Great single-cell promoter?

Hey wormers,

I’m looking for some really great single-cell promoters. Does anyone know of any that they’d like to share?

Thanks for any help!

your question/request is relatively vague.

Have you specific cells in mind?

What are you trying to do?

Do you mean share as in send or, like ‘my favourite single-cell promoter is…’?

You can use something like the pulsed infrared laser approach described in the link below to target specific cells and activate a gene with a heat shock promoter attached:

More details might get you further…


Which promoters would drive expression within a single cell in C. elegans?

For example, I am considering constructing a plasmid containing the promoter from gcy-5, which expresses only in the ASER neuron.

I’m not looking to use IR lasers or anything other than genetic elements.


I dont need anything sent, just looking for some recommendations.

Hi Sean,

Truly single cell promoters are hard to come by. As you write, gcy-5 is in ASER. gcy-6 and gcy-7 are in ASEL. str-2 is in a single neuron, but it’s a stochastic choice between AWCL and AWCR. The Lockery lab has a database of neuronal promoters that are only expressed in a few cells: . I don’t think it’s been maintained/updated for a while.

Your options for a single pair of neurons are better. See the Lockery website or take a look at recent Bargmann, Hobert, or Shen lab papers where they often use cell specific promoters.

“Really great single-cell promoters” may be hard to find…


Hey CFJ, hope things are well. I’m going to take your advice and try a series of gcy promoters. I’ll let you know if any turn out to be really great!