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.
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.