Visit the Knudra/NemaMetrix joint booth at the 21st International C. elegans Meeting to learn latest trends and applications in C. elegans research.

Also, stop by for a chance to win a daily prize! Answer a few simply questions to win a $50 Amazon® gift card each day.

At the show, our R&D scientists will be presenting two posters showing innovative new research from highlighting the powerful insights gained from Kndura’s RediMODEL and NemaMetrix’s ScreenChip System.

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Poster Presentations

Poster 1: A humanized test system: Using pharyngeal pumping phenotypes as a readout for the serotonergic signaling pathway in C. elegans

Presenter: Kathryn McCormick , PhD, Director of R&D

Authors: Adela Chicas-Cruz , Terra Hiebert , Yoanne Clovis , Kathryn McCormick , Chris Hopkins , Trisha Brock

Abstract:

The neurotransmitter, serotonin (5HT) has widespread regulatory effects in humans, from contractions of the gut to sensory perception in the brain. Likewise, it is a widespread and important neurotransmitter in C. elegans, where it regulates pharyngeal pumping and feeding behavior. Here, we model this biochemical pathway using pharyngeal pumping phenotypes and provide a reliable readout for serotonergic signaling. We obtained and analyzed electropharyngeogram (EPG) data using a microfluidic device and associated software for tph-1 and mod-5 loss-of-function mutants as well as mod-5 gain-of-function mutants. 

Poster 2: Age-related decline in muscular strength and coordination observed in C. elegans pharynx

Presenter: Kathryn McCormick , PhD, Director of R&D

Authors: Adela Chicas-Cruz, Yoanne Clovis, Terra Hiebert, Kathryn McCormick

Abstract:

Aging has been associated with a progressive decline of feeding behavior, but detailed quantification of how this process affects pharyngeal muscle function remains largely unexplored. We profiled the feeding behavior along the lifespan of adult C. elegans worms. Taking advantage of microfluidics combined with whole-body electrophysiology, we found that in older adults, the pharyngeal activity declines, not only in frequency, but also by in pumping regularity and strength. Our data uncover previously undocumented changes in C. elegans feeding behavior associated with age.

Poster 3: Rapid phenotypic assessment for mutations involved in human diseases: Uncovering a novel model for cardiac arrhythmia in the nematode C. elegans

Presenter: Yoanne Clovis , PhD, Technical Support Specialist

Authors: Yoanne Clovis, Alexis Webb, Carl Turner, Kathryn McCormick, Shawn Lockery

Abstract:

Humans have over 70 potassium channel genes, but only some of these have been linked to disease. In this respect, the KCNQ family of potassium channels is exceptional: mutations in four out of five KCNQ genes underlie a range of diseases including cardiac arrhythmias, deafness, and epilepsy. For example, mutations in KCNQ1 are associated with heart arrhythmias such as long-QT syndrome (LQTS), in which the cardiac action potential is prolonged. Mutations in KCNQ2 and KCNQ3 are associated with benign neonatal epilepsy. Homologs of KCNQ genes are found in a wide range of model organisms, including mice, where they often have functions analogous to those in humans. We investigated the effect of mutations in C. elegans KCNQ-like genes on the electrical excitability of the pharynx, a rhythmic muscular pump involved in feeding. One such gene, kqt-1, is orthologous to the subfamily of human KCNQ genes that comprises KCNQ2 to KCNQ5, and is mainly expressed in the muscles of the pharynx. kqt-3 is orthologous to the human gene KCNQ1. Although not expressed in the pharynx, kqt-3 is present in mechanosensory and chemosensory neurons, which can regulate feeding behavior. We hypothesized that mutations in kqt-1 and kqt-3 induce abnormalities in pharyngeal pumping that are reminiscent of cardiac arrhythmias.