Worm Breeder's Gazette 10(2): 101

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.

Worms Transformed with an act-4/lacZ Gene

Steven Stone and Jocelyn Shaw

We have obtained a line of worms that carry an unstable (presumed 
extrachromosomal) array of a plasmid containing the act-4 5' and 3' 
regions fused to the E. coli lacZ coding region.  The transformed 
animals were originally detected by DNA dot blot hybridization and we 
are now characterizing their expression of  -galactosidase.  
Preliminary experiments show that embryos, larvae and adults all 
express  -galactosidase.  Although tissue specificity of expression 
has not been accurately determined yet, it appears that many tissues 
in the adult express the enzyme.  We have been attempting to use the 
transformants ability to cleave X-Gal and turn blue as a possible 
screen to recognize worms expressing  -galactosidase.  Worms are 
permeabilized in the presence of X-Gal and are screened under the 
dissecting scope with reflected light.  Non-transformed animals remain 
clear under these conditions, but a fraction of the transformed 
animals stain blue.  Progeny from the blue worms contain the foreign 
DNA as assayed by DNA dot blot.  We are now trying to improve the 
permeabilization and staining procedure to get a more reliable screen 
for the transformed animals.