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Pharmazie. 2013 Jul;68(7):474-7.

Dictyostelium genomics: how it developed and what we have learned from it.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry I, Medical Faculty, Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne, Cologne Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases, University of Cologne, Germany.


Dictyostelium discoideum is the most prominent member of the social amoebae. It has been used as an experimental system since more than 50 years and a large number of scientists worldwide work on different aspects such as chemotaxis, cytoskeleton, differentiation and development. Dictyostelium shares more features with animals than fungi although it diverged much earlier in evolution. Many of the results obtained with D. discoideum can therefore be transferred to animals making D. discoideum a valuable model organism. Targeted gene inactivation using homologous recombination is easy and mutant phenotypes can be readily isolated due to the haploid nature of its genome. Furthermore, a variety of techniques and tools are available that facilitate the experimental work; its genome and that of several Dictyostelidae has been sequenced and most recently a high-resolution genome wide nucleosome map for D. discoideum has been generated.

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