Quantitative analysis of thermotaxis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Hiroko Ito, Hitoshi Inada, Ikue Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Thermotaxis (TTX) is one of the sophisticated behaviors in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Although the mechanisms of thermotaxis have been deduced from different studies, they are controversial. Previous studies proposed a behavioral model where thermotaxis is regulated by the counterbalance between two opposite driving forces, while recent studies proposed stochastic models. In this study, we analyzed thermotaxis by a novel quantitative population TTX assay using a gentle linear thermal gradient. Analysis of thermotaxis in wild type animals revealed a clear thermal preference to a cultivation temperature with regard to the distribution of animals and the TTX mean expressing temperature preference. A time course assay revealed that the behavioral response to a preferred temperature was initially suppressed for at least 15 min in the animals cultivated at 23 °C, but not in those cultivated at 17 °C. Our result provides a possible explanation for the inconsistency between the various studies on thermotaxis and is consistent with the early behavioral model, where thermotaxis is regulated by the counterbalance between two driving forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Volume154
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun 30
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • C. elegans
  • Distribution
  • Mutant
  • TTX assay
  • Thermotaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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