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A Transparent Window into Biology: A Primer on Caenorhabditis elegans.

Corsi AK, Wightman B, Chalfie M - Genetics (2015)

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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Biology Department, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064 corsi@cua.edu wightman@muhlenberg.edu mc21@columbia.edu.

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C. elegans tissue morphology. (A) Cross-section of the outer layers of the animal showing muscle cells below the epidermis and cuticle viewed by transmission electron microscopy. (B) Single gonad arm dissected out of a hermaphrodite showing germ cell DNA (stained white). Meiosis begins in the region labeled “pachytene” (top right) and continues around the loop of the gonad until oocytes are formed. The stored sperm are located in the spermatheca of the gonad (bottom right). This image is a composite of three gonad arms and dashed lines represent regions not captured in the individual micrographs. (C) The anterior of the animal showing the mouth where food enters, the pharynx with its two bulbs, and the beginning of the intestine viewed with differential interference contrast (DIC). (D) A single body wall muscle cell with six muscle arms (marked with asterisks) extending to the ventral nerve cord (lateral view). The micrograph shows fluorescence from both muscle and neuronal GFP reporters [him-4p::MB::YFP (muscle), hmr-1b::DsRed2 (neuron), and unc-129nsp::DsRed2 (neuron)]. All images are modified from WormAtlas (www.wormatlas.org). Photo credits: (A) D. Hall, (B) J. Maciejowski and E. J. Hubbard, and (C and D) WormAtlas.
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fig5: C. elegans tissue morphology. (A) Cross-section of the outer layers of the animal showing muscle cells below the epidermis and cuticle viewed by transmission electron microscopy. (B) Single gonad arm dissected out of a hermaphrodite showing germ cell DNA (stained white). Meiosis begins in the region labeled “pachytene” (top right) and continues around the loop of the gonad until oocytes are formed. The stored sperm are located in the spermatheca of the gonad (bottom right). This image is a composite of three gonad arms and dashed lines represent regions not captured in the individual micrographs. (C) The anterior of the animal showing the mouth where food enters, the pharynx with its two bulbs, and the beginning of the intestine viewed with differential interference contrast (DIC). (D) A single body wall muscle cell with six muscle arms (marked with asterisks) extending to the ventral nerve cord (lateral view). The micrograph shows fluorescence from both muscle and neuronal GFP reporters [him-4p::MB::YFP (muscle), hmr-1b::DsRed2 (neuron), and unc-129nsp::DsRed2 (neuron)]. All images are modified from WormAtlas (www.wormatlas.org). Photo credits: (A) D. Hall, (B) J. Maciejowski and E. J. Hubbard, and (C and D) WormAtlas.

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).


A Transparent Window into Biology: A Primer on Caenorhabditis elegans.

Corsi AK, Wightman B, Chalfie M - Genetics (2015)

C. elegans tissue morphology. (A) Cross-section of the outer layers of the animal showing muscle cells below the epidermis and cuticle viewed by transmission electron microscopy. (B) Single gonad arm dissected out of a hermaphrodite showing germ cell DNA (stained white). Meiosis begins in the region labeled “pachytene” (top right) and continues around the loop of the gonad until oocytes are formed. The stored sperm are located in the spermatheca of the gonad (bottom right). This image is a composite of three gonad arms and dashed lines represent regions not captured in the individual micrographs. (C) The anterior of the animal showing the mouth where food enters, the pharynx with its two bulbs, and the beginning of the intestine viewed with differential interference contrast (DIC). (D) A single body wall muscle cell with six muscle arms (marked with asterisks) extending to the ventral nerve cord (lateral view). The micrograph shows fluorescence from both muscle and neuronal GFP reporters [him-4p::MB::YFP (muscle), hmr-1b::DsRed2 (neuron), and unc-129nsp::DsRed2 (neuron)]. All images are modified from WormAtlas (www.wormatlas.org). Photo credits: (A) D. Hall, (B) J. Maciejowski and E. J. Hubbard, and (C and D) WormAtlas.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4492366&req=5

fig5: C. elegans tissue morphology. (A) Cross-section of the outer layers of the animal showing muscle cells below the epidermis and cuticle viewed by transmission electron microscopy. (B) Single gonad arm dissected out of a hermaphrodite showing germ cell DNA (stained white). Meiosis begins in the region labeled “pachytene” (top right) and continues around the loop of the gonad until oocytes are formed. The stored sperm are located in the spermatheca of the gonad (bottom right). This image is a composite of three gonad arms and dashed lines represent regions not captured in the individual micrographs. (C) The anterior of the animal showing the mouth where food enters, the pharynx with its two bulbs, and the beginning of the intestine viewed with differential interference contrast (DIC). (D) A single body wall muscle cell with six muscle arms (marked with asterisks) extending to the ventral nerve cord (lateral view). The micrograph shows fluorescence from both muscle and neuronal GFP reporters [him-4p::MB::YFP (muscle), hmr-1b::DsRed2 (neuron), and unc-129nsp::DsRed2 (neuron)]. All images are modified from WormAtlas (www.wormatlas.org). Photo credits: (A) D. Hall, (B) J. Maciejowski and E. J. Hubbard, and (C and D) WormAtlas.
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).

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.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Biology Department, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064 corsi@cua.edu wightman@muhlenberg.edu mc21@columbia.edu.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus