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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jul 17;98(15):8686-91. Epub 2001 Jul 10.

Use of cDNA subtraction and RNA interference screens in combination reveals genes required for germ-line development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Molecular Genetics Research Laboratory, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal organism for the study of the molecular basis of fundamental biological processes such as germ-line development, especially because of availability of the whole genome sequence and applicability of the RNA interference (RNAi) technique. To identify genes involved in germ-line development, we produced subtracted cDNA pools either enriched for or deprived of the cDNAs from germ-line tissues. We then performed differential hybridization on the high-density cDNA grid, on which about 7,600 nonoverlapping expressed sequence tag (EST) clones were spotted, to identify a set of genes specifically expressed in the germ line. One hundred and sixty-eight clones were then tested with the RNAi technique. Of these, 15 clones showed sterility with a variety of defects in germ-line development. Seven of them led to the production of unfertilized eggs, because of defects in spermatogenesis (4 clones), or defects in the oocytes (3 clones). The other 8 clones led to failure of oogenesis. These failures were caused by germ-line proliferation defect (Glp phenotype), meiotic arrest, and defects in sperm--oocyte switch (Mog phenotype) among others. These results demonstrate the efficacy of the screening strategy using the EST library combined with the RNAi technique in C. elegans.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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