In preparing agar plates with NGM, and also liquid cultures for growing c elegans, how essential is the addition of cholesterol and heavy metals? I have prepared both. I can't notice any obvious difference and I hate having to add all these supplements.

I'm using yeast extract and peptone as the primary components of the base.

Isn't this just supposed to be a moist semi-soft substrate for them to crawl around, their nutrients come from the bacteria they eat.


1 Answer 1


C. elegans needs cholesterol, but can't make it. Since bacteria don't make cholesterol either, the food bacteria aren't a source. As explained in the linked paper, lack of cholesterol affects normal development.

  • $\begingroup$ And without supplementing there is enough in the peptone and yeast extract to already. I wonder if this stuff is only essential for cholesterol biosynthesis studies? $\endgroup$
    – rhill45
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ Just FYI @alan Boyd's I upvoted and would like to keep open for a few days to see what else out there but this is prob best foreseeable response $\endgroup$
    – rhill45
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ No, it's not just for sterol biosynthesis studies. You don't need to add the metals to NGM. There are enough in the peptone, yeast extract, and agar. But they will be visibly abnormal (although alive) if you don't add cholesterol. Believe me, I have done it :-/ $\endgroup$
    – Leon Avery
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 21:56

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