worm food

Scott Kuersten skuerst at bio.indiana.edu
Wed Nov 9 12:20:07 EST 1994





There was talk on the newsgroup a few weeks ago about worm food and how
people could get large amounts of it. This is an interesting topic for me
since I do a lot of worm biochemistry and thus use a lot of E. coli. In the
past I have utilized a 100-L fermentor in our department to grow NA22,
concentrate it down to a paste and freeze aliquots in small (7ml) weigh
boats. Surprisingly to me, there has been a few comments made to me that
this method does not work! The reason being that the cell lyse when they
are frozen and one ends up with E. coli extract instead of intact cells.
This does not seem to happen to any significant extent. I have been using
frozen coli for the past few years with great success. The worms grow
healthy and quite dense and are capable of clearing the media if left alone
to do so (they should not be able to do this if the bacteria are lysed).
Granted I have never done any experiments to test how intact the cells are,
but the fact remains that I have been making C. elegans extracts for about
2 years using frozen E. coli.
	   I am posting this article to see how interested people are in acquiring
worm food. Recently, the fermentor in our department died and I have had to
grow worm food on a continuous basis (very unpleasant!). Because this is
such a time consuming process I have been looking for a commercial supplier
of E. coli paste. I have found a few potential sources that can supply
upwards of about 10 kg of paste for about $2000-$3000. To me this does not
seem overly excessive since 10 kg is almost a lifetime supply for little
old me! Anyway, since this amount of paste is essentially more then I can
use I was hoping there might be some people out there who would be
interested in sharing some of the cost if it were determined that the paste
was of good quality and free of contaminants (which I have been assured
that it will be). Please email me directly since I don't read the newsgroup
nearly as much as I should. Thanks.

scott

skuerst at bio.indiana.edu


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