Animal Systems Biology: Towards a Systems View of Development in C. elegans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans is the pre-eminent model for understanding animal development at a systems level. Embryonic development in particular has been studied intensively in C. elegans, and genes essential for early stages of embryogenesis and their specific phenotypes have been catalogued comprehensively. Combining these datasets with genome-scale studies of gene expression and protein-protein interaction leads to modular views of how genes and their products collaborate to control fundamental processes in early development. Studying groups of genes as functional modules allows the higher order relationships between different biological processes to be observed and suggests how different events during development are coordinated. Here, we review the systems-level approaches that have been used to study early development in C. elegans and how these are deepening our understanding of the complex molecular programmes underlying development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlant Systems Biology
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781444312249
ISBN (Print)9781405162838
StatePublished - Aug 18 2009


  • C. elegans
  • Development
  • Embryogenesis
  • Networks
  • Phenome
  • Systems biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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