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DBLecture9posted - Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) An...

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Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) An elegant worm
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Why study worms? Sydney Brenner “Thus we want a multicellular organism which has a short life cycle, can be easily cultivated, and is small enough to be handled in large numbers, like a micro-organism. It should have relatively few cells, so that exhaustive studies of lineage and patterns can be made, and should be amenable to genetic analysis.” -- Excerpts from Proposal to the Medical Research Council, 1963
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C. elegans : the chosen one! Photo credit: Ian D. Chin-Sang (Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada). Short generation time : 3 days Easily cultivated : can grow thousands on a petri dish, feed on non-hazardous bacteria, and cheap to maintain Small : 1 mm (about the size of a pinhead) Few cells : The adult has 959 hermaphrodrodite (XX) or 1031 (XO) cells Amenable to genetic analysis : maintained as hermaphrodites, but males exist for genetic studies, The genome is small- 100 Mb Transparency : allows for development to be analyzed from a single cell and all cells to be lineage
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Life cycle of C. elegans Photo credit: http://www.scq.ubc.ca/genetic-studies-of-aging-and-longevity-in-model-organisms/
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Anatomy of C. elegans Pharynx Intestine (yellow) Gonad (pink) Vulva Rectum Anus Epidermis head tail anterior posterior ~1 mm Fig. 5.42
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Hermaphrodite (XX) Males (X0) Hermaphrodites do it by themselves Photo credit: http://homepages.ucalgary.ca/~dhansen/worms.gif
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The C. elegans gonad : an extremely efficient reproductive system Fig. 5.42
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Within this lineage is the secret of embryonic development John Sulston
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All neural synapses have been mapped
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Learn to read a lineage diagram! = Cell death
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This note was uploaded on 05/26/2011 for the course BIO 205 taught by Professor Reed during the Spring '11 term at UNC.

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DBLecture9posted - Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) An...

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