Large-scale sorting of C. elegans embryos reveals the dynamics of small RNA expression.

Stoeckius M, Maaskola J, Colombo T, Rahn HP, Friedländer MR, Li N, Chen W, Piano F, Rajewsky N

Nat. Methods 6 (10) 745-751 [2009-10-00; online 2009-09-06]

Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most prominent model systems for embryogenesis, but collecting many precisely staged embryos has been impractical. Thus, early C. elegans embryogenesis has not been amenable to most high-throughput genomics or biochemistry assays. To overcome this problem, we devised a method to collect staged C. elegans embryos by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (eFACS). In a proof-of-principle experiment, we found that a single eFACS run routinely yielded tens of thousands of almost perfectly staged 1-cell stage embryos. As the earliest embryonic events are driven by posttranscriptional regulation, we combined eFACS with second-generation sequencing to profile the embryonic expression of small, noncoding RNAs. We discovered complex and orchestrated changes in the expression between and within almost all classes of small RNAs, including microRNAs and 26G-RNAs, during embryogenesis.

Marc Friedländer

SciLifeLab Fellow

PubMed 19734907

DOI 10.1038/nmeth.1370

Crossref 10.1038/nmeth.1370

pii: nmeth.1370
pmc: PMC2756031
mid: NIHMS138678

Publications 9.5.0