For more than half a century yeast has contributed to our understanding of biological processes such as metabolism and enzyme regulation, cell recognition, structure of chromosomes, mechanisms in meiotic recombination, epigenetic effects through mating type switching, cell cycle, the compartmental character of eukaryotic cells, protein targeting, and so on. An area where yeast will provide valuable information is the emerging area of system biology. System biology aims to understand complex cellular behavior such as how cells perceive and analyze signals in a continuously changing environment, or how cell division is linked to the generation of polarity by overlaying information obtained using genomics and proteomics methods with genetic and biochemical techniques. We conclude this chapter with an observation of Davis (2003):
By a process of natural selection, as it were, yeast has attracted many post-1970 investigators with strong training in all three of vital disciplines: genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology. Their ability to integrate these disciplines in their research and in their training of newcomers to yeast has led to connectivity of the many levels of organization that defines a model organism. This ability has also led to the explosive growth of the yeast community, which has been so self-sufficient in defining life's fundamental attributes that its members are no longer obliged to read the literature on other fungi. A serious asymmetry prevails in this matter: Neurospora and Aspergillus investigators ignore the yeast literature at their peril.
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