Characterization of mutations induced by ethyl methanesulfonate, UV, and trimethylpsoralen in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Mar 5;269(1):64-9. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2000.2260.


The genome project of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is completed. It is important and useful to disrupt nematode genes to know their function. We treated wild-type animals with potential candidates for mutagens for reverse genetics, EMS (ethyl methanesulfonate), short-wavelength UV, and long-wavelength UV in the presence of TMP (trimethylpsoralen). We estimated forward mutation rates by counting the occurrence of a marker unc-22 mutation. We found that the forward mutation rate by TMP/UV could be comparable with EMS by improving the frequency one order higher than before. We next isolated mutants of another marker gene ben-1 and examined the probability for the deletion mutations by PCR and sequencing. Deletion mutations were found only by TMP/UV method, which suggested TMP/UV is the choice for deletion mutagenesis among these methods. As a pilot experiment, we could isolate actual deletion mutations at a much higher frequency than previously.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / drug effects
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / radiation effects
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Helminth / genetics
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate / toxicity
  • Genes, Helminth / drug effects
  • Genes, Helminth / radiation effects
  • Genetic Markers
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Trioxsalen / toxicity
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Helminth
  • Genetic Markers
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate
  • Trioxsalen