Medical Definition of C. elegans genome

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

C. elegans genome: All of the genetic information contained in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans).

The genomes of particular nonhuman organisms such as C. elegans have been studied for a number of reasons including the need to improve sequencing and analysis techniques. These nonhuman genomes also provide powerful sets of data against which to compare the human genome.

For example, human genes that contribute to Alzheimer's disease and colon cancer have counterpart genes in C. elegans. And at least 100 genes that regulate human fat metabolism have counterpart genes in C. elegans.

The C. elegans genome contains 97 million base pairs and is estimated to have 19,099 genes. The sequencing of this genome was completed in 1998.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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