Brown, William R.A. and Litti, Gianni and Rosa, Carlos and James, Steve and Roberts, Ian and Robert, Vincent and Jolly, Neil and Tang, Wen and Baumann, Peter and Green, Carter and Schlegel, Kristina and Young, Jonathan and Hirchaud, Fabienne and Leek, Spencer and Thomas, Geraint and Blomberg, Anders and Warringer, Jonas
A geographically diverse collection of schizosaccharomyces pombe isolates shows limited phenotypic variation but extensive karyotypic diversity.
The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has been widely used to study eukaryotic cell
biology, but almost all of this work has used derivatives of a single strain. We have studied 81 independent
natural isolates and 3 designated laboratory strains of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Schizosaccharomyces
pombe varies significantly in size but shows only limited variation in proliferation in different environments
compared with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Nucleotide diversity, p, at a near neutral site, the central core of
the centromere of chromosome II is approximately 0.7%. Approximately 20% of the isolates showed
karyotypic rearrangements as detected by pulsed field gel electrophoresis and filter hybridization analysis.
One translocation, found in 6 different isolates, including the type strain, has a geographically widespread
distribution and a unique haplotype and may be a marker of an incipient speciation event. All of the other
translocations are unique. Exploitation of this karyotypic diversity may cast new light on both the biology of
telomeres and centromeres and on isolating mechanisms in single-celled eukaryotes.
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