Natural variation in CDC28 underlies morphological phenotypes in an environmental yeast isolate.
Morphological differences among individuals in a species represent one of the most striking aspects of biology, and a primary aim of modern genetics is to uncover the molecular basis of morphological variation. In a survey of meiosis phenotypes among environmental isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we observed an unusual arrangement of meiotic spores within the spore sac in a strain from Ivory Coast, West Africa. We mined population genomic data to identify CDC28 as the major genetic determinant of meiotic and budding cell shape behaviors in this strain. Molecular genetic methods confirmed the role of the Ivory Coast variant of CDC28 in the arrangement of spores after meiosis, in the shape of budding cells in rich medium and in the morphology of filamentous growth during nitrogen limitation. Our results shed new light on the role of CDC28 in yeast cell division, and our work suggests that with the growing availability of genomic data sets in many systems, a priori prediction of functional variants will become an increasingly powerful strategy in molecular genetics.
Lee, HN; Magwene, PM; Brem, RB
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