Genome-wide RNAi screening in Caenorhabditis elegans

Methods. 2003 Aug;30(4):313-21. doi: 10.1016/s1046-2023(03)00050-1.


In Caenorhabditis elegans, introduction of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) results in the specific inactivation of an endogenous gene with corresponding sequence; this technique is known as RNA interference (RNAi). It has previously been shown that RNAi can be performed by direct microinjection of dsRNA into adult hermaphrodite worms, by soaking worms in a solution of dsRNA, or by feeding worms Escherichia coli expressing target-gene dsRNA. We have developed a simple optimized protocol exploiting this third mode of dsRNA introduction, RNAi by feeding, which allows rapid and effective analysis of gene function in C. elegans. Furthermore, we have constructed a library of bacterial strains corresponding to roughly 86% of the estimated 19,000 predicted genes in C. elegans, and we have used it to perform genome-wide analyses of gene function. This library is publicly available, reusable resource allowing for rapid large-scale RNAi experiments. We have used this library to perform genome-wide analyses of gene function in C. elegans. Here, we describe the protocols used for bacterial library construction and for high-throughput screening in C. elegans using RNAi by feeding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Genome*
  • Genomic Library
  • RNA Interference*