A Transparent Window into Biology: A Primer on Caenorhabditis elegans.
Bottom Line: We survey the basic anatomical features, common technical approaches, and important discoveries in C. elegans research.Key to studying C. elegans has been the ability to address biological problems genetically, using both forward and reverse genetics, both at the level of the entire organism and at the level of the single, identified cell.These possibilities make C. elegans useful not only in research laboratories, but also in the classroom where it can be used to excite students who actually can see what is happening inside live cells and tissues.
Affiliation: Biology Department, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org.Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: The outer epithelial layer, the epidermis, of the embryo undergoes a series of cell fusions to make large multinucleate, or syncytial, epidermal cells. These cells secrete the cuticle, a protective layer of specialized extracellular matrix (ECM) consisting primarily of collagen, lipids, and glycoproteins (Chisholm and Hardin 2005; Page and Johnstone 2007). The cuticle determines the shape of the body and, through connection from the epidermis to muscle, provides anchoring points for muscle contraction (Figure 5A). The cuticle also serves as a model for ECM formation and function with molecules and pathways involved in cuticle biogenesis conserved in vertebrates (Page and Johnstone 2007).
Affiliation: Biology Department, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com.