Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a unicellular eukaryotic organism that is a form of yeast, it is used by bakers and brewers. A single cell is about 6µm in diameter and it divides by a process called budding (unlike Saccharomyces pombe, which divides by a process known as fission). They can exist as either a diploid or haploid cell.
It is frequently used as a model organism due to the fact it shares a lot of basic biological properties with humans. It is suited to this role because it has a rapid rate of growth, it is easy to grow and store and it is easy to manipulate genetically. S. cerevisiae was the first eukaryotic organism to have its entire genome sequenced.
- ↑ Madigan, M, et al. (2012) Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 13th Edition, San Francisco: Pearson