Essential Model Organisms Used in Genetics Research
Biologists use model organisms to have deeper knowledge of the living organisms and the fundamental mechanisms of life. This article will give ideas on which living organism is preferably chosen to be scrutinized in the study of living species and how those model organisms can affect the future.
All living cells are descended from a common ancestor. Therefore, living organisms share commonality among themselves, regardless of different appearances and functions. To have a better understanding of how each organism relates to other organisms, biologists analyze the genomes and the functions of a model organism and compare with other species in their groups. A model organism is a single living organism that has been selected to represent their species. Model organisms such as E.coli, Saccharomyce cerevisiae, Drosophila, and mouse are well known model organisms that biologists use in research. These model organisms are essential to research experiments because they grow and reproduce faster than many other organisms in their family group, and they are easier to observe and manipulate genes. Also, they are better to observe and understand the cell division cycle that is important in living organisms.
For example, mice have been used as a model organism for research in areas such as mammalian genetics, development, immunology, and cell biology. Due to the fact that the human body has more complexity in their genes and functions compared to that of a mouse, the mouse is more preferred to study than the human. Although humans and mice have different appearances, human genes have a counterpart in the mouse with a similar DNA sequence and function. Therefore, sequencing a mouse is more favorable than any other mammals in genetic research.
E.coli, is a bacteria which represents the bacterial species. This organism is well known to have rapid reproduction and growth in simple petri dish. From using the E.coli as a source of study, studies indicate the replication of DNA in the cell and how gene regulation functions in bacteria. Although E.coli is significantly different from human and animals, the research on E.coli confirmed the similarity in these basic processes in human and E.coli cells.
One other model organism that is favorable among geneticists and biologists is Drosophila. Drosophila is a small fruit fly that represents the insect family. Studying Drosophila gave important knowledge about the genetic mechanisms that highlights embryonic and larval development. Furthermore, the study showed us the cause and effects of the phenotypes and the genotypes in the offspring when the parent flies descend the mutant allele. Regardless of the different appearance and physical functions in between flies and humans, biologists discovered that Drosophila and human have very similar genes and contain similar gene counterparts.
Similarities among these living organisms demonstrate that all living species have a common ancestor. Therefore, we are able to study and experiment on different organisms. With a deep understanding of each model organisms, sequencing genes of many species impact the future by providing advancement in biological and physiological studies, health and medical research, and preserving nature.