Worm Thrashing Assay


This is a commonly used assay to measure motor activity in worms. Changes in thrashing may arise from neuromuscular changes, respiratory deficiency, and other causes.


You will need:

your worms

NGM plates with no bacteria

M9 Buffer

A clicker, or a free clicker app (search "click counter" in your phone's app store).

96-well plate (clear)



Move the worm you want to count to a bacteria-free plate. Allow it to crawl away from any food attached to it.

Move the worm again into M9, which can be in a 96-well plate, but other options can work. Allow the worm 1 minute to acclimate.

On the worm dissecting scope, count the number of thrashes in 1 minute using the clicker. A thrash is a complete movement to one side and then back to the original position. If this is unclear ask someone to show you.

Score at least 10 worms per treatment and record them all.


Create wiki pages for timer and clear 96 well plates - add picture and part numbers / manufacturer links, and link them back to this protocol.