Results & Discussion
Of the Ten Plates Containing the F2 Generation of Worms:
- No mutants displaying the roller phenotype were found
- Not a phenomenon as ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) produces random mutations
- Team from the University of British Columbia discovered more than 1 million mutations resulting from EMS (Wormbook.org)
Mutant Phenotypes We Did Find:
1a) Uncoordinated (Unc) - erratic movement with frequent change of direction; head of worm moved, but its posterior remained anchored.
- Penetrance - Some early F3’s appeared to display phenotype of parent
- Affected Genes - muscle movement and neuronal processes
1b) Coiled (Unc) – Worm coils onto itself. When stimulated by pick, worm straightened temporarily then returned to coiled position.
- Penetrance – No F3’s detected
- Affected Genes - muscle development, neuronal processes
2) Long (Lon) – Mutant much longer than surrounding C. elegans on plate. Also appeared abnormally thin.
- Penetrance - F3’s observed in early stage of development (L1-L2); unclear whether progeny inherited mutation.
- Affected Genes - Associated with body length
3) Blister (Bli) – Mutant possessed a fluid-filled protrusion on its exterior cuticle halfway up its body.
- Penetrance - No F3’s detected; F2 specimen short-lived after plate transfer.
- Affected Genes - Involved in development of cuticle
4) Vulvaless (Vul) – Absence of vulva; leads to formation of “bag of worms."
- Penetrance - High percentage (no eggs were found on the plate)
- Affected Genes - Involved in formation of reproductive system
Follow-up Experiments (After Finding Roller Phenotype)
- Cross roller mutants with N2 wild-type worms to determine mode of inheritance and cross-over rate.
- Map/analyze mutated gene using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis.
- RNA Interference (RNAi) may also be employed. By introducing double-stranded RNA, specific gene of interest can be silenced to determine gene function.