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Experimental and Neuroinformatic Definition of Neural Circuits in Caenorhabditis elegans


Prakash, Sharan Jagdish (2024) Experimental and Neuroinformatic Definition of Neural Circuits in Caenorhabditis elegans. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/bgvy-9p06.


The free-living nematode Caenorhabditidis elegans is an established model organism for research in molecular genetics, cell and developmental biology, evolution, and neuroscience. This thesis describes two research projects in C. elegans neuroscience. The first project concerns the challenge of synthesizing the accumulating neurobiological literature in C. elegans. I describe how an established framework for semantic modelling of cellular pathways can be adapted for semantic modelling of neural circuits and functional annotation of the nervous system, and its potential applications for systems neuroscience. A second portion describes a series of experiments investigating a decision-making process in C. elegans larval development that is under neuronal control. C. elegans larvae have the ability to decide among alternative developmental trajectories based on environmental conditions, that are detected via its nervous system. In this work, I describe the contribution of several neurons to this decision-making process, and our discoveries about the response properties of two neurons to ethologically relevant chemical stimuli.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Caenorhabditis elegans, nematode, neuroinformatics, GO-CAM, dauer, decision-making, systems neuroscience, developmental plasticity
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Biology and Biological Engineering
Major Option:Biology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Sternberg, Paul W.
Thesis Committee:
  • Hay, Bruce A. (chair)
  • Sternberg, Paul W.
  • Rothenberg, Ellen V.
  • Hong, Elizabeth J.
Defense Date:2 October 2023
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:11162023-182820794
Persistent URL:
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription in Brain Informatics with significant overlap to thesis Chapter 2. files including all figures referred to in the text and supplementary tables
Prakash, Sharan Jagdish0000-0003-1777-0987
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:16245
Deposited By: Sharan Prakash
Deposited On:29 Nov 2023 16:54
Last Modified:12 Mar 2024 22:48

Thesis Files

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