C. elegans as a suitable model system for the characterization of bioactive compounds

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Global warming and the increasing demand for animal proteins, primarily in countries with hot and humid climate, comes along with heat stress problems in livestock animals. Due to increased mitochondrial activity for compensation mechanisms, heat stress causes oxidative stress, resulting in reduced performance. Additionally, damage to the intestinal barrier function increases the susceptibility of fast-growing animals to morbidity. Besides antioxidant vitamins or pre- and probiotics, especially phytogenics seem to represent promising substances conferring protection against negative consequences of heat stress. Phytogenic substances comprise plant-derived products like herbs, spices or essential oils. Compared to synthetic and nature identic single substances, natural phytogenics feature a broader effectiveness. Utilizing bioactive compounds as feed additives in the livestock industry should not only account for economic efficiency but also consider animal welfare, quality aspects of the products, food safety, consumer protection and environmental sustainability. Antimicrobial effects of phytogenics contribute to a balance in the microbiome of animals. Selected phytogenic compounds are characterized via gene expression analysis by quantitative real-time PCR in order to identify substances containing preventative impacts on oxidative stress, inflammatory parameters and degradation of the intestinal barrier. For this purpose, a sensitive and suitable high-throughput test system using the nematode C. elegans was established. General temperature response could be successfully demonstrated for various genes encoding for heat shock proteins and factors. Fluorescence reporter genes in C. elegans confirmed results from gene expression analysis. Currently, various phytogenic compounds are investigated in order to quantitate putative effects regarding to heat stress and intestinal health.
Period16 Sept 2019
Event titleÖGMBT Meeting 2019
Event typeConference
LocationSalzburg, AustriaShow on map