, Volume 163, Issue 2, pp 131-144

The effect of zygotic bud position on the transmission of mitochondrial genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

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Summary

Segregation of mitochondrial genomes in yeast zygotes has been investigated by partial pedigree analysis of crosses involving the markers cap, ery, oli1 and par. The results demonstrate that the segregation pattern of markers is non-random during the first zygote generation and is directly related to slow mixing of the zygote cytoplasm. We have observed that a first bud may be formed at the center or either end of the dumbbell-shaped zygote. Cytoplasmic mixing is particularly slow in those zygotes producing first end buds.

Clones derived from first end buds are usually pure (or nearly so) for a parental genotype and so detectable recombination of mitochondrial markers is reduced in these zygotes. Cells derived from a zygote after removal of a first end bud are predominantly of the other parental genotype. This observation suggests that a large fraction of the available segregating units enters each first bud and illustrates one means of obtaining complete segregation (even in multi-factor crosses) at the first generation. First center buds generally receive mitochondrial markers from both parents and the recombination frequency in such clones (and the clones derived from isolated first center buds) is significantly higher than in similar clones from zygotes with first end buds. Therefore, the distribution of first bud positions within a population of zygotes can influence the recombination frequency between mitochondrial loci. The delay in cytoplasmic mixing in combination with certain patterns of zygotic budding can distort the relationship between input of mitochondrial genomes and the output of a cross.

The phage analogy model of yeast mitochondrial genetics has been re-examined in light of these data. The assumption of rapid panmixis is not supported by the data from any of the crosses analyzed here. Since panmixis is most closely approximated in zygotes with first center buds, crosses with predominantly zygotes of that type may be the ones where the model is most applicable.