Genetic Analysis in Caenorhabditis Elegans

  • Ann M. Rose
  • Mark L. Edgley
  • David L. Baillie
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 268)


In order to contribute to the understanding of the organization and function of genes in the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans, we have undertaken a genetic approach. This type of approach relies upon the availability of mutant strains. Although there are many specific applications, in general genetic deduction depends upon the removal of a single component, and subsequent inference from phenotypic alterations as to the function of that component. The biology of C. elegans makes it very amenable to genetic manipulation (Brenner, 1974; reviewed in Wood, 1988). This nematode is a self-fertilizing hermaphrodite. The genetic material is organized into five autosomes and a sex chromosome. Males, which are XO, arise at a frequency of approximately one in 1,000 individuals by X-chromosome nondisjunction (Hodgkin et al., 1979). The complete cell lineage is known (Sulston and Horvitz, 1977; Sulston et al., 1983), and the structure of the 302-cell nervous system has been determined by serial section electron microscopy (White et al., 1986). Mutant phenotypes can be readily generated and easily maintained both in laboratory cultures and in frozen suspension. The C. elegans genetic map compiled by Edgley and Riddle (1993) includes 982 genes, 225 deficiencies, and 74 chromosomal duplications. Virtually the entire genome has been cloned in cosmid and yeast artificial chromosome vectors, and these clones have been ordered with respect to one another on a physical map of the genome (Coulson et al., 1988).


Transposable Element Caenorhabditis Elegans Mutant Phenotype Essential Gene Chromosome Versus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann M. Rose
    • 1
  • Mark L. Edgley
    • 1
  • David L. Baillie
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical GeneticsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Institute of Molecular Biology and BiochemistrySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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