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Development. 1996 Nov;122(11):3677-85.

RtoA links initial cell type choice to the cell cycle in Dictyostelium.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Rice University, Houston, TX 77251-1892, USA.


In Dictyostelium, initial cell type choice is correlated with the cell-cycle phase of the cell at the time of starvation. We have isolated a mutant, ratioA (rtoA), with a defect in this mechanism that results in an abnormally high percentage of prestalk cells. The rtoA gene has been cloned and sequenced and codes for a novel protein. The cell cycle is normal in rtoA. In the wild type, prestalk cells differentiate from those cells in S or early G2 phase at starvation and prespore cells from cells in late G2 or M phase at starvation. In rtoA mutants, both prestalk and prespore cells originate randomly from cells in any phase of the cell cycle at starvation.

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