Classroom Explorations: Characteristics of Life
Introduction: C. Elegans
The tiny nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, shares many biological structures and processes with more complex organisms (such as humans). This, along with its short time to reproductive maturity (2–3 days), a two-week life span, and our detailed knowledge of its genetics and the function of each of its 959 cells, make C. elegans the organism of choice for scientists studying topics from aging to the working of the nervous system.
C. elegans were grown on an agarose plate covered with a lawn of bacteria (a food source). The movie was taken on an upright dissecting microscope using a 5x objective and digital camera.