C. elegans is studied as a model organism for a variety of reasons. It is a multicellular eukaryotic organism that is simple enough to be studied in great detail. Strains are cheap to breed and can be frozen. When subsequently thawed they remain viable, allowing long-term storage.
In addition, C. elegans is transparent, facilitating the study of cellular differentiation and other developmental processes in the intact organism. The developmental fate of every single somatic cell has been mapped out. It is also one of the simplest organisms with a nervous system.
Specific information about the research on C.elegans in the UMCG and about contactpersons can be found on the website of the Genetics Department.