C. elegans Cultivation
Summary: to study the worm, we first have to make it happy in the laboratory setting. Issues like how it grows and what it eats need to be taken into account.
Life Cycle of the worm
The life cycle of the worm is about 3 days.
Feeding the worm
Housing the worm
Petri plate (~ 35 * 10 mm) filled with NGM (Nematode Growth Medium) is used to culture the worm.
Growing temperature for the worm
C. elegans‘ growth rate differs under different temperatures. Development from embryo to adult takes about 2.5 days at 25 °C , and 6 days at 15 °C.
Observing the worm
A binocular dissecting microscope will do. Most work can be done at 25X magnification.
Picking & transferring the worm
To pick and transfer worm for manipulation, a platinum wire is used.
Sexing the worm
Long term storage of the worm
C. elegans can be stored indefinitely at very low temperature (-70 ~ 100 °C freezer). In the dauerG larval stage, it can also be kept at 16 °C for months.
1. A Worm Eating: The Ward lab, Retrieved 12/10/04, From http://www.mcb.arizona.edu/wardlab/eatingvid.html.
Epstein, F. H. & Shakes, C. D. (Ed). (1995). Caenorhabditis elegans: Modern Biological Analysis of an Organism. New York, NY: Academic Press.
Dauer: a developmental stage of C. elegans that occurs under starvation conditions in which the larva enters developmental stasis. With food, the dauer larva can reach L4 stage and then become an adult.
Hermaphrodite: hermaphrodite is the form that can make both sperm and oocytes and can self-fertilize. C. elegans has both hermaphrodites and males. The male can mate with hermaphrodites to produce cross progeny.