One of the top things on a geneticist's wish list has to be a set of mutants for every gene in their particular organism. Such a set was produced for the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae near the end of the 20th century by a consortium of yeast geneticists. However, the functional genomic analysis of one chromosome, its smallest, had already begun more than 25 years earlier as a project that was designed to define most or all of that chromosome's essential genes by temperature-sensitive lethal mutations. When far fewer than expected genes were uncovered, the relatively new field of molecular cloning enabled us and indeed, the entire community of yeast researchers to approach this problem more definitively. These studies ultimately led to cloning, genomic sequencing, and the production and phenotypic analysis of the entire set of knockout mutations for this model organism as well as a better concept of what defines an essential function, a wish fulfilled that enables this model eukaryote to continue at the forefront of research in modern biology.
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