Emory Ware

Pure Bacillus subtilis vs. Store-bought Bacillus subtilis Impact on Parkinson’s-Like Disease in Caenorhabditis elegans

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a progressive degenerative neurological disorder linked with the death of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. A pathological hallmark of PD is aggregation of ⍺-synuclein protein. Interactions between the gut and the brain most likely play a role in PD, and probiotic bacteria like Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) appear to reduce ⍺-synuclein aggregation. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) are microscopic roundworms used to study PD because of the similarity of their dopaminergic system to that of humans. In this experiment, C. elegans were fed either a standard OP50 diet, a pure B. subtilis diet, or a store-bought B. subtilis diet. They were treated with 6-hydroxydopamine, a neurotoxin that causes Parkinson’s-like symptoms. It is hypothesized that a lower percentage of worms will show PD-like symptoms when fed on a pure sample B. subtilis diet or a store-bought B. subtilis diet and that there will be no significant difference between these two groups.

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