CiteWeb id: 20020000137

CiteWeb score: 4285

DOI: 10.1016/S0076-6879(02)50954-X

The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is recognized as an ideal eukaryotic microorganism for biological studies. Although yeasts have greater genetic complexity than bacteria, they share many of the technical advantages that permitted rapid progress in the molecular genetics of prokaryotes and their viruses. Some of the properties that make yeast particularly suitable for biological studies are rapid growth, a budding pattern resulting in dispersed cells, the ease of replica plating and mutant isolation, a well-defined genetic system, and a highly versatile DNA transformation system. Being nonpathogenic, yeast can be handled with few precautions. Strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae —unlike most other microorganisms—have both a stable haploid and diploid state and are viable with many markers. The development of DNA transformation has made yeast particularly accessible to gene cloning and genetic engineering techniques. Structural genes corresponding to virtually any genetic trait can be identified by complementation from plasmid libraries. Plasmids can be introduced into yeast cells either as replicating molecules or by integration into the genome. Integrative recombination of transforming DNA in yeast proceeds exclusively via homologous recombinations, in contrast to other organisms.