Culture and Assay of Large-Scale Mixed-Stage Caenorhabditis elegans Populations

Amanda O. Shaver, Goncalo J. Gouveia, Pamela S. Kirby, Erik C. Andersen, Arthur S. Edison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has been and remains a valuable model organism to study developmental biology, aging, neurobiology, and genetics. The large body of work on C. elegans makes it an ideal candidate to integrate into large-population, whole-animal studies to dissect the complex biological components and their relationships with another organism. In order to use C. elegans in collaborative -omics research, a method is needed to generate large populations of animals where a single sample can be split and assayed across diverse platforms for comparative analyses. Here, a method to culture and collect an abundant mixed-stage C. elegans population on a large-scale culture plate (LSCP) and subsequent phenotypic data is presented. This pipeline yields sufficient numbers of animals to collect phenotypic and population data, along with any data needed for -omics experiments (i.e., genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics). In addition, the LSCP method requires minimal manipulation to the animals themselves, less user preparation time, provides tight environmental control, and ensures that handling of each sample is consistent throughout the study for overall reproducibility. Lastly, methods to document population size and population distribution of C. elegans life stages in a given LSCP are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number171
StatePublished - May 5 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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