Caenorhabditis elegans A novel model organism
Caenorhabditis elegans A novel model organism
Caenorhabditis elegans free-living, soil nematode has been an extensively important system for investigating various aspects in life science including medicinal sciences. This roundworm is richly contributed to our understanding the neurodegenerative diseases, aging pattern, analysis of toxicants. It is the organism transited from the research toll as the testing tool in many aspects. It is a future model organism in the field of medicine. The utility of the C.elegans resides in two resources: its small genome which resembles more or less human genome for various diseases, and its powerful molecular tools as a model system
Systematic Classification of Caenorhabditis elegans
Today, most of the scientific investigations depend on model systems or organisms. These systems or organisms have been made man to remove the word “Impossible” from his Dictionary of Science. Over a few decades, so many model systems were explored to answer some of the complicated questions. The Caenorhabditis elegans is one among them which was established by Sydney Brenner (1963) at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. In the letter to Max Perutz, The head of the laboratory, Brenner quoted that “it is widely realized that nearly all the ‘Classical’ problems of molecular biology have either been solved or will be solved in the next decade” and that the future of molecular biology lies in the extension of research to other fields of biology such as embryology and developmental and nervous system (Brenner, 1988). Presently, Caenorhabditis elegans is a likely one of the commonly used metazoans in terms of its cell biology genetics, embryology, toxicology, and behavior
C.elegans being simple, unsegmented, multicellular and soil nematode organism belongs to a member of the phylum Nematoda. This nematode C.elegans occurs in two sexes: 1. males and 2. Self-fertilizing hermaphrodites. Adult hermaphrodites have 959 somatic cells and males with 1031 cells (Sulston et al., 1983). This difference is due to the extra structure found in the male which is associated with mating and also the presence of the tail muscles, and hypodermal cells (Sulston et al., 1983). Sex in C. elegans is based on an X0 determination system and they have five pairs of somatic chromosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes. Hermaphrodite C. elegans has XX system and the male has an XO system. The sperm of C. elegans is ameboid. Even though there are a limited number of cells, the body is differentiated into the digestive system, reproductive system muscular and nervous system. (Riddle, 1998). C. elegans has a short life span (3 weeks at 220 C under optimal conditions), small size (1mm in length) easy to cultivate, and quick generation time, commonly C.elegans grown in the lawn of the bacteria (Escherichia coli) on the Petri dishes or liquid media called S-media, self fertilization ability to frozen, measurable behavior genetic tractability and relevance to mammalian toxicology due to the high degree of conservation of gene sequence with small genome.
Preparation of nematode cultures
The worms were cultivated on NGM plates (3 g l-1 NaCl, 2.5 g l-1 protease peptone, 5 mg l-1 cholesterol, 1 mmol l1CaCl2, 1 mmol l-1MgSo4, 25mmol l-1Potassium phosphate, PH 6.0,17g l-1 agar) on an established lawn of Escherichia coli strain OP50 (Brenner,1974) and maintained at 200C. To obtain synchronized culture, gravid hermaphrodites were lysed in an alkaline hypochlorite solution (Sultson et al., 1988) and the eggs were transferred in fresh NGM plates
Role of C.elegans in Neuropharmacology
C.elegans provides more advantages for the identification and characterization of genes required for the function of the nervous system. there are many neurons express specific neurotransmitters (Rand and Nonet, 1997) and associated receptors which are similar to higher eukaryotes including human. These include dopamine, acetylcholine, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate and serotonin, In addition, to this, there are several neuropeptides encoding genes have been discovered which code for Insulin-like and FMRF amide (Phe-Met-Phe-NH2) like neuropeptides. Tools such as robotics, image acquisition, electrophysiological studies in C.elegans have made easy to identify the rhythmic contractions of the worm pharynx during feeding (Windy et al., 2009).
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Caenorhabditis elegans A novel model organism Systematic Classification of Caenorhabditis elegant kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum Nematoda class: