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The Effect of Fruit Polyphenols on the Longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans

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William Kim and Nicole Kiess. The Effect of Fruit Polyphenols on the Longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans. Abstract . The Effect of Fruit Polyphenols on the Longevity of C. elegans.

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The Effect of Fruit Polyphenols on the Longevity of C. elegans

Sarcopenia is defined as the loss of muscle mass, strength, and function associated with aging. As aging takes place, there is a sharp decrease in muscle mass and strength seen in both physically active individuals and physically inactive individuals. Sarcopenia is a major feature of aging in both humans and C. elegans, a model organism used for studying aging and longevity. Blueberry polyphenols have been found to increase the lifespan of C. elegans, seen in the pharynx contraction rate in adult C. elegans. C. elegans pumping rate of the pharynx is an indication of the age for the pumping rate of the pharynx decreases with age. Using various concentrations of different fruit polyphenols the lifespan of C. elegans will be measured by observing the pharynx contraction rate. Seventy-five worms will be fed two different concentrations of plum polyphenols, fifty C. elegans will be fed three different concentrations of strawberry polyphenols, and there will be one-hundred fifty worms in the control group. They all will be fed an equal amount of each fruit polyphenol. The average pumping rate of the pharynx per minute will be measured with the use of a Motic camera attached to a Zeiss Axiovert 40 CFL microscope.



Figure 1: Muscle Mass Associated with Aging

caenorhabditis elegans
Caenorhabditis elegans

Image 1: C. elegans external appearance

Image 2: C. elegans internal appearance



c elegans life cycle
C. Elegans Life Cycle


Image 3: C. elegans Life Cycle

pharynx of c elegans
Pharynx of C. elegans

Image 4: Pharyngeal Structure of Caenorhabditis elegans



Literature Review

Fig. 2 Blueberry polyphenols extend lifespan and slow aging in C. elegans

Wilson et. al. 2006

literature review
Literature Review

Figure 3: Blueberry polyphenols extend lifespan and slow aging in C. elegans

literature review1
Literature Review

Figure 4: Structural and functional declines in C. elegans pharynx from days 2-10.

Chow et. al. 2006

literature review2
Literature Review

Figure 5: Visible Structural Decline in C. elegans as a result of Sarcopenia

Herndon et. al. (2002)



Therefore the purpose of this experiment is to test the ability of different concentrations of fruit polyphenols on the prolonging of lifespan in C. elegans.


H(0): The pelargonidin chloride will show no effect on the prolonging of lifespan

in C. elegans.

H(0): The cyanidin chloride will show no effect on the prolonging of lifespan in C. elegans

H(a): The pelargonidin chloride will show a positive increase in the lifespan of C. elegans.

H(a): The cyanidin chloride will show a positive increase in the lifespan of C. elegans.



Caenorhabditis elegans


n = 150

Cyanidin Chloride


N= 75

Pelargonidin Chloride 200 ug/ml

n = 50

Pelargonidin Chloride 100ug/ml

n = 50

Pelargonidin Chloride 50ug/ml

n = 50

Cyanidin Chloride 200ug/mg

n = 75


Aging of C. elegans measurement possible with the use of FUDR.

Statistical Analysis

ANOVA run by SPSS followed by a Scheffe Post Hoc Test

Pelgargonidin Choride

N = 150

Cyanidin Choride

N = 150

protocols for measurement
Protocols for Measurement
  • Fruit polyphenol extracts is added to NGM agar plates of C. elegans on the first day of the lifespan assay
  • Lifespan scoring is initiated after hermaphrodites complete their final larval molt, on the first day of adulthood
  • Pharynx pumping rates are measured on days 4, 6, 8, and 10 of C. elegans adulthood
protocols for measurement1
Protocols for Measurement
  • Pharynx contraction rate recorded with Motic Plus camera attached to a stereomicroscope
  • Pumps per minute measured


  • Motic Plus with Stereomicroscope available in lab for pharynx contraction observation
  • Fruit polyphenols are easily obtainable
  • C. elegans are easily obtainable and culturable

Total Price: $590.95


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“What Is an Antioxidant?.” American Dietetic Association. (2006). 14 Sept. 2006. <http:/www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/home_9660_ENU_HTML.htm>.

Wilson, Mark A., Shukitt-Hale, Barbara, Kalt, Wilhemina, Ingram, Donald K., Joseph, James A., and Wolkow, Catherine A. “Blueberry polyphenols increase lifespan and thermotolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans.” Aging Cell. 5 (2006): 59-68.