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Thanks for the quick response! I don’t want to cross this strain because it’s homozygous at 3 unlinked loci, and plates get expensive… I did not know that him-5 and -8 are specifically involved in X disjunction. That’s very interesting - I wonder if they get downregulated in situations where worms want to make more males.
I wonder about the basis for saying that him-5 and -8 are not very amenable to RNAi. I’ve just looked, and found two articles reporting effects of him-8 RNAi. Neither one mentioned the Him phenotype, but I guess it’s doing something… Even if him-8 is only a little bit sensitive to RNAi, that might be enough to get sufficient males to start the mating game?
If it works good enough, I think him-5 or -8 feeding RNAi should be a standard method for male production, instead of heat shock. Thermal stress is bad - I started wondering if it might be mutagenic, and did a quick search, and it is! This study Thermal stress accelerates Arabidopsis thaliana mutation rate reports doubling of point mutations and 20-fold increase of indels. That’s at a temperature where the organism (a eukaryote) is viable over many generations. So there seems good cause for concern… I have tried growing N2 at 26.5C, and they are fine; at 27.0C they go mostly Ste, and go extinct within a very few generations. Who knows what might get broken during four hours at 30C?