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Mol Cell Biol. Dec 1985; 5(12): 3484–3496.
PMCID: PMC369179

Extrachromosomal DNA transformation of Caenorhabditis elegans.

Abstract

DNA was introduced into the germ line of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by microinjection. Approximately 10% of the injected worms gave rise to transformed progeny. Upon injection, supercoiled molecules formed a high-molecular-weight array predominantly composed of tandem repeats of the injected sequence. Injected linear molecules formed both tandem and inverted repeats as if they had ligated to each other. No worm DNA sequences were required in the injected plasmid for the formation of these high-molecular-weight arrays. Surprisingly, these high-molecular-weight arrays were extrachromosomal and heritable. On average 50% of the progeny of a transformed hermaphrodite still carried the exogenous sequences. In situ hybridization experiments demonstrated that approximately half of the transformed animals carried foreign DNA in all of their cells; the remainder were mosaic animals in which some cells contained the exogenous sequences while others carried no detectable foreign DNA. The presence of mosaic and nonmosaic nematodes in transformed populations may permit detailed analysis of the expression and function of C. elegans genes.

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Selected References

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