Project by Asako Sugimoto's group
Large-scale analysis of gene function in Caenorhabditis elegans by high-throughput RNAi.
Ikuma Maeda1, Yuji Kohara2,3, Masayuki Yamamoto1, and Asako Sugimoto1,4
1Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, JAPAN.
2Genome Biology Lab, National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Shizuoka, 411-8540, JAPAN.
3CREST, Japan Science and Technology Corporation.
4PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Corporation.
Genome-wide analysis of gene function is essential for the post-genome era,
and development of efficient and economical technology suitable for it has
been in demand. Here we report a large-scale inactivation of the expressed
genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. For this purpose, we have
established a high-throughput "RNAi by soaking" methodology by modifying the
conventional RNAi method. A set of tag-sequenced non-redundant cDNAs
corresponding to approximately 10,000 genes (representing half of the
predicted genes) was used for the systematic RNAi analysis. We processed
approximately 2,500 genes to date. 28% of them showed detectable phenotypes
in development, such as embryonic lethality, post-embryonic lethality,
sterility, and morphological abnormality. Of these, we analyzed the
phenotypes of F1 sterility in detail, and we have identified 24 genes that
might play important roles in germline development. Combined with the
ongoing analysis of expression patterns of these cDNAs, the functional
information obtained in this work will provide a starting point for further
analysis of each gene. Another finding from this screening is that, the
incident of essential genes is significantly lower in the X chromosome than
in the autosomes.