Caenorhibditis Elegans Essay

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The next animal model for research is Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). C. elegans as a model organism for research in developmental biology is introduced by Sydney Brenner (Wood, 1988). Hope’s study that “Caenorhabditis elegans is a saprophytic nematode species that has often born described as inhabiting soil and leaf-litter environments in many parts of the world” (as cited in Leung et al., 2008, p. 5). According to Leung et al. (2008), the genetic manipulability, invariant and fully described developmental program, well-characterized genome, ease of maintenance, short and prolific life cycle and small body size are the characteristics of this animal that have contributed to its success in various fields including neurobiology, developmental biology and genetics.
There are few advantages that can be acquired for using the C. elegans to do some research. First, C. elegans has a short period of life cycle. Well, in short term it can be completed in a petri dish and relatively few cell types because it has a rapid period of embryogenesis which is about 16 hours. Moreover, C elegans is a hermaphrodite organism when it is in predominant adult form which means that it has both male and female reproductive organs in each individual to produce both egg and sperms. So, these nematode roundworms can reproduce either by self-fertilization or by cross-fertilization to form a new organism (Gilbert, 2010). Next, it is used because its simplicity gives a huge advantage in some research. Adams (2008) mentioned that model organisms liked Caenorhabditis elegans is used as model organisms to research PKD genetics which is also known as Polycystic Kidney Disease. PKD is “a genetic disorder in human in which multiple fluid-filled sacs (cysts) grow in a kidney” (Adams, 2008). In Barr’s study, it is proved that the usage of C. elegans as a model organism to treat the disease have showed that the nematode proteins is related to human polycystins such as homologues mediate signaling in sensory neurons (as cited in Adams, 2008).
Moreover, the roundworm is small in size so it can be handled in large numbers. As stated in Artal-Sanz, Jong and Tavernarakis (2006) study, C. elegans in adult form is about 1 mm long and 80 µm in diameter. The small size of the C. elegans has increased the interest of some experts in researches such as for investigating the biological effects of drugs and identifying their molecular targets (Artal-Sanz, Jong and Tavernarakis, 2006). Furthermore, as mentioned by Artal-Sanz, Jong and Tavernarakis (2006), C. elegans has another feature that is attractive namely the transparency of the worm. The characteristic give a huge advantage since it is used to allow appropriate fluorescent...