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Genetics. Sep 1989; 123(1): 81–95.
PMCID: PMC1203793

Nonrecombinant Meiosis I Nondisjunction in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Induced by Trna Ochre Suppressors


The presence of the tRNA ochre suppressors SUP11 and SUP5 is found to induce meiosis I nondisjunction in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The induction increases with increasing dosage of the suppressor and decreases in the presence of an antisuppressor. The effect is independent of the chromosomal location of SUP11. Each of five different chromosomes monitored exhibited nondisjunction at frequencies of 0.1%-1.1% of random spores, which is a 16-160-fold increase over wild-type levels. Increased nondisjunction is reflected by a marked increase in tetrads with two and zero viable spores. In the case of chromosome III, for which a 50-cM map interval was monitored, the resulting disomes are all in the parental nonrecombinant configuration. Recombination along chromosome III appears normal both in meioses that have no nondisjunction and in meioses for which there was nondisjunction of another chromosome. We propose that a proportion of one or more proteins involved in chromosome pairing, recombination or segregation are aberrant due to translational read-through of the normal ochre stop codon. Hygromycin B, an antibiotic that can suppress nonsense mutations via translational read-through, also induces nonrecombinant meiosis I nondisjunction. Increases in mistranslation, therefore, increase the production of aneuploids during meiosis. There was no observable effect of SUP11 on mitotic chromosome nondisjunction; however some disomes caused SUP11 ade2-ochre strains to appear white or red, instead of pink.

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Selected References

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