Caenorhabditis elegans

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Caenorhabditis elegans (pronounced /ˌsiːnɵræbˈdaɪtɨs ˈɛlɨɡænz/) is a free-living, transparent nematode (roundworm), about 1 mm in length,[2] which lives in temperate soil environments. Research into the molecular and developmental biology of C. elegans was begun in 1974 by Sydney Brenner and it has since been used extensively as a model organism.[3]

Contents

Biology

C. elegans is unsegmented, vermiform, and bilaterally symmetrical, with a cuticle integument, four main epidermal cords and a fluid-filled pseudocoelomate cavity. Members of the species have many of the same organ systems as other animals. In the wild, they feed on bacteria that develop on decaying vegetable matter. C. elegans has two sexes: hermaphrodites and males.[4] Individuals are almost all hermaphrodite, with males comprising just 0.05% of the total population on average. The basic anatomy of C. elegans includes a mouth, pharynx, intestine, gonad, and collagenous cuticle. Males have a single-lobed gonad, vas deferens, and a tail specialized for mating. Hermaphrodites have two ovaries, oviducts, spermatheca, and a single uterus.

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