One hundred and forty-eight temperature-sensitive cell division cycle (cdc) mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae have been isolated and characterized. Complementation studies ordered these recessive mutations into 32 groups and tetrad analysis revealed that each of these groups defines a single nuclear gene. Fourteen of these genes have been located on the yeast genetic map. Functionally related cistrons are not tightly clustered.
Mutations in different cistrons frequently produce different cellular and nuclear morphologies in the mutant cells following incubation at the restrictive temperature, but all the mutations in the same cistron produce essentially the same morphology. The products of these genes appear, therefore, each to function individually in a discrete step of the cell cycle and they define collectively a large number of different steps.
The mutants were examined by time-lapse photomicroscopy to determine the number of cell cycles completed at the restrictive temperature before arrest. For most mutants, cells early in the cell cycle at the time of the temperature shift (before the execution point) arrest in the first cell cycle while those later in the cycle (after the execution point) arrest in the second cell cycle. Execution points for allelic mutations that exhibit first or second cycle arrest are rather similar and appear to be cistron-specific. Other mutants traverse several cycles before arrest, and its suggested that the latter type of response may reveal gene products that are temperature-sensitive for synthesis, whereas the former may be temperature-sensitive for function.
The gene products that are defined by the cdc cistrons are essential for the completion of the cell cycle in haploids of a and α mating type and in a/α diploid cells. The same genes, therefore, control the cell cycle in each of these stages of the life cycle.
- Received January 2, 1973.