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The effects of “Cell age” upon the lethal effects of physical and chemical mutagens in the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae



Yeast cultures progressing from the exponential to the stationary phase of growth showed changes in cell sensitivity to physical agents such as UV light, heat shock at 52° C and the chemical mutagens ethyl methane sulphonate, nitrous acid and mitomycin C.

Exponential phase cells showed maximum resistance to UV light and minimum resistance to heat shock and the three chemicals. The increased resistance of exponential phase cells to UV light was shown to be dependent upon the functional integrity of the RAD 50 gene.

Treatment of growing yeast cultures with radioactively labelled ethyl methane sulphonate indicated the preferential uptake of radioactivity during the sensitive exponential stage of growth. The results indicated that the differential uptake of the chemical mutagens was responsible for at least a fraction of the variations in cell sensitivity observed in yeast cultures at different phases of growth.

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Parry, J.M., Davies, P.J. & Evans, W.E. The effects of “Cell age” upon the lethal effects of physical and chemical mutagens in the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae . Molec. Gen. Genet. 146, 27–35 (1976).

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  • Heat Shock
  • Mitomycin
  • Cell Sensitivity
  • Physical Agent
  • Yeast Culture