Functional genomic approaches in C. elegans

Methods Mol Biol. 2006;351:127-38. doi: 10.1385/1-59745-151-7:127.


The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an extraordinarily powerful model organism for the application of functional genomic approaches. Two such approaches, whole genome microarray analysis and genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated phenotypic screening, are highly advanced and can be used by virtually any laboratory to study biological processes of interest. Using studies of the osmotic stress response in C. elegans as an example, this chapter describes methods for conducting whole genome microarray experiments and for carrying out genome-wide reverse-genetic screens using a commercially available C. elegans bacterial RNAi feeding library. Both approaches are complimentary and can be used to rapidly gain genome-wide insights into the genes and gene networks controlling specific physiological processes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genes, Helminth / genetics*
  • Genomics* / methods
  • Phenotype
  • RNA Interference*
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / genetics*
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / pharmacology


  • RNA, Double-Stranded