Date of Submission

Spring 2020

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Heather Bennett

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Most organisms depend on oxygen to execute most metabolic processes required for survival, whereas oxygen deprivation damages tissues and physiological processes. Although host-microbiota interactions affect components of cellular stress pathways associated with oxygen deprivation, few studies have reported the effects of host-microbiota interactions on oxygen deprivation. The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) can be used as a model organism to study the effects of diet on oxygen deprivation. A growing body of literature has shown multiple beneficial interactions between the nematode and its gut microbiota, such as increases in thermotolerance, oxidative stress tolerance, and longevity, but not to oxygen deprivation. Here, I assess the influence of different microbial diets on C. elegans resistance to an anoxia assay (< 0.3% O2), using wild type L4 animals fed B. subtilis 1A1, P. fluorescens SBW25-lacZ+, and a combination of the three; animals fed E. coli OP50 (the standard laboratory diet) were used as the control group. The SBW25-lacZ+ diet led to a survival benefit to the assay compared to the control. Meanwhile, discrepant results from the 1A1 diet suggest that it may either lead to a survival detriment or have no effect on survival to the assay. Animals fed the combined diet did not exhibit changes in survival to the assay. These results contribute to our understanding of the microbiota’s impact on the nematode’s survival to anoxic stress and highlight the need for further research on the underlying cellular mechanisms that intersect host-microbiota interactions and survival to anoxia. They also lead to insight into the interactions between the human gut microbiome and the host’s survival to oxygen deprivation.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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