A biphasic model of lifespan in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans worm

Suhayl Mulla, Adele R. Ludlam, Aiman Elragig, Cathy Slack, Zita Balklava, Michael Stich, Alex Cheong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ageing research focuses on identifying lifespan modifiers and understanding and appropriately interpreting their effects. One of the most relevant quantities being studied is the shape of the survival curve that can reveal crucial information on the mechanism of action. Here, we introduce a bilogistic model to describe the shape of the lifespan curves of Caenorhabditis elegans populations. Using the corrected Akaike information criterion and the RMSE as goodness-of-fit tests, we show that the bilogistic model provides a better fit to the experimental data from nematode worms than other mathematical models and can identify and confirm biphasic lifespan data. Our parametric model offers a method to interpret replicate experiments data in terms of the shape parameters of the lifespan curve and enables robust statistical analysis of intra- and inter-group variance. We apply the model to novel lifespan data from C. elegans and Drosophila melanogaster and provide a rational statistical analysis of lifespan modifiers such as temperature and daf-16/FOXO mutation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number220991
Pages (from-to)220991
Number of pages12
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number2
Early online date1 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: This work was supported by the EPSRC grant EP/M02735X/1. M.S. and A.E. acknowledge support through EU project, grant number 642190.


  • Organismal and evolutionary biology
  • Research articles
  • lifespan curve
  • mathematical modelling
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Drosophila melanogaster


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