Worm Breeder's Gazette 1(2): 6

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

A Method for Obtaining Eggs in Early Cleavage Stages from the Nematode, C. elegans

D.L. Baillie, D.G. Moerman

In a routine screen for chemicals having an effect on the behavior 
of C.  elegans we came across a drug which may be useful to workers 
wishing to obtain eggs in early cleavage stages separated from the 
adult worm.  The drug is Avitrol, 4-amino-pyrimidine.  This chemical 
is used locally as an avicide (a misnomer - it does not kill the birds 
but instead causes them to give distress calls and thus inhibits the 
flocking behavior of the more gregarious species).
At a concentration of 10mg/ml, Avitrol elicits a state of rigid 
paralysis along with a tremor in the nematode.  As well, it causes the 
worm to abort many of its fertilized eggs.  Eggs aborted are in 
various developmental stages.  The eggs are not dumped en masse but 
sporadically,usually one at a time.  Despite being released 
prematurely the majority of the eggs, i.e., more than 80%, seem to 
develop in a normal manner.  The adults also seem to recover from the 
effects of the Avitrol.
The procedure we use is quite simple.  We take half a dozen gravid 
worms and add them to 20 l of Avitrol in a microscope slide well.  In 
approximately 5 minutes the worms commence to expel their eggs.  We 
usually leave them for a total of 20 minutes; at which time the adults 
and eggs are removed from the drug and replated.  Unfortunately, the 
mode of action of Avitrol is not known.  Those interested can obtain 
the drug commercially from ICN, K&K, Hollywood, California.
We wish to thank Dr.  Peter Belton for his generous gift of the