Behm Group - Nematode molecular biology

Nematode worms (roundworms) are among the most common animals on earth, but they are generally not noticed because most nematodes are tiny - 1mm or less in length - and live out of sight in the soil or, in some cases, inside other organisms. The majority of nematode species are free-living, but a small proportion have adopted the parasitic way of life and must complete their life cycle inside a host animal or plant. Nematodes play essential roles in all ecosystems, but they usually only come to our attention as parasites of humans, other animals, or plants.

During the last two decades a free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, has come to the attention of biologists as a useful 'model organism', one of a group of 'lab-friendly' organisms that biologists use to investigate basic processes in animals or plants. C. elegans is easy to grow and study in the lab and was the first animal to have its entire genome sequenced (1998).

Our group uses the powerful biological resources provided by C. elegans to study aspects of nematode biochemistry, molecular biology and behaviour, with the aim of applying this knowledge to investigating new control methods for nematode parasites of animals or plants.

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Selected publications

  • George, D.T. et al. (2014). "Shigella flexneri Infection in Caenorhabditis elegans: cytopathological examination and identification of host responses." PLos ONE 9(9), e106085.

  • George, D.T. et al. (2014). "The periplasmic enzyme, AnsB, of Shigella flexneri modulates bacterial adherence to host epithelial cells." PLos ONE 9(4), e94954.

  • Duan, G. et al. (2013). "C. elegans RNA-dependent RNA polymerases rrf-1 and ego-1 silence Drosophila transgenes by differing mechanisms." Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 70, 1469-1481.

  • Knight, A. J., Johnson, N. M. and Behm, C. A. (2012). VHA-19 is essential in Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes for embryogenesis and is involved in trafficking in oocytes. PLoS ONE, 7, e40317. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0040317

  • Zawadzki, J. L., Kotze, A. C., Fritz, J.-A., Johnson, N. M., Hemsworth, J. E., Hines, B. M. and Behm, C. A. (2012). Silencing of essential genes by RNA interference in Haemonchus contortus. Parasitology 139, 613-29.

  • Knight, A. K. and Behm, C. A. (2012). The role of the vacuolar ATPase in nematodes. Experimental Parasitology 132, 47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2011.09.004
  • Hayward, D.C., et al. (2011) Differential gene expression at coral settlement and metamorphosis - a subtractive hybridization study. PLoS ONE 6, e26411.
  • Hetherington, S., C. Gally, J.-A. Fritz, J. Polanowska, J. Reboul, Y. Schwab, H. Zahreddine, C. Behm and M. Labouesse (2011). PAT-12, a potential anti-nematode target, is a novel spectraplakin partner essential for C. elegans hemidesmosome integrity and embryonic morphogenesis. Developmental Biology350(2): 267-278.
  • Ponton, F., Lalubin, F., Fromont, C., Wilson, K., Behm, C., Simpson, S.J. (2011) Hosts use altered macronutrient intake to circumvent parasite-induced reduction in fecundity. International Journal for Parasitology 41(1), 43-50.
  • Hassan, S., Behm, C.A., Mathesius, U. (2010) Effectors of plant parasitic nematodes that re-program root cell development. Functional Plant Biology 37, 933-942.
  • Duan, G., R. Saint, C. A. Helliwell, C. A. Behm, P. M. Waterhouse and K. H. J. Gordon (2010) Expression of Caenorhabditis elegans RNA-directed RNA polymerase in transgenic Drosophila melanogaster does not affect morphological development. Transgenic Research 19 (6), 1121-1128.
  • Fritz, J.-A. and C. A. Behm (2009). "CUTI-1: a novel tetraspan protein involved in C. elegans CUTicle formation and epithelial Integrity." PLoS ONE 4(4), e5117.
  • Johnson, N.M., Fritz, J.-A. and Behm, C.A. (2008) RNA interference in Caenorhabditis elegans. In: RNA Interference: Methods for Plants and Animals (Doran, T. and Helliwell, C., Eds) CAB International Wallingford, UK.
  • Grant, W.N. and Behm, C.A. (2007) Target identification and validation for anthelmintic discovery. Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery 2 (S1), S91-S98.
  • Johnson, N.M., Behm, C.A. and Trowell, S.C. (2005) Heritable and inducible gene knockdown in C. elegans using Wormgate and the ORFeome. Gene 359, 26-34.
  • Behm, C.A., Bendig, M.M., McCarter, J.P. and Sluder, A.E. (2005) RNA interference-based discovery and validation of new drug targets in filarial nematodes. Trends in Parasitology 21 (3), 97-100.
  • Pellerone, F.I., Archer, S.K., Behm, C.A., Grant, W.N., Lacey, M.J. and Somerville, A.C. (2003) Trehalose metabolism genes in Caenorhabditis elegans and filarial nematodes. International Journal for Parasitology 33, 1195-1206.
  • Behm, C.A. (2002) Metabolism. In: The Biology of Nematodes (Lee, D.L., Ed) Taylor & Francis: London pp. 261-290.
  • Behm, C.A. (1997) The role of trehalose in the physiology of nematodes. International Journal for Parasitology 27, 215-229.

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