A method for culturing embryonic C. elegans cells

Rachele Sangaletti, Laura Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


C. elegans is a powerful model system, in which genetic and molecular techniques are easily applicable. Until recently though, techniques that require direct access to cells and isolation of specific cell types, could not be applied in C. elegans. This limitation was due to the fact that tissues are confined within a pressurized cuticle which is not easily digested by treatment with enzymes and/or detergents. Based on early pioneer work by Laird Bloom, Christensen and colleagues 1 developed a robust method for culturing C. elegans embryonic cells in large scale. Eggs are isolated from gravid adults by treatment with bleach/NaOH and subsequently treated with chitinase to remove the eggshells. Embryonic cells are then dissociated by manual pipetting and plated onto substrate-covered glass in serum-enriched media. Within 24 hr of isolation cells begin to differentiate by changing morphology and by expressing cell specific markers. C. elegans cells cultured using this method survive for up 2 weeks in vitro and have been used for electrophysiological, immunochemical, and imaging analyses as well as they have been sorted and used for microarray profiling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere50649
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number79
StatePublished - Sep 21 2013


  • Biological phenomena
  • C. elegans
  • Cell culture
  • Cell physiological phenomena
  • Developmental biology
  • Embryonic cells
  • Eukaryota
  • Issue 79

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A method for culturing embryonic C. elegans cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this