Optogenetics in Caenorhabditis Elegans

Yuki Tsukada, Ikue Mori

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


With a compact neural circuit consisting of entirely mapped 302 neurons, Caenorhabditis elegans plays an important role in the development and application of optogenetics. Application of optogenetics in C. elegans accelerates the studies of neural circuits by offering the tools that drastically change experimental designs with increasing accessibility for neural activity. Combination with a different approach, such as electrophysiology, expands the potential of both optogenetics and other approaches by increasing resolution of elucidation. Moreover, the technologies specifically developed in combination with optogenetics, such as patterned illumination, provide new tools to interrogate neural functions. In this chapter, we first introduce the reasons to use optogenetics in C. elegans studies, and discuss the technical issues of optogenetics, especially for C. elegans. We then review early and recent milestone works using optogenetics to investigate neural and behavioral mechanisms. Note that, in this chapter, the term ‘optogenetics’ includes both imaging with fluorescence probes and neural activity manipulation using opsins.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptogenetics
Subtitle of host publicationLight-Sensing Proteins and their Applications
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9784431555162
ISBN (Print)9784431555155
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral analysis
  • C. elegans
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Neural circuit
  • Patterned illumination
  • Photo-electrophysiology
  • Tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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