Institute for Behavioral Genetics
Campus Box 447
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0447
Mortality Studies in C.
We are assessing age-specific mortality in large populations (~100,000 animals) of C.elegans. Currently we have looked at a wild type strain (~600,000 animals), an age-1 strain (~500,000 animals), and a clk-1 strain (~200,000 animals). We are comparing mortality kinetics of the above strains in an attempt to determine how genotype affects specific aspects of longevity. Experimental reproducibility is surprisingly good given the inherent difficulties of these assays. All strains show an early exponential mortality rate with a later plateau phase. There are some subtle differences in the age-specific mortality rates of the different strains. More generally, age-1 animals live longer than wild type and show lower mortality rates at all ages. Clk-1 animals have a mortality curve that is intermediate to that of the wild type and age-1 strains.
Probing DNA Chips
We are hoping to use DNA array technology to identify genes of interest in mutant or environmentally stressed C.elegans. The DNA chip we are using was developed by Stuart Kim and contains a selected population of C.elegans genes. Five sets of once selected mRNAs were sent to the Kim
lab. Four sets were age-1 versus wild type animals. One set was heat shocked versus unshocked animals. Expression profiles were obtained from all sets of animals and certain genes were over or underexpressed in the experimental animals. In summary the chips seem to be working, are reproducible, and we await with anticipation the new generation chips which will represent almost the entire C. elegans genome.