Cytoplasmic inheritance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: comparison of zygotic mitochondrial inheritance patterns. Academic Article uri icon


  • Mitochondrial movements in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Sc) zygotes were monitored with phase-contrast microscopy and compared to known mitochondrial inheritance systems. The mitochondria of Sc were convincingly identified by integrated use of phase-contrast, cytochemical and electron microscopic observations. Mitochondria in Sc appear to move by saltatory jumps, which appear to be oriented towards movement of mitochondria into developing buds. Tracking of mitochondria of different genotypes was made possible by positive identification of each mitochondrial population before zygosis, and by the low degree of mixing (less than 10%) of mitochondrial populations before first bud septation. A grande by grande cross demonstrated equal numbers of mitochondria from each haploid moving into the first zygotic bud. A grande by neutral petite cross gave a 2:1 ratio of grande to petite mitochondria. However, a grande by suppressive petite cross gave equal numbers of grande and petite mitochondria. Using drug resistance systems, a comparison was made of highly biased (97%) and moderately biased (71%) chloramphenicol resistant inheritance patterns. In both cases, the ratios of drug resistant to sensitive mitochondria were 1:1. When numbers of mitochondria moving into an individual bud were compared to the phenotypic content of the clone of that bud, no model could be constructed which could predict the latter from the former. The data indicate (with the exception of the neutral petite by grande cross) that the numbers of each mitochondrial type "inserted" into the first zygotic bud are equal, regardless of the degree of asymmetry of inheritance of mitochondrial markers.

published proceedings

  • Mol Gen Genet

author list (cited authors)

  • Aufderheide, K. J., & Johnson, R. G.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Aufderheide, KJ||Johnson, RG

publication date

  • March 1976