Only 8% of the 18,967 genes in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome have been extensively studied using biochemistry or genetics. In the January 2 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jiang et al. constructed microarrays with nearly every C. elegans gene to profile expression throughout development (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:218-223). They compared gene expression in six developmental stages from eggs to adult worms. Around two thirds of genes were found to vary during development. Defining temporal patterns of gene expression may indicate pathways of proteins that act together at specific developmental stages. Jiang et al. also analysed sex-regulated genes by comparing male and hermaphrodite worms. They identified 2,171 genes which are responsible for the differences between the sexes.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Supplementary data to PNAS 2001, 98:219-223