Transgene technology is one of the most heavily relied upon tools in modern biological research. Expression of an exogenous gene within cells, for research and therapeutic applications, nearly always includes promoters and other regulatory sequences. We found that repeats of a non-protein coding transgenic sequence produced profound changes to the behavior of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans . These changes were produced by a glial promoter sequence but, unexpectedly, major deficits were observed specifically in backward locomotion, a neuron-driven behavior. We also present evidence that this behavioral phenotype is transpromoter copy number-dependent and manifests early in development and is maintained into adulthood of the worm. © 2013 Sout Jr. et al.