Worm Breeder's Gazette 14(5): 4 (February 1, 1997)

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.

Request for Species Lists

David Fitch

Department of Biology New York University Room 1009 Main Building 100 Washington Square East New York, NY 10003

Two years ago, I compiled a small database of nematode strains of species both closely and distantly related to C. elegans. I distributed a report from this database (Worm Systematics Resource Net) at the Systematics Workshop at the 1995 C. elegans meeting in Wisconsin. This report listed strains (with relevant information) both by lab and within a taxonomic hierarchy. To make the database, lists of strains were generously provided by various labs willing to make these stocks available to the general worm community (and in some cases to the general scientific or educational community). This year, I would like to distribute an updated version at the 1997 meeting and put out an Internet version as well.

The main purpose of the database is to provide a quick way of locating living stocks of particular nematode species for use in such work as systematics (phylogenetics and hybridization tests) and comparative biological studies (e.g., comparative development or molecular comparisons). But there are several other benefits offered by such a database (e.g., it provides a rough survey of rhabditid diversity that could be adapted for use in undergraduate biology courses).

If you are willing to share your non-elegans strains, please send me a strain list with the following information for each strain:

Also please include your lab address, phone, fax, e-mail, and any notes regarding the conditions (if any) under which strains will be made available.

Many thanks!

Footnote regarding strain nomenclature-At the Systematics Workshop in 1995, a nomenclatural standard was adopted based on the guidelines written by Emmons, Leroi and Fitch, 1994, WBG 13(4):32. According to these guidelines, strains should be designated with a standard CGC designation (e.g., EM434) that is unique and uniquely applied (i.e., synonyms should be avoided wherever possible) by the collecting laboratory (one registered with the CGC). Different strain designations should be assigned to separate wild isolations (from different places, or from the same place but at different times), but not to each replating (e.g., if sent to another lab). Species names should not be assigned unless they have been published in conjunction with a description or taxonomic act, or if such is in press. (Note that this is why strain names are so important for this group of organisms--strain designations can be used unambiguously, regardless of whether the species has been identified or suffers subsequent taxonomic revision!)