Natural Ecology of Caenorhabditis elegans: Optimization of Species Identification, Population Genetics, and Vulnerabilities against Bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis)
2010 Natural ecology of Caenorhabditis elegans CHEN Wei (China) email@example.com
Organisation: Christian Albrechts University, Kiel (DE) - University of Poitiers, Poitiers (FR) - University of Adelaide (Australia) Supervisor : Prof. Dr. Schulenburg (CAU), Dr. Ostendorf (UA) & Dr. Sicard (UP)
Summary: Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a small (1 mm in length), free-living, and transparent nematode distributed worldwide. It is also an excellent scientific model which has been extensively utilizing in life science research. However, the knowledge regarding natural ecology of C. elegans is still lacking, and great unveiled information concerning species abundances, community structures, population genetics, natural microhabitat, and migration corridors need to be addressed. This study is mainly and eventually to investigate how this nematode adjusts itself in the nature, and selects its living-substrates in North-Germany, meanwhile how spatial and temporal factors alter community compositions. Basing on the above results, how the consequence of interaction can induce C. elegans and its associates to migrate from one place to another, and then the direction of natural adaptation evolution in C. elegans can be predicted through those well identified environmental informatics maps. The project is highlighted by systematical studies between microcosmic (molecular level) and macrocosmic (ecosystem) which is the first time to produce associations between substrate conditions and Caenorhabditis nematodes (C. elegans) through continent-crossing investigation (Germany, 2010. Possibly, China, 2010-2013 and Russia, 2010-Aug), and itﾒs also potential to illustrate the migration routine of C. elegans and its associates by environmental informatics and microbial coexistence. Currently, the whole project is still under going. We firstly had optimized the identification methods both in morphological, molecular and behavioural aspects. Four pairs of distinguished PCR primers were designed and tested which can be directly for using. Microsatellite markers were adopted for analyzing population genetic architectures. Six microsatellite loci revealed genetic variations among 41 natural isolates through 2 main locations in France. Later on, those above 41 strains from France which were divided into 3 treatments (pathogenic, non-pathogenic and control groups), and with 6 replicates of each strain were also tested by population growth assay (PGA) on the PFM (Peptone Free Medium) plates. In the near future, much more field sampling, identification and category of ecological conditions will be intensively conducted regarding C. elegans.