Worm Breeder's Gazette 8(3): 78

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.

Mitochondrial DNA or How to Date a Worm

K. McNeil, A.M. Rose

A strain of C.  isolated from the Kitsilano 
district of Vancouver by our colleague Fred Dill.  Kitsilano derives 
its name from the North American Indian tribe.  This strain is a self-
breeding hermaphrodite and when N2 males are crossed with Kitsilano 
hermaphrodites, fertile males and hermaphrodites are produced.  When 
grown on Petri plates in the laboratory, Kitsilano individuals have an 
'unhealthy' appearance and a longer developmental time than N2.  This 
strain produces a large number of morphological variants (paralyzed 
and dumpy worms) that do not breed true.  After treatment with 0.01 M 
EMS, an F2 individual was recovered which has an N2-like appearance 
and growth rate.  Thus we have two Kitsilano lines, the original and 
the modified (Kits M).
On genomic blot-hybridizations, Kitsilano has an N2-like Tc1 pattern 
with a couple of altered Tc1 fragments.  We have now prepared 
mitochrondria from the N2 strain, and are in the process of comparing 
the mitochrondrial DNA restriction patterns of the N2, BO and Kits 
strains.  We hope to be able to estimate the time of evolutionary 
divergence of C.  elegans strains.  This may tell us if Kitsilano 
arrived in Vancouver in 1973 (with David Baillie from Cambridge) or is 
a truly Canadian strain of C.  elegans (eh?).