Worm Breeder's Gazette 4(1): 17a
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.
Whilst looking for mycoplasmal contamination of supposedly axenic cultures of C. briggsae and C. elegans, I have examined a few worms with the fluorescent compound DAPI (4 -6 -diamidino-2-phenylindole) which specifically binds to DNA. As a result, all cell nuclei ( somatic, gonadal and embryonical cell nuclei in the eggs) were seen as brightly fluorescing spots on a dark background. Mycoplasmal infection within the cells, if any, would be hardly detectable among the crowded highly fluorescing nuclei. Experiments are in progress to detect mycoplasms (and other possible benign contaminants, e.g., slow growing bacteria) in the culture medium. Nematodes were fixed with Carnoy s fixative (3:1 methanol/glacial acetic acid), stained with DAPI (0.2 g/ml in the salt base of CbMM medium) for approximately 30 minutes and examined using the appropriate exciter and barrier filter system (Russell, et. al., Nature 253, 461, 1975).