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2023 International C. elegans conference in Glasgow

The 24th C. elegans international conference will be held this year June 24-28 in Glasgow (Scotland). It is the first time the event is being organized outside of the United States. Both in-person and virtual attending options will be provided.

See the website for more details: https://genetics-gsa.org/celegans2023/

Back in action

The briggsae.org site is now up and running.

We are live (almost!)

file:///Volumes/Secomba/bpg/Boxcryptor/Google%20Drive/TiddlyWiki/live-icon.webp

The briggsae.org website is finally back on track after almost one and half years!

The site went down after changing the service provider. The problem was with database backup that wasn’t working when imported to a new account. It took considerable time and efforts to fix the issue. Currently, the site is being served from a subdirectory of our lab website (www.macwormlab.net). We hope to restore the original site soon.

Stevens et al. (2022) report reference genomes for two new C. briggsae strains

Stevens et al. (2022). Chromosome-Level Reference Genomes for Two Strains of Caenorhabditis briggsae: An Improved Platform for Comparative Genomics. Genome Biology and Evolution.

https://academic.oup.com/gbe/article/14/4/evac042/6554914

This paper reports chromosome-level sequences for two C. briggsae strains QX1410 (closely-related AF16) and VX34 (a highly divergent strain isolated in China). Recombinant inbred lines were also isolated to create a recombination map and chromosomal domains. RNA sequencing data were generated to annotate genes. The new genomes improve resources for C. briggsae and promise to accelerate comparative genomic and evolutionary studies involving nematodes.

Predicting the lifespan

Across metazoans, lifespan varies greatly, not only among species but also within the same species. Much effort has been devoted to discovering genetic and abiotic factors associated with longevity in humans, and many lifespan-extending perturbations in model organisms like C. elegans have been discovered. Interestingly enough, homogenous genetically identical C. elegans are equally variable as the outbred human population.

In this recently published article (Kinser et al 2021) from Zachary Pincus lab, authors propose that this mode of inter-individual differences may be due to the change in the expression of key regulatory genes. To address or test this model, they used the expression of 22 miRNA promoter-driven GFP and predicted the future lifespan of animals. Intriguingly, the authors found that almost 50% of these reporters could effectively predict the lifespan of animals till they died. Moreover, 2 of these reporters (miR-47 and miR-243) that are most accurate in predicting lifespan, are involved in gene regulatory processes that do not require DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor.

Finally, they also show that three of these transgenes (miR-240-786, miR-793, and miR-47) that are expressed in different tissues, and show a differential pattern throughout life, provide redundant information about a single lifespan determinant process. This process is most probably a cell non-autonomous one that does not depend on DAF-16.

Kinser, H. E., Mosley, M. C., Plutzer, I. B. and Pincus, Z. (2021) Global, cell non-autonomous gene regulation drives individual lifespan among isogenic C. elegans. eLife; 10:e65026. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.65026