Caenorhabditis elegans are members of the nematode family and have been used as model organisms of epigenetic studies for many years. C. elegans have a relatively short life cycle; the worms grow from an egg to an adult within the span of about 3-4 days and an overall lifespan of about 2-3 weeks. The worms are very easy to maintain, requiring for survival only nematode growth medium (NGM) agar plates that are kept at a temperature of about 20-25 °C and contain E. coli for food. For this study, which replicates aspects of a study reported by Kishimoto et al. (2017), C. elegans was used to explore the epigenetic effects of stress on longevity. The animals in this study that were subjected to the environmental stressor starvation showed an increase in overall lifespan based on the statistical analysis of a Kaplan-Meier Survivorship test. This increased survival rate was also found to be passed to at least three subsequent generations who were grown under unstressed conditions. These results showcase the hormetic epigenetic effects of starvation in C. elegans.
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Vol. 92 • No. 4