Effects of Media-type and a MAP Kinase on Caenorhabditis elegans Lifespan and Ability to Regulate Intestinal Colonization by Bacterial Strains From its Native Environment
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Innate immunity research has utilized the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans for the past several decades. The elucidation of conserved components of innate immunity in C. elegans has advanced our understanding of immune pathways involved in host-pathogen interactions. In this study, we used C. elegans to examine the ability of several strains of naturally occurring bacteria to infect and kill wild type N2 and pmk-1 knockout mutant C. elegans. Further, we investigated the role oipmk-1, a MAP kinase known to function within innate immunity, in conferring protection from potential bacterial pathogens. Webegan by characterizing the pathogenic ability of three strains ofnaturally occurring Raoultella/Klebsiella bacteria, termed JUb38, JUb54, and JUb99, using killing assays and found that virulence is highly affected by media type. We observed that pmk-1 mutants became hyper-susceptible to infection of all Raoultella/Klebsiella strains on rich media and that JUb54 displayed increased virulence on restrictive media. Using bacterial enumeration and quantification techniques, we show that pmk-1 may contribute to the ability of C elegans to resist JUb54 infection. Our results emphasize that media type plays an important role in the virulence of bacterial pathogens. We provide further direction for explicating resistive components of innate immunity downstream oipmk-1 and speculate that there may be tolerance mechanisms that have yet to be discovered in C. elegans.