Effects of Dauer on C. elegans Behaviors: Assessing Impact of Various Induction Methods Across Mutants

C. elegans are a microscopic nematode (roundworms) often used as a model organism to better understand human neurological diseases. This research is focused on C. elegans dauer behavior, a response to stressful situations such as starvation, uninhabitable temperatures, or overpopulation. This research explores different methods of inducing dauer in various C. elegans mutants with the aim of comparing how certain behavioral traits may be affected in the post-dauer adult worms.

Intern(s):

Emily Eichenholtz, Wamia Siddiqui, Lee-Ashlie Fang

Mentor(s):

Tessa Hirschfeld-Stoler

Project Period:

2018-2019

Team:

Harlem

C. elegans are a microscopic nematode (roundworms) often used as a model organism in neuroscience because of their simple nervous system and predictable behaviors. Scientists can use simple organisms like C. elegans to better understand human neurological diseases. This research is focused on dauer in C. elegans, a diapause-like developmental stage that deviates from the standard life cycle. C. elegans go into dauer in response to stressful situations such as starvation, uninhabitable temperatures, or overpopulation. Similar to hibernation, dauer is a stage in which the animal forms a hard cuticle around its body and “shuts off” to exert no energy as a means to maintain itself until conditions are once again favorable. This research explores different methods of inducing dauer in various C. elegans mutants with the aim of comparing how certain behavioral traits may be affected in the post-dauer adult worms. The research measured locomotion, pharyngeal pumping/feeding habits, and response to physical stimuli to better understand how the process of going into dauer, and recovery from dauer, impacts the behavioral patterns of the adult worm.

This page was created by BioBus Summer 2021 Jr. Scientist William Rhee.