Include strain names in publications!

We urge you to explicitly state strains used in your experiments to foster reproducibility and to help WormBase biocurators get your results into WormBase.

 Historically, C. elegans researchers just stated the alleles used, based on the reasonable idea that all strains were close to Brenner’s N2.  As the years and hundreds of worm generations passed, strains diverged.  We usually don’t know the full genotype of our strains (and really won’t even with whole genome sequencing since copy number variation is often hard to detect). Including strain names will greatly help sort out any background effects that are realized later.

 We thus would like to see editors and reviewers (both anonymous and within the laboratory) help enforce the inclusion of strain names in C. elegans papers.

-Paul Sternberg

Wondering how to cite WormBase?

If you are looking to cite WormBase please take a look at:–10. This can also be accessed from the Menu at the bottom of the WormBase home page on the extreme left, under WormBase–>How to cite.  Please do explicitly acknowledge WormBase in your published work when you have used it in the planning, design, execution, analysis, or reporting of the research described.  We can then search for these acknowledgements and use these numbers in various reports, eg. for funding agencies, etc.

Please specify allele and strain names in publications

WormBase curates data from published papers and attaches different types of data such as phenotype, overview, expression, human disease model, etc., to genetic entities such as genes, alleles, strains or transgenes. These are also bonafide  ‘objects’ in our database which allow us to attach data to them.  If we cannot find these named genetic entities in your paper it becomes extremely difficult for us to curate the paper.  It is not enough to just specify the amino acid or nucleic acid change of a mutation, we need either the strain or allele name to curate the paper.

Sir John Sulston

We mourn the passing of one of the founders of our field. John Sulston was personally responsible for establishing the use of C. elegans to study development – with his stunning determination of the entire embryonic cell lineage by direct observation – as well as obtaining a complete genome sequence. He was a mentor and role model for many of us in the field who had the opportunity to work with him or know him personally, and an inspiration for many others who only knew him through papers and oral history. He demonstrated that comprehensive and careful description can lead to fundamental, mechanistic insights into biology and genomes. John also exemplified being collegial, community-minded, intellectually rigorous, scientifically intense and personally friendly.

WormBase Release WS263

We would like to announce the availability of the WormBase WS263 release on the WormBase website and FTP.

Some of the highlights of this release are:

New Pristionchus Assembly and Gene Set

The new data made available through WormBase is described in “Single-Molecule Sequencing Reveals the Chromosome-Scale Genomic Architecture of the Nematode Model Organism Pristionchus pacificus by Christian Roedelsperger, et al. in Cell.

ID mapping was carried out to try and preserve the existing IDs. The published IDs were also incorporated into the database so that they are searchable on

New PantherDB data

the PantherDB orthology set included in WormBase has been updated to the latest version (13.0).

DNAseI hypersensitive Sites

We have created 42,728 Features with a Method=DNAseI_hypersensitive_site to mark DNase hypersensitivity sites found in C. elegans ’embryo’ and ‘L1 arrest’ life-stages in non-coding regions from the paper WBPaper00053259. These sites, together with Transcription Factor footprints, will be added to the tracks available in the genome browsers.

Genome Res. 2017 Dec;27(12):2108-2119. “Genome-wide discovery of active regulatory elements and transcription factor footprints in Caenorhabditis elegans using DNase-seq.”  Ho MCW, Quintero-Cadena P, Sternberg PW.