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Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2016 Apr 1;2016(4):pdb.prot088807. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot088807.

Synthetic Genetic Array Analysis.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8, Canada; Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E1, Canada.


Genetic interaction studies have been used to characterize unknown genes, assign membership in pathway and complex, and build a comprehensive functional map of a eukaryotic cell. Synthetic genetic array (SGA) methodology automates yeast genetic analysis and enables systematic mapping of genetic interactions. In its simplest form, SGA consists of a series of replica pinning steps that enable construction of haploid double mutants through automated mating and meiotic recombination. Using this method, a strain carrying a query mutation, such as a deletion allele of a nonessential gene or a conditional temperature-sensitive allele of an essential gene, can be crossed to an input array of yeast mutants, such as the complete set of approximately 5000 viable deletion mutants. The resulting output array of double mutants can be scored for genetic interactions based on estimates of cellular fitness derived from colony-size measurements. The SGA score method can be used to analyze large-scale data sets, whereas small-scale data sets can be analyzed using SGAtools, a simple web-based interface that includes all the necessary analysis steps for quantifying genetic interactions.

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