Are we there yet? Tracking the development of new model systems

Trends Genet. 2008 Jul;24(7):353-60. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2008.04.002.


It is increasingly clear that additional 'model' systems are needed to elucidate the genetic and developmental basis of organismal diversity. Whereas model system development previously required enormous investment, recent advances including the decreasing cost of DNA sequencing and the power of reverse genetics to study gene function are greatly facilitating the process. In this review, we consider two aspects of the development of new genetic model systems: first, the types of questions being advanced using these new models; and second, the essential characteristics and molecular tools for new models, depending on the research focus. We hope that researchers will be inspired to explore this array of emerging models and even consider developing new molecular tools for their own favorite organism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Research