Aneuploid Responses

A recent exchange of papers is divided over the evidence for compensatory gene expression among wild strains of aneuploid yeast.

Catherine Offord

After undergraduate research with spiders at the University of Oxford and graduate research with ants at Princeton University, Catherine left arthropods and academia to become a science writer. She has...

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May 1, 2016

DOSAGE DEBATE: Analyses of gene copy number in wild strains of aneuploid yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) have come to different conclusions. © ISTOCK.COM/ALIENWORMZOND


The paper
A.P. Gasch et al., “Further support for aneuploidy tolerance in wild yeast and effects of dosage compensation on gene copy-number evolution,” eLife, 5:e14409, 2016.

Chromosomal commotion
Like many organisms, lab yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is intolerant of aneuploidy. “In the lab strain that’s been most studied, cells with an extra copy of a chromosome have just crazy different expression across the transcriptome,” says yeast researcher Audrey Gasch of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. But wild yeast, Gasch’s team recently found, may not be so sensitive.

Expressing differences
In 2015, Gasch and colleagues published an analysis comparing RNA levels and DNA content in aneuploid strains of wild yeast (eLife, 4:e05462). Doubling gene-copy number ought to...