Chemosensory behavior of semi-restrained Caenorhabditis elegans

J Neurobiol. 2005 Nov;65(2):171-8. doi: 10.1002/neu.20196.


A new behavioral assay is described for studying chemosensation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This assay presents three main characteristics: (1) the worm is restrained by gluing, preserving correlates of identifiable behaviors; (2) the amplitude and time course of the stimulus are controlled by the experimenter; and (3) the behavior is recorded quantitatively. We show that restrained C. elegans display behaviors comparable to those of freely moving worms. Moreover, the chemosensory response of wild-type glued animals to changes in salt concentration is similar to that of freely moving animals. This glued-worm assay was used to reveal new chemosensory deficits of the potassium channel mutant egl-2. We conclude that the glued worm assay can be used to study the chemosensory regulation of C. elegans behavior and how it is affected by neuronal or genetic manipulations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adhesives
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Ether-A-Go-Go Potassium Channels / genetics
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Mutation
  • Restraint, Physical
  • Sodium Chloride


  • Adhesives
  • Ether-A-Go-Go Potassium Channels
  • Sodium Chloride