Project Search

sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

Expression Profiles of Cells and Tissues in C. elegans

  • Project Leaders: David Baillie
  • Institutions: Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Budget: $10736773
  • Program/Competition: Large Scale Competitions
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome Canada
  • Status: Closed

The nematode C. elegans is a powerful research tool to investigate fundamental questions about biology. It was the first multicellular organism for which a complete DNA sequence was known and it is also the only multicellular organism that has a complete cell lineage map beginning from a single cell embryo to the adult. Humans share approximately 7000 genes with C. elegans, which when dysfunctional in humans, lead to inherited diseases, susceptibility to cancers, or other health concerns. The first and the third project worked to obtain targeted mutations (knockouts) in thousands of the C. elegans genes shared with humans or unique to C. elegans (for nematicide development). Over 9,000 deletion mutation genes, which were almost half of all Open Reading Frames in the nematode genome and twice the size of yeast genome knock out projects, as well as all the mutation strains were made available to researchers and led to over 1,100 research articles. These two projects also sped up sequencing technology in C. elegans research (PCR to CGH to WGC) and leveraged two follow-on funding from CIHR and NHGRI. The second project described the gene expression and protein network profiles in C. elegans. By discovering the function of genes in the worm and where they impact cellular processes, these projects helped to develop a better understanding of how the equivalent genes function in humans.