Mating in wild yeast: delayed interest in sex after spore germination.
Studies of lab strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae have uncovered signaling pathways involved in mating, including information processing strategies to optimize decisions to mate or to bud. However, lab strains are heterothallic (unable to self-mate) while wild yeast are homothallic. And while mating of lab strains is studied using cycling haploid cells, mating of wild yeast is thought to involve germinating spores. Thus, it was unclear whether lab strategies would be appropriate in the wild. Here, we have investigated the behaviors of several yeast strains derived from wild isolates. Following germination, these strains displayed large differences in their propensity to mate or to enter the cell cycle. The variable interest in sex following germination was correlated with differences in pheromone production, which were due to both cis- and trans-acting factors. Our findings suggest that yeast spores germinating in the wild may often enter the cell cycle and form microcolonies prior to engaging in mating.
McClure, AW; Jacobs, KC; Zyla, TR; Lew, DJ
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