Hockey-stick’ posture aids nematode development

A new study has shed light on why many nematodes (roundworms) sleep with an unusual “hockey-stick-like” posture.

Researchers from University of Chicago studied the behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living nematode commonly used in developmental biology.

During a developmental stage called lethargus, C. Elegans experiences a sleep-like state. Sleeping individuals will abruptly rotate their bodies ‒ a process called “flipping” ‒ which is thought to dislodge their cuticle in preparation for the next larval stage.

The researchers concluded that adopting a single-bend posture facilitates this flipping behaviour by aligning the nematode’s body-wall muscles.

Read more at University of Chicago