Phytochemistry & Biodiscovery

Caenorhabditis elegans is a 1 mm sized, plain nematode and one of the most important model organisms in biological research. This invertebrate has emerged as an in vivo model to identify novel drugs and drug targets in a phenotype-oriented way - also as an alternative to target- and mechanism-based screening strategies.

The worm models currently used in our lab focus on the discovery of natural products with the ability to modulate fat metabolism, affect life- and health span or enhance the resistance against reactive oxygen species.


Arampatzis AS, Tsave O, Kirchweger B, Zwirchmayr J, Papageorgiou VP, Rollinger JM, Assimopoulou AN (2022): Expanding the biological properties of alkannins and shikonins: Their impact on adipogenesis and life expectancy in nematodes. Frontiers in Pharmacology 13:909285. 10.3389/fphar.2022.909285

Kirchweger B, Klein-Junior LC, Pretsch D, Chen Y, Cretton S, de Gasper AL, Heyden YV, Christen P, Kirchmair J, Henriques AT, Rollinger JM (2022): Azepine-indole alkaloids from Psychotria nemorosa modulate 5-HT2A receptor and prevent in vivo protein toxicity in transgenic C. elegans. Frontiers in Neuroscience. 10.3389/fnins.2022.826289

Lehner T, Pum D, Rollinger JM, Kirchweger B (2021): Workflow for segmentation of Caenorhabditis elegans from fluorescence images for the quantitation of lipids. Applied Sciences; 11: 11420. 10.3390/app112311420

Zwirchmayr J, Kirchweger B, Lehner T, Tahir A, Pretsch D, Rollinger JM (2020): A robust and miniaturized screening platform to study natural products affecting metabolism and survival in Caenorhabditis elegans. Scientific Reports; 10: 12323. 10.1038/s41598-020-69186-6

Pretsch D, Rollinger JM, Schmid A, Genov M, Woehrer T, Krenn L, Moloney M, Kasture A, Hummel T, Pretsch A (2020): Prolongation of metallothionein induction combats Ass and α-synuclein toxicity in aged transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans. Scientific Reports; 10: 11707. 10.1038/s41598-020-68561-7