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Tracking Germline Stem Cell Dynamics In Vivo in C. elegans Using Photoconversion

  • Simona Rosu
  • Orna Cohen-FixEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series


The maintenance of many adult tissues depends on stem cell systems, which must balance proliferation and differentiation. To understand the properties of adult stem cell systems, one powerful tool is visualization of the cell dynamics in vivo. Here we describe a protocol to track cells in the germline progenitor zone (which includes germline stem cells) in live C. elegans adult worms. Tracking is achieved by using a genetically encoded photoconvertible fluorescent protein, where photoconversion is used to mark cells of interest and their descendants. Individual worms are immobilized, the cells of interest are selected for photoconversion, and the worms are then recovered to plates and imaged at later timepoints. This allows longitudinal studies of individual worms, providing valuable information regarding germline stem cell dynamics.


Germline Stem cells Photoconversion Proliferation C. elegans Lineage tracing Live imaging 



The authors were supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Graduate SchoolSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.The Laboratory of Cell and Molecular BiologyNational Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.9000 Rockville Pike, Building 8 Room 319BethesdaUSA

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