The transparency of C. elegans

A wildtypeG C. elegans embryo development:

(~ 6MB, movie length: 1′ 40")

As C. elegans is transparent, the dividing cell can be observed and recorded. This movie recorded a C. elegans from a zygoteG to a worm before hatching.


An adult worm:

(With label, 800 KB, 6")
(click to see the movie)

This C. elegans movie is from the Goldstein lab. The worm is a hermaphroditeG (notice its tail is pointedl). As it is transparent, one is able to observe its internal structures, e.g.: eggs, intestine.


1. Wild type embrogenesis movie: Kevin O’Connell, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).


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.

Wildtype: normal, nonmutant form of an organism; the form found in nature (in the wild). (Molecular Biology of the Cell, Bruce Alberts [et al.] – 3rd)

Zygote: a fertilized egg; diploid cell resulting from fusion of a male and female gamete. (Molecular Cell Biology/Harvey Lodish [et al.] – 4th)