The biology of C. remanei is similar to that of C. elegans and C. briggsae. It has a short generation time and goes through four larval stages before becoming an adult. It can also adapt an alternative life-form, call a dauer larva, in response to overcrowding or the absence of an adequate food supply. The dauer larva can remain viable for long periods without feeding. C. remanei biology differs from that of C. elegans and C. briggsae in one major way; C. remanei adults are either female or male, whereas C. elegans and C. briggsae adults are hermaphrodites; when they first become adults they have all the characteristics of a male but later become female. C. remanei's genome is small compared to the human genome (about 30 times smaller) but is about 40% larger than the genome of either C. elegans or C. briggsae.
Caenorhabditis remanei, like its close relatives, C. elegans and C. briggsae, is a small, free-living, round worm found in nutrient- and microorganism-rich habitats such as in compost, mushroom beds and garden soil where it feeds on bacteria and probably other microorganisms. It, like all other Caenorhabditis species is not parasitic, as are many other nematodes. C. remanei has been isolated repeatedly in Germany and North America so likely lives in temperate climates around the world. These three worm species (elegans, remanei, and briggsae) are often found together. C. remanei is frequently found associated with snails, slugs, millipedes, mites and pill bugs, which it may use as a means of getting from one place to another.
The sequencing plan for C. remanei calls for high-quality draft sequence. This will be accomplished with 9x whole genome shotgun coverage of short insert plasmids and larger insert fosmid clones, and two rounds of primer-directed, sequence improvement targeted at closing gaps in the assembly and improving regions of low-quality sequence. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), provided the funding for sequencing the C. remanei genome.