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The Petite Mutation in Yeast

Chapter

Abstract

Bakers’ yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is one of the simplest of eukaryotic organisms. Its ability to grow on liquid or solid defined media with a short generation time renders it amenable to the powerful techniques that have been employed to elucidate the biochemistry and genetics of prokaryotes. It has consequently been used as a model eukaryote for many biochemical and genetic investigations. It has found particular favor in studies on the mechanism of mitochondrial assembly and the role of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the reason being that this species of yeast is capable of surviving and growing in the absence of functional mitochondria, obtaining its ATP requirements through fermentative metabolism. Many different types of mutation affecting mitochondrial function have been studied, but one particular class of mutants stands out in terms of the contribution it has made. This class comprises the different kinds of extrachromosomal petite mutants. Such mutants have sustained gross deletions or total loss of mtDNA and are, in consequence, incapable of assembling mitochondrial ribosomes and carrying out mitochondrial protein synthesis. Petite mutants have been of particular value in investigating the role of mtDNA, establishing which mitochondrial proteins are synthesized extramitochondrially and constructing gene maps of mtDNA.

Keywords

Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Mitochondrial Genome Cytochrome Oxidase Yeast Mitochondrion Mitochondrial Protein Synthesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology DepartmentSt. Patrick’s CollegeMaynooth, County KildareIreland

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