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Numerous microfluidic systems have been developed and used for live imaging of Caenorhabditis nematodes (Allen et al., 2008; Zhang et al., 2008; Krajniak and Lu, 2010; Krajniak et al., 2013; Cornaglia et al., 2015). These systems can be costly, complex to set up, or require high-maintenance between uses. In addition, microfluidic rigs can be thick, preventing live imaging of worms from strains expressing low fluorescence fusion proteins. In the absence of elaborate microfluidic rigs, most live imaging protocols utilize flat agarose pads along with anesthetics and/or microbeads to immobilize the nematodes (Kim et al., 2013). Since this method does not allow the user to maintain the nematode straight and does not prevent small movements that disturb live imaging, a higher number of worms need to be mounted to ensure that a some settle in an optimal position. This is especially problematic when trying to image nematodes genotypes that are scarce, since there is a very small number of nematodes with the desired genotype in a plate making it challenging to find enough animals to image. Here is a protocol, modified from Zhang, M. et al., 2008, to make grooved agarose pads utilizing a 12-inch vinyl Long Play (LP) record as a mold for agar pads in which nematodes can be positioned and immobilized for live imaging. This method is simple, effective, and allows long-term time-lapse imaging of young adult and adult hermaphrodites, and males expressing low fluorescence fusion proteins.


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