The C. elegans Behavior Kit allows students to work with and learn about C. elegans, one of the most studied model organisms.
Key Features and Benefits
With this kit, students are able to:
- Get hands-on experience with a model eukaryotic organism
- Observe and study the life cycle of C. elegans
- Utilize their microscope skills
- Learn how to subculture
- Learn about genetics and its effect on behavior
- Discover the connection between learning, the daf-18 gene, and the AIY and ASE neurons
C. elegans was the first multicellular organism to have its complete genome sequenced. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to C. elegans researchers in 2002 (genetics of organ development and apoptosis), 2006 (RNA interference), and 2008 (GFP expression), emphasizing the importance of research on this model organism. This microscopic nematode is ideal for students to learn about subculturing so that they can observe the life cycle and different stages of development of the worms.
Following life cycle observation, students will get the chance to understand how C. elegans can learn to associate salt with their food by monitoring chemotaxis. When wild-type C. elegans are fed food with salt they learn to associate their food with the salt. C. elegans are then able to sense salt in their environment and will chemotax towards the salt in search of food. A mutant affected in the daf-18 gene (and subsequently the AIY and ASE neurons) results in a worm that is not able to learn to associate the salt with the food. While the mutant C. elegans are able to chemotax, their inability to associate their food to a salty environment results in no migration towards salt in a chemotaxis assay.
Note: The wild-type and mutant worms are shipped on dry ice and must be kept on dry ice or at –70°C until ready to plate. Allow for preparation of NGM Lite agar plates (reagents ordered separately) prior to ordering the worms. Wild-type and mutant C. elegans will be shipped overnight at a date specified by the customer.