Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Tardigrades and Their Emergence as Model Organisms

Version 1 : Received: 11 January 2022 / Approved: 13 January 2022 / Online: 13 January 2022 (11:43:29 CET)

How to cite: Goldstein, B. Tardigrades and Their Emergence as Model Organisms. Preprints 2022, 2022010188 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0188.v1). Goldstein, B. Tardigrades and Their Emergence as Model Organisms. Preprints 2022, 2022010188 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0188.v1).

Abstract

Experimentally tractable organisms like C. elegans, Drosophila, zebrafish, and mouse are popular models for addressing diverse questions in biology. In 1997, two of the most valuable invertebrate model organisms to date – C. elegans and Drosophila – were found to be much more closely related to each other than expected. C. elegans and Drosophila belong to the nematodes and arthropods respectively, and these two phyla and six other phyla make up a clade of molting animals referred to as the Ecdysozoa. The other ecdysozoan phyla could be valuable models for comparative biology, taking advantage of the rich and continual sources of research findings as well as tools from both C. elegans and Drosophila. But when the Ecdysozoa was first recognized, few tools were available for laboratory studies in any of these six other ecdysozoan phyla. In 1999 I began an effort to develop tools for studying one such phylum, the tardigrades. Here, I describe how the tardigrade species Hypsibius exemplaris and tardigrades more generally have emerged over the past two decades as valuable new models for answering diverse questions. To date, these questions have included how animal body plans evolve and how biological materials can survive some remarkably extreme conditions.

Keywords

emerging model organisms; tardigrades; Hypsibius exemplaris; evo-devo; survival of extremes; protectants

Subject

BIOLOGY, Other

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