What is a Model Organism?
We have made tremendous advancement in the field of biology and medicine in the last century. For all these achievements and knowledge, we are indebted to the 'model organisms' that allowed as to peep into the mysteries of life. Let us take the example of drugs that are available in the market. It is not possible to experiment a drug on humans directly. So each drug before reaching our bedside has to go through rigorous clinical trials starting with isolated cell lines, then mouse, monkeys etc and after testing and sacrificing many organisms it will get approved for trials in humans. So these organisms are the real models that actually helps us in getting the essence of life.
Organism that have been widely used for research so that a great deal is known about their biology. These organisms have properties that made them excellent research subjects. Such organisms include bacterium, Escherichia coli; the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae ;the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans; the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster; the mustard plant, Arabidopsi thaliana and the mouse, Mus musculus.
The Characteristics of Model Organisms:
- Relatively easy to grow and maintain in a restricted space
- Relatively short generation time (birth->reproduction->birth)
- Relatively well understood growth and development
- Relatively easy to provide necessary nutrients for growth
- Closely resemble others organisms or systems
1. Mammalian Models:
- Mouse (Mus musculus)
- Rat (Rattus norvegicus)
- Bacterium (Escherichia coli)
- Baker's or brewer's yeast(Saccharomyces cerevisiae)
- Nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans)
- Fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)
- Zebra fish (Danio rerio)
3. Plant Model
- Arabidopsis thaliana