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WormBook. 2014 May 2:1-19. doi: 10.1895/wormbook.1.115.2.

Isolation of C. elegans and related nematodes.

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  • 1Institut de Biologie du Développement de Marseille-Luminy, CNRS, France.


Isolating Caenorhabditis and other nematodes from the wild first requires field sampling (reviewed in Section 1). The easiest and most efficient way to recover the animals from any substrate is to place the sample onto a standard C. elegans culture plate (Section 2.1). Alternative methods used by nematologists to recover soil nematodes (Sections 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4) are in our hands more difficult to implement and only yield a fraction of the individuals in the sample. A tricky step is to recognize your species of interest out of the zoo of nematode species that comes with a typical sample (Section 3). Culture (Section 4) and freezing (Section 5) conditions are then reviewed. Finally, we briefly summarize the organization and timing of an isolation experiment (Section 6), as well as the available collections (Section 7). Bear in mind that this chapter is strongly focused towards the isolation of Caenorhabditis elegans and close relatives.

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