The art and design of genetic screens: caenorhabditis elegans

Nat Rev Genet. 2002 May;3(5):356-69. doi: 10.1038/nrg794.


The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was chosen as a model genetic organism because its attributes, chiefly its hermaphroditic lifestyle and rapid generation time, make it suitable for the isolation and characterization of genetic mutants. The most important challenge for the geneticist is to design a genetic screen that will identify mutations that specifically disrupt the biological process of interest. Since 1974, when Sydney Brenner published his pioneering genetic screen, researchers have developed increasingly powerful methods for identifying genes and genetic pathways in C. elegans.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Genes, Lethal
  • Mutation*
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Signal Transduction / genetics