So far, Hannah and I have been spending a lot of time trying to find an effective way to expose the worms to ascarosides. First, we tried adding the ascarosides to the plates before adding the egg prep. Hannah had previously tried mixing them into the agar, with no luck. Since then we have tried adding them on top of the agar and letting it dry, mixing them into the OP50 before we seeded the plates, and both at once. Still, none of the worms entered dauer. Now I’m in the midst of a different approach: liquid culture! There might be a couple of nice perks to using this method if it works out for me: I can easily get a large sample size, and I’ll know exactly the concentration of ascarosides the worms are exposed to. One minor downside is that liquid cultures can be more prone to contamination which would be a bummer, so I’ll have to be pretty careful about using sterile technique every step of the way.
I have the first batch on the shaker right now. We should know in a day or two if it is a success!
Here’s to hoping! 🙂