Yeast: An Attractive, Yet Simple Model

Yeast possesses many characteristics that make it especially useful as a model system in the laboratory, including an entirely sequenced genome. Recently, a number of researchers published studies detailing the transition from genome sequencing to functional genomics. Notably, these scientists have developed new high-throughput approaches to the characterization of large numbers of yeast genes. In aggregate, these studies make yeast one of the most well-characterized eukaryotic organisms known.

Gregory Smutzer
Sep 16, 2001
Yeast possesses many characteristics that make it especially useful as a model system in the laboratory, including an entirely sequenced genome. Recently, a number of researchers published studies detailing the transition from genome sequencing to functional genomics. Notably, these scientists have developed new high-throughput approaches to the characterization of large numbers of yeast genes. In aggregate, these studies make yeast one of the most well-characterized eukaryotic organisms known.

Yeasts are free-living, unicellular eukaryotes--fungi. Yet despite their simplicity, yeast cells are similar to higher eukaryotes in several important ways.1 For example, they contain membrane-bound subcellular organelles and possess a similar cytoskeletal organization. In addition, the chromosomal structure of yeast DNA is comparable to that found in higher eukaryotes, with similar mechanics, except that no histone H1 is present.

It is believed that the mechanisms of transcriptional activation and repression are also conserved in yeast and higher eukaryotes, and, like those...