RNA interference in Caenorhabditis elegans

Methods Enzymol. 2005;392:36-55. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(04)92003-4.


RNA interference (RNAi) was first discovered in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Fire et al., 1998; Guo and Kemphues, 1995). The completion of the C. elegans genome in 1998 coupled with the advent of RNAi techniques to knock down gene function ushered in a new age in the field of functional genomics. There are four methods for double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) delivery in C. elegans: (1) injection of dsRNA into any region of the animal (Fire et al., 1998), (2) feeding with bacteria producing dsRNA (Timmons et al., 2001), (3) soaking in dsRNA (Tabara et al., 1998), and (4) in vivo production of dsRNA from transgenic promoters (Tavernarakis et al., 2000). In this chapter, we discuss the molecular genetic mechanisms, techniques, and applications of RNAi in C. elegans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • RNA Interference*
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / genetics
  • Transgenes


  • RNA, Double-Stranded