In C. elegans, a key marker of age-related decline in health is a reduction in the rate of pharyngeal pumping. Until now, it has been necessary to count pumps by eye, which is laborious, slow, and often inaccurate. The NemaMetrix ScreenChip System automates the process of counting pumps by recording their electrical signature, called the electropharyngeogram (EPG). Here we show that the age-related decline in pumping is recapitulated when pumps are counted in electrical recordings.
Q: After I position a worm in the ScreenChip, should I start recording right away or wait a while? BACKGROUND Mechanical stimulation can temporarily reduce pumping frequency in C. elegans (1). Positioning a worm in the ScreenChip between the recording electrodes applies gentle pressure to the worm’s body, which might likewise influence pumping. We investigated […]
Shawn Lockery, Ph.D. | This technical note demonstrates that the ScreenChip System can reproduce the expected effects of pumping mutants in which glutamate transmission is disrupted. It also illustrates new mechanistic insights the system can provide.
Kathleen Conery | Pharyngeal pumping behavior in C. elegans is employed to ingest bacteria, the worms’ normal food. Under laboratory conditions, C. elegans are reared on agar plates seeded with the E. coli strain OP50, which stimulates feeding behavior. Accordingly, we tested the ability of OP50 treatment to elicit pharyngeal pumping, using the ScreenChip system.