Institute of Medical Psychology

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Clock in the Worm

Project Leader: Mirjam Geibel, PhD.

The nematode, C. elegans, is famous for the fact that the intercellular connections of all cells are known (the wiring diagram) as well as the developmental plan of each of the 959 cells. This was the first animal genome to be sequenced and consequently, there are abundant genomics tools available to all of us.

We have the goal to bring this model genetic organism into the circadian toolkit because we want to study the effects of intercellular coupling and small cell networks on circadian timing. To that end, we have established a novel protocol that invokes the normal ecology of this animal. As a result, we have discovered a catalog of high amplitude molecular rhythms and also rhythms in behavior.