Fermentation of maltose by Saccharomyces strains depends on the presence of any one of five unlinked MAL loci (MAL1, MAL2, MAL3, MAL4 or MAL6). Earlier mutational analyses of MAL2 and MAL6 containing strains have identified a single complementation group at each of these two loci. However complementation analysis between naturally occurring Mal−Saccharomyces strains isolated from the wild demonstrated the presence of two complementation groups (designated MALp and MALg) at the MAL1, MAL3 and MAL6 loci. The available evidence suggests that the MALp gene is functionally equivalent to the complementation group identified by mutational analysis at the MAL6 locus and that this gene encodes a protein involved in the regulation of the coordinate induction of both maltase and maltose permease synthesis.
In this paper we report the isolation, in a well characterized MAL1 strain, of 47 mutants unable to ferment maltose. All the mutants, with one exception, map at the MAL1 locus. These mal1 mutants, except for one, are recessive to MAL1 and fall into two major complementation groups. Evidence is presented that these two classes of mutants identify both a gene involved in the regulation of maltose fermentation (MAL1R) and a gene involved in maltose transport (MAL1T). We also report here the isolation of a temperature sensitive maltose nonfermenting mutant mapping at the MAL1 locus identifying a third gene (MAL1S) at this locus. The maltase synthesized by this mutant, when assayed in cell-free extracts, is significantly more thermolabile than the wild type enzyme. Our findings demonstrate that MAL1 is a complex locus comprising at least three genes: MAL1R, a gene involved in the coordinate regulation of the synthesis of maltase and maltose transport; MAL1T, a gene encoding a component of the maltose transport system; and MAL1S, a likely candidate for the structural gene for maltase.