Comparison of wild-type and unc-2 mutant Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying rates

Peggy Hung, Maureen Lai, Sukhvir Toor, Bowen Zhao

Abstract


The unc-2 gene of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans encodes for a subunit in voltage-gated calcium ion channels found in the hermaphrodite-specific neurons and ventral cord neurons of the egg-laying muscles. We compared the egg-laying rate between wild-type N2 and uncoordinated unc-2 VC854 mutant C. elegans. Five L4-stage worms were chosen from each strain and observed for a period of four days. After each 24-hour incubation period, we recorded the total progeny for each worm. We conducted a two-way ANOVA on the results and found that time from incubation has an effect on the rate of eggs laid (p-value = 0.006). However, the presence of the unc-2 mutation does not affect the rate of egg-laying (p-value = 0.3) and time from incubation has the same effect on egg-laying rate in wild-type and mutant worms (p-value = 0.06). Our results suggest synaptic function and muscle contractions are still occurring even in the presence of mutated UNC-2 proteins. These findings give us a better insight into the synaptic function of neuromuscular junctions in the egg-laying muscles in C. elegans.

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