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WormBase is an online bioinformatics database of the biology and genome of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and related nematodes. It is used by the C. elegans research community both as an information resource and as a mode to publish and distribute their results. The database is constantly updated and new versions are released on a regular 3 week schedule.


WormBase comprises the following main data sets:

  • The annotated genomes of C. elegans, C. briggsae, and C. remanei.
  • Hand-curated annotations describing the function of ~20,000 C. elegans genes.
  • Gene families.
  • Comprehensive information on mutant alleles and their phenotypes.
  • Whole-genome RNAi (RNA interference) screens.
  • Genetic maps, markers and polymorphisms.
  • The C. elegans physical map.
  • Gene expression profiles (stage, tissue and cell) from microarrays, SAGE analysis and GFP promoter fusions.
  • The complete cell lineage of the worm.
  • The wiring diagram of the worm nervous system.
  • Protein-protein interaction Interactome data.
  • Genetic regulatory relationships.
  • Details of intra- and inter-specific sequence homologies (with links to other model organism databases)

In addition, WormBase contains an up-to-date searchable bibliography of C. elegans research and is linked to the WormBook project.


WormBase offers many ways of searching and retrieving data from the database:

  • WormMart - a tool for retrieving varied information on many genes (or the sequences of those genes).
  • Genome Browser - browse the genes of C. elegans (and other species) in their genomic context
  • TextPresso - a search tool that queries published C. elegans literature (including meeting abstracts)

WormBase Management

WormBase is a collaboration among the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Washington University at St. Louis, and the California Institute of Technology. It is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the British Medical Research Council.

External links