Date: 15 Jul 2011

Competition Experiments Coupled with High-Throughput Analyses for Functional Genomics Studies in Yeast

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Competition experiments are an effective way to provide a measurement of the fitness of yeast strains. The availability of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast knock-out (YKO) deletion collection allows scientists to retrieve fitness data for the ~6,000 S. cerevisiae genes at the same time in a given environment. The molecular barcodes, characterizing each yeast mutant, serve as strain identifiers, which can be detected in a single microarray analysis. Competition experiments in continuous culture using chemically defined media allow a more specific discrimination of the strains based on their fitness profile. With this high-throughput approach, a series of genes that, when one allele is missing, result in either defective (haplo-insufficient) or favored (haplo-proficient) growth phenotype have been discovered, for each nutrient-limiting condition tested. While haplo-insufficient genes seemed to overlap largely across all the media used, the haplo-proficient ones seem to be more environment specific. For example, genes involved in the protein secretion pathway were highly haplo-insufficient in all the contexts, whereas most of the genes encoding for proteasome components showed a haplo-proficient phenotype specific to nitrogen-limiting conditions. In this chapter, the method used for implementation of competition experiments for high-throughput studies in yeast is presented.