The Future of Cell Biology: Emerging Model Organisms

Trends Cell Biol. 2016 Nov;26(11):818-824. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2016.08.005. Epub 2016 Sep 14.


Most current research in cell biology uses just a handful of model systems including yeast, Arabidopsis, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, zebrafish, mouse, and cultured mammalian cells. And for good reason - for many biological questions, the best system for the question is likely to be found among these models. However, in some cases, and particularly as the questions that engage scientists broaden, the best system for a question may be a little-studied organism. Modern research tools are facilitating a renaissance for unusual and interesting organisms as emerging model systems. As a result, we predict that an ever-expanding breadth of model systems may be a hallmark of future cell biology.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Biology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Genetic