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Yeast. 2018 Oct 22. doi: 10.1002/yea.3361. [Epub ahead of print]

Simulated microgravity triggers characteristic morphology and stress response in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan.
Department of Chemistry and Biological Science, College of Science and Engineering, Aoyama Gakuin University, Sagamihara, Japan.
AIST-UTokyo Advanced Operando-Measurement Technology Open Innovation Laboratory (OPERANDO-OIL), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Kashiwa, Japan.


Reduction of gravity results in changes in gene expression and morphology in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We studied the genes responsible for the morphological changes induced by simulated microgravity (SMG) using the yeast morphology data. We comprehensively captured the features of the morphological changes in yeast cells cultured in SMG with CalMorph, a high-throughput image-processing system. Statistical analysis revealed that 95 of 501 morphological traits were significantly affected, which included changes in bud direction, the ratio of daughter to mother cell size, the random daughter cell shape, the large mother cell size, bright nuclei in the M phase, and the decrease in angle between two nuclei. We identified downregulated genes that impacted the morphological changes in conditions of SMG by focusing on each of the morphological features individually. Gene Ontology (GO)-enrichment analysis indicated that morphological changes under conditions of SMG were caused by cooperative downregulation of 103 genes annotated to six GO terms, which included cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein granule, RNA elongation, mitotic cell cycle phase transition, nucleocytoplasmic transport, protein-DNA complex subunit organization, and RNA localization. P-body formation was also promoted under conditions of SMG. These results suggest that cooperative downregulation of multiple genes occurs in conditions of SMG.


GO analysis; cytoplasmic ribonucleoprotein granules; morphological analysis; simulated microgravity


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