Connectivity in the Nematode Nervous System

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): A new computer-aided system will be
developed for the serial section reconstruction of the nematode nervous system
from electron micrographs. By enabling fast and accurate reconstructions, this
system will make it possible to compare the exact wiring of individual animals,
at different stages of development, between the two sexes, and in behavioral
mutants from this model organism. New techniques and methods will be designed
and tested for the handling of all data in digital format subsequent to
electron microscopy. Digitized data will allow development of computer assisted
approaches to marking cell profiles in electron microscopic images and
reconstructing the cell shapes, synaptic relationships, and complete wiring
diagrams. Three dimensional information on axon position, axon size,
trajectory, and synaptic relationships will be stored in a SAS dataset for each
traced neuron from sectional data. This will allow the conversion and display
of sectional data into 3D rendered objects for comparison with GFP-labeled
cells. Raw data and processed 3D data will be shared with the C. elegans
community on a website and on CDs. The project will be coordinated at the
Center for C. elegans Anatomy, an NCRR-funded resource which provides TEM
expertise to the community.

The synaptic wiring of the 100 neurons of the adult male tail, including the
preanal ganglion and the lumbar ganglia, will be compared in two animals in
serial sections, as well as through comparisons with GFP-labeled neurons. This
portion of the nematode nervous system has never been adequately reconstructed
previously. The preanal ganglion circuitry provides a unique opportunity to
explore the development and function of a defined set of synapses during
postembryonic life in a system which is not essential for survival in this
hermaphroditic species.
Effective start/end date4/10/013/31/04


  • Signal Processing


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