The nematode C. elegans is used as a model to study the lifespan of multi-cellular organisms. In the laboratory, E. coli is the standard food source for C. elegans. This experiment focused on the effect of different bacterial food sources on the lifespan of wild-type and 2 long-lived mutants of C. elegans. Three types of plates were prepared to measure the lifespan of the 3 lines. Three plates contained the bacteria A. faecalis, 3 contained E. aerogenes, and 3 contained the standard E. coli as food sources. Twenty eggs of each line were put onto separate plates (1 strain on 1 plate). After the nematodes hatched, they were continuously transferred to fresh plates as they aged. On A. faecalis, the age-1 mutant line lived for a significantly shorter time than the age-2 mutant or the wild-type N2 lines. On E. aerogenes, the age-1 mutant lived significantly longer than the other two lines. These results suggest that the type of bacterial food source can affect lifespan length. In addition, because the long-lived age-1 line showed a shorter lifespan length on A. faecalis, I found that the food source can dominate the expected phenotype of a mutation.
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