A pheromone mutant of Schizosaccharomyces pombe displays nucleolar fragmentation

  • Jun, Jai-Hyun (Department of Genetic Engineering, Cheongju University) ;
  • Kim, Dae-Myung (Department of Genetic Engineering, Cheongju University)
  • Received : 2007.08.13
  • Accepted : 2007.10.16
  • Published : 2008.03.31


Stresses and nutritional starvation are two main external signals for the induction of sex pheromones in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. In an attempt to identify the components involved in transduction of starvation signals, we screened 135 temperature-sensitive (ts) mutants and isolated 6 mutants that induced the pheromone even in the presence of a nitrogen source. These mutants exhibited two distict induction phenotypes: pheromone induction at restrictive but not at permissive temperatures; and pheromone induction at both permissive and restrictive temperatures. The times required for the maximum pheromone induction at the restrictive temperature differed slightly in each mutant. In addition to the pheromone induction phenotype, the ts243 and ts304 mutants exhibited cell-division-cycle defects. The ts304 mutant cells showed an abnormal cytoplasmic DAPI staining pattern. The nucleolus of this mutant seemed to be fragmented, a phenomenon which is typically observed in aged yeast cells. The result of our genetic analysis indicated that the pheromone induction mutants belonged to 6 separate complementation groups. We designated these mutants pws1 to pws6.


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