Caenorhabditis elegans is a soil nematode found in temperate regions. It is about 1 mm long. Since the 1960s it has been studied by many genetic researchers. Its reproductive characteristics make it a good model for studying genetics and it has been completely sequenced. It has only 6 chromosomes and about 19,000 genes. Significantly, about 74% of human genes have homologues in this organism.
The knowledge of this worm's development is detailed enough that scientists know the exact developmental fate of each cell. By introducing genetic mutation and observing the effects, scientists have been able to learn much about cellular processes such as apoptosis
- Superkingdom Eukaryota