Mutations affecting synthesis of beta-galactosidase activity in the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis.

R. M. Sheetz, R. C. Dickson

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34 Scopus citations


Fifty-one mutants of Kluyveromyces lactis that cannot grow on lactose (Lac-) were isolated and characterized. All the mutations are in nuclear genes, are recessive in their wild-type allele and define seven complementation groups, which we designate lac3 through lac9. Strains bearing mutations in lac3, lac5, lac7, lac8 and lac9 are also unable to grow on galactose (Gal-). Since the Gal- and Lac- phenotype co-segregate, they are probably due to a single mutation. Strains bearing mutations in any of the seven complementation groups grow normally on glucose. However, strains bearing mutations in lac3, lac5 and lac6 do not grow on glucose if lactose is also present in the medium. Likewise, strains bearing mutations in lac3 and lac5 do not grow on glucose in the presence of galactose. Complementation groups lac4 and lac5 are loosely linked and map within a cluster of auxotrophic mutations on a chromosome that we designate chromosome 2. The remaining five groups are unlinked. Thus, there is no evidence for clustering of Lac genes into an operon-like regulatory unit.--To further characterize the nature of the Lac- phenotype, the basal and inducible level of beta-galactosidase activity were measured. All mutants had nearly normal basal enzyme levels, except those in lac4, which had barely detectable levels. Inducible enzyme levels varied from barely detectable levels in mutants bearing lac4 mutations up to four-fold inducible levels in strains bearing mutations in other complementation groups. In all cases, however, induction levels were below the 30-fold level obtained in wild-type cells. Three strains bearing lac5 mutations contain increased enzyme activity in the absence of inducer, indicating constitutive synthesis of beta-galactosidase. In summary, these data indicate that several genes are necessary for synthesis of beta-galactosidase activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-890
Number of pages14
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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