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Project title

Developing A Toolbox for studying pharyngeal neurons

short summary

Worms have 20 pharyngeal neurons. But fluorescent labeling individual and all pharengeal neurons is hindered in the community. This also holds true for using optogenetic tools to activate/inactivate individual pharyngeal neurons. Achieving this will be helpful to the understanding of their roles in foraging at both systematic level and single neuron level.
In addition, the gap junction between I1 and RIP forms the only anatomical connection between pharynx and extrapharynx organs. It will be important to know the role of this communication in controling foraging. However, it remains as a bottleneck to abolish this gap junction. Another fold of this project is to develop a genetic tool to achieve this goal.

Parameters Estimates
Estimated time 1 year
Audience Worm community
Topic Methods & Tech


To understand the role of pharyngeal neurons in controling foraging, we need to develop a toolbox to label/visualize the neurons.


1: To label all pharyngeal neurons with GCamP, and individual neurons with fluorescent marker (including GCamP) and optogenetic tool. 2: And to abolish the gap junction between I1/RIP.


Literature search to find suitable promoters for labeling all and individual pharyngeal neurons.

Best possible outcome/result

To label all pharyngeal neurons with GCamP that allows us to understand how individual neurons are controled during foraging.
To label all individual pharyngeal neurons that allows us to record them during foraging. To activate/inactivate pharyngeal neurons using optogenetic tools to study the effect. To study the effect when the gap junction between I1/RIP is abolished.

Required technology

Molecular cloning; microinjection; microscopic observation.

New dependencies
Theory/ analysis aspects
Experimental aspects
wiki/documentation/projectsummaries/pharynxtoolbox.txt · Last modified: 2020/01/14 03:04 by jliu