Event Title

The Impact of Aging on the Fertility of Eisenia Fetida (Earthworm)

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

18-4-2016 10:00 AM

End Date

18-4-2016 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Biological Sciences

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Dorothy Wrigley

Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

Eisenia Fetida (also known as the earthworm) has some notable growth characteristics. As opposed to having specific growth periods, (i.e. adolescence in humans) an earthworm continues growing right up until their lifetime expires. However, previous work has shown that fertility decreases with age, despite a continuous growth period. In this study, the reproductive organ morphology of earthworms is being examined via dissection and microscopy. By examining the morphology of the testes and ovaries in young, fertile earthworms and old, less fertile earthworms it can be determined if degeneration of one or both of these organs accompanies the decreased fertility. This project developed a method for harvesting and preserving segments of the worm with reproductive organs. The worms were anesthetized with the solution MgCl2 in 10% ethanol PBS which was found to work best to incapacitate. Once incapacitated, worms were cut approximately 4 segments past the clitellum and prepped for dissection. Prepping for dissection included; preservation for 1.5 hours in 4% paraformaldehyde and serial preservations of a full day or more in ethanol (30% to 50% to 75%) solution. The reproductive organs that were harvested were too small to weigh. Instead, the organs will be placed into a slide and viewed under a light microscope. Microscopic examination and measurement are the best ways to assess the gross morphology of the testes, seminal vesicles, and ovaries. Data on the comparisons of old and young worms is ongoing and will be presented.

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Apr 18th, 10:00 AM Apr 18th, 11:30 AM

The Impact of Aging on the Fertility of Eisenia Fetida (Earthworm)

CSU Ballroom

Eisenia Fetida (also known as the earthworm) has some notable growth characteristics. As opposed to having specific growth periods, (i.e. adolescence in humans) an earthworm continues growing right up until their lifetime expires. However, previous work has shown that fertility decreases with age, despite a continuous growth period. In this study, the reproductive organ morphology of earthworms is being examined via dissection and microscopy. By examining the morphology of the testes and ovaries in young, fertile earthworms and old, less fertile earthworms it can be determined if degeneration of one or both of these organs accompanies the decreased fertility. This project developed a method for harvesting and preserving segments of the worm with reproductive organs. The worms were anesthetized with the solution MgCl2 in 10% ethanol PBS which was found to work best to incapacitate. Once incapacitated, worms were cut approximately 4 segments past the clitellum and prepped for dissection. Prepping for dissection included; preservation for 1.5 hours in 4% paraformaldehyde and serial preservations of a full day or more in ethanol (30% to 50% to 75%) solution. The reproductive organs that were harvested were too small to weigh. Instead, the organs will be placed into a slide and viewed under a light microscope. Microscopic examination and measurement are the best ways to assess the gross morphology of the testes, seminal vesicles, and ovaries. Data on the comparisons of old and young worms is ongoing and will be presented.

Recommended Citation

Imasuen, Uyi and Boluwatife Gbadebo. "The Impact of Aging on the Fertility of Eisenia Fetida (Earthworm)." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 18, 2016.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2016/poster-session-A/23