Laboratory of Cell Division Cycle and Intracellular Transport

Yeast is a perfect model of man

Why is yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae = bakers'/brewers' yeast or Schizosaccharomyces pombe = fission yeast) used as a model organism for human beings by many researchers all over the world? Because yeast and man are very similar in many respects! Others have shown it more scientifically and in more detail, I just want to emphasize the emotional side of the issue and point out the obvious.

Yeast and man are morphologically similar, as this sketch indicates. (Labels refer to S. cerevisiae, left side, only). Of course, the picture is a simplification, and the internal structure of the yeast cell is far more complex.

Grafic proof for the enormous similarity of yeast and man

In addition, the basic requirements of yeast and man are identical

Think of it when you stare at the muddy debris at the bottom of your emptied glass of beer. It's yeast, and in that moment it, and it alone in the whole world, shares your regret that the beer is gone!


Saccharomyces cerevisiae proliferates by budding, and therefore all its researchers are buddies. Schizosaccharomyces pombe proliferates by splitting, which is indicated by the "Schizo" in its name, but it is considered rude to extrapolate to its researchers.
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Last edited: December 5, 1997 by KaiFr