Multicellular Organization Laboratory

C. elegans


During development of multicellular organisms, cells continue to divide to produce a variety of cell types. In these processes, cell lineage (timing, number and orientation of cell divisions as well as fates of cells generated by divisions) are tightly controlled. In vertebrate, however, detailed analyses of such processes in vivo are technically difficult. In the nematode C. elegans, we can easily analyze cell lineages in living animals, because the animals are transparent and can develop on slide glasses. Complete cell lineage from a zygote to an adult has been determined and nearly invariant between animals.  Using C. elegans as a model organism, we will clarify universal mechanisms for specification of cell lineages.

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Cell lineage and

C. elegans

A DIC image of C. elegansAll cells have their unique names and it is know how they are produced.