Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-established laboratory animal model and has been widely used in biological research. However, it is still a challenge to obtain a good amount of quality RNA from a limited number of C. elegans for gene expression studies. To address this issue, the present study has compared different conditions to preserve C. elegans for RNA extraction after the failure of an initial effort to use RNAlater-preserved worms for RNA extraction. The effects of different concentrations of proteinase K, different worm life stages, and different worm numbers on RNA extraction were also investigated. The best results were achieved under the following conditions: 1) adult worms that were either freshly prepared or quickly frozen in liquid nitrogen followed by storage at -80 °C; 2) disruption of C. elegans with proteinase K (1 mg/mL) in a lysis buffer (65 °C for 10 min) prior to extraction with Trizol agent. This method can provide a stable, rapid, and effective means to extract RNA from C. elegans with variable worm numbers from 20 to 200. •RNAlater was inappropriate for preserving C. elegans for effective RNA extraction.•Proteinase K was verified for lysing a limited number of C. elegans for RNA extraction.
Keywords: Caenorhabditis elegans; Inappropriateness of RNAlater to preserve C. elegans for RNA extraction; Proteinase K; RNA extraction; RNAlater; Storage conditions.
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