Current Genetics

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 430–434

Diploid yeast cells yield homozygous spontaneous mutations

  • Michael S. Esposito
  • Carlo V. Bruschi
Original Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF00312630

Cite this article as:
Esposito, M.S. & Bruschi, C.V. Curr Genet (1993) 23: 430. doi:10.1007/BF00312630


A leucine-requiring hybrid of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, homoallelic at the LEU1 locus (leu1–12/leu1–12) and heterozygous for three chromosome-VII genetic markers distal to the LEU1 locus, was employed to inquire: (1) whether spontaneous gene mutation and mitotic segregation of heterozygous markers occur in positive nonrandom association and (2) whether homozygous LEU1/LEU1 mutant diploids are generated. The results demonstrate that gene mutation of leu1–12 to LEU1 and mitotic segregation of heterozygous chromosome-VII markers occur in strong positive nonrandom association, suggesting that the stimulatory DNA lesion is both mutagenic and recombinogenic. In addition, genetic analysis of diploid Leu+ revertants revealed that approximately 3% of mutations of leu1–12 to LEU1 result in LEU1/LEU1 homozygotes. Red-white sectored Leu+ colonies exhibit genotypes that implicate postreplicational chromatid breakage and exchange near the site of leu1–12 reversion, chromosome loss, and subsequent restitution of diploidy, in the sequence of events leading to mutational homozygosis. By analogy, diploid cell populations can yield variants homozygous for novel recessive gene mutations at biologically significant rates. Mutational homozygosis may be relevant to both carcinogenesis and the evolution of asexual diploid organisms.

Key words

S. cerevisiaeMutational homozygosisLoss of heterozygosityMutationRecombination

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael S. Esposito
    • 1
  • Carlo V. Bruschi
    • 2
  1. 1.Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Microbiology Department, International Center for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyUnited Nations Industrial Development OrganizationTriesteItaly