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Methods Cell Biol. 2011;106:377-412. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-544172-8.00014-1.

Imaging embryonic morphogenesis in C. elegans.

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Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


The Caenorhabditis elegans embryo is well suited to morphogenetic analysis via modern microscopy, due to its short generation time, transparency, invariant lineage, and the ability to generate transgenic embryos expressing various fluorescent proteins. This chapter provides an overview of microscopy techniques for imaging embryonic morphogenesis, including making agar mounts, capturing four-dimensional (4D) data using Nomarski microscopy, imaging of actin in embryos, factors important for optimizing 4D fluorescence microscopy, and recent techniques that leverage fluorescence microscopy for intracellular imaging of cellular components during morphogenesis.

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