The benefits of using Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model organism are diverse. Its development follows a program that is consistent from one individual to another, and is well known. This knowledge is particularly useful for studying the mechanisms of cell differentiation.
Also, the number of cells that die during development is precisely defined, making it easier to study the mechanisms involved in apoptosis. The endogamic nature of C. elegans through self-fertilization and the possibility of crossing hermaphrodites with males offers an advantage previously reserved for the plant reproductive system. Moreover, the strains are easy to breed and maintain over the long term.
C. elegans is also one of the most basic organisms with a nervous system, allowing easy study of this system. Finally, its transparent body facilitates the study of cell development and differentiation, which are similar to that of vertebrates.
Breeding season: all year round.
Lifecycle: at 22°C, approx. 55 hours between egg and adult.
Two sexes: male and hermaphrodite.
Hermaphrodites can reproduce with males or self-fertilize.