The genetics of Caenorhabditis elegans

Genetics. 1974 May;77(1):71-94. doi: 10.1093/genetics/77.1.71.


Methods are described for the isolation, complementation and mapping of mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans, a small free-living nematode worm. About 300 EMS-induced mutants affecting behavior and morphology have been characterized and about one hundred genes have been defined. Mutations in 77 of these alter the movement of the animal. Estimates of the induced mutation frequency of both the visible mutants and X chromosome lethals suggests that, just as in Drosophila, the genetic units in C. elegans are large.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Female
  • Genes, Lethal
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetics, Behavioral
  • Male
  • Mesylates / pharmacology
  • Movement
  • Mutation*
  • Nematoda* / drug effects
  • Nematoda* / physiology
  • Nervous System Physiological Phenomena
  • Phenotype
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Reproduction
  • Sex Chromosomes


  • Mesylates