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Neurosci Lett. 2013 Aug 26;548:261-4. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2013.05.053. Epub 2013 Jun 4.

A method for selective ablation of neurons in C. elegans using the phototoxic fluorescent protein, KillerRed.

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Center for Biosciences and Informatics, School of Fundamental Sciences and Technology, Keio University, 3-14-1 Hiyoshi, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.


Specific neuron ablation with laser microbeam has been used in behavioral analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans. However, this method is hard to acquire many ablated worms, and is unable to compare behavioral changes just before and after ablation. Here, we developed an ablation method by using genetically encoded photosensitizer protein, KillerRed, which produces reactive oxygen species by green light irradiation. Ablation of AWA sensory neurons abolished the chemotaxis to AWA specific sensitive attractant, diacetyl, and no functional effect on the other sensory neuron, AWC, which senses benzaldehyde. This ablation method can be useful for analyzing neural in situ.


C. elegans; Chemosensation; KillerRed; Neural dynamics; Photo-inactivation; Reactive oxygen species

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