Construction of a system for single-cell transgene induction in Caenorhabditis elegans using a pulsed infrared laser

Methods. 2014 Aug 1;68(3):431-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2014.05.001. Epub 2014 May 14.


The spatial and temporal control of transgene expression is an important tool in Caenorhabditis elegans biology. We previously described a method for evoking gene expression in arbitrary cells by using a focused pulsed infrared laser to induce a heat shock response (Churgin et al., 2013). Here we describe detailed methods for building and testing a system for performing single-cell heat shock. Steps include setting up the laser and associated components, coupling the laser beam to a microscope, and testing heat shock protocols. All steps can be carried out using readily available off-the-shelf components.

Keywords: C. elegans; Heat shock; Lasers; Transgenes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / radiation effects*
  • Heat-Shock Response / radiation effects*
  • Lasers
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / radiation effects
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*
  • Transgenes