone, Michael J; Beets, Isabel; Lopes, Lindsey E; Churgin, Matthew A; Fang-Yen, Christopher; Nelson, Matthew D; Schoofs, Liliane; Raizen, David M

    2017-01-17

    In response to environments that cause cellular stress, animals engage in sleep behavior that facilitates recovery from the stress. In Caenorhabditis elegans , stress-induced sleep(SIS) is regulated by cytokine activation of the ALA neuron, which releases FLP-13 neuropeptides characterized by an amidated arginine-phenylalanine (RFamide) C-terminus motif. By performing an unbiased genetic screen for mutants that impair the somnogenic effects of FLP-13 neuropeptides, we identified the gene dmsr-1 , which encodes a G-protein coupled receptor similar to an insect RFamide receptor. DMSR-1 is activated by FLP-13 peptides in cell culture, is required for SIS in vivo , is expressed non-synaptically in several wake-promoting neurons, and likely couples to a Gi/o heterotrimeric G-protein. Our data expand our understanding of how a single neuroendocrine cell coordinates an organism-wide behavioral response, and suggest that similar signaling principles may function in other organisms to regulate sleep during sickness.

  17. C. elegans Stress-Induced Sleep Emerges from the Collective Action of Multiple Neuropeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nath, Ravi D; Chow, Elly S; Wang, Han; Schwarz, Erich M; Sternberg, Paul W

    2016-09-26

    The genetic basis of sleep regulation remains poorly understood. In C. elegans, cellular stress induces sleep through epidermal growth factor (EGF)-dependent activation of the EGF receptor in the ALA neuron. The downstream mechanism by which this neuron promotes sleep is unknown. Single-cell RNA sequencing of ALA reveals that the most highly expressed, ALA-enriched genes encode neuropeptides. Here we have systematically investigated the four most highly enriched neuropeptides: flp-7, nlp-8, flp-24, and flp-13. When individually removed by null mutation, these peptides had little or no effect on stress-induced sleep. However, stress-induced sleep was abolished in nlp-8; flp-24; flp-13 triple-mutant animals, indicating that these neuropeptides work collectively in controlling stress-induced sleep. We tested the effect of overexpression of these neuropeptide genes on five behaviors modulated during sleep-pharyngeal pumping, defecation, locomotion, head movement, and avoidance response to an aversive stimulus-and we found that, if individually overexpressed, each of three neuropeptides (nlp-8, flp-24, or flp-13) induced a different suite of sleep-associated behaviors. These overexpression results raise the possibility that individual components of sleep might be specified by individual neuropeptides or combinations of neuropeptides. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Maternal Style Selectively Shapes Amygdalar Development and Social Behavior in Rats Genetically Prone to High Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Joshua L; Glover, Matthew E; Pugh, Phyllis C; Fant, Andrew D; Simmons, Rebecca K; Akil, Huda; Kerman, Ilan A; Clinton, Sarah M

    2015-01-01

    The early-life environment critically influences neurodevelopment and later psychological health. To elucidate neural and environmental elements that shape emotional behavior, we developed a rat model of individual differences in temperament and environmental reactivity. We selectively bred rats for high versus low behavioral response to novelty and found that high-reactive (bred high-responder, bHR) rats displayed greater risk-taking, impulsivity and aggression relative to low-reactive (bred low-responder, bLR) rats, which showed high levels of anxiety/depression-like behavior and certain stress vulnerability. The bHR/bLR traits are heritable, but prior work revealed bHR/bLR maternal style differences, with bLR dams showing more maternal attention than bHRs. The present study implemented a cross-fostering paradigm to examine the contribution of maternal behavior to the brain development and emotional behavior of bLR offspring. bLR offspring were reared by biological bLR mothers or fostered to a bLR or bHR mother and then evaluated to determine the effects on the following: (1) developmental gene expression in the hippocampus and amygdala and (2) adult anxiety/depression-like behavior. Genome-wide expression profiling showed that cross-fostering bLR rats to bHR mothers shifted developmental gene expression in the amygdala (but not hippocampus), reduced adult anxiety and enhanced social interaction. Our findings illustrate how an early-life manipulation such as cross-fostering changes the brain's developmental trajectory and ultimately impacts adult behavior. Moreover, while earlier studies highlighted hippocampal differences contributing to the bHR/bLR phenotypes, our results point to a role of the amygdala as well. Future work will pursue genetic and cellular mechanisms within the amygdala that contribute to bHR/bLR behavior either at baseline or following environmental manipulations. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. Sex differences in depressive, anxious behaviors and hippocampal transcript levels in a genetic rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, N S; Wang, L; Redei, E E

    2013-10-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common, debilitating illness with high prevalence of comorbid anxiety. The incidence of depression and of comorbid anxiety is much higher in women than in men. These gender biases appear after puberty and their etiology is mostly unknown. Selective breeding of the Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat strain, an accepted model of adult and adolescent depression, resulted in two fully inbred substrains. Adult WKY more immobile (WMI) rats of both sexes consistently show increased depression-like behavior in the forced swim test when compared with the control WKY less immobile (WLI) strain. In contrast, here we show that while adult female WMIs and WLIs both display high anxiety-like behaviors, only WLI males, but not WMI males, show this behavior. Moreover, the behavioral profile of WMI males is consistent from early adolescence to adulthood, but the high depression- and anxiety-like behaviors of the female WMIs appear only in adulthood. These sex-specific behavioral patterns are paralleled by marked sex differences in hippocampal gene expression differences established by genome-wide transcriptional analyses of 13th generation WMIs and WLIs. Moreover, sex- and age-specific differences in transcript levels of selected genes are present in the hippocampus of the current, fully inbred WMIs and WLIs. Thus, the contribution of specific genes and/or the influence of the gonadal hormonal environment to depression- and anxiety-like behaviors may differ between male and female WMIs, resulting in their distinct behavioral and transcriptomic profiles despite shared sequences of the somatic chromosomes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  20. Individual Differences in Social Behavior and Cortical Vasopressin Receptor: Genetics, Epigenetics, and Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven M. Phelps

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Social behavior is among the most complex and variable of traits. Despite its diversity, we know little about how genetic and developmental factors interact to shape natural variation in social behavior. This review surveys recent work on individual differences in the expression of the vasopressin 1a receptor (V1aR, a major regulator of social behavior, in the neocortex of the socially monogamous prairie vole. V1aR exhibits profound variation in the retrosplenial cortex (RSC, a region critical to spatial and contextual memory. RSC-V1aR abundance is associated with patterns of male space-use and sexual fidelity in the field: males with high RSC-V1aR show high spatial and sexual fidelity to partners, while low RSC-V1aR males are significantly more likely to mate outside the pair-bond. Individual differences in RSC-V1aR are predicted by a set of linked single nucleotide polymorphisms within the avpr1a locus. These alternative alleles have been actively maintained by selection, suggesting that the brain differences represent a balanced polymorphism. Lastly, the alleles occur within regulatory sequences, and result in differential sensitivity to environmental perturbation. Together the data provide insight into how genetic, epigenetic and evolutionary forces interact to shape the social brain.

  1. An update on the use of C. elegans for preclinical drug discovery: screening and identifying anti-infective drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Wooseong; Hendricks, Gabriel Lambert; Lee, Kiho; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2017-06-01

    The emergence of antibiotic-resistant and -tolerant bacteria is a major threat to human health. Although efforts for drug discovery are ongoing, conventional bacteria-centered screening strategies have thus far failed to yield new classes of effective antibiotics. Therefore, new paradigms for discovering novel antibiotics are of critical importance. Caenorhabditis elegans, a model organism used for in vivo, offers a promising solution for identification of anti-infective compounds. Areas covered: This review examines the advantages of C. elegans-based high-throughput screening over conventional, bacteria-centered in vitro screens. It discusses major anti-infective compounds identified from large-scale C. elegans-based screens and presents the first clinically-approved drugs, then known bioactive compounds, and finally novel small molecules. Expert opinion: There are clear advantages of using a C. elegans-infection based screening method. A C. elegans-based screen produces an enriched pool of non-toxic, efficacious, potential anti-infectives, covering: conventional antimicrobial agents, immunomodulators, and anti-virulence agents. Although C. elegans-based screens do not denote the mode of action of hit compounds, this can be elucidated in secondary studies by comparing the results to target-based screens, or conducting subsequent target-based screens, including the genetic knock-down of host or bacterial genes.

  2. How neuroscience and behavioral genetics improve psychiatric assessment: Report on a violent murder case

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davide Rigoni

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Despite the advances in the understanding of neural and genetic foundations of violence, the investigation of the biological bases of a mental disorder is rarely included in psychiatric evaluation of mental insanity. Here we report on a case in which cognitive neuroscience and behavioral genetics methods were applied to a psychiatric forensic evaluation conducted on a young woman, J.F., tried for a violent and impulsive murder. The defendant had a history of multidrug and alcohol abuse and non-forensic clinical evaluation concluded for a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. We analyzed the defendant’s brain structure in order to underlie possible brain structural abnormalities associated with pathological impulsivity. Voxel-Based Morphometry indexed a reduced gray matter volume in the left prefrontal cortex, in a region specifically associated with response inhibition. Furthermore, J.F.’s DNA was genotyped in order to identify genetic polymorphisms associated with various forms of violence and impulsive behaviour. Five polymorphisms that are known to be associated with impulsivity, violence, and other severe psychiatric illnesses were identified in J.F.’s DNA. Taken together, these data provided evidence for the biological correlates of a mental disorder characterized by high impulsivity and aggressive tendencies. Our claim is that the use of neuroscience and behavioral genetics do not change the rationale underlying the determination of criminal liability, which must be based on a causal link between the mental disorder and the crime. Rather, their use is crucial in providing objective data on the biological bases of a defendant’s mental disorder.

  3. Specific microRNAs Regulate Heat Stress Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nehammer, Camilla; Podolska, Agnieszka; Mackowiak, Sebastian D

    2015-01-01

    have identified additional functions for already known players (mir-71 and mir-239) as well as identifying mir-80 and the mir-229 mir-64-66 cluster as important regulators of the heat stress response in C. elegans. These findings uncover an additional layer of complexity to the regulation of stress...... to heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans and show that a discrete subset of miRNAs is thermoregulated. Using in-depth phenotypic analyses of miRNA deletion mutant strains we reveal multiple developmental and post-developmental survival and behavioral functions for specific miRNAs during heat stress. We...

  4. Characterization and expression of calmodulin gene during larval settlement and metamorphosis of the polychaete Hydroides elegans

    KAUST Repository

    Chen, Zhangfan

    2012-08-01

    The polychaete . Hydroides elegans (Serpulidae, Lophotrochozoa) is a problematic marine fouling organism in most tropical and subtropical coastal environment. Competent larvae of . H. elegans undergo the transition from the swimming larval stage to the sessile juvenile stage with substantial morphological, physiological, and behavior changes. This transition is often referred to as larval settlement and metamorphosis. In this study, we examined the possible involvement of calmodulin (CaM) - a multifunctional calcium metabolism regulator, in the larval settlement and metamorphosis of . H. elegans. A full-length . CaM cDNA was successfully cloned from . H. elegans (. He-CaM) and it contained an open reading frame of 450. bp, encoding 149 amino acid residues. It was highly expressed in 12. h post-metamorphic juveniles, and remained high in adults. . In situ hybridization conducted in competent larvae and juveniles revealed that . He-CaM gene was continuously expressed in the putative growth zones, branchial rudiments, and collar region, suggesting that . He-CaM might be involved in tissue differentiation and development. Our subsequent bioassay revealed that the CaM inhibitor W7 could effectively inhibit larval settlement and metamorphosis, and cause some morphological defects of unsettled larvae. In conclusion, our results revealed that CaM has important functions in the larval settlement and metamorphosis of . H. elegans. © 2012 Elsevier Inc..

  5. Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy for the analysis of the biochemical composition of C. elegans worms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheng, Ming; Gorzsás, András; Tuck, Simon

    2016-01-01

    Changes in intermediary metabolism have profound effects on many aspects of C. elegans biology including growth, development and behavior. However, many traditional biochemical techniques for analyzing chemical composition require relatively large amounts of starting material precluding the analysis of mutants that cannot be grown in large amounts as homozygotes. Here we describe a technique for detecting changes in the chemical compositions of C. elegans worms by Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy. We demonstrate that the technique can be used to detect changes in the relative levels of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids in one and the same worm. We suggest that Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy represents a useful addition to the arsenal of techniques for metabolic studies of C. elegans worms.

  6. Control of neuropeptide expression by parallel activity-dependent pathways in caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring of neuronal activity within circuits facilitates integrated responses and rapid changes in behavior. We have identified a system in Caenorhabditis elegans where neuropeptide expression is dependent on the ability of the BAG neurons to sense carbon dioxide. In C. Elegans, CO 2 sensing...... is predominantly coordinated by the BAG-expressed receptor-type guanylate cyclase GCY-9. GCY-9 binding to CO 2 causes accumulation of cyclic GMP and opening of the cGMP-gated TAX-2/TAX-4 cation channels; provoking an integrated downstream cascade that enables C. Elegans to avoid high CO 2. Here we show that c...... that expression of flp-19::GFP is controlled in parallel to GCY-9 by the activity-dependent transcription factor CREB (CRH-1) and the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (KIN-2) signaling pathway. We therefore show that two parallel pathways regulate neuropeptide gene expression in the BAG sensory neurons: the ability...

  7. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-12-03

    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.

  9. Autophagy in C. elegans development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmisano, Nicholas J; Meléndez, Alicia

    2018-04-27

    Autophagy involves the sequestration of cytoplasmic contents in a double-membrane structure referred to as the autophagosome and the degradation of its contents upon delivery to lysosomes. Autophagy activity has a role in multiple biological processes during the development of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Basal levels of autophagy are required to remove aggregate prone proteins, paternal mitochondria, and spermatid-specific membranous organelles. During larval development, autophagy is required for the remodeling that occurs during dauer development, and autophagy can selectively degrade components of the miRNA-induced silencing complex, and modulate miRNA-mediated silencing. Basal levels of autophagy are important in synapse formation and in the germ line, to promote the proliferation of proliferating stem cells. Autophagy activity is also required for the efficient removal of apoptotic cell corpses by promoting phagosome maturation. Finally, autophagy is also involved in lipid homeostasis and in the aging process. In this review, we first describe the molecular complexes involved in the process of autophagy, its regulation, and mechanisms for cargo recognition. In the second section, we discuss the developmental contexts where autophagy has been shown to be important. Studies in C. elegans provide valuable insights into the physiological relevance of this process during metazoan development. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Familial clustering of epilepsy and behavioral disorders: Evidence for a shared genetic basis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesdorffer, Dale C.; Caplan, Rochelle; Berg, Anne T.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose To examine whether family history of unprovoked seizures is associated with behavioral disorders in epilepsy probands, thereby supporting the hypothesis of shared underlying genetic susceptibility to these disorders. Methods We conducted an analysis of the 308 probands with childhood onset epilepsy from the Connecticut Study of Epilepsy with information on first degree family history of unprovoked seizures and of febrile seizures whose parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) at the 9-year follow-up. Clinical cut-offs for CBCL problem and DSM-Oriented scales were examined. The association between first degree family history of unprovoked seizure and behavioral disorders was assessed separately in uncomplicated and complicated epilepsy and separately for first degree family history of febrile seizures. A subanalysis, accounting for the tendency for behavioral disorders to run in families, adjusted for siblings with the same disorder as the proband. Prevalence ratios were used to describe the associations. Key findings In probands with uncomplicated epilepsy, first degree family history of unprovoked seizure was significantly associated with clinical cut-offs for Total Problems and Internalizing Disorders. Among Internalizing Disorders, clinical cut-offs for Withdrawn/Depressed, and DSM-Oriented scales for Affective Disorder and Anxiety Disorder were significantly associated with family history of unprovoked seizures. Clinical cut-offs for Aggressive Behavior and Delinquent Behavior, and DSM-Oriented scales for Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder were significantly associated with family history of unprovoked seizure. Adjustment for siblings with the same disorder revealed significant associations for the relationship between first degree family history of unprovoked seizure and Total Problems and Agressive Behavior in probands with uncomplicated epilepsy; marginally significant results were seen for Internalizing Disorder

  11. Multiple Signaling Pathways Coordinately Regulate Forgetting of Olfactory Adaptation through Control of Sensory Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitazono, Tomohiro; Hara-Kuge, Sayuri; Matsuda, Osamu; Inoue, Akitoshi; Fujiwara, Manabi; Ishihara, Takeshi

    2017-10-18

    Forgetting memories is important for animals to properly respond to continuously changing environments. To elucidate the mechanisms of forgetting, we used one of the behavioral plasticities of Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite, olfactory adaptation to an attractive odorant, diacetyl, as a simple model of learning. In C. elegans, the TIR-1/JNK-1 pathway accelerates forgetting of olfactory adaptation by facilitating neural secretion from AWC sensory neurons. In this study, to identify the downstream effectors of the TIR-1/JNK-1 pathway, we conducted a genetic screen for suppressors of the gain-of-function mutant of tir-1 ( ok1052 ), which shows excessive forgetting. Our screening showed that three proteins-a membrane protein, MACO-1; a receptor tyrosine kinase, SCD-2; and its putative ligand, HEN-1-regulated forgetting downstream of the TIR-1/JNK-1 pathway. We further demonstrated that MACO-1 and SCD-2/HEN-1 functioned in parallel genetic pathways, and only MACO-1 regulated forgetting of olfactory adaptation to isoamyl alcohol, which is an attractive odorant sensed by different types of sensory neurons. In olfactory adaptation, odor-evoked Ca 2+ responses in olfactory neurons are attenuated by conditioning and recovered thereafter. A Ca 2+ imaging study revealed that this attenuation is sustained longer in maco-1 and scd-2 mutant animals than in wild-type animals like the TIR-1/JNK-1 pathway mutants. Furthermore, temporal silencing by histamine-gated chloride channels revealed that the neuronal activity of AWC neurons after conditioning is important for proper forgetting. We propose that distinct signaling pathways, each of which has a specific function, may coordinately and temporally regulate forgetting by controlling sensory responses. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Active forgetting is an important process to understand the whole mechanisms of memories. Recent papers have reported that the noncell autonomous regulations are required for proper forgetting in

  12. Repint of "Reframing autism as a behavioral syndrome and not a specific mental disorder: Implications of genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tordjman, S; Cohen, D; Anderson, G M; Botbol, M; Canitano, R; Coulon, N; Roubertoux, P L

    2018-06-01

    Clinical and molecular genetics have advanced current knowledge on genetic disorders associated with autism. A review of diverse genetic disorders associated with autism is presented and for the first time discussed extensively with regard to possible common underlying mechanisms leading to a similar cognitive-behavioral phenotype of autism. The possible role of interactions between genetic and environmental factors, including epigenetic mechanisms, is in particular examined. Finally, the pertinence of distinguishing non-syndromic autism (isolated autism) from syndromic autism (autism associated with genetic disorders) will be reconsidered. Given the high genetic and etiological heterogeneity of autism, autism can be viewed as a behavioral syndrome related to known genetic disorders (syndromic autism) or currently unknown disorders (apparent non-syndromic autism), rather than a specific categorical mental disorder. It highlights the need to study autism phenotype and developmental trajectory through a multidimensional, non-categorical approach with multivariate analyses within autism spectrum disorder but also across mental disorders, and to conduct systematically clinical genetic examination searching for genetic disorders in all individuals (children but also adults) with autism. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. Reframing autism as a behavioral syndrome and not a specific mental disorder: Implications of genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tordjman, S; Cohen, D; Coulon, N; Anderson, G M; Botbol, M; Canitano, R; Roubertoux, P L

    2017-01-30

    Clinical and molecular genetics have advanced current knowledge on genetic disorders associated with autism. A review of diverse genetic disorders associated with autism is presented and for the first time discussed extensively with regard to possible common underlying mechanisms leading to a similar cognitive-behavioral phenotype of autism. The possible role of interactions between genetic and environmental factors, including epigenetic mechanisms, is in particular examined. Finally, the pertinence of distinguishing non-syndromic autism (isolated autism) from syndromic autism (autism associated with genetic disorders) will be reconsidered. Given the high genetic and etiological heterogeneity of autism, autism can be viewed as a behavioral syndrome related to known genetic disorders (syndromic autism) or currently unknown disorders (apparent non-syndromic autism), rather than a specific categorical mental disorder. It highlights the need to study autism phenotype and developmental trajectory through a multidimensional, non-categorical approach with multivariate analyses within autism spectrum disorder but also across mental disorders, and to conduct systematically clinical genetic examination searching for genetic disorders in all individuals (children but also adults) with autism. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. A novel analytical framework for dissecting the genetic architecture of behavioral symptoms in neuropsychiatric disorders.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony J Deo

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available For diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorders, a categorical classification system is often utilized as a simple way for conceptualizing an often complex clinical picture. This approach provides an unsatisfactory model of mental illness, since in practice patients do not conform to these prototypical diagnostic categories. Family studies show notable familial co-aggregation between schizophrenia and bipolar illness and between schizoaffective disorders and both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, revealing that mental illness does not conform to such categorical models and is likely to follow a continuum encompassing a spectrum of behavioral symptoms.We introduce an analytic framework to dissect the phenotypic heterogeneity present in complex psychiatric disorders based on the conceptual paradigm of a continuum of psychosis. The approach identifies subgroups of behavioral symptoms that are likely to be phenotypically and genetically homogenous. We have evaluated this approach through analysis of simulated data with simulated behavioral traits and predisposing genetic factors. We also apply this approach to a psychiatric dataset of a genome scan for schizophrenia for which extensive behavioral information was collected for each individual patient and their families. With this approach, we identified significant evidence for linkage among depressed individuals with two distinct symptom profiles, that is individuals with sleep disturbance symptoms with linkage on chromosome 2q13 and also a mutually exclusive group of individuals with symptoms of concentration problems with linkage on chromosome 2q35. In addition we identified a subset of individuals with schizophrenia defined by language disturbances with linkage to chromosome 2p25.1 and a group of patients with a phenotype intermediate between those of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder with linkage to chromosome 2p21.The findings presented are novel and demonstrate the efficacy of this

  15. Heterologous Expression in Remodeled C. elegans: A Platform for Monoaminergic Agonist Identification and Anthelmintic Screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Wenjing; Wuescher, Leah M; Ortega, Amanda; Hapiak, Vera M; Komuniecki, Patricia R; Komuniecki, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Monoamines, such as 5-HT and tyramine (TA), paralyze both free-living and parasitic nematodes when applied exogenously and serotonergic agonists have been used to clear Haemonchus contortus infections in vivo. Since nematode cell lines are not available and animal screening options are limited, we have developed a screening platform to identify monoamine receptor agonists. Key receptors were expressed heterologously in chimeric, genetically-engineered Caenorhabditis elegans, at sites likely to yield robust phenotypes upon agonist stimulation. This approach potentially preserves the unique pharmacologies of the receptors, while including nematode-specific accessory proteins and the nematode cuticle. Importantly, the sensitivity of monoamine-dependent paralysis could be increased dramatically by hypotonic incubation or the use of bus mutants with increased cuticular permeabilities. We have demonstrated that the monoamine-dependent inhibition of key interneurons, cholinergic motor neurons or body wall muscle inhibited locomotion and caused paralysis. Specifically, 5-HT paralyzed C. elegans 5-HT receptor null animals expressing either nematode, insect or human orthologues of a key Gαo-coupled 5-HT1-like receptor in the cholinergic motor neurons. Importantly, 8-OH-DPAT and PAPP, 5-HT receptor agonists, differentially paralyzed the transgenic animals, with 8-OH-DPAT paralyzing mutant animals expressing the human receptor at concentrations well below those affecting its C. elegans or insect orthologues. Similarly, 5-HT and TA paralyzed C. elegans 5-HT or TA receptor null animals, respectively, expressing either C. elegans or H. contortus 5-HT or TA-gated Cl- channels in either C. elegans cholinergic motor neurons or body wall muscles. Together, these data suggest that this heterologous, ectopic expression screening approach will be useful for the identification of agonists for key monoamine receptors from parasites and could have broad application for the identification

  16. Heterologous Expression in Remodeled C. elegans: A Platform for Monoaminergic Agonist Identification and Anthelmintic Screening.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjing Law

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Monoamines, such as 5-HT and tyramine (TA, paralyze both free-living and parasitic nematodes when applied exogenously and serotonergic agonists have been used to clear Haemonchus contortus infections in vivo. Since nematode cell lines are not available and animal screening options are limited, we have developed a screening platform to identify monoamine receptor agonists. Key receptors were expressed heterologously in chimeric, genetically-engineered Caenorhabditis elegans, at sites likely to yield robust phenotypes upon agonist stimulation. This approach potentially preserves the unique pharmacologies of the receptors, while including nematode-specific accessory proteins and the nematode cuticle. Importantly, the sensitivity of monoamine-dependent paralysis could be increased dramatically by hypotonic incubation or the use of bus mutants with increased cuticular permeabilities. We have demonstrated that the monoamine-dependent inhibition of key interneurons, cholinergic motor neurons or body wall muscle inhibited locomotion and caused paralysis. Specifically, 5-HT paralyzed C. elegans 5-HT receptor null animals expressing either nematode, insect or human orthologues of a key Gαo-coupled 5-HT1-like receptor in the cholinergic motor neurons. Importantly, 8-OH-DPAT and PAPP, 5-HT receptor agonists, differentially paralyzed the transgenic animals, with 8-OH-DPAT paralyzing mutant animals expressing the human receptor at concentrations well below those affecting its C. elegans or insect orthologues. Similarly, 5-HT and TA paralyzed C. elegans 5-HT or TA receptor null animals, respectively, expressing either C. elegans or H. contortus 5-HT or TA-gated Cl- channels in either C. elegans cholinergic motor neurons or body wall muscles. Together, these data suggest that this heterologous, ectopic expression screening approach will be useful for the identification of agonists for key monoamine receptors from parasites and could have broad application for

  17. Prepubertal Ovariectomy Exaggerates Adult Affective Behaviors and Alters the Hippocampal Transcriptome in a Genetic Rat Model of Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neha S. Raghavan

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Major depressive disorder (MDD is a debilitating illness that affects twice as many women than men postpuberty. This female bias is thought to be caused by greater heritability of MDD in women and increased vulnerability induced by female sex hormones. We tested this hypothesis by removing the ovaries from prepubertal Wistar Kyoto (WKY more immobile (WMI females, a genetic animal model of depression, and its genetically close control, the WKY less immobile (WLI. In adulthood, prepubertally ovariectomized (PrePubOVX animals and their Sham-operated controls were tested for depression- and anxiety-like behaviors, using the routinely employed forced swim and open field tests, respectively, and RNA-sequencing was performed on their hippocampal RNA. Our results confirmed that the behavioral and hippocampal expression changes that occur after prepubertal ovariectomy are the consequences of an interaction between genetic predisposition to depressive behavior and ovarian hormone-regulated processes. Lack of ovarian hormones during and after puberty in the WLIs led to increased depression-like behavior. In WMIs, both depression- and anxiety-like behaviors worsened by prepubertal ovariectomy. The unbiased exploration of the hippocampal transcriptome identified sets of differentially expressed genes (DEGs between the strains and treatment groups. The relatively small number of hippocampal DEGs resulting from the genetic differences between the strains confirmed the genetic relatedness of these strains. Nevertheless, the differences in DEGs between the strains in response to prepubertal ovariectomy identified different molecular processes, including the importance of glucocorticoid receptor-mediated mechanisms, that may be causative of the increased depression-like behavior in the presence or absence of genetic predisposition. This study contributes to the understanding of hormonal maturation-induced changes in affective behaviors and the hippocampal

  18. Are behavioral differences among wild chimpanzee communities genetic or cultural? An assessment using tool-use data and phylogenetic methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lycett, Stephen J; Collard, Mark; McGrew, William C

    2010-07-01

    Over the last 30 years it has become increasingly apparent that there are many behavioral differences among wild communities of Pan troglodytes. Some researchers argue these differences are a consequence of the behaviors being socially learned, and thus may be considered cultural. Others contend that the available evidence is too weak to discount the alternative possibility that the behaviors are genetically determined. Previous phylogenetic analyses of chimpanzee behavior have not supported the predictions of the genetic hypothesis. However, the results of these studies are potentially problematic because the behavioral sample employed did not include communities from central Africa. Here, we present the results of a study designed to address this shortcoming. We carried out cladistic analyses of presence/absence data pertaining to 19 tool-use behaviors in 10 different P. troglodytes communities plus an outgroup (P. paniscus). Genetic data indicate that chimpanzee communities in West Africa are well differentiated from those in eastern and central Africa, while the latter are not reciprocally monophyletic. Thus, we predicted that if the genetic hypothesis is correct, the tool-use data should mirror the genetic data in terms of structure. The three measures of phylogenetic structure we employed (the Retention Index, the bootstrap, and the Permutation Tail Probability Test) did not support the genetic hypothesis. They were all lower when all 10 communities were included than when the three western African communities are excluded. Hence, our study refutes the genetic hypothesis and provides further evidence that patterns of behavior in chimpanzees are the product of social learning and therefore meet the main condition for culture. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Characterization of hydroxyurea resistance in C. elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brejning, Jeanette

    The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a prominent model organism for studying aging and many age-related diseases. We use C. elegans to study the relationship between cancer and aging. To prevent cancer, cells are equipped with surveillance systems that detect damage and stop cells...... from dividing. These surveillance systems are collectively called cellular checkpoints. We have found that inactivation of certain checkpoint proteins, including p53, also cause resistance to the chemotherapeutic drug hydroxyurea (HU) that stalls replication. We have found that in C. elegans, HU...... inhibits ribonucleotide reductase (RNR). RNR is involved in synthesis of deoxyribonucleotide (dNTP) precursors for DNA replication and repair. Previously we have shown that inactivation of some checkpoint proteins can increase stress resistance and lifespan of C. elegans1. Interestingly, several genes...

  20. Behavioral phenotypes in schizophrenic animal models with multiple combinations of genetic and environmental factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hida, Hirotake; Mouri, Akihiro; Noda, Yukihiro

    2013-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a multifactorial psychiatric disorder in which both genetic and environmental factors play a role. Genetic [e.g., Disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), Neuregulin-1 (NRG1)] and environmental factors (e.g., maternal viral infection, obstetric complications, social stress) may act during the developmental period to increase the incidence of schizophrenia. In animal models, interactions between susceptibility genes and the environment can be controlled in ways not possible in humans; therefore, such models are useful for investigating interactions between or within factors in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of schizophrenia. We provide an overview of schizophrenic animal models investigating interactions between or within factors. First, we reviewed gene-environment interaction animal models, in which schizophrenic candidate gene mutant mice were subjected to perinatal immune activation or adolescent stress. Next, environment-environment interaction animal models, in which mice were subjected to a combination of perinatal immune activation and adolescent administration of drugs, were described. These animal models showed interaction between or within factors; behavioral changes, which were obscured by each factor, were marked by interaction of factors and vice versa. Appropriate behavioral approaches with such models will be invaluable for translational research on novel compounds, and also for providing insight into the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of schizophrenia.

  1. Behavioral versus genetic correlates of lipoproteins and adiposity in identical twins discordant for exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Paul T; Blanche, Patricia J; Krauss, Ronald M

    2005-07-19

    Lipoprotein and weight differences between vigorously active and sedentary monozygotic (MZ) twins were used to (1) estimate the effects of training while controlling for genotype and (2) estimate genetic concordance (ie, similarity) in the presence of divergent lifestyles. Thirty-five pairs of MZ twins (25 male, 10 female) were recruited nationally who were discordant for vigorous exercise (running distances differed by > or =40 km in male and > or =32 km in female twins). The active twins ran an average (mean+/-SD) of 63.0+/-20.4 km/wk, whereas the mostly sedentary twins averaged 7.0+/-13.5 km/wk. The active twins had significantly lower body mass index (difference+/-SE, -2.12+/-0.57 kg/m2, P=0.0007) and significantly higher HDL cholesterol (0.14+/-0.04 mmol/L, P=0.004), HDL2 (2.71+/-1.04 U, P=0.01), and apolipoprotein (apo) A-I (0.10+/-0.03 g/L, P=0.004). Despite the difference in lifestyle, when adjusted for sex, the correlations between the discordant MZ twin pairs were significant (PHDL cholesterol (r=0.69), apoA-I (r=0.58), and HDL2 (r=0.67). There was no significant MZ twin correlation for body mass index (r=0.17). None of the active twins having an overweight twin were themselves overweight. Behavior (vigorous exercise) may reduce genetic influences on body mass index. In contrast, genetics (or shared environment) substantially influences HDL cholesterol and HDL subclasses, even in the presence of extreme behavioral differences. There may be greater individual control over moderate degrees of obesity, whereas low HDL cholesterol may be largely predetermined and less effectively treated by vigorous exercise.

  2. Male and female contributions to behavioral isolation in darters as a function of genetic distance and color distance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Rachel L.; Zhou, Muchu; Catchen, Julian M.; Fuller, Rebecca C.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Determining which reproductive isolating barriers arise first between geographically isolated lineages is critical to understanding allopatric speciation. We examined behavioral isolation among four recently diverged allopatric species in the orangethroat darter clade (Etheostoma: Ceasia). We also examined behavioral isolation between each Ceasia species and the sympatric rainbow darter Etheostoma caeruleum. We asked (1) is behavioral isolation present between allopatric Ceasia species, and how does this compare to behavioral isolation with E. caeruleum, (2) does male color distance and/or genetic distance predict behavioral isolation between species, and (3) what are the relative contributions of female choice, male choice, and male competition to behavioral isolation? We found that behavioral isolation, genetic differentiation, and male color pattern differentiation were present between allopatric Ceasia species. Males, but not females, discerned between conspecific and heterospecific mates. Males also directed more aggression toward conspecific rival males. The high levels of behavioral isolation among Ceasia species showed no obvious pattern with genetic distance or male color distance. However, when the E. caeruleum was included in the analysis, an association between male aggression and male color distance was apparent. We discuss the possibility that reinforcement between Ceasia and E. caeruleum is driving behavioral isolation among allopatric Ceasia species. PMID:28776645

  3. SNCA 3'UTR genetic variants in patients with Parkinson's disease and REM sleep behavior disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toffoli, M; Dreussi, E; Cecchin, E; Valente, M; Sanvilli, N; Montico, M; Gagno, S; Garziera, M; Polano, M; Savarese, M; Calandra-Buonaura, G; Placidi, F; Terzaghi, M; Toffoli, G; Gigli, G L

    2017-07-01

    REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) is an early marker of Parkinson's disease (PD); however, it is still unclear which patients with RBD will eventually develop PD. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 3'untranslated region (3'UTR) of alpha-synuclein (SNCA) have been associated with PD, but at present, no data is available about RBD. The 3'UTR hosts regulatory regions involved in gene expression control, such as microRNA binding sites. The aim of this study was to determine RBD specific genetic features associated to an increased risk of progression to PD, by sequencing of the SNCA-3'UTR in patients with "idiopathic" RBD (iRBD) and in patients with PD. We recruited 113 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of iRBD (56 patients) or PD (with or without RBD, 57 patients). Sequencing of SNCA-3'UTR was performed on genomic DNA extracted from peripheral blood samples. Bioinformatic analyses were carried out to predict the potential effect of the identified genetic variants on microRNA binding. We found three SNCA-3'UTR SNPs (rs356165, rs3857053, rs1045722) to be more frequent in PD patients than in iRBD patients (p = 0.014, 0.008, and 0.008, respectively). Four new or previously reported but not annotated specific genetic variants (KP876057, KP876056, NM_000345.3:c*860T>A, NM_000345.3:c*2320A>T) have been observed in the RBD population. The in silico approach highlighted that these variants could affect microRNA-mediated gene expression control. Our data show specific SNPs in the SNCA-3'UTR that may bear a risk for RBD to be associated with PD. Moreover, new genetic variants were identified in patients with iRBD.

  4. Genotyping-By-Sequencing (GBS) Detects Genetic Structure and Confirms Behavioral QTL in Tame and Aggressive Foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jennifer L; Wittgenstein, Helena; Mitchell, Sharon E; Hyma, Katie E; Temnykh, Svetlana V; Kharlamova, Anastasiya V; Gulevich, Rimma G; Vladimirova, Anastasiya V; Fong, Hiu Wa Flora; Acland, Gregory M; Trut, Lyudmila N; Kukekova, Anna V

    2015-01-01

    The silver fox (Vulpes vulpes) offers a novel model for studying the genetics of social behavior and animal domestication. Selection of foxes, separately, for tame and for aggressive behavior has yielded two strains with markedly different, genetically determined, behavioral phenotypes. Tame strain foxes are eager to establish human contact while foxes from the aggressive strain are aggressive and difficult to handle. These strains have been maintained as separate outbred lines for over 40 generations but their genetic structure has not been previously investigated. We applied a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach to provide insights into the genetic composition of these fox populations. Sequence analysis of EcoT22I genomic libraries of tame and aggressive foxes identified 48,294 high quality SNPs. Population structure analysis revealed genetic divergence between the two strains and more diversity in the aggressive strain than in the tame one. Significant differences in allele frequency between the strains were identified for 68 SNPs. Three of these SNPs were located on fox chromosome 14 within an interval of a previously identified behavioral QTL, further supporting the importance of this region for behavior. The GBS SNP data confirmed that significant genetic diversity has been preserved in both fox populations despite many years of selective breeding. Analysis of SNP allele frequencies in the two populations identified several regions of genetic divergence between the tame and aggressive foxes, some of which may represent targets of selection for behavior. The GBS protocol used in this study significantly expanded genomic resources for the fox, and can be adapted for SNP discovery and genotyping in other canid species.

  5. Imaging C. elegans embryos using an epifluorescent microscope and open source software.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbrugghe, Koen J C; Chan, Raymond C

    2011-03-24

    Cellular processes, such as chromosome assembly, segregation and cytokinesis,are inherently dynamic. Time-lapse imaging of living cells, using fluorescent-labeled reporter proteins or differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy, allows for the examination of the temporal progression of these dynamic events which is otherwise inferred from analysis of fixed samples(1,2). Moreover, the study of the developmental regulations of cellular processes necessitates conducting time-lapse experiments on an intact organism during development. The Caenorhabiditis elegans embryo is light-transparent and has a rapid, invariant developmental program with a known cell lineage(3), thus providing an ideal experiment model for studying questions in cell biology(4,5)and development(6-9). C. elegans is amendable to genetic manipulation by forward genetics (based on random mutagenesis(10,11)) and reverse genetics to target specific genes (based on RNAi-mediated interference and targeted mutagenesis(12-15)). In addition, transgenic animals can be readily created to express fluorescently tagged proteins or reporters(16,17). These traits combine to make it easy to identify the genetic pathways regulating fundamental cellular and developmental processes in vivo(18-21). In this protocol we present methods for live imaging of C. elegans embryos using DIC optics or GFP fluorescence on a compound epifluorescent microscope. We demonstrate the ease with which readily available microscopes, typically used for fixed sample imaging, can also be applied for time-lapse analysis using open-source software to automate the imaging process.

  6. Behind the wheel and on the map: Genetic and environmental associations between drunk driving and other externalizing behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Patrick D; Harden, K Paige

    2013-11-01

    Drunk driving, a major contributor to alcohol-related mortality, has been linked to a variety of other alcohol-related (e.g., Alcohol Dependence, early age at first drink) and non-alcohol-related externalizing behaviors. In a sample of 517 same-sex twin pairs from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we examined 3 conceptualizations of the etiology of drunk driving in relation to other externalizing behaviors. A series of behavioral-genetic models found consistent evidence for drunk driving as a manifestation of genetic vulnerabilities toward a spectrum of alcohol-related and non-alcohol-related externalizing behaviors. Most notably, multidimensional scaling analyses produced a genetic "map" with drunk driving located near its center, supporting the strength of drunk driving's genetic relations with a broad range of externalizing behaviors. In contrast, nonshared environmental associations with drunk driving were weaker and more diffuse. Drunk driving may be a manifestation of genetic vulnerabilities toward a broad externalizing spectrum. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.

  7. Genetic strain and diet effects on grazing behavior, pasture intake, and milk production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheahan, A J; Kolver, E S; Roche, J R

    2011-07-01

    Understanding how dairy cows adjust their grazing behavior in response to feed supplements is important for the development of management strategies that optimize profit from supplementation. New Zealand Holstein-Friesian (HF) cows have been selected for milk production on a predominantly pasture-based diet; in comparison, HF cows of North American (NA) ancestry have been selected almost exclusively for milk yield and fed diets high in nonfiber carbohydrates (NFC). We hypothesized, therefore, that supplementation would have differing effects on grazing behavior, pasture dry matter intake (DMI), and milk production in these genetic strains at peak, mid, and late lactation. A study was conducted over 2 consecutive lactations, with NA and NZ cows randomly allocated at calving to 0, 3, or 6 kg of dry matter/day concentrate plus unrestricted access to pasture. Pasture DMI, milk production, and grazing behavior were recorded at peak, mid, and late lactation. Concentrates were fed in equal amounts at morning and afternoon milking. The NA cows produced more milk and milk components, and had a greater pasture DMI, despite spending less time grazing. Declines in time spent grazing and pasture DMI were associated with increasing concentrate DMI. Grazing behavior following morning supplementation was different from that recorded following afternoon supplementation. Grazing ceased following morning supplementation before rumen fill could be a limiting factor, and the length of the grazing interval was inversely proportional to the amount of concentrate offered; these results suggest that physiological rather than physical stimuli were responsible for grazing cessation. The decrease in time spent grazing with increasing concentrate DMI is consistent with changes in neuroendocrine factors secreted in response to the presence of food in the digestive tract or with circulating products of digestion. After afternoon supplementation, sunset signaled the end of grazing irrespective of

  8. Conserved mechanism of Wnt signaling function in the specification of vulval precursor fates in C. elegans and C. briggsae

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Seetharaman, A.; Cumbo, P.; Bojanala, Nagagireesh; Gupta, B. P.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 346, č. 1 (2010), s. 128-139 ISSN 0012-1606 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Nematode * C. elegans * C. briggsae * Vulval development * Signal transduction * Wnt signaling Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.094, year: 2010

  9. Natural variation in gene expression in the early development of dauer larvae of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barker Gary LA

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans makes a developmental decision based on environmental conditions: larvae either arrest as dauer larva, or continue development into reproductive adults. There is natural variation among C. elegans lines in the sensitivity of this decision to environmental conditions; that is, there is variation in the phenotypic plasticity of dauer larva development. We hypothesised that these differences may be transcriptionally controlled in early stage larvae. We investigated this by microarray analysis of different C. elegans lines under different environmental conditions, specifically the presence and absence of dauer larva-inducing pheromone. Results There were substantial transcriptional differences between four C. elegans lines under the same environmental conditions. The expression of approximately 2,000 genes differed between genetically different lines, with each line showing a largely line-specific transcriptional profile. The expression of genes that are markers of larval moulting suggested that the lines may be developing at different rates. The expression of a total of 89 genes was putatively affected by dauer larva or non-dauer larva-inducing conditions. Among the upstream regions of these genes there was an over-representation of DAF-16-binding motifs. Conclusion Under the same environmental conditions genetically different lines of C. elegans had substantial transcriptional differences. This variation may be due to differences in the developmental rates of the lines. Different environmental conditions had a rather smaller effect on transcription. The preponderance of DAF-16-binding motifs upstream of these genes was consistent with these genes playing a key role in the decision between development into dauer or into non-dauer larvae. There was little overlap between the genes whose expression was affected by environmental conditions and previously identified loci involved in

  10. Early-onset behavioral and neurochemical deficits in the genetic mouse model of phenylketonuria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiori, Elena; Oddi, Diego; Ventura, Rossella; Colamartino, Marco; Valzania, Alessandro; D'Amato, Francesca Romana; Bruinenberg, Vibeke; van der Zee, Eddy; Puglisi-Allegra, Stefano; Pascucci, Tiziana

    2017-01-01

    Phenylketonuria (PKU) is one of the most common human inborn errors of metabolism, caused by phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency, leading to high phenylalanine and low tyrosine levels in blood and brain causing profound cognitive disability, if untreated. Since 1960, population is screened for hyperphenylalaninemia shortly after birth and submitted to early treatment in order to prevent the major manifestations of the disease. However, the dietetic regimen (phenylalanine free diet) is difficult to maintain, and despite the recommendation to a strict and lifelong compliance, up to 60% of adolescents partially or totally abandons the treatment. The development and the study of new treatments continue to be sought, taking advantage of preclinical models, the most used of which is the PAHenu2 (BTBR ENU2), the genetic murine model of PKU. To date, adult behavioral and neurochemical alterations have been mainly investigated in ENU2 mice, whereas there are no clear indications about the onset of these deficiencies. Here we investigated and report, for the first time, a comprehensive behavioral and neurochemical assay of the developing ENU2 mice. Overall, our findings demonstrate that ENU2 mice are significantly smaller than WT until pnd 24, present a significant delay in the acquisition of tested developmental reflexes, impaired communicative, motor and social skills, and have early reduced biogenic amine levels in several brain areas. Our results extend the understanding of behavioral and cerebral abnormalities in PKU mice, providing instruments to an early preclinical evaluation of the effects of new treatments.

  11. Gene targeting using homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells: The future for behavior genetics?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert eGerlai

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Gene targeting with homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells created a revolution in the analysis of the function of genes in behavioral brain research. The technology allowed unprecedented precision with which one could manipulate genes and study the effect of this manipulation on the central nervous system. With gene targeting, the uncertainty inherent in psychopharmacology regarding whether a particular compound would act only through a specific target was removed. Thus, gene targeting became highly popular. However, with this popularity came the realization that like other methods, gene targeting also suffered from some technical and principal problems. For example, two decades ago, issues about compensatory changes and about genetic linkage were raised. Since then, the technology developed, and its utility has been better delineated. This review will discuss the pros and cons of the technique along with these advancements from the perspective of the neuroscientist user. It will also compare and contrast methods that may represent novel alternatives to the homologous recombination based gene targeting approach, including the TALEN and the CRISPR/Cas9 systems. The goal of the review is not to provide detailed recipes, but to attempt to present a short summary of these approaches a behavioral geneticist or neuroscientist may consider for the analysis of brain function and behavior.

  12. Gait modulation in C. elegans: An integrated neuromechanical model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan Hylke Boyle

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Equipped with its 302-cell nervous system, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans adapts its locomotion in different environments, exhibiting so-called swimming in liquids and crawling on dense gels. Recent experiments have demonstrated that the worm displays the full range of intermediate behaviors when placed in intermediate environments. The continuous nature of this transition strongly suggests that these behaviors all stem from modulation of a single underlying mechanism. Wepresent a model of C. elegans forward locomotion that includes a neuromuscular control system that relies on a sensory feedback mechanism to generate undulations and is integrated with a physical model of the body and environment. We find that the model reproduces the entire swim-crawl transition, as well as locomotion in complex and heterogeneous environments. This is achieved with no modulatory mechanism, except via the proprioceptive response to the physical environment. Manipulations of the model are used to dissect the proposed pattern generation mechanism and its modulation. The model suggests a possible role for GABAergic D-class neurons in forward locomotion and makes a number of experimentalpredictions, in particular with respect to nonlinearities in the model and to symmetry breaking between the neuromuscular systems on the ventral and dorsal sides of the body.

  13. Genetic influences on alcohol use behaviors have diverging developmental trajectories: a prospective study among male and female twins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Jacquelyn L; Salvatore, Jessica E; Vuoksimaa, Eero; Korhonen, Tellervo; Pulkkinen, Lea; Rose, Richard J; Kaprio, Jaakko; Dick, Danielle M

    2014-11-01

    Both alcohol-specific genetic factors and genetic factors related to externalizing behavior influence problematic alcohol use. Little is known, however, about the etiologic role of these 2 components of genetic risk on alcohol-related behaviors across development. Prior studies conducted in a male cohort of twins suggest that externalizing genetic factors are important for predicting heavy alcohol use in adolescence, whereas alcohol-specific genetic factors increase in importance during the transition to adulthood. In this report, we studied twin brothers and sisters and brother-sister twin pairs to examine such developmental trajectories and investigate whether sex and cotwin sex effects modify these genetic influences. We used prospective, longitudinal twin data collected between ages 12 and 22 within the population-based FinnTwin12 cohort study (analytic n = 1,864). Our dependent measures of alcohol use behaviors included alcohol initiation (age 12), intoxication frequency (ages 14 and 17), and alcohol dependence criteria (age 22). Each individual's genetic risk of alcohol use disorders (AUD-GR) was indexed by his/her parents' and cotwin's DSM-IV Alcohol Dependence (AD) criterion counts. Likewise, each individual's genetic risk of externalizing disorders (EXT-GR) was indexed with a composite measure of parents' and cotwin's DSM-IV Conduct Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder criterion counts. EXT-GR was most strongly related to alcohol use behaviors during adolescence, while AUD-GR was most strongly related to alcohol problems in young adulthood. Further, sex of the twin and sex of the cotwin significantly moderated the associations between genetic risk and alcohol use behaviors across development: AUD-GR influenced early adolescent alcohol use behaviors in females more than in males, and EXT-GR influenced age 22 AD more in males than in females. In addition, the associations of AUD-GR and EXT-GR with intoxication frequency were greater among 14- and

  14. Genetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hubitschek, H.E.

    1975-01-01

    Progress is reported on the following research projects: genetic effects of high LET radiations; genetic regulation, alteration, and repair; chromosome replication and the division cycle of Escherichia coli; effects of radioisotope decay in the DNA of microorganisms; initiation and termination of DNA replication in Bacillus subtilis; mutagenesis in mouse myeloma cells; lethal and mutagenic effects of near-uv radiation; effect of 8-methoxypsoralen on photodynamic lethality and mutagenicity in Escherichia coli; DNA repair of the lethal effects of far-uv; and near uv irradiation of bacterial cells

  15. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-04

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

  16. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Microbeam irradiation of the C. elegans nematode

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertucci, Antonella; Brenner, David J.; Pocock, Roger D.J.; Randers-Pehrson, Gerhard

    2009-01-01

    The understanding of complex radiation responses in biological systems, such as non-targeted effects as represented by the bystander response, can be enhanced by the use of genetically amenable model organisms. Almost all bystander studies to date have been carried out by using conventional single-cell in vitro systems, which are useful tools to characterize basic cellular and molecular responses. A few studies have been reported in monolayer explants and bystander responses have been also investigated in a three-dimensional normal human tissue system. However, despite the well-know usefulness of in vitro models, they cannot capture the complexity of radiation responses of living systems such as animal models. To carry out in vivo studies on the bystander effect we have developed a new technique to expose living organisms using proton microbeams. We report the use of a nematode C. elegans strain with a Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) reporter for the hsp-4 heat-shock gene as an in vivo model for radiation studies. Exposing animals to heat and chemicals stressors leads to whole body increases in the hsp-4 protein reflected by enhanced fluorescence. We report here that γ-rays also can induce stress response in a dose dependent manner. However, whole body exposure to stress agents does not allow for evaluation of distance dependent response in non targeted tissues: the so-called bystander effect. We used the RARAF microbeam to site specifically deliver 3 MeV protons to a site in the tail of young worms. GFP expression was enhanced after 24 hours in a number dependent manner at distances > 100 μm from the site of irradiation. (author)

  18. Regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans vitellogenesis by DAF-2/IIS through separable transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DePina, Ana S; Iser, Wendy B; Park, Sung-Soo; Maudsley, Stuart; Wilson, Mark A; Wolkow, Catherine A

    2011-07-12

    Evolutionary theories of aging propose that longevity evolves as a competition between reproduction and somatic maintenance for a finite pool of resources. Reproduction is thought to shorten lifespan by depleting resources from processes promoting somatic maintenance. Maternal yolk production, vitellogenesis, represents a significant maternal cost for reproduction and is suppressed under genetic and environmental conditions that extend lifespan. However, little is known about the pathways regulating vitellogenesis in response to prolongevity cues. In order to identify mechanisms that suppress vitellogenesis under prolongevity conditions, we studied factors regulating vitellogenesis in C. elegans nematodes. In C. elegans, vitellogenesis is depressed in the absence of insulin-like signaling (IIS). We found that the C. elegans daf-2/IIS pathway regulates vitellogenesis through two mechanisms. vit-2 transcript levels in daf-2 mutants were indirectly regulated through a germline-dependent signal, and could be rescued by introduction of daf-2(+) sperm. However, yolk protein (YP) levels in daf-2 mutants were also regulated by germline-independent posttranscriptional mechanisms. C. elegans vitellogenesis is regulated transcriptionally and posttranscriptionally in response to environmental and reproductive cues. The daf-2 pathway suppressed vitellogenesis through transcriptional mechanisms reflecting reproductive phenotypes, as well as distinct posttranscriptional mechanisms. This study reveals that pleiotropic effects of IIS pathway mutations can converge on a common downstream target, vitellogenesis, as a mechanism to modulate longevity.

  19. Regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans vitellogenesis by DAF-2/IIS through separable transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson Mark A

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary theories of aging propose that longevity evolves as a competition between reproduction and somatic maintenance for a finite pool of resources. Reproduction is thought to shorten lifespan by depleting resources from processes promoting somatic maintenance. Maternal yolk production, vitellogenesis, represents a significant maternal cost for reproduction and is suppressed under genetic and environmental conditions that extend lifespan. However, little is known about the pathways regulating vitellogenesis in response to prolongevity cues. Results In order to identify mechanisms that suppress vitellogenesis under prolongevity conditions, we studied factors regulating vitellogenesis in C. elegans nematodes. In C. elegans, vitellogenesis is depressed in the absence of insulin-like signaling (IIS. We found that the C. elegans daf-2/IIS pathway regulates vitellogenesis through two mechanisms. vit-2 transcript levels in daf-2 mutants were indirectly regulated through a germline-dependent signal, and could be rescued by introduction of daf-2(+ sperm. However, yolk protein (YP levels in daf-2 mutants were also regulated by germline-independent posttranscriptional mechanisms. Conclusions C. elegans vitellogenesis is regulated transcriptionally and posttranscriptionally in response to environmental and reproductive cues. The daf-2 pathway suppressed vitellogenesis through transcriptional mechanisms reflecting reproductive phenotypes, as well as distinct posttranscriptional mechanisms. This study reveals that pleiotropic effects of IIS pathway mutations can converge on a common downstream target, vitellogenesis, as a mechanism to modulate longevity.

  20. Acute drug treatment in the early C. elegans embryo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Carvalho

    Full Text Available Genetic and genome-wide RNAi approaches available in C. elegans, combined with tools for visualizing subcellular events with high-resolution, have led to increasing adoption of the early C. elegans embryo as a model for mechanistic and functional genomic analysis of cellular processes. However, a limitation of this system has been the impermeability of the embryo eggshell, which has prevented the routine use of small molecule inhibitors. Here, we present a method to permeabilize and immobilize embryos for acute inhibitor treatment in conjunction with live imaging. To identify a means to permeabilize the eggshell, we used a dye uptake assay to screen a set of 310 candidate genes defined by a combination of bioinformatic criteria. This screen identified 20 genes whose inhibition resulted in >75% eggshell permeability, and 3 that permeabilized embryos with minimal deleterious effects on embryo production and early embryonic development. To mount permeabilized embryos for acute drug addition in conjunction with live imaging, we combined optimized inhibition of one of these genes with the use of a microfabricated chamber that we designed. We demonstrate that these two developments enable the temporally controlled introduction of inhibitors for mechanistic studies. This method should also open new avenues of investigation by allowing profiling and specificity-testing of inhibitors through comparison with genome-wide phenotypic datasets.

  1. DAF-16: FOXO in the Context of C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tissenbaum, Heidi A

    2018-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, there is a single FOXO transcription factor homolog, encoded by the gene, daf-16. As a central regulator for multiple signaling pathways, DAF-16 integrates these signals which results in modulation of several biological processes including longevity, development, fat storage, stress resistance, innate immunity, and reproduction. Using C. elegans allows for studies of FOXO in the context of the whole animal. Therefore, manipulating levels or the activity of daf-16 results in phenotypic changes. Genetic and molecular analysis revealed that similar to other systems, DAF-16 is the downstream target of the conserved insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway; a PI 3-kinase/AKT signaling cascade that ultimately controls the regulation of DAF-16 nuclear localization. In this chapter, I will focus on understanding how a single gene daf-16 can incorporate signals from multiple upstream pathways and in turn modulate different phenotypes as well as the study of FOXO in the context of a whole organism. © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Exploring the envelope. Systematic alteration in the sex-determination system of the nematode caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    Hodgkin, Jonathan

    2002-01-01

    The natural sexes of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans are the self-fertilizing hermaphrodite (XX) and the male (XO). The underlying genetic pathway controlling sexual phenotype has been extensively investigated. Mutations in key regulatory genes have been used to create a series of stable populations in which sex is determined not by X chromosome dosage, but in a variety of other ways, many of which mimic the diverse sex-determination systems found in different animal species. Most of thes...

  3. Analyzing the determinants of the voting behavior using a genetic algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Vizcaíno-González

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Using data about votes emitted by funds in meetings held by United States banks from 2003 to 2013, we apply a genetic algorithm to a set of financial variables in order to detect the determinants of the vote direction. Our findings indicate that there are three main explanatory factors: the market value of the firm, the shareholder activism measured as the total number of funds voting, and the temporal context, which reflects the influence of recent critical events affecting the banking industry, including bankruptcies, reputational failures, and mergers and acquisitions. As a result, considering that voting behavior has been empirically linked to reputational harms, these findings can be considered as a useful insight about the keys that should be taken into account in order to achieve an effective reputational risk management strategy.

  4. Genetic variation in the endocannabinoid system and response to Cognitive Behavior Therapy for child anxiety disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Jonathan R. I.; Roberts, Susanna; Keers, Robert; Breen, Gerome; Bögels, Susan; Creswell, Cathy; Hudson, Jennifer L.; McKinnon, Anna; Nauta, Maaike; Rapee, Ronald M.; Schneider, Silvia; Silverman, Wendy K.; Thastum, Mikael; Waite, Polly; Wergeland, Gro Janne H.; Eley, Thalia C.

    2016-01-01

    Extinction learning is an important mechanism in the successful psychological treatment of anxiety. Individual differences in response and relapse following Cognitive Behavior Therapy may in part be explained by variability in the ease with which fears are extinguished or the vulnerability of these fears to re‐emerge. Given the role of the endocannabinoid system in fear extinction, this study investigates whether genetic variation in the endocannabinoid system explains individual differences in response to CBT. Children (N = 1,309) with a primary anxiety disorder diagnosis were recruited. We investigated the relationship between variation in the CNR1, CNR2, and FAAH genes and change in primary anxiety disorder severity between pre‐ and post‐treatment and during the follow‐up period in the full sample and a subset with fear‐based anxiety disorder diagnoses. Change in symptom severity during active treatment was nominally associated (P < 0.05) with two SNPs. During the follow‐up period, five SNPs were nominally associated with a poorer treatment response (rs806365 [CNR1]; rs2501431 [CNR2]; rs2070956 [CNR2]; rs7769940 [CNR1]; rs2209172 [FAAH]) and one with a more favorable response (rs6928813 [CNR1]). Within the fear‐based subset, the effect of rs806365 survived multiple testing corrections (P < 0.0016). We found very limited evidence for an association between variants in endocannabinoid system genes and treatment response once multiple testing corrections were applied. Larger, more homogenous cohorts are needed to allow the identification of variants of small but statistically significant effect and to estimate effect sizes for these variants with greater precision in order to determine their potential clinical utility. © 2016 The Authors. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27346075

  5. Genetic effect of monoamine oxidase B (MAOB gene on ASD associated behavior phenotypes

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    Deepak Verma

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD is a male predominance, behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder which is characterized by impairment in social communication and restricted and repetitive activities. Abnormalities in serotoninergic function play a major role in ASD pathophysiology. Monoamine oxidases, encoded by two X-chromosomal genes MAOA and MAOB regulate the serotonergic function by the degradation of serotonin and other biological amines. Therefore, the objective of present study is to investigate genetic correlation of MAOB markers with the severity of specific behavioral traits as scored by Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS has been examined as quantitative trait (QT analysis using IBM-SPSS program. A total of 225 ASD patients (190 male and 35 female were recruited after psychometric evaluation done by DSM-IV-TR/DSM-5 criteria and assessment by CARS. Genotyping carried by PCR/RFLP/sequencing methods, and population were found in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The outcome of the QT analysis indicating the increased score in overall CARS were associated with G and C allele of MAOB marker rs3027449 (p-value: 0.03 and rs1040399 (p-value: 0.01, respectively in male ASD children. In addition to this, major alleles of studied polymorphisms of gene were found to be statistically associated with the higher impairment in social communication domain only in male ASD children. Overall outcome of the study suggests likely involvement of MAOB with ASD in a gender-specific manner with the severity in behavior phenotypes. Considering the cumulative impact of these markers in regulating the severity of the behavioral symptoms of ASD, it is likely that MAOB gene is associated with the disorder.

  6. Genotypic-specific variance in Caenorhabditis elegans lifetime fecundity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, S Anaid; Viney, Mark

    2014-06-01

    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.

  7. Genetics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Kaare; McGue, Matt

    2016-01-01

    The sequenced genomes of individuals aged ≥80 years, who were highly educated, self-referred volunteers and with no self-reported chronic diseases were compared to young controls. In these data, healthy ageing is a distinct phenotype from exceptional longevity and genetic factors that protect...

  8. Optical silencing of C. elegans cells with arch proton pump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayako Okazaki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Optogenetic techniques using light-driven ion channels or ion pumps for controlling excitable cells have greatly facilitated the investigation of nervous systems in vivo. A model organism, C. elegans, with its small transparent body and well-characterized neural circuits, is especially suitable for optogenetic analyses. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We describe the application of archaerhodopsin-3 (Arch, a recently reported optical neuronal silencer, to C. elegans. Arch::GFP expressed either in all neurons or body wall muscles of the entire body by means of transgenes were localized, at least partially, to the cell membrane without adverse effects, and caused locomotory paralysis of worms when illuminated by green light (550 nm. Pan-neuronal expression of Arch endowed worms with quick and sustained responsiveness to such light. Worms reliably responded to repeated periods of illumination and non-illumination, and remained paralyzed under continuous illumination for 30 seconds. Worms expressing Arch in different subsets of motor neurons exhibited distinct defects in the locomotory behavior under green light: selective silencing of A-type motor neurons affected backward movement while silencing of B-type motor neurons affected forward movement more severely. Our experiments using a heat-shock-mediated induction system also indicate that Arch becomes fully functional only 12 hours after induction and remains functional for more than 24 hour. CONCLUSIONS/SGNIFICANCE: Arch can be used for silencing neurons and muscles, and may be a useful alternative to currently widely used halorhodopsin (NpHR in optogenetic studies of C. elegans.

  9. C. elegans STRADalpha and SAD cooperatively regulate neuronal polarity and synaptic organization.

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    Kim, Joanne S M; Hung, Wesley; Narbonne, Patrick; Roy, Richard; Zhen, Mei

    2010-01-01

    Neurons are polarized cells with morphologically and functionally distinct axons and dendrites. The SAD kinases are crucial for establishing the axon-dendrite identity across species. Previous studies suggest that a tumour suppressor kinase, LKB1, in the presence of a pseudokinase, STRADalpha, initiates axonal differentiation and growth through activating the SAD kinases in vertebrate neurons. STRADalpha was implicated in the localization, stabilization and activation of LKB1 in various cell culture studies. Its in vivo functions, however, have not been examined. In our present study, we analyzed the neuronal phenotypes of the first loss-of-function mutants for STRADalpha and examined their genetic interactions with LKB1 and SAD in C. elegans. Unexpectedly, only the C. elegans STRADalpha, STRD-1, functions exclusively through the SAD kinase, SAD-1, to regulate neuronal polarity and synaptic organization. Moreover, STRD-1 tightly associates with SAD-1 to coordinate its synaptic localizations. By contrast, the C. elegans LKB1, PAR-4, also functions in an additional genetic pathway independently of SAD-1 and STRD-1 to regulate neuronal polarity. We propose that STRD-1 establishes neuronal polarity and organizes synaptic proteins in a complex with the SAD-1 kinase. Our findings suggest that instead of a single, linear genetic pathway, STRADalpha and LKB1 regulate neuronal development through multiple effectors that are shared in some cellular contexts but distinct in others.

  10. Tomatidine enhances lifespan and healthspan in C. elegans through mitophagy induction via the SKN-1/Nrf2 pathway

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fang, Evandro Fei; Waltz, Tyler B; Kassahun, Henok

    2017-01-01

    in human aging. Tomatidine, a natural compound abundant in unripe tomatoes, inhibits age-related skeletal muscle atrophy in mice. Here we show that tomatidine extends lifespan and healthspan in C. elegans, an animal model of aging which shares many major longevity pathways with mammals. Tomatidine improves...... many C. elegans behaviors related to healthspan and muscle health, including increased pharyngeal pumping, swimming movement, and reduced percentage of severely damaged muscle cells. Microarray, imaging, and behavioral analyses reveal that tomatidine maintains mitochondrial homeostasis by modulating...... occurs in C. elegans, primary rat neurons, and human cells. Our data suggest that tomatidine may delay some physiological aspects of aging, and points to new approaches for pharmacological interventions for diseases of aging....

  11. Genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and the (clinical) implications for social behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tops, Sanne; Habel, Ute; Radke, Sina

    2018-03-12

    Oxytocin and the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) play an important role in a large variety of social behaviors. The oxytocinergic system interacts with environmental cues and is highly dependent on interindividual factors. Deficits in this system have been linked to mental disorders associated with social impairments, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This review focuses on the modulation of social behavior by alterations in two domains of the oxytocinergic system. We discuss genetic and epigenetic regulatory mechanisms and alterations in these mechanisms that were found to have clinical implications for ASD. We propose possible explanations how these alterations affect the biological pathways underlying the aberrant social behavior and point out avenues for future research. We advocate the need for integration studies that combine multiple measures covering a broad range of social behaviors and link these to genetic and epigenetic profiles. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Analyses between Reproductive Behavior, Genetic Diversity and Pythium Responsiveness in Zingiber spp. Reveal an Adaptive Significance for Hemiclonality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Geethu E.; Geetha, Kiran A.; Augustine, Lesly; Mamiyil, Sabu; Thomas, George

    2016-01-01

    Mode of reproduction is generally considered to have long-range evolutionary implications on population survival. Because sexual reproduction produces genetically diverse genotypes, this mode of reproduction is predicted to positively influence the success potential of offspring in evolutionary arms race with parasites (Red queen) whereas, without segregation and recombination, the obligate asexual multiplication may push a species into extinction due to the steady accumulation of deleterious mutations (Muller’s ratchet). However, the extent of linearity between reproductive strategies, genetic diversity and population fitness, and the contributions of different breeding strategies to population fitness are yet to be understood clearly. Genus Zingiber belonging to the pan-tropic family Zingiberaceae represents a good system to study contributions of different breeding behavior on genetic diversity and population fitness, as this genus comprises species with contrasting breeding systems. In this study, we analyzed breeding behavior, amplified fragment length polymorphism diversity and response to the soft-rot pathogen Pythium aphanidermatum in 18 natural populations of three wild Zingiber spp.: Z. neesanum, Z. nimmonii, and Z. zerumbet, together with the obligately asexual cultivated congener, ginger (Z. officinale). Ginger showed an exceptionally narrow genetic base, and adding to this, all the tested cultivars were uniformly susceptible to soft-rot. Concordant with the postulates of Muller’s ratchet, the background selection may be continuously pushing ginger into the ancestral state, rendering it inefficient in host-pathogen coevolution. Z. neesanum and Z. nimmonii populations were sexual and genetically diverse; however, contrary to Red Queen expectations, the populations were highly susceptible to soft-rot. Z. zerumbet showed a hemiclonal breeding behavior. The populations inhabiting forest understory were large and continuous, sexual and genetically

  13. Screening for bioactivity of Mutinus elegans extracts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajendiran, A.; Cyriac, RE; Abraham, J.

    2017-11-01

    Mutinus elegans is a species of fungi that is commonly called as Elegant Stinkhorn. The aim of this study was to screen the crude extracts of the fungus for phytochemical analysis, antimicrobial activity, antioxidant assay and anticancer activity. Extraction of the fungal sample in Soxhlet apparatus was done with n-hexane and methanol as the solvent. Stock solutions of the crude methanol extract were prepared and used for microbiological assay. Thin layer chromatography was performed in order to determine the number of active components in n-hexane, and methanol solvent system for the fungus Mutinus elegans. Further, antioxidant assay was performed using DPPH radical scavenging assay. The fungal sample was then tested for cytotoxicity assay against MG63 osteosarcoma cell lines. The antimicrobial assay of Mutinus elegans extract exhibited activity against five pathogens. The zone of inhibition was measured with respect to standard antibiotics. Gas chromatography and Mass spectrometry (GC/MS analysis), revealed the presence of dibromo-tetradecan-1-ol-acetate, 2-myristynoyl-glycinamide, fumaric acid, and cyclohexylmethyldecyl ester compounds were presented in methanol and n-hexane extract of Mutinus elegans. The present study concludes the presence of bioactive compound in the extract which exhibited antimicrobial and antioxidant activity in Mutinus elegans.

  14. Cell Death in C. elegans Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malin, Jennifer Zuckerman; Shaham, Shai

    2015-01-01

    Cell death is a common and important feature of animal development, and cell death defects underlie many human disease states. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has proven fertile ground for uncovering molecular and cellular processes controlling programmed cell death. A core pathway consisting of the conserved proteins EGL-1/BH3-only, CED-9/BCL2, CED-4/APAF1, and CED-3/caspase promotes most cell death in the nematode, and a conserved set of proteins ensures the engulfment and degradation of dying cells. Multiple regulatory pathways control cell death onset in C. elegans, and many reveal similarities with tumor formation pathways in mammals, supporting the idea that cell death plays key roles in malignant progression. Nonetheless, a number of observations suggest that our understanding of developmental cell death in C. elegans is incomplete. The interaction between dying and engulfing cells seems to be more complex than originally appreciated, and it appears that key aspects of cell death initiation are not fully understood. It has also become apparent that the conserved apoptotic pathway is dispensable for the demise of the C. elegans linker cell, leading to the discovery of a previously unexplored gene program promoting cell death. Here, we review studies that formed the foundation of cell death research in C. elegans and describe new observations that expand, and in some cases remodel, this edifice. We raise the possibility that, in some cells, more than one death program may be needed to ensure cell death fidelity. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The computational worm: spatial orientation and its neuronal basis in C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockery, Shawn R

    2011-10-01

    Spatial orientation behaviors in animals are fundamental for survival but poorly understood at the neuronal level. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans orients to a wide range of stimuli and has a numerically small and well-described nervous system making it advantageous for investigating the mechanisms of spatial orientation. Recent work by the C. elegans research community has identified essential computational elements of the neural circuits underlying two orientation strategies that operate in five different sensory modalities. Analysis of these circuits reveals novel motifs including simple circuits for computing temporal derivatives of sensory input and for integrating sensory input with behavioral state to generate adaptive behavior. These motifs constitute hypotheses concerning the identity and functionality of circuits controlling spatial orientation in higher organisms. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Context Specificity of Stress-activated Mitogen-activated Protein (MAP) Kinase Signaling: The Story as Told by Caenorhabditis elegans*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrusiak, Matthew G.; Jin, Yishi

    2016-01-01

    Stress-associated p38 and JNK mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling cascades trigger specific cellular responses and are involved in multiple disease states. At the root of MAP kinase signaling complexity is the differential use of common components on a context-specific basis. The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans was developed as a system to study genes required for development and nervous system function. The powerful genetics of C. elegans in combination with molecular and cellular dissections has led to a greater understanding of how p38 and JNK signaling affects many biological processes under normal and stress conditions. This review focuses on the studies revealing context specificity of different stress-activated MAPK components in C. elegans. PMID:26907690

  17. Role for β-catenin and HOX transcription factors in Caenorhabditis elegans and mammalian host epithelial-pathogen interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irazoqui, Javier E.; Ng, Aylwin; Xavier, Ramnik J.; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2008-01-01

    We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans infected with the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus to identify components of epithelial immunity. Transcriptional profiling and reverse genetic analysis revealed that mutation of the C. elegans β-catenin homolog bar-1 or the downstream homeobox gene egl-5 results in a defective response and hypersensitivity to S. aureus infection. Epistasis analysis showed that bar-1 and egl-5 function in parallel to previously described C. elegans immune-response pathways. Overexpression of human homologs of egl-5 modulated NF-κB-dependent TLR2 signaling in epithelial cells. These data suggest that β-catenin and homeobox genes play an important and conserved role in innate immune defense. PMID:18981407

  18. Role for beta-catenin and HOX transcription factors in Caenorhabditis elegans and mammalian host epithelial-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irazoqui, Javier E; Ng, Aylwin; Xavier, Ramnik J; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-11-11

    We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans infected with the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus to identify components of epithelial immunity. Transcriptional profiling and reverse genetic analysis revealed that mutation of the C. elegans beta-catenin homolog bar-1 or the downstream homeobox gene egl-5 results in a defective response and hypersensitivity to S. aureus infection. Epistasis analysis showed that bar-1 and egl-5 function in parallel to previously described C. elegans immune-response pathways. Overexpression of human homologs of egl-5 modulated NF-kappaB-dependent TLR2 signaling in epithelial cells. These data suggest that beta-catenin and homeobox genes play an important and conserved role in innate immune defense.

  19. HIF-1-dependent regulation of lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans by the acyl-CoA-binding protein MAA-1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shamalnasab, Mehrnaz; Dhaoui, Manel; Thondamal, Manjunatha

    2017-01-01

    In yeast, the broadly conserved acyl-CoA-binding protein (ACBP) is a negative regulator of stress resistance and longevity. Here, we have turned to the nematode C. elegans as a model organism in which to determine whether ACBPs play similar roles in multicellular organisms. We systematically...... inactivated each of the seven C. elegans ACBP paralogs and found that one of them, maa-1 (which encodes membrane-associated ACBP 1), is indeed involved in the regulation of longevity. In fact, loss of maa-1 promotes lifespan extension and resistance to different types of stress. Through genetic and gene...... of the proteome. Our work extends to C. elegans the role of ACBP in aging, implicates HIF-1 in the increase of lifespan of maa-1-deficient worms, and sheds light on the anti-aging function of HIF-1. Given that both ACBP and HIF-1 are highly conserved, our results suggest the possible involvement of these proteins...

  20. Genetic and experiential influences on behavior: Twins reunited at seventy-eight years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segal, Nancy L.; Cortez, Franchesca A.; Zettel-Watson, Laura; Cherry, Barbara J.; Mechanic, Mindy; Munson, Jaimee E.; Velázquez, Jaime M.A.; Reed, Brandon

    2015-01-01

    Twins living in different countries offer opportunities to explore associations between observed differences and experiential effects. This report compared the life histories, cognitive abilities, personality traits, psychomotor skills, medical characteristics, job satisfaction, social support and social relations of dizygotic (DZ) female twins reunited at 78, the world's longest separated set. The twins’ advanced age also enabled a study of how co-twin differences in aging may be associated with current behavioral and social differences. Consistent with previous studies, these dizygotic reared apart (DZA) twins showed discordance across some, but not all, traits. Their different rearing situations and life histories may explain current differences in their responses to meeting their twin. This case highlights the importance of both genetic and rearing factors on behavior, but does not allow firm conclusions regarding the extent to which these sources explain individual developmental differences. However, such data contribute to the growing number of cross-culturally separated twins, generating novel hypotheses that may be assessed using larger samples. PMID:26366029

  1. Large-scale assessment of olfactory preferences and learning in Drosophila melanogaster: behavioral and genetic components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Versace

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Evolve and Resequence method (E&R, experimental evolution and genomics are combined to investigate evolutionary dynamics and the genotype-phenotype link. As other genomic approaches, this methods requires many replicates with large population sizes, which imposes severe restrictions on the analysis of behavioral phenotypes. Aiming to use E&R for investigating the evolution of behavior in Drosophila, we have developed a simple and effective method to assess spontaneous olfactory preferences and learning in large samples of fruit flies using a T-maze. We tested this procedure on (a a large wild-caught population and (b 11 isofemale lines of Drosophila melanogaster. Compared to previous methods, this procedure reduces the environmental noise and allows for the analysis of large population samples. Consistent with previous results, we show that flies have a preference for orange vs. apple odor. With our procedure wild-derived flies exhibit olfactory learning in the absence of previous laboratory selection. Furthermore, we find genetic differences in the olfactory learning with relatively high heritability. We propose this large-scale method as an effective tool for E&R and genome-wide association studies on olfactory preferences and learning.

  2. Integrating social science and behavioral genetics: testing the origin of socioeconomic disparities in depression using a genetically informed design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezuk, Briana; Myers, John M; Kendler, Kenneth S

    2013-10-01

    We tested 3 hypotheses-social causation, social drift, and common cause-regarding the origin of socioeconomic disparities in major depression and determined whether the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and major depression varied by genetic liability for major depression. Data were from a sample of female twins in the baseline Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders interviewed between 1987 and 1989 (n = 2153). We used logistic regression and structural equation twin models to evaluate these 3 hypotheses. Consistent with the social causation hypothesis, education (odds ratio [OR] = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.66, 0.93; P social mobility was associated with lower risk of depression. There was no evidence that childhood SES was related to development of major depression (OR = 0.98; 95% CI = 0.89, 1.09; P > .1). Consistent with a common genetic cause, there was a negative correlation between the genetic components of major depression and education (r(2) = -0.22). Co-twin control analyses indicated a protective effect of education and income on major depression even after accounting for genetic liability. This study utilized a genetically informed design to address how social position relates to major depression. Results generally supported the social causation model.

  3. At the brink of supercoloniality: genetic, behavioral and chemical assessments of population structure of the desert ant Cataglyphis niger

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maya eSaar

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The nesting habits of ants play an important role in structuring ant populations. They vary from monodomy, a colony occupies a single nest, via polydomy, a colony occupies multiple adjacent nests, to supercoloniality, a colony spans over large territories comprising dozen to thousands nests without having any boundaries. The population structure of the desert ant Cataglyphis niger, previously considered to form supercolonies, was studied using genetic, chemical and behavioral tools in plots of 50x50 meters at two distinct populations. At the Palmahim site, the plot comprised 15 nests that according to the genetic analysis constituted three colonies. Likewise at the Rishon Leziyyon site 14 nests constituted 5 genetic colonies. In both sites, both chemical analysis and the behavioral (aggression tests confirmed the colony genetic architecture. The behavioral tests also revealed that aggression between colonies within a population was higher than that exhibited between colonies of different populations, suggesting the occurrence of the nasty neighbor phenomenon. In contrast to supercolony structure previously reported in another population of this species, the presently studied populations were composed of polydomous colonies. However, both the genetic and chemical data revealed that the inter-colonial differences between sites were larger than those within site, suggesting some within-site population viscosity. Thus, C. niger exhibits flexible nesting characteristics, from polydomy to supercoloniality, and can be considered at the brink of supercoloniality. We attribute the differences in population structure among sites to the intensity of intraspecific competition.

  4. Automated, quantitative cognitive/behavioral screening of mice: for genetics, pharmacology, animal cognition and undergraduate instruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallistel, C R; Balci, Fuat; Freestone, David; Kheifets, Aaron; King, Adam

    2014-02-26

    We describe a high-throughput, high-volume, fully automated, live-in 24/7 behavioral testing system for assessing the effects of genetic and pharmacological manipulations on basic mechanisms of cognition and learning in mice. A standard polypropylene mouse housing tub is connected through an acrylic tube to a standard commercial mouse test box. The test box has 3 hoppers, 2 of which are connected to pellet feeders. All are internally illuminable with an LED and monitored for head entries by infrared (IR) beams. Mice live in the environment, which eliminates handling during screening. They obtain their food during two or more daily feeding periods by performing in operant (instrumental) and Pavlovian (classical) protocols, for which we have written protocol-control software and quasi-real-time data analysis and graphing software. The data analysis and graphing routines are written in a MATLAB-based language created to simplify greatly the analysis of large time-stamped behavioral and physiological event records and to preserve a full data trail from raw data through all intermediate analyses to the published graphs and statistics within a single data structure. The data-analysis code harvests the data several times a day and subjects it to statistical and graphical analyses, which are automatically stored in the "cloud" and on in-lab computers. Thus, the progress of individual mice is visualized and quantified daily. The data-analysis code talks to the protocol-control code, permitting the automated advance from protocol to protocol of individual subjects. The behavioral protocols implemented are matching, autoshaping, timed hopper-switching, risk assessment in timed hopper-switching, impulsivity measurement, and the circadian anticipation of food availability. Open-source protocol-control and data-analysis code makes the addition of new protocols simple. Eight test environments fit in a 48 in x 24 in x 78 in cabinet; two such cabinets (16 environments) may be

  5. Genetic Architecture of Natural Variation Underlying Adult Foraging Behavior That Is Essential for Survival of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yuh Chwen G; Yang, Qian; Chi, Wanhao; Turkson, Susie A; Du, Wei A; Kemkemer, Claus; Zeng, Zhao-Bang; Long, Manyuan; Zhuang, Xiaoxi

    2017-05-01

    Foraging behavior is critical for the fitness of individuals. However, the genetic basis of variation in foraging behavior and the evolutionary forces underlying such natural variation have rarely been investigated. We developed a systematic approach to assay the variation in survival rate in a foraging environment for adult flies derived from a wild Drosophila melanogaster population. Despite being such an essential trait, there is substantial variation of foraging behavior among D. melanogaster strains. Importantly, we provided the first evaluation of the potential caveats of using inbred Drosophila strains to perform genome-wide association studies on life-history traits, and concluded that inbreeding depression is unlikely a major contributor for the observed large variation in adult foraging behavior. We found that adult foraging behavior has a strong genetic component and, unlike larval foraging behavior, depends on multiple loci. Identified candidate genes are enriched in those with high expression in adult heads and, demonstrated by expression knock down assay, are involved in maintaining normal functions of the nervous system. Our study not only identified candidate genes for foraging behavior that is relevant to individual fitness, but also shed light on the initial stage underlying the evolution of the behavior. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  6. The Etiology of Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition in Australian School Students: A Behavior-Genetic Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coventry, William; Anton-Mendez, Ines; Ellis, Elizabeth M.; Levisen, Christina; Byrne, Brian; van Daal, Victor H. P.; Ellis, Nick C.

    2012-01-01

    We present one of the first behavior-genetic studies of individual differences in school students' levels of achievement in instructed second language acquisition (ISLA). We assessed these language abilities in Australian twin pairs (maximum N pairs = 251) by means of teacher ratings, class rankings, and self-ratings of proficiency, and used the…

  7. Author's Response to Commentaries on: "An Interpretation of Part of Gilbert Gottlieb's Legacy: Developmental Systems Theory Contra Developmental Behavior Genetics"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenaar, Peter C. M.

    2015-01-01

    In this article, Peter Molenaar responds to three commentaries (this issue) on his article, "An Interpretation of Part of Gilbert Gottlieb's Legacy: Developmental Systems Theory Contra Developmental Behavior Genetics." He addresses aspects of relational developmental systems (RDS) mentioned and questions raised in each of the…

  8. Genetic risk for violent behavior and environmental exposure to disadvantage and violent crime: the case for gene-environment interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, J C; Jacobs, Bruce A

    2013-01-01

    Despite mounds of evidence to suggest that neighborhood structural factors predict violent behavior, almost no attention has been given to how these influences work synergistically (i.e., interact) with an individual's genetic propensity toward violent behavior. Indeed, two streams of research have, heretofore, flowed independently of one another. On one hand, criminologists have underscored the importance of neighborhood context in the etiology of violence. On the other hand, behavioral geneticists have argued that individual-level genetic propensities are important for understanding violence. The current study seeks to integrate these two compatible frameworks by exploring gene-environment interactions (GxE). Two GxEs were examined and supported by the data (i.e., the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health). Using a scale of genetic risk based on three dopamine genes, the analysis revealed that genetic risk had a greater influence on violent behavior when the individual was also exposed to neighborhood disadvantage or when the individual was exposed to higher violent crime rates. The relevance of these findings for criminological theorizing was considered.

  9. Influence of parental depressive symptoms on adopted toddler behaviors: an emerging developmental cascade of genetic and environmental effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pemberton, Caroline K; Neiderhiser, Jenae M; Leve, Leslie D; Natsuaki, Misaki N; Shaw, Daniel S; Reiss, David; Ge, Xiaojia

    2010-11-01

    This study examined the developmental cascade of both genetic and environmental influences on toddlers' behavior problems through the longitudinal and multigenerational assessment of psychosocial risk. We used data from the Early Growth and Development Study, a prospective adoption study, to test the intergenerational transmission of risk through the assessment of adoptive mother, adoptive father, and biological parent depressive symptoms on toddler behavior problems. Given that depression is often chronic, we control for across-time continuity and find that in addition to associations between adoptive mother depressive symptoms and toddler externalizing problems, adoptive father depressive symptoms when the child is 9 months of age were associated with toddler problems and associated with maternal depressive symptoms. Findings also indicated that a genetic effect may indirectly influence toddler problems through prenatal pregnancy risk. These findings help to describe how multiple generations are linked through genetic (biological parent), timing (developmental age of the child), and contextual (marital partner) pathways.

  10. Transgenic C. elegans dauer larvae expressing hookworm phospho null DAF-16/FoxO exit dauer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verena Gelmedin

    Full Text Available Parasitic hookworms and the free-living model nematode Caenorhabtidis elegans share a developmental arrested stage, called the dauer stage in C. elegans and the infective third-stage larva (L3 in hookworms. One of the key transcription factors that regulate entrance to and exit from developmental arrest is the forkhead transcription factor DAF-16/FoxO. During the dauer stage, DAF-16 is activated and localized in the nucleus. DAF-16 is negatively regulated by phosphorylation by the upstream kinase AKT, which causes DAF-16 to localize out of the nucleus and the worm to exit from dauer. DAF-16 is conserved in hookworms, and hypothesized to control recovery from L3 arrest during infection. Lacking reverse genetic techniques for use in hookworms, we used C. elegans complementation assays to investigate the function of Ancylostoma caninum DAF-16 during entrance and exit from L3 developmental arrest. We performed dauer switching assays and observed the restoration of the dauer phenotype when Ac-DAF-16 was expressed in temperature-sensitive dauer defective C. elegans daf-2(e1370;daf-16(mu86 mutants. AKT phosphorylation site mutants of Ac-DAF-16 were also able to restore the dauer phenotype, but surprisingly allowed dauer exit when temperatures were lowered. We used fluorescence microscopy to localize DAF-16 during dauer and exit from dauer in C. elegans DAF-16 mutant worms expressing Ac-DAF-16, and found that Ac-DAF-16 exited the nucleus during dauer exit. Surprisingly, Ac-DAF-16 with mutated AKT phosphorylation sites also exited the nucleus during dauer exit. Our results suggest that another mechanism may be involved in the regulation DAF-16 nuclear localization during recovery from developmental arrest.

  11. Tracking C. elegans and its neuromuscular activity using NemaFlex

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bussel, Frank; Rahman, Mizanur; Hewitt, Jennifer; Blawzdziewicz, Jerzy; Driscoll, Monica; Szewczyk, Nathaniel; Vanapalli, Siva

    Recently, a novel platform has been developed for studying the behavior and physical characteristics of the nematode C. elegans. This is NemaFlex, developed by the Vanapalli group at Texas Tech University to analyze movement and muscular strength of crawling C. elegans. NemaFlex is a microfluidic device consisting of an array of deformable PDMS pillars, with which the C. elegans interacts in the course of moving through the system. Deflection measurements then allow us to calculate the force exerted by the worm via Euler-Bernoulli beam theory. For the procedure to be fully automated a fairly sophisticated software analysis has to be developed in tandem with the physical device. In particular, the usefulness of the force calculations is highly dependent on the accuracy and volume of the deflection measurements, which would be prohibitively time-consuming if carried out by hand/eye. In order to correlate the force results with muscle activations the C. elegans itself has to be tracked simultaneously, and pillar deflections precisely associated with mechanical-contact on the worm's body. Here we will outline the data processing and analysis routines that have been implemented in order to automate the calculation of these forces and muscular activations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vita-More, Natasha; Barranco, Daniel

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    To analyze the pathogenesis at both physiological and molecular level using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans at different developmental stages in response to Shigella spp. and its pathogen associated molecular patterns such as lipopolysaccharide. The solid plate and liquid culture-based infection assays revealed that Shigella spp. infects C. elegans and had an impact on the brood size and pharyngeal pumping rate. LPS of Shigella spp. was toxic to C. elegans. qPCR analysis revealed that host innate immune genes have been modulated upon Shigella spp. infections and its LPS challenges. Non-destructive analysis was performed to kinetically assess the alterations in LPS during interaction of Shigella spp. with C. elegans. The modulation of innate immune genes attributed the surrendering of host immune system to Shigella spp. by favoring the infection. LPS appeared to have a major role in Shigella-mediated pathogenesis and Shigella employs a tactic behavior of modifying its LPS content to escape from the recognition of host immune system. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hercília M. L. Rolim

    2013-03-01

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

  15. Delayed innocent bystander cell death following hypoxia in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, C-L; Kim, E; Crowder, C M

    2014-04-01

    After hypoxia, cells may die immediately or have a protracted course, living or dying depending on an incompletely understood set of cell autonomous and nonautonomous factors. In stroke, for example, some neurons are thought to die from direct hypoxic injury by cell autonomous primary mechanisms, whereas other so called innocent bystander neurons die from factors released from the primarily injured cells. A major limitation in identifying these factors is the inability of current in vivo models to selectively target a set of cells for hypoxic injury so that the primarily injured cells and the innocent bystanders are clearly delineated. In order to develop such a model, we generated transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strains where 2-3% of somatic cells were made selectively sensitive to hypoxia. This was accomplished by cell type-specific wild-type rescue in either pharyngeal myocytes or GABAergic neurons of a hypoxia resistance-producing translation factor mutation. Surprisingly, hypoxic targeting of these relatively small subsets of non-essential cells produced widespread innocent bystander cell injury, behavioral dysfunction and eventual organismal death. The hypoxic injury phenotypes of the myocyte or neuron sensitized strains were virtually identical. Using this model, we show that the C. elegans insulin receptor/FOXO transcription factor pathway improves survival when activated only after hypoxic injury and blocks innocent bystander death.

  16. A distributed chemosensory circuit for oxygen preference in C. elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andy J Chang

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has complex, naturally variable behavioral responses to environmental oxygen, food, and other animals. C. elegans detects oxygen through soluble guanylate cyclase homologs (sGCs and responds to it differently depending on the activity of the neuropeptide receptor NPR-1: npr-1(lf and naturally isolated npr-1(215F animals avoid high oxygen and aggregate in the presence of food; npr-1(215V animals do not. We show here that hyperoxia avoidance integrates food with npr-1 activity through neuromodulation of a distributed oxygen-sensing network. Hyperoxia avoidance is stimulated by sGC-expressing oxygen-sensing neurons, nociceptive neurons, and ADF sensory neurons. In npr-1(215V animals, the switch from weak aerotaxis on food to strong aerotaxis in its absence requires close regulation of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the ADF neurons; high levels of ADF serotonin promote hyperoxia avoidance. In npr-1(lf animals, food regulation is masked by increased activity of the oxygen-sensing neurons. Hyperoxia avoidance is also regulated by the neuronal TGF-beta homolog DAF-7, a secreted mediator of crowding and stress responses. DAF-7 inhibits serotonin synthesis in ADF, suggesting that ADF serotonin is a convergence point for regulation of hyperoxia avoidance. Coalitions of neurons that promote and repress hyperoxia avoidance generate a subtle and flexible response to environmental oxygen.

  17. Adoptive Parent Hostility and Children’s Peer Behavior Problems: Examining the Role of Genetically-Informed Child Attributes on Adoptive Parent Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elam, Kit K.; Harold, Gordon T.; Neiderhiser, Jenae M.; Reiss, David; Shaw, Daniel S.; Natsuaki, Misaki N.; Gaysina, Darya; Barrett, Doug; Leve, Leslie D.

    2014-01-01

    Socially disruptive behavior during peer interactions in early childhood is detrimental to children’s social, emotional, and academic development. Few studies have investigated the developmental underpinnings of children’s socially disruptive behavior using genetically-sensitive research designs that allow examination of parent-on-child and child-on-parent (evocative genotype-environment correlation) effects when examining family process and child outcome associations. Using an adoption-at-birth design, the present study controlled for passive genotype-environment correlation and directly examined evocative genotype-environment correlation (rGE) while examining the associations between family processes and children’s peer behavior. Specifically, the present study examined the evocative effect of genetic influences underlying toddler low social motivation on mother-child and father-child hostility, and the subsequent influence of parent hostility on disruptive peer behavior during the preschool period. Participants were 316 linked triads of birth mothers, adoptive parents, and adopted children. Path analysis showed that birth mother low behavioral motivation predicted toddler low social motivation, which predicted both adoptive mother-child and father-child hostility, suggesting the presence of an evocative genotype-environment association. In addition, both mother-child and father-child hostility predicted children’s later disruptive peer behavior. Results highlight the importance of considering genetically-influenced child attributes on parental hostility that in turn link to later child social behavior. Implications for intervention programs focusing on early family processes and the precursors of disrupted child social development are discussed. PMID:24364829

  18. Temporal genetic structure in a poecilogonous polychaete: the interplay of developmental mode and environmental stochasticity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Benni Winding; Kesäniemi, Jenni E; Mustonen, Marina

    2014-01-01

    elegans, a poecilogonous polychaete with within-species variation in developmental mode. P. elegans produces either planktonic, benthic, or intermediate larvae, varying both among and within populations, providing a within-species test of the generality of a relationship between temporal genetic variation...

  19. Investigating genetic and environmental contributions to adolescent externalizing behavior in a collectivistic culture: a multi-informant twin study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, J; Yu, J; Zhang, J; Li, X; McGue, M

    2015-07-01

    Little is known about the etiology of adolescents' externalizing behavior (Ext) in collectivistic cultures. We aimed to fill this gap by investigating the genetic and environmental influences on Ext in Chinese adolescents. The etiological heterogeneity of aggression (AGG) and rule breaking (RB) was also examined. The study sample included 908 pairs of same-sex twins aged from 10 to 18 years (mean = 13.53 years, s.d. = 2.26). Adolescents' Ext were assessed with the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment including Child Behavior Checklist, Teacher Report Form, and Youth Self-Report. Univariate genetic analyses showed that genetic influences on all measures were moderate ranging from 34% to 50%, non-shared environmental effects ranged from 23% to 52%, and shared environmental effects were significant in parent- and teacher-reported measures ranging from 29% to 43%. Bivariate genetic analyses indicated that AGG and RB shared large genetic influences (r g = 0.64-0.79) but moderate non-shared environmental factors (r e = 0.34-0.52). Chinese adolescents' Ext was moderately influenced by genetic factors. AGG and RB had moderate independent genetic and non-shared environmental influences, and thus constitute etiologically distinct dimensions within Ext in Chinese adolescents. The heritability of AGG, in particular, was smaller in Chinese adolescents than suggested by previous data obtained on Western peers. This study suggests that the collectivistic cultural values and Confucianism philosophy may attenuate genetic potential in Ext, especially AGG.

  20. Inherited behavioral susceptibility to adiposity in infancy: a multivariate genetic analysis of appetite and weight in the Gemini birth cohort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llewellyn, Clare H; van Jaarsveld, Cornelia H M; Plomin, Robert; Fisher, Abigail; Wardle, Jane

    2012-03-01

    The behavioral susceptibility model proposes that inherited differences in traits such as appetite confer differential risk of weight gain and contribute to the heritability of weight. Evidence that the FTO gene may influence weight partly through its effects on appetite supports this model, but testing the behavioral pathways for multiple genes with very small effects is not feasible. Twin analyses make it possible to get a broad-based estimate of the extent of shared genetic influence between appetite and weight. The objective was to use multivariate twin analyses to test the hypothesis that associations between appetite and weight are underpinned by shared genetic effects. Data were from Gemini, a population-based birth cohort of twins (n = 4804) born in 2007. Infant weights at 3 mo were taken from the records of health professionals. Appetite was assessed at 3 mo for the milk-feeding period by using the Baby Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (BEBQ), a parent-reported measure of appetite [enjoyment of food, food responsiveness, slowness in eating (SE), satiety responsiveness (SR), and appetite size (AS)]. Multivariate quantitative genetic modeling was used to test for shared genetic influences. Significant correlations were found between all BEBQ traits and weight. Significant shared genetic influence was identified for weight with SE, SR, and AS; genetic correlations were between 0.22 and 0.37. Shared genetic effects explained 41-45% of these phenotypic associations. Differences in weight in infancy may be due partly to genetically determined differences in appetitive traits that confer differential susceptibility to obesogenic environments.

  1. Genetic Determinism of Fearfulness, General Activity and Feeding Behavior in Chickens and Its Relationship with Digestive Efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mignon-Grasteau, Sandrine; Chantry-Darmon, Céline; Boscher, Marie-Yvonne; Sellier, Nadine; Le Bihan-Duval, Elisabeth; Bertin, Aline

    2017-01-01

    The genetic relationships between behavior and digestive efficiency were studied in 860 chickens from a cross between two lines divergently selected on digestive efficiency. At 2 weeks of age each chick was video-recorded in the home pen to characterize general activity and feeding behavior. Tonic immobility and open-field tests were also carried out individually to evaluate emotional reactivity (i.e. the propensity to express fear responses). Digestive efficiency was measured at 3 weeks. Genetic parameters of behavior traits were estimated. Birds were genotyped on 3379 SNP markers to detect QTLs. Heritabilities of behavioral traits were low, apart from tonic immobility (0.17-0.18) and maximum meal length (0.14). The genetic correlations indicated that the most efficient birds fed more frequently and were less fearful. We detected 14 QTL (9 for feeding behavior, 3 for tonic immobility, 2 for frequency of lying). Nine of them co-localized with QTL for efficiency, anatomy of the digestive tract, feed intake or microbiota composition. Four genes involved in fear reactions were identified in the QTL for tonic immobility on GGA1.

  2. Cyanobacterial Xenobiotics as Evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans Neurotoxicity Screening Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Jingjuan; Saul, Nadine; Kochan, Cindy; Putschew, Anke; Pu, Yuepu; Yin, Lihong; Steinberg, Christian E. W.

    2014-01-01

    In fresh waters cyanobacterial blooms can produce a variety of toxins, such as microcystin variants (MCs) and anatoxin-a (ANA). ANA is a well-known neurotoxin, whereas MCs are hepatotoxic and, to a lesser degree, also neurotoxic. Neurotoxicity applies especially to invertebrates lacking livers. Current standardized neurotoxicity screening methods use rats or mice. However, in order to minimize vertebrate animal experiments as well as experimental time and effort, many investigators have proposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an appropriate invertebrate model. Therefore, four known neurotoxic compounds (positive compounds: chlorpyrifos, abamectin, atropine, and acrylamide) were chosen to verify the expected impacts on autonomic (locomotion, feeding, defecation) and sensory (thermal, chemical, and mechanical sensory perception) functions in C. elegans. This study is another step towards successfully establishing C. elegans as an alternative neurotoxicity model. By using this protocol, anatoxin-a adversely affected locomotive behavior and pharyngeal pumping frequency and, most strongly, chemotactic and thermotactic behavior, whereas MC-LR impacted locomotion, pumping, and mechanical behavior, but not chemical sensory behavior. Environmental samples can also be screened in this simple and fast way for neurotoxic characteristics. The filtrate of a Microcystis aeruginosa culture, known for its hepatotoxicity, also displayed mild neurotoxicity (modulated short-term thermotaxis). These results show the suitability of this assay for environmental cyanotoxin-containing samples. PMID:24776722

  3. Caenorhabditis elegans Male Copulation Circuitry Incorporates Sex-Shared Defecation Components To Promote Intromission and Sperm Transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeBoeuf, Brigitte; Garcia, L. Rene

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism can be achieved using a variety of mechanisms, including sex-specific circuits and sex-specific function of shared circuits, though how these work together to produce sexually dimorphic behaviors requires further investigation. Here, we explore how components of the sex-shared defecation circuitry are incorporated into the sex-specific male mating circuitry in Caenorhabditis elegans to produce successful copulation. Using behavioral studies, calcium imaging, and genetic manipulation, we show that aspects of the defecation system are coopted by the male copulatory circuitry to facilitate intromission and ejaculation. Similar to hermaphrodites, male defecation is initiated by an intestinal calcium wave, but circuit activity is coordinated differently during mating. In hermaphrodites, the tail neuron DVB promotes expulsion of gut contents through the release of the neurotransmitter GABA onto the anal depressor muscle. However, in the male, both neuron and muscle take on modified functions to promote successful copulation. Males require calcium-dependent activator protein for secretion (CAPS)/unc-31, a dense core vesicle exocytosis activator protein, in the DVB to regulate copulatory spicule insertion, while the anal depressor is remodeled to promote release of sperm into the hermaphrodite. This work shows how sex-shared circuitry is modified in multiple ways to contribute to sex-specific mating. PMID:28031243

  4. Selection of reliable reference genes in Caenorhabditis elegans for analysis of nanotoxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanqiong Zhang

    Full Text Available Despite rapid development and application of a wide range of manufactured metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs, the understanding of potential risks of using NPs is less completed, especially at the molecular level. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C.elegans has been emerging as an environmental model to study the molecular mechanism of environmental contaminations, using standard genetic tools such as the real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR. The most important factor that may affect the accuracy of RT-qPCR is to choose appropriate genes for normalization. In this study, we selected 13 reference gene candidates (act-1, cdc-42, pmp-3, eif-3.C, actin, act-2, csq-1, Y45F10D.4, tba-1, mdh-1, ama-1, F35G12.2, and rbd-1 to test their expression stability under different doses of nano-copper oxide (CuO 0, 1, 10, and 50 µg/mL using RT-qPCR. Four algorithms, geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and the comparative ΔCt method, were employed to evaluate these 13 candidates expressions. As a result, tba-1, Y45F10D.4 and pmp-3 were the most reliable, which may be used as reference genes in future study of nanoparticle-induced genetic response using C.elegans.

  5. Selection of reliable reference genes in Caenorhabditis elegans for analysis of nanotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanqiong; Chen, Dongliang; Smith, Michael A; Zhang, Baohong; Pan, Xiaoping

    2012-01-01

    Despite rapid development and application of a wide range of manufactured metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs), the understanding of potential risks of using NPs is less completed, especially at the molecular level. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C.elegans) has been emerging as an environmental model to study the molecular mechanism of environmental contaminations, using standard genetic tools such as the real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). The most important factor that may affect the accuracy of RT-qPCR is to choose appropriate genes for normalization. In this study, we selected 13 reference gene candidates (act-1, cdc-42, pmp-3, eif-3.C, actin, act-2, csq-1, Y45F10D.4, tba-1, mdh-1, ama-1, F35G12.2, and rbd-1) to test their expression stability under different doses of nano-copper oxide (CuO 0, 1, 10, and 50 µg/mL) using RT-qPCR. Four algorithms, geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and the comparative ΔCt method, were employed to evaluate these 13 candidates expressions. As a result, tba-1, Y45F10D.4 and pmp-3 were the most reliable, which may be used as reference genes in future study of nanoparticle-induced genetic response using C.elegans.

  6. Coordination of Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans with Wnt Signaling To Control Cellular Migrations and Positioning in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saied-Santiago, Kristian; Townley, Robert A; Attonito, John D; da Cunha, Dayse S; Díaz-Balzac, Carlos A; Tecle, Eillen; Bülow, Hannes E

    2017-08-01

    Heparan sulfates (HS) are linear polysaccharides with complex modification patterns, which are covalently bound via conserved attachment sites to core proteins to form heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). HSPGs regulate many aspects of the development and function of the nervous system, including cell migration, morphology, and network connectivity. HSPGs function as cofactors for multiple signaling pathways, including the Wnt-signaling molecules and their Frizzled receptors. To investigate the functional interactions among the HSPG and Wnt networks, we conducted genetic analyses of each, and also between these networks using five cellular migrations in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans We find that HSPG core proteins act genetically in a combinatorial fashion dependent on the cellular contexts. Double mutant analyses reveal distinct redundancies among HSPGs for different migration events, and different cellular migrations require distinct heparan sulfate modification patterns. Our studies reveal that the transmembrane HSPG SDN-1/Syndecan functions within the migrating cell to promote cellular migrations, while the GPI-linked LON-2/Glypican functions cell nonautonomously to establish the final cellular position. Genetic analyses with the Wnt-signaling system show that (1) a given HSPG can act with different Wnts and Frizzled receptors, and that (2) a given Wnt/Frizzled pair acts with different HSPGs in a context-dependent manner. Lastly, we find that distinct HSPG and Wnt/Frizzled combinations serve separate functions to promote cellular migration and establish position of specific neurons. Our studies suggest that HSPGs use structurally diverse glycans in coordination with Wnt-signaling pathways to control multiple cellular behaviors, including cellular and axonal migrations and, cellular positioning. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  7. Genetic and Environmental Influences on Individual Differences in Frequency of Play with Pets among Middle-Aged Men: A Behavioral Genetic Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Kristen C; Hoffman, Christy L; Vasilopoulos, Terrie; Kremen, William S; Panizzon, Matthew S; Grant, Michael D; Lyons, Michael J; Xian, Hong; Franz, Carol E

    2012-12-01

    There is growing evidence that pet ownership and human-animal interaction (HAI) have benefits for human physical and psychological well-being. However, there may be pre-existing characteristics related to patterns of pet ownership and interactions with pets that could potentially bias results of research on HAI. The present study uses a behavioral genetic design to estimate the degree to which genetic and environmental factors contribute to individual differences in frequency of play with pets among adult men. Participants were from the ongoing longitudinal Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA), a population-based sample of 1,237 monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins aged 51-60 years. Results demonstrate that MZ twins have higher correlations than DZ twins on frequency of pet play, suggesting that genetic factors play a role in individual differences in interactions with pets. Structural equation modeling revealed that, according to the best model, genetic factors accounted for as much as 37% of the variance in pet play, although the majority of variance (63-71%) was due to environmental factors that are unique to each twin. Shared environmental factors, which would include childhood exposure to pets, overall accounted for influenced characteristics.

  8. EGL-13/SoxD Specifies Distinct O2 and CO2 Sensory Neuron Fates in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gramstrup Petersen, Jakob; Rojo Romanos, Teresa; Juozaityte, Vaida

    2013-01-01

    that EGL-13 is sufficient to induce O2- and CO2-sensing cell fates in some cellular contexts. Thus, the same core regulatory factor, egl-13, is required and sufficient to specify the distinct fates of O2- and CO2-sensing neurons in C. elegans. These findings extend our understanding of mechanisms......Animals harbor specialized neuronal systems that are used for sensing and coordinating responses to changes in oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). In Caenorhabditis elegans, the O2/CO2 sensory system comprises functionally and morphologically distinct sensory neurons that mediate rapid behavioral...

  9. SAS-1 Is a C2 Domain Protein Critical for Centriole Integrity in C. elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delattre, Marie; Balestra, Fernando R.; Blanchoud, Simon; Finger, Susanne; Knott, Graham; Müller-Reichert, Thomas; Gönczy, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    Centrioles are microtubule-based organelles important for the formation of cilia, flagella and centrosomes. Despite progress in understanding the underlying assembly mechanisms, how centriole integrity is ensured is incompletely understood, including in sperm cells, where such integrity is particularly critical. We identified C. elegans sas-1 in a genetic screen as a locus required for bipolar spindle assembly in the early embryo. Our analysis reveals that sperm-derived sas-1 mutant centrioles lose their integrity shortly after fertilization, and that a related defect occurs when maternal sas-1 function is lacking. We establish that sas-1 encodes a C2 domain containing protein that localizes to centrioles in C. elegans, and which can bind and stabilize microtubules when expressed in human cells. Moreover, we uncover that SAS-1 is related to C2CD3, a protein required for complete centriole formation in human cells and affected in a type of oral-facial-digital (OFD) syndrome. PMID:25412110

  10. Quantitative Assessment of Fat Levels in Caenorhabditis elegans Using Dark Field Microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony D. Fouad

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model for studying conserved pathways for fat storage, aging, and metabolism. The most broadly used methods for imaging fat in C. elegans require fixing and staining the animal. Here, we show that dark field images acquired through an ordinary light microscope can be used to estimate fat levels in worms. We define a metric based on the amount of light scattered per area, and show that this light scattering metric is strongly correlated with worm fat levels as measured by Oil Red O (ORO staining across a wide variety of genetic backgrounds and feeding conditions. Dark field imaging requires no exogenous agents or chemical fixation, making it compatible with live worm imaging. Using our method, we track fat storage with high temporal resolution in developing larvae, and show that fat storage in the intestine increases in at least one burst during development.

  11. SAS-1 is a C2 domain protein critical for centriole integrity in C. elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukas von Tobel

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Centrioles are microtubule-based organelles important for the formation of cilia, flagella and centrosomes. Despite progress in understanding the underlying assembly mechanisms, how centriole integrity is ensured is incompletely understood, including in sperm cells, where such integrity is particularly critical. We identified C. elegans sas-1 in a genetic screen as a locus required for bipolar spindle assembly in the early embryo. Our analysis reveals that sperm-derived sas-1 mutant centrioles lose their integrity shortly after fertilization, and that a related defect occurs when maternal sas-1 function is lacking. We establish that sas-1 encodes a C2 domain containing protein that localizes to centrioles in C. elegans, and which can bind and stabilize microtubules when expressed in human cells. Moreover, we uncover that SAS-1 is related to C2CD3, a protein required for complete centriole formation in human cells and affected in a type of oral-facial-digital (OFD syndrome.

  12. of Caenorhabditis elegans: Adaptive and developmental regulation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2015-04-27

    Apr 27, 2015 ... cursor for the synthesis of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) ... an excellent animal model for performing integrated in vivo ..... amino acid sequence of C. elegans RFT-2 with human hRFT2 (RFVT3), rat rRFT2 and mice.

  13. Optical silencing of body wall muscles induces pumping inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Takahashi, Megumi; Takagi, Shin

    2017-01-01

    Feeding, a vital behavior in animals, is modulated depending on internal and external factors. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the feeding organ called the pharynx ingests food by pumping driven by the pharyngeal muscles. Here we report that optical silencing of the body wall muscles, which drive the locomotory movement of worms, affects pumping. In worms expressing the Arch proton pump or the ACR2 anion channel in the body wall muscle cells, the pumping rate decreases after activatio...

  14. The Caenorhabditis elegans interneuron ALA is (also) a high-threshold mechanosensor

    OpenAIRE

    Sanders, Jarred; Nagy, Stanislav; Fetterman, Graham; Wright, Charles; Treinin, Millet; Biron, David

    2013-01-01

    Background To survive dynamic environments, it is essential for all animals to appropriately modulate their behavior in response to various stimulus intensities. For instance, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans suppresses the rate of egg-laying in response to intense mechanical stimuli, in a manner dependent on the mechanosensory neurons FLP and PVD. We have found that the unilaterally placed single interneuron ALA acted as a high-threshold mechanosensor, and that it was required for this pr...

  15. Examining the impact of genetic testing for type 2 diabetes on health behaviors: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Voils Corrine I

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We describe the study design, procedures, and development of the risk counseling protocol used in a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of genetic testing for diabetes mellitus (DM on psychological, health behavior, and clinical outcomes. Methods/Design Eligible patients are aged 21 to 65 years with body mass index (BMI ≥27 kg/m2 and no prior diagnosis of DM. At baseline, conventional DM risk factors are assessed, and blood is drawn for possible genetic testing. Participants are randomized to receive conventional risk counseling for DM with eye disease counseling or with genetic test results. The counseling protocol was pilot tested to identify an acceptable graphical format for conveying risk estimates and match the length of the eye disease to genetic counseling. Risk estimates are presented with a vertical bar graph denoting risk level with colors and descriptors. After receiving either genetic counseling regarding risk for DM or control counseling on eye disease, brief lifestyle counseling for prevention of DM is provided to all participants. Discussion A standardized risk counseling protocol is being used in a randomized trial of 600 participants. Results of this trial will inform policy about whether risk counseling should include genetic counseling. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01060540

  16. The Effect of Variation in Developmental Mode on the Population Dynamics of a Spionid Polychaete (Pygospio elegans) in a Heterogeneous Environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thonig, Anne

    by the short life span of P. elegans and sweepstakes reproductive success. Additionally, stochastic events, such as rain storms, can lead to abrupt drops in salinity which can be detrimental for P. elegans and hence introduce further changes in population structure. Seasonal dynamics, including sexual...... of poecilogonous species that show a polymorphism in developmental mode might be more useful than are comparisons between species, since no confounding effects due to speciation arise. In this study, I documented the population ecology and genetics of the poecilogonous polychaete P. elegans and investigated...... the impact of abiotic and biotic variables on population dynamics. Four focal populations from the Isefjord-RoskildeFjord estuary complex, Denmark were sampled over one year. I observed highly dynamic population structure in both size cohort data and population genetic data that is possibly explained...

  17. G protein-coupled receptor kinase-2 (GRK-2) regulates serotonin metabolism through the monoamine oxidase AMX-2 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jianjun; Luo, Jiansong; Aryal, Dipendra K; Wetsel, William C; Nass, Richard; Benovic, Jeffrey L

    2017-04-07

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate many animal behaviors. GPCR signaling is mediated by agonist-promoted interactions of GPCRs with heterotrimeric G proteins, GPCR kinases (GRKs), and arrestins. To further elucidate the role of GRKs in regulating GPCR-mediated behaviors, we utilized the genetic model system Caenorhabditis elegans Our studies demonstrate that grk-2 loss-of-function strains are egg laying-defective and contain low levels of serotonin (5-HT) and high levels of the 5-HT metabolite 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA). The egg laying defect could be rescued by the expression of wild type but not by catalytically inactive grk-2 or by the selective expression of grk-2 in hermaphrodite-specific neurons. The addition of 5-HT or inhibition of 5-HT metabolism also rescued the egg laying defect. Furthermore, we demonstrate that AMX-2 is the primary monoamine oxidase that metabolizes 5-HT in C. elegans , and we also found that grk-2 loss-of-function strains have abnormally high levels of AMX-2 compared with wild-type nematodes. Interestingly, GRK-2 was also found to interact with and promote the phosphorylation of AMX-2. Additional studies reveal that 5-HIAA functions to inhibit egg laying in a manner dependent on the 5-HT receptor SER-1 and the G protein GOA-1. These results demonstrate that GRK-2 modulates 5-HT metabolism by regulating AMX-2 function and that 5-HIAA may function in the SER-1 signaling pathway. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  18. Interspecific nematode signals regulate dispersal behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatma Kaplan

    Full Text Available Dispersal is an important nematode behavior. Upon crowding or food depletion, the free living bacteriovorus nematode Caenorhabditis elegans produces stress resistant dispersal larvae, called dauer, which are analogous to second stage juveniles (J2 of plant parasitic Meloidogyne spp. and infective juveniles (IJs of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN, e.g., Steinernema feltiae. Regulation of dispersal behavior has not been thoroughly investigated for C. elegans or any other nematode species. Based on the fact that ascarosides regulate entry in dauer stage as well as multiple behaviors in C. elegans adults including mating, avoidance and aggregation, we hypothesized that ascarosides might also be involved in regulation of dispersal behavior in C. elegans and for other nematodes such as IJ of phylogenetically related EPNs.Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis of C. elegans dauer conditioned media, which shows strong dispersing activity, revealed four known ascarosides (ascr#2, ascr#3, ascr#8, icas#9. A synthetic blend of these ascarosides at physiologically relevant concentrations dispersed C. elegans dauer in the presence of food and also caused dispersion of IJs of S. feltiae and J2s of plant parasitic Meloidogyne spp. Assay guided fractionation revealed structural analogs as major active components of the S. feltiae (ascr#9 and C. elegans (ascr#2 dispersal blends. Further analysis revealed ascr#9 in all Steinernema spp. and Heterorhabditis spp. infected insect host cadavers.Ascaroside blends represent evolutionarily conserved, fundamentally important communication systems for nematodes from diverse habitats, and thus may provide sustainable means for control of parasitic nematodes.

  19. Neuron-specific feeding RNAi in C. elegans and its use in a screen for essential genes required for GABA neuron function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firnhaber, Christopher; Hammarlund, Marc

    2013-11-01

    Forward genetic screens are important tools for exploring the genetic requirements for neuronal function. However, conventional forward screens often have difficulty identifying genes whose relevant functions are masked by pleiotropy. In particular, if loss of gene function results in sterility, lethality, or other severe pleiotropy, neuronal-specific functions cannot be readily analyzed. Here we describe a method in C. elegans for generating cell-specific knockdown in neurons using feeding RNAi and its application in a screen for the role of essential genes in GABAergic neurons. We combine manipulations that increase the sensitivity of select neurons to RNAi with manipulations that block RNAi in other cells. We produce animal strains in which feeding RNAi results in restricted gene knockdown in either GABA-, acetylcholine-, dopamine-, or glutamate-releasing neurons. In these strains, we observe neuron cell-type specific behavioral changes when we knock down genes required for these neurons to function, including genes encoding the basal neurotransmission machinery. These reagents enable high-throughput, cell-specific knockdown in the nervous system, facilitating rapid dissection of the site of gene action and screening for neuronal functions of essential genes. Using the GABA-specific RNAi strain, we screened 1,320 RNAi clones targeting essential genes on chromosomes I, II, and III for their effect on GABA neuron function. We identified 48 genes whose GABA cell-specific knockdown resulted in reduced GABA motor output. This screen extends our understanding of the genetic requirements for continued neuronal function in a mature organism.

  20. Preschoolers’ Genetic, Physiological, and Behavioral Sensitivity Factors Moderate Links Between Parenting Stress and Child Internalizing, Externalizing, and Sleep Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Molly; Thomassin, Kristel; Bilms, Joanie; Suveg, Cynthia; Shaffer, Anne; Beach, Steven R. H.

    2017-01-01

    This study examined three potential moderators of the relations between maternal parenting stress and preschoolers’ adjustment problems: a genetic polymorphism - the short allele of the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR, ss/sl allele) gene, a physiological indicator - children’s baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and a behavioral indicator - mothers’ reports of children’s negative emotionality. A total of 108 mothers (Mage = 30.68 years, SDage = 6.06) reported on their parenting stress as well as their preschoolers’ (Mage = 3.50 years, SDage = .51, 61% boys) negative emotionality and internalizing, externalizing, and sleep problems. Results indicated that the genetic sensitivity variable functioned according to a differential susceptibility model; however, the results involving physiological and behavioral sensitivity factors were most consistent with a diathesis-stress framework. Implications for prevention and intervention efforts to counter the effects of parenting stress are discussed. PMID:28295263

  1. Study of genetics, phenotypic and behavioral properties of eubacteria and archaebacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Kazemian

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Background: The genome of the bacteria has considerable diversity in terms of sequence of nucleotide bases and change over the time. With the advancement of bioinformatics science possibility of the vast comparison to living organisms has risen. During the last two decades many information about genome sequencing of pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria have been published. Using this information and to find connections between them and many phenotypic characteristics and behavior of bacteria could be used in many studies. In this study we compared some of the genetic, phenotypic and behavioral properties of archaebacteria and eubacteria. Methods: In this analytical study, genomic Information of 286 species of archaebacteria and 122 species of eubacteria were collected from the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information site which was conducted in April to June 2015. Mean of gene size, gene number, protein number and C+G content compared in the two groups of archaebacteria and eubacteria. Association of genomic characterization of bacteria with several other characteristics were analyzed using SPSS statistical software version 19 (Chicago, IL, USA. For this purpose, the Pearson correlation coefficient (Pearson, Student’s t-test and ANOVA test (One-way analysis of variance was used. The P values less than 0.05 was considered as significant level. Results: There was significant association between means discrepancy in two group (P= 0.01. The genome size of eubacteria and archaebacteria have significant association with some of the characteristics of bacteria, such as the C+G content, the number of proteins, genes and habitats of the bacteria (P= 0.01. As well as there was significant association between genome size and features such as number of pseudogene, mobility and type of breathing in eubacteria (P= 0.01 but not in archaebacterial (P˃ 0.05. Conclusion: Many characteristics of eubacteria and archaebacteria are significantly

  2. Genetic polymorphisms in monoamine systems and outcome of cognitive behavior therapy for social anxiety disorder.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evelyn Andersson

    Full Text Available The role of genetics for predicting the response to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT for social anxiety disorder (SAD has only been studied in one previous investigation. The serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR, the catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT val158met, and the tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2 G-703T polymorphisms are implicated in the regulation of amygdala reactivity and fear extinction and therefore might be of relevance for CBT outcome. The aim of the present study was to investigate if these three gene variants predicted response to CBT in a large sample of SAD patients.Participants were recruited from two separate randomized controlled CBT trials (trial 1: n = 112, trial 2: n = 202. Genotyping were performed on DNA extracted from blood or saliva samples. Effects were analyzed at follow-up (6 or 12 months after treatment for both groups and for each group separately at post-treatment. The main outcome measure was the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale Self-Report.At long-term follow-up, there was no effect of any genotype, or gene × gene interactions, on treatment response. In the subsamples, there was time by genotype interaction effects indicating an influence of the TPH2 G-703T-polymorphism on CBT short-term response, however the direction of the effect was not consistent across trials.None of the three gene variants, 5-HTTLPR, COMTval158met and TPH2 G-703T, was associated with long-term response to CBT for SAD.ClinicalTrials.gov (ID-NCT0056496.

  3. How Am I Driving? Using Genetic Programming to Generate Scoring Functions for Urban Driving Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto López

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Road traffic injuries are a serious concern in emerging economies. Their death toll and economic impact are shocking, with 9 out of 10 deaths occurring in low or middle-income countries; and road traffic crashes representing 3% of their gross domestic product. One way to mitigate these issues is to develop technology to effectively assist the driver, perhaps making him more aware about how her (his decisions influence safety. Following this idea, in this paper we evaluate computational models that can score the behavior of a driver based on a risky-safety scale. Potential applications of these models include car rental agencies, insurance companies or transportation service providers. In a previous work, we showed that Genetic Programming (GP was a successful methodology to evolve mathematical functions with the ability to learn how people subjectively score a road trip. The input to this model was a vector of frequencies of risky maneuvers, which were supposed to be detected in a sensor layer. Moreover, GP was shown, even with statistical significance, to be better than six other Machine Learning strategies, including Neural Networks, Support Vector Regression and a Fuzzy Inference system, among others. A pending task, since then, was to evaluate if a more detailed comparison of different strategies based on GP could improve upon the best GP model. In this work, we evaluate, side by side, scoring functions evolved by three different variants of GP. In the end, the results suggest that two of these strategies are very competitive in terms of accuracy and simplicity, both generating models that could be implemented in current technology that seeks to assist the driver in real-world scenarios.

  4. Genetic variant for behavioral regulation factor of executive function and its possible brain mechanism in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiao; Wu, Zhaomin; Cao, Qingjiu; Qian, Ying; Liu, Yong; Yang, Binrang; Chang, Suhua; Yang, Li; Wang, Yufeng

    2018-05-16

    As a childhood-onset psychiatric disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is complicated by phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity. Lifelong executive function deficits in ADHD are described in many literatures and have been proposed as endophenotypes of ADHD. However, its genetic basis is still elusive. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study of executive function, rated with Behavioral Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), in ADHD children. We identified one significant variant (rs852004, P = 2.51e-08) for the overall score of BRIEF. The association analyses for each component of executive function found this locus was more associated with inhibit and monitor components. Further principle component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis provided an ADHD-specific executive function pattern including inhibit and monitor factors. SNP rs852004 was mainly associated with the Behavioral Regulation factor. Meanwhile, we found the significant locus was associated with ADHD symptom. The Behavioral Regulation factor mediated its effect on ADHD symptom. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analyses further showed evidence that this variant affected the activity of inhibition control related brain regions. It provided new insights for the genetic basis of executive function in ADHD.

  5. CNP-1 (ARRD-17), a novel substrate of calcineurin, is critical for modulation of egg-laying and locomotion in response to food and lysine sensation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jee, Changhoon; Choi, Tae-Woo; Kalichamy, Karunambigai; Yee, Jong Zin; Song, Hyun-Ok; Ji, Yon Ju; Lee, Jungsoo; Lee, Jin Il; L'Etoile, Noelle D; Ahnn, Joohong; Lee, Sun-Kyung

    2012-03-30

    Calcineurin is a Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase involved in calcium signaling pathways. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the loss of calcineurin activity causes pleiotropic defects including hyperadaptation of sensory neurons, hypersensation to thermal difference and hyper-egg-laying when worms are refed after starvation. In this study, we report on arrd-17 as calcineurin-interacting protein-1 (cnp-1), which is a novel molecular target of calcineurin. CNP-1 interacts with the catalytic domain of the C. elegans calcineurin A subunit, TAX-6, in a yeast two-hybrid assay and is dephosphorylated by TAX-6 in vitro. cnp-1 is expressed in ASK, ADL, ASH and ASJ sensory neurons as TAX-6. It acts downstream of tax-6 in regulation of locomotion and egg-laying after starvation, ASH sensory neuron adaptation and lysine chemotaxis, that is known to be mediated by ASK neurons. Altogether, our biochemical and genetic evidence indicates that CNP-1 is a direct target of calcineurin and required in stimulated egg-laying and locomotion after starvation, adaptation to hyperosmolarity and attraction to lysine, which is modulated by calcineurin. We suggest that the phosphorylation status of CNP-1 plays an important role in regulation of refed stimulating behaviors after starvation and attraction to amino acid, which provides valuable nutritious information. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Genetic and phenotypic relationships of feeding behavior and temperament with performance, feed efficiency, ultrasound, and carcass merit of beef cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkrumah, J D; Crews, D H; Basarab, J A; Price, M A; Okine, E K; Wang, Z; Li, C; Moore, S S

    2007-10-01

    Feeding behavior and temperament may be useful in genetic evaluations either as indicator traits for other economically relevant traits or because the behavior traits may have a direct economic value. We determined the variation in feeding behavior and temperament of beef cattle sired by Angus, Charolais, or Hybrid bulls and evaluated their associations with performance, efficiency, and carcass merit. The behavior traits were daily feeding duration, feeding head down (HD) time, feeding frequency (FF), and flight speed (FS, as a measure of temperament). A pedigree file of 813 animals forming 28 paternal half-sib families with about 20 progeny per sire was used. Performance, feeding behavior, and efficiency records were available on 464 animals of which 381 and 302 had records on carcass merit and flight speed, respectively. Large SE reflect the number of animals used. Direct heritability estimates were 0.28 +/- 0.12 for feeding duration, 0.33 +/- 0.12 for HD, 0.38 +/- 0.13 for FF, and 0.49 +/- 0.18 for FS. Feeding duration had a weak positive genetic (r(g)) correlation with HD (r(g) = 0.25 +/- 0.32) and FS (r(g) = 0.42 +/- 0.26) but a moderate negative genetic correlation with FF (r(g) = -0.40 +/- 0.30). Feeding duration had positive phenotypic (r(p)) and genetic correlations with DMI (r(p) = 0.27; r(g) = 0.56 +/- 0.20) and residual feed intake (RFI; r(p) = 0.49; r(g) = 0.57 +/- 0.28) but was unrelated phenotypically with feed conversion ratio [FCR; which is the reciprocal of the efficiency of growth (G:F)]. Feeding duration was negatively correlated with FCR (r(g) = -0.25 +/- 0.29). Feeding frequency had a moderate to high negative genetic correlation with DMI (r(g) = -0.74 +/- 0.15), FCR (r(g) = -0.52 +/- 0.21), and RFI (r(g) = -0.77 +/- 0.21). Flight speed was negatively correlated phenotypically with DMI (r(p) = -0.35) but was unrelated phenotypically with FCR or RFI. On the other hand, FS had a weak negative genetic correlation with DMI (r(g) = -0.11 +/- 0

  7. Identification of genetic modifiers of behavioral phenotypes in serotonin transporter knockout rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Homberg, J.R.; Nijman, I.J.; Kuijpers, S.; Cuppen, E.

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Genetic variation in the regulatory region of the human serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) has been shown to affect brain functionality and personality. However, large heterogeneity in its biological effects is observed, which is at least partially due to genetic modifiers. To gain

  8. Behavioral trait genetics in mice; Opportunities for translational research of psychiatric endophenotypes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mooij-van Malsen, J.G. de

    2009-01-01

    Mood disorders have powerful effects on the lives of many people. Finding the mechanisms underlying these disorders is essential to develop selective treatment. In this thesis, interspecies trait genetics are used on behavioural domains to unravel the complex genetics of involved endophenotypes. We

  9. Test Anxiety and a High-Stakes Standardized Reading Comprehension Test: A Behavioral Genetics Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Sarah G.; Hart, Sara A.; Little, Callie W.; Phillips, Beth M.

    2016-01-01

    Past research suggests that reading comprehension test performance does not rely solely on targeted cognitive processes such as word reading, but also on other nontarget aspects such as test anxiety. Using a genetically sensitive design, we sought to understand the genetic and environmental etiology of the association between test anxiety and…

  10. Optimization of Combined Thermal and Electrical Behavior of Power Converters Using Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Malyna, D.V.; Duarte, J.L.; Hendrix, M.A.M.; Horck, van F.B.M.

    2007-01-01

    A practical example of power electronic converter synthesis is presented, where a multi-objective genetic algorithm, namely non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) is used. The optimization algorithm takes an experimentally-derived thermal model for the converter into account. Experimental

  11. Common genetic variation near MC4R has a sex-specific impact on human brain structure and eating behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annette Horstmann

    Full Text Available Obesity is associated with genetic and environmental factors but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS identified obesity- and type 2 diabetes-associated genetic variants located within or near genes that modulate brain activity and development. Among the top hits is rs17782313 near MC4R, encoding for the melanocortin-4-receptor, which is expressed in brain regions that regulate eating. Here, we hypothesized rs17782313-associated changes in human brain regions that regulate eating behavior. Therefore, we examined effects of common variants at rs17782313 near MC4R on brain structure and eating behavior. Only in female homozygous carriers of the risk allele we found significant increases of gray matter volume (GMV in the right amygdala, a region known to influence eating behavior, and the right hippocampus, a structure crucial for memory formation and learning. Further, we found bilateral increases in medial orbitofrontal cortex, a multimodal brain structure encoding the subjective value of reinforcers, and bilateral prefrontal cortex, a higher order regulation area. There was no association between rs17782313 and brain structure in men. Moreover, among female subjects only, we observed a significant increase of 'disinhibition', and, more specifically, on 'emotional eating' scores of the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire in carriers of the variant rs17782313's risk allele. These findings suggest that rs17782313's effect on eating behavior is mediated by central mechanisms and that these effects are sex-specific.

  12. β-Catenin-Dependent Wnt Signaling in C. elegans: Teaching an Old Dog a New Trick

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Belinda M.; Eisenmann, David M.

    2012-01-01

    Wnt signaling is an evolutionarily ancient pathway used to regulate many events during metazoan development. Genetic results from Caenorhabditis elegans more than a dozen years ago suggested that Wnt signaling in this nematode worm might be different than in vertebrates and Drosophila: the worm had a small number of Wnts, too many β-catenins, and some Wnt pathway components functioned in an opposite manner than in other species. Work over the ensuing years has clarified that C. elegans does possess a canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway similar to that in other metazoans, but that the majority of Wnt signaling in this species may proceed via a variant Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway that uses some new components (mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling enzymes), and in which some conserved pathway components (β-catenin, T-cell factor [TCF]) are used in new and interesting ways. This review summarizes our current understanding of the canonical and novel TCF/β-catenin-dependent signaling pathways in C. elegans. PMID:22745286

  13. Interpreting a sequenced genome: toward a cosmid transgenic library of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janke, D L; Schein, J E; Ha, T; Franz, N W; O'Neil, N J; Vatcher, G P; Stewart, H I; Kuervers, L M; Baillie, D L; Rose, A M

    1997-10-01

    We have generated a library of transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strains that carry sequenced cosmids from the genome of the nematode. Each strain carries an extrachromosomal array containing a single cosmid, sequenced by the C. elegans Genome Sequencing Consortium, and a dominate Rol-6 marker. More than 500 transgenic strains representing 250 cosmids have been constructed. Collectively, these strains contain approximately 8 Mb of sequence data, or approximately 8% of the C. elegans genome. The transgenic strains are being used to rescue mutant phenotypes, resulting in a high-resolution map alignment of the genetic, physical, and DNA sequence maps of the nematode. We have chosen the region of chromosome III deleted by sDf127 and not covered by the duplication sDp8(III;I) as a starting point for a systematic correlation of mutant phenotypes with nucleotide sequence. In this defined region, we have identified 10 new essential genes whose mutant phenotypes range from developmental arrest at early larva, to maternal effect lethal. To date, 8 of these 10 essential genes have been rescued. In this region, these rescues represent approximately 10% of the genes predicted by GENEFINDER and considerably enhance the map alignment. Furthermore, this alignment facilitates future efforts to physically position and clone other genes in the region. [Updated information about the Transgenic Library is available via the Internet at http://darwin.mbb.sfu.ca/imbb/dbaillie/cos mid.html.

  14. Distinct roles of the RasGAP family proteins in C. elegans associative learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyurkó, M Dávid; Csermely, Péter; Sőti, Csaba; Steták, Attila

    2015-10-15

    The Ras GTPase activating proteins (RasGAPs) are regulators of the conserved Ras/MAPK pathway. Various roles of some of the RasGAPs in learning and memory have been reported in different model systems, yet, there is no comprehensive study to characterize all gap genes in any organism. Here, using reverse genetics and neurobehavioural tests, we studied the role of all known genes of the rasgap family in C. elegans in associative learning and memory. We demonstrated that their proteins are implicated in different parts of the learning and memory processes. We show that gap-1 contribute redundantly with gap-3 to the chemosensation of volatile compounds, gap-1 plays a major role in associative learning, while gap-2 and gap-3 are predominantly required for short- and long-term associative memory. Our results also suggest that the C. elegans Ras orthologue let-60 is involved in multiple processes during learning and memory. Thus, we show that the different classes of RasGAP proteins are all involved in cognitive function and their complex interplay ensures the proper formation and storage of novel information in C. elegans.

  15. Using Caenorhabditis elegans to Uncover Conserved Functions of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism to study functions of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The ability to alter fatty acid composition with genetic manipulation and dietary supplementation permits the dissection of the roles of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in many biological process including reproduction, aging and neurobiology. Studies in C. elegans to date have mostly identified overlapping functions of 20-carbon omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in reproduction and in neurons, however, specific roles for either omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids are beginning to emerge. Recent findings with importance to human health include the identification of a conserved Cox-independent prostaglandin synthesis pathway, critical functions for cytochrome P450 derivatives of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the requirements for omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in sensory neurons, and the importance of fatty acid desaturation for long lifespan. Furthermore, the ability of C. elegans to interconvert omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids using the FAT-1 omega-3 desaturase has been exploited in mammalian studies and biotechnology approaches to generate mammals capable of exogenous generation of omega-3 fatty acids. PMID:26848697

  16. Control of intestinal bacterial proliferation in regulation of lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Portal-Celhay Cynthia

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A powerful approach to understanding complex processes such as aging is to use model organisms amenable to genetic manipulation, and to seek relevant phenotypes to measure. Caenorhabditis elegans is particularly suited to studies of aging, since numerous single-gene mutations have been identified that affect its lifespan; it possesses an innate immune system employing evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways affecting longevity. As worms age, bacteria accumulate in the intestinal tract. However, quantitative relationships between worm genotype, lifespan, and intestinal lumen bacterial load have not been examined. We hypothesized that gut immunity is less efficient in older animals, leading to enhanced bacterial accumulation, reducing longevity. To address this question, we evaluated the ability of worms to control bacterial accumulation as a functional marker of intestinal immunity. Results We show that as adult worms age, several C. elegans genotypes show diminished capacity to control intestinal bacterial accumulation. We provide evidence that intestinal bacterial load, regulated by gut immunity, is an important causative factor of lifespan determination; the effects are specified by bacterial strain, worm genotype, and biologic age, all acting in concert. Conclusions In total, these studies focus attention on the worm intestine as a locus that influences longevity in the presence of an accumulating bacterial population. Further studies defining the interplay between bacterial species and host immunity in C. elegans may provide insights into the general mechanisms of aging and age-related diseases.

  17. Pseudomonas aeruginosa disrupts Caenorhabditis elegans iron homeostasis, causing a hypoxic response and death.

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    Kirienko, Natalia V; Kirienko, Daniel R; Larkins-Ford, Jonah; Wählby, Carolina; Ruvkun, Gary; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2013-04-17

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes serious human infections, but effective treatments and the mechanisms mediating pathogenesis remain elusive. Caenorhabditis elegans shares innate immune pathways with humans, making it invaluable to investigate infection. To determine how P. aeruginosa disrupts host biology, we studied how P. aeruginosa kills C. elegans in a liquid-based pathogenesis model. We found that P. aeruginosa-mediated killing does not require quorum-sensing pathways or host colonization. A chemical genetic screen revealed that iron chelators alleviate P. aeruginosa-mediated killing. Consistent with a role for iron in P. aeruginosa pathogenesis, the bacterial siderophore pyoverdin was required for virulence and was sufficient to induce a hypoxic response and death in the absence of bacteria. Loss of the C. elegans hypoxia-inducing factor HIF-1, which regulates iron homeostasis, exacerbated P. aeruginosa pathogenesis, further linking hypoxia and killing. As pyoverdin is indispensable for virulence in mice, pyoverdin-mediated hypoxia is likely to be relevant in human pathogenesis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Modulation of innate and learned sexual behaviors by the TRP channel Painless expressed in the fruit fly brain: behavioral genetic analysis and its implications

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    Shoma eSato

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Transient receptor potential (TRP channels have attracted considerable attention because of their vital roles in primary sensory neurons, mediating responses to a wide variety of external environmental stimuli. However, much less is known about how TRP channels in the brain respond to intrinsic signals and are involved in neurophysiological processes that control complex behaviors. Painless (Pain is the Drosophila TRP channel that was initially identified as a molecular sensor responsible for detecting noxious thermal and mechanical stimuli. Here, we review recent behavioral genetic studies demonstrating that Pain expressed in the brain plays a critical role in both innate and learned aspects of sexual behaviors. Several members of the TRP channel superfamily play evolutionarily conserved roles in sensory neurons as well as in other peripheral tissues. It is thus expected that brain TRP channels in vertebrates and invertebrates would have some common physiological functions. Studies of Pain in the Drosophila brain using a unique combination of genetics and physiological techniques should provide valuable insights into the fundamental principles concerning TRP channels expressed in the vertebrate and invertebrate brains.

  19. The N-glycanase png-1 acts to limit axon branching during organ formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Habibi-Babadi, Nasrin; Su, Anna; de Carvalho, Carlos E; Colavita, Antonio

    2010-02-03

    Peptide:N-glycanases (PNGases) are cytoplasmic de-N-glycosylation enzymes that have been shown in cultured cells to facilitate the degradation of misfolded glycoproteins during endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation and in the processing of major histocompatibility complex class I antigens for proper cell-surface presentation. The gene encoding PNGase activity was initially described in budding yeast (Png1p) and shown to be highly conserved from yeast to humans, but physiological roles in higher organisms have not been elucidated. Here we describe peripheral nervous system defects associated with the first loss-of-function mutations in an animal PNGase. Mutations in png-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans PNGase ortholog, result in an increase in axon branching during morphogenesis of the vulval egg-laying organ and egg-laying behavior changes. Neuronal defects include an increase in the branched morphology of the VC4 and VC5 egg-laying neurons as well as inappropriate branches from axons that run adjacent to the vulva but would normally remain unbranched. We show that png-1 is widely expressed and can act from both neurons and epithelial cells to restrict axon branching. A deletion allele of the DNA repair gene rad-23, orthologs of which are known to physically interact with PNGases in yeast and mammals, displays similar axon branching defects and genetic interactions with png-1. In summary, our analysis reveals a novel developmental role for a PNGase and Rad-23 in the regulation of neuronal branching during organ innervation.

  20. Stress-Induced Sleep After Exposure to Ultraviolet Light Is Promoted by p53 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    DeBardeleben, Hilary K; Lopes, Lindsey E; Nessel, Mark P; Raizen, David M

    2017-10-01

    Stress-induced sleep (SIS) in Caenorhabditis elegans is important for restoration of cellular homeostasis and is a useful model to study the function and regulation of sleep. SIS is triggered when epidermal growth factor (EGF) activates the ALA neuron, which then releases neuropeptides to promote sleep. To further understand this behavior, we established a new model of SIS using irradiation by ultraviolet C (UVC) light. While UVC irradiation requires ALA signaling and leads to a sleep state similar to that induced by heat and other stressors, it does not induce the proteostatic stress seen with heat exposure. Based on the known genotoxic effects of UVC irradiation, we tested two genes, atl-1 and cep-1 , which encode proteins that act in the DNA damage response pathway. Loss-of-function mutants of atl-1 had no defect in UVC-induced SIS but a partial loss-of-function mutant of cep-1 , gk138 , had decreased movement quiescence following UVC irradiation. Germline ablation experiments and tissue-specific RNA interference experiments showed that cep-1 is required somatically in neurons for its effect on SIS. The cep-1 ( gk138 ) mutant suppressed body movement quiescence controlled by EGF, indicating that CEP-1 acts downstream or in parallel to ALA activation to promote quiescence in response to ultraviolet light. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  1. Intracellular amyloid formation in muscle cells of Aβ-transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans: determinants and physiological role in copper detoxification

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    Bush Ashley I

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The amyloid β-peptide is a ubiquitous peptide, which is prone to aggregate forming soluble toxic oligomers and insoluble less-toxic aggregates. The intrinsic and external/environmental factors that determine Aβ aggregation in vivo are poorly understood, as well as the cellular meaning of this process itself. Genetic data as well as cell biological and biochemical evidence strongly support the hypothesis that Aβ is a major player in the onset and development of Alzheimer's disease. In addition, it is also known that Aβ is involved in Inclusion Body Myositis, a common myopathy of the elderly in which the peptide accumulates intracellularly. Results In the present work, we found that intracellular Aβ aggregation in muscle cells of Caenorhabditis elegans overexpressing Aβ peptide is affected by two single amino acid substitutions, E22G (Arctic and V18A (NIC. Both variations show decrease intracellular amyloidogenesis compared to wild type Aβ. We show that intracellular amyloid aggregation of wild type Aβ is accelerated by Cu2+ and diminished by copper chelators. Moreover, we demonstrate through toxicity and behavioral assays that Aβ-transgenic worms display a higher tolerance to Cu2+ toxic effects and that this resistance may be linked to the formation of amyloid aggregates. Conclusion Our data show that intracellular Aβ amyloid aggregates may trap excess of free Cu2+ buffering its cytotoxic effects and that accelerated intracellular Aβ aggregation may be part of a cell protective mechanism.

  2. RNAi screen of DAF-16/FOXO target genes in C. elegans links pathogenesis and dauer formation.

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    Victor L Jensen

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor is the major downstream output of the insulin/IGF1R signaling pathway controlling C. elegans dauer larva development and aging. To identify novel downstream genes affecting dauer formation, we used RNAi to screen candidate genes previously identified to be regulated by DAF-16. We used a sensitized genetic background [eri-1(mg366; sdf-9(m708], which enhances both RNAi efficiency and constitutive dauer formation (Daf-c. Among 513 RNAi clones screened, 21 displayed a synthetic Daf-c (SynDaf phenotype with sdf-9. One of these genes, srh-100, was previously identified to be SynDaf, but twenty have not previously been associated with dauer formation. Two of the latter genes, lys-1 and cpr-1, are known to participate in innate immunity and six more are predicted to do so, suggesting that the immune response may contribute to the dauer decision. Indeed, we show that two of these genes, lys-1 and clc-1, are required for normal resistance to Staphylococcus aureus. clc-1 is predicted to function in epithelial cohesion. Dauer formation exhibited by daf-8(m85, sdf-9(m708, and the wild-type N2 (at 27°C were all enhanced by exposure to pathogenic bacteria, while not enhanced in a daf-22(m130 background. We conclude that knockdown of the genes required for proper pathogen resistance increases pathogenic infection, leading to increased dauer formation in our screen. We propose that dauer larva formation is a behavioral response to pathogens mediated by increased dauer pheromone production.

  3. Dopamine negatively modulates the NCA ion channels in C. elegans.

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    Topalidou, Irini; Cooper, Kirsten; Pereira, Laura; Ailion, Michael

    2017-10-01

    The NALCN/NCA ion channel is a cation channel related to voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels. NALCN has been reported to be a sodium leak channel with a conserved role in establishing neuronal resting membrane potential, but its precise cellular role and regulation are unclear. The Caenorhabditis elegans orthologs of NALCN, NCA-1 and NCA-2, act in premotor interneurons to regulate motor circuit activity that sustains locomotion. Recently we found that NCA-1 and NCA-2 are activated by a signal transduction pathway acting downstream of the heterotrimeric G protein Gq and the small GTPase Rho. Through a forward genetic screen, here we identify the GPCR kinase GRK-2 as a new player affecting signaling through the Gq-Rho-NCA pathway. Using structure-function analysis, we find that the GPCR phosphorylation and membrane association domains of GRK-2 are required for its function. Genetic epistasis experiments suggest that GRK-2 acts on the D2-like dopamine receptor DOP-3 to inhibit Go signaling and positively modulate NCA-1 and NCA-2 activity. Through cell-specific rescuing experiments, we find that GRK-2 and DOP-3 act in premotor interneurons to modulate NCA channel function. Finally, we demonstrate that dopamine, through DOP-3, negatively regulates NCA activity. Thus, this study identifies a pathway by which dopamine modulates the activity of the NCA channels.

  4. Bacterial Respiration and Growth Rates Affect the Feeding Preferences, Brood Size and Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Li; Yan, Xiaomei; Ye, Chenglong; Zhao, Haiyan; Chen, Xiaoyun; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria serve as live food and nutrients for bacterial-feeding nematodes (BFNs) in soils, and influence nematodes behavior and physiology through their metabolism. Five bacterial taxa (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens JX1, Variovorax sp. JX14, Bacillus megaterium JX15, Pseudomonas fluorescens Y1 and Escherichia coli OP50) and the typical BFN Caenorhabditis elegans were selected to study the effects of bacterial respiration and growth rates on the feeding preferences, brood size and lifespan of nematodes. P. fluorescens Y1 and E. coli OP50 were found to be more active, with high respiration and rapid growth, whereas B. amyloliquefaciens JX1 and B. megaterium JX15 were inactive. The nematode C. elegans preferred active P. fluorescens Y1 and E. coli OP50 obviously. Furthermore, worms that fed on these two active bacteria produced more offspring but had shorter lifespan, while inactive and less preferred bacteria had increased nematodes lifespan and decreased the brood size. Based on these results, we propose that the bacterial activity may influence the behavior and life traits of C. elegans in the following ways: (1) active bacteria reproduce rapidly and emit high levels of CO2 attracting C. elegans; (2) these active bacteria use more resources in the nematodes’ gut to sustain their survival and reproduction, thereby reducing the worm's lifespan; (3) inactive bacteria may provide less food for worms than active bacteria, thus increasing nematodes lifespan but decreasing their fertility. Nematodes generally require a balance between their preferred foods and beneficial foods, only preferred food may not be beneficial for nematodes. PMID:26222828

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

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    David A. Bulger

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-05

    Human exome sequencing has dramatically increased the rate of identification of disease-associated polymorphisms. However, examining the functional consequences of those variants has created an analytic bottleneck. Insulin-like signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans has long provided a model to assess consequences of human insulin signaling mutations, but this has not been evaluated in the context of current genetic tools. We have exploited strains derived from the Million Mutation Project (MMP) and gene editing to explore further the evolutionary relationships and conservation between the human and C. elegans insulin receptors. Of 40 MMP alleles analyzed in the C. elegans insulin-like receptor gene DAF-2, 35 exhibited insulin-like signaling indistinguishable from wild-type animals, indicating tolerated mutations. Five MMP alleles proved to be novel dauer-enhancing mutations, including one new allele in the previously uncharacterized C-terminus of DAF-2 CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing was used to confirm the phenotypic consequence of six of these DAF-2 mutations and to replicate an allelic series of known human disease mutations in a highly conserved tyrosine kinase active site residue, demonstrating the utility of C. elegans for directly modeling human disease. Our results illustrate the challenges associated with prediction of the phenotypic consequences of amino acid substitutions, the value of assaying mutant isoform function in vivo, and how recently developed tools and resources afford the opportunity to expand our understanding even of highly conserved regulatory modules such as insulin signaling. This approach may prove generally useful for modeling phenotypic consequences of candidate human pathogenic mutations in conserved signaling and developmental pathways. Copyright © 2017 Bulger et al.

  7. Phase-dependent preference of thermosensation and chemosensation during simultaneous presentation assay in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Shingai Ryuzo

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Multi-sensory integration is necessary for organisms to discriminate different environmental stimuli and thus determine behavior. Caenorhabditis elegans has 12 pairs of amphid sensory neurons, which are involved in generating behaviors such as thermotaxis toward cultivation temperature, and chemotaxis toward chemical stimuli. This arrangement of known sensory neurons and measurable behavioral output makes C. elegans suitable for addressing questions of multi-sensory integration in the nervous system. Previous studies have suggested that C. elegans can process different chemoattractants simultaneously. However, little is known about how these organisms can integrate information from stimuli of different modality, such as thermal and chemical stimuli. Results We studied the behavior of a population of C. elegans during simultaneous presentation of thermal and chemical stimuli. First, we examined thermotaxis within the radial temperature gradient produced by a feedback-controlled thermoregulator. Separately, we examined chemotaxis toward sodium chloride or isoamyl alcohol. Then, assays for simultaneous presentations of 15°C (colder temperature than 20°C room temperature and chemoattractant were performed with 15°C-cultivated wild-type worms. Unlike the sum of behavioral indices for each separate behavior, simultaneous presentation resulted in a biased migration to cold regions in the first 10 min of the assay, and sodium chloride-regions in the last 40 min. However, when sodium chloride was replaced with isoamyl alcohol in the simultaneous presentation, the behavioral index was very similar to the sum of separate single presentation indices. We then recorded tracks of single worms and analyzed their behavior. For behavior toward sodium chloride, frequencies of forward and backward movements in simultaneous presentation were significantly different from those in single presentation. Also, migration toward 15°C in simultaneous

  8. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    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.

  9. Differential genetic regulation of motor activity and anxiety-related behaviors in mice using an automated home cage task.

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    Kas, Martien J H; de Mooij-van Malsen, Annetrude J G; Olivier, Berend; Spruijt, Berry M; van Ree, Jan M

    2008-08-01

    Traditional behavioral tests, such as the open field test, measure an animal's responsiveness to a novel environment. However, it is generally difficult to assess whether the behavioral response obtained from these tests relates to the expression level of motor activity and/or to avoidance of anxiogenic areas. Here, an automated home cage environment for mice was designed to obtain independent measures of motor activity levels and of sheltered feeding preference during three consecutive days. Chronic treatment with the anxiolytic drug chlordiazepoxide (5 and 10 mg/kg/day) in C57BL/6J mice reduced sheltered feeding preference without altering motor activity levels. Furthermore, two distinct chromosome substitution strains, derived from C57BL/6J (host strain) and A/J (donor strain) inbred strains, expressed either increased sheltering preference in females (chromosome 15) or reduced motor activity levels in females and males (chromosome 1) when compared to C57BL/6J. Longitudinal behavioral monitoring revealed that these phenotypic differences maintained after adaptation to the home cage. Thus, by using new automated behavioral phenotyping approaches, behavior can be dissociated into distinct behavioral domains (e.g., anxiety-related and motor activity domains) with different underlying genetic origin and pharmacological responsiveness.

  10. Nuclear receptor NHR-25 is required for cell-shape dynamics during epidermal differentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šilhánková, Marie; Jindra, Marek; Asahina, Masako

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 118, č. 1 (2005), s. 223-232 ISSN 0021-9533 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB5022303; GA ČR GD524/03/H133 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Caenorhabditis elegans * nuclear receptor * epidermal stem cells Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 6.543, year: 2005

  11. Mechanisms of Plasticity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Mechanosensory Circuit

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    Tahereh eBozorgmehr

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 behaviour discussed here is the tap withdrawal response, whereby the worm crawls backwards a brief distance in response to a non-localized stimulus to the side of the Petri plate within which it lives. The neural circuit that underlies this behaviour is primarily made up of 5 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 towards 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 signalling and auto-phosphorylation of voltage-dependent potassium channels and is modulated by dopamine signalling in the mechanosensory neurons. Long-term memory 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.

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

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    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.

  13. Behavioral versus genetic determination of lipoproteins andidentical twins discordant for exercise

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    Williams, Paul T.; Blanche, Patricia J.; Krauss, Ronald M.

    2004-06-01

    Lipoprotein and weight differences between vigorously active and sedentary MZ twins are used to: (1) estimate the effects of training while controlling for genotype; (2) estimate genetic concordance in the presence of divergent lifestyles.

  14. Genetic and environmental effects on same-sex sexual behavior: a population study of twins in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Långström, Niklas; Rahman, Qazi; Carlström, Eva; Lichtenstein, Paul

    2010-02-01

    There is still uncertainty about the relative importance of genes and environments on human sexual orientation. One reason is that previous studies employed self-selected, opportunistic, or small population-based samples. We used data from a truly population-based 2005-2006 survey of all adult twins (20-47 years) in Sweden to conduct the largest twin study of same-sex sexual behavior attempted so far. We performed biometric modeling with data on any and total number of lifetime same-sex sexual partners, respectively. The analyses were conducted separately by sex. Twin resemblance was moderate for the 3,826 studied monozygotic and dizygotic same-sex twin pairs. Biometric modeling revealed that, in men, genetic effects explained .34-.39 of the variance, the shared environment .00, and the individual-specific environment .61-.66 of the variance. Corresponding estimates among women were .18-.19 for genetic factors, .16-.17 for shared environmental, and 64-.66 for unique environmental factors. Although wide confidence intervals suggest cautious interpretation, the results are consistent with moderate, primarily genetic, familial effects, and moderate to large effects of the nonshared environment (social and biological) on same-sex sexual behavior.

  15. A behavioral-genetic investigation of bulimia nervosa and its relationship with alcohol use disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trace, Sara Elizabeth; Thornton, Laura Marie; Baker, Jessica Helen; Root, Tammy Lynn; Janson, Lauren Elizabeth; Lichtenstein, Paul; Pedersen, Nancy Lee; Bulik, Cynthia Marie

    2013-01-01

    Bulimia nervosa (BN) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) frequently co-occur and may share genetic factors; however, the nature of their association is not fully understood. We assessed the extent to which the same genetic and environmental factors contribute to liability to BN and AUD. A bivariate structural equation model using a Cholesky decomposition was fit to data from 7,241 women who participated in the Swedish Twin study of Adults: Genes and Environment. The proportion of variance accounted for by genetic and environmental factors for BN and AUD and the genetic and environmental correlations between these disorders were estimated. In the best-fitting model, the heritability estimates were 0.55 (95% CI: 0.37; 0.70) for BN and 0.62 (95% CI: 0.54; 0.70) for AUD. Unique environmental factors accounted for the remainder of variance for BN. The genetic correlation between BN and AUD was 0.23 (95% CI: 0.01; 0.44), and the correlation between the unique environmental factors for the two disorders was 0.35 (95% CI: 0.08; 0.61), suggesting moderate overlap in these factors. Findings from this investigation provide additional support that some of the same genetic factors may influence liability to both BN and AUD. PMID:23790978

  16. SLO-1-channels of parasitic nematodes reconstitute locomotor behaviour and emodepside sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans slo-1 loss of function mutants.

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    Claudia Welz

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The calcium-gated potassium channel SLO-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans was recently identified as key component for action of emodepside, a new anthelmintic drug with broad spectrum activity. In this study we identified orthologues of slo-1 in Ancylostoma caninum, Cooperia oncophora, and Haemonchus contortus, all important parasitic nematodes in veterinary medicine. Furthermore, functional analyses of these slo-1 orthologues were performed using heterologous expression in C. elegans. We expressed A. caninum and C. oncophora slo-1 in the emodepside-resistant genetic background of the slo-1 loss-of-function mutant NM1968 slo-1(js379. Transformants expressing A. caninum slo-1 from C. elegans slo-1 promoter were highly susceptible (compared to the fully emodepside-resistant slo-1(js379 and showed no significant difference in their emodepside susceptibility compared to wild-type C. elegans (p = 0.831. Therefore, the SLO-1 channels of A. caninum and C. elegans appear to be completely functionally interchangeable in terms of emodepside sensitivity. Furthermore, we tested the ability of the 5' flanking regions of A. caninum and C. oncophora slo-1 to drive expression of SLO-1 in C. elegans and confirmed functionality of the putative promoters in this heterologous system. For all transgenic lines tested, expression of either native C. elegans slo-1 or the parasite-derived orthologue rescued emodepside sensitivity in slo-1(js379 and the locomotor phenotype of increased reversal frequency confirming the reconstitution of SLO-1 function in the locomotor circuits. A potent mammalian SLO-1 channel inhibitor, penitrem A, showed emodepside antagonising effects in A. caninum and C. elegans. The study combined the investigation of new anthelmintic targets from parasitic nematodes and experimental use of the respective target genes in C. elegans, therefore closing the gap between research approaches using model nematodes and those using target organisms

  17. Behavioral and genetic effects promoted by sleep deprivation in rats submitted to pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus.

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    Matos, Gabriela; Ribeiro, Daniel A; Alvarenga, Tathiana A; Hirotsu, Camila; Scorza, Fulvio A; Le Sueur-Maluf, Luciana; Noguti, Juliana; Cavalheiro, Esper A; Tufik, Sergio; Andersen, Monica L

    2012-05-02

    The interaction between sleep deprivation and epilepsy has been well described in electrophysiological studies, but the mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. The present study evaluated the effects of sleep deprivation on locomotor activity and genetic damage in the brains of rats treated with saline or pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). After 50 days of pilocarpine or saline treatment, both groups were assigned randomly to total sleep deprivation (TSD) for 6 h, paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) for 24 h, or be kept in their home cages. Locomotor activity was assessed with the open field test followed by resection of brain for quantification of genetic damage by the single cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay. Status epilepticus induced significant hyperactivity in the open field test and caused genetic damage in the brain. Sleep deprivation procedures (TSD and PSD) did not affect locomotor activity in epileptic or healthy rats, but resulted in significant DNA damage in brain cells. Although PSD had this effect in both vehicle and epileptic groups, TSD caused DNA damage only in epileptic rats. In conclusion, our results revealed that, despite a lack of behavioral effects of sleep deprivation, TSD and PSD induced genetic damage in rats submitted to pilocarpine-induced SE. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Genetic sensitivity to the caregiving context: The influence of 5httlpr and BDNF val66met on indiscriminate social behavior

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    Drury, Stacy S; Gleason, Mary Margaret; Theall, Katherine; Smyke, Anna T; Nelson, Charles A; Fox, Nathan A; Zeanah, Charles H

    2014-01-01

    Evidence that gene x environment interactions can reflect differential sensitivity to the environmental context, rather than risk or resilience, is increasing. To test this model, we examined the genetic contribution to indiscriminate social behavior, in the setting of a randomized controlled trial of foster care compared to institutional rearing. Children enrolled in the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) were assessed comprehensively before the age of 30 months and subsequently randomized to either care as usual (CAUG) or high quality foster care (FCG). Indiscriminate social behavior was assessed at four time points, baseline, 30 months, 42 months and 54 months of age, using caregiver report with the Disturbances of Attachment Interview (DAI). General linear mixed-effects models were used to examine the effect of the interaction between group status and functional polymorphisms in Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and the Serotonin Transporter (5htt) on levels of indiscriminate behavior over time. Differential susceptibility, relative to levels of indiscriminate behavior, was demonstrated in children with either the s/s 5httlpr genotype or met 66 BDNF allele carriers. Specifically children with either the s/s 5httlpr genotype or met66 carriers in BDNF demonstrated the lowest levels of indiscriminate behavior in the FCG and the highest levels in the CAUG. Children with either the long allele of the 5httlpr or val/val genotype of BDNF demonstrated little difference in levels of indiscriminate behaviors over time and no group x genotype interaction. Children with both plasticity genotypes had the most signs of indiscriminate behavior at 54 months if they were randomized to the CAUG in the institution, while those with both plasticity genotypes randomized to the FCG intervention had the fewest signs at 54 months. Strikingly children with no plasticity alleles demonstrated no intervention effect on levels of indiscriminate behavior at 54 months. These

  19. Destabilizing protein polymorphisms in the genetic background direct phenotypic expression of mutant SOD1 toxicity.

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    Tali Gidalevitz

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Genetic background exerts a strong modulatory effect on the toxicity of aggregation-prone proteins in conformational diseases. In addition to influencing the misfolding and aggregation behavior of the mutant proteins, polymorphisms in putative modifier genes may affect the molecular processes leading to the disease phenotype. Mutations in SOD1 in a subset of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS cases confer dominant but clinically variable toxicity, thought to be mediated by misfolding and aggregation of mutant SOD1 protein. While the mechanism of toxicity remains unknown, both the nature of the SOD1 mutation and the genetic background in which it is expressed appear important. To address this, we established a Caenorhabditis elegans model to systematically examine the aggregation behavior and genetic interactions of mutant forms of SOD1. Expression of three structurally distinct SOD1 mutants in C. elegans muscle cells resulted in the appearance of heterogeneous populations of aggregates and was associated with only mild cellular dysfunction. However, introduction of destabilizing temperature-sensitive mutations into the genetic background strongly enhanced the toxicity of SOD1 mutants, resulting in exposure of several deleterious phenotypes at permissive conditions in a manner dependent on the specific SOD1 mutation. The nature of the observed phenotype was dependent on the temperature-sensitive mutation present, while its penetrance reflected the specific combination of temperature-sensitive and SOD1 mutations. Thus, the specific toxic phenotypes of conformational disease may not be simply due to misfolding/aggregation toxicity of the causative mutant proteins, but may be defined by their genetic interactions with cellular pathways harboring mildly destabilizing missense alleles.

  20. Immobilization of Caenorhabditis elegans to Analyze Intracellular Transport in Neurons.

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    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2017-10-18

    Axonal transport and intraflagellar transport (IFT) are essential for axon and cilia morphogenesis and function. Kinesin superfamily proteins and dynein are molecular motors that regulate anterograde and retrograde transport, respectively. These motors use microtubule networks as rails. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a powerful model organism to study axonal transport and IFT in vivo. Here, I describe a protocol to observe axonal transport and IFT in living C. elegans. Transported cargo can be visualized by tagging cargo proteins using fluorescent proteins such as green fluorescent protein (GFP). C. elegans is transparent and GFP-tagged cargo proteins can be expressed in specific cells under cell-specific promoters. Living worms can be fixed by microbeads on 10% agarose gel without killing or anesthetizing the worms. Under these conditions, cargo movement can be directly observed in the axons and cilia of living C. elegans without dissection. This method can be applied to the observation of any cargo molecule in any cells by modifying the target proteins and/or the cells they are expressed in. Most basic proteins such as molecular motors and adaptor proteins that are involved in axonal transport and IFT are conserved in C. elegans. Compared to other model organisms, mutants can be obtained and maintained more easily in C. elegans. Combining this method with various C. elegans mutants can clarify the molecular mechanisms of axonal transport and IFT.

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans intersectin: a synaptic protein regulating neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rose, Simon; Malabarba, Maria Grazia; Krag, Claudia

    2007-01-01

    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...

  2. Behavioral and Genetic Evidence for GIRK Channels in the CNS: Role in Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Drug Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayfield, Jody; Blednov, Yuri A; Harris, R Adron

    2015-01-01

    G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels are widely expressed throughout the brain and mediate the inhibitory effects of many neurotransmitters. As a result, these channels are important for normal CNS function and have also been implicated in Down syndrome, Parkinson's disease, psychiatric disorders, epilepsy, and drug addiction. Knockout mouse models have provided extensive insight into the significance of GIRK channels under these conditions. This review examines the behavioral and genetic evidence from animal models and genetic association studies in humans linking GIRK channels with CNS disorders. We further explore the possibility that subunit-selective modulators and other advanced research tools will be instrumental in establishing the role of individual GIRK subunits in drug addiction and other relevant CNS diseases and in potentially advancing treatment options for these disorders. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Genetic variability of environmental sensitivity revealed by phenotypic variation in body weight and (its correlations to physiological and behavioral traits.

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    Delphine Lallias

    Full Text Available Adaptive phenotypic plasticity is a key component of the ability of organisms to cope with changing environmental conditions. Fish have been shown to exhibit a substantial level of phenotypic plasticity in response to abiotic and biotic factors. In the present study, we investigate the link between environmental sensitivity assessed globally (revealed by phenotypic variation in body weight and more targeted physiological and behavioral indicators that are generally used to assess the sensitivity of a fish to environmental stressors. We took advantage of original biological material, the rainbow trout isogenic lines, which allowed the disentangling of the genetic and environmental parts of the phenotypic variance. Ten lines were characterized for the changes of body weight variability (weight measurements taken every month during 18 months, the plasma cortisol response to confinement stress (3 challenges and a set of selected behavioral indicators. This study unambiguously demonstrated the existence of genetic determinism of environmental sensitivity, with some lines being particularly sensitive to environmental fluctuations and others rather insensitive. Correlations between coefficient of variation (CV for body weight and behavioral and physiological traits were observed. This confirmed that CV for body weight could be used as an indicator of environmental sensitivity. As the relationship between indicators (CV weight, risk-taking, exploration and cortisol was shown to be likely depending on the nature and intensity of the stressor, the joint use of several indicators should help to investigate the biological complexity of environmental sensitivity.

  4. A conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans innate immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Feinbaum, Rhonda; Alloing, Geneviève; Emerson, Fred E; Garsin, Danielle A; Inoue, Hideki; Tanaka-Hino, Miho; Hisamoto, Naoki; Matsumoto, Kunihiro; Tan, Man-Wah; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2002-07-26

    A genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants with enhanced susceptibility to killing by Pseudomonas aeruginosa led to the identification of two genes required for pathogen resistance: sek-1, which encodes a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase, and nsy-1, which encodes a MAP kinase kinase kinase. RNA interference assays and biochemical analysis established that a p38 ortholog, pmk-1, functions as the downstream MAP kinase required for pathogen defense. These data suggest that this MAP kinase signaling cassette represents an ancient feature of innate immune responses in evolutionarily diverse species.

  5. Rictor/TORC2 mediates gut-to-brain signaling in the regulation of phenotypic plasticity in C. elegans.

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    Michael P O'Donnell

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Animals integrate external cues with information about internal conditions such as metabolic state to execute the appropriate behavioral and developmental decisions. Information about food quality and quantity is assessed by the intestine and transmitted to modulate neuronal functions via mechanisms that are not fully understood. The conserved Target of Rapamycin complex 2 (TORC2 controls multiple processes in response to cellular stressors and growth factors. Here we show that TORC2 coordinates larval development and adult behaviors in response to environmental cues and feeding state in the bacterivorous nematode C. elegans. During development, pheromone, bacterial food, and temperature regulate expression of the daf-7 TGF-β and daf-28 insulin-like peptide in sensory neurons to promote a binary decision between reproductive growth and entry into the alternate dauer larval stage. We find that TORC2 acts in the intestine to regulate neuronal expression of both daf-7 and daf-28, which together reflect bacterial-diet dependent feeding status, thus providing a mechanism for integration of food signals with external cues in the regulation of neuroendocrine gene expression. In the adult, TORC2 similarly acts in the intestine to modulate food-regulated foraging behaviors via a PDF-2/PDFR-1 neuropeptide signaling-dependent pathway. We also demonstrate that genetic variation affects food-dependent larval and adult phenotypes, and identify quantitative trait loci (QTL associated with these traits. Together, these results suggest that TORC2 acts as a hub for communication of feeding state information from the gut to the brain, thereby contributing to modulation of neuronal function by internal state.

  6. Dissecting the C. elegans response during infection using quantitative proteomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Karina Trankjær; Møller-Jensen, Jakob; Kristensen, Anders Riis

    2008-01-01

    The adherent invasive E. coli isolated from patients with Crohn’s disease in humans is pathogenic for C. elegans. We show here that when C. elegans feeds on the pathogenic E. coli, the life span is shortened significantly compared to the normal laboratory food, the OP50 E. coli. In this study...... the infection process is followed using GFP-expressing bacteria and persistence assays. A quantitative proteomic approach was used to follow the C. elegans host response during the infection process. C. elegans were metabolic labeled with the stable isotope 15N and samples from three different time points......, many of which also have been found in studies using other pathogens. So far, large-scale investigations of the C. elegans immune response have been performed using micro-arrays. This study is the first to make use of quantitative proteomics to directly follow the protein dynamics during the infection...

  7. Externalizing problems, attention regulation, and household chaos: a longitudinal behavioral genetic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhe; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Petrill, Stephen A; Thompson, Lee A

    2012-08-01

    Previous research documented a robust link between difficulties in self-regulation and development of externalizing problems (i.e., aggression and delinquency). In this study, we examined the longitudinal additive and interactive genetic and environmental covariation underlying this well-established link using a twin design. The sample included 131 pairs of monozygotic twins and 173 pairs of same-sex dizygotic twins who participated in three waves of annual assessment. Mothers and fathers provided reports of externalizing problems. Teacher report and observer rating were used to assess twin's attention regulation. The etiology underlying the link between externalizing problems and attention regulation shifted from a common genetic mechanism to a common environmental mechanism in the transition across middle childhood. Household chaos moderated the genetic variance of and covariance between externalizing problems and attention regulation. The genetic influence on individual differences in both externalizing problems and attention regulation was stronger in more chaotic households. However, higher levels of household chaos attenuated the genetic link between externalizing problems and attention regulation.

  8. Externalizing problems, attention regulation, and household chaos: A longitudinal behavioral genetic study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhe; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Petrill, Stephen A.; Thompson, Lee A.

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has documented a robust link between difficulties in self-regulation and development of externalizing problems (i.e., aggression and delinquency). In the current study, we examined the longitudinal additive and interactive genetic and environmental covariation underlying this well-established link using a twin design. The sample included 131 pairs of monozygotic twins and 173 pairs of same-sex dizygotic twins who participated in three waves of annual assessment. Mothers and fathers provided reports of externalizing problems. Teacher report and observer rating were used to assess twin’s attention regulation. The etiology underlying the link between externalizing problems and attention regulation shifted from a common genetic mechanism to a common environmental mechanism in the transition across middle childhood. Household chaos moderated the genetic variance of and covariance between externalizing problems and attention regulation. The genetic influence on individual differences in both externalizing problems and attention regulation was stronger in more chaotic household. However, higher levels of household chaos attenuated the genetic link between externalizing problems and attention regulation. PMID:22781853

  9. rBTI reduced β-amyloid-induced toxicity by promoting autophagy-lysosomal degradation via DAF-16 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jiao; Cui, Xiaodong; Ma, Xiaoli; Wang, Zhuanhua

    2017-03-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disease, of which β-amyloid (Aβ) induced toxicity was suggested as a main cause. Some substances with prolongevity effects have been shown to be protective against AD. In a previous study we demonstrated that a recombinant buckwheat trypsin inhibitor (rBTI) could prolonge the lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Here, we investigated whether rBTI may benefit to mitigate the AD symptom by feeding the AD model C. elegans CL4176. CL4176 is a transgenic C. elegans expressing human Aβ 3-42 in muscle tissue. The results showed that rBTI not only could extend lifespan but also could reduce Aβ toxicity-triggered body paralysis in AD worms. Further study found the accumulation of Aβ was decreased and autophagy-lysosomal degradation pathway was activated in AD worms treated with rBTI. Moreover, the inhibition of autophagy reduced rBTI-mediated paralysis delay. Genetic analyses showed rBTI increased the transcriptional activity of dauer formation abnormal-16 (DAF-16) and the disruption of daf-16 abolished rBTI-mediated protective effect in AD worms. Taken together, these data indicated that rBTI promoted the autophagy-lysosomal degradation pathway to reduce the Aβ-induced toxicity via DAF-16 in an AD model C. elegans, implying that BTI has the potential to protect against AD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Tong Young Lee

    2016-04-01

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

  11. Chemotaxis of C. elegans in 3D media: a model for navigation of undulatory microswimmers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Amar; Bilbao, Alejandro; Rahman, Mizanur; Vanapalli, Siva; Blawzdziewicz, Jerzy

    2017-11-01

    While the natural environment of C. elegans consists of complex 3D media (e.g., decomposing organic matter and water), most studies of chemotactic behavior of this nematode are limited to 2D. We present a 3D chemotaxis model that combines a realistic geometrical representation of body movements associated with 3D maneuvers, an analysis of mechanical interactions of the nematode body with the surrounding medium to determine nematode trajectories, and a simple memory-function description of chemosensory apparatus that controls the frequency, magnitude, and timing of turning maneuvers. We show that two main chemotaxis strategies of C. elegans moving in 2D, i.e., the biased random walk and gradual turn, are effective also in 3D, provided that 2D turns are supplemented by the roll maneuvers that enable 3D reorientation. Optimal choices of chemosensing and gait-control parameters are discussed; we show that the nematode can maintain efficient chemotaxis in burrowing and swimming by adjusting the undulation frequency alone, without changing the chemotactic component of the body control. Understanding how C. elegans efficiently navigates in 3D media may help in developing self-navigating artificial microswimmers. Supported by NSF Grant No. CBET 1603627.

  12. Endophytic fungi of the Genus Penicillium isolated of Platypodium elegans from environments of high dose rate of ionizing radiation; Fungos endofiticos do genero Penicillium isolados de Platypodium elegans provenientes de locais de alta taxa de radiacao

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    Cunha, Victor da

    1999-07-01

    The present work had as objective to isolate and to identify endophytic microorganisms and were exposed to stress situations, using for this ionizing radiations, these highly mutagen and in high doses, lethal to all the alive organisms. The endophytic microorganisms were obtained the starting from the species arboreal Platypodium elegans Vog., one of them developed in radioactive land in the area of Ipora/Go and other, developed in land Background in the city of Abadia de Goias/GO. The rates of dose of environmental radiation were shown sharply different, being in Ipora (Anomaly 2) with a value of approximately 140 {mu}R/h and in Abadia de Goias with approximately 20 {mu}R/H, both measured the area of root of the tree close to. Tests through PCR-RAPD were accomplished with the isolated ones, for verification of the similarity of its genetic characteristics and possible polymorphism among its DNA's . The isolated ones were studied with relationship to the effects of the gamma radiation, being used as source {sup 60} Co, with doses of 25 to 2131 Gy. These lineages had the same behavior practically with relationship to the resistance of the gamma radiation, declining strongly at levels of approximately 700 Gy. The isolated ones tested were identified at microscope for morphology, being of the Genus Penicillium, with the same genetic characteristics in agreement with PCR/RAPD, being just observed a polymorphism area in its DNA's. In spite of a lineage to have been isolated of a tree developed in radioactive land, any difference was observed among its resistance to the gamma radiation in comparison to the isolated lineage of tree developed in land radiometric background. (author)

  13. Environmental CO2 inhibits Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying by modulating olfactory neurons and evokes widespread changes in neural activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenk, Lorenz A.; de Bono, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) gradients are ubiquitous and provide animals with information about their environment, such as the potential presence of prey or predators. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans avoids elevated CO2, and previous work identified three neuron pairs called “BAG,” “AFD,” and “ASE” that respond to CO2 stimuli. Using in vivo Ca2+ imaging and behavioral analysis, we show that C. elegans can detect CO2 independently of these sensory pathways. Many of the C. elegans sensory neurons we examined, including the AWC olfactory neurons, the ASJ and ASK gustatory neurons, and the ASH and ADL nociceptors, respond to a rise in CO2 with a rise in Ca2+. In contrast, glial sheath cells harboring the sensory endings of C. elegans’ major chemosensory neurons exhibit strong and sustained decreases in Ca2+ in response to high CO2. Some of these CO2 responses appear to be cell intrinsic. Worms therefore may couple detection of CO2 to that of other cues at the earliest stages of sensory processing. We show that C. elegans persistently suppresses oviposition at high CO2. Hermaphrodite-specific neurons (HSNs), the executive neurons driving egg-laying, are tonically inhibited when CO2 is elevated. CO2 modulates the egg-laying system partly through the AWC olfactory neurons: High CO2 tonically activates AWC by a cGMP-dependent mechanism, and AWC output inhibits the HSNs. Our work shows that CO2 is a more complex sensory cue for C. elegans than previously thought, both in terms of behavior and neural circuitry. PMID:26100886

  14. WormScan: a technique for high-throughput phenotypic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Mark D Mathew

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There are four main phenotypes that are assessed in whole organism studies of Caenorhabditis elegans; mortality, movement, fecundity and size. Procedures have been developed that focus on the digital analysis of some, but not all of these phenotypes and may be limited by expense and limited throughput. We have developed WormScan, an automated image acquisition system that allows quantitative analysis of each of these four phenotypes on standard NGM plates seeded with E. coli. This system is very easy to implement and has the capacity to be used in high-throughput analysis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our system employs a readily available consumer grade flatbed scanner. The method uses light stimulus from the scanner rather than physical stimulus to induce movement. With two sequential scans it is possible to quantify the induced phototactic response. To demonstrate the utility of the method, we measured the phenotypic response of C. elegans to phosphine gas exposure. We found that stimulation of movement by the light of the scanner was equivalent to physical stimulation for the determination of mortality. WormScan also provided a quantitative assessment of health for the survivors. Habituation from light stimulation of continuous scans was similar to habituation caused by physical stimulus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There are existing systems for the automated phenotypic data collection of C. elegans. The specific advantages of our method over existing systems are high-throughput assessment of a greater range of phenotypic endpoints including determination of mortality and quantification of the mobility of survivors. Our system is also inexpensive and very easy to implement. Even though we have focused on demonstrating the usefulness of WormScan in toxicology, it can be used in a wide range of additional C. elegans studies including lifespan determination, development, pathology and behavior. Moreover, we have even adapted the

  15. Gelsemium elegans Poisoning: A Case with 8 Months of Follow-up and Review of the Literature

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    Zhou Zhou

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundGelsemium elegans (G. elegans is a toxic plant indigenous to Southeast Asia. It is highly poisonous due to its strong respiratory depressive effect. However, G. elegans poisoning cases have not been summarized comprehensively and are rarely reported in English journals. Furthermore, none of the present reports present prognosis in detail.Case presentationA 26-year-old female was found comatose at home and brought to the hospital with deep coma, hypoxia, and acidosis. After mechanical ventilation for hours, the patient recovered from coma with sequelae of impaired short-term memory, disorientation, and childish behaviors. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI showed bilateral hippocampus and basal ganglia damage due to hypoxia. During 8 months of follow-up, both her symptoms and brain MRI scan improved significantly.ConclusionG. elegans is highly toxic. Although patients may die within 30 min due to its strong respiratory depressive effect, they can survive with timely respiratory support and enjoy gradual improvement without delayed postanoxic encephalopathy.

  16. Reconstructing the behavior of walking fruit flies

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    Berman, Gordon; Bialek, William; Shaevitz, Joshua

    2010-03-01

    Over the past century, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has arisen as almost a lingua franca in the study of animal behavior, having been utilized to study questions in fields as diverse as sleep deprivation, aging, and drug abuse, amongst many others. Accordingly, much is known about what can be done to manipulate these organisms genetically, behaviorally, and physiologically. Most of the behavioral work on this system to this point has been experiments where the flies in question have been given a choice between some discrete set of pre-defined behaviors. Our aim, however, is simply to spend some time with a cadre of flies, using techniques from nonlinear dynamics, statistical physics, and machine learning in an attempt to reconstruct and gain understanding into their behavior. More specifically, we use a multi-camera set-up combined with a motion tracking stage in order to obtain long time-series of walking fruit flies moving about a glass plate. This experimental system serves as a test-bed for analytical, statistical, and computational techniques for studying animal behavior. In particular, we attempt to reconstruct the natural modes of behavior for a fruit fly through a data-driven approach in a manner inspired by recent work in C. elegans and cockroaches.