Genetic determinants of cell size at birth and their impact on cell cycle progression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Academic Article uri icon


  • In most cases, cells must increase their size before they can divide. Hence, a small size has been used often as a phenotype for mutants that accelerate initiation of division, such as the celebrated WHI mutants of budding yeast. Recently, we measured the DNA content of all nonessential gene deletion strains in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Surprisingly, there was little, if any, correlation between mean cell size and cell-cycle progression. Here, we examine this issue further, providing the first systematic analysis of genetic determinants of the cell size at birth. We found that although a large birth size strongly correlates with a large mean size, the converse relationship (i.e., small birth size vs. small mean size) is not as strong. Our data also suggest that mutants that are born large do not have a significant advantage for faster cell-cycle progression. In contrast, mutants that are born small are more likely to progress slower in the cell cycle. The majority of gene deletions that displayed such phenotypes affect protein synthesis or ribosome biogenesis. Overall, our data suggest that birth size may be a more informative parameter for cell-cycle progression than the mean size of a proliferating cell population. In contrast to WHI phenotype expectations, a small size is more likely to be associated with delayed cell-cycle progression.

published proceedings

  • G3 (Bethesda)

author list (cited authors)

  • Truong, S. K., McCormick, R. F., & Polymenis, M.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Truong, Sandra K||McCormick, Ryan F||Polymenis, Michael

publication date

  • September 2013