Transgenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

Methods Mol Biol. 2009;561:21-39. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60327-019-9_2.


Two efficient strategies have been developed and are widely used for the genetic transformation of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, DNA microinjection, and DNA-coated microparticle bombardment. Both methodologies facilitate the delivery of exogenous DNA into the developing oocytes of adult hermaphrodite animals, which then generate transgenic worms among their progeny. Although both approaches share the common underlying principle of introducing foreign DNA into the germline of C. elegans, they offer distinct transformation outcomes. In this chapter, we present DNA microinjection and bombardment methods for transgenesis in C. elegans and provide time-tested procedures for their implementation. We also discuss their relative advantages as well as their limitations and evaluate their potential for a range of applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / growth & development
  • DNA, Helminth / administration & dosage
  • DNA, Helminth / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genes, Helminth / physiology*
  • Microinjections / methods*
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • Transgenes / physiology*


  • DNA, Helminth