The worm in the world and the world in the worm
1 Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JT, UK
2 Department of Zoology, Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing, Oregon State University, 3029 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
BMC Biology 2012, 10:57 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-10-57Published: 25 June 2012
Caenorhabditis elegans is a preeminent model organism, but the natural ecology of this nematode has been elusive. A four-year survey of French orchards published in BMC Biology reveals thriving populations of C. elegans (and Caenorhabditis briggsae) in rotting fruit and plant stems. Rather than being simply a 'soil nematode', C. elegans appears to be a 'plant-rot nematode'. These studies signal a growing interest in the integrated genomics and ecology of these tractable animals.