Presentation Title

Effect of Stressors on Subsequent Generations of C. elegans Immunity

Faculty Mentor

Sylvia Vetrone

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:45 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

Location

9-273

Session

Bio Sciences 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Genetic and developmental mechanisms in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) can provide a basic understanding of the equivalent mechanisms in humans. Studies have shown that an organism’s genetic information can be negatively or positively affected by environmental factors, such as stress, which can carry over into the following generation by means of a change in gene expression. For example, one study found that when C. elegans are exposed to a nutritional stress, their subsequent generations are more obese, resulting from inherited small regulatory RNAs that served to accommodate for the starvation. In addition, other studies have shown that C. elegans are more susceptible to infection by Salmonella typhimurium when their predecessors have experienced a nutritional stress. Therefore, in this study we investigated the impact of two stress conditions (thermal, and oxidative stress) on the immune response of progeny from stress challenged C. elegans worms. Briefly, the F4 progeny of C. elegans exposed to these different types of stress were challenged with P. aeruginosa and assessed for their ability respond to the pathogen. We hypothesize that subsequent generations of C. elegans that have undergone and survived a specific stress will inherit small RNAs that will impart stronger immune responses and health span when challenged with the same stress their predecessor experienced. Consequently, it is expected that the stresses posed on the parental generations will be advantageous for the F4 generation with respect to immunity against P. aeruginosa. Preliminary trials show a trend in increased response to P. aeruginosa.

Summary of research results to be presented

After four generations were exposed to oxidative stress, each in their L4 stage, immunity was challenged in the fifth generation. Individuals were scored every six hours. In the survival assay, the total survival number of individuals whose predecessors had undergone the oxidative stress was higher by about 18 worms than those without stress. The second oxidative trial had no significant difference in survival, with a difference of 7 worms at hour 84 of the assay. For the thermal trials, depicted, there is also no significant difference in survival rate, with similar trends at each time interval. Therefore, preliminary trials show a trend in increased response to P. aeruginosa for the individuals from the oxidative stress-induced generations.

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Nov 18th, 10:45 AM Nov 18th, 11:00 AM

Effect of Stressors on Subsequent Generations of C. elegans Immunity

9-273

Genetic and developmental mechanisms in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) can provide a basic understanding of the equivalent mechanisms in humans. Studies have shown that an organism’s genetic information can be negatively or positively affected by environmental factors, such as stress, which can carry over into the following generation by means of a change in gene expression. For example, one study found that when C. elegans are exposed to a nutritional stress, their subsequent generations are more obese, resulting from inherited small regulatory RNAs that served to accommodate for the starvation. In addition, other studies have shown that C. elegans are more susceptible to infection by Salmonella typhimurium when their predecessors have experienced a nutritional stress. Therefore, in this study we investigated the impact of two stress conditions (thermal, and oxidative stress) on the immune response of progeny from stress challenged C. elegans worms. Briefly, the F4 progeny of C. elegans exposed to these different types of stress were challenged with P. aeruginosa and assessed for their ability respond to the pathogen. We hypothesize that subsequent generations of C. elegans that have undergone and survived a specific stress will inherit small RNAs that will impart stronger immune responses and health span when challenged with the same stress their predecessor experienced. Consequently, it is expected that the stresses posed on the parental generations will be advantageous for the F4 generation with respect to immunity against P. aeruginosa. Preliminary trials show a trend in increased response to P. aeruginosa.