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Mol Biol Cell. 1994 September; 5(9): 1003–1022.
PMCID: PMC301123

Symmetric cell division in pseudohyphae of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


Laboratory strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are dimorphic; in response to nitrogen starvation they switch from a yeast form (YF) to a filamentous pseudohyphal (PH) form. Time-lapse video microscopy of dividing cells reveals that YF and PH cells differ in their cell cycles and budding polarity. The YF cell cycle is controlled at the G1/S transition by the cell-size checkpoint Start. YF cells divide asymmetrically, producing small daughters from full-sized mothers. As a result, mothers and daughters bud asynchronously. Mothers bud immediately but daughters grow in G1 until they achieve a critical cell size. By contrast, PH cells divide symmetrically, restricting mitosis until the bud grows to the size of the mother. Thus, mother and daughter bud synchronously in the next cycle, without a G1 delay before Start. YF and PH cells also exhibit distinct bud-site selection patterns. YF cells are bipolar, producing their second and subsequent buds at either pole. PH cells are unipolar, producing their second and subsequent buds only from the end opposite the junction with their mother. We propose that in PH cells a G2 cell-size checkpoint delays mitosis until bud size reaches that of the mother cell. We conclude that yeast and PH forms are distinct cell types each with a unique cell cycle, budding pattern, and cell shape.

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