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October, 2006
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Self-Fertilization: The fusion of a male gamete with a female gamete from the same individual animal or plant.

An Introduction to Caenorhabditis elegans

JoVE 5103

Caenorhabditis elegans is a microscopic, soil-dwelling roundworm that has been powerfully used as a model organism since the early 1970"s. It was initially proposed as a model for developmental biology because of its invariant body plan, ease of genetic manipulation and low cost of maintenance. Since then C. elegans has rapidly grown in popularity and is now utilized in numerous research endeavors, from studying the forces at work during locomotion to studies of neural circuitry. This video provides an overview of basic C. elegans biology, a timeline of the many milestones in its short but storied history, and finally a few exciting applications using C. elegans as a model organism.

 Biology I

C. elegans Development and Reproduction

JoVE 5110

Ceanorhabditis elegans is a powerful tool to help understand how organisms develop from a single cell into a vast interconnected array of functioning tissues. Early work in C. elegans traced the complete cell lineage and structure at the electron microscopy level, allowing researchers unprecedented insight into the connection between genes, development and disease. Appreciating the stereotyped development and reproductive program of C. elegans is essential to using this model organism to its experimental fullest. This video will give you a peek into the development of a worm from fertilization to hatching, and walk you though the life stages of the newly hatched larvae on its journey to reproductive maturity. The video will detail how the major axes are established, which founder cells give rise to what tissues in the developing embryo and how to discriminate between the four larval stages. Finally, you will learn how to set up a genetic cross and we"ll visit a few applications that manipulate the development and reproduction of C. elegans to experimental benefit.

 Biology I

Genetic Crosses

JoVE 5541

To dissect genetic processes or create organisms with novel suites of traits, scientists can perform genetic crosses, or the purposeful mating of two organisms. The recombination of parental genetic material in the offspring allows researchers to deduce the functions, interactions, and locations of genes.

This video will examine how genetic crosses were influential in developing Mendel's three laws of inheritance, which form the basis of our understanding of genetics. One genetic crossing technique that was first developed for single-celled organisms such as yeast, known as tetrad analysis, will then be presented in detail, followed by some examples of how this classical tool is used in genetic studies today.


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