Nematodes, Neurobiology and Development of
Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine
How to Cite
Brooks, D. R., Hope, I. A. and Isaac, R. E. 2006. Nematodes, Neurobiology and Development of. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine.
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Nematodes are ubiquitous roundworms. Many species are parasitic, causing immense economic damage to crops and livestock. Around a third of the world's population suffer from nematode infections.
The free-living Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model for the study of nematode biology, including animal development and behavior, as recognized by the award of the Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2002) to Sydney Brenner, John Sulston, and Robert Horvitz, eminent biologists who pioneered this research field. Caenorhabditis elegans is amenable to classical genetic analysis, allowing large numbers of genes required for normal development and behavior to be identified by generating mutations. A scientific landmark was accomplished in 1998 with the publication of the entire genome of C. elegans, demonstrating that the complete sequencing of the much larger human genetic code was technically feasible. The primary repository of all C. elegans physical and genetic data is Wormbase (www.wormbase.org). The draft genome of the closely related C. briggsae has recently been published, and efforts are ongoing to sequence the genome of the filarial parasite Brugia malayi. These genome sequences, together with numerous nematode expressed sequence tag (EST) projects from animal and plant parasites (www.nematode.net and www.nematodes.org), and the integrated physical and genetic map of the free-living marine nematode Pristionchus pacificus, will allow a more detailed understanding of the biology of the Nematoda. Such studies will present opportunities for the design of novel strategies for the control and therapy of parasitic nematodes.
Keywords: Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs); Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP); Microarray; MicroRNAs; Neuropeptides; RNA Interference (RNAi)