Modern electron microscopy methods for C. elegans

Methods Cell Biol. 2012;107:93-149. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394620-1.00004-7.


From its inception as a model organism 40 years ago, Caenorhabditis elegans was chosen in part for its suitability for study in serial thin sections by electron microscopy. Recent improvements in electron microscopy technology are making this pursuit more reliable and more powerful. In this chapter, we highlight new methods in specimen preparation, imaging, and data analysis. Accurate three-dimensional information can now be obtained for the whole animal at all stages, down to the level of individual organelles and the cytoskeleton.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / ultrastructure*
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy / methods
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure*
  • Electron Microscope Tomography / methods
  • Fixatives
  • Freeze Substitution
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning / methods*
  • Microtomy
  • Microwaves
  • Organelles / ultrastructure*
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Tissue Embedding
  • Tissue Fixation


  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Fixatives
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • uranyl acetate