UserGuide:General Description

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An Overview of The WormBase Homepage



At this writing, Wormbase is very much a dynamic, ongoing project. A good consequence of this is that new features and options are added and old ones are removed at a noticeable rate. A draw back, however, is that documentation written for a given feature of the WormBase Web interface may be obsolete by the time you are reading this text. Therefore, this documentation is based upon the main WormBase web site at The Ontario Institute of Cancer research (


WormBase is updated every two months, with each release assigned a new version number (for example: WS10, ... WS51, ... WS97). Release notes can be accessed directly from the WormBase home page: see the help page for Release notes.


Select a class from the pull-down menu to "Search for", and then type key words in the box. If you leave the search box blank, everything from the selected class will appear as the search result. For example: if you select class "Cell", and type nothing in search box, all C. elegans cells will appear in the search result. For anything you are not sure of, try using * as the wild card insertion; it can be placed anywhere in the keyword. Example: if you type "ad*", all data that begin with "ad" will appear in the search result.

What can be typed into the "Quick Search" box? The following objects can be entered in the search box, which is case sensitive and space sensitive. You can search for a certain class such as "Any Gene" or "Author", or search for "Anything", which will return related objects from all classes.

   * Any Gene Example: lin-3
   * Author Example: Lee RYN
   * Cell Example: ADFL
   * Genbank Accession Number Example: AL032609

See more details on the explanation of Quick Search tool.


The WormBase menu includes five basic options on the top of the WormBase homepage. More advanced search tools can be found under the "More Searches" option.

To learn how to use these search tools, please read the User's Guide help pages for Basic Search Tools and Advanced Search Tools.

Sometimes a submenu will appear when you search for certain items such as genetic map, sequence report or cell lineage. The submenu usually is for different displays of information, for example, "Tree display" versus "Graphic display", etc. For more information, please read the help page for Sub Menu.