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.
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 Avitrol.