Holden-Dye, Lindy and Walker, Robert J.
Synaptic modulation of the pharyngeal muscle of C. elegans
Journal of Physiology, 543P, (S324), .
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The nematode C. elegans feeds by rhythmic contraction of the pharyngeal muscle. The activity of the muscle is modified by environmental cues, e.g. the presence of E. coli increases the rate of pharyngeal activity. The neural circuit that mediates these effects has been completely mapped. However, the role of neurotransmitters in this pathway is not so clear. To address this we have made intracellular recordings from the pharyngeal muscle and characterised its resting properties (Franks et al. 2002). We have determined the response of the pharynx to putative neurotransmitters and neuromodulators (Rogers et al. 2001). By judicious use of mutant strains (Pemberton et al. 2001), or gene interference, physiologically important signalling pathways may be delineated.
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