Model invertebrates articles from across Nature Portfolio

Model invertebrates are extensively studied animal species that lack a vertebral column and are chosen for the ease of investigating particular biological phenomena. Research on model invertebrates provides biological insights relevant to other organisms in many areas including genetics, development, biochemistry, evolution, disease, neurobiology and behaviour.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Animals need to be able to evaluate environmental pH. Mechanisms that mediate sour taste and acid sensing have been reported across species, but less is known about the detection of high pH. Mi et al. identify the gene alkaliphile, which encodes a high-pH-gated chloride channel in the gustatory system of flies.

    • Scarlet J. Park
    •  & William W. Ja
    Nature Metabolism 5, 364-365
  • News |

    Harvester ants live in desert grasslands and eat seeds. Colonies manage water stress by regulating foraging using olfactory interactions between outgoing and returning foragers. A long-term study in New Mexico shows how this collective behavior is evolving in drought conditions.

    • Deborah M. Gordon
    Nature Methods 19, 1324-1325
  • News & Views |

    Unbiased metabolomics revealed the conversion of serotonin into N-acetylserotonin-derived glucosides by an intestinal carboxylesterase in Caenorhabditis elegans, which suggests an unappreciated role of the gut in modulating 5-HT signaling.

    • Ji Y. Sze
  • News |

    Parhyale hawaiensis comes from tropical intertidal shores and mangroves. In research, it is used to explore topics ranging from embryonic development and regeneration, to tidal rhythms and environmental pollution.

    • Michalis Averof
    Nature Methods 19, 1015-1016
  • News |

    Tardigrades are everywhere. They’re tiny — usually under a millimeter long — and they’re mostly transparent, so they’re easy to miss. But you probably walk by them every day. We’ve been grooming them as emerging models for studying how body forms evolve and how biological materials can survive extreme conditions.

    • Bob Goldstein
    Nature Methods 19, 904-905