Laboratory cultivation of caenorhabditis elegans and other free-living nematodes

Lan M. Caldicott, Pamela L. Larsen, Donald L. Riddle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes the cultivation of caenorhabditis elegans and other free-living nematodes in the laboratory. An adult C. elegans is about 1.5 mm long and, under optimal laboratory conditions, has a life cycle of approximately 3 days. There are two sexes, males and self-fertile hermaphrodites that are readily distinguishable as adults. The animals are transparent throughout the life cycle, permitting the observation of cell divisions in living animals using a differential interference microscopy. Tools for manipulating individual nematodes on plates are made by anchoring a 1.5-cm piece of 32-gauge platinum wire in a 6 inch inoculating loop holder or in a Pasteur pipette. For best results the end of the wire used for manipulation should be flattened and, if necessary, rounded to remove sharp edges. Remove supernatant and re-suspend in 15 ml of M9 buffer, divide between two 15-ml tubes, and place on ice. When cold, add 7.5 ml of cold 60% sucrose to each tube. Mix by inversion and centrifuge immediately at 1500 RCF for 5 min.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCell Biology
Subtitle of host publicationA Laboratory Handbook
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780121647308
StatePublished - Nov 16 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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