Gray Short-tailed Opossum

Gray Short-tailed Opossum

name = Gray Short-tailed OpossumMSW3 Gardner|pages=14]
status = LC
status_system = iucn3.1
status_ref = [IUCN2006|assessors=New World Marsupial Specialist Group|year=1996|id=40514|title=Monodelphis domestica|downloaded=12 May 2006 ]

regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Didelphimorphia
familia = Didelphidae
subfamilia = Didelphinae
genus = "Monodelphis"
species = "M. domestica"
binomial = "Monodelphis domestica"
binomial_authority = (Wagner, 1842)

The Gray Short-tailed Opossum ("Monodelphis domestica") is a small member of the Didelphidae family of opossums. It was the first marsupial to have its genome sequenced. It is naturally found in arboreal habitats in Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay. The opossum is used as research model in sciencecite web | url = | title = Extraordinary Resources: The Laboratory Opossum | work = SFBR | accessdate = 2007-04-13] , and is also frequently found in the exotic pet trade. It is also known as the Brazilian Opossum, Rainforest Opossum and in a research setting the Laboratory Opossum.

Laboratory Opossum

The gray short-tailed opossum possesses several features that make in ideal research model particularly in studies of marsupials, as well as the immunological and developmental research on mammalian systems. It breeds relatively easily in laboratory settings and neonates are exposed and can be readily accessed because, unlike other marsupial species, females opossums lack a pouch: neonates simply cling to the teats. Opossums are born at a stage that is approximately equivalent to 13-15-day old fetal rats or 40-day old human embryos. Like other marsupials, the inadequacies of the neonates immune system function make it an ideal model for both transplant and cancer research, as well as general investigations into immune system development [cite journal
author = Wang Z
coauthors = Hubbard GB, Pathak S, and VandeBerg JL
year = 2003
month = October
title = "In vivo" opossum xenograft model for cancer research
journal = Cancer Research
volume = 63
pages = 6121–6124
pmid = 14559788
] .Its genome was sequenced and a working draft published in May 2007: [cite journal
author = Mikkelsen TJ et al.
year = 2007
month = May
title = Genome of the marsupial "Monodelphis domestica reveals innovation in non-coding sequences"
journal = Nature
volume = 447
pages = 167–177
pmid =
doi = 10.1038/nature05805
] the decoding work, directed by MIT and Harvard, reveals the opossum to have between 18,000 and 20,000 protein-coding genes.


External links

* [ Know Your STO (Short-tailed Opossums)] , pet care website by Molly Kalafut

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