Model organism/Catalogs

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An informational catalog, or several catalogs, about Model organism.

Important model organisms


Viruses include:


Sporulating Bacillus subtilis

Prokaryotes include:


Eukaryotes include:





Laboratory mice
  • Cavia porcellus, the guinea pig, used by Robert Koch and other early bacteriologists as a host for bacterial infections, hence a byword for "laboratory animal" even though less commonly used today
  • Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) - used for developmental studies, as it is an amniote and excellent for micromanipulation (e.g. tissue grafting) and over-expression of gene products
  • Cat (Felis cattus) - used in neurophysiological research
  • Dog (Canis lupus familiaris) - an important respiratory and cardiovascular model
  • Hamster - first used to study kala-azar (leishmaniasis)
  • Mouse (Mus musculus) - the classic model vertebrate. Many inbred strains exist, as well as lines selected for particular traits, often of medical interest, e.g. body size, obesity, muscularity. (Quantitative genetics, Molecular evolution, Genomics)
  • Homo sapiens (humans) - used in various clinical studies
  • Lamprey - spinal cord research
  • Oryzias latipes, Medaka (the Japanese ricefish) is an important model in developmental biology, and has the advantage of being much sturdier than the traditional Zebrafish
  • Rat (Rattus norvegicus) - particularly useful as a toxicology model; also particularly useful as a neurological model and source of primary cell cultures, owing to the larger size of organs and suborganellar structures relative to the mouse. (Molecular evolution, Genomics)
  • Rhesus macaque - used for studies on infectious disease and cognition
  • Sigmodon hispidus - Cotton rat formerly used in polio research
  • Taeniopygia guttata or zebra finch - used in the study of the song system of songbirds and the study of non-mammalian auditory systems
  • Takifugu rubripres, a pufferfish - has a small genome with little junk DNA
  • Xenopus laevis, the African clawed frog - used in developmental biology because of its large embryos and high tolerance for physical and pharmacological manipulation
  • Zebrafish (Danio rerio), a freshwater fish, has a nearly transparent body during early development, which provides unique visual access to the animal's internal anatomy. Zebrafish are used to study development, toxicology and toxicopathology,[8] specific gene function and roles of signaling pathways.

Model organisms used for specific research objectives

Sexual selection and sexual conflict

Hybrid zones

Ecological genomics

  • Daphnia pulex, an environmental indicator model organism
  1. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii resources at the Joint Genome Institute
  2. Chlamydomonas genome sequenced published in Science, October 12, 2007
  3. Rowland H. Davis: Neurospora. Contributions of a Model Organism. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000. ISBN 0-19-512236-4.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 About Arabidopsis on The Arabidopsis Information Resource page (TAIR)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Rensing, S. A., Lang, D., Zimmer, A. D., Terry, A., Salamov, A., Shapiro, H. et al. (2008). The physcomitrella genome reveals evolutionary insights into the conquest of land by plants. Science, 319(5859), 64-69.
  6. Riddle, Donald L.; Blumenthal, Thomas; Meyer, Barbara J.; and Priess, James R. (Eds.). (1997). C. ELEGANS II. Woodbury, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Press. ISBN 0-87969-532-3. Full text available on-line.
  7. Manev H, Dimitrijevic N, Dzitoyeva S. (2003). "Techniques: fruit flies as models for neuropharmacological research.". Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 24 (1): 41–43. DOI:10.1016/S0165-6147(02)00004-4. Research Blogging.
  8. Spitsbergen J.M. and Kent M.L. (2003). The state of the art of the zebrafish model for toxicology and toxicologic pathology research—advantages and current limitations. Toxicol Pathol. 31 (Supplement), 62-87. PubMed Abstract Link => PMID 12597434.