Nobel prize laureate Sydney Brenner once said that C. elegans is ‘nature’s gift to science and ‘without doubt, the fourth winner of the Nobel prize [in 2002] is Caenorhabditis elegans‘. He introduced C. elegans as the organism of choice for studying “How genes might specify the complex structures found in higher organisms”. Read the lecture script.
The nematode C. elegans, the first animal species whose genome was completely sequenced is a simple yet powerful model organism. It provides advantages such as a transparent body, easy genetic manipulation, exquisitely defined nervous system, well-understood genetics, and a short lifespan. It turns out that C. elegans phenotypes are directly related to the underlying genotype, and can give new information about the function of human disease genes and clinical variants.
C. elegans homologs have been identified for up to 80% of human genes. The striking genetic homologies between the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and humans make it a powerful experimental model for investigating many high-impact diseases and medical conditions such as aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiac arrhythmia as well for understanding biological functions.
- Worms, Flies or Fish? See Comparison of Common Model Organisms Used for Biomedical Research
- Worms, Flies or Fish? See Comparison of Common Model Organisms Used for Human Disease Studies
- Using C. elegans to discover therapeutic compounds for ageing-associated neurodegenerative diseases
- Modeling Rare Diseases in Caenorhabditis elegans
More on why C. elegans:
C. elegans as a model organism:
- Deep phenotyping unveils hidden traits and genetic relations in subtle mutants
- Phenotype and gene ontology enrichment as guides for disease modeling in C. elegans
- Modeling human diseases in Caenorhabditis elegans
- Modeling molecular and cellular aspects of human disease using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.
- Autofluorescence as a measure of senescence in C. elegans: look to red, not blue or green
- Quantitative Image Analysis Reveals Distinct Structural Transitions during Aging in Caenorhabditis elegans Tissues
- Model Organisms in the Study of Development and Disease
- Rabies virus modifies host behaviour through a snake-toxin like region of its glycoprotein that inhibits neurotransmitter receptors in the CNS.
- Distinct unfolded protein responses mitigate or mediate effects of nonlethal deprivation of C. elegans sleep in different tissues.
- Precision deletion of the entire coding sequence of the mod-5 locus causes increase in pharyngeal pumping frequency.
- Basal pharyngeal pumping elevated in C. elegans mod-5 mutants.
- Reduced pharyngeal pumping rates observed in tph-1 mutants using microfluidic electropharyngeogram (EPG) recordings.
- Mutations in KCNQ potassium channels cause pharyngeal pumping defects in C. elegans.
- Trehalose Extends Healthspan in C. elegans.
- Microfluidic EPG Recordings Show Striking Pharyngeal Pumping Phenotype in a C. elegans Alzheimer’s Disease Model.
- Finding function in novel targets: C. elegans as a model organism
- C. elegans in high-throughput drug discovery
- Modulating Behavior in C. elegans Using Electroshock and Antiepileptic Drugs
- Caenorhabditis elegans as an experimental tool for the study of complex neurological diseases: Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and autism spectrum disorder.
- Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model System for Parkinson’s Disease
- C. elegans as a model system to accelerate discovery for Parkinson disease.
- C. elegans and its bacterial diet as a model for systems-level understanding of host-microbiota interactions
Learn more about C. elegans and Neuroscience
- Caenorhabditis elegans: An Emerging Model in Biomedical and Environmental Toxicology
- The C. elegans model in toxicity testing
- Caenorhabditis elegans as a powerful alternative model organism to promote research in genetic toxicology and biomedicine
WormBase is an international consortium of biologists and computer scientists dedicated to providing the research community with accurate, current, accessible information concerning the genetics, genomics, and biology of C. elegans and related nematodes. Founded in 2000, the WormBase Consortium is led by Paul Sternberg of CalTech, Paul Kersey of the EBI, Matt Berriman of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and Lincoln Stein of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
You can apply for Development of Animal Models and Related Biological Materials for Research (R21) grants.