C. elegans live/dead assay

Accession number BBBC010 · Version 1

Example images

mostly alive mostly dead
Positive: mostly alive Negative: mostly dead


Biological application

This selection of images are controls selected from a screen to find novel anti-infectives using the roundworm C.elegans . The animals were exposed to the pathogen Enterococcus faecalis and either untreated or treated with ampicillin, a known antibiotic against the pathogen. The untreated (negative control) worms display predominantly the "dead" pheotype: worms appear rod-like in shape and slightly uneven in texture. The treated (ampicillin, positive control) worms display predominantly the "live" phenotype: worms appear curved in shape and smooth in texture.

For more information, please see Moy et al. (ACS Chem Biol, 2009).


One image per channel (Channel 1 = brightfield; channel 2 = GFP) was acquired at MGH on a Discovery-1 automated microscope (Molecular Devices). Original image size is 696 x 520 pixels. Images are available in 16-bit TIF.

 BBBC010_v2_images.zip (70 MB)

Ground truth 

The 100 images are from a 384-well plate of positive and negative controls. The images are named using this format: ____.tif Columns 1-12 are positive controls treated with ampicillin. Columns 13-24 are untreated negative controls.

We also provide human-corrected binary images of foreground/background segmentation:

 BBBC010_v1_foreground.zip (1.1 MB)

To address the problem of correctly segmenting individual worms also when they overlap or cluster, we provide one binary foreground/background segmentation ground truth image for each worm:

 BBBC010_v1_foreground_eachworm.zip (2.7 MB)

For more information

These images were originally acquired for a screen in Fred Ausubel's lab at MGH. Please contact aconery AT molbio.mgh.harvard.edu for more information.

Published results using this image set

 With automatically identified foreground   With manually corrected foregrund Citation
81% 94% Wählby et al., Nat Meth, 2012

Recommended citation

"We used the C.elegans infection live/dead image set version 1 provided by Fred Ausubel and available from the Broad Bioimage Benchmark Collection [Ljosa et al., Nature Methods, 2012]."