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Recurrent changes in colony morphology dependent on intracolony selection of prototrophs occurring in red yeast



Recurrent changes in colony morphology dependent on intracolony selection of prototrophs occurring in red yeast



Heredity 12(2): 257-270



Under particular conditions of the growth medium, massive bursts of white, prototrophic cells arise spontaneously from colonies of certain strains of red, adenine-requiring yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). The occurrence of prototrophs is the result of back-mutation at the locus for adenine requirement. The "burst" phenomenon occurs when the pH of the medium is 4.5, but does not occur at pH levels of 5.0 and above. Well-developed bursts occur only when adenine concentration is partly limiting the growth of red cells. The burst phenomenon depends upon environmental conditions such that prototrophs have strong selective advantages within colonies of adenine-requiring cells, since (1) prototrophic cells can be shown to be present in colonies grown under conditions where bursts never arise; (2) prototrophic cells mechanically transferred into colonies of red yeast always proliferate into bursts if the colonies are grown on media that permit spontaneous occurrence of bursts; (3) transferred prototrophs never proliferate into bursts if the host red colonies are grown on media where spontaneous bursts never occur. Experiments with artificially constructed giant colonies show that any independently occurring prototrophic cell has a high probability of expressing itself as a burst, under the appropriate environmental conditions noted above. Some implications of the burst phenomenon for general problems in development are discussed.

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Accession: 014163596

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DOI: 10.1038/hdy.1958.27


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