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Mol. Cells 2010; 30(4): 347-353

Published online October 31, 2010

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10059-010-0125-9

© The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology

Reproductive Fitness and Dietary Choice Be-havior of the Genetic Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans under Semi-Natural Conditions

Katharina Freyth1,4, Tim Janowitz1,4, Frank Nunes1, Melanie Voss1, Alexander Heinick1, Joanne Bertaux2, Stefan Scheu3, and R?diger J. Paul1,*

1Institute of Zoophysiology, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany, 2Laboratoire G?n?tique Ecologie, Evolution, Symbiose, Universit? de Poitiers, Poitiers Cedex, France, 3J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany, 4These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to : *Correspondence: paulr@uni-muenster.de

Received: April 7, 2010; Revised: June 22, 2010; Accepted: June 24, 2010

Abstract

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 semi-natural media, the reproductive fitness of C. elegans was low with the standard laboratory food bacterium E. coli (β-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.

Keywords carbon dioxide, FISH, oxygen, soil bacteria, soil structure

Article

Research Article

Mol. Cells 2010; 30(4): 347-353

Published online October 31, 2010 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10059-010-0125-9

Copyright © The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Reproductive Fitness and Dietary Choice Be-havior of the Genetic Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans under Semi-Natural Conditions

Katharina Freyth1,4, Tim Janowitz1,4, Frank Nunes1, Melanie Voss1, Alexander Heinick1, Joanne Bertaux2, Stefan Scheu3, and R?diger J. Paul1,*

1Institute of Zoophysiology, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany, 2Laboratoire G?n?tique Ecologie, Evolution, Symbiose, Universit? de Poitiers, Poitiers Cedex, France, 3J.F. Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany, 4These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to:*Correspondence: paulr@uni-muenster.de

Received: April 7, 2010; Revised: June 22, 2010; Accepted: June 24, 2010

Abstract

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 semi-natural media, the reproductive fitness of C. elegans was low with the standard laboratory food bacterium E. coli (β-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.

Keywords: carbon dioxide, FISH, oxygen, soil bacteria, soil structure

Mol. Cells
Nov 30, 2022 Vol.45 No.11, pp. 763~867
COVER PICTURE
Naive (cyan) and axotomized (magenta) retinal ganglion cell axons in Xenopus tropicalis (Choi et al., pp. 846-854).

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