Date: 24 Jun 2011

Synchronization of Yeast

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Abstract

The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe are amongst the simplest and most powerful model systems for studying the genetics of cell cycle control. Because yeast grows very rapidly in simple and economical media, large numbers of cells can easily be obtained for genetic, molecular, and biochemical studies of the cell cycle. The use of synchronized cultures greatly aids in the ease and interpretation of cell cycle studies. In principle, there are two general methods for obtaining synchronized yeast populations. Block and release methods can be used to induce cell cycle synchrony. Alternatively, centrifugal elutriation can be used to select synchronous populations. Because each method has innate advantages and disadvantages, the use of multiple approaches helps in generalizing results. An overview of the most commonly used methods to generate synchronized yeast cultures is presented along with working Notes, a section that includes practical comments, experimental considerations and observations, and hints regarding the pros and cons innate to each approach.