Image of the Day: Starved Worm

A heat map of gene expression provides insights on the genes that help C. elegans survive severe caloric restriction.  

By | November 14, 2017

A starved Caenorhabditis elegans worm in an early larval stage, showing the intensity of expression of the gene tps-1, which appears strongest in the intestine and the outer skin  JONATHAN HIBSHMAN & RYAN BAUGH / DUKE UNIVERSITY The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans is a popular model to study the physiological reponses that allow animals to cope with starvation. When population densities are high and food is limited, C. elegans will form specialized larval forms—so-called “dauer” larvae—that can survive for months in nutrient-poor conditions, or enter a state of developmental arrest until they feed. To explore the genetics involved in this survival adaptation, scientists took a close look at one gene, known as tps-1, that is involved in synthesizing trehalose, a sugar that helps protect the worms from desiccation and other types of stress. They found that tps-1 expression and trehalose synthesis increases during starvation periods, demonstrating its role as a stress protectant.

See J.D. Hibshman et al., “daf-16/FoxO promotes gluceogenesis and trehalose synthesis during starvation to support survival,” eLife, doi:10.7554/eLife.30057, 2017.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Can Young Stem Cells Make Older People Stronger?
  2. Thousands of Mutations Accumulate in the Human Brain Over a Lifetime
  3. CRISPR to Debut in Clinical Trials
  4. Two Dozen House Republicans Do an About-Face on Tuition Tax