Genetic variation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: circuit diversification in a signal transduction network.

PMID 23051644


The connection between genotype and phenotype was assessed by determining the adhesion phenotype for the same mutation in two closely related yeast strains, S288c and Sigma, using two identical deletion libraries. Previous studies, all in Sigma, had shown that the adhesion phenotype was controlled by the filamentation mitogen-activated kinase (fMAPK) pathway, which activates a set of transcription factors required for the transcription of the structural gene FLO11. Unexpectedly, the fMAPK pathway is not required for FLO11 transcription in S288c despite the fact that the fMAPK genes are present and active in other pathways. Using transformation and a sensitized reporter, it was possible to isolate RPI1, one of the modifiers that permits the bypass of the fMAPK pathway in S288c. RPI1 encodes a transcription factor with allelic differences between the two strains: The RPI1 allele from S288c but not the one from Sigma can confer fMAPK pathway-independent transcription of FLO11. Biochemical analysis reveals differences in phosphorylation between the alleles. At the nucleotide level the two alleles differ in the number of tandem repeats in the ORF. A comparison of genomes between the two strains shows that many genes differ in size due to variation in repeat length.