SUMMARY: is an unusual budding yeast in which daughter cells are formed, remote from the mother cell, on fine projections called sterigmata. Some fundamental properties of the cell cycle have been explored by separating cells from an exponentially growing culture into size, and thus age, classes by density-gradient centrifugation. Rate separations on high capacity, high resolution, equivolumetric gradients of sucrose, or, alternatively, isopycnic separations on gradients of Urografin revealed consistent and reproducible patterns of accumulation of DNA, RNA and protein through the cell cycle. Total DNA accumulation was stepwise, synthesis occurring late in the cycle, whilst protein accumulated continuously with no evidence for the discontinuities reported in some other lower eukaryotes. Total RNA accumulation, measured either colorimetrically or by long-term incorporation of radioactively-labelled uracil was transiently elevated early in the cycle and then accumulated continuously. A mathematical analysis of the volume distributions of the cells in fractions, from the gradients showed that there is a hyperbolic relationship between cell age and size but that, to a first approximation, measurements of cell size (and density) are direct measures of age. The results are discussed with reference to (1) the unusually high buoyant density of this yeast, (2) the resolution of zonal cell separation methods and (3) macromolecular accumulation in the cell cycles of other eukaryotic micro-organisms.


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