Worm Breeder's Gazette 17(4): 17 (May 1, 2003)

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.

Modelling of C. elegans pharyngeal neural network

Marcelo C. Santos1, Kristian Lindgren1, Marc Pilon2

1 Physical Resource Theory, Complex Systems Group, Chalmers University, Gothenburg, Sweden
2 Lundberg Laboratory, Chalmers University, Gothenburg, Sweden

This work describes a dynamical model of the neural circuitry and muscles for the pharynx of C. elegans. Our goal is to build a model of the pharyngeal neural network dynamics with respect to the generation of signals (action potentials) for controlling the feeding. We also include in the model the processing of feedback from the sensory endings in the muscles. A dynamical system of two variables is used to mimic the myogenic rhythm of the pharyngeal muscles.

A set of simulations is described in detail where some connections are tuned to mimic apropriate behaviour. We also try to use a genetic algorithm to tune parameters for the system, where a population of pharynx models is evolved through random mutation and crossover.

Our model is limited to the information about the pharynx dynamics that we could gather from published literature, and we were successfull in building and simulating a simple model. The simulations mimic some some behaviours observed in the laboratory with respect to feeding and it's control by the pharyngeal neural circuitry. In the text, we give a detailed discription of the pharynx aspects and behaviour that we'd like to model, and discribe what we can model using only the data collected.

Download the report here: http://marcelo69.vila.bol.com.br/Celegans