If you are interested in setting up a C. elegans facility in your laboratory I would first suggest going through the following resources before making any decisions:
  • Wormbook – An open access online book on all things related to C. elegans.
  • WormBase – General information database related to C. elegans.
  • WormClassroom – Teachers resources related to C. elegans.
  • Wormatlas – Handbook on C. elegans anatomy.
Once you have read the above and made a conscious decision to set up a C. elegans facility, you will need to get worms and prepare for their stay at your lab. The following write up provides an overview of the process, please refer to Theresa Stiernagle's chapter on "Maintenance of C. elegans" in the Wormbook for a proper guide.


Getting your worms

The Caenorhabditis Genetics Center located at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA is the place to get them. They stock wild-type and a range of mutant worms for educational institutions to purchase for a nominal handling fee (with a prepaid Fedex or other major courier account). They have their order form online. Typical turn around time is a couple of weeks. While placing this order, you can also get a starter culture of E. coli

Preparing for the arrival of your worms

Ensure that you have the food and growth medium available, as well as sufficient petri plates to grow your worms. Worms require a temperature of around 22C for survival and an environment conducive to their growth.

Basic Equipment

At a bare minimum you'll need a suitable stereo microscope, glass pipettes, platinum wire, bunsen burner/spirit lamp, a 20-22 degree incubator and a hood or clean room to pour the plates on which you plan to grow the worms.These equipment will allow you to culture and view C. elegans.

Getting worms from our lab

We provide wild type worms and E. coli strains to academic labs within India that are interested in setting up a C. elegans facility. We offer the following delivery options:
  1. You have the option to visit our lab at a mutually convenient time to pick it up.
  2. We will send you a package through Speedpost.
  3. You can arrange for a courier pickup from our facility, with payment to the courier etc arranged directly by you.
For transporting conditions, please refer below.

Transporting your worms

If you collect worms from our lab (or any other) during summer, please make sure that they can be transported to your lab using an ice pack that will allow you to maintain the temperature at under 25 degs during the transport. If you wish to get the worms by mail, you will have to wait for the cooler months as the worms will die when temperatures reach higher than 25 degrees centigrade (e.g. in the back of a Courier truck during the months of April to September or in a post office etc). Remember that 20-30 minutes at temperatures above 30 degs could kill all the C. elegans.

If you wish to personally collect worms from our lab, please bring the following (in Summer):
  • A cold pack container -- a large food container that is insulated, a thermocol box, or an ice box.
  • Dry ice and/or ice packs to place inside the cold pack container -- to keep the temperature constant until you can get the worms to your 22 deg incubator.