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J Bacteriol. 1980 Jun;142(3):808-18.

Asymmetrical division of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


The unequal division model proposed for budding yeast (L. H. Hartwell and M. W. Unger, J. Cell Biol. 75:422-435, 1977) was tested by bud scar analyses of steady-state exponential batch cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae growing at 30 degrees C at 19 different rates, which were obtained by altering the carbon source. The analyses involved counting the number of bud scars, determining the presence or absence of buds on at least 1,000 cells, and independently measuring the doubling times (gamma) by cell number increase. A number of assumptions in the model were tested and found to be in good agreement with the model. Maximum likelihood estimates of daughter cycle time (D), parent cycle time (P), and the budded phase (B) were obtained, and we concluded that asymmetrical division occurred at all growth rates tested (gamma, 75 to 250 min). D, P, and B are all linearly related to gamma, and D, P, and gamma converge to equality (symmetrical division) at gamma = 65 min. Expressions for the genealogical age distribution for asymmetrically dividing yeast cells were derived. The fraction of daughter cells in steady-state populations is e-alpha P, and the fraction of parent cells of age n (where n is the number of buds that a cell has produced) is (e-alpha P)n-1(1-e-alpha P)2, where alpha = IN2/gamma; thus, the distribution changes with growth rate. The frequency of cells with different numbers of bud scars (i.e., different genealogical ages) was determined for all growth rates, and the observed distribution changed with the growth rate in the manner predicted. In this haploid strain new buds formed adjacent to the previous buds in a regular pattern, but at slower growth rates the pattern was more irregular. The median volume of the cells and the volume at start in the cell cycle both increased at faster growth rates. The implications of these findings for the control of the cell cycle are discussed.

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