European Commission 6th Framework Programme STREP Consortium


Project summary


Full Title: Nematode Gene-Tagging Tools and Resources

Acronym: NemaGENETAG

Research topic: LSH-2002-1.1.0-1 Specific Targeted Research Project in the area of Fundamental Knowledge and Basic Tools for Functional Genomics in all Organisms



The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a widely appreciated, powerful platform in which to study important biological mechanisms related to human health. More than 65% of human disease genes have homologues in the C. elegans genome, and essential aspects of mammalian cell biology, neurobiology and development are faithfully recapitulated in this organism. We propose to develop cutting-edge tools and resources that will facilitate modeling of human pathologies in C. elegans, and advance our understanding of animal development and physiology. Specifically, we will optimize and automate existing transposon-mediated mutagenesis methodologies based on the Mos1 transposable element, in addition to developing alternatives using the Minos transposon system. We will exploit these tools to generate and evaluate a collection of transposon-tagged mutants, aiming to cover the complete genome of approximately 20,000 genes. Further, we will establish the infrastructure necessary for managing and maintaining this resource. To achieve these goals, we have assembled a group of experts with pioneering contributions to transposon and genomics technologies in C. elegans, who are also exceptionally proficient in the biology of the nematode. The final product of our focused project—a comprehensive collection of transposon-tagged alleles—together with the acquisition of efficient transposon-based tools for mutagenesis and transgenesis in C. elegans, should be of great value to the European and international scientific community. Our efforts will strengthen European research in the strategic area of functional genomics and yield a wealth of information on gene function, immediately relevant to pharmaceutical R&D.