Numerous approaches have been taken in the hunt for human disease genes. The identification of such genes not only provides a great deal of information about the mechanism of disease development, but also provides potential avenues for better diagnosis and treatment. In this chapter, we review the use of the nonmammalian model organism C. elegans for the identification of human disease genes. Studies utilizing this relatively simple organism offer a good balance between the ability to recapitulate many aspects of human disease, while still offering an abundance of powerful cell biological, genetic, and genomic tools for disease gene discovery. C. elegans and other nonmammalian models have produced, and will continue to produce, key insights into human disease pathogenesis.
Keywords: Caenorhabditis elegans; GFP; Genetic screens; Genomic screens; RNAi.