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Genetics. 1991 Feb;127(2):287-98.

Molecular analysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromosome I: identification of additional transcribed regions and demonstration that some encode essential functions.

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Department of Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromosome I has provided a vivid example of the "gene-number paradox." Although molecular studies have suggested that there are greater than 100 transcribed regions on the chromosome, classical genetic studies have identified only about 15 genes, including just 6 identified in intensive studies using Ts- lethal mutations. To help elucidate the reasons for this disparity, we have undertaken a detailed molecular analysis of a 34-kb segment of the left arm of the chromosome. This segment contains the four known genes CDC24, WHI1, CYC3 and PYK1 plus at least seven transcribed regions of unknown function. The 11 identified transcripts have a total length of approximately 25.9 kb, suggesting that greater than or equal to 75% of the DNA in this region is transcribed. Of the transcribed regions of unknown function, three are essential for viability on rich medium and three appear to be nonessential, as judged by the lethality or nonlethality of deletions constructed using integrative transformation methods. No obvious phenotypes were associated with the deletions in the apparently nonessential genes. However, two of these genes may have homologs elsewhere in the genome, as judged from the appearance of additional bands when DNA-DNA blot hybridizations were performed at reduced stringency. Taken together, the results provide further evidence that the limitations of classical genetic studies of chromosome I cannot be explained solely by a lack of genes, or even a lack of essential genes, on the chromosome.

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