Worm Breeder's Gazette 14(3): 24 (June 1, 1996)

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.

New news on new giant C. elegans worms

Einhard Schierenberg

University of Cologne, 50923 Cologne, Germany

Some time ago we reported on the generation of giant nematode worms 
after laser-induced fusion of oocytes (Irle & Schierenberg, WBG 
Recently I performed a new series of fusion experiments leading to an 
even higher yield of hatching giants. From 36 fusions of two adjacent 
oocytes 22 L1s hatched. 
Ten of them were allowed to develop into giant adults and to 
reproduce. The majority of these was fertile but produced less than 
100 offspring. For observed defects, see our previous WBG report. 
To determine whether increased size results in higher than normal 
cell numbers, 3 morphogenesis stages of giant eggs were squashed, 
fixed and DAPI-stained according to the method of Gossett and Hecht 
(J. Histochem. Cytochem. 28, 507-510, 1980). The counted cell numbers 
equalled those in normal eggs. 
3 L1s and 5 adults were fixed and DAPI-stained and their cell numbers 
were estimated. No significant difference to normal specimens was 
detected. Nuclei of the ventral cord were counted as 15 in the L1s 
and about 70 in adults. 18-20 gut cell nuclei were present in L1s and 
33 or 34 in adults. These numbers are the same as in regular animals. 
In summary, our data indicate that the number of cells does not 
increase with body size and is apparently controlled independent of 
this parameter.