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Genetics. 2001 Mar;157(3):1217-26.

Creation of low-copy integrated transgenic lines in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


In Caenorhabditis elegans, transgenic lines are typically created by injecting DNA into the hermaphrodite germline to form multicopy extrachromosomal DNA arrays. This technique is a reliable means of expressing transgenes in C. elegans, but its use has limitations. Because extrachromosomal arrays are semistable, only a fraction of the animals in a transgenic extrachromosomal array line are transformed. In addition, because extrachromosomal arrays can contain hundreds of copies of the transforming DNA, transgenes may be overexpressed, misexpressed, or silenced. We have developed an alternative method for C. elegans transformation, using microparticle bombardment, that produces single- and low-copy chromosomal insertions. Using this method, we find that it is possible to create integrated transgenic lines that reproducibly express GFP reporter constructs without the variations in expression level and pattern frequently exhibited by extrachromosomal array lines. In addition, we find that low-copy integrated lines can also be used to express transgenes in the C. elegans germline, where conventional extrachromosomal arrays typically fail to express due to germline silencing.

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