, 22:1089 | Cite as

Effects of tellurite on growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

  • Domenica R. Massardo
  • Paola Pontieri
  • Loredana Maddaluno
  • Mario De Stefano
  • Pietro Alifano
  • Luigi Del GiudiceEmail author


The effects of potassium tellurite on growth and survival of rho+ and rho0 Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains were investigated. Both rho+ and rho0 strains grew on a fermentable carbon source with up to 1.2 mM K2TeO3, while rho+ yeast cells grown on a non-fermentable carbon source were inhibited at tellurite levels as low as 50 μM suggesting that this metalloid specifically inhibited mitochondrial functions. Growth of rho+ yeast cells in the presence of increasing amount of tellurite resulted in dose-dependent blackening of the culture, a phenomenon not observed with rho0 cultures. Transmission electron microscopy of S. cerevisiae rho+ cells grown in the presence of tellurite showed that blackening was likely due to elemental tellurium (Te0) that formed large deposits along the cell wall and small precipitates in both the cytoplasm and mitochondria.


Tellurite Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mitochondria Transmission electronic microscopy 



The research was supported by Compagnia di San Paolo special grant “iniziativa” to L. Del Giudice. P. Pontieri was supported by a postdoctoral grant from the Istituto Banco di Napoli, Fondazione.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Domenica R. Massardo
    • 1
  • Paola Pontieri
    • 1
  • Loredana Maddaluno
    • 1
  • Mario De Stefano
    • 2
  • Pietro Alifano
    • 3
  • Luigi Del Giudice
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Genetics and Biophysics “Adriano Buzzati-Traverso”Consiglio Nazionale delle RicercheNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesSecond University of NaplesCasertaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and TechnologyUniversity of SalentoLecceItaly

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