Worm Breeder's Gazette 10(1): 93

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

Preliminary Characterization of DES (Diethylstilbestrol) Mutants Isolated after EMS-mutagenesis or DES-mutagenesis

P. Goldstein and J. Aun

We are in the process of isolating mutants in elevated levels of 
Diethylstilbestrol.  Cytotoxicity normally occurs at 100 micromolar 
DES, however, we currently have one strain at 200 and four strains at 
400 micromolar DES.  There is some cost to this viability: 1) egg 
laying is reduced 10-fold to 30-40 eggs per hermaphrodite; 2) 
development is delayed such that at 10 days after egg laying, L4 
larvae are still present and adults are just emerging; 3) there is 
also a concommittant increase in life span and we have observed worms 
that are 45-60 days old; 4) there appears to be a complete absence of 
males in the DES strains - we have examined many plates, over a 
million worms, and have yet to see a male!  This suppression of 
nondisjunction may have an ultrastructural basis, which is currently 
being explored.  These strains are currently being mapped in Dr.  Phil 
Hartman's laboratory and in this lab.
DES is a difficult chemical to do biological studies with because it 
must be dissolved in either ethanol or DMSO.  Previous studies using 
ethanol showed cyotoxicity at levels approaching 5%.  In the current 
study, we are using 0.1% DMSO as a solvent for DES, since we have 
determined that even at levels up to 2% DMSO, there are no apparent 
effects on viability or fecundity.  However, because of the action of 
DMSO on membranes, we are using electron microscopy to examine C.  
elegans after exposure to high levels of DMSO.