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Dev Cell. 2009 Jun;16(6):844-55. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2009.05.013.

Effects of age on meiosis in budding yeast.

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  • 1David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


In humans, the frequency with which meiotic chromosome mis-segregation occurs increases with age. Whether age-dependent meiotic defects occur in other organisms is unknown. Here, we examine the effects of replicative aging on meiosis in budding yeast. We find that aged mother cells show a decreased ability to initiate the meiotic program and fail to express the meiotic inducer IME1. The few aged mother cells that do enter meiosis complete this developmental program but exhibit defects in meiotic chromosome segregation and spore formation. Furthermore, we find that mutations that extend replicative life span also extend the sexual reproductive life span. Our results indicate that in budding yeast, the ability to initiate and complete the meiotic program as well as the fidelity of meiotic chromosome segregation decrease with cellular age and are controlled by the same pathways that govern aging of asexually reproducing yeast cells.

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