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J Bacteriol. 1992 Aug;174(15):4943-51.

An efficient screen for peroxisome-deficient mutants of Pichia pastoris.

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Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences, Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, Beaverton 97006-1999.


We describe a rapid and efficient screen for peroxisome-deficient (per) mutants in the yeast Pichia pastoris. The screen relies on the unusual ability of P. pastoris to grow on two carbon sources, methanol and oleic acid, both of which absolutely require peroxisomes to be metabolized. A collection of 280 methanol utilization-defective (Mut-) P. pastoris mutants was isolated, organized into 46 complementation groups, and tested for those that were also oleate-utilization defective (Out-) but still capable of growth on ethanol and glucose. Mutants in 10 groups met this phenotypic description, and 8 of these were observed by electron microscopy to be peroxisome deficient (Per-). In each per mutant, Mut-, Out-, and Per- phenotypes were tightly linked and therefore were most likely due to a mutation at a single locus. Subcellular fractionation experiments indicated that the peroxisomal marker enzyme catalase was mislocalized to the cytosol in both methanol- and oleate-induced cultures of the mutants. In contrast, alcohol oxidase, a peroxisomal methanol utilization pathway enzyme, was virtually absent from per mutant cells. The relative ease of per mutant isolation in P. pastoris, in conjunction with well-developed procedures for its molecular and genetic manipulation, makes this organism an attractive system for studies on peroxisome biogenesis.

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