Temporary/ reversible sterilisation

I’m currently looking for methods which I could use to temporarily impair worms reproducing - either by sterilisation of the adults, or by causing embryonic or larval lethality. Having looked through these boards, most of the previous suggestions in this kind of situation are sadly permanent, involving FUDP or the use of sterile strains, which are no good for my experiment.

I’m currently working through ts strains reported on wormbase to see if I can find anything suitable there, but I was wondering if anyone had strains or methods that they had heard of or could recommend which might fit this purpose?

What is it exactly that you are trying to do? Is it for a lifespan study?

I’m trying to look at late life reproduction. Which can be pretty easily confounded by the results of early life reproduction!

It seems to me that you should be able to find a temperature-sensitive zygotic lethal mutation you could use, as long as you don’t need something you can add to a large number of different existing strains. pha-1(ts), for example - pha-1 is required zygotically for embryonic development, and given the way it’s used as a co-injection marker in transgenesis, pha-1(ts) adults must be at least reasonably healthy at the restrictive temperature, and continue putting out embryos that are perfectly fine except for being doomed by their lack of zygotic pha-1 activity. I don’t know for sure that downshifting to the permissive temperature would rapidly make the subsequently produced embryos viable, but there’s at least a good chance, and if pha-1(ts) doesn’t work other conceptually similar options should be available.

zen-4(or153ts) is a very fast acting mutation and causes embryonic lethality by blocking cytokinesis. I’m not sure if shifting an adult would also affect the divisions in the germline - presumably not since the nuclei are in a general cytoplasm. Other fast acting embryonic lethal mutations that may be useful can be found here.

Use a ts fem mutant at the restrictive temperature and then add males at your timepoint?

Excellent. Thanks, everyone - there’s so much information available out there that I was struggling to find a reasonable place to start :slight_smile:

If your goal is to examine late life reproduction, I would avoid using mutations that affect germline sex determination or fertility. There’s a complex interplay between reproduction and lifespan, which is likely to confound your analysis. Better to stick with an embryonic or larval lethal.