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J Bacteriol. Dec 1975; 124(3): 1586–1593.
PMCID: PMC236073

Timing and function of chitin synthesis in yeast.


A temperature-sensitive mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, L-2-42, is blocked at 37 C at a stage of the cell cycle prior to septum formation. When single cells of the mutant are allowed to bud at 37 C in a medium containing tritiated glucose, a large incorporation of radioactivity into chitin takes place. Thus, the synthesis of chitin, the major component of the primary septum, is initiated in a phase of the cell cycle which precedes septum closure. This early period of chitin synthesis is not required for emergence and growth of buds because, in the wild type, budding takes place normally in the presence of concentrations of polyoxin D that effectively and specifically prevent chitin formation. However, at a later time a majority of these cells lyse, presumably because of the inability to form a septum. Polyoxin D also prevents the appearance of enhanced fluorescence at the junction between mother cell and bud, as observed in the presence of a brightener. Therefore, the fluorescence is due to chitin and its presence at the base of very early buds indicates that chitin synthesis begins at or shortly after bud emergence. A scheme for chitin synthesis and primary septum formation which embodies these and other results is presented.

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Selected References

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  • Bowers B, Levin G, Cabib E. Effect of polyoxin D on chitin synthesis and septum formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. J Bacteriol. 1974 Aug;119(2):564–575. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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