Species with a relatively small genome, with a short generation time from seed to seed, and that are adaptable to living in captivity are appealing as experimental organisms. Even though many of these species bear little physical resemblance to humans, they do share part of our genome and so can answer some of the questions we have about genetic inheritance and gene expression.
(in millions of base pairs)
|Arabidopsis thaliana (flowering plant)
|Neurospora (orange bread mold)
|Escherichia coli (bacteria)
|Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly)
|Caenorhabditis elegans (roundworm)