Folate Effects on Lifespan of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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Hicks, Alesha
O'Connell, Kayla O'Connell
Seipelt-Thiemann, Rebecca
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Middle Tennessee State University
Dietary effects on lifespan have been studied for many years. The most well-known is that calorie restriction can increase longevity in many species. Previous research has also implicated restriction of certain nutrients in increasing lifespan. Reduction of folate has increased lifespan in C. elegans, both by feeding worms folate-deficient diets and biochemically inhibiting folate synthesis. Based on this research, it was hypothesized that budding yeast that are genetically deficient in the folate biosynthesis pathway would have a greater longevity than the wild type yeast. To test this hypothesis, wild type and yeast mutant in one folate biosynthesis gene, ABZ1, were aged for six consecutive weeks in rich (folate-containing) and folate-deficient media and tested for chronological lifespan using a growth assay. Final results were compared by t test to detect differences in average growth. Overall, there was no difference in growth between the wild type and mutant, rejecting our hypothesis that the ABZ1 mutant strain would have greater longevity. In addition, both yeast strains grew equally well in rich and folate-deficient media, rejecting our hypothesis that the SC medium would allow greater longevity in both yeast species. Therefore, our results did not support those from previous research in C. elegans, which indicated that reduction of folate biosynthesis has increased lifespan. As these long growth assays can be subject to contamination, it will be absolutely necessary to replicate the experiment to confirm these results.
Dietary restriction, Lifespan, Folate, Saccharomyces cerevisiae