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WormBook. 2007 Mar 27:1-36.

The C. elegans intestine.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Genes and Development Research Group, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada.


The intestine is one of the major organs in C. elegans and is largely responsible for food digestion and assimilation as well as the synthesis and storage of macromolecules. In addition, the intestine is emerging as a powerful experimental system in which to study such universal biological phenomena as vesicular trafficking, biochemical clocks, stress responses and aging. The present chapter describes some of these many and varied properties of the C. elegans intestine: the embryonic cell lineage, intestine morphogenesis, structure and physiology of the intestinal cell and, finally, the transcription factor network controlling intestine development and function.

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