Caenorhabditis elegans germ line: a model for stem cell biology

Dev Dyn. 2007 Dec;236(12):3343-57. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21335.


Like many stem cell systems, the Caenorhabditis elegans germ line contains a self-renewing germ cell population that is maintained by a niche. Although the exact cellular mechanism for self-renewal is not yet known, three recent studies shed considerable light on the cell cycle behavior of germ cells, including a support for significant and plastic renewal potential. This review brings together the results of the three recent cell-based studies, places them in the context of previous work, and discusses future perspectives for the field.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Adult Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Germ Cells / cytology*
  • Germ Cells / metabolism
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Mitosis
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Glp-1 protein, C elegans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Notch