This soil nematode offered great potential for genetic analysis, partly because of its rapid 3-day life cycle, small size 1.
Genes, expression, resources, phenotypes, metadata, and publications WormBook Basic information about the biology of C. Such genome-wide screens using libraries of bacterial strains are common and easily done. In addition to being a powerful system for genetic studies, C. These features include its small size, large brood size, ease of cultivation, low maintenance expense, long-term cryopreservation, quick generation time, transparency, invariant cell number and development, and the ability to reduce gene activity using feeding RNAi.
Although not usually mentioned, another favorable feature of C. In fact, because they cannot grow at body temperatures, they cannot grow in humans.
As far as we are aware, allergic reactions to C. Studies of cell and developmental biology that use C. Transparency also enables a wealth of studies in living animals utilizing fluorescent protein reporters Figure 1D and Figure 4B.
By labeling cells and proteins in living cells, fluorescent proteins enable genetic screens to identify mutants defective in various cellular processes.
In addition, fluorescent protein-based reporters e. Transparency also means that optogenetic tools, which alter the activity of individual neurons, are particularly effective in C.
In all of these experiments, greater control of the animal's position and C elegans can be accomplished by microfluidic devices in which individual C elegans are mounted in custom-designed channels allowing the application of various compounds or other agents while simultaneously monitoring fluorescent readout of gene regulation or electrophysiological activity by microscopy Lockery ; San-Miguel and Lu Anatomy and study of the C.
A Diagram of the C. Image produced using the OpenWorm browser utility openworm. B Visualization of anterior sensory neurons and their neurite projections by expression of a GFP reporter transgene. C Use of cameleon reporter transgene to detect calcium transients in the C.
The animal carries a transgene with myo-2a pharynx-specific myosin gene, fused to YC2. False-color red in the pharyngeal bulb reflects real-time calcium releases in the cell of the living animal. Image adapted from Kerr et al. D Electronic microscopic section showing synapses.
Collections of densely-staining vesicles can be seen in neuron 1 at point of synaptic connection to neurons 2 and 3 arrows. Synaptic varicosities V that contain vesicles can be seen clustered around the active zone. DCV identifies a dense-core vesicle.
E Worm behavior on a bacterial plate. Left image shows the standard laboratory N2 strain foraging as individuals evenly dispersed across the bacterial food. Sharing large amounts of genetic and cellular information has been central to the success of C.
The wealth of knowledge generated by past research is readily available to anyone via on-line resources see Table 1.
Much of this information, including gene expression, gene function, and references, is curated on WormBase www. Reviews on many topics of C. No model organism can be used to answer every research question, and working with C.
Not all metazoan genes are found in the C. For example, Hedgehog Hh signaling is important in vertebrates for the patterning of various organs during development, but C.
The small size of the animal and its cells also provides a challenge since experimental manipulation in individual tissues of an organism that is less than a millimeter long is difficult. Finally, biochemical approaches in C.
The animal is often described as a series of concentric tubes Figure 3C.
The outer layer of cells, the epidermis traditionally called the hypodermis encloses a pseudocoelomic fluid-filled cavity housing the main organ systems. Just inside the epidermis are the bands of muscle, which control movement of the organism, as well as the ventral and dorsal nerve cords that innervate the muscles.
Inside the neuro-muscular region are the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems. These cells behave similarly to vertebrate macrophages although they have a fixed position within the animalare highly active in endocytosis, and are thought to sort through and clear material in the pseudocoelomic cavity of the animal.In , Sydney Brenner settled on Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism to study animal development and behavior for reasons that are now well known (Brenner, , ).
This soil nematode offered great potential for genetic analysis, partly because of its rapid (3-day) life cycle, small size (mm-long adult), and ease of . C. elegans is more than just your average worm; it’s the very model of a laboratory organism — and a very elegant gift.
Summary. A little over 50 years ago, Sydney Brenner had the foresight to develop the nematode (round worm) Caenorhabditis elegans as a genetic model for understanding questions of developmental biology and neurobiology.
Over time, research on C. elegans has expanded to explore a wealth of diverse areas in modern biology including studies .
Barnett, Vanessa A. Fitsanakis, in Nutraceuticals, Nutraceuticals Discovery in C. elegans. Use of C. elegans in high-throughput screening is valuable to nutraceutical researchers focused on finding novel bioactive phytochemicals.
Caenorhabditis elegans is particularly well-suited for aging-related studies due to its . C. elegans develops from a single cell, the fertilized egg, to a celled worm in about 14 hours. Several attractive features of C.
elegans biology have contributed its choice as a model organism for the study of genetics, developmental biology, neurobiology, cell biology and behavior. It is easy to maintain in the laboratory, growing quickly on a bacterial lawn grown on an agar plate.