Towards a mutation in every gene in Caenorhabditis elegans

Brief Funct Genomic Proteomic. 2008 May;7(3):195-204. doi: 10.1093/bfgp/eln016. Epub 2008 Apr 16.


The combined efforts of the Caenorhabditis elegans Knockout Consortium and individuals within the worm community are moving us closer to the goal of identifying mutations in every gene in the nematode C. elegans. At present, we count about 7000 deletion alleles that fall within 5500 genes. The principal method used to detect deletion mutations in the nematode utilizes polymerase chain reaction (PCR). More recently, the Moerman group has incorporated array comparative genome hybridization (aCGH) to detect deletions across the entire coding genome. Other methods used to detect mutant alleles in C. elegans include targeting induced local lesion in genomes (TILLING), transposon tagging, using either Tc1 or Mos1 and resequencing. These combined strategies have improved the overall throughput of the gene-knockout labs, and have broadened the types of mutations that we, and others, can identify. In this review, we will discuss these different approaches.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • Genes, Helminth / genetics*
  • Genome, Helminth
  • Mutation*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA Transposable Elements