The reproductive span (RS) of organisms could be affected by different factors during their lifetime. In the model nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, RS is affected by both genetic and environmental factors. However, none of the factors identified so far were related to environmental bacteria, which may incidentally appear anywhere in the habitats of C. elegans. We aimed to find environmental bacteria that could affect the RS of C. elegans and related species. We tested 109 bacterial isolates and found that Microbacterium sp. CFBb37 increased the RS and lifespan of C. elegans but reduced its brood size. We studied the effect of M. sp. CFBb37 on the RS of Caenorhabditis briggsae, Caenorhabditis tropicalis, and another Rhabditidae family species, Protorhabditis sp., and found similar trends of RS extension in all three cases, suggesting that this bacterial species may induce the extension of RS broadly among Caenorhabditis species and possibly for many other Rhabditidae. This work will facilitate future research on the mechanism underlying the bacterial extension of RS of nematodes and possibly other animals.

Publication timeframe:
Volume Open
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other