Dissection of genetic pathways in C. elegans.
With unique genetic and cell biological strengths, C. elegans has emerged as a powerful model system for studying many biological processes. These processes are typically regulated by complex genetic networks consisting of genes. Identifying those genes and organizing them into genetic pathways are two major steps toward understanding the mechanisms that regulate biological events. Forward genetic screens with various designs are a traditional approach for identifying candidate genes. The completion of the genome sequencing in C. elegans and the advent of high-throughput experimental techniques have led to the development of two additional powerful approaches: functional genomics and systems biology. Genes that are discovered by these approaches can be ordered into interacting pathways through a variety of strategies, involving genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, and functional genomics, to gain a more complete understanding of how gene regulatory networks control a particular biological process. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the approaches available to identify and construct the genetic pathways using C. elegans.
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