Extragenic suppression and synthetic lethality among Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutants resistant to anti-microtubule drugs.

S. W. James, Carolyn D Silflow, M. D. Thompson, L. P. Ranum, Paul A Lefebvre

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21 Scopus citations


The antimicrotubule agents oryzalin (ORY), colchicine (COL) and taxol (TAX) were used to select three recessive, conditional lethal (ts-) mutants which defined two new essential loci, ory1 and cor1. The two ory1 mutants conferred resistance to ORY, TAX, and COL; the cor1 mutant conferred resistance only to COL. Each of the mutants displayed wild-type sensitivity to a number of unrelated inhibitors. Assembly and disassembly of flagellar microtubules in the ory1 mutants displayed wild-type sensitivity to ORY and COL, suggesting that the ory1 gene product either does not participate in these processes or the ory1 gene product alone is not sufficient to confer resistance. The ory1 locus mapped to linkage group X; cor1 was mapped to the left arm of linkage group XII. A synthetic lethal interaction was observed between ory1 and cor1 mutations, i.e., inferred ory1 cor1 double mutants were inviable at the permissive temperature. The conditional lethal phenotype of ory1-1 was used to select many spontaneous TS+ revertants, which arose at high frequencies. Genetic and phenotypic characterization of the revertants demonstrated that (1) the revertants fell into four phenotypic classes, including some which conferred supersensitivity to ORY and others which conferred cold-sensitive lethality, (2) reversion was caused in most or all cases by extragenic suppressors, (3) suppressor mutations displayed complex behavior in heterozygous (sup/+) diploids, (4) many different loci may be capable of suppressing ory1 mutants, and (5) suppressors of ory1-1 efficiently suppressed an independently isolated allele, ory1-2. Taken together the ory1, cor1, and suppressor mutations identify a number of interacting loci involved in essential cellular processes which are specifically susceptible to antimicrotubule agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-577
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1989


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