The C. elegans male tail is being studied as a model to understand how genes specify the form of multicellular animals. Morphogenesis of the specialized male copulatory organ takes place in the last larval stages during male development. Genetic analysis is facilitated because the structure is not necessary for male viability or for strain propagation. Analysis of developmental mutants, isolated in several functional and morphological screens, has begun to reveal how fates of cells are determined in the cell lineages, and how the specification of cell fates affects the morphology of the structure. Cytological studies in wild type and in mutants have been used to study the mechanism of pattern formation in the tail peripheral nervous system. The ultimate goal is to define the entire pathway leading to the male copulatory organ.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)